Now THIS Is Incivility!

DormRoom1950sThe Delta Gamma sorority chapter at the University of Maryland has received some unwelcome publicity as a result of a leaked e-mail from one of the sorority’s executive board members, reprimanding the Gammas’ for not sufficiently participating in Greek Week activities with their “matchup” fraternity, Sigma Nu. The admonition was delivered in a vulgar, threatening and verbally violent rant containing, among its over 800 words, 4 stupids, 3 variations of ass–, as in “ass-wipe” and “ass-hat,” 5 shits, 2 cocks, 2 sucks, 3 goddamns, and no less than 42 variations of fuck. Gawker, which received the text of the rant, mercifully did not release the young woman’s name when it posted the thing, which is as it should be. No reason to destroy her reputation now. The odds are she’ll do it herself eventually.

I’ll post the whole message at the end, to spare your having to go to Gawker, but here are some brief observations:

  • This, parents, is how the University of Maryland is acculturating your daughters. I hope you feel you are getting a good deal for all that tuition.
  • Fraternities and sororities confer excessive power on students too immature to use it properly. Verbal abuse is better than sadistic hazing, but it is still a product of an inherently sick social system that was a dangerous anachronism decades ago.
  • Any student who receives this kind of vicious message from someone who has theoretical authority over them and who does not immediately quit the sorority to find residence where she will be treated with respect has already been damaged.
  • This is how the fans of the Kmart TV ad want to see everyone talking, because it’s so funny and cool. In fact, it is lazy and moronic.
  • Commentators on Facebook actually complimented the woman’s writing skills. Jane Austen just did a double back-flip in her grave.

Delta Gamma’s mission is “to foster high ideals of friendship among college women, to promote their educational and cultural interests, to create in them a true sense of social responsibility and to develop in them the best qualities of character.”

Sure.

Here’s the message:

“If you just opened this like I told you to, tie yourself down to whatever chair you’re sitting in, because this email is going to be a rough fucking ride.

“For those of you that have your heads stuck under rocks, which apparently is the majority of this chapter, we have been FUCKING UP in terms of night time events and general social interactions with Sigma Nu. I’ve been getting texts on texts about people LITERALLY being so fucking AWKWARD and so fucking BORING. If you’re reading this right now and saying to yourself “But oh em gee Julia, I’ve been having so much fun with my sisters this week!”, then punch yourself in the face right now so that I don’t have to fucking find you on campus to do it myself.

“I do not give a flying fuck, and Sigma Nu does not give a flying fuck, about how much you fucking love to talk to your sisters. You have 361 days out of the fucking year to talk to sisters, and this week is NOT, I fucking repeat NOT ONE OF THEM. This week is about fostering relationships in the greek community, and that’s not fucking possible if you’re going to stand around and talk to each other and not our matchup. Newsflash you stupid cocks: FRATS DON’T LIKE BORING SORORITIES. Oh wait, DOUBLE FUCKING NEWSFLASH: SIGMA NU IS NOT GOING TO WANT TO HANG OUT WITH US IF WE FUCKING SUCK, which by the way in case you’re an idiot and need it spelled out for you, WE FUCKING SUCK SO FAR. This also applies to you little shits that have talked openly about post gaming at a different frat IN FRONT OF SIGMA NU BROTHERS. Are you people fucking retarded? That’s not a rhetorical question, I LITERALLY want you to email me back telling me if you’re mentally slow so I can make sure you don’t go to anymore night time events. If Sigma Nu openly said “Yeah we’re gonna invite Zeta over”, would you be happy? WOULD YOU? No you wouldn’t, so WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU DO IT TO THEM?? IN FRONT OF THEM?!! First of all, you SHOULDN’T be post gaming at other frats, I don’t give a FUCK if your boyfriend is in it, if your brother is in it, or if your entire family is in that frat. YOU DON’T GO. YOU. DON’T. GO. And you ESPECIALLY do fucking NOT convince other girls to leave with you.

