Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sorority Girls

This post was made by a friend of mine on his blog,

I have nothing, nothing, nothing against sorority girls, nor society girls, they’re just fine.

I remember sororities at college. They provided camaraderie and support for women in educational institutions that had only comparatively recently become co-ed. And sororities prepped girls for the veneer surface of — I don’t know — a life of little academic enterprise after college?

Sororities taught girls social skills and cemented a community fashion. Not fashion in the creative sense but rather a pageant of the accepted norm. Beauty as a dress code that everyone could feel excited about despite it being ludicrously conformist. Sororities also reinforced the preening considered necessary to attract the ambitious corporate male who sought a domestic arrangement in much the same way that he courted a career. For girls who were neither creative, independent, nor perhaps all that complicated, sororities extended the home economics lessons to the prospect of hiring maids.

What do sorority girls do after college when their only idea of extra-curricular means to hold an ice cream social? I don’t want to demean what they do, they have children of course, and run communities. And when there is time, they do lunch. And when there’s charity afoot, these girls do as their sororities did and conduct a benefit.

I saw such a benefit recently, an enormous social function, an annual society event, the cumulative product of countless sub-subcommittee meetings. I could say that the beneficiaries of the charity could have mattered not the least, but that would in this case be most inaccurate. Two factors:

At Newborn Hope the fuzzy bunny factor is in overdrive. Money raised is “for the babies!!!” Specifically babies born prematurely in rural areas without access to urban hospital programs. The money goes for brochures and nurse training programs which teach, basically: Get that baby to the city stat!

So it’s not just that the NBH charity is for a demonstrably compelling, in-your-arms-tangible cause, but the chief beneficiaries, as with traditional sororities, are the sorority girls themselves. Making a rough estimate of the figures, I can approximate that well over half of the resources generated by NBH go to feeding itself. Throwing the big party, holding all the planning meetings, that’s the primary function. The money these women spend goes to pay for the luncheons and the overhead. It’s a great boondoggle for The Broadmoor and the shops which get to advertise through the annual function, the NBH fashion show.

The time which the girls expend toward putting it all together is also a large resource redirected. The girls are not driving the taxis nor holding any babies. These philanthropists are holding lunches, paying for the lunches themselves, eating the lunches themselves, and planning for themselves the next one. While it might be uncharitable to ask these ladies to give directly, albeit unselfishly to a good cause? Do premature babies have to settle for only a fraction of their self-serving dollar? Such sorority-style events are very similar to a retail store charity model where an advertized small percentage of sales, nothing extra from the customer’s pocket, is promised to go to a charity.

And what about the charity of premature babies? Wouldn’t a public health matter be best addressed by a public health program? Here you have rich Libertarians who would rather contribute their table scraps to the cause, rather than support taxes to improve the health system thereby resolving many health problems, among them premature births.

And in Colorado Springs there is the Christian Anti-abortion element. NBH plays straight into the hands of the Respect Life crowd. Anything that forces a pregnant woman to commit to her pregnancy, prematurely.


Catherine said...

Ten bucks says this guy has never met a sorority girl. Probably stalked a few, had a couple run ins with the police (uh, I was just returning her Differential Equations book), but this post shows nothing but ignorance, in all its ugliness.

Eric said...

Keep your ten bucks, I was a Beta Sig Little Brother, jeez.
It appears you know plenty about empty put-downs.

Catherine said...

Comment from Catherine
Time: November 25, 2006, 5:33 pm

Okay, first of all Beta Sig is what? A sorority? Really. Certainly not one that anyone has heard of. Probably a bunch of fat girls.

And “little brothers” were the losers that wanted to be near us but would NEVER be invited to any of our parties or formals, etc. You can sling our hash, but don’t pretend that you’re one of us.