Sorority Girl Email: How We Laud & Coddle Bullies And Forget The Bullied

Last week, an email from a sorority girl in Maryland went viral, thanks to Gawker, and–to use the vocabulary of its author–it’s fucking horrible. I was going to write about this last week, but I didn’t; however, the issue has recently “concluded.” Let’s go over the letter itself, then focus on the reactions, which I find to be more important.

It is 882 words long. 41 of those words are the F-bomb. (According to one comment, that is. I’m not going to waste my time counting the figures myself.) It is full of ENTIRELY CAPITALIZED SENTENCES. It is a brazen, unmitigated attack at sorority members, an attack that has no decency and even threatens violence in the form of “cunt punts” against other members.

What shocks me more than this, though, are the comments from the Gawker article. Here are a few:

“This girl will be the president of a company some day. We are kidding ourselves if we think this letter didn’t bring RESULTS.”

“Me too–she’s a great writer.”

“Mistake? That email is going to launch her career.”

Really? If she is seriously going to become the CEO of a major corporation because of this email, then I don’t want to be on this planet anymore.

I do not–repeat, DO NOT–understand people who think that being an asshole to others is somehow worthy of praise, emulation, or promotion. To me, anyone who thinks that way is a psychopath or a politician–but I repeat myself. And maybe that’s where the problem is with our current culture: we have psychopaths running both our major corporations and the federal/state government.

But I digress. The thing is, if you would “laugh” at this, I think really think you need your head examined. Being downright mean to other people like this is acceptable in an emergency situation, when time is of the essence and no one can be coddled, but not otherwise. You can make your point without entirely relying upon vulgarity, attacks, and threats of violence. And I would like to think that such writing would be utterly unacceptable in a business situation, as it would be completely and totally unprofessional.

Not sure about that, though. Some places might do that. They might even find it fine. In which case, those places are hellholes.

I also wonder why this comment is buried so low. Maybe the truth stings?

Nice they are talking about my old shitty frat. Honestly after reading it I can’t blame those girls, in all seriousness they should want to hang out with other better frats. Sigma Nu sucks. I remember the social would always plan evens with the worst sororities because nobody else wanted to. DG, Zeta, and sig kap…. it was like a rotation. most people dropped out after they could get into the bars. It was mostly full of rapists, dealers, or social ackward vigins. I was neither just a frisbee playing hippie:) I dropped out after the exec bored wouldn’t investigate the rape of an unconcius girl in the house, even tho it was video taped. It makes that stubenville ohio rape case look not so bad. There is literally or atleast was a rape room set up in the basement of that frat house. I know of 3 or 4 rapes that were swept under the rug. I really can’t fault those girls for not wanted to talk to that frat definately safer to hang out with other frats. Anyhow man I love social media


And when you read the email, especially about the part about the other sorority girls being “FUCKING boring,” it seems to me the whole thing is a complaint about sorority girls not putting out for a bunch of guys. And to me, that is just gross and even barbaric.

Fortunately, the sorority took the right action and recently accepted the young woman’s resignation. That was the smart, professional thing to do. Already, though, some are wondering “I hope this woman’s life isn’t ruined because of this email.”

Oh, FFS, this woman got kicked out of a sorority. As @stressnstrain noted, “Have some perspective.” It is hardly the end of the world. Many productive people are not members of a fraternity or a sorority, and you know what? That’s a good thing. Everything I saw from my college career was that frats & sororities were nothing more than extended exercises in binge drinking, sex, and following utterly ridiculous rules meant to destroy your life and your individuality. In fact, leaving the sorority may be a good thing.

Another commenter on the FB page says:

I understand that this young lady made a mistake and did not uphold the ideals that we all expect as a Delta Gamma. But I also feel compassion for her and would have hoped that Delta Gamma could have reached out to her with some sort of guidance and counseling rather than just accepting her resignation. I’m sure she feels alone and humiliated at this moment. I hope that she has others to turn to because it appears Delta Gamma has abandoned her and I don’t believe that was the correct course of action.

