Do something real first, then write a book, please

October 24, 2013

Malala Yousafzai should have a book.

Rebecca Martinson should not.

That’s really all there is to say about this.

But no, the University of Maryland’s own Euryale — the Gorgon sister whose scream could kill, for those who slept through CLASSICS 170 — is shopping around for a book deal, according to the New Republic.

Her’s was the epic mean girl rant that went viral earlier this year in the form of a letter berating her sorority sisters for dissing their brother frat by “being so [expletive] AWKWARD and so [expletive] BORING”.

The screed was so famous, a few actors did readings of it and more online traffic happened. (I preferred Samuel L. Jackson reading “Go the F*ck to Sleep,” rather than any readings of her letter.)

The sorority-wide e-mail scorching the Delta Gammas was ridiculously expletive-laden, raunchy and horrid. And a sad confirmation of what so many think about the Greek system and young women who take truly meaningless stuff way, way too seriously.

What next, a flame-the-earth take-down on the cruel myth of quick-dry nail polish?

But I didn’t think it was fair to pounce on her back then. She’s young. I’d be lying if I didn’t find the letter grossly amusing. And she had a decent managerial point. I just don’t know that rhyming punt with the derogatory term for a female body part is the best way to address your troops.

We all did some pretty dumb stuff in college. Countless careers and lives would be fried if Facebook were around years ago. That’s what you do in school. Make bad mistakes, learn, move on.

Martinson left the sorority and went under for a while.

A very short while, it turns out. She didn’t really move on. And the shame cycle is superfast these days.

Now she’s back trying to shine the spotlight on herself again, writing for something called BroBible, where she encourages college women not to put out right away at the bar.

Again, a good message. But eventually she’ll learn that shrill is funny for only a few episodes of “Real Housewives,” then it gets old.

Rather than putting out after a dude buys you six rails at the bar, Martinson said her readers should show that bro a girl who (she wrote “that”) “proudly displayed her thong on her back like the Mona Lisa at the Louvre while rubbing it on his junk.”

Wow. So much for waving a hanky to flirt.

No, she’s not the Helen Gurley Brown of her generation.

I would get that. She didn’t invent sex and doesn’t bring anything new to discussion.

This young woman is trading on buzz to get even more, pursuing that quality so deeply coveted today — fame.

Last week, I met a teenager from Malawi, Godfrey Masauli, who became his country’s only paraglider pilot. He toured the villages of Africa with his mentor, Canadian paraglider Ben Jordan, and taught children how to make kites and reach for their dreams.

He should have a book.

I spoke at a University of Maryland classroom the other day.

On campus, I saw students who were single parents, immigrants from war-torn countries who are the first in their families to get an education, professors who did remarkable things and now dedicate their lives to students every day.

These people should have books.

Being a harridan to your sorority sisters is not worth a book.

Like you said, “Tie yourself down to whatever chair you’re sitting in,” Rebecca, and go for the wild ride called living.

Do something real and remarkable.

Or at least witness something more substantial than $2 shooter night at The Barking Dog.

Then, write about it.

Petula is a columnist for The Washington Post's local team who writes about homeless shelters, gun control, high heels, high school choirs, the politics of parenting, jails, abortion clinics, mayors, modern families, strip clubs and gas prices, among other things.
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Mark Berman · October 23, 2013