Some Dutch female university students aggregate in ‘sororities’, girls-only groups with strict rules and routines, a sense of sisterhood and selective entrance criteria. It is weird enough that to enter such exclusive groups one ought to submit oneself and go around for years wearing same identical high school-like blouses. The other day, though, a Wageningen sorority in the making baffled me like never before.
While reading an article the latest Resource I almost choked on my coffee for the surprise. Even left-winged Wageningen has not been spared form those who want to subjugate to the sharia-law. Isis is coming! And they are… wrapping the city centre of Utrecht in bras. Clearly a misunderstanding. In fact, Isis is the name of a group of girls, aspiring to become the new sorority. The bras were not for a breast cancer campaign, or to raise awareness about anything - except the cause of their own existence.
Let us get it straight: nothing political or social should be expected of a sorority’s actions. Hanging a chain of bras is their homage to Miley Cyrus rather than to the feminist artist Barbara Kruger. Although to the latter, they owe a great deal of their pride and freedom as contemporary ‘independent strong’ women.
Fine with the bras, but I can’t excuse their name. The Dutch and German press says ‘IS’, but in the international press, dear Sisters, the fanatic group is referred to as Isis. Don’t you watch important speeches by Barack Obama? I understand, you picked your name before these assassins started their raid; you built your own group identity and story around it... Nevertheless, did you stop and think of the effects it might have? ‘Dear Mr. CEO, I believe I am the right person for this job, as I always was a pro-active student with a clear vision; for example, in my 2nd year I joined Isis’. That definitely shows that you don’t… lose your head so easily.
The play of the suicide lovers from Verona teaches us what’s in a name, and the dangers of a negative bias from others towards it. True: that what we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet. Unfortunately, many would not probe its scent, when you would call it ‘shit’.