I might not be one of them, but I could hang with them, and that meant something.
Yet so much of my acceptance by these fraternities was on patriarchal terms.
It was this currency that ingratiated me to a second fraternity, and it was because of them that I again rushed. Only this time, I cried along with the men who actually liked me.
It only takes one member to deny you a bid, I was told, among platitudes and assurances that most of them actually liked me. These men were still my friends, despite the fact that they weren’t my brothers.
Meanwhile, I picked up a minor in women’s studies, where I lived by the mantra of Audre Lorde: “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Every time I entered a fraternity party with the sole expectation of scoring with that one bicurious brother, I did so with a fifth of vodka in hand and Lorde’s words in my mind.