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Student Writes Absurd Letter To School Paper Calling Women “Commodities”

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A UNC student wrote a letter to the Daily Tar Heel student newspaper asking DJs to extend a ban barring them from performing at fraternities.

The gist of the letter is strange and its logic is misguided. The writer inadvertently reduces women to basic human goods while trying to prove that fraternities use admittance to parties as a way to commodify women. It’s a textbook straw man fallacy.

Here is the letter in full:


I was thrilled to read last week’s story about disc jockeys boycotting bars that commodify women with discounted admission to attract men.

A similar practice happens almost without exception at fraternity parties. Only men affiliated with the fraternity are admitted, as opposed to almost all women, many of whom are underage and looking for an easy source of alcohol. This practice commodifies women similarly to “ladies’ nights,” making easy access to vulnerable women a “perk” of being in a fraternity and perpetuating sexual conquest ideology even for GDI men.

Therefore I challenge fraternities to restrict party admission to a guest list for all attendees, not just males, or admit anyone wishing to make bad decisions on their premises.

Failing the enthusiastic receipt of this proposal by fraternities, I call upon the University to exercise its authority for once in regulating fraternity practices in party admission and alcohol distribution.

Likewise I call upon local police to finally treat fraternity parties as equal under the law with house parties, which are routinely busted for underage drinking and noise.

I have asked the DJ group to extend their boycott to fraternities, and I call upon sexual assault activist groups to go beyond condemning rape culture in the abstract and protest fraternities with admission policies that reinforce rape culture.

Finally, I call upon individual students to find something more fun to do on weekend nights and strip fraternities of the paper-thin power they hold over campus culture.

Sam Wilson ’15

Anthropology, History

A couple quick rebuttals:

A) Who the hell spells out the words “disc jockey”?

B) At almost every party, you get a handful of outside friends from different fraternities. Parties are rarely for fraternity members only.

C) While women are accepted more easily to fraternity parties, some are still refused. The idea that all women can waltz into any fraternity without fail like they are a case of beer is asinine.

D) At no point does the author include the idea that many male-female relationships are friendships. The letter assumes women are cattle that are being herded into a fraternity to be sexually assaulted.

E) Admission practices don’t reinforce a rape culture. They help reduce risk and financial liability.

A question to all women: which is more insulting to you? The way you’re treated by the fraternity culture or the assumptions in this letter that define you as inhuman commodities?

I would hope the latter.

[via Daily Tar Heel]

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