The University of Alabama chapter of Alpha Phi sorority has closed itself off from social media and the internet after receiving harsh criticisms about their fall recruitment video.
The video was referred to as “worse for women than Donald Trump” by A.L Bailey (no relation!) — an opinion writer who opened up the conversation in a piece written for Al.com.
The promotional video features the sorority members laughing, dancing, holding hands, frolicking, blowing glitter, prancing in bikinis and overall being playful and carefree.
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Bailey accused the sorority’s video of objectifying women and sending a negative message.
“It’s a parade of white girls and blonde hair dye, coordinated clothing, bikinis and daisy dukes, glitter and kisses, bouncing bodies, euphoric hand-holding and hugging, gratuitous booty shots, and matching aviator sunglasses,” Bailey wrote.
“It’s all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition. It’s all so … unempowering.”
Leada Gore, another opinion writer for the same site, composed an apology letter to Alpha Phi on behalf of the older generation that didn’t properly instill the worth and value of being a woman to this generation of girls.
Gore suggests that the women who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s reaped the benefits of the women’s liberation movement without fully understanding it and thus took female empowerment to mean that a woman could choose to do anything she wanted, including being objectified, as long as she wasn’t forced by a man.
“We sent the message of freedom but not personal responsibility. We told you you could do anything, even if that resulted in you choosing to do nothing,” she wrote.
“Your body, your choice – and if you want to show your body off in a marketing video aimed at other women, so be it. If most of you don't have a clue who Sandra Day O'Connor or Sally Ride are, at least we made sure we dressed you in Ugg boots and short shorts and let you watch Kim Kardashian when you were 13.”
The video didn't really depict whatever the core values of the sorority are nor did it show any of their philanthropic work or community outreach. It didn't even show them in class or at least walking to a class.
The video did show what a lot of young women believe "sisterhood" is supposed to be. A group of women that can have a good time together, the end.
Let's not even start on the fact that the only person of color featured in the video was one random Black football player. I guess promoting diversity is not an important part of recruiting new members for Alpha Phi? But I digress...
Since the video and criticisms have gone viral, the organization has taken it down from its Youtube channel, made its Instagram private and deleted its Facebook and Twitter.
The university released a statement separating itself from the video:
“This video is not reflective of UA’s expectations for student organizations to be responsible digital citizens,” said Deborah Lane, the school’s associate vice president for university relations. “It is important for student organizations to remember what is posted on social media makes a difference, today and tomorrow, on how they are viewed and perceived.”