You Do You

A young lady, Ms. Shannon Workman, is in the news for getting kicked out of her sorority. Her offense? She had a Tinder profile. See article here. Her sorority decided the app is a hook-up app, and that her having a “provocative” picture on Tinder brought “disrespect to the chapter”. The executive committee started disciplinary actions, the young woman decided to leave the chapter instead of cooperating.

Tinder gets a bad rap. Rightly or wrongly. The “hook-up” app. Honestly, it’s not just Tinder, and all of the apps could also get such a label. But, what do you do if your friends, family, or boss happens to find out you are on Tinder? Are you embarrassed? Do they give you a hard time? Are they all in relationships and so have no idea that this is just how things work now?!

Personally, I have no shame. I’m totally honest with people when they ask about what dating sites I’m on, who I met and how I met them. I am on these dating apps to meet new people yes, and maybe find a person to casually date, and get out of the house while the kids are busy with their dad. I have a profile that is subtle, conservative, and respectable (I think). How someone else is judging me is not my problem.

Although, what if? What if I was employed? What if that employer had branded clothing, and someone found out that I had a picture on a dating site in the branded shirt? Could they ask me to take it down? Sure that seems valid. Could they fire me for it? Um….  Fire me for asking them to explain the vague rule? No.

I was in a sorority in college. These sororities have strict standards for their women, and take the representation of those standards seriously. Seemingly more so in the conservative south where sororities have taken over for the debutantes. I was not entirely surprised to hear on the news that a Chi Omega member, from Arkansas, found herself in front of her standards board regarding their discovering that she was on Tinder using a picture of her in her letters. From what I understand she was asked to take that particular picture off the site, and while she was willing to comply, she also questioned the policy. Asked for clarification, from what I understand. She asked why, and then was disciplined for her “attitude,” and after a very confrontational conversation she decided to resign her membership.

How did they find her picture on Tinder in the first place?

In my experience, wearing letters to an event or on school grounds, or on a random Saturday is fine, but wearing your letters to a bar and getting wasted is not ok. It was always ingrained that you may wear your letters as long as you are acting with integrity while wearing them. This young lady wore her letters in an appropriate setting. Then posted the cute picture of her and friends online. This picture was pulled into her Tinder account, or maybe she added it directly. Is it then the same as wearing your letters to the bar and getting drunk? I venture with no.

I think the advisor and the executive committee overreacted. In my opinion, this young lady did not violate their “Human dignity” standards. She was using a popular app to meet new people. She was using it responsibly from what I understand. She wasn’t meeting random boys at all hours at her sorority house. That would have been inappropriate.

What about giving the girl credit for not having actually inappropriate pictures online, and using an adorable picture that gives the impression that she is active in her sorority? Which to me, an active sorority girl is involved in philanthropy while creating a fun community of supportive women. What about empowering women to take control of their dating life? What about giving these young women all the information and allowing them to make their own decisions regarding their sexuality and their bodies? Whose business is it? As long as the young lady is acting in a safe manner?

Then, Tinder got involved. See the Buzzfeed story here. Not only offering the girl a scholarship to pay for her last year of college, but also offering a PAID internship! Wow – that’s like gold to student.

To Shannon Workman – Good job young lady! You enjoy your college years. Don’t be afraid to question authority when it doesn’t make any sense. The rule is obviously antiquated and biased. The internet and social media is a thing. People will use it. Use it responsibly. Respect yourself and others.

Let’s not judge a girl for looking for love!


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