News’ View: The right kind of feminism

Often, the boisterous will stop at nothing to get a rise out of others — especially when they know just the right buttons to push. Last Wednesday, the pledges of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity issued just such a provocation. As they chanted their way across campus, the rest of us were forced to listen to tasteless jibes involving obscenity, jingoism and necrophilia.

But then came the coup-de-grace: “No means yes, yes means anal.” By making light of rape, the pledges crossed a line. In this newspaper’s view, the chanting was idiotic and offensive, and it should not be repeated.

And yet, as groups rushed to condemn the foolhardy DKE bros, they threw overwrought epithets, some almost as absurd as the chants themselves.

However obnoxious, the chants were not — as the Women’s Center and feminist blog Broad Recognition originally suggested — “an active call for sexual violence.” We do not believe that a drive to inspire rape motivated the young, impressionable brothers on that cold Wednesday night. As the Center responded with histrionics, what could have been an opportunity for our campus to maturely and gracefully reprove public stupidity and affirm mutual respect turned into a daylong, private spat. Although the fight was, ostensibly, resolved on Thursday with DKE’s apology, the rest of us were left unsatisfied.

But we should not be too surprised by the Women’s Center’s initial overreaction. In 2004, the organization sought to deny the national male feminist group “Men Can Stop Rape” entrance to their center. They threatened to sue Zeta Psi fraternity after the “We Love Yale Sluts” controversy. And after last year’s “Preseason Scouting Report” uproar, members of the Center petitioned the Yale administration to expel the creators of the e-mail. In recent years, the radicalizing echo chamber of the Center has failed to represent the broader spectrum of women on campus after acts of public misogyny. While the Center spent their time painting murals of their own vaginas, the rest of women were left without a public voice. Their history of radicalism has alienated Yale’s women; few think of the Center as a representative forum in which to tackle gender relations.

This year’s Women’s Center board, which hosted a party with DKE and a talk at Toads, has made important steps toward the mainstream. We praise the organization’s recent public statement on this page, more measured than accusatory. But we wish it had been their first instinct, not their second thought. The same can be said of DKE, whose contrition only followed a first reaction of defensiveness. And in the end, a truce between two organizations will not broker a larger shift on this campus.

Feminists at Yale should remember that, on a campus as progressive as ours, most of their battles are already won: All of us agree on gender equality. The provocateurs knew their audience’s sensibilities and how to offend them for a childish laugh. They went too far. But the Women’s Center should have known better than to paint them as misogynistic strangers and attackers among us, instead of members of our community; after all, they once partied in the brothers’ basement.

It was only in the aftermath of the row that the Women’s Center used the chants as an opportunity for broader dialogue. We commend this spirit; last Friday’s forum attracted voices from across the community. We would all do well to remember that, at Yale, the effectiveness and inclusiveness of women’s advocacy is inversely proportional to its radicalism.

Comments

  • FailBoat

    > In recent years, the radicalizing echo chamber of the Center has failed to represent the broader spectrum of women on campus after acts of public misogyny. While the Center spent their time painting murals of their own vaginas, the rest of women were left without a public voice. Their history of radicalism has alienated Yale’s women; few think of the Center as a representative forum in which to tackle gender relations.

    Ohhhh man. The backlash here is going to be *wild*.

    I’ll grab the popcorn.

  • penny_lane

    Twenty or thirty years from now, someone is going to look through the YDN archives and be shocked that this is the view the News chose to espouse. It’s pretty shameful.

    As for the editorial:
    If you think the WC crossed a line, you need to offer more of a rebuttal than “We don’t believe.” Your use of the word “histrionics” is especially uncalled for. You claim that the battle is already won for women on the Yale campus, which is shortsighted at best, but the fact that this publication chose to characterize these women in such a way is the biggest clue for me that the opposite is true. It is not uncommon for the mainstream to seek to undermine women’s groups. The most common and most effective way to do that is to fall back on the old stereotypes about women and why they should not be taken seriously: paint them as being overly emotional, manipulative, and vindictive–all negative characteristics squarely called to mind by your word, “histrionics.”

    What is more shameful is that your argument, that the WC’s response to DKE’s actions was nothing more than deliberately crafted emotional hyperbole, is nothing more than a reductio ad ridiculum. That is, your entire case against the WC’s response rests on your having called it ridiculous. It’s a logical fallacy, and is the only basis of your entire editorial. How embarrassing is that?

    What if you threw them a bone and gave them the benefit of the doubt? What if you responded to the very real concern that many of us have that the propensity of DKE and other similar organizations to make light of rape is actually the biggest reason why rape happens at Yale? This is the reason why calling the chant “an active call to sexual violence” is particularly apt. What’s your argument against that?

    No dice, YDN. This entire editorial is dripping with the same sexism we’ve all grown up with and tired of. Be more original next time.

  • maboyd

    How disappointing. The YDN editors should know better than most how hard the Women’s Center has worked over the past few days to shape a productive conversation about this incident. And the results of their efforts have been most impressive: both at the Forum on Friday and beyond, they have initiated active problem-solving among students, faculty, and administrators. I’ve been thrilled to see new coalitions forming as we all attempt to grapple with serious, long-running campus issues—no-one expects them to be resolved by a single one-hour discussion. Luckily, the Women’s Center’s leadership over the past few days is not the aberration the editors make it out to be. We can rely on the Center and its allies to continue to help us all intervene in the persistent patterns of sexual violence and misconduct at Yale. — Melanie Boyd, Special Advisor to the Dean of Yale College on Gender Issues

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    Oh boy…

    I am sure in the coming melee certain ameliorative phrases will be overlooked. The *gist* seems correct but, just as the authors point out DKE knew the right buttons, this article hits some real Duesenbergs!

    And I see the gender police have already arrived, batons at the ready.

    Oh, and Penny Lane is correct: “histrionics” is a rather loaded word in today’s world, kind of like the phrase “nappy headed,” a construction to be avoided.

  • RexMottram08

    Whoa. This was unexpected.

  • Prof3

    The problem with this discussion, and of early confrontations involving the Women’s Center, is that few students at Yale appear to be willing to say the some conduct is just out of bounds. You don’t have to debate what is or is not a call to rape, or what is or is not misogyny. You can just insist on ordinary decent behavior, which does not include people parading around shouting stuff like that.

    This instinct to turn these issues into debates about the status of women at Yale, or whether the Women’s Center is extreme, have larger consequences. A small but determined minority of Yale students treat their fellow students like s**t. They do it by being obnoxious in class, rude in the library, drunk and stupid at parties, and, yes, parading around Old Campus shouting their slogans. It’s all part of the same thing, a determined unwillingness to consider how your actions affect other students. The only way to deal with this is to demand respect from each other, consistently, and not just to wait until something like this happens. The fact that DKE likes to jump into politically incorrect holes makes them convenient targets, but the underlying problem of contempt for others is widespread. The next time some jerk is horsing around in the halls of WLH during exam period when you are trying to focus on an exam, think about whether that conduct really has a different source than this DKE stuff.

  • FailBoat

    > You don’t have to debate what is or is not a call to rape, or what is or is not misogyny.

    And yet the YWC consistently overreaches in its rush to not only condemn degeneracy but to make everything an issue of gender rather than of general taste and class.

  • FailBoat

    A certain “feminist” who shall remain anonymous but whose initials are C. O.-M. has done more to harm the image of the Yale Women’s Center than any other individual in recent memory.

  • Chief

    Wow. Seeing this on the opinion page this morning was like being punched in the gut. I’m not a member of the Women’s Center, but I am a Yale woman who appreciates what they do very much. To see their actions and attitudes belittled in a publication I read every day was incredibly alienating. I hadn’t previously been under the impression that the YDN staff considered themselves the arbiters of what the “right” kind of feminism is. Nor had I thought that just because it’s not socially acceptable to openly espouse sexist views at Yale meant that women shouldn’t get angry when sexist acts are committed (“Feminists at Yale should remember that, on a campus as progressive as ours, most of their battles are already won: All of us agree on gender equality.”). Sexism happens on Yale’s campus all the time, and women shouldn’t be denied their right to react to it just because we’re closer to equality here than we might be somewhere else.
    I also have to take issue with the YDN’s complaint that the Women’s Center “should have known better than to paint [DKE] as misogynistic strangers and attackers among us.” Sexual assault is committed on college campuses, including Yale, and it is committed by college students. The regrettable fact is that making light of rape *does* lead to there being “attackers among us.” This obviously does not mean that all of the DKE pledges who said the chants have committed or will commit sexual assault. However, Yale students have assaulted other Yale students sexually and will do so in the future, and to act as if that is a ridiculous or reprehensible assertion is to be dangerously blind to reality.
    If it weren’t for the Women’s Center’s “histrionics,” we might not even be talking about this, and DKE might never have had to face any consequences. Sometimes you have to yell about things to get people to pay attention, even if op-eds later criticize your manners. Moreover, the WC has sponsored and will continue to sponsor events that help create a productive discourse. That kind of feminism sounds just right to me.

  • MikeC

    Well said. The Women’s Center initially reacted in a way that detracts from the opportunity to meaningfully discuss the public displays of crude, insensitive jokes about rape and women’s rights – but then provided such a forum to redeem the conversation.

    While the impropriety and shamefulness of the DKE pledges’ acts should not be discounted, it’s important not to overreact and call the chanting “a call to violence.” Such hyperbole harms rational discourse and the well-intentioned groups that make such extreme statements.

  • kidlacan

    “Feminists at Yale should remember that, on a campus as progressive as ours, most of their battles are already won: All of us agree on gender equality.”

    Including the members of DKE, obviously. Surely they were only trying, in good faith, to spark a respectful and open conversation about sexuality!

  • FreddyHoneychurch

    Ummm… Blaming the women(‘s center) for being the target of violence? Classy. Are you sure this editorial wasn’t secretly penned by *The Register*? “Women at yale shouldnt wine about mizojenny ’cause its happnen evry day in New Haven. Thiker skin, gurlz! Peace out!!!!!!!!!!”

  • Disappointed

    As an alumnus and generally as a professional person in the world, I find the approach taken in this piece disappointing. What is particularly fascinating is, first, the eagerness with which the boys of DKE are excused for thinking this behavior constituted an acceptable bit of fun; second, the thinking behind using this event as a catalyst to criticise the Women’s Center so ineffectively; and third the lack of intellectual purpose and rigour in a piece that purports to seek better intellectual engagement than what the WC provided an opportunity for.

    Everything occurs in context, and you must have a pretty shallow understanding of the history of women’s legal, political and social status in America to think that the actions of these boys was simply a harmless but misguided attempt at fun, or just to harmlessly offend. Were it racial in nature instead, would there be so many apologists emerging?

