Anger against women who stand up for ‘basic rights’ is misguided and hurtful

To the Editor:

Why is it that everyone’s so angry with the Yale Women’s Center for standing up for basic rights?

Yesterday’s article “Women’s Center demands policy overhaul, rebuke” (2/13) sparked a passionate dialogue on the News’ Web site. Opponents of the Center’s actions highlighted the its request for more funding as a sign of its greed, and made other more generally dismissive comments, including that the Women’s Center clearly didn’t know what it was doing in asking for frats to be incorporated into the university because, according to one poster, this was what frats wanted, too.

These comments are concerning: the Women’s Center is a very important organization on campus which provides valuable services but is nevertheless understaffed (in terms of paid staffing) and located in a basement, for crying out loud. It is not at all unreasonable for them to request more funding.

Additionally, comments that the Women’s Center didn’t know what it was doing are both demeaning to the Center — the board is an incredibly intelligent group that put a lot of effort into this document — and assume that community is some sort of zero-sum game.

Helping women on this campus is not about hurting frats, and vice versa. The men who held up the “We Love Yale Sluts” sign need to be made to understand that what they did was deeply wrong, but in a universal sense, creating an inclusive community is not about detracting from any one group.

My hope is that though groups like the Women’s Center are forced to act in anger now because of the blatant hatred they are confronted with, reforms in university policy and changes in our campus atmosphere will create a safe space in which we can all grow together.

Alexandra Stein

Feb. 13

The writer is a freshman in Calhoun College.

Comments

  • Rights

    Basic rights? Don't make me laugh.

    Our illegal immigrant population right here in New Haven and CT don't have basic rights.

    What you have is something way past basic rights…you have a special interest group and everyone hates special interest groups because they like to whine about how tough they have it while real suffering and violation of basic rights happens right on their doorsteps.

  • Concurs with #1

    Yeah…last I checked, "basic rights" was, you know, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    That kind of lack of perspective borders on the offensive.