If I needed any other proof I never would have survived at an American college, the frat emails of Evan Spiegel have provided me with it. The ‘Fuck Bitches Get Leid’ emails, released by Gawker last week, have sent the Snapchat CEO running. He claims he is “mortified” by the emails’ leak, and that the “idiotic” missives “in no way reflect who I am today or my views on women.”
The Evan Spiegel of today is four years older than the 19-year-old who pressed send to emails that included aspirations of the female Stanford Dean going nude, a request for a kilo of blow to be ready for the start of a Frat rager, and prayers that all his brothers get all of their extremities sucked by blackout sorority sisters.
Are we really surprised that the founder of Snap Chat, a tool used to make naughty pictures go poof, coined the term ‘sororisluts’? We shouldn’t be. Evan Spiegel is both a new specimen and an old Silicon Valley comrade. Spiegel isn’t quite a Mark Zuckerburg, his social media emperor-cousin from Harvard, but both have their fingers on the pulse of a specific college demographic that has a thirst for new ways to be cyber-social.
Facebook digitized the typical college experience; now you could see your friends, enemies, and potential life partners from your computer screen instead of through the obligatory meet-n-greet mixer. Spiegel’s creation, originally called FutureFreshman, was a way for him and his frat brothers to feast on the females of the incoming Stanford Class of 2011 (which was incidentally also my first year of college). Snapchat was built for the douchebag that Spiegel embodies: a rich, smart, attractive Bro who doesn’t see women, but fields ready for the harvest.
So this is what we’re faced with. Facebook is a social media titan most of us use multiple times a day, founded by a really competitive nerd who sold out his best friends. Snapchat is a messaging tool that is also the reason a lot of us get out of bed in the mornings — and it’s founded by a guy who sold out his best friends AND who admitted to peeing on a girl in her sleep (and then tried to figure out how to blame the urine on her in the morning instead of his intoxicated state).
So is using Snapchat like buying clothes from sweatshops or like drinking non-free trade coffee? Few people would ever stop snapping, (least of all me — I like my wittiness points), but should we anyway? Maybe a better use of energy would be to condemn frat culture, which breeds people just like Spiegel to go out in the world and to act like women are shrinkable to their reproductive bits. Movies like Neighbors are popular because the American public gets to see a shirtless Zac Efron run a male mansion and because the American public continues to delude themselves that there is anything redeemable about Greek life. For some reason, we are endlessly entertained by bald misogyny because the participants are attractive, intelligent, and young. And as Evan Spiegel has shown us, what is more dangerously potent than a beautiful young genius?