Pimps and Hoes
CEOs and Office Hoes
Golf Pros and Tennis Hoes
Bros and Hoes
These are some of the themes of mixers I’ve been invited to throughout my college career. What’s the common theme here? Hoes. The basic formula = any profession + hoes.
These themes reflect the sexism that is ingrained in college party culture.
The reality behind words like “hoe,” “whore,” and “slut” is that they are used to shame women for engaging in sexual relations or acting/dressing in a way that society deems promiscuous.
And why are we pairing hoes with professions? The obvious implication is that girls are expected to dress like “hoes” while the boys get to be CEOs, golf pros, etc. Fraternities and other all-male identifying clubs choose themes like this to encourage the girls to wear as little clothing as possible. And then men have the audacity to say women are “asking for it” by dressing provocatively.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I once went to a “CEOs and Office Hoes” themed mixer. Some of my friends and I decided to go to the party dressed as CEOs…because why should we be confined to the parameters of office hoes? Women can (and should) be CEOs! Almost every guy we encountered had something to say to us about what we were wearing. Predictable.
They all questioned why we weren’t dressed as hoes and told us we ruined the theme.
**PLEASE NOTE: This is in no way intending to shame women for dressing however the F they want. It’s empowering to dress in a way that makes you feel confident, and women should never be judged for wearing “too little” or “too much” clothing.
After researching other college party themes, I found some that are not only sexist, but also culturally insensitive. Collegepartyguru.com lists “King Tuts and Egyptian Sluts” as a fun and easy party theme. The obvious misogyny in the description of the theme makes the whole concept seem satirical. It states:
This is disturbing for a multitude of reasons, but for the purposes of this post, I’ll focus on the evident sexism. This theme, like the aforementioned others, perpetuates the rhetoric that men hold positions of power and women are only there as commodities to them.
Offensive themes are not the only sexist aspect of college party culture. The “ratio system” is glaringly sexist and contributes to rape culture. In this context, ratio refers to the number of girls to the number of guys in a group. All of the frats that I’ve been to at JMU have set ratios: if you have two guys in a group, you’d better be bringing 10 girls or else you’ll ruin the ratio. It would be awful if there weren’t enough girls there for each guy:(
Ratios bolster a hypermasculine system and place men in a position of power. The practice also fails to include people who don’t identify within the confines of gender binary; as such, it perpetuates heteronormativity by assuming that everyone in attendance is straight. It objectifies women, intentionally equating them to commodities being offered up to the guys in the fraternity.
It’s 2021. In our wider society, the tolerance for sexism and abuse of power is beginning to wane. The culture on college campuses needs to follow suit. We can do better.