Sorority girl feels alone & humiliated? GOOD
PLEASE. She “feels alone and humiliated”? That’s the point. She should feel humiliated over this. Boohoo–this sort of whining is the same sort of thing as when adults start “feeling bad” for the bully on the playground when he’s told off for being a bully. It’s sick and makes me want to throw up all over my shoes. That commenter should be utterly ashamed of herself.

The basic thing to take away from this is that all these people are horribly, horribly sick. They’re messed up. And while I previously laid the blame for most of our problems on the baby boomer generation, I think it might just be all these folks who somehow want to coddle bullies and jerks. Maybe they’re the problem. I don’t know. But what they’re saying goes against all norms of behavior and is completely unnatural.

I will say one thing, though, and that is I kind of agree with this PolicyMic article posted by Laura Donovan. Donovan writes:

I’m the first to admit the email was horrendous, not to mention further confirmation that I made the right move to opt out of Greek life in college despite the fact that practically everyone in my immediate family was in a frat or sorority, but it’s my hope that Martinson’s whole life isn’t destroyed by this single email.

For those of you who are out of college, think about this: did you ever do anything stupid during your undergrad days? Something shameful that you’re not proud of? At the beginning of my junior year, I found myself in a grouchy mood and wrote an article for my college publication that offended so many people, some called for my resignation. I received email threats and was harassed and publicly shamed even by fellow staff members. It was tough, worst of all because I didn’t feel everything I said I felt in my column. I remember thinking I was going to be punished forever for an article I wasn’t particularly proud of, and that no one wanted to see me other than the girl who’d upset some folks with my 600-word article. None of the good work or highly lauded columns I’d produced mattered to anyone. A single article made them want to demonize me forever and be their punching bag anytime they needed someone to direct their anger at.

That was almost five years ago, but earlier this month, a colleague brought up the article I spent my final years of college trying to forget, as he’d heard about it from a mutual friend who’d been joking that I’ve been a huge firebrand since college. My demeanor immediately changed. I reacted with hostility and began to cry. Why did this single thing I did as a 20-year-old continue to follow me? I’d worked so hard to put it behind me, and others were still mocking me for it.

Part of that is, unfortunately, the price for writing stupid stuff in the Internet age. To deal with it, you grow a thick skin and get over it. You may also say, “Yes, what I wrote back then was wrong, and I know it.” Admitting it is the first step to fixing your problem, and I think once you do that, it should be like a reputational bankruptcy case–you lose a lot of credibility for the original stupidity, but you wipe your slate clean and start over again. It should not be allowed to dog her life forever. A year or two, maybe, but people do need to recognize that people change and must drop the subject sooner or later–preferably sooner. If I was hiring her 10-15 years from now, we might joke about it, but I wouldn’t let it guide my actions. Nobody is defined by a single moment, no matter how hard authors and politicians try to make it so. That isn’t fair or just.

However, Donovan also writes (emphasis added):

What I wrote was nothing like Martinson’s email, which is most certainly unacceptable to send to anyone, let alone sorority sisters you supposedly love like family. Martinson should have known better than to talk like that and use slurs, but I don’t think it was right of the internet to shame her in the way that it did, and I don’t want her to think the rest of her life has to be defined by this single email. If anything, she knows to be more careful with the way she presents herself on social media and online, and hopefully she realizes there’s more to life than a poorly executed Greek event.

She left the sorority, and she’s doing the right thing by going dark. Once the dust settles, she should release a statement of apology, and hopefully she will be able to rebuild from there. You may not like her (she doesn’t sound like someone I’d want to hang out with, and I’m certain I’m too “f-cking AWKWARD and boring” for her), but I don’t think she should be punished forever for this, at least if she shows some remorse once the interwebs is finished chucking stones at her.

Au contraire.

