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University of Wyoming Sorority Demands that Members Accept a Man
The erosion of women’s rights continues.
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In 1870, six women at Monmouth College in western Illinois founded the Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG) Fraternity. The following year, they established bylaws which state that “any lady may become a candidate for membership who shall be of good moral and above average talent.”
But the times they are a-changin’, and in 2018, in keeping with the progressivism bulldozing the country, national KKG headquarters issued a “Guide for Supporting our LGBTQIA+ Members,” declaring that the sorority welcomes both “women” and “individuals who identify as women.” Rather than officially changing the organization’s bylaws, which would have required the consent of the board of directors and a two-thirds majority vote at the biennial convention, KKG’s national president, in violation of long-standing policy, simply issued guidance to chapters redefining what “woman” means and directing them to admit biological males.
Which is how we end up with one Artemis Langford — a 6’2” 260 lb. dude (trans woman)1 — inducted into the University of Wyoming KKG chapter.
In September of last year, members of the sorority were emailed a Google form that required them to vote on the admission of two prospective pledges, one of whom was Artemis Langford. Earlier that same day, KKG held a meeting to discuss Langford’s candidacy. Members who felt deeply uncomfortable with a male being accepted into their sisterhood had their concerns dismissed by chapter leaders, including the president, membership chair, and vice president for Academic Excellence. Dissenters were encouraged to quit.
“Regardless of what your political views are, our Kappa values are acceptance and kindness so if that is something that you disagree with, that’s not in line with Kappa values,” one member purportedly said.
“It’s 2022. If you vote no, it better be for, like, literal issues with that new member or else it’s homophobic,” another member allegedly said.2 A woman who questioned Langford’s induction and disputed whether he’s a woman was given literature to “educate” herself.
Sorority members were also told that if they voted “no” without articulating specific concerns about Langford’s personality and were simply basing their decision on the fact that he’s a dude, then they were bigots, and bigotry is grounds for expulsion.
The online vote required members to identify themselves with their emails, in violation of the sorority’s secret-ballot procedures. According to KKG policy, Langford could be admitted only by unanimous vote, and chapter leadership was required to disclose the final vote tally. But both of these conditions were disregarded. Chapter leaders simply announced that Langford had been inducted without confirming that he’d secured enough votes.3 To say nothing of Langford’s 1.9 GPA in the autumn of 2022, which was below the required 2.7 GPA for sorority applicants, and which was swept under the rug.
KKG members are required to live in the sorority house. Their parents paid a nonrefundable $7,700 for them to do so. But even if the women were willing to quit KKG and could afford to pay rent somewhere else, they had all signed a loyalty pledge precluding them from joining another sorority, meaning sorority life would no longer be an option.
When some members and their parents raised concerns about Langford living in the house, sorority officials told them “just don’t use the same bathroom,” that it would be like living in a co-ed dorm,4 and that “since Langford identifies as a woman you have no reason to feel uncomfortable.”
“The best of what a Wyoming woman is”
So, how have things played out since ol’ Artemis was allowed to join the sorority? Not great. Turns out Artemis Langford is a certified weirdo. Not an oddball, like yours truly. A weirdo. And a creepy one, at that. We knows this thanks to a lawsuit filed by six5 of the sorority members against KKG and its president Mary Pat Rooney, which argues that their chapter’s decision to admit a man violated the national organization’s corporate charter.6
Let’s start with the traditional slumber party that takes place prior to the KKG initiation ceremony. Langford, who “shared his interest in cadavers and touching human corpses” with sorority members, spent the evening “taking pictures of the young women at awkward moments when they were not prepared.” He also “repeatedly questioned the women about what vaginas look like, breast cup size, whether some women were considering breast reductions, and birth control.” His virginity, what age it would be appropriate for someone to have sex, and kissing girls were additional topics of conversation he broached.
Langford had said that he wouldn’t be staying the night at the slumber party, but he remained after all other women had departed, saying he would not leave “until after you [the pledges] fall asleep.” He was supposed to leave by 10PM. At around 11PM, when the lights had been turned off and the pledges were trying to sleep, Langford started loudly singing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by himself “in the corner of the room by the light of his laptop screen.” He didn’t leave until midnight.
The next morning, [Langford] returned and stood silently in the corner of the room near the door while other pledges changed from sleeping garments into other clothing. Plaintiff Jane Doe VI did not know that [Langford] had returned. Ms. Doe VI had not slept wearing a bra. She faced away from the others and removed her shirt. After she had put on a new shirt, Ms. Doe VI turned around and discovered [Langford] staring at her. After the morning activities, other Kappa members informed Ms. Doe VI that while watching her, [Langford] had become sexually aroused. He stood by the door with his hands over his genitals. Since that event, [Langford] has repeatedly asked Ms. Doe VI about her romantic attachments.
Langford, who has not undergone treatments to create a more feminine appearance or changed his driver’s license, and who has a tinder profile “through which he seeks to meet women,” has been repeatedly caught “with a visible erection through his leggings.” He often sits with a pillow on his lap. When the other sorority members do yoga, he watches without saying a word. One woman, wearing nothing but a towel as she walked down the hall to take a shower, “felt an unsettling presence, turned, and saw [Langford] watching her silently.”
In addition to constantly writing notes about sorority members and their statements and behaviors,7 Langford uses his phone to take pictures of the women without their knowledge or consent. In one incident, he “walked up to a sorority member in the dining room, raised his phone to her face, took a picture, and then walked away without explanation or apology.” One of the plaintiffs has seen Langford taking pictures of the women while they’re eating; he’ll rest his phone on the table so it looks like he’s scrolling through it when he’s actually covertly using his camera to photograph sorority members.
