The independent news organization of Duke University

The red light

Sorority girls—you don’t have to put on the red light… or the red garter belt.

There’s a reason Duke calls its sorority women “Sorostitutes.” They might not walk the streets for money, but they do sell their bodies to the night… and to their “Derby Daddies.”

As a self-proclaimed and sexually-liberated feminist, I will be the first person to commend any woman who takes authority over her own sexual self—the woman who dances on tables; the woman who “lays” a man rather than waiting to get “laid;” the woman who puts on the garter belt for herself; and the woman who plays men the way men play her.

But this is not what a sorority woman is. As a new sorority shirts remind us, Sorostitutes who claim to be a “big deal” around here often become a big deal only after giving up their individual sense of sexuality to become sexual minions of their sororities.

I find it deplorable that sororities hold their women to the standards of short skirts and shorter shorts, but not to the standards of self-respect and sexual independence.

The social and sexual lives of sorority women can best be described as a game within the pecking order of the greater greek circle. At a time when sorority recruitment is on high, most first-year women have yet to learn this ugly truth about sororities.

In fact, first-year women who get bombard with Panhellenic propaganda often know very little about sorority life at Duke and what it entails.

It is my hope that the first-year women who attended the Sorority Lip Sync contest last weekend at Shooters now realize that being a member of a Duke sorority means surrendering your sexual sense of self to become a Sorostitute for that sorority.

As the hordes of men crowded these women last weekend, we were reminded once again that sororities at Duke do not provide a sisterhood. Duke sororities do not provide a space for women to bond with one another; rather, they provide an excuse for women to bond with—and sexualize themselves to—the Duke man.

Like a pimp, the Duke sorority dictates the Sorostitute’s sex life. Sorority women allow themselves to be “laid” and used by some men on campus… all in the greater sorority name. Being the socially competitive creatures that sorority women are, Sorostitutes gain social standing within their sororities by sexualizing themselves to men that they believe have equal (if not greater) social standing at Duke.

The sorority women who participated in last weekend’s Lip Sync contest epitomized this image best. The event was hosted by the Sigma Chi boys as part of their “Derby Days.” To participate in the event, these women dressed in everything from bras, underwear and garter belts to boy shorts and wife beaters; and instead of “lip syncing,” some of these women spent the majority of their time on stage licking whipped cream off one another.

The prostitute-like Sorostitutes that dressed the most provocatively and performed the most disgusting lip sync were validated afterwards by the Sigma Chi “Derby Daddies” who awarded them first place.

Whereas other, non-“core four” sororities performed well-practiced and coordinated routines, the Derby Daddies still awarded the winners of that night on a scale of one to trashiest.

Sorority women who dance on tables, take a man home on their own terms and carry themselves—at a bar and in the classroom—with a sense of self-worth have my respect. Sorostitutes who lick whipped cream off one another to visually appease men do not. These women are not worthy of black books, stilettos or black lace; and they are not worthy of the first-year women who rush them.

To the first-year women who hope to meet upperclassmen through the recruitment process, let me propose to you a more respectable option: Join a student group, become involved with the Women’s Center and base your relationships with women on more than just sex and social competition.

Until sororities at Duke provide a space for women to empower one another and come together as sisters, sororities will continue to be seen as illegitimate by the Duke community.

It’s time for Sorostitutes to once again become independent women. Core four: turn off the red light and become women of your own sexual exploits rather than just minions of a sexually misdirected collective.

Shadee Malaklou is a Trinity sophomore.


Share and discuss “The red light” on social media.