Wednesday, February 1, 2012

TLC's Sorority Girls

I prefer not to post about negative things on my blog, but I am extremely offended by TLC's new show "Sorority Girls" and I want to do my part to refute the negative stereotypes that the show is perpetuating. As such I've written a statement to the executives at Discovery Communications and TLC. This is not something I am actually sending, as I know my one letter will not make a difference, but I hope that you will read it and will not buy in to the trash that TLC is calling reality on the show.

I accidentally stumbled upon TLC's "Sorority Girls" last night as I was flipping channels. I honestly could not believe my eyes.  If any of you are sorority women, which I know many of you are- watch this clip. I guarantee you will be just as appalled as I was.

Dear Discovery Communications and TLC Executives,

"In keeping with its mission, Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity and making a difference in people's lives through our content, our talent, our viewers, our employees and our practices. On a global scale and at the local level, Discovery Communications' impact is felt through our collective efforts to make a difference for the planet where we live and work."

I've taken this quote from, your corporate website for Discovery Communications- specifically located in your"Our Impact: Making A Difference" section. I would like you to keep the words quoted above in mind as I raise one, important question about your new show, "Sorority Girls."

"Sorority Girls" chronicles the story of five young American women who seek to bring the "unique traditions" or sorority life to the UK. Your preview titled "Sorority Girls -S-O-R-O-R-I-T-Y Girls" includes images of young women in somewhat revealing attire, makes a mockery of ritual, and displays blatant hazing. How do any of these things "make a difference in people's lives"?

I am a recent college graduate, and a proud sorority woman. As an undergraduate I served as President of my sorority. I am well aware of what is means to be a sorority woman. 

The National Panhellenic Conference, the governing body of all 26 panhellenic sororities, has the Panhellenic Creed on the website. The very first sentence reads as follows; "We, as Undergraduate Members of women’s fraternities, stand for good scholarship, for guarding of good health, for maintenance of fine standards, and for serving, to the best of our ability, our college community." I did not see one minute of programming during "Sorority Girls" that indicated that Sigma Gamma was attempting to do any of those things.

Sororities are constantly attacked with stereotypical ignorance. We fight to promote all the good work we are doing, but a single bad story will get all the press. According to TLC's unique mission is "Encouraging Tolerance". The images I saw tonight did little to promote tolerance of any sort. In fact, I believe that "Sorority Girls" did the exact opposite of encourage tolerance, it promoted prejudice.

If you're intent with "Sorority Girls" was to follow your mission and "make a difference in people's lives", I think that you have failed. Although, I suppose you have succeeded in making a (negative) difference in my life. You have shown me an example of how disappointing today's society can be. On the other hand, you have also succeeded in renewing my desire to fight ignorance like that displayed in you show.

I encourage you to take a second look at your programming, and question whether or not it is truly of a standard that you are proud of.


Ashley Canfield

To my followers, I apologize for the heaviness of this post. My normal Wednesday music post is up too =)


  1. I didn't watch the show. But I can only imagine to what degree they are defaming sorority women. The stereotype is nauseating. I was against joining a sorority when I got into college based on the stereotype alone. I was encouraged to rush by my then boyfriend (now husband) just to meet new people since I'd just transferred colleges. I ended up pledging and was impressed with the level in which these women commit themselves to a greater cause (philanthropy, how they run things, etc). I learned a gross amount about how to carry myself, how to behave in the business world, etc. In fact, most of what I knew when graduating college about professional interviews and business came from being in a sorority. I'm proud of you for writing that letter.

  2. OMIGOSH! Thank you for writing this!!!!!!! I refuse to watch that stupid show. Us sorority girls have to work hard enough to fight stereotypes without a show like this!

  3. GREAT post! Some of my sisters and I sent similar letters as well. I really hope all of us greeks can stand together and get this show off the air.

  4. This is a wonderful post!I would encourage you to send your letter to TLC because I believe they need to understand that sorority women do not approve of this image of our life. At my undergraduate institution it was commonly said that there was a sorority for everyone, even women who never though they would join greek life found a home there. I believe it is a great injustice to everything we work for in our society. I am proud that so many women are speaking out against this show.

  5. Loved your letter! You know, I've actually never even heard of this show and I'm a reality TV freak! I don't think I'll be tuning in!

  6. Whoever monitors this web site is a hypocrite as they deleted the positive post.

    1. Hi Anonymous! I can assure you that I haven't deleted anything. If there was a positive post I did not see it- the commenter must have deleted it themselves. If someone wishes to defend "Sorority Girls" I will gladly listen to their opinion as long as it is well thought out and presented in a polite manner, as I believe my letter was.

  7. I think you should definitely send in your letter. It may seem like your one letter may not make a difference, but you never know. I bet there are others out there thinking the same thing & don't want to send it in. I encourage you to do so! I'm commend you for doing this because TV so often portrays real life stuff in obscure ways & it puts a bad name on whatever it is portraying. What a shame!

  8. You know how I feel about this! Joining ADPi was the best decision I made in college. I wish the "sorority experience" they are sharing was more representative of the all the positive things sororities can do for young women. I think you should send this!

  9. I agree with Bethany...joining ADPi was the single best decision I ever made in college and I would be sad to allow a TV show to bring down the sanctity with which I regard the Greek system. You have a thoughtful, well-written and tactful letter here and I absolutely think you should send it. You never could be the difference between continuing to perpetuate untrue stereotypes about us real sorority girls and getting this horrible TV show cancelled.

  10. Let's make a difference, shall we?


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