On The “Lady Bro”
Interesting piece. If you’re going to copy men, how about emulating the best parts of men? Because getting drunk and eating live goldfish isn’t “topping gender roles,” it’s just acting like a drunken spaz.
I’m a student at Princeton, and before I even arrived on campus my freshman year, I heard the Tiger Inn stories: competitive projectile vomiting, harmonious chanting of “tits for beer,” and naked guys standing on tables while strumming their “penis guitars.” I looked on–kind of horrified, but also transfixed. Then sophomore year came around, and a bunch of my girlfriends made a decision that blew my mind. Tiger Inn. They were going to try to be a part of it.
As one rising TI senior told me, “The guys always want us girls to chug a beer or take a shot, or be a man. There is no pressure for a girl to be a girl.”
“There was a very specific expectation for femininity in the sorority,” Berbary said. “There were expectations for how a woman should act–how she should be appropriate and respectable. If you pushed those limits too far, you got roped back in.”
Well, nothing says “female empowerment” like drinking yourself into a stupor because you want to keep up with men. Except according to the doc in the Atlantic piece, binge drinking is a sign you’ve “arrived,” so to speak.
“There is empirical evidence to suggest that, in countries that allow women more access to higher education and where women delay childbearing, there is more female binge drinking,” Keyes said. “As countries become less traditional, women have more alcohol disorders. With this loosening of gender roles also comes a loosening of the constraints surrounding drinking for women.”
Is this a byproduct of that elusive “equality” we’re chasing? Or just resulting desperation? So basically women have become alcoholics faster and can’t hold their drank as well as men. Damn, we just can’t get an “equality” break!
I liked this graph from the Slate piece:
I read those lines and immediately got swept up in the gender-role-toppling fervor. “You pound those Jaeger bombs, ladies!” I thought. “Swallow the goldfish!” But then the reflection-hangover set in. And I find that I’m not as heartened as I want to be by Princeton women’s success at out-broing the bros.
Because it’s low brow.
“Lady like” used to be a compliment, but it’s been reduced to a pejorative, a word only nanas use. No “modern” girl wants to be time-stamped with such an anachronistic term. The problem isn’t “equality,” as some discussion questions, the problem is simple: these collegians weren’t raised to be ladies or have modesty. It requires too much to be a lady nowadays, so let’s aspire lower to a “lady bro.” Old timey feminists promoted the view that to be a lady is to live under the bars of societal construct. Society thought that women maybe shouldn’t eat goldfish and drink themselves sloppy at bars because that behavior is reserved for classifications lower than that of a lady. Being a lady meant having some self respect. Now having self respect is considered societal imprisonment. It’s freedom to have little respect, to binge drink and claim it’s about equality, to beg for birth control pills in front of the country because you can’t stop sleeping around. Slow clap for the mind job turnaround!
The bigger question is this: why do grrrl power females always complain about equality and then turn around and constantly scrutinize themselves and measures themselves against the abilities of men? Women will never, ever be equal to men in so many ways that men will never, ever be equal to women in so many ways. We are past the decade of the “the aughts” yet many women are completely uncomfortable in their own skin. The perception that society places limitations on our particular sex is, frankly, bullsh*t. As a woman I feel exponentially more empowered with greater opportunities then men are afforded. It’s a good time to be a lady.