It was also discovered that Langford put together a “blacklist” containing the names of women he believes are transphobic and should be expelled from KKG, which he sent to officials at the national sorority headquarters.
Laughably, in a court filing asking that Langford be removed from the lawsuit, Langford’s lawyer says that he “exemplifies the best of what a Wyoming woman is.”
KKG Doubles Down
The sorority has asked a court to dismiss the “frivolous” lawsuit and accused the plaintiffs of being motivated by anti-trans bigotry. As usual, an institution that’s been captured by social justice ideology is presuming, rather than proving, a pernicious rationale. It has been decided that the women suing the sorority are behaving disingenuously, and so all of their statements can be taken as proof of their mendacity. The tendency to assume the worst motives of one’s critics is a common feature of our new puritans, and this is particularly the case among those who believe in gender identity. It’s impossible to have an honest discussion about this stuff because they constantly swap calm and rational discourse for a highly charged, emotive, and seemingly interminable struggle.
KKG alleges that the women asked the “Court to insert itself into this controversial political debate and declare that a private organization can only interpret the term ‘woman’ using Plaintiffs’ exclusionary definition of biologically born females,” according to the motion to dismiss.
“What dismissal will do is establish that Plaintiffs’ legal claims are baseless and show their supporters and others who may seek to use the courts for their own political purposes that funding frivolous litigation is not the way to resolve disputes or effect change,” the motion reads.
A reasonably intelligent six-year-old can adequately define what a woman is, but KKG is acting like it’s the riddle of the sphinx. The organization claims that, given all of the “scholarly articles, political debate, or media commentary” contesting the traditional understanding of womanhood, the question of whether a transgender woman should be treated as a woman isn’t clear. Rather than affirming the women’s right to membership in a female-only sorority, KKG finds them at fault for protesting Langford’s admission and has told the women that they can resign their membership “if a position of inclusion is too offensive to their personal values.”8
The sorority is gaslighting these women, manipulating them into doubting their own perceptions and experiences and common sense, undermining their voices, and subjecting them to the deranging experience of being unmoored from reality. KKG officials know what a woman is, just like they know the plaintiffs do, but social justice clerics see the truth as an inconvenience that can be brushed aside in favor of ideological certainties. All authoritarian movements claim dominion over the truth, defining which elements of reality may or may not be acknowledged.
“Do the Plaintiffs have a legal right to be in a sorority that excludes transgender women?” KKG writes in the motion. “They do not.”
Actually, they do. A sorority, by definition, discriminates on the basis of sex. There’s a legal exception to Title IX’s embargo on sex discrimination that allows sororities and fraternities to discriminate to preserve single-sex organizations. But this gets to the heart of the matter: KKG is saying gender identity and self-identification render biology irrelevant, and that the feelings of biological males should be privileged over and above women who are in a vulnerable situation.
A society that places the feelings of trans people — 0.06% of the population — over the safety and liberty of women, who have historically been forced to fight tooth and nail for equality, is a society in terminal decline. Ours has been completely captured by toxic progressivism, which demands that everyone recognize the endless novelties and larks of the psychosexual imagination. In an actual democracy, the minority — and, a fortiori, the individual — cannot force the majority to conform to individual predilections. And yet here’s some fat dude imposing himself on a group of young women, ruining their college experience.
Once again, we have an example of how transgenderism in practice is the submission by one party to the libido dominandi of another. It forces a subjective and manipulable view of one person’s self to become a defining reality for everyone else. It’s a demand for the validation of others; it requires the active, conscious validation of every member of society, who must identify you as a member of the sex you proclaim. In opening the entire sex category to any male who says he’s a female, not only does the word “woman” become meaningless, but we must accept a total rewriting of societal rules and the abolishment of sex-based protections for women.
The women in this sorority have essentially been bullied into a situation where a big, extremely creepy dude is allowed into what’s supposed to be their own single-sex space, depriving them of a sisterhood intended to be a haven during their college years. If people can’t see that this is an assault on women’s autonomy and dignity, then they’re blind.
Homophobic. These people know of so many phobias they can condemn someone with that they can’t even keep them straight.
National sorority officials encouraged chapter officers to induct Langford, while national alumnae supervisors pressured the chapter to accept its first transgender member to raise the chapter’s prominence and garner the national sorority leaders’ favor.
Factually incorrect. Co-ed dorms have locks and other protection for women. At the KKG house, “doors to the communal showers do not lock, and the main bathroom located on the second floor is not equipped with a private changing area.”
It’s telling that there were only six out of ~50 members who were willing to come forward. There are probably dozens of the women who feel the same way, but who refrained from voicing their concerns for fear of retaliation. A good barometer for the health of any democracy is the percentage of people who are willing to say what they actually believe in public.
Langford is not being sued for damages. He’s referred to as “Mr. Smith” throughout the lawsuit, but it’s obvious it’s him because multiple media outlets have reported about him being in the sorority.
Langford says that he’s a “journalist.” He’s published some columns in The Branding Iron, the campus newspaper at the University of Wyoming. He also works for Wyoming Democrats as a “state committeewoman.”
This is what happens when victimhood culture becomes pervasive. Any act that perpetuates inequality or decreases diversity — any act that’s not “inclusive” — becomes a cause for serious moral condemnation. And defending the rights of transgender people allows policymakers and professionals to justify their authority through claims to be acting on behalf of victimized, vulnerable people.