The Point

The Point: Define Fraternity


John Stonestreet

Define “fraternity.” For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Some Yale students want fraternities to accept women. Why? Well, as one freshman said: “Women being a part for fraternities would create a better, more positive environment … and would probably lessen sexual assault in their houses.”

Hmmm… what could go wrong with that plan?!

I think a little lesson on the meaning of words is in order… free of charge, which is of course more than Yale can say.

“Fraternity” means “brotherhood.” It comes from “frater,” the Latin word for brother. Likewise, women can belong to a “sorority,” which means sisterhood.

By definition, women can’t be brothers, and men can’t be sisters. Therefore, stick with me here, a fraternity that admits women is no longer a fraternity.

Words have meaning. They point to reality, and how we use them gives us a clearer or more distorted vision of reality. Nowhere is that more obvious than when it comes to sex and gender.

Men and women were created biologically, physiologically, and emotionally different. That’s reality, unlike a sorority with men, or a fraternity with women.



  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Have a Follow-up Question?

Want to dig deeper?

If you want to challenge yourself as many others have done, sign up below.


Short Courses

Related Content