by Aviya Hernstadt
Walking into Kappa Kappa Gamma, the top sorority at University of Southern California, I felt as though I was in a different world. Everywhere I looked I saw Barbie-like girls with perfectly coiffed hair and adorable game-day attire, and couldn’t help but feel out of place and a bit insecure. It was impossible to ignore that these girls were chosen for their sororities in part because of their looks. At Kappa Kappa Gamma, it’s unheard of to go out looking anything less than perfect, and the pressure to look flawless 24/7 hung thick in the air.
My friend Sarah* and I left her sorority to tailgate at the top fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha. It’s no secret that USC has a reputation for “douchey” guys, valley girls, and rampaging sexual assault, and it was extremely visible. The guys were egging on the prettiest girls to drink as much as they could, and fist-bumping each other after every beer.
After what seemed like hours at the frat house, we left for the football game, which few students were sober enough to make it to. On the ten minute walk across campus, Sarah and I were relentlessly catcalled by drunkenly stumbling frat guys, one boy even coming up to us and asking for a threesome. I was so shocked and disappointed at the extreme lack of respect every guy seemed to have for us, and wondered what fueled them to think we wanted to be treated that way.
In a culture based on the judging of outer beauty like the Greek system, it’s not hard to believe that the men have little respect for women. As a girl feeling constantly judged, it’s easy to buy into their opinions and in turn think less of yourself.
At the end of this weekend, all I was left with was an overwhelming appreciation for Pitzer, and especially for all my male friends who have never made me feel like less of a human being because of my gender. Pitzer is truly a magical place, and I only wish we could bring a fraction of the social decency people have here to USC.
*Names have been changed