Our sistren at Jezebel recently covered the story of a young fellow at Georgia Tech who wrote a truly offensive email to his frat brothers, titling it “Luring Your Rapebait.” The first three grafs, explaining how to get a girl to dance with you, are OK, even though they involve a horrific misspelling of the word “choad.” (Chod? I lament our failing schols.) But then the email gets cretinous.
Feel free to read the whole thing at Jezebel, but the highlights go something like this:
ALWAYS USE YOUR HANDS OR ARMS TO GUIDE THEIR DANCING in order to maximize your pleasure. If she starts putting her hair over her ear, THAT MEANS SHE WANTS A KISS….
A short guide consist of the 7 E’s of HOOKING UP! 1. Encounter (spot a girl or group of girls) 2. Engage (go up and talk to them) 3. Escalate (ask them to dance, or ask them to go up to your room or find a couch, depending on what kind of party) 4. Erection (GET HARD) 5. Excavate (should be self-explanatory) 6. Ejaculate (should also be self explanatory) 7. Expunge (send them out of your room and on their way out when you are finished. IF ANYTHING EVER FAILS, GO GET MORE ALCOHOL.
Just, ew. Now, I actually think this may be an attempt to ape the notorious Deranged Sorority Girl Email of 2013, which I cannot quote at length, because DEAR GOD. (Go read it and then hug your children and then wash their mouths out with soap because they touched you and you touched your computer and your computer had that email on its screen and just DOUSE EVERYTHING IN PURELL AND BURN IT.) The sorority rant, which introduced the term “cunt punt” into the vernacular, similarly attempts to rally the writer’s social organization into being more fun at parties:
This week is about fostering relationships in the greek community, and that’s not fucking possible if you’re going to stand around and talk to each other and not our matchup. Newsflash you stupid cocks: FRATS DON’T LIKE BORING SORORITIES. Oh wait, DOUBLE FUCKING NEWSFLASH: SIGMA NU IS NOT GOING TO WANT TO HANG OUT WITH US IF WE FUCKING SUCK, which by the way in case you’re an idiot and need it spelled out for you, WE FUCKING SUCK SO FAR.
The frat version of that email isn’t funny, NOT ONLY because the power dynamics of the universe we live in mean that a young woman in a spitting rage about her sorority sisters’ failures to cheer at sports events or appreciate kickball or dance with Sigma Nu is less funny than a fraternity boy urging his fellows to get in a girl’s pants — what with all the associations one has with fraternities, joking about groping drunk girls/taking drunk girls back to the frat/”excavating” them/booting them — but also because, well, it just wasn’t funny. (And lest you GO THERE, I’m a feminist who thinks almost anything can be funny.) The Georgia Tech email wasn’t surprising or witty or delightfully lunatic.
But then Jezebel printed the guy’s apology. And it was good. (And I wonder whether Jezebel has been reading SorryWatch, since the post neatly points out the elements of apology we often walk our readers through.) The brother says he shouldn’t have written the email (not “it was misconstrued”) and repeatedly references his poor judgment.
Misogynistic behavior is everywhere online and unfortunately, my attempt to ridicule it in an immature and outrageous satire backfired terribly and in a manner I mistakenly underestimated. In fact the “locker room” banter that characterizes this email was wrong in and of itself whether or not contained in a written communication. I am both embarrassed and ashamed at this dialogue and realize now that any sexual statement that is demeaning to women is never a joke.
He seems to get it. He’s not defensive. He’s resigned his position in the frat. He doesn’t spend a lot of time explaining how he was trying to be funny — just half a sentence. He gives a bit of context (the subject line was a reference to his nickname in the fraternity, “4th Grade Rape Bait,” a name he received “due to my youthful looks and the connotation of what may happen to someone like me in prison”) and he apologizes for embracing his nickname.
I’m not sure what else we could ask for. Though we snark a lot here at SorryWatch, we’d also like to think that everyone can make a mistake and everyone can be redeemed. And we’d always prefer to laud a decent apology than eviscerate a bad one. Because we want to live in a world where people apologize well.