Columns / Discourse / May 24, 2017

The F-Word: Brown men of GQ: stop exploiting brown women

This discourse column is about the Gentlemen of Quality brotherhood, commonly referred to as GQ. A fraternity of self-identified Gentlemen, made up mostly of men of color, GQ was founded in 2007 and is unique to Knox. This fraternity uses the Greek letters AGA. A Gentleman, Always.

Alpha Gamma Alpha (AGA) is an all-Armenian sorority, founded in 2002. Registered with the U.S. Government as a philanthropic organization, AGA members have been doing incredible things for the advancement of their community and nation as a whole.

Considering the fact that GQ is a registered fraternity at Knox College, its executive board must know how Greek systems operate. The executive board must know that Greek letters, given to each organization, are not arbitrary. They are one of a kind. And a simple Google search of any assortment of Greek letters alongside the terms “sorority” or “fraternity” links all existing and discontinued Greek organizations with mentioned letters.

So why would GQ use the already active letters AGA? I can only think of two possibilities.

I) GQ has not done research on the letters they are using and the toes they have been stepping on since 2007. This option seems highly unlikely since some GQ members know of the existence of the Armenian sorority AGA. Which leads us to the second option.

II) GQ as an organization and Knox as an institution are okay with the preventable exploitation of women of color who work hard to maintain their sorority and sisterhood, Alpha Gamma Alpha.

As an Armenian woman it hurts me immensely to see the erasure and exploitation of Armenian femme culture, history and advancement by the hands of men of color. It is saddening to see that the same people who are supposed to be rooting for us on the sidelines of our marathon are putting out their legs and tripping our runners.

My hope is that this column encourages GQ to reevaluate their values and their symbols as a fraternity. However, I especially put this responsibility and request on the shoulders of the brown men of GQ. Please, stand by your brown sisters and siblings.


Eden Sarkisian, Discourse Editor
Eden Sarkisian is a femme of color from Los Angeles. Eden is majoring in economics with a double minor in gender and women's studies and Middle-Eastern studies. Aside from their position as discourse editor, Eden contributes to TKS through their feminist column, "The F-Word," and their comic strips, "Apple Strip."

Tags:  AGA F-Word feminism fraternity GQ greek life sorority

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May 25, 2017

Is this satire?

    May 25, 2017

    Not at all.

May 25, 2017

This article is pretty redundant. Identity politics have a place but this is just plainly self indulgent. No research into the fraternity. No legitimate harm being done. Just self raising scolding.

Grow up.

May 26, 2017

this is the most disrespectful and ignorant article I have read by tks. Please take it down!

May 26, 2017

lol is this for real?

May 27, 2017

This is very one sided and biased. I wish tks would do a better job of showing both sides instead of picking on frats.

May 27, 2017


May 27, 2017

Seriously? The current members of GQ didn’t even go here when the frat was founded and the letters were picked. Seems like the author was just lacking in material for her column and decided to go searching for reasons to criticize a fraternity.

May 27, 2017

Why in the world would you claim that they are exploiting brown women? AGA is clearly a Moto that these young men respect and follow. It is overly sensitive that you think that they use it to insult armeninian women. This is why people don’t take the REAL issues on tks seriously. There needs to be a filter to keep these bogus articles from being published.

May 27, 2017

So why would you choose to post an article like this, I can only think of two possibilities:

1) you have not done any research about the fraternities actions and straight claimed that they are “exploiting” brown women.

2) it is a bogus article, you lack evidence. I still wonder why TKS posted this.

May 27, 2017

Bogus.. This article here lacks evidence. There are much better things to do than pointing fingers for no reason. GQ is not exploiting brown women.

May 27, 2017

I’m confused, are they using Alpha Gamma Alpha? Or AGA? Because “G” is not a Greek letter.

If they are using the Greek letters Alpha Gamma Alpha, you should inform the sorority’s national organization that GQ is blatantly infringing on their trademark.

May 28, 2017

I’m not a supporter of Greek life at all in this day and age, but at least GQ welcomes international students and men of color more so than our other frats. At least they try to be gentlemen and don’t pull the nonsense we see coming from places like Fiji house. GQ isn’t exploiting anyone, and the fact that they use AGA to stand for English words and nothing Greek should make it pretty clear that they are not trying to be like (nor replace) other sororities or frats. They’re not the group we need to be worried about or offended by. And its unfortunate that you feel offended by an Armenian sorority being disrespected or overlooked, but Knox doesn’t have ANY historically black frats or soroities, so how do you think other people of color feel? I wouldn’t join then anyway, but GQ is an alternative to the traditional and super white Greek system at most schools. Let the people that find comfort in that live.

May 28, 2017

Probably the largest stretch made since Trump thought he was the worst treated politician ever.

May 28, 2017

Have you heard of the Fallacy of False Dilemma?

May 28, 2017

This article is a joke, how is this exploiting women of color in any way.? If this is a huge issue maybe your priorities should be sought out.

Mar 15, 2018

I get your point on them using another organization’s letters, but to accuse them of exploiting brown women when it’s an Armenian organization is comical at best. It’s quite a stretch to consider Armenians people of color. I don’t know a single person who would consider someone like Kim Kardashian a POC. The Armenian people are from the Caucus region. They are literally Caucasian. The use of this label delegitimizes the struggle experienced by oppressed groups. Y’all need to stop using this label. Pisses me off. Pisses so many POC on this campus off. STOP.

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