“You don’t seem like the type of girl who would be in a sorority.”

This is often the response I get when I tell people I am in a sorority, and I hate it. I’m never sure if I’m supposed to take it as a compliment or an insult.

Am I supposed to say “thank you?” Am I supposed to be flattered that I don’t fit the stereotype someone has in their head of the typical sorority girl, or am I supposed to be offended for the same reason?

I get particularly mad when I hear this comment from other women because, regardless of the subtext, this comment is scratching at the surface of a much bigger issue.

Some women believe sororities are anti-feminist, and that’s fine. What’s not fine is when those women look down on and mock those who are in a sorority. On the flip side, there are some women in sororities who think that being a member of a sorority somehow places them above women who are not.

Both viewpoints piss me off.

Before I go any further, let me just say that I understand sororities are flawed and have some misogynistic practices, like dress codes and color schemes for chapter events. And yes, some sororities judge women on looks before personality and values.

However, those are the vast minority.

Personally, I joined Greek life in hopes of meeting a diverse group of women whose hobbies and passions differed from my own, but whose core values matched mine. I was skeptical when I started the process, but I am constantly blown away by the compassion and support the women in my chapter show each other. I’ve seen women attend sisters’ events for other organizations, and form support systems when a sister suffers the loss of a loved one.

This is why I get upset when I see women who claim to be feminists mocking women in sororities, because that in itself is anti-feminist. If a woman wants to jump, chant, get dressed up and pose for photos with her sisters then that’s her own damn business!  

It is unfair to belittle a woman for being in an organization that she loves and feels supported by.

Now, onto the other side of the argument. A woman does not need to be in a sorority in order to be fulfilled. If a woman has friendship, happiness, support and sisterhood in her life, and chooses not to join a Greek organization because she believes the institution is flawed — or she just doesn’t want to — then that is her own damn business.

Not being in a sorority doesn’t make you above women who are, and being in a sorority does not make you above women who aren’t. It is more important that women support women pursuing what makes them feel happy and empowered, even if it is not what they would personally want for themselves.