    Regardless of the intent, it was reasonably foreseeable that this would create an environment of hostility, even if momentarily, for many of the women within earshot, and similarly that it could give rise to strong and reasonable perception of threat. You can’t have it both ways: on one hand telling women that it’s unfair to think of all men as potential rapists, then on the other telling girls they should have known better than to walk home alone, wear a short skirt, have a drink, etc. But, as a society, we do just that. And consistent with our habit of shifting responsibility for men’s actions to women, an admonition to the WC to essentially lighten up.

    For you to try to minimize the harm in these boys’ actions and to try to do so by asserting that their intention was not in fact to actually harm but rather to offend is weak. Furthermore, the boys would have done well to remember themselves that they are part of a community, as are the many women who the DKE boys chose to remind have no real right to bodily integrity or sense of security. That those things are just funny jokes that can be revoked at any time. That their sense of integrity and security are less important than a good laugh – ha ha, male bonding through putting women in their place. How stale.

    In the light of both the DKE actions and the apparent position taken by many on campus in response, and recalling the classy “Yale sluts” ordeal from recent memory, I will be reconsidering my donations this year – and I will certainly be keeping my eyes open when recruiting our next batch of students at my firm. We tend to prefer sophisticated opinions.

  • FailBoat

    > Were it racial in nature instead, would there be so many apologists emerging?

    The racial analogy to the Yale Women’s Center is the Black Panthers. So yes, there are many who oppose the Black Panthers.

  • disappointed2

    I’m actually pretty impressed this got through without any of you realizing, or at least saying, how much it sucked. because it really really sucks. it’s both stupid and offensive.

    “We would all do well to remember that, at Yale, the effectiveness and inclusiveness of women’s advocacy is inversely proportional to its radicalism.”

    With one ignorant statement you literally just called into question tons of political movements. I understand you were trying to say specifically at Yale, but honestly get off your high horse, Yale is not separate from the rest of the world.

    Do you actually believe that the best way to make change is to be as mainstream as possible and minimize all radicalism? I mean how far does that go? The women’s center might as well include everyone and just get rid of radicalism all together. Why not just host a weekly beer pong tournament with the frat bros and call it a day, forget all that political stuff?

  • FailBoat

    > Do you actually believe that the best way to make change is to be as mainstream as possible and minimize all radicalism?

    No one listens to you about respect and gender equality if you insist on parceling it with rants about the hegemonic patriarchy and the privileging of homomorphism.

  • Branford10

    This piece is incredibly disappointing. Yale clearly isn’t as progressive as it claims to be. Did the members of the YDN actually read the women center’s op ed. The YDN claims that the women’s center is accusing DKE of intending to incite violence. Yet the women’s center clearly said:

    “Wednesday night’s chanting, when taken at face value, is a call to commit rape. We do not think that the fraternity brothers intended to incite violence; more likely, they neglected to consider how their words would impact our community.”

    They very clearly are saying that the intent might not have been to incite violence. But it’s not the intent, but the effect that matters. The effect of joking about rape is that a woman (or man’s) consent to sex is not taken seriously. Joking about rape is not going to turn every man in ear shot into a rapist. But it does send the message that maybe consent really isn’t that important, and that what really matters is not whether your partner is enthusiastically enjoying themselves, but rather that you got them to sleep with you. It may have been a joke, but jokes are not always harmless.

    And this just absolutely has me reeling: “Feminists at Yale should remember that, on a campus as progressive as ours, most of their battles are already won: All of us agree on gender equality.”

    Do you honestly believe that every single member of the Yale community believes in gender equality? Do you honestly believe that there are not members of the Yale community who have raped and will rape again? Because I can guarantee that rapes occur at Yale and that there are many members of the Yale community who discount a woman’s right to bodily autonomy and consent. To argue otherwise is either disingenuous or just incredibly ignorant.

  • SY10

    As a very recent male alum, I’m shocked by this editorial. That the editorial board of the YDN would consider it necessary to publish an editorial condemning the Women’s Center, but not one condemning the vile behavior that precipitated the Center’s response, is downright astonishing. That DKE’s actions and the Women’s Center’s response to them are at all comparable is a ridiculous notion.

    What is worse about this editorial, however, is that it shamelessly repeats the sort of attacks that have been used for decades by those opposing equality between the sexes. The worst line of the editorial: “while the Center spent their time painting murals of their own vaginas, the rest of women were left without a public voice” was nothing more than a vile slur. In the YDN’s view, the most positive step that the Women’s Center has taken in recent years was to have co-hosted a party at DKE. That is, according to the delusional thinking of the editorial board, the best way to promote the interests of women on campus is to encourage participation in the same social culture that just a few nights ago prompted chants making light of rape.

    The behavior of the chanting DKE pledges, though not criminal, was a fairly clear act of sexual harassment, an offense that in most normal workplace contexts would result in firing. The Women’s Center, in contrast, is accused merely of overreaching in its accusations against DKE. To pretend these offenses are comparable (or even, as the editorial at times seems to imply, that the Center’s was worse) is like saying that someone who calls a drunk driver who killed someone in a crash a murderer, when he or she was merely guilty of manslaughter, has done something just as bad as that drunk driver. I’m sure that the DKE pledges were not planning to commit rape or inspire others to do so, but by promoting a cavalier attitude toward female consent in a context (membership in a fraternity that regularly hosts drunken parties) where rape is, both nationwide and at Yale, a real problem, is downright irresponsible. It may not encourage lying in wait to attack a stranger, but it does promote behavior that is far more typical of rape – continuing to press for sex even after your drunk/tipsy date/hook-up says no, because, after all, they don’t really mean “no.”

    Finally, whatever assertions the YDN and various conservative comments may make, plenty of Yalies, both men and women, respect and value the work of the Women’s Center. Though I’m a man, it seems clear to me that incidents like last Wednesday’s show that we cannot accept the YDN’s view of feminism – that almost all its battles have already been won at Yale. We need an active feminist presence, like the Women’s Center, to push us to reject the continuing threats that equality faces at Yale, rather than simply dismissing misogynistic attacks as stupid and harmless.

  • SaybrookSenior

    Bring back the board of 2009. Thanks.

  • TD2012

    Oh God, YDN. What have you done?

  • BR12

    1) The YDN doesn’t seem to have read the Women’s Center op-ed.
    2) By defining today’s Women’s Center by the most sensationalist stands and most outspoken members of the Women’s Center from past years — which are light-years away from what the Women’s Center is now about — is inaccurate and unfair. And, for the purposes of this editorial, it conveniently serves as a straw man that the YDN seems to take pleasure in “histrionically” tearing down.

  • Standards

    This is what happens when you get a good writer with terrible opinions to be the opinion editor.

  • ezrastiles2011

    I think this is well-written and accurate. It seeks to discuss not only the DKE controversy, but also the broader role that the Women’s Center plays on campus, and its criticism in that second arena is well-founded. I am a woman who considers herself reasonably feminist, but I find the programming of the Women’s Center extremely off-putting. I myself, and many other Yale women with whom I’ve spoken, would not feel comfortable walking into the WC because they represent such a fringe element of the movement; I fear that with their radicalism and aggression they are actually harming the perception of women on Yale’s campus: i.e. they seem to have a “you’re either with us or against us” attitude which claims that the Women’s Center is NOT for all Yalies or even for all Yale women, but only for Yale women who buy into their this-is-a-battle view of gender on campus. We are not all like the Olivarius sisters. It is possible to be a self-actualized Yale woman who believes in the fundamental equality of the sexes and yet does NOT support the Women Center’s methods. Bravo to the author of this article for emphasizing that although gender equality and respect is a fundamental goal towards which we should strive, the Women’s Center has made some serious miscalculations in pursuit of that goal and has alienated large swaths of campus not because we think what DKE did was right, but because we disagree with the WC’s responses and relationships to the rest of campus.

  • ezrastiles2011

    Also: criticism of the Women’s Center and its actions does NOT constitute anti-feminism or a criticism of the ideals of gender equality. Be careful not to extrapolate too dramatically. Yalies have a tendency to make everything into a violation of somebody’s rights. This isn’t a polemic against feminism. It’s just asking whether the organization acted in the best possible manner.

  • BR2011

    @ezrastiles2011, and in general:

    My personal objection to this article is not chiefly that it is inherently invalid, or that it is a misleading or harmful characterization of the Women’s Center in general (though I do object to what I see as a dismissive tone, and certainly to the use of “histrionic,” for all the reasons Penny Lane defined). I think that, though I disagree with this article, it would not necessarily be an offensive op-ed to have run… under other circumstances.

    The biggest problem here is the timing of this article, and the context. Criticizing the Women’s Center’s methods is not the correct response to sexist actions by DKE, regardless of whether those methods do in fact deserve criticism. To run this editorial now is, in effect, to shift the blame/responsibility for this incident to the Women’s Center, for not having better handled an event that should be an expected or commonplace occurrence. This is wrong. Regardless of what you think of the Women’s Center, DKE’s chants were unacceptable and offensive, for reasons already well-expressed in these comments. Even if you don’t believe that DKE did anything wrong at all, the correct response would be to run something defending DKE, not criticizing the Women’s Center, which deflects the issue and twists the debate closer to an ugly rendition of “blame the victim.”

    In short, while it may indeed be worthwhile to examine whether the Women’s Center could better represent Yale women, or more effectively advocate for feminist issues on campus, it is inappropriate to do so in this context, as an explicit response to a controversial incident of what may be termed sexual harassment.

  • kjckjckjc

    “Feminists at Yale should remember that, on a campus as progressive as ours, most of their battles are already won: All of us agree on gender equality.”

    Clearly, this is false.

  • Veritas

    No, it’s not just that the Women’s Center could do better. The Women’s Center f–ked up. Comments like “It is a matter of months before they vacuum other young boys into their misogynist ponzi scheme,” reveal deep prejudice.

    I know there are many great members of the Women’s Center, the same way there are many great members of DKE. Both made mistakes in this situation. DKE has already been publicly criticized; the Women’s Center has not. As more women on campus are coming out as not being offended by DKE’s actions as much as they are offended by the Women’s Center’s assertion that it represents all Yale women, it is reasonable for a reputable newspaper to cover and opine on that aspect of the conflict.

  • R14

    Is the News’ View not PC enough for you?

  • BR2011

    @Veritas

    I agree with you. That quote is indeed an example of overly strident and hyperbolic rhetoric that turns many women away from the feminist groups that use it. But that quote is from a FORMER Women’s Center board member. One of the points that has been repeatedly made in this discussion is that the Women’s Center has, in fact, become increasingly more mainstream and less stridently radical over the past few years. Bringing in a notoriously radical PAST member to characterize the views of the current board is not fair either to the Women’s Center as an organization or to its current efforts, nor is it relevant in an editorial giving advice about a future course of action.

    Edit: Oops, just re-read and realized that quote is not, in fact, in this op-ed, but rather elsewhere in the News. But most of my above point is still relevant. The current WC should not be judged by comments from its past members.

