The Oct. 15 article “‘Maybe I can just be me’” portrayed young women seeking the safety and comfort of a single-sex living environment as not just irrational but morally evil. Painting individuals we disagree with as malevolent is unhelpful and has backfired on gender-identity sentiment particularly.
The plaintiffs are suing Kappa Kappa Gamma to preserve a female-only environment because Kappa itself promises to provide one. Its bylaws state that a “new member shall be a woman.” The members sincerely sought to avoid any negative backlash on the male-born member. The complaint used a pseudonym to avoid revealing the individual’s name. That male-born member initiated the media coverage by participating in an interview in the University of Wyoming student newspaper.
Moreover, the plaintiff women, while seeking a single-sex living space, have repeatedly opened their hearts to Artemis Langford. Kindness, after all, can and should take place outside the confines of a sorority. After learning that Artemis Langford sought women’s clothing, one plaintiff offered to share some clothes and to do makeup. Artemis Langford accepted the makeup offer.
Perhaps most alarming is the notion that these young women invented claims of sexual and inappropriate behavior. It is difficult for women to come forward with these types of allegations, and it is much harder when the world attempts to paint them as liars, exaggerators or bitter retaliators.
This lawsuit is extremely narrow. Kappa is a sorority dedicated to providing a “single-sex haven” for women. These words have meaning and have for generations of alumnae. These brave plaintiffs stuck their necks out to preserve the living space they and other women were promised. We should support them.