It is absolutely right for the Internet to mock her and shame her for what she did. And contra commenter Michelle Adams, we should condemn her for her actions. Again, how else does one learn what is right and what is wrong? It’s a corrective mechanism, and it works pretty damn well. Sure, not all mocking and shaming and condemnation is right–I mean, if a Nazi guy tried to “mock” me for being friends with Jews, for example–but for the most part, when someone goes really out of line, it is absolutely correct for other individuals to mock them for it. Would you not punish your children if they did something wrong? (If you genuinely say “I wouldn’t” to that question, then tell me how are they going to become good, upstanding adults instead of degenerate assholes who use everyone else as tools to meet their own inner desires?)

This lauding and coddling of bullies makes me want to vomit, as I’ve said before. And as I’ve said before, this is unnatural. This is not how things are supposed to work. Or at least, not in the past. I guess the new standard now is for people who are mean assholes who use others will be praised and supported, while those who are nice, hard-working people will be denigrated and left in the cold.

If that’s the vision of the world these people want, then I want no part of it.

I’m a horrible bastard, probably

Tim Carney: An awful loss, a beautiful life, a daunting task |

I’m sure, after you read the linked story above, and read what I’m about to say, you are going to think what the headline says (except I’m the bastard, not you. Probably.)

The above story is from Tim Carney, a columnist at the Washington Examiner, who is understandably conservative. The story is about his nephew, who lived for only 442 days before dying, and suffering every one of those days with spinal muscular atrophy, being just about paralyzed at birth and getting worse as the days went on.

Carney writes about the love that the boy’s Catholic parents had for him, and how he spread love by being an object of attention:

Pat and Elena are devout Catholics from strong families, but their answer to this question can’t be set aside as some teaching in the Catechism. It’s a truth written on the human heart.

Jesus said that the two greatest commandments are to love God and love your neighbor. This is our purpose. This view is not uniquely Christian. It’s understood in other religions and in secular worldviews.

In this regard, John Paul lived a superior life. He exuded love. Before he lost control of his facial muscles, he beamed smiles that made grown men sob. Babies can love those around him with the pure, unconditional love we all should show.

Also, JP drew love from others. Neighbors, relatives and strangers cooked meals and gave time, equipment and money to help the Kilners. JP’s brothers and sisters showered him with affection. And Pat and Elena sacrificed immensely to care for him.

Before the wake at St. Patrick’s in Rockville, during an observance called Stations of the Cross, we read a Gospel passage in which Christ explains our duty to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the sick.

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,” the Lord says in this passage, “you did for me.”

Clearly a call to charity, this is also an exaltation of parenthood. Even moreso, this exalts the work of caring for helpless JP.

Tribulations both reveal character and form it. JP’s struggles revealed his parents’ heroic virtue and fostered virtue in others.

Pat and Elena saw John Paul as a blessing, and they generously shared that blessing with the world. They took him wherever they could, in a chair rigged with a ventilator and an IV. Elena shared wider, by penning hopeful, contemplative letters to John Paul every few weeks, which she posted on a blog.

One friend of mine, who never met the Kilners, read the “Letters to John Paul” blog. She wrote me, “John Paul’s story made me want to be a better person.”

John Paul continued shaping souls even in dying. A priest at St. Patrick’s took confessions during and after the wake. He commented afterwards that he heard some of the more honest, searching and contrite confessions he’s ever heard.

More than 500 people attended the beautiful funeral. One non-Catholic mourner was moved so much by the Mass she told Pat, “Now I understand why you’re Catholic.”

John Paul, who never spoke a word in his life, was the greatest evangelist of love, faith, virtue and hope I have ever met.

I look at this and shake my head. I don’t necessarily see love here. Yes, John Paul’s parents loved him, as any parent would, and they sacrified for him, as any parent would. But I look at this and think, “Why didn’t they just abort?”

Ayn Rand said it best when it came to abortion:

An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?

–“Of Living Death”, The Voice of Reason, pgs 58-59

Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a “right to life.” A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives.

