No, it's not a slick Playboy Playmate or Girls Gone Wild video. It's a sorority recruiting tool gaining on 500,000 views in its first week on YouTube. It's a parade of white girls and blonde hair dye, coordinated clothing, bikinis and daisy dukes, glitter and kisses, bouncing bodies, euphoric hand-holding and hugging, gratuitous booty shots, and matching aviator sunglasses. It's all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition. It's all so ... unempowering.
My Man Helping To Raise Girls And Young Women View
If there's one thing I learned from all the women in my life it's that as a man, it's not my say in what a woman does with her body, chooses how to dress, what to do, etc. (within reason of course, because if they're your kids or partner you get a little say).
It's also my issue - and no one else's - if I objectify someone. That's on me.
And if a woman is talking about gender equality it's my role to listen.
At the same time, I'm not saying if I had a daughter that went to that sorority I would want her to be in every shot of that video - because I still think a one piece is in style - but for the most part, I couldn't really yell at her for being in it either because they're just trying to have some fun and delay "real life" for as long as they can (and I would assume they would have to know that if they flunked out they couldn't enjoy the college good life anymore complete with glitter).
I couldn't tell my daughter that she has to wrap herself up and couldn't be a young woman and dress to have some fun and then have some fun (and what to wear could technically be anything - ripped jeans and funky smelling t-shirt). One, you have to pick your battles. But two - that's just giving in to a mindset that says a young woman can't have fun like a young man can and goes back to fundamentals:
If dudes are in the street wacking off to women wearing heavy parkas because it's 10 below zero, it's hardly the women's or the parka's fault. It's crazy dudes who are wacking off to women in parkas. No one should have to freeze because the crazies get a woody and can't control themselves from wacking off in sub-zero weather (I would imagine btw even with the friction it could still turn into an icicle that would be easily breakable).
And it's college.
They're between 18-22/23 (if they're on the 5/6 year plan). They just got out on their own. They can go to war but maybe can't drink legally. They're adults - but only kind of. It's Phase 2 Puberty with fake id's, no parents, and trying to find themselves.
They can go to R-rated movies alone. We can't expect PG and Sesame Street (and btw - what the fuck is going on with Sesame Street)?
All of that being said though I would agree that it doesn't show the multi-faceted dimensions of young women embarking on a college education - I didn't see a book cracked once, a shot of a library (to at least pretend to be fake studying), anything about academics, technology, sports any of the young women are into, or other groups, etc. - this definitely isn't a video to break stereotypes.
As I said in the title - it's kind of like a music video (and I'll have to be honest I am a fan of the original).
Would it be my recruitment video?
Probably not. I would throw in some of the things I mentioned in the above paragraph showing the full breadth of what my sorority offered - in addition to the fun and camaraderie it offers.
But it's not like everyone was shaking ass getting it on with other college students doing beer bongs - the majority of it was pretty innocent.
I think the mascot actually was the most lewd (and by lewd I mean I would have totally shaken my Furry Mascot Ass back in the day).
Is it representative of all young women's experiences, or wanted experiences?
My Asian American Man Helping To Raise Girls And Young Women Of Color View
I'll say that this is not the most diverse sorority by the looks of it and as someone tweeted (paraphrasing here) their definition of diversity looks to be having some brunettes in the fold. Would I caution about joining and would I want to see a more diverse base - absolutely - because after college and hopefully in college as well - or in any experiences during those age ranges - you're going to have to deal with diverse individuals (or you should be) and having a diverse group of friends on all fronts can only make you a better person.
In that regard the video doesn't do anything to stop the stereotype of thinking that some sororities/fraternities are exclusive to White People - even if changing (trying to give some benefit of the doubt here) - and I'm not calling anyone blatantly racist here - I'm just saying that I would want a more diverse group for the girls/women under my guidance.
One Last Thing
Even though I'm a guy and have that privilege and have had to learn or re-think some things, or re-verbalize something because that's my responsibility to do that - I still have to help raise girls/women of color and wanted to post my thoughts because I don't think they should be penalized for wearing a dress that doesn't go past the knees or if they want to run through a maze of bubbles with their friends listening to EDM because what does that say to them too? If they were in that video it doesn't mean they can't be a tech giant, kick ass lawyer, CEO, news anchor, et al.
I don't want them to be limited in that way.
Again - I realize who I am and where my POV can sometimes come from and I'm not trying to disrespect any opinions out there on this from the gender/role view in the way that someone who's White dismisses someone of Color. I just think there are some extra layers for dialogue and I truly am not trying to be dismissive of the main argument/tenets from which it came from.