Following months of interaction with the brothers of the Beta Gamma Omega fraternity, sophomore pledge Willy Benitez is no longer sure whether their use of the word “bro” is ironic or not. The group of young men frequently refer to one another, both directly and indirectly, as “bro” in spite of knowing each another’s names. While Benitez initially believed their use of the word was in jest, a playful reference to stereotypical fraternity behavior as caricatured by the media, he isn’t sure anymore.
“I thought it was a joke. Like, ‘Hey, we’re in a frat and this is what frat guys say!” said Benitez. “But everyone kept doing it. We’ve really blurred the line between subverting and unironically embracing this culture that valorizes irresponsible behavior. I don’t know if anyone can even tell the difference anymore.”
Benitez reports that questioning the frat’s use of “bro” has led him to reconsider various other aspects of the culture.
“Guys are always calling me ‘bromosexual’ which is, like, clearly a joke, but it’s actually a pretty homoerotic environment,” said Benitez. “I mean, it’s a bunch of dudes living in one house, everyone’s drunk pretty often and we all have matching wood paddles. It’s about one ‘ironic’ game of truth-or-dare away from a porno.”
While Benitez has yet to resolve his confusion, he notes that he has no intention of leaving Beta Gamma Omega because chicks dig guys in exclusive social groups.