Earlier this week, I told you about Matthew Peterson, the Phi Kappa Tau brother at Georgia Tech who sent his entire fraternity a manifesto of sorts — entitled “Luring Your Rape Bait” — on “how to mack and succeed at parties.” It was gross and offensive and stupid, but Peterson has apparently come to his senses, and issued a proper apology. Like, a real apology, not the bullshit excuses we usually get from douchebags who make rape jokes. Peterson’s apology is posted on the Georgia Tech student newspaper’s website. Here it is in full:
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 in any 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.