  • y09

    > No one listens to you about respect and gender equality if you insist on parceling it with rants about the hegemonic patriarchy and the privileging of homomorphism.

    But they should, FailBoat. They should.

  • FailBoat

    > One of the points that has been repeatedly made in this discussion is that the Women’s Center has, in fact, become increasingly more mainstream and less stridently radical over the past few years.

    Of course, there is no evidence of this, merely a handful of assertions by interested parties.

  • d11

    I am a male senior. I read the YDN often but rarely comment. After reading this editorial, I had to speak up. This is downright upsetting. I don’t know who was responsible for this at the News, but this does not bode well for your new regime or your continued aspiration to be the best college paper. This is lousy. First off, the least the author of this could have done was put his or her name on this disgraceful piece and not hide behind the news. Second, using this institution to speak for moderation and the status quo might seem like an honorable tact, except that in the case the status quo is disgraceful.

    Not only do I know women at this school that have been assaulted by DKE men in the past, I know of at least one female victim of DKE sexual violence had to bear listening to these chants live. To argue that this is not “an active call for sexual violence,” because “We do not believe that a drive to inspire rape motivated the young, impressionable brothers on that cold Wednesday night,” is engaging in an immature psychological excuse for a concrete and disgraceful situation at end. The chant was literally an active call for sexual violence deliberately perpetrated in Branford, Old Campus, and other courtyards. This boys will be boys whimsical excuse is nonsense.

    “Feminists at Yale should remember that, on a campus as progressive as ours, most of their battles are already won: All of us agree on gender equality.” This is patently false.

    Instead of being an advocate for your own smugness, use your voice for something, anything, productive. By attacking the decent work of those working long hours to protect the bodies and integrity of our community and claiming that some of the epithets of the women’s center were almost as absurd as the chants themselves, you are eroding the legitimacy of the News as a platform for positive communicative action.

    I respect the work of the women’s center. I want the 2009 board back. I demand a retraction and apology for this. I plan to boycott the paper if this is not done.

  • Standards

    Failboat, other than the exaggerated rantings of Hannah Zeavin and Broad Recognition, what evidence (and I mean specific evidence, don’t pull your posturing nonsense and wax poetic about how your years of experience with the women’s center makes it obvious, and that anyone who looked at their policies couldn’t possibly disagree with you) do you have that they have the exaggerated and extreme positions you’re sure they do.

    I know a handful of members of the WC board and went the DKE forum and saw none of the behavior you’re detailing.

    So do tell, of what extreme behavior are you so sure of?

  • rhiana

    this op-ed is so misguided i don’t even know where to begin. the women’s center now is not the women’s center from 2008 or 2004 or even from 2009. there are a different group of women running it now than there has ever been before, and forcing them to pay for the actions–misguided or not–of their predecessors (some of whom graduated before the current board members ever stepped on campus) is ridiculous. the 2010 women’s center, the women’s center who has handled this DKE controversy, has done nothing but call for collaboration and dialogue in light of this event. last time i checked, sitting down with the board of DKE and then joining with them to host an open forum open to the entire campus looks a lot more like reaching across differences than launching into histrionics.

    and this isn’t like this is a new attitude for this year’s women’s center. currently, they are partnering with sig ep to host an event on intimate partner violence. they are cosponsoring a self defense class with pi phi. they are constantly inviting people–male and female–to open forums to discuss the WC and help plan its future actions. pardon me, but i don’t think any of that counts as painting their vaginas on the wall.

    nothing this WC board has done is radical or extreme. frankly, nothing the WC has done in the last two years has been radical or extreme. but i guess from the vantage point of someone who thinks that “we would all do well to remember that, at Yale, the effectiveness and inclusiveness of women’s advocacy is inversely proportional to its radicalism,” any woman’s voice that is not speaking passively–no matter how measured it may be–is simply too much to handle.

  • The Anti-Yale

    Feminism means EQUALITY with men in EVERYTHING——PERIOD!

    No Exceptions. Including respect.

    However, I wouldn’t send ALL the women of childbearing age to the front lines of war. That would be foolish.

    Sperm makers are expendable. (Just think of the millions whose blood soaked Europe, Russia and Asia the last two hundred years.)

    Baby makers need to be rationed.

    Sorry if it is sexist to return to reproductive realities in this debate, but those realities are not hypothetical. They are a mathematical certainty. And although not all women WISH to do so, as far as I know, women are the only gender who ARE ABLE TO reproduce a human being.

    Magic.

    PK

  • bk13

    As someone who was initially horrified by what DKE chanted, I was dismayed by the email disseminated by the Women’s Center board. Besides the hilarity of referring to “F**k al-Qaeda” as “xenophobic,” it described the chants as an “active call to sexual violence,” which they contextually were not. DKE was not holding a pro-rape rally on Old Campus. They were belittling sexual violence, laughing about something that should not be laughed about. Their attitude towards rape may indirectly lead to sexual violence by making it seem less severe in the brothers’ eyes, but it was not an “active call to sexual violence.” At most, it was a passive call to sexual violence, at least, it was a really bad joke. What they did was inexcusable and offensive, and I would not be against official university censure. But the Women’s Center referring to it as such just made me not want to get behind their cause. Do I think DKE was boorish and wildly offensive? Yes. Do I think that they should be prosecuted for inciting violence? No.

  • BR2011

    @ The Anti-Yale

    …what? Um. I’m fairly certain that the “reproductive realities” you’re trying to return to are not only highly irrelevant, but factually untrue in the way that you’ve phrased them. Unless parthenogenesis has actually occurred in humans (and, House episode notwithstanding, to my knowledge it hasn’t), the assertion that “women are the only gender who ARE ABLE TO reproduce a human being” is just silly. An egg does actually require sperm to be fertilized. There’s some “reproductive reality” for you.

    Also, what on earth does any of this even have to do with a debate about sexism in public discourse and appropriate response to it? Absolutely nothing that I can see. Please either troll harder, or make at least an effort at a contribution to the discussion at hand, however silly, or gtfokthx.

  • FailBoat

    @Standards:

    See my list here: http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2010/oct/15/dke-apologizes-for-pledge-chants/#c40885

    I’ll reproduce:

    > **Lines and stances that I’ve heard from women on the Yale Women’s Center
    > board over the past few years:**
    >
    > – Aliza Shvarts’ senior project both had significant artistic merit and in
    > good taste.
    > – Women who choose to act as stay-at-home moms are traitors to
    > their gender
    > – Capitalism is anti-feminist
    > – The United States is the most anti-woman nation in the world
    > – All hierarchies are by definition patriarchal since hierarchy and
    > structure are masculine constructs
    > – Post-birth abortion should be legalized (see: Peter Singer)
    > – There is no biological difference between men and women – it is entirely
    > a social construct
    > – The overwhelming majority of men at Yale actively and knowingly attempt to
    > oppress women in their everyday lives
    > – Gendered pronouns (ie: he or she) are relics of a bigoted society.
    > – Marriage is sexual slavery
    > – Letting the man pay on a date is tantamount to prostitution
    > – Directed Studies is an attempt to defend the patriarchy
    > – Women who vote Republican are brainwashed
    > – Religion was designed to oppress women
    > – Condoms are patriarchal since they put men in control of safe sex
    > – Condoms are feminist since they let women avoid pregnancy
    > – Men should be required to submit their DNA to a database upon entering
    > college, since 1 in 4 – women is raped
    > in college.

  • rhiana

    @FailBoat were any of those things said by the current WC board? i can assure you they were not. let’s deal with the present, not the past.

  • FailBoat

    > Unless parthenogenesis has actually occurred in humans (and, House episode notwithstanding, to my knowledge it hasn’t)

    House lied in the episode. It wasn’t parthenogenesis – he was protecting a cheating spouse.

  • Standards

    Failboat,

    I’m glad your reading comprehension is no more developed than your opinions.

    Funny how when asked to provide evidence for your position, you provide a comprehensive list of what your position entails.

    Quite like you to act so blatantly the neocon.

  • The Anti-Yale

    FB:
    Artistic merit does not require good taste.

    Aliza Schvartz shattered the Academic Freedom fantasy at Yale, almost more effectively than the author of the expurgated book on the Prophet-cartoon-controversy.

    What is more disturbing is that Yale attempted to CRUSH the academic freedom of a fledgling (a student), not a veteran scholar who could withstand the pressure (and perhaps even profit from the controversy.)

    Schvartz raised the new world of reproduction-as-a-toy for all to view, and to their shame, even Yale faculty turned their intellectual eyes away.

    For shame.

    PK

  • The Anti-Yale

    BR 2011:

    Of course an egg has to be fertilized. Despite the prediction that it will be possible to gestate a fetus by implanting a zygote in the lower intestine of a MALE some time in the next 50 years, at the moment , the only physical capsules capable of “making” a baby are FEMALE.

    Solomon had 800 wives and 300 concubines. He could increase the population of his tribe by 1100 every nine months.

    If Salome, the world’s most famous concubine, had had 1100 sexual liaisons a year, she could still have produced only one human offspring a year, barring an initial split of the zygote into two, three units, etc.

    Feminism must have absolute equality in ALL areas, EXCEPT the male target-practice-ritual called war.

    Do the math: nine minutes vs. nine months. Twelve million sperm vs. ONE egg.

    MALES are expendable.

    FEMALES are not.

    Maybe that’s why men hate women.

  • Yalie11

    > All of us agree on gender equality.

    Clearly you’ve never been to a YPU or party of the right debate. My freshman year the p.o.r. debated “a woman’s place is on a pedestal”, and a past chair told me that when given a choice, the org should always prefer a male chairman “because our leadership style is masculine”. Then the YPU debated “men should be manly” with a Harvard professor visiting to tell us that men were “more human” in his opening speech, because only men are suited to the heroic virtues.

    Probably sweet that we can really debate everything without limit on speech, but no, we do not “all” agree on gender equality.

  • FailBoat

    @Standards:

    I *could* name names, but there are a few reasons I will not:

    1. It would necessarily include disclosing my identity.
    2. Many of these positions are quite publicly held by prominent “feminists” affiliated with the Yale Women’s Center – I do not need to name names for you to run a search of everything a YWC-affiliated writer has published in the YDN over the past 3 years.
    3. I consider some of these women, however politically misguided, to be personal friends.
    4. I have already mentioned in another comment, the personal stylings of Ms. Olivarius-McAllister.
    5. Peoples’ individual views deserve privacy.

    > Quite like you to act so blatantly the neocon.

    I am not a neocon, and I suspect neocons would be insulted by your association of my views with theirs.

    @rhiana:
    > @FailBoat were any of those things said by the current WC board? i can assure you they were not. let’s deal with the present, not the past.

