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 http://corporate.discovery.com/our-company/our-impact/, 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 http://impact.discovery.com/our-business/our-networks/ 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.
To my followers, I apologize for the heaviness of this post. My normal Wednesday music post is up too =)