TG is a 25 year old graduate student and cultural forensic anthropologist. She grew up in Maryland and currently resides in Tennessee. She was an active member at her university. She was in a sorority herself.
Context: This performance was done during the Spring semester at the university between X sorority and the girl trying to rush.
Transcript (discussed over the phone):
TG: Okay, I have to make this kind of vague because I can get into trouble if I give away the name of the university. There was a student trying to rush X sorority and there was an intense hazing process. Every girl got a difference hazing task when rushing but one girl specifically was not allowed to speak for a week. She had people secretly monitoring her to make sure she does not speak. That is not the worst part though; when she was spoken to, she was only allowed to respond by meowing like a cat. So for example, if someone asked “How are you?” she had to meow back to them. It was crazy.
Collector: Why meowing like a cat?
TG: Honestly, I’m not sure. I think it was more because it was an embarrassing thing to do and if you could do it successfully for the full week then it shows your loyalty to the sorority- maybe even your submissiveness too.
Thoughts/Analysis: There are hazing rituals in almost every fraternity and sorority. I find that the common denominator between them all is that they are supposed to have the potential member display some form of loyalty to the organization. These initiation processes are not kind; they push potential members hard to make sure they are worthy of membership.
For variations of embarrassing hazing rituals, see:
Appel, Stefan. “Sorority Hazing (Kappa Cow).” USC Digital Folklore Archives, May 18, 2021. http://folklore.usc.edu/tag/hazing/.