    I will concede that the majority of the things on that list have come from past YWC board members (although I assume that everyone who’s currently a YWC board member was also an active member of the previous iteration of said organization). On the other hand, I count at least three of the things on my list that are directly attributable to current members of the YWC board (I don’t actually know the full composition of the YWC board, so I’m basing my assessment off of the authors of the “Responding Maturely” op-ed)

  • BR2011

    @The Anti-Yale

    I… really don’t know what to say to you. It is true that a) men do not gestate, and that therefore b) a man is capable of fathering more children than a women is capable of birthing.

    But I still have absolutely no idea why that fact, or any resulting comment on the role of gender equality on the military/war is relevant to the debate in this thread.

    Edit: Oh dear, I need to learn when not to feed the trolls. Shutting up about The Anti-Yale now.

  • The Anti-Yale

    *” a Harvard professor visiting to tell us that men were “more human” in his opening speech, because only men are suited to the heroic virtues”*

    Rubbish.

    Heroic virtues?

    Like what?

    Warfare?

    Until our little blip of a century of medical miracles, it took more guts to risk your life in childbirth for the last 5000 years, than it ever did to dress up in uniforms and murder the children so born for the sake of a flag.

  • gcnelson

    > But the Women’s Center should have
    > known better than to paint them as
    > misogynistic strangers and attackers
    > among us, instead of members of our
    > community; after all, they once
    > partied in the brothers’ basement.

    You guys need to get a clue. Feminists on the Yale campus are just the start of the folks who understand that your ‘brothers’ and their defenders are misogynistic idiots .

  • Standards

    So you’re spouting opinions you yourself won’t justify, and acting as if they’re verified truth. Not a single person agrees with your blatant hyperbole, and we’re just to take you at your word that you know people in the women’s center who secretly hold these extremist views.

    I’m so sure you’re so entirely honest, and not reminiscent of any kind of claims to a McCarthian list waving, now are you?

    You’re basing your exaggerated claims on nonsense and acting as if you’re the only one here who knows what the WC is *really* about.

    Please, this wouldn’t convince a kid with downs syndrome, let alone anyone with any decent critical thinking skills.

    In the real world, people don’t believe crazy nonsense unless they have a reason to. And people don’t have a reason to think others will believe their crazy nonsense unless there is a reason to.

    So unless you want to “name names,” which to me seems to strike remarkably of a false dichotomy (either reveal yourself or justify your insane beliefs? please.), then free free to shut up and stop acting as if you have access to some hidden truth that we don’t, yet should somehow see as self-evident fact.

  • The Anti-Yale

    PS to BR2011:”
    *at least an effort at a contribution to the discussion at hand*”

    Off topic? I have been gloriously off-topic for fifty years. Why would I choose today to change after half a century simply because your Royal Highness is irritated by my posts?

    I think out loud (on my keyboard).

    If you’re not interested, skip over my post. What kind of masochist would continue to read what bores him/her anyway?

    “It hurts so good”?

  • BK98

    As a male alum, I am appalled by this editorial. According to a report released earlier this year by the Department of Justice, 1 in 5 college women will be the victim of rape or attempted rape by the time they leave college. Whether the statistics for Yale are better or worse is unknown, but one thing can be guaranteed—many of your female peers are going to be the victim of some sort of sexual assault by the time they graduate.

    This editorial perpetuates a culture that will make it harder and harder for these women to report the crime and receive the support they need. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be the victim of a sexual crime, but with editorials like this, I can definitely imagine feeling uncomfortable talking about what happened or reporting what happened. This editorial contributes to a culture where victims are silenced and scared to come forward incase they are accused of reacting with “histrionics.”

    Instead of parsing what representatives of the Women’s Center did or did not say, perhaps the YDN Editorial Board could better use their voice calling on the President to denounce what the DKE pledges did and to raise awareness about sexual crimes that happen even in the hallowed halls of Yale.

  • pablum

    This editorial is pure drivel. Taking this moment as an opportunity to bemoan “feminazis” and radicalism in the women’s rights movement is perplexing. Regardless of how you feel about modern feminism, it’s a boggling position for the YDN to take as a response to this situation. It’s entirely irrelevant.

  • SY13

    @Yalie11

    No, we don’t all agree on gender equality and yes, this is a problem, but please stop with the unnecessary YPU and POR bashing. A few facts:

    1.) Debating something is not the same thing as endorsing the resolution, otherwise, there’d be no point in debating it, would there? “Men Should Be Manly” failed by an enormous margin, and I’m pretty sure “A Woman’s Place is on a Pedestal” failed too.

    2.) The current Chairman of the POR is a woman, and won a contested election against a man. As was the last Chairman. As was the Chairman whom you quoted.

    3.) I know of the former Chairman you’re talking about and of that particular line of argument, and you’re misrepresenting what she thinks about this. She thinks that the YPU is an inherently masculine organization (in that it’s confrontational and often aggressively so). I happen to think the argument’s wrong, but what she wasn’t arguing is that men as a biological sex should be preferred to women as a whole for leadership roles because of that.

  • YaleAlum08
  • FailBoat

    > Dozens of women are raped on Yale’s campus every year.

    [citation needed]

    > So unless you want to “name names,” which to me seems to strike remarkably of a false dichotomy (either reveal yourself or justify your insane beliefs? please.), then free free to shut up and stop acting as if you have access to some hidden truth that we don’t, yet should somehow see as self-evident fact.

    I’ve changed me mind. I’ll name names when you reveal yours.

  • Standards

    Haha false dichotomy again. Who taught you logic? I’m not making claims based on supposedly privileged information that I expect you to take based on my anonymous identity.

    And again, you seem to be missing the part where providing evidence for what you say is not dependent on you telling me who you are. This is comically absurd on your part. Oh wow, you know women in WC who said *outrageously extreme* feminaza nonsense.

    If you think that’s a legitimate argument, I have some timeshares in Mexico you’d love.

  • Columbia12

    Very clear that whoever wrote this knows nothing about feminism. “The right kind of feminism?” Please.

    I’m not gonna chew your bananas for you and make a detailed argument about why this is an epic disaster, because you should know better.

    Biggest fail ever? I’m riled up and I don’t even go here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUFT35S7Jb4

  • The Anti-Yale

    *”This editorial perpetuates a culture that will make it harder and harder for these women to report the crime and receive the support they need.”*

    Wrong.

    This editorial gets folks riled up enough that they flush out the anger for all to see.

    That’s what makes politics—-and starts political movements.

    And WHY are you waiting for the *YDN* Editors to call on President Levin to do X, Y, or Z? Where is the protest movement of the 70′s ? Dead and buried, I suppose?

    My generation would have surrounded Woodbridge Hall with chanters., Actually, MY generation would have OCCUPIED Woodbridge Hall.

    PK

  • je2014

    I’ve never commented on an article online before. But then I read this article and found it so disgusting I couldn’t let it go without saying something.

    The claim that women should stop complaining because “we all agree on equality” is so disgustingly false that it actually makes me physically ill. This is just the problem with any women’s movement now. We’re always told to shut up and move on because a bunch of men think we have enough rights already.

    In my brief time here I have met enough people who do not believe in my fundamental right to equality. It is not an overt sexism that women encounter everyday, but a subtle one that teaches us to accept our supposed inferiority.
    Let’s just take Yale’s hook-up culture as an example. A woman who has multiple casual relationships is labeled a slut, and derided by both her male and female fellows. Meanwhile, the male student who has such relations is the one who gets the shifty grin in the morning from his suitemates, and a high five because he “got some.”
    Inequality is ingrained in our society’s conception of men and women. Don’t for a minute think that everyone believes in women’s equality. Just consider your own double standards.

  • mrmike527

    Haha does it seem to anyone else like the news is being criticized for things it didn’t say, and for not saying things it did say?

    They clearly put DKE in the wrong, with this editorial and previous editorials. They ran a front page story today about DKE being reprimanded by their parent organization. What they also pointed out was that the Women’s Center alienates people and makes themselves seem like lunatics when they call the chants a “call to sexual violence.” They also acknowledged the Women’s Center was much more thoughtful in their response on the YDN website, but the initial reaction was really out of the mainstream. The remarks were ignorant and insensitive, not some method by which they could call for more rape on campus.

    I think the News’ point was that when the Women’s Center initially comes out and says “They rapin errbody out here” and acts like the DKE kids are insurgents against women, they only decrease the mainstream push against the chant of the pledges. When you make loaded claims you almost force people to defend DKE and say “OK, they’re not really rapists, just buffoons” or etc., drawing the controversy off DKE and putting it onto the Women’s Center. The News really wasn’t saying that much about the incident, just that the Women’s Center mishandled it.

  • The Anti-Yale

    *” . . . the male student who has such relations is the one who gets the shifty grin in the morning from his suitemates, and a high five because he ‘got some’ “*

    You just don’t GET it. The reason men have to PROVE something by sexual conquest is because they are infinitely envious of this SUPERIOR opposite gender upon whom they (MEN) are dependent to produce offspring.

    Further, ever since the Industrial Revolution when male children stopped hanging out in the fields with dad wielding a pitchfork, these MALE children have hung out with the WOMEN back in the house while the men trudged off to work in a building somewhere.

    This separation of MALES from their fathers has made MALES add to the envy previously mentioned, a conscious or subconscious anger at their ***dependence on females***, back in the cottage. ***This mommyfication of men*** added to the subconscious recognition that their very life—the very breath they draw as MALES — was dependent for nine months on a womb ( not for nine minutes on a penis) for its very existence makes, men ambivalent about ***wombman*** to the marrow of their bones.

    They express this ambivalence with sexist slurs and behavior.

    Since your generation has thrown Freud out with the bathwater, you will dismiss all of what I have said as archaic nonsense.

    And you will continue to reinvent the wheel — and spin it.

    PK

  • Yalie11

    @SY13

    Agreed, debate is good. But it’s worth pointing out to the News that there are far fewer things at Yale that “every one agrees on” than they seem to think – as the YPU shows healthily (gender equality being one of them). So condemning people like the Women’s Centre for continuing to fight their side of an argument is pretty naive.

    But on (2) & (3) I was talking about a man – actually two men – so not the woman you’re defending. And they were definitely talking about the p.o.r. chairmanship, not the YPU. But I agree that’s a little irrelevant, other than to demonstrate the fact, as I think we agree, that no argument at Yale is ever closed (as News comment boards continue to demonstrate daily).

  • laurenpippin

    I’m so disappointed by this. I’ve never seen more blatant misinformation in the YDN.

  • Peachy Keane

    PK: speak for yourself–talk about mommyfication! I rather doubt your boner fidos as a spokesman for the heterosexual male sex drive.

    haha or the semper fidelis to understand a warrior culture.

    plus your “thoughts” as you call them are really condescending to women. and that’s coming from someone who knows!

