The ladies of the University of Alabama's Alpha Phi chapter are in hot water after their most recent recruitment video went viral — and was labeled by writer AL Bailey as “worse for women than Donald Trump."
The offending video features the (thin, white, blonde) members of Alpha Phi sashaying around in various stages of undress to a backdrop of poppy electronic music for a full five and a half minutes.
There is no information or content other than the girls' (eerily similar) bodies; it's a video seemingly designed to draw in the male gaze.
In an article for AL.com, Bailey wrote,
It's all so racially and aesthetically homogenous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition. It's all so…unempowering... These young women, with all their flouncing and hair flipping, are making it so terribly difficult for anyone to take them seriously, now or in the future… It's the kind of thing that subconsciously educates young men on how to perceive, and subsequently treat, women in their lives.
The article argues the video is problematic, not merely because of the glitter and “gratuitous booty shots,” but because it appears to actively undermine feminist ideals — ideals like respect, which women have to routinely fight to protect.
Alpha Phi since took down the offending video but has yet to release a statement.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention it isn't the only sorority at fault; recruitment videos often appear to be designed as flashy and attention-grabbing, not substantive.
But that doesn't mean we should look the other way.
Check out the video up top, and read Bailey's full critique of Alpha Phi's video to see more on the subject.