"That's really freakin' weird."
|A summary of our faces|
Mom: What is the 4-1-1? What has everybody been up to? What's the hot gossip?Even if you had a cool mom, explaining some of the activities that chapters use to haze is hard to justify because it sounds kind of insane.
Hazer: Well, tonight we had a line up, so we made the pledges stand side-by-side. Then we all pointed out where each girl needs to tone up. It was really fun, and they appreciated the constructive criticism about their bodies. One girl even cried!
Mom: Wait ... what? Honey, I'm confused. That doesn't sound fun; it sounds weird and mean. Why would you want to look at all the pledges in their underwear?
Hazer: Well, she needed to prove she belonged. It's like, the rules.
Mom: But why would you pick her for a pledge if she has so many things to fix? Maybe you should do that whole rush thing better and pick girls you don't think you need to fix.
Hazer: Mom, go fix your hair.
Even when we were trying to use common excuses like "they need to prove they belong," the activities just sounded weird. In what universe are line ups, pledge book signing, dressing in embarrassing costumes, or blindfolded quizzes considered normal behavior, let alone behaviors you could use to prove your worth? A recent Cosmo story of one woman's account of her experience being hazed has garnered attention for degrading women in general, but mostly because no one could look at these activities and call them normal by any standards.
Take a look around you this week. There are many great statistics and campaigns that tell the physical and psychological effect of hazing. There is also a lot of great info about what could happen to hazers since it's against the law in 44 states. But take a step back and look at hazing from a normal perspective: it's pretty weird.