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Swarthmore Feminists Freaking Out

flierOPINION

Flier of Half-Naked Women Prompts Swarthmore Feminists Demand Women Be Allowed To Join Fraternities

Apparently Swarthmore College feminist-activist students hate fraternities so much they want to join them. That’s the circular logic unfolding at the notoriously liberal liberal arts college in Pennsylvania.

The fraternity Phi Psi recently put out a fall rush pledge flier made up of a collage of tiny pictures of mostly half-naked women, and these angry female students have billed that mosaic as sexist, misogynistic gender discrimination.

Apparently feminists at Swarthmore are unaware pornography – watching it, posing for it, making a career out of it – is liberating for women. At least that’s the Left’s mantra, how progressives defend porn-filled Sex Week events held annually at college campuses across America. The porn culture is widely celebrated and heralded at universities today. Feminists at Swarthmore didn’t get the memo. Either that, or they change their tune depending on which superfluous battle de jour they’ve mounted.

These angry students’ solution to this frat flier, according to a petition they’ve launched, is to force the school’s fraternities to accept women. They propose defunding campus fraternities until they have at least 10 percent female membership.

“Sending bids with collages of naked women on them? This is sexism, plain and simple, and we refuse to tolerate it on our campus,” states the online petition, which had 100 signatures as of Wednesday evening. “Phi Psi’s objectifying and offensive invitations are a bitter reminder that gender discrimination is an ongoing issue for these student groups. Permitting fraternities to distribute such images without public rebuke creates an unsafe and harassing environment for students at the college.”

OK folks, this is the same campus that, last spring, formed a masturbation club. This is the same campus known for Crunkfest, an annual sexcapade typically held in a dorm’s courtyard during Easter weekend. A witness to Crunkfest described it as a “nude celebration” of sorts, in which students take part in circle jerks and similar activities. This is the same campus that has another spring fling called “Genderf**k” in which students “are expected to defy normal gender standards by cross-dressing and/or wearing very little clothing.”
But those things don’t get public rebukes at Swarthmore – they get celebrated.
And we are supposed to get all up-in-arms over one flier with minuscule pictures of scantily-clad women that you can barely make out unless you squint? The Swarthmore Independent, the conservative campus newspaper, also weighed in on this latest drama with a quasi-eyeroll, and rightly pointed out the flaws in the demand:
While we find the flyers sexist and call on Phi Psi to apologize to the Swarthmore community, campus activists have truly outdone themselves with the ridiculousness of this “defund” movement. …

Defunding the fraternities on the basis of these flyers, however offensive, would set a dangerous precedent for all funding decisions to follow. Under the petition’s standard, SAC funding could be withheld from any group engaging in speech that any subset of the student body finds offensive. Will Drama Board be starved for cash, since they funded two shows last year that included female nudity? What about student art shows that include paintings or photographs of unclothed individuals? These things may receive protection, it could be argued, because they represent a form of “art” – but where does one draw the line? Should Genderf**k, with its hyper-sexualized and derogatory “girls wear less” slogan, also get the ax?

Swarthmore Independent editors say the real motivation behind the petition is a student referendum passed by a slim majority last spring in support of admitting students of all genders to all fraternities and sororities on campus.

“Activists have used the results of this oddly worded and non-binding referendum, which passed with an unconvincing 53 percent majority, as justification for their push to force the fraternities to include at least 10 percent female membership,” they say. “But there is no mandate in the referendum for such an arbitrary quota system. … Student activities funds, which all students contribute to, should not be used to advance the extreme agenda of a subset of the student body.”

Oh, and by the way, now the Phi Psi members are being forced to undergo a special training camp to learn what misogynistic pigs they are.

“We are working with the fraternity on a multifaceted remedy that will require training and other measures be successfully completed before the fraternity can resume its recruitment efforts or host social events to ensure that our values are upheld, and that such a situation will not recur,” Liliana Rodriguez, associate dean at Swarthmore, told The Huffington Post on Wednesday.

The level of hypocrisy at this college is mind-bending.

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IMAGE: Marion Schreiber/Flickr, website screenshot

About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.

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