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.
It's called #SororitySisters . Yet it's nothing but cattiness. Where's the substance, community service, sisterhood? It's just a bad show
— Angie E.Pennyfeather (@AngieNTheCity) December 16, 2014
— SmartIsTheNewCute (@original_cutie) December 16, 2014
#SororitySisters does NOT represent the love, sisterhood, and community service that we ALL stand for.
— J. Edwards (@TheJayeShow) December 16, 2014
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.
#SororitySisters – Great, another minstrel show breathing fresh life into negative stereotypes of african american women. Good job.
— FideTheProducer (@FideTheProducer) December 16, 2014
— Koritha Mitchell (@ProfKori) December 16, 2014
#SororitySisters is only going to perpetuate negative stereotypes for black women and for black Sororities, definitely not for this show .
— Ki (@ChicBKay) December 16, 2014
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?