“But Julia!”, you say in a whiny little bitch voice to your computer screen as you read this email, “I’ve been cheering on our teams at all the sports, doesn’t that count for something?” NO YOU STUPID FUCKING ASS HATS, IT FUCKING DOESN’T. DO YOU WANNA KNOW FUCKING WHY?!! IT DOESN’T COUNT BECAUSE YOU’VE BEEN FUCKING UP AT SOBER FUCKING EVENTS TOO. I’ve not only gotten texts about people being fucking WEIRD at sports (for example, being stupid shits and saying stuff like “durr what’s kickball?” is not fucking funny), but I’ve gotten texts about people actually cheering for the opposing team. The opposing. Fucking. Team. ARE YOU FUCKING STUPID?!! I don’t give a SHIT about sportsmanship, YOU CHEER FOR OUR GODDAMN TEAM AND NOT THE OTHER ONE, HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN TO A SPORTS GAME? ARE YOU FUCKING BLIND? Or are you just so fucking dense about what it means to make people like you that you think being a good little supporter of the greek community is going to make our matchup happy? Well it’s time someone told you, NO ONE FUCKING LIKES THAT, ESPECIALLY OUR FUCKING MATCHUP. I will fucking cunt punt the next person I hear about doing something like that, and I don’t give a fuck if you SOR me, I WILL FUCKING ASSAULT YOU.

“Ohhh Julia, I’m now crying because your email has made me oh so so sad”. Well good. If this email applies to you in any way, meaning if you are a little asswipe that stands in the corners at night or if you’re a weird shit that does weird shit during the day, this following message is for you:

“DO NOT GO TO TONIGHT’S EVENT.

“I’m not fucking kidding. Don’t go. Seriously, if you have done ANYTHING I’ve mentioned in this email and have some rare disease where you’re unable to NOT do these things, then you are HORRIBLE, I repeat, HORRIBLE PR FOR THIS CHAPTER. I would rather have 40 girls that are fun, talk to boys, and not fucking awkward than 80 that are fucking faggots. If you are one of the people that have told me “Oh nooo boo hoo I can’t talk to boys I’m too sober”, then I pity you because I don’t know how you got this far in life, and with that in mind don’t fucking show up unless you’re going to stop being a goddamn cock block for our chapter. Seriously. I swear to fucking God if I see anyone being a goddamn boner at tonight’s event, I will tell you to leave even if you’re sober. I’m not even kidding. Try me.

“And for those of you who are offended at this email, I would apologize but I really don’t give a fuck. Go fuck yourself.”

UPDATE: Delta Gamma asked for, and received, the author’s resignation from the sorority, saying via Facebook that “The tone and content of the email was highly inappropriate and unacceptable by any standard. No matter who released it to the public or how it reached such a mass audience, the email content should not reflect on any sorority woman in general or any fraternal organization at large…”

____________________________

Source: Gawker

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.

31 Comments

Filed under Character, Education, Etiquette and manners

31 responses to “Now THIS Is Incivility!

  1. Kat B.

    Does this surprise me? Not at all. Parent’s need to pay close attention before sending their son or daughter to any college without first checking out the entire offerings. I have heard the “F” word more now than I did 40 years ago. There is a need for a good bar of soap to be stuffed in a lot of mouths. We paid for our kids college education and gave up every fun filled piece of life that we could have enjoyed. But our kids came first. And with that big check to the schools entered the “mama cow” who demanded to meet with the college adviser. One college educated child of ours who is a public school instructor gets death threats from his students. Could this be the repercussion of the hippie movement? Or the teachings of a liberal university who teach “seek and destroy at all costs”? Someone will eventually take care of you. Bullies breed bullies.

  2. ByTheFarmstead

    What I would love to see if all the ‘sisters’ or this piece of work leave. Being friendly seems to imply being friendly is putting out just because a guy is in the frat and they should get drunk to fulfill their duty.
    The sororities were creepy like that at my college and we started a special interest co-ed club instead that stayed in touch for a quarter century.

  3. Is it uncivil? Compared to more traditional standards yes. Its probably especially egregious to the same traditional standard considering that it comes from a woman (obviously running counter to the lady-like ideals).

    Though personally I liked it. In so far as a motivational tactic the same crassness and vulgarity is used by military drill instructors and it still produces a professional standard. Directed incivility is very good at producing conformity. And whether or not you agree with it, a large part of greek life is conformity to your greek organization.

