The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ll Be Brief …’

Posted on | April 23, 2011 | 12 Comments


“The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests — we did. But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few sick, perverted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg: Isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!”
Eric Stratton, Delta Tau Chi, Faber College, 1962

That classic moment in the history of American higher education came to mind when I saw that Instapundit (“Glenn Reynolds, rush chairman — damned glad to meet ya!”) had linked a Wall Street Journal column arguing for the abolition of college fraternities.

Caitlin Flanagan’s argument is based on a 1984 rape that occurred at the Pi Kappa Psi house at the University of Virginia. The perpetrator was prosecuted two decades later when, as the result of his involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous (“Step 9: Make Amends”) he sent a letter to the victim confessing his crime.

Flanagan’s WSJ column then goes on to say that, when she attended UVA, she was warned “never, ever to go upstairs at a fraternity house.” That’s very useful advice for young women, and I would extend it by adding: (a) Never, ever go to a guy’s dorm room and (b) if you go to a party or a bar, always use the “buddy system,” so that you have a girlfriend to keep an eye out for your safety and vice-versa.

While we’re at it, coed dorms endanger women and ought to be abolished. In fact, I would go so far as to say that co-education is itself a bad idea, and that ideally we should go back to having separate men’s and women’s colleges. But such draconian measures in pursuit of the social good only ever seem to be popular when advocated to achieve liberal ideas of the social good, whereas my purposes are entirely reactionary.

Also, finally, I denounce this kind of exploitatively sexist behavior:

“No more fun of any kind!”


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