  • Yale12

    PK, I am so sick of your “MY generation would do X” posts. If that’s all you can add to the discussion–and truly, that’s all you really do add, other than completely irrelevant and illogical comments–then maybe you should just leave. Your oh-so-superior, oh-so-righteous generation has also screwed us, the economy, and pretty much everything else. Maybe it’s a good thing that we’re nothing like you.

  • roflairplane

    Reasonable, sane, and human. Much better than the usual senseless drivel spouted in News’ Views.

  • lizgoestralala

    Apparently the “right kind of feminism” is misogyny?

  • Standards

    PK, you are absolutely insane.

    And you do realize Freud was a lot of non-empirical nonsense right? More or less just made up stories with no scientific foundation?

  • ohno

    So, the right kind of feminism is quiet and doesn’t shout too loud and doesn’t disturb men at all. Good to know.

    Oh, and as for how you disagree with “painting DKE as misogynstic strangers”? Sorry, but when someone I’ve partied with, laughed with, sat in class with chants a “joke” about rape and necrophilia, they’ve very much become a misogynistic stranger to me. Totally accurate statement.

  • 12yale

    “In recent years, the radicalizing echo chamber of the Center has failed to represent the broader spectrum of women on campus after acts of public misogyny.”

    This is right on.

  • 1Y1

    THE NEWS OWES THIS COMMUNITY AN APOLOGY FOR PRINTING THIS GARBAGE. Not only is this mud-slinging, it’s also slander. How dare you abuse your power and print this? You have run your reputation through the muck.

  • bezerkeley

    AGREE WITH 1Y1. this is hardly the student voice of the campus. what a let down, ydn

    and what an original stance… the women’s center is too radical.

    instead of looking at the facts from this situation, though, the news has decided to cherry pick women’s center history.

    i think this article shows with unwavering certainty what battles have not yet been won. the condescending tone is hardly subtle.

    why don’t the women just shut up and let the boys be boys?! can’t they take a joke? it’s only rape! Cut the histrionics, really. They were just trying to get a rise out of you… it’s not like this has been done for years, and the women’s center was responsible for mobilizing the campus to put an end to it. Luckily they weren’t too busy painting their vaginas this time.

    This is a disgusting excuse for an article, supposedly written by the best journalists at Yale? That’s scary.

  • FailBoat

    > And again, you seem to be missing the part where providing evidence for what you say is not dependent on you telling me who you are. This is comically absurd on your part. Oh wow, you know women in WC who said outrageously extreme feminaza nonsense.

    I don’t know if I can provide evidence for personal conversations, but I’d be happy to know what standards of proof you’d accept.

  • The Anti-Yale

    *I am so sick of your “MY generation would do X” posts*

    **Diversity for this kind of mentality seems to mean anyone of any gender or color who shares the same 23-year-gestalt. Ageism anyone?**

    *”THE NEWS OWES THIS COMMUNITY AN APOLOGY FOR PRINTING THIS GARBAGE. Not only is this mud-slinging, it’s also slander.”*

    **Vague. Unposited referent. To what does “this” refer? All previous posts? Since the posts are anonymous, there can be no slander. Since the “editorial board” is a public entity, they are required to endure criticism as the price for freedom of speech.**

    *”Your oh-so-superior, oh-so-righteous generation has also screwed us, the economy, and pretty much everything else.”*

    **Here we agree. Including the environment.**

    *”PK, you are absolutely insane.
    And you do realize Freud was a lot of non-empirical nonsense right?”*

    **I suppose you reject the existence of the Unconscious and believe in witchcraft as the source of mental illness?
    Freud rocks.
    PK**

  • Standards

    @ Failboat

    Evidence I’d accept: any. Evidence I won’t accept: your claim to have had a conversation with members of a group you’re making exaggerated claims about. Until you can provide anything substantial, it’d probably best serve you to not perpetuate your needless and as-of-now baseless trashing of a yale organization.

    @PK
    You know how I can tell you don’t know anything about psychology? The unconscious (note the lowercase u) is nothing like Freud imagined, and more or less everything he claimed about mental illness was wrong. If you want to laud someone who actually influenced psychotherapy, then praise B. F. Skinner. Even though he was wrong about behaviorism, he contributed more to the treatment of mental disorders through his work on conditioning than Freud’s obsession with penises ever did. And if you want to learn anything about the unconscious, read something written by John Barge.

    You succeed at silly posturing and nothing else.

    It’s cute how you think the only two acceptable psychological positions are Freud and everything he thought from the 19th century, or no unconscious and mental illness caused by witchcraft.

  • yalegirl

    as a yale female I completely agree with this piece. I hate being associated with the women’s center and I wish they would focus more on fixing their own image than trying to ruin that of every other group on campus. give it a rest WC. I cringe whenever I see your name in ANY publication.

  • lukebradford

    I’m appalled that this has been printed. Lines like “While the Center spent their time painting murals of their own vaginas, the rest of women were left without a public voice” are a childish excuse for criticism.

    “But the Women’s Center should have known better than to paint them as misogynistic strangers and attackers among us, instead of members of our community; after all, they once partied in the brothers’ basement.” Sexual assault happens here all the time. And making light of rape perpetuates an attitude which makes it more likely to happen and less likely to be reported.

    But as much as I deeply disagree with this editorial, that’s not really the problem here. The problem is that the News is claiming to want positive and informed dialogue, but is printing a piece that is deliberately and obviously inflammatory. Histrionics? Murals of their own vaginas? What is accomplished by tossing around empty and offensive language like this?

  • YaleMom

    Where can I see these vagina murals??? Can parents paint some???

  • The Anti-Yale

    1Y1:

    Slander is spoken
    Libel is written
    Invective is invective (aka hate speech)
    And vituperation is vituperation.

    This a feasting frenzy
    And the carcasses are:
    YDN Editorial Board
    The Women’s Center
    and
    Fratbrats.

    PK

  • The Anti-Yale

    PS:
    Thank God for YaleMom. Humor has been sorely needed here.
    PK

  • YES

    I’m proud of the YDN for posting this. I’m a female yale senior, and essentially every woman I’ve talked to at Yale about this topic has similar sentiments to this article (in relation to the women’s center). Honestly, this crazy backlash is not representative of the female student body here – in fact, the comments on this website are most likely left by the few individuals on campus who are not completely turned off by the radical strain of feminism the center espouses. Also, regardless of ideology, the women’s center has been completely imprudent and reactionary in their responses to incidents that actually DO need campus attention. Most Yalies, especially most women, do not want to associate with the center or their militant views, so they just trivialize incidents (like the DKE fiasco) as just one more thing the women’s center is “up in arms about.” I for one have never felt served by the women’s center, and I’m happy that someone finally had the guts to express this sentiment publicly. Props YDN for being critical of a group you KNEW would create a huge uproar in response.

  • FailBoat

    @Standards

    Not a tory or a neocon, but you can keep guessing. I’m not sure why my views on on issue (specifically whether or not the YWC is full of overly-radicalized feminists) should indicate anything about the rest of my political philosophy.

    As to your other points: yes, the majority of these positions come from “word of mouth”, by which I mean I heard it directly from the mouths of YWC board members. I am also basing this assessment of the YWC’s reputation from the **numerous** Yale women I know who nodded along to this very editorial. Most of them are seniors inured by now to the ridiculous theatrics of the Yale Women’s Center. Many don’t even resent the YWC for what it does – they just wish it would stop claiming to represent them. I realize these are all unsubstantiated anecdotes, but I figure it’s sufficient to respond to the insults you’ve been mindlessly hurling (the YWC, as well, is always in attack mode).

    I don’t really see why the YWC has any position at any bargaining table. Even if the unsubstantiated claim that *this YWC is different* holds true (and it rings false, given the tone of the email they sent out on this matter), it STILL does not represent all or even most Yale Women until more Yale Women start to accept *it*, regardless of its moderation on issues.

  • TC11

    At the Yale Daily News, there exists a mythological Women’s Center, one where women paint images of their vaginas and otherwise work to alienate themselves from the broader, equality-minded Yale student body. The News keeps the idea of this particular Women’s Center alive by repeatedly contacting former Board members who have long left the Center in order to get a vivid quote that suggests something angry and radical. Board members past and present should be angry; they have repeatedly struggled with coverage from the YDN, a newspaper that sticks to this mythology rather than check history and check its facts. It’s worse than just poor journalism; it’s a sexist bias in the News that this anonymous editorial makes bitterly obvious. Histrionics? What a choice of words. Who edits you?

    To the author of this editorial: Get on the Women’s Center panlist. Get inside the Center. Go to the forums–they’ve been going on since last year. Stop poisoning the well of student thinking with your uninformed “view” of the Women’s Center, and stop presenting yourself as the paternalistic norm of thinking at Yale.

    Report back once you’ve checked your sources.

  • FailBoat

    > Histrionics? What a choice of words. Who edits you?

    Histrionics and hysteria have divergent word origins. Don’t let facts get in the way of your [fury][1]

    [1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furies

  • Tanya

    You know what Women’s Center? These people are never going to be satisfied with anything you do. Your very existence is an affront to them. Any reaction you could have had to this event would have been an overreaction in their eyes.

    I hope these commenters and writers realize that the only way the Women’s Center can do anything positive is to be as honest, loud, and bold as they can be because it’s the only way their message will get heard. It’s obvious that no one else is going to stand up and say these things. At least they’re willing to take the heat for it. If they act like the doormat you seem to want them to, nothing is ever going to change. Why should these meatheads who do these horrible misogynistic actions over and over again get coddled and treated with a respect they obviously don’t have for women? Being nice about it obviously never got through to them or this wouldn’t have happened.

    If the Women’s Center says nothing, the cause they’re championing — standing up to those who want to make light of violence against women — never even gets off the ground. If they’re too soft, nothing gets accomplished and Yale women have no one willing to stand up for them. If they’re even a bit angry, and do something like call a meeting, they’re outlandish, fire-breathing feminazis who hate men and just want to bulldoze the greek system to the ground.

    You’ll never do anything “right” in the eyes of these people, Women’s Center. So just do what you know you have to.

  • Leah

    My two cents ended up being a little longer than I expected, so I’ve written up my critique at The Huffington Post [here][1].

    [1]: http://huff.to/cQd6KP

  • Summer

    > These people are never going to be satisfied with anything you do.

    What do you mean *these* people.

    > If they’re too soft, nothing gets accomplished and Yale women have no one willing to stand up for them.

    Right, because nothing of value has ever been created by sensible, mature human beings.

  • concernedreader

    The battle cannot be won for Yale females (or any females for that matter) when one in four women on a college campus have been or will be survivors of sexual assault.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/college-campus-assaults-constant-threat/story?id=11410988

    This as a serious issue that should be addressed, not mocked. At least one in four of our sisters, friends, future daughters and granddaughters will be victims if we don’t.

  • Summer

    > The battle cannot be won for Yale females (or any females for that matter) when one in four women on a college campus have been or will be survivors of sexual assault.

    Heather McDonald [has already dissected][1] this meaningless and false statistic.

