Re: “Vulgar e-mail targets freshmen” (Sept. 3). I was the senior administrative assistant for the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at Yale for 25 years. Every year that I worked for Yale, there were similar incidents of women being dissed, insulted, harassed and disrespected in public ways. (Worse assaults went on in private.) Every year there would be an outcry for a bit, then the situation and rage would die down, only to have it occur again at a later date.
What this means to me is that sexism and discrimination against women is alive and well, and needs constantly to be monitored. I wonder if the Yale College Dean’s Office, the Yale Women’s Center, the Yale Law School or any other entity at Yale has kept track of all these incidents. If not, it’s time someone did, and it’s time someone figured out how to handle the perpetrators.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel each time one of these incidents occurs. Keeping disciplinary proceedings and actions “private” allows this type of thing to happen over and over again, as there are never any public consequences for the perpetrators.
Yale has a very sophisticated IT team, and tracing the origins of these e-mails would be easy enough. Let’s stop pretending that these incidents are perpetrated by a “small minority” and see them for what they really are: an extremely long pattern of patriarchal attitudes and actions meant to frighten and humiliate women.
The writer is a former senior administrative assistant for the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program.