–“A Last Survey”, The Ayn Rand Letter, IV, 2, 3

Because of this stance, which I agree with, I don’t consider an embryo or a fetus to be a person like a born human, and thus am not a “pro-lifer.” (I’m willing to accept that personhood would emerge when the fetus displays cognition, or “neonatal perception,” but that’s very late in the pregnancy, and virtually nobody gets abortions at that stage.)

That’s also why, when I look at this, I think that the parents should have aborted. If they had known that the fetus was going to have spinal muscular atrophy, and therefore was going to have a short life full of suffering, why bring the fetus to term? Why increase suffering in the world?

Shouldn’t we, you know, work at reducing suffering? And if we should be doing that, then why bring to term a fetus that has congential problems and is going to have a life full of suffering? It doesn’t make any sense, and to me, it seems pretty sick to do so. Of course, I know some will retort that he wasn’t suffering, and the love he was receiving from his family was proof he wasn’t. But that’s crap. He was clearly in pain for 442 days, he was clearly suffering, there is no way around that.

UPDATE: In this case, the parents didn’t know…which means a great part of this is moot, for this case. In this case, continuing with the pregnancy is completely logical and understandable, and thus giving all you can for the child is similarly logical and understandable. Thus, a huge chunk of my blog post is irrelevant, and so I’ve deleted it. But I still stand by the idea that if a fetus has mental and physical problems, you should still head off at the pass a life full of suffering. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. Thus I won’t take down the rest of the post.

Even some pro-life people think it is okay to have an abortion if the baby is going to be born with severe complications:

Over one-quarter of pro-life individuals think that abortion should be legal if the baby may be metnally or physically impaired. And for good reason: they don’t want to increase suffering.

Let’s actually try and reduce suffering as much as possible in this world. Stop with the displays of “care,” “compassion,” and “love,” the ones meant to make yourself look good, and actually do something. I’m not perfect–I myself need to take this up–but we can all start. And maybe one of those places is not bringing in infants into the world who are very clearly going to live only in pain and suffering.

Yes, that probably makes me a bastard in many people’s eyes. But so be it.

Dear Social Conservatives: Just stop the hate

Sometimes, I read something, and I don’t really write about it for days or even weeks afterwards. In this case, I’m still not sure what to say about this piece from Stephen Crowder at, but I’m going to try and say it anyway:

Can all of the real men in this country please stand up? You there, not so fast. Anyone who’s read my op-eds here on knows just how much I hate the systematic destruction of man in modern America.  No, I’m not just talking about the hyper-metrosexualization of young men, I’m talking about the role of man in modern society as a whole. For real men everywhere, these are some dark times.


Now I get that Carlos is an extreme example of a screw-up being used by some high-up network executives as a desperate grab for ratings. The problem is that this kind of behavior is becoming increasingly indicative of men in the 21st century.

Today’s left-leaning, pseudo-feminist society has bred men to believe that they are not intrinsically different and/or valuable in comparison to their female counterparts (and vice versa).

I remember in kindergarten, my teacher (who will not remain nameless) told the entire class, “Kids, men can do anything that women can do and women can do anything that men can do!”

I raised my hand.

“Yes, Crowder.”

“But Mrs. Henderson, what about being a dad?”

“Many women do that everyday!”

Sadly, many of those on the left actually believe this. To the left, men and women are interchangeable. How else could you support same-sex marriage?

The only difference between someone like our friend Carlos Short and I, is that he’s bought into the lie. Why shouldn’t he have ten “baby-mammas”? Those women, sorry, persons, don’t need a man or a husband. Who needs a nuclear family with a strong male figurehead when you’ve got politically correct, warm fuzzies on which to fall back?

Also, suggesting that a mother needs a husband and that a child needs a father… well that’s getting dangerously close to the line of “judging.” To many on the left, that already has you walking on paper-thin ice.

Stop. Just stop.

I am absolutely sick to high heaven of people going around and lecturing one others on how they should live their lives. Most of the time, the ones doing the lecturing are not symbols that should be raised up. And even if they are, where do they get the idea that they can write screeds denouncing other people’s personal lives?