    I’ll take a different tack. Let’s pretend, for sake of argument, that one in 4 women at Yale is the victim of sexual assault during college. Let’s further pretend that no one at Yale is sexually assaulted more than once, and that every sexual assaulter is a repeat-offender (these numbers get more ridiculous if you remove these generous assumptions)

    **You’re now saying that 1 in 8 men – 12.5% – or more than 300 male Yale students RIGHT NOW, have, or will commit, sexual assault during their time at Yale.** For a benchmark, that’s literally every male history major at Yale right now being a sexual predator at some point in college, (and every female history major, bio major, AND english major being a victim.)

    [1]: http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_1_campus_rape.html

  • JacobBTCO

    I am a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and found CNN’s article on this incident alarming and all too familiar–CU-Boulder has had several comparable incidents. Seeking insight, leadership, and solutions from one of the world’s premier educational institutions, I found instead a diatribe on the past extremism of the Women’s Center. I now know that Yale has an organization that has used vaguely radical methods to express feminist views–great. Why isn’t this article about the outrageous conduct of a powerful fraternity?

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    Summer: Expanding Heather McDonald:

    “If 25% of all college women were experiencing a violent crime rate that was 10 times higher than *anything* experienced in the *most violent areas* [Detroit was the comparative], colleges would be…shut down. Parents would not be clamoring to get their daughters into Harvard and Yale…. You would have a massive revamping of admissions processes because what this statistic says is that colleges are letting in *tens of thousands of violent criminals*.”

    And that 25% of every graduating class were *survivors*, a statistic that I suspect alumnae might dispute. Here is a **[fuller analysis][1]**.

    But we digress, and I rather suspect that concernedreader is a pure troll (as opposed to a decidedly impure “provacateur,” such as myself).

    [1]: http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2010/sep/29/saverin-and-walstrom-making-our-campus-safer/#c39906

  • FormerNewsie95

    As a man, a Yale alum and a former News editor, I find both DKE’s actions and the News’ response deeply repugnant. Those slogans weren’t just an active call for sexual violence, to my mind; they were sexual violence. Many of you are either too young or too stupid to understand the devastating and long-lasting impacts of sexual assault. So, to put it bluntly, this kind of behavior has no place in any community, let alone at Yale. I would encourage the University to expel or suspend those DKE’s involved.

    I suspect some of you may find that stance too severe. Please understand that I would immediately fire (and have in the past) any employee of mine who engaged in such behavior, for cause, and I would immediately disassociate myself from any acquaintence who did the same. Words matter. Actions matter. Morals matter. There is a very real world out there beyond York Street in which amateur stunts like this aren’t excused.

    As for the News, good lord, where to start? Grow up. Recognize that actions like these aren’t cute expressions of animal spirits but deeply hurtful. To support them in any respect undermines what should be a proud legacy. Go spend some time in the board room, re-reading the bound volumes. Look at what the News had to say in the 50s and 60s on integration. Read the coverage on apartheid and AIDs in the 80s. Respect your fellow students and the broader world around you, and hold accountable pissant punks like this lot who don’t do the same.

    You have a shiny new toy in the refurbished building. Don’t embarass the rest of us with dross like this.

  • MDiallo

    I rarely go through the effort to construct an avatar through which I can discourse with others online, much less one that makes me readily identifiable, but I was so disgusted by this asinine attempt at journalism that I was moved to register for this website with the sole purpose of making clear to the (unnamed) author of this article the level of idiocy involved.

    I can only hope that your sympathy for the “young, impressionable brothers” one day extends to the vagina painting staffers of the Women’s Center, to whom you refer with palpable distaste. Barring speculation about what kind of personal experience could have moved you to make such broad and unsubstantiated claims about how “few” women at Yale identify with the Women’s Center, your article makes clear an almost personal qualm with the group. And while women are from kindergarten coached to be pacifying and reconciliatory elements amongst their peers, that doesn’t mean that by college they should still be chided for responding to a group of men (let’s cut that “boys” stuff out) chanting “no means yes and yes means anal” – with anger. If this doesn’t explicitly negate your remark that “all of us agree on gender equality” – a statement that would be laughably naive if it weren’t, first, infuriating – I don’t know what does.

    The very evidence of the growing success of the pervasive culture of rape that these dude-bro organizations promote is that to many students – male and female alike – this doesn’t seem like a big deal. We have become so desensitized to the language of sexual violence that a group of grown men marching in the night and chanting about rape seems to the author to be on the level of “childish laugh”. Give me a break. You show me a child who has a casual laugh about rape and I’ll show you the number for a clinical psychiatrist, stat. Yale students should be invested in reconquering respect for each other rather than being so quick to defend those who threaten the already tenuous bonds of the community.

    I hope the author of this article will make their identity known rather than hiding behind the institution of the YDN, lest we believe the patronizing and misogynistic views so casually espoused here are representative of the paper’s staff as a whole.

    - Mariama Diallo

  • eventer408

    Yet another reason not to read the Yale Daily News.

  • penny_lane

    Hiero-

    If you don’t believe the national surveys repeated many times over, I’m not sure there’s much I can do to convince you. Nevertheless, you should know, that among my group of close female friends at Yale, exactly one in four of us (two out of nine, to be more specific) had experienced rape or attempted rape by commencement morning. A small-scale sample with no statistical validity, to be sure, but it’s led me to look at those Dept. of Justice numbers with no scepticism whatsoever.

  • ES_2006

    This editorial is appalling. The board has rationalized threats of sexual assault at Yale and maligned the small but dedicated group of women’s activists on campus who want freshman women to be able to feel comfortable in their own residences.

    I hope each board member understands that they have *publicly endorsed* the antiquated, misogynistic stereotypes about women and sexual assault that appear in this editorial.

    The Yale alumnae community could not disagree with you more on this. Most of us are disgusted by DKE’s act, displeased by Yale’s insufficient response to it, and proud of the Yalies who have fought back against a rape culture on campus.

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    > If you don’t believe the national
    > surveys repeated many times over, I’m
    > not sure there’s much I can do to
    > convince you.

    Oh, but I *do*, I **do** believe the national stats! For example, the National Institute of Justice reports that “[Total enrollment at U.S. degree-granting institutions in 2005 was 17.5 million students; **about 0.02 percent** of enrolled students reported **forcible sex offenses** to campus police or local police that year][1].”

    Heck, I’ll even grant that the stats might be a mite low due to under-reporting… But do I think sexual assault is under-reported by an *order of magnitude*? Um… no.

    Rape is a horrible crime, to be prosecuted (prosecuted!) to the fullest extent of the law. But to dilute it’s definition, to expand its prevalence beyond all recognizable reality, is doing no favors to *actual* victims. (**BTW: Did your friends report their experiences as crimes? If not, why not?**)

    Addenda:

    – “An earlier study found a sexual
    assault victimization rate of 21.6
    per 1,000 students [**2.2%**]”
    – “One survey found a **completed rape
    rate of 1.7 percent**, while the
    other study found a **0.16 percent
    rate**. Similarly, one study found an
    attempted rape rate of 1.1 percent,
    while the other study found a rate of
    0.18 percent.”
    – “One survey of college students,
    which relied on student self-reports,
    not crime reports, found that about
    **3 percent** of all college women become victims of either completed or
    attempted rape in a given nine-month
    **academic year**.”
    – “Researchers asked students why they
    did not report the incidents to law
    enforcement officers. The most
    commonly reported response — offered
    by more than half the students — was
    that **they did not think the incident
    was serious enough to report**. More
    than 35 percent said they did not
    report the incident because they were
    unclear as to whether a crime was
    committed or that harm was intended.”

    [1]: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/crime/rape-sexual-violence/campus/measuring.htm

  • penny_lane

    So you’ll believe that 3% of women attending college experience rape or attempted rape over the course of nine-months, but you won’t believe that by college graduation (read: over 22 or so years of life), 25% of women will experience rape or attempted rape?

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    > So you’ll believe that 3% of women
    > attending college experience rape or
    > attempted rape over the course of
    > nine-months, but you won’t believe
    > that by college graduation (read: over
    > 22 or so years of life), 25% of women
    > will experience rape or attempted
    > rape?

    **[Read][1]**, and weep for America’s women.

    [1]: http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_1_campus_rape.html

  • aelynch

    I love how this editorial turns the issue around to focus blame on The Women’s Center for not reacting “gracefully and maturely” enough to the verbal assault on their Center (which is supposed to be a safe space for women–a space where you could organize, for example, SUPPORT GROUPS FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN RAPED), whereas the “young, impressionable brothers” of DKE are criticized for their “tasteless” chanting, but essentially absolved of all responsibility, since duh, everyone knows that “all of us agree on gender equality,” so those guys would never ACTUALLY rape someone. Stop overreacting, you hysterical feminists! Didn’t you get the memo from the YDN about how sexism no longer exists?

    Of course, this redirection of responsibility squares perfectly with the culture of impunity around sexism that would give rise to the DKE incident to begin with. Instead of examining collective responsibility for that situation, the YDN prefers to give the Women’s Center a condescending dressing down for their failure to promote the “right” kind of feminism (hint from the YDN, ladies: avoid “overreaction,” “histrionics,” and “radicalism.”). If those silly girls weren’t so busy painting pictures of their vaginas, then maybe they’d have time to focus on their REAL responsibilities, which according to the YDN are: representing all of the women of Yale, and maturely and gracefully championing the kind of feminism that DKE finds more palatable. Forgive me, but might those actually be the responsibilities of the Yale administration, rather than the Women’s Center? Better yet, why doesn’t the Women’s Center just shut down completely? It’s a defunct institution, since we all agree on gender equality now, and if the Women’s Center didn’t exist, then there would be no one at whom to direct misogynistic chants.

    This editorial is such an elegant monument to the culture of structural sexism in which it was wrought, it really doesn’t need any further deconstruction.

    Andrea Lynch, SY ’99

  • 3eblind

    Reading this article and the corresponding responses brought three things to mind

    1. Speaking as if you have a thesaurus in front of you does not make you sound smart or educated; it makes you sound like a douche bag (paraphrased from a talk given to my class by Judge Ripple who resides on the 7th Circuit).

    2. If you hear a bunch of young, drunk, impressionable frat boys chanting “no means yes, yes means anal” and you reasonably interpret it to mean that the group is advocating raping young girls, you are and even bigger douche bag than the drunk frat guys (a seemingly impossible feat).

    3. This is a very neutral article that shows the flaws in both sides approach to the conflict. If you think this article is in any way radical, you are a douche bag.

    Good day.

  • penny_lane

    I have personal beef with Heather MacDonald. If you want me to consider your argument seriously, you’re going to have to find me a less biased source/a more ethical journalist.

    Also, you didn’t answer my question.

