It’s fair to speculate whether this is just an apology to appease those outraged by the now infamous, “rapebait” email or whether he really means it but should we not be innocent until proven guilty? The apology is a great apology, as Jezebel notes, it acknowledges the wrongdoing, takes accountability for it and suggests that the bro is going to be proactive about being a better bro in the future. Matthew, the bro in question, has stepped down form social chairman at Phi Kappa Tau, which I am sure is a huge bummer to him. Nevertheless, that kind of bummer does not compare to the negative impact the email had on the sexual assault survivors who read the email or the female students who attend Georgia Tech that will probably always feel deeply uncomfortable and unsafe after realizing their male peers were treating them like cattle.
Here is the apology, take from it what you will.
“I am writing in reference to a recent email that I sent to members of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity that has recently received extensive media attention. The content of this email was offensive and it should never have been written.
I am deeply sorry for the pain and embarrassment my actions and lack of judgement have caused the students at Georgia Tech and my Phi Kappa Tau brotherhood as well as those who otherwise came into contact with the email. As hard as it may be to believe, it was written as a joke for a small audience that understood the context and that it is not my nor my fraternity’s actual beliefs on the subject. I have now come to realize this is a very serious topic that should not be taken lightly.
Misogynistic behavior is everywhere online and unfortunately, my attempt to ridicule it in an immature and outrageous satire backfired terribly and in a manner I mistakenly underestimated. In fact the “locker room” banter that characterizes this email was wrong in and of itself whether or not contained in a written communication. I am both embarrassed and ashamed at this dialogue and realize now that any sexual statement that is demeaning to women is never a joke.
One particular term originated from the nickname I received as a pledge, which was “4th Grade Rape Bait” due to my youthful looks and the connotation of what may happen to someone like me in prison. This became an internal fraternity joke and the term found its way into several communications, inappropriately and even nonchalantly. In retrospect, it was a nickname I should not have embraced but continuing to use the term was my fault. As a leader I should have put a stop to it inany reference.
I understand the magnitude and seriousness of this issue and the pain I have caused this community. I certainly have been forever changed by this incident. I have resigned as my fraternity’s social chairman and have proactively identified and implemented actions in consultation with the Office of Student Integrity.
I know I cannot fix all the damage I have done, but I will strive to become a better man as I work through this episode in my life. I am a devout Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket and regret the dark shadow that I have cast on this fine school. I will conduct myself to more honorably reflect the ideals of Georgia Tech in the future.