    • Something you said there got me to wondering if maybe you have pinpointed a weakness, a source of ineffectiveness in present-day military training. Maybe the same old drill instructor beat-up talk just doesn’t motivate anymore. Maybe too many raw recruits are just mildly amused and drifting off into self-distraction while an “old-school” DI yells at them – maybe fancying themselves watching a re-packaged, re-enacted scene from South Park and thinking, “Meh – I read and hear ten times meaner and nastier than this in the chats and blogs while I’m at Starbucks.”

      Also, I am going to remember to say, “Directed incivility is very good at producing conformity” the next time I think it might be more precise, and somehow easier to understand, than saying “Might makes right.”

      • “Might makes right” is dead on.

        You’d think it would be less effective as a result of exposure, but the incivility that works its way into civilian life rarely manifests itself in the kind of serious personal attacks you find in a military environment. About the only people that will ever be rude to you in a conflict are people you’re very close to and complete strangers. Either way you’re emotionally insulated against it: they dont mean it, they’re just saying that to hurt your feelings or its just a random stranger so it has no bearing on your life.

        A DI, however, means his personal attacks and they have a very real and immediate bearing on your life. The psychological and emotional effectiveness of this combination cannot be overstated.

      • Joe

        This is going to sound totally douche-tastic of me and I apologize (sincerely) for that, but if you haven’t been in Basic Training / Boot Camp / etc, you can’t understand the authority a DI / DS wields. I went through Army infantry basic when I was 26. It’s effective, trust me. If there was a hardened kid who was rolling his eyes inside, he sure hid it well. From everyone. By the time I was a sergeant I was unleashing my own rhetorical creativity and I had some awesome soldiers. My own sergeants had some withering things to say, too, and I’d have marched through hell if that was the direction they pointed. Make of that what you will, but insofar as the original poster’s point was that the sorority screed reminded him of the effective use of hyperbolic, obscene vitriol that marks effective line infantry leaders, I think he’s absolutely right.

  4. Michael R.

    Not surprising. It’s like those girls didn’t know that their #1 responsibility is ‘servicing’ the fraternity of the week. I doubt many of the parents will be shocked or upset. I suspect more will be upset that their darlings aren’t playing nice with the greek system. Some may be unsure if it applies to their daughter because although they know she is in Delta Gamma, they many not know what college she attends. These parents probably sent their daughters to college to find suitable men (and these are people who define fraternity members as the most eligible men on campus). Let’s hear it for brainwashing! oops, sorry, CONFORMITY!

    The only question is, why do colleges allow these societies to be affiliated with their schools? Are they too busy covering up their coaches’ abuse of their students to care?

  5. Gawker media writers use the f bomb almost as much. It says much about the state of corespondance in this country.

    • Wait, what???

      Gawker is a sleazy, hipster website, and this is a young college woman who is supposed to be in the process of being trained to be productive in civilized society. What possible relevance is it to the appropriateness of a student’s utter bile in an attack on fellow students that writers for a shock website use the “F bomb” a lot? Do you really think one justifies the other? Mitigates the others? Rationalizes the other? This is the lazy anti-ethical reasoning this site exists to combat. Shape up.

      • brookingstyler

        I think you misunderstand my intention. I’m saying its all bad. I am sick of hearing the f word dropped every few sentences in what now passes for journalism. I have written a few comments on gawker media already criticizing the writer’s choice of words. I have more respect for a sailor’s mouth.

  6. Steve-O-in-NJ

    So, did they take writing lessons from Rahm Emmanuel or Dan Savage? When this kind of crap is already in mainstream publications and even, in Dan’s case, lauded, we shouldn’t be surprised when it filters back. This isn’t just a case of a few bad apples making the barrel bad, it’s a disease that’s now spreading back to the orchard.

    • Agreed. I don’t know, but Rahm might have learned a few things from future President Hillary.

      I saw what looked to me like a “verb form” in the sorority e-mail that I do not recall seeing before (I won’t say which). I am ashamed at my lack of diligence in studying the Urban Dictionary – not. But, I will also admit that I laughed when I saw the unfamiliar terminology – it conjured images, albeit unpleasant ones. I am guessing that my laughing was a combination of (1) release of nervous tension at the thought of someone seriously meaning her threat of violence, (2) recalling days of watching violent but hilarious (or, were they hilarious but violent?) cartoons, and (3) pity and sadness, for the immature lady or ladies who choose to communicate in such a colorfully overdone and thus likely futile way.