I’m not saying that the TV show Stephen is blasting is one that I would like, or that it’s some model to hold high to the rest of the world. It probably isn’t. But by the same token, neither is the same kind of backwards, barbaric, and utterly brain-dead misanthropy that leads him to turn this into an anti-gay marriage barb.

And for the record, Steve, support for gay marriage has nothing to do with “men and women are interchangeable” beliefs. It has everything to do with treating people as individuals, and protecting their individual rights–you know, what conservatives harp about constantly? Guess you don’t practice what you preach.

There are many families that follow the model that Stephen here would want them to–and yet they still turn out horribly dysfunctional. And there are many people who might not fit his views of gender roles–and they turn out to be just fine, wonderful people.

Just stop hating people. Just stop judging people. I am utterly sick and tired of conservative folk, especially the evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, going around and doing nothing but judging others. Wasn’t there a major message in the Bible that said “don’t judge?”

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)

People need to stop moralizing about others and go back and fix their own lives. Stop criticizing other people because they follow a life that’s different from yours. One of the first colonies in America was Rhode Island, a refuge for Jews, atheists, homosexuals, and a whole bunch of other people who didn’t fit in anywhere else. If having different lifestyles like that isn’t American, then nothing is–and certainly not your Puritanistic moralizing nagging that nobody buys today.

Aannnnddd….I’m out. I don’t know if I have any more to say on this topic. Just that I find this crap very aggravating and I wish it would stop.

UPDATE: My friend linked to this on Facebook, and a commentator there had a really good point:

[I]t is not social conservatives, but prescriptive social conservatives. People can be socially conservative all day, if it primarily involves their own behavior. Under these terms, I would consider myself a social conservative.

The problem is when people decide that they know what’s best for others and they will force you at the point of a gun, if need be, to shape your behavior in a way they approve.

Yes, this is the real problem. Those who are personally “socially conservative” but don’t bother other people are harmless and perfectly okay. I do think, though, that a lot of unnecessary crap in this country comes from moralizing, and people of all stripes–liberals, conservatives, even libertarians–need to just stop. Just shut up. Nobody wants to be lectured on how to live their lives, period. So knock it off.

Thoughts About The Earthquake

It was an earthquake.

I didn’t realize it at first. I thought they were moving something heavy through, or a fat guy walked past. You get that in the cafeteria sometimes, those little wavy sensations that make you realize that flat plane you call a “floor” doesn’t necessarily have to be perpendicular to your body.

Then I realized, as it intensified, rather than receded, that it had to be an earthquake. But I wasn’t worried. I’ve occasionally experienced minor quakes, little tremors that scamper through and leave you intact, unperturbed. So I just sat there, determined to wait it out.

Then the floor began moving.

It was not overly dramatic, I’m sure. I am confident my memory was exaggerating for effect, that meodramatic thespian it is. But I remember the floor began moving. Buckling. The cubicles shuddered, the desks rattled, and there was a low rumble as if Gaia herself was groaning about a sore shoulder. I could sympathize: I woke up with one this morning.

But I was fairly calm, cool, and collected, those three words always bandied about during an event as if they are an incantation that will automatically instill courage and ward off disaster. I was fine. I knew that, despite the force, the building was fine, that it would just be something to Tweet about, discuss, blog about endlessly.

I was fine.

And then someone screamed “RUN!”

There was something in that scream, intangible yet vicious, that struck me in the chest. It burrowed it’s way in, and abruptly I was no longer fine. My heart became a car with Richard Petty behind the wheel, stomping on the gas; the floodgates opened and through my blood this fear flowed through me. Every muscle it touch oozed into jelly, my skin prickled and burned, “You’re going to die.”

I was so scared right then, from that one scream, that I was rooted to the spot. I had jumped up and was preparing to bolt, but as the shaking continued, I couldn’t. Psychologically, I was in worse than quicksand. Even as the building buckled around me, I was immobile.

