Side note: I wasn’t surprised at all when I found out she was a Delta Gamma. I know Delta Gammas, and those girls are CRAZY.
In the aftermath of the event, Martinson has resigned from her chapter. Her resignation doesn’t surprise me in the least, as I’m sure she was under a great deal of pressure to do so from both the national sorority as well as her chapter.
I can’t help but sympathize with her. The reason for my sympathy is because under different circumstances, I could have been Rebecca Martinson.
Back in my college days, I would often exchange emails with my fraternity brothers. To put it mildly, some of the emails were not especially politically correct.
I never really thought about it, but I always assumed that any emails sent to my brothers were private. I assumed that they would only be read by the intended recipients, and that those recipients knew me and my “unusual” personality rather well.
Ms. Martinson likely made a similar assumption. Unfortunately for her, an email that was probably laughed off by most of her sisters as “Rebecca being Rebecca” was seen by the outside world. All of a sudden, she’s being condemned as everything that’s wrong with America.
I recall one instance when one of my brothers sent out a particularly off-color email, and then realized that he had accidentally included the chapter advisor on the recipient list. Upon realizing what he had done, he actually made a desperate dive at the phone cord (Yes, back then we were all using dial-up connections to the internet) in an attempt to prevent the email from sending. That brother received a stern talking to from the advisor, but that was the extent of the damage.
But even if the email had spread further, it probably wouldn’t have become a phenomenon like Ms. Martinson’s did. Keep in mind that the internet hadn’t yet hit its stride in those days. If there were gossip/news sites like Gawker, they certainly weren’t at their current levels of popularity. The worst case scenario might have been that the email would be featured on the front page of the school newspaper, not the front page of Yahoo!
I’m also probably giving myself too much credit to think that anything I wrote in college would have captured the attention of the nation. While I would occasionally come up with some good material, I didn’t come close to the level of brilliance that Ms. Martinson has achieved.
While many are focusing on the unfortunate language and homophobic slurs, I think the real reason it has become such a sensation is due to how well written it was. She does an excellent job of combining dark humor and sarcasm with bitter frustration.
In hindsight, maybe my chapter wouldn’t have underacheived as much if I told them all how much they sucked and had mixed in some threats of physical violence. Then again, I was kind of fat back then, so the threats probably wouldn’t have been taken too seriously.
While Ms. Martinson is obviously not blameless for the negative publicity, if her sisters really want to be mad at someone, they should direct their ire at the person who shared the email with the outside world.
Why did she share it? Was she offended by what was written? If so, she should have taken the matter up directly with Ms. Martinson. It is more likely that the email was shared by someone who thought that others would find the over-the-top insanity to be amusing.
Or maybe the rest of the sorority REALLY doesn’t like Ms. Martinson. Based on the email, that doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.
Whatever the motivation, whoever shared the email has brought a lot of negative attention upon her sorority. If I was one of her sisters, I’d be quite upset with her.
It just goes to show how mindful we need to be about our electronic communications, even when we think what we’re sending is private. Believe it or not, I am actually careful to filter myself when writing this blog. When emailing my friends, I am not always that careful. I’m just fortunate that it has never cost me.
As for Ms. Martinson, I have one piece of advice: Own the letter.
Don’t try to hide from the publicity, because that’s pretty much impossible right now. For at least a little while, you’re going to be known as the “email girl” or the “c**t punt girl,” and there’s not much you can do about it.
So own up to it. Express regret for the offensive slurs used, but take full responsibility for writing it, and take advantage of your newfound fame. You’ve got some writing talent, so why not use your notoriety to get a writing job somewhere? I’m sure there are many websites or magazines who would love to have you write for them.
Also, if possible you should probably try to copyright the term “c**t punt”. Put it on some T-shirts, get them into the Dewey Beach shops by Memorial Day and you’ve got yourself a gold mine!
In honor of Ms. Martinson’s email, I shall conclude with this montage of women getting kicked in the crotch. Enjoy!