Last August, the University of Alabama greek system was slammed for being too racially homogenous and weird in the way that it objectifies women after the Bama Alpha Phi chapter released a controversial recruitment video.
As a grad of Alabama who reported on the de-facto segregation in the greek system there, I can say that those claims of racial and gender inequity are fairly accurate.
Everyone on campus and in the community knows it and efforts to change the campus have been made in recent years. Perhaps that change hasn’t come fast enough (God knows, many out of state students don’t think it has) but there is progress.
Of course, since it was Alabama (a loaded word in our national lexicon)- national sources flocked to the video and slammed the sisters of Alpha Phi into taking it down.
Here’s a version of it though that is archived online: (the audio has been changed from the original)
Even the New York Times (!) reported on the “controversy” of the Alabama white girl video at the time.
The whole Internet got worked up about it because it fed a stereotype of the American South being a place where women aren’t empowered and Stepford Wives are created en masse.
Perhaps there is some tangential truth to that stereotype, but it is a stereotype nonetheless.
Yesterday, the University of Miami chapter of Delta Gamma released a video that is just as problematic as the Alabama one.
And yet there has not been the same outrage- at least not yet.
The Miami New Times described the Miami video as looking “more fabulous than Jennifer Lopez’s big-budget, Miami-shot music video for “I Luh Ya Papi” (except with fewer male models in Speedos, and more co-eds in bikinis).”
Is the Miami video better because there are a couple minority students in it and because it was filmed on Biscayne Bay?
That seems like a pretty weak argument to make if you support equality.
But you be the judge.
Is the Miami video just as bad as the Alabama video?
Is there a double standard in the way national media outlets cover issues relating to race and gender when talking about a Deep South school?
In the end, I’m a dude so I’m going to check my privilege on this one and would like to see what women think about it.
Tell us what you think in the comments below.
You can also submit an opinion piece to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover Photo Credit: Artec Media/ Youtube (Screengrab)