      Is it safe to say yet, that we have been sufficiently saturation-bombed with “f bombs” that we can now call that particular noise “f gas” or “f wind?” No doubt, the noise still jars, still gets some attention, still makes at least some people think about sex…but, I doubt that it truly motivates any longer, at least, not enough to be worth using so much.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        You know, maybe I was unfair to Rahm in that he usually kept his screaming and cursing to the spoken word, though I still wonder how he got as far as he did without someone clocking him, Dan’s the more guilty party, publishing entire columns that are all eff this, eff that, eff you and your family. I also wonder how HE’S gotten as far as he has without someone punching his lights out. Maybe that’s got to be the next step for those of us who folks they think they can offend at will with verbal abuse, enough people get punched in the nose or mouth maybe they’ll start moderating their tone.

  7. Finlay O'Shea

    All I had to do was think of what my father would have thought if a letter like that was attributed to me. :-(

  8. Finlay O'Shea

    Didn’t some basketball coach just get fired for using the “other F word” on his players?

  9. My drill sergeant was Little Bo Peep (linguistically) in comparison to this sweet young thing. Am I just old fashioned, or do I seem to recall that preserving and promoting character and standards was the purpose of these societies? Then again, I seem to have heard that said of trade unions once upon a time! Am I to understand that this “Greek Week matchup” with a fraternity is largely a matter of doing a mass Sandra Fluke on account of many of the frat brothers are athletes? If so, do they charge for their services or is it “on the house” for the sake of school spirit?

    The sorrier aspect of this, though, is that even outside the sorority system, those co-eds would likely fare little better in their campus environment. These places are simply rotten to the core. Why the state government and the taxpayers haven’t exerted themselves in cleaning up what has become an expensive racket disguised as education… this I couldn’t say. Thank God I don’t have kids of college age.

  10. crella

    “I have heard the “F” word more now than I did 40 years ago.”

    Perhaps more now than you did in all those previous 40 years….all the feminist blogs are written with the F word as every third word or so, it’s proving that their sassy independent women, doncha know?

  11. Isaac

    Are we sure that this isn’t really a pimp’s threatening message to his “escorts?” All the sorority/college references say “no,” but everything else says “yes.”

    “Shape up and be more drunk next time! You’re boring the johns….I mean, the frat boys!”

    Whatever feminism is supposed to be these days, this….isn’t.

  12. I don’t know where to begin. I never was a fan of sororities and fraternities. The principle behind them seems to be about buying friendships and conformity. And for me the main reason I refuse to join such organizations is due to hazing. Why would I pay hundreds of dollars in dues to be beat down and humiliated??

    In this case, this sorority sister is clearly drunk on her so called power. This is the kind of behavior I witnessed from sororities. If I were these women I’d call her out on her bad behavior and tell their national, and get her removed!!!

    • Isaac

      In the words of Jim from The Office: “That’s the least amount of power I’ve ever seen go to someone’s head.”

  13. John Robins

    When my son was an undergrad at the University of Maryland, back in the early 90’s, some feminist group posted a list of potential rapists–a list which included every male student at the university. Seems to have gone from one extreme to the other.

  14. Luke G

    I’m an advisor and former exectuvie board member for a (non-greek, co-ed, service-based) fraternity and, while I never SAID anything like this, I can certainly recognize the SENTIMENT…

  15. Anthony

    Of course, it never occurs to anyone that 90% of the Greek system thinks this is just as out-of-order as non-Greek society does. Surely, she’s typical.

    • Oh, it occurs to me, and did, and does with hazing, too. It doesn’t matter. There is sufficient abuse of the Greek system, and sufficient alternatives to it, like Harvard’s House system, that I have no trouble concluding that the system is a Petri dish for trouble.

      • Anthony

        From what little I was able to gather of it, the house system seems to provide the major benefit of Greek system–its (inter)national nature, which both polices the aforementioned abuses and establishes the standards with which the Greek system inculcates its lessons to the good apples.

        • That was my feeling. It was collegial, there were group activities and identification, it cut down a large student body into more navigable and social groups. Each House tended to attract certain kinds of students with specialized interests, but not exclusively. The House system even has selectivity, but none of the rituals, cast systems or opportunities for abuse that the Greek system, and at Harvard, the club system had.

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