Then it stopped, and we all made our way outside. Information started trickling in (mostly through Twitter.) We learned it was even bigger than we thought, somewhere around 5.8-6.0. It was felt in New York City, Ohio, Alabama, and Toronto. Nobody was hurt, but phone networks were overloaded. The fire alarms blared about ten minutes later, evidently looking for the horses that had left the barn.

We came back inside, got back to work. Everything was slowed as we worried, but we worked. And I thought:

I wasn’t scared until someone else was.

It’s infectious, fear. Like laughter, or anger, or even yawning. (Or, depending on your group, flatulence.) When one gets it, it spreads. It’s how herd mentality works, how mobs form. They spread like a disease, infecting all until we are nothing more but mindless zombies overtaken by the emotion. Oddly, we feel fear when we’re alone and isolated (well, most of us, at any rate) but crowds do not help either. We need a happy medium.

For a fierce individualist like me, that’s an uncomfortable thought. That I was so malleable by another’s reaction disturbs me. I should have better sense than that. I should have kept my head. But I didn’t. Why?

Maybe there is no answer. Food for thought, at any rate.

New Title, New Frame of Mind

First, my Internet is down (again) so I’m typing this fromy new Android phone. Please excuse any typos and it’s relative brevity; I wanted to write a longer piece, but, well…

I’ve been extremely busy the past week, finishing up one day job and looking for another. But I’ve still been plugging away on this story, and I’m seeing some interesting things emerge. First, I’ve renamed the story from “Janzer”–which I will finally explain in a moment–to “Calculated.” Why? Because I noticed I was using that word a lot to describe my protagonist’s thinking process. One of the things I’ve always wanted to write was a character who lacked emotion. When reading one of my many books on fiction writing, it touched on emotion a lot, how it was so very goddamn necessary, unless you were writing a character who was “clinical.” And I thought, “Yes! I want to write that!”

It’s not that I’m a cold, emotionless bastard, it’s because I’m the exact opposite. Emotions rule my day, from elation of a completed project, to ruinous apathy when I have nothing to do, to the fire and brimstone anger I get when someone makes fun of me or try to “correct” my speech. I’m a slave to them, and more than once I’ve yearned to escape their chokehold and just examine life in a dispassionate, logical fashion. Data is a good example of this, though he still wants emotion; I want a character who is at peace with their absence.

Of course, just having that would make a dull story, so I have two other central characters that focus on emotion. One is our protagonist’s mortal enemy, who is consumed by rage for previous wrongs. I admit to putting a lot of my own anger and frustration in him, for almost succeeding yet still coming up short, and being unable to get his point across. And putting myself on paper like that feels really damn good. It’s like the pressure is being siphoned off, and you’re no longer in danger of having structral integrity failure. Plus, you can examine your own traits from an outside perspective, see how they drive you. I’m sure there’s some self-actualization and psychoanalytic BS in there somewhere

The third character also embodies a bit of me, and that’s wonder. When aliens show up at her door, she doesn’t freak out (at least, not that much) and instead goes “Cool!” Maybe it’s a leftover of my boyhood days of wishing Obi-Wan Kenobi would take me away to become a Jedi Knight, but I think it’s also part of our contemporary culture too: who wouldn’t think it was awesome if Optimus Prime and Megatron started duking it out (so long as Michael Bay wasn’t choreographing)? Maybe it’s just me.

So there is the trinity of emotions for this story, and the new frame of mind I’m working with. Through rewriting, I’ve sculpted away the excess junk and found that emotion itself is the bedrock. But there’s a lot on top of that; for instance, WTF is “Janzer?” Am I high? Well, I’ll admit to being an anime fan, and this story involves one of anime’s greatest components: giant robots. And, in the tradition of anime giving its robots ridiculous names–Gundam, Evangelion, Gunbuster, Big O, and others–I decided to give mine a random, made up name. I think it fits (and it sounds cool, to boot.)

So there you have it. My story is everything I wanted to write, although there’s a bit less of it: I cut from 7139 words to about 6700, which is good. Less junk, more space. Though I did have to axe a darling or two to make it work.