Tag Archives: college

Talking to Gentile Boys

Laurie and Debbie say:

Lance Pauker at brobible.com shared a fraternity email on how to talk to Jewish girls, allegedly written for a mostly-Christian fraternity which was paired with a mostly-Jewish sorority for Greek week. Pauker wants us to understand that:

Before the Politcally Correct Priscillas and Sensitive Susies get all hot and bothered, really read this. It is amazing how harmless this is. Abundantly clear the whole thing was done in good fun. For a fraternity, I am astounded that the subject matter is so maturely light-hearted. It’s incredible work while not being awful. This is incredibly rare. Good work guys.

Of course, there’s nothing okay about this kind of stereotypical reduction of a complex group of people to a few oversimplified expectations. We may be far too old to be sorority girls, but we’re both Jewish, we both grew up on the East Coast, and we don’t think this is funny, or (in the words of the original poster) that this is “funny but also serious.”

So here’s a partial reformulation for the sorority girls on how to talk to Gentle boys that might point out some of the problems.

1. HOMETOWN: If from an allowed hometown you are fine.  If not, lie and say you
are from an allowed area.  Note: DC is a toss up area, as is Vermont.

Areas you can be from: New York, New Jersey, PA (only Philadelphia area, sorry
redacted), Massachusetts, Rockville/Bethesda area, Pikesville

Not Allowed Areas: The rest of Maryland (especially rural counties, looking at you redacted), Baltimore, Atlanta, anywhere in the south, Connecticut

1. HOMETOWN: Pick some place that isn’t known for its large Jewish population. Avoid New York, Westchester, Long Island, parts of Boston. Kennebunkport is good if you don’t pretend you know the Bush girls personally.

3. OVERNIGHT/SLEEPAWAY CAMP:  Make up a camp you went to.  Say it was in upstate
PA, NY, or Maine.  Say it starts with “Timber” or ends in “Lake”.  You could
also make up an Indian (redskin kind, not the slumdog kind) name.  For example,
Lack-a-wa-taka or Saska-Rata.

Say you started when you were ten years old, but stopped going when you were 15 in order to play high school sports.  You liked it a lot.  You still talk to your camp friends when you can.

3. OVERNIGHT/SLEEPAWAY CAMP: You didn’t go to camp because you and your friends got used to hanging around in the neighborhood, which was nicer  in the summer when the Jewish kids were in camp. You went to the country club, worked on your tan, and learned to drink cocktails with umbrellas in them.

4. ARE YOU JEWISH? If you are Jewish, say yes.  If you look somewhat Jewish but aren’t, just say you are.  If you are not Jewish and don’t look Jewish, then say: a. No I’m half-jewish but didn’t get bar mitzvahed of anything.  My dad is jewish. b. No, but I’m from a really jewish area.

4. ARE YOU CHRISTIAN? No one will ever ask you this because they will take it for granted. All you have to do is not mention that you are Jewish, and not wear a star of David.


-You are a business major or an econ major or a communication major

-You want to “do something with business, maybe finance” or start your own

-Alternative 1 to that: Some science major, but you are going to med school to be a doctor (why? because both your parents are doctors)

-Alternative 2: You are a crim major and plan on going to law school


-You are a business major or an econ major looking forward to grad school at Wharton.

-Your daddy wants you to go into the family business, but you’re not sure you want to be tied down like that.

-Alternative 1 to that: Computer science, because that’s where the money and the good jobs are.

-Alternative 2: All you really want to do is raise a family and be a good wife and mother.


-Jeans are definitely preferable to other pants

-V necks are ideal

-Button downs work too, but try to avoid flannel.  Solid colors are a better bet

-T shirts and graphic t shirts with words on them are great

-If you wear a cross on your neck, don’t wear it

-Hats are fine, if they are backwards and snapbacked


-Skirts are better than pants. If pants, wear a button-down shirt and leave an extra button open at the top.

-Colors bright, but not too bright; noticeable but not flashy. No t-shirts with words or graphics on them unless you get comments on how funny that shirt is from strangers on a regular basis (so you know it’s not obscure).

Or, everybody could just tell people who they are and find out who the other person is.

Thanks to Jezebel for finding this one.

What Color Is Your Piggy Bank?

Debbie says:

Sociological Images posted this photograph of two piggy banks.

piggy banks in a store window. The blue one is wearing a graduation hat and "School Fund" is written on its side in letters that look like block hand printing. The pink one has a hairbow and "Shoe Fund" is written on its side in a cursive (handwriting) font

On the face of it, this is another in the never-ending stream of commercial images which remind us of who we’re supposed to be and what is supposed to be important to us: if you’re a boy, you are saving your money for college; if you’re a girl, you’re saving it for shoes. Sociological Images reports on these messages frequently, and you can see them everywhere you go.

This one struck me, though, because of the ongoing furor and worry among educators and advocates for boys in college. In the U.S. at least, more women than men go to college, and more women than men finish college (roughly 57% to 43%). In an attempt to close the gap, colleges are making choices that may violate women’s rights.

These piggy banks don’t say “Football Fund” and “Shoe Fund,” but instead they contrast a behavior which has been consistently proven to affect income level and some aspects of “quality of life” with a frivolity. (Yes, everyone needs shoes, but not the kind of shoes which are implied by the pink piggy bank.) So the image is that boys or (as Sociological Images points out at the link) “neutral people” who are somehow not girls have a future and a purpose while girls care how they look.

Second, while this is in line with most pressure on girls, it is not in line with most pressure on boys. In these times, the pressure on boys is not to be serious, not to think about anything but fun, while the pressure on girls is to look perfect. While clothes and make-up are marketed mostly to girls and women, the products marketed to men are usually not books or classes but things like beer, video games, and spectator sports gear. So, the piggy banks are in fact not reinforcing the most popular social pressures on boys; instead, they are bringing a different pressure to bear. Was someone worrying about the gender gap in colleges when they designed these?