Vox Clamantis: Woman's right to choose

by Alessandra Necamp | 9/30/08 2:38am

To the Editor:

In "Peace, Love and Respect" (Sept. 29), Nina Maja Bergmar '11 writes about male domination at Dartmouth, saying that "While it's quite logical that women are in charge at Smith [College], since they comprise 100 percent of the student body, it is illogical to me how much power men at Dartmouth have over women, despite their equality in numbers."

Wait a second. As of late, I've noticed that it's women who dominate classroom discussions, and it's women who are the student body president and vice president and editors of campus newspapers! Inequality does exist both at Dartmouth and in the real world, but not in the exaggerated way the Bergmar explains.

As Bergmar notes, Greek life presents the most skewed power-dynamic. Sexism absolutely exists and even I have felt uncomfortable in my friends' fraternities. But let's stop demonizing the Dartmouth male. Most men at Dartmouth are truly sincere, decent and caring people. Throwing alcohol into the mix can provoke stupid, inexcusable and even criminal behavior, but this is true across genders. The point is that as women, we disempower ourselves and our male counterparts by constantly decrying the Dartmouth fraternity. I can no longer be party to playing a victim when I am an empowered woman with a simple choice to make.

I don't like violent movies, so I don't watch them. And I don't like misogynistic rap music, so I don't listen to it. If you don't like the way you are treated in a fraternity, then don't go. Nobody is forcing you; you just might miss out on urine-stained basement floors and foamy, watered-down, warm beer.