Monday, July 10, 2017


One of the big local stories that has been dominating the airwaves in the NYC Tri-State Area is the hazing death of a young New Jersey man while pledging a Penn State fraternity. Particularly appalling is the callous response of the fratholes who knew that there was something going terribly wrong with their supposed friend. They chose not to seek medical intervention, hoping that the problem would 'go away'.

All too often, young men witnessing bad behavior embrace a code of Silence reminiscent of the Mafia's omertà- a bromerta, if you will, which enables much of the behaviors which characterize toxic masculinity. Rape culture, bullying, hazing- all are fostered by this complicity of silence. These behaviors tend to grow even worse in young adulthood, leading to such ills as the "blue wall of silence" which protects bad cops, and to unethical business practices.

In many universities, the Greek System is a pipeline into the Old Boy Network, and the fact that some fraternity brothers perpetuate a system of hazing and complicity should give everyone pause- if a house full of bros are willing to let a pledge die in order to "make a problem go away", what would they be capable of doing to complete strangers to further their business interests later on in life?


mikey said...

You're not wrong, of course, but there's such a basic human drive to protect the tribe. Even if the tribe is doing horrible things, they're YOUR tribe and your people and you're not going to let outsiders get to them.

We all know the sense of satisfying thrill that comes with digging in our heels and holding the line on behalf of OUR people. Whether it's family, neighbors, fraternity or co-workers, there is truly a sense of honor and responsibility to protect them, even if we know that they did wrong...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

In this case, the pledge wasn't enough of a tribe member to get consideration from the bros.