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Sorority Sisters: How it's portraying women in a negative light

Nantale Muwonge


Causes & Culture

I'm a media junkie, digital advocate and storyteller. When I'm not working, I'm volunteering my time and expertise because I kind of want to save the world.

VH1's Sorority Sisters trades on damaging stereotypes

Despite a petition to shut the show down before it even aired, Sorority Sisters debuted on VH1 on Monday. Of course, I watched it, I just had to see it for myself.

Based on the trailer, which featured nine women behaving and treating each other badly, I knew it was going to be your typical reality show with drama, fighting and all the stereotypes, but it was even worse than I imagined.

The show isn't even about sisterhood

According to VH1, the show is supposed to be an inside look into Greek life and the bonds of sisterhood. The fact that these women are in sororities seems to be a very loose thread tying them together, especially since they spend the majority of their time bashing and bitching about each other, sabotaging each other's businesses and even threatening physical violence. And this was just the first episode.

Trading on stereotypes

All of the negative stereotypes about black women are present: angry black woman, black Barbie, jezebels, etc. The show trades so heavily on stereotypes that it seems to be actively degrading the sorores and their respective sororities. It's offensive and portrays a skewed and culturally biased image of black women.

The use of stereotypes is especially problematic because studies have shown that exposure to violent images of women in the media actually leads to increased male aggression towards women.

So, even if the show isn't directly promoting violence and aggression towards women, the use of violence and drama to drive ratings isn't helping.

Looking at the complete picture, there is no entertainment value to shows like Sorority Sisters. So, the question is, are you still going to watch it?

Let us know your thoughts on Sorority Sisters below.

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