I would like to preface this letter by acknowledging my association with the greek system through my involvement as a pledge of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Those who persist in stereotyping me as a homophobic sexist need not continue reading as they have already formulated their opinions without knowing me. My decision to pledge a fraternity was not an easy one, and I was aware of the reputation of fraternities as an "old boy network" and all that network implied. I am also aware that many of the attitudes that gave the greek system its poor image still persist, but I am proud to say I found the majority of brothers, both in and out of my fraternity, to be sensitive to women, egalitarian, and even open-minded, which is more than I can say for Mr. Kelleher. I was also blissfully unaware of any pressure to "subsume [my] personal identity" to the brotherhood, nor was I declared a "fag" when I treated women with the respect they deserve.
I must concur with Mr. Kelleher that the painting of the benches has sparked discussion among the Duke community about women, homosexuals and greek relations, and that is a positive outcome. But the positives from opening the discussion have been obscured by people such as Mr. Kelleher that presume to know all fraternity men and their feelings toward the Duke community. Just as I hope greek males are working to destroy outdated attitudes toward women, I ask members of the independent community to put away their images of the beer-swilling, crotch-grabbing greek male. Instead of living in the past and throwing accusations, greeks and non-greeks alike should work together to create an environment all can appreciate.
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