This response was posted in comments on feministing in response to the discussion that mocking ethnic groups is something that needs to be focused on in a different way than mocking the dominant group of society.
This is certainly true, but I think that it’s also the crux of the difference in the way different cultures have been accepted into American society in different ways. I’m going to get blasted, so instead of making myself clear I’m going to give an analogy and let you try to decide what I’m talking about.
When you have an established group, and you want to introduce new members who want to benefit from the structure that’s already been established, the people involved feel like the new ones are just getting something for free, and they resent it. This is where hazing comes in. The new people have to go through a little trial period where things are harder for them. But they do it, they don’t complain, and at the end they are more respected by the group, and now they’re perfectly even, because no one can say that they had it easier.
If someone complains about the hazing, or tries to avoid it, no one is going to like that. If the group in charge can reject them, they will, if they can’t, they’ll still resent the people not going through what they think of as necessary. If other people do accept their hazing, and become equal status, they’ll also just resent the people who didn’t go through it, because why the hell shouldn’t they.
I’m betting there is a pretty unfavorable opinion of hazing in this community, but there are undeniable benefits when it’s done right.
What the fuck.