Kristen Ng’s questionable laundry rules deny equality between men and women

To the Editor:

I thoroughly enjoyed Kristen Ng’s article on the dilemma of laundry switching. I live at the divinity school apartments and we have 3 washing machines in a building which houses 40 or so residents. Thus, I am often confronted with “orphaned laundry.” I truly believe that some of the residents don’t know that it only takes 25 minutes to wash a load, since it often sits in a machine for endless hours!

I do take exception to Ms. Ng’s “rule” that men are not allowed to touch women’s laundry.

Let me see if I understand: I am not allowed to move a huge pile of wet clothes belonging to a woman but she is allowed to remove and fold any man’s laundry with “love embedded in each and every crease?”

I thought all the liberals here at Yale wanted everything to be equal between the sexes, but I suppose I was wrong. If a woman can remove and fold a man’s boxers and briefs, then I can certainly remove a women’s pile of bras and panties so that I can commence washing the 4 loads of laundry my wife, son, and I create every week.

Dave Miller

Nov. 27

Miller is a student at the Yale Divinity School.


  • Anonymous

    There's a difference in "equality" and "fairness." Equality is treating people the same without regard to the important differences in their lives. Fairness is treating people considerately based on their context. We don't want things to be equal, we want them to be fair. We want to give women maternity leave, for example. It's a hard sell to give men paternity leave (although it might not be a bad idea), and it would be impossible for it to be the same amount as women receive.

    I think it's a good rule that guys can't while girls can. I know I, as a male, feel uneasy about moving a female's laundry, but I would be perfectly OK with a female moving mine. I think I would like it, even (I do miss my mommy, after all). There's something that, for better or worse, sets off alarms in most people that a guy with a girl's underwear is basically sexual in nature, while there's not the same gut reaction the other way. (I know that basically the only time I touch my girlfriend's underwear is when I'm taking them off before sex, and the touches my boxers pretty frequently to pick them up off the floor where I've left them.) I think keeping this truth in mind and not pretending people don't have the gut reactions they do is the way to go.

  • Anonymous

    You should get your facts straight. Under the Family & Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 CFR 825.200), men are entitled to exactly the same amount of leave as women. This may not be "fair", but the Federal Government does not apply "fairness" when making laws as it would lead to multiple forms of discrimination.