Outrage Machine Targets Sorority for... Being Pretty?

This past week, the Internet exploded over a sorority recruitment video. Why? Because their recruitment video is “worse for women than Donald Trump.”

The sorority, apparently not enjoying that they were being tarred and feathered across the Internet, has taken the video down. If you really want, you can find it elsewhere now. But it’s rather mundane: if you’ve seen one sorority recruitment video, you’ve seen them all. It’s just a bunch of girls, all of whom the Social Justice Warriors insist are too white — I sure hope they asked each member what she identifies as! — and too attractive for their own good. It reminds me of a PG version of a Victoria’s Secret photo shoot: obviously staged, a little bit ridiculous, but attractive and fun to watch anyway.

But conventionally attractive girls were having fun participating in a recruitment effort for a traditional facet of America’s college culture, so, queue the outrage machine!

This whole hubbub (especially A.L. Bailey’s piece) feels more like a bizarre, insatiable need to be offended and to smear any and all social norms as societal evils that must be purged than genuine outrage. Apparently the lesson is: don’t get caught being attractive and/or wealthy on camera — or worse, enjoying it!

And all the criticism seems to be written either by people who know absolutely nothing about Greek life, or who gleefully ignore or misrepresent the entire process they went through. For a movement built on an ever-expanding need for “nuance” and “context” and “micro”-whatevers so we can sniff out offensive content, there sure isn’t much of that going on in any of their critiques.

Sorority recruitment videos are a tiny part of recruitment, and without a doubt the most superficial. I guarantee, every girl who went through recruitment heard all the statistics, over and over again, about how GPAs are higher among Greeks, graduation rates are higher among Greeks, the amount of money each sorority raised last year for charity, the number of volunteer hours each sorority logged, and on, and on, and on.

It just so happens, superficial displays of sisterhood look way better in a video than a boring infomercial about a sorority’s values.

Maybe next year, they’ll pay the cameraman to show up at their philanthropy event. Although, at the end of the day, there isn’t anything this sorority could have done that would have earned them praise in the eyes of A.L. Bailey and her ilk – nothing can ever make up for the sins of being attractive, white women who actually manage to meet “unattainable” beauty standards.

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