Few things are more distasteful to the delicate feminist sense of justice than instances of women harshin’ on other women. This women-bashing-women crap happens as often within “the movement” (such as it is) as it does among the unenlightened tighty-whitey anti-feminist collaborators. It’s bad enough, feminists lament, that men feel entitled to abuse us; how will we ever liberate ourselves when so many members of our own class seem so determined to enforce our, and their own, oppression?
We are all aggrieved by feminist infighting, “infighting” being the derogatory, male-framed way of describing the inevitable result of multiple intersections of multiple class struggles — the struggles of women of color, of poor women, of middle class women, of Jewish women, of prostituted lesbian intellectual women, et al — each of which classes has been engineered, it goes without saying, by patriarchy. But that’s another essay.
Today, by way of an excursion into the exotic, cut-throat world of Greek sororities, we take a look at the self-oppressing tendencies of anti-feminist patriarchy collaborators. For it seems that the DePauw University chapter of the Delta Zeta sorority, perceiving as detrimental to its “recruitment goals” the continued inclusion of constituents whose physical and intellectual deviation from the Barbie standard makes them too unbearable to look at, gave all un-slender, un-white, un-stupid members the boot. That’s right. Because Delta Zeta had acquired an undesirable reputation as a repository for unfuckable ugly smart chicks, and since a sorority’s ostensible raison d’Ãªtre is to provide suitably sex-ay receptacles for fratboys, the sorority’s national office had no choice but to purge the rolls of all who were not up to specs bodaciousness-wise.
The New York Times reports that the ethnic cleansing “left a messy aftermath of recrimination and tears” and “battered the self-esteem” of 23 women whose appearance and braininess was deemed an effrontery to the straight white American feminine fuckbot beauty ideal, to the extent that some of the rejected girls withdrew from classes.
And thus we see how patriarchy often masquerades as sisterhood in order to bite you in the ass. The message of Delta Zeta is the message of white male supremacy: a woman’s value is strictly reproductive.
It turns out that this story is Top o’ the Pops at the New York Times today. This development will hardly surprise the veteran patriarchy-blamer. Stories about women fucking each other over are irresistible, because (a) dudes love a ‘catfight’ and (b) such stories relieve male anxiety over participation in patriarchal culture by suggesting that women willingly engineer their own oppression.
But women didn’t create misogyny, and don’t benefit from it. Even so, unrelentingly they find their choices bound by it. When women hate women, it is only men hating women by proxy.