  • Kate

    I’m going to steal and repost the best response I’ve seen to this article, which a friend posted on his Facebook status:

    ——–

    > “But the Women’s Center should have
    > known better than to paint them as
    > misogynistic strangers and attackers
    > among us, instead of members of our
    > community; after all, they once
    > partied in the brothers’ basement.

    ” Urgh. Example #3,490,876 that thinking about sexual assault as something that only dark, subhuman “strangers” are capable of makes it harder to recognize and confront when it might actually happen.”

    ———————

    YDN Board, do you really think all rapists are strangers? And never members of their target’s community? I really, really shouldn’t have to ask anyone this question.

  • Harbinger904

    ok, does this “usage agreement” even exist? *sigh*

    OK, in much fewer words, this article should be retracted, it’s shameful. Women’s Center, this Yale male is behind you 100%.

  • randomanon

    So word of this has made it’s way to Stanford, and the general consensus over here is that we should toss the guys in jail for a night so they can see what it’s like to be on the RECEIVING end of ‘No means yes, yes means anal’

    And also: “We can see the men of DKE at Yale not as a bunch of angry predators, asserting their dominance, but as a more pathetic bunch of guys who see themselves as powerless losers, trying to re-establish a sexual landscape which they feel has been thrown terribly off its axis. This is especially ironic, of course, because these straight, white, upper-class Yalie DKEs are among the most privileged 20-year-olds on the planet. And yet now they feel one-down, defensive, reduced to impotent screaming–and all because of women’s equality.” —Michael Kimmel

    come on yale. at the very least the campus should recognize these guys as social liabilities and admission accidents.

  • The Anti-Yale

    Retract? No. Emend? Maybe.
    104 responses means *YDN* has tapped in to an important unresolved issue.
    Keep at it.

  • elMC

    Ya know, I’m now in my third year at Yale, and I just don’t see it. Sure sexism is around, and the vast majority of the Yale community views it as offensive and distasteful, similar to racism. And of course it’s naive to assume that rape and sexual assault don’t happen here. Crimes do happen, and not all Yale students were let in because of their unimpeachable ethics. But why can’t we just let that be it? Why do we have to be so adamantly vocal as a community that life has to be perfectly PC? I like to think of myself as a reasonably observant person, and I just don’t see the motivation for the extreme “histrionics” that sometimes pour out of the WC. Let a lack of class be a lack of class and a crime be a crime. Both have methods of resolution that can and should be pursued. If nothing else, put your energy into something more worthwhile. People are starving, the world climate is changing dangerously and the US political system is nigh completely shot. We have enough major problems to fix without making any minor ones major.

    Feminism was an extremely important movement in the same way that equality for the LGBT community is now. But we’ve won. Women HAVE equal rights. And trying to squash the last vestiges of open misogyny is just going to be a never ending circle for you. Live your life independently of other’s choices, and I promise you’ll be happier.

  • cyalie

    The Yale community should stop this finger-pointing witch hunt. Mistakes and apologies were made, so move on and move forward. Devote your time to a real issue for feminists, like women getting their genitals mutilated… not getting their feelings hurt.

  • yalemale023

    What did the Men’s Center have to say about this!?

    Oh. That’s right. There isn’t one.

    Too soon?

  • The Anti-Yale

    ***A Short List of Male Domination from American Literature***

    1. Rev. Arthur Dimmsesdale / Hester Prynne
    2. John Proctor / Abigail Williams
    3. Maggie, Girl of the Streets
    4. Emily Dickinson (The “Master” Letters)
    5. Tom Buchanon / Myrtle Wilson
    6. Willie Loman / Miss Francis
    7. Ward Stradlater / Jane Gallagher ; Holden Caulfield / Sunny
    8. Milman Dead / Hagar Dead

    PS @ Standards
    The Skinner Box works only because there is an Unconscious ( capital “U”) operating the ‘learned” behavior. I believe the only evident obsession is your obsession with Freud’s obsesion with penises.
    Freud still rocks.

  • Massive Distortion Field

    Wait. You think Hester Prynne was dominated? Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

  • The Anti-Yale

    Let’s see. Isn’t the Judeo-Christian God MALE? Didn’t HE damn adultery and condemn adulterers to hell?

  • The Anti-Yale

    PS
    That should be Milkman Dead not Milman. and we might as well add his father to the list:

    – Macon Dead II / Ruth Foster Dead

  • Massive Distortion Field

    Oh wow. dude. I maen, it’s not like I respected your “thoughts” anyway, but aren;’t you, like, a high school english teacher or somethign? **Hester Prynne was dA BOMB**! She wielded that Scarlet Letter like some badge of distinction. Only some effed up dude stuck in a 60s sexist time warp would think she was dominated.

  • oldfeminist

    Posted by mrmike527 on October 18, 2010 at 8:56 p.m:
    “the Women’s Center alienates people and makes themselves seem like lunatics when they call the chants a “call to sexual violence.”"

    “No means yes, yes means anal.” How is that not a call to sexual violence?

    If I said, in a less controversial situation, “red means go,” wouldn’t that be a call to run red lights?

  • The Anti-Yale

    The whole milieu of patriarchal religions governing people’s lives is male domination. Sure, stick it in their face Hester. But what good did it do, or has it done? Adultery drove several politicians to their ruin just in the last four years.

    God is still male. And HE tries to run the world, via several patriarchal religions, each claiming their text came from HIS sacred mouth!

    Sorry. Not stuck in the 60′s.

  • aharvardstudent

    why is the author not on the article? COWARD

  • The Anti-Yale

    **These two quotes support my critic above, “Massive Distortion Field.”**

    Quote 28: “[M]any people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that ***it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength***.” Chapter 13, pg. 148
    Quote 55: “Hester comforted and counseled them as best she might. She assured them, too, of her firm belief, that, at some brighter period, ***when the world should have grown ripe for it, in Heaven’s own time, a new truth would be revealed, in order to establish the whole relation between man and woman on a surer ground of mutual happiness***.” Chapter 24, pg. 239

    *The Scarlet Letter* is set in Boston of 1642 (9). It is now 2010, over 350 years later, and “Heaven’s own time . . . to establish the whole relation between man and woman on a surer ground . . .” has not yet come, probably because the intervening centuries have been dominated by **male** governments, **male** religions and **male** education systems.

    I too would like to believe Hester’s prediction is coming true. Look around the world. Perhaps Hillary Clinton’s initiatives for women in State Department negotiations are a beginning.

    They can be shut down by a screeching tea-kettle in November.

    PK

  • MidwestAlum

    > Sure sexism is around, and the vast
    > majority of the Yale community views
    > it as offensive and distasteful,
    > similar to racism…. But why can’t we just let that
    > be it? Why do we have to be so
    > adamantly vocal as a community that
    > life has to be perfectly PC?

    Er, really? REALLY?

    > Feminism was an extremely important
    > movement in the same way that equality
    > for the LGBT community is now. But
    > we’ve won. Women HAVE equal rights.

    Right, and the pledges’ chant is such a *great* example of this. Why, just look at how it demonstrates that women’s rights, voices, and choices are to be respected and no one would ever, ever, even in jest, suggest overpowering them by force. Yay, equality!

    /sarcasm

    > Live your life independently of
    > other’s [sic] choices, and I promise you’ll
    > be happier.

    Oh, super. So when someone else decides to rape me, I should just whistle and go about my business? Same thing when they belittle me, hit me, overpower me, bully me, drown me out, make me invisible, pay me less, insult me, or harass me. These are not just abstract issues we’re debating. These are actions that have real consequences — physical, emotional, psychological, and financial — for real women, and they happen every day. And they continue to happen because people like you say that equality has already been achieved (which it patently has NOT) and dismiss any further efforts as a) unnecessary, b) ridiculous, c) PC [I can hear your eyes rolling from here], or, worst of all, d) annoying. So sorry for having inconvenienced you. I just won’t worry my pretty little head about it any more — how would that be?

    > This is a very neutral article that
    > shows the flaws in both sides [sic] approach
    > to the conflict. If you think this
    > article is in any way radical, you are
    > a douche bag.

    Are you aware of the fundamentally sexist nature of your choice of insult?

  • The Anti-Yale

    *But we’ve won. Women HAVE equal rights.*

    Let’s start with *Hillary*. Did anyone ever call Colin Powell, *Colin* in the news or Henry Kissinger *Henry*, and expect people to know the reference? And in the Presidential debates (remember THEM?) did anyone ever say to Obama, *’ nice outfit you’re wearing’* ?.

    Calling Secretary of State Clinton “Hillary Clinton” as Richard Holbrook (Richie?) did last night on The PBS NewsHour is a very subtle (an unconsciou) way of attempting to diminish her power.

    **God forbid women should have MORE power. They already control the VERY DESTINY of the SPECIES all over the planet in nine-month sacrifices.**

  • NateMeyvis

    This editorial is an embarrassment, not only because its content is disgusting but also because underlying that content are basic confusions of logic and psychology. To say merely that the DKE chant was an instance of “making light of rape,” rather than a near-equivalent of “We will rape you,” is nauseating. But that should not obscure the more basic error of inference: the fact that the pledges were not at that moment motivated by a desire to inspire rape does not license the conclusion that the chant was not an active call for sexual violence. To draw that inference is to make a simple error about psychology and language.

    Later, we read that “all of us agree on sexual equality,” which fact is presented to explain why the Women’s Center’s battles are already won. It is so obvious that the first statement is false that one might overlook that the conclusion would not follow even if it were true.

    I shudder to think about what Yale’s rape victims must think when they read this. We ought to condemn the YDN for presenting dangerous falsehoods as truths, but we ought also to wonder about those invalid inferences. Having nasty beliefs is one thing; thinking so sloppily is another.

    It is all too true that the boisterous will stop at nothing to get a rise out of others. Sometimes that takes the form of writing an editorial full of factual and logical mistakes.

  • The Anti-Yale

    *condemn the YDN for presenting dangerous falsehoods as tr**uths*
    @ NateMeyvis:

    We ought to PRAISE YDN and its posting board policy for allowing the free interchange of (non-defamatory) ideas.

    The posting board process is a roughly hewn syllogism: thesis/antithesis/synthesis.

    I admire tremendously the free speech process working its inexorable way toward truth which is evident here and which allows you to criticize YDN with impunity as you work out your own truth.

    PK

  • Ira

    @Hieronymus Bosch,
    Why are you linking to that Heather MacDonald article? There are so many statements within that are blatantly outdated. For instance, the author points to women later having consensual sex with their rapists as evidence that they were not in fact raped, when this is a widely acknowledged phenomenon among victims of abuse, especially victims of abusive relationships: they don’t feel good enough or worthy of anyone else after their abuse and they return to the perpetrators, whether the abuse be physical, psychological, sexual… it does not negate the nature of the original abuse; if anything, it confirms the damage. It also points to women who refuse to acknowledge that they have been raped: if you read the testimonials of self-identified rape victims, there is an alarming number of women who recognize themselves as rape victims but say they it took them months if not years to use that label for themselves, even when they were cornered, even when they were held down, because identifying as a rape victim was simply too frightening. There fear of identifying does not negate the nature of the crime either, so what is MacDonald’s point?
    Moreover, the advice the author attempts to pass off as the “common sense” antidote to rape matches the “common sense” followed by many of my friends… who were subsequently raped or assaulted.
    The claim that colleges make an effort to raise stats is also blatantly contradicted by anyone who has actually dealt with the system, including the testimonies within the comments on this article and others, including recent exposes on women who attempted to go forward and were essentially railroaded, etc., etc. Why are you re-posting an article with so many obvious problems (not to mention, by an author criticized previously for racism)?

    Moreover, you ask: **Did your friends report their experiences as crimes? If not, why not?**
    The answer to this question would be obvious to anyone who has read the testimonials of rape victims, esp. rape victims who attempted to go forward. These stories have been told in so many forms, anonymous and otherwise. Yet you evidently have not read these stories. You also have not considered how re-posting the MacDonald article (with openly voices suspicion that these victims should not be calling themselves victims) might intimidate a woman who considers herself a victim and cause her to re-consider coming forward? How can you proceed to posit that underreporting might diminish the apparent prevalence of rape by an order or magnitude, supporting your conclusion with a simple “Um, no,” when you evidently have not considered these things?

  • The Anti-Yale

    In suppport of Ira’s point about reluctance to come forward I have four words:
    Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill.

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    > For instance, the author points to
    > women later having consensual sex with
    > their rapists as evidence that they
    > were not in fact raped, when this is a
    > widely acknowledged phenomenon among
    > victims of abuse…

    So, not only are Yale women suffering tremendous rates of sexual assault, they are under the Svengali power of their abusers? Weird stance, probably not supported statistically–or even anecdotally. (I can think of very “normal” instances of “less than exuberantly reciprocated sexual desire but what-the-heck-I’ll-do-it-to-shut-you-up”-type sex that likely fit the alarmist definition of “attempted (or even actual) rape” but the loving couple remain a loving couple–sans any *abuse*… Are you saying you can**NOT**?)

    > How can you proceed to posit that
    > underreporting might diminish the
    > apparent prevalence of rape by an
    > order or magnitude?

    Actually, what I wrote was “Heck, I’ll even grant that the stats might be a mite low due to under-reporting… But do I think sexual assault is under-reported by an order of magnitude? Um… no.”

    That is, alarmists want us to believe that Yale’s rape rate is 25% (variously reduced to “25% over 4 years” or “25% of women aged 14 to 24″ or they want us to include the broadest definition of “attempted rape,” e.g. to include “pressure” for sex…).

    My comment referred to “the National Institute of Justice report that ‘Total enrollment at U.S. degree-granting institutions in 2005 was 17.5 million students; about 0.02 percent of enrolled students reported forcible sex offenses to campus police or local police that year.’”

    That is, the one year stat for **reported** “forcible sex offenses” against campus women in 2005 was 0.02% (that is, 1 in 5,000–which, ironically, is likely close to the *reported* cases here at Yale). I was stating that the figure was likely *low* due to under-reporting, but that the figure was **not** low by an order of magnitude (or two), i.e., that under-reporting could not bridge the gap between the “official” rate of 0.02% and the alarmist rate of 25.0% (or 6% or whatever rate the alarmists are actually claiming, all of which exceed the NIJ’s 0.02% rate by at least an order of magnitude.

    Get it?

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    Talk about timing:

    ["Women might be having sex for a dozen different reasons, only one of which might be that it feels good and is satisfying," Derogatis told LiveScience. "It's **a path to intimacy**, it's a path to fulfilling a role of the woman or wife, **it's a means to keeping her partner happy**, and on and on."][1]

    [1]: http://www.livescience.com/health/women-sexual-dysfunction-distress-101024.html

  • finefreedancer

    There is an event called emotional contagion. Look it up. This article is implicative of adding insult to injury of a minority organization on the university campus with the #1 ranked school of law in The United States. It is completely astounding that the YWC has apparently foregone prospective legal action in recent years. There are probably student and lay victims who have suffered *multiple* assaults and other forms of sexual abuses, and offenders are any place they can be deft at secrecy. Likewise, misogyny and even misandry can intimidate victims, including male victims of sexual abuse including RAPE.

    I think the *real* issue with DKE’s public ignorance is the integration of fear associated with verbal reminders of traumatic events. Sexism is tough for some people to grasp as offensive due to existent hetero normative realities that are inherent to the human race. However, triggering and emotional rhetoric such as the chanting is reminiscent and suggestive of segregation towards a target group. Why is this not understood by some at Yale?

    In Virginia, there is a statute against “Fighting Words”, or rather, invoking words that are known to provoke a violent response when used on an individual. I was told by my local law enforcement that calling a woman “Bitch” as if addressing her by that name constitutes a legal offence. Despite this fact, many people fail to advocate insults as unlawful. So instead, what is the attention of the popular attitude advocating? I am actually going to flip this pancake and swear that logically, the DKE was touting a consensually construed preference of their own organization for forceful anal penetrative sex notwithstanding the predetermined allusion to the rape of women, men, girls, boys, and transgender people as the offence. So, although it is asinine, the whole ordeal makes me want to pack up my strap on, dildos, and lube for an anal orgy whereby the chanters are pegged up the rear in their basement.

  • IsistheScientist
  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    Hi Isis! At first, I was really upset by your post.

    You wrote:
    > “[Between 2007 and 2009 there were
    >28 cases of sexual assault on Yale's campus][1].
    >Considering that only 60% of assaults are
    > reported to the police, it is reasonable to estimate
    > that 23 women are raped per year. Considering
    > that the majority of students are on campus
    > only 8 months of the year, 3 women are probably
    > raped each month at Yale. Almost one per week.
    > Astonishing.”

    Written that way, pretty moving, even enraging.

    But statistically, fairly low, really, even using your guesstimate of 23/year. Across all Yale’s campuses, roughly 10,000 students total, about half of whom are women, so:
    23/5000 = **0.46%** sexual assaults per year.
    (A far cry from “one in four”).

    Not belittling, not justifying: the reported (even if inflated) rate of “one a week” is, indeed, alarming–and one a week too many.

    But, statistically, a rate of less than half of one percent (and this versus an “official” or reported rate more on the order of less than a quarter of one percent, i.e., **0.19%**) seems fairly low.
    (YES! Even ONE is too many! But… just sayin’.)
    ___
    Whoops – got off my azz and looked up the # for 2009 — 5,837 female students (all campuses).

    Whoops – now gotta add faculty and staff… hold on…

    – 9,267 staff (likely more women than
    men)
    – 3,695 total faculty (likely more men
    than women)
    – 1,778 post-doctoral trainees (likely
    half and half)

    So, let us assume half are women (it’s probably pretty close), so 7,370.

    Grand total, then total campus female population of 12,992 (call it 13,000).

    Highest guesstimate = 23/13,000 = 0.18%/year;
    “Official” estimate becomes **0.07%/year**
    ___
    Oh RATS! Sorry to keep posting, but the author assumes no women on campus during the summer, failing to take into account such high-target concentrations as reunions, cheerleader camp, summer school (filled with unsupervised HIGH SCHOOLERS), as well as researchers, faculty, and the regular staff… So the one/week thing goes down a bit too. Even using your assumptions, get more like one a month (ONE A MONTH TOO MANY!)

    Again: I am (really) still SHOCKED at ONE sexual assault per year (although I would like to see the demographics and categorizations) but, statistically, the *rate* gets pretty. darn. low.

    [1]: http://www.yale.edu/police/pdf/2009cleryreport.pdf

  • belenen

    The right kind of feminism? is the kind that condemns rape apologetics like this article. Would you call for a minority group to speak kindly and politely to a white supremacist group who chanted “resistance means lynching! submission means lynching you and burning your corpse!” slogans outside? Would you call that “public stupidity” or would you condemn it as an attack of hatred? Would you consider such verbal violence to be indicative of a listening attitude, one which will be fixed by calm explanations on the part of the victims, or would you assume that the perpetrators KNOW that they are attacking and are comfortable with that knowledge?

    When people believe in equality, there aren’t attacks on one group by another. That chant was a verbal assault predicting physical and sexual assault, and it was dismissed by the school paper as “idiotic and offensive” instead of criminal and reflective of an attitude which should result in mandated therapy at the very least. If you think that this kind of action and reaction reflects an environment in which most battles are already won, you obviously don’t consider rape to be a serious problem.

    OF COURSE the chanters weren’t trying to inspire rape, they were ‘merely’ shouting their approval of rape. Considering that most college students who have committed the legal definition of rape don’t think they have raped, that’s a problem. Rape is not committed by psychopaths — it’s committed (in majority) by people who think that rape is okay, as long as one isn’t raping a stranger or beating the person in addition to raping them.

  • The Anti-Yale

    Is 130 comments (now 131) the record for the YDN posting Board/? If so, what does this article and its record achievement signify about Yale and 2010?

  • sour_lemon_1k

    Good for you, YDN!! Bringing back common sense into liberalism. I like it.

    Over the years, I’ve felt immensely that we’ve definitely come a long ways in cultivating a society that appreciates diversity and differences. Often times though, I have come to feel that perhaps we’ve come *too far*, that sometimes we need to step back and take a good look at what we’re doing. Affirmative action? What’s that about? Oh yeah, using race as a factor for college decisions and jobs. Only, instead of white people being looked favorably upon, it’s the African Americans and the Hispanics. Certainly, there are many AAs and Hispanics that go above and beyond earning that college acceptance letter or job offer, and those I respectfully give my kudos to. But there are also those that far from earn it and yet attain those same opportunities because of affirmative action. Why should race be a factor in these things at all? Don’t we, as a culture, value merit above all else?

    Slavery is long gone, and even those beaten down in the 60s are nearing their 50s. This new generation of kids hasn’t been affected by slavery; they don’t need affirmative action. Perhaps we still need affirmative action for the poor, but not for *race*, because race doesn’t matter, right? Otherwise, logically, affirmative action is promoting the fact that someone is at a disadvantage to someone else solely because of his or her race, and that we should help that poor disadvantaged minority because his race is inferior, which is complete bullcrap. AAs don’t need any patronizing help from those white intellectuals; they’re perfectly capable of standing for themselves. We’ve already passed that 0 mark, peoples, that holy “equal” mark where everyone is looked upon and treated in the same light. We’re now on the opposite side of the spectrum, the side that actually reverse discriminates against white people. And of course, that’s a sore subject for people because objectivism is sooooooo last century. But seriously, shed your ‘white guilt’ and take a good look at society now.

    And this whole diatribe on race can be analogically connected to gender, too. Women, face the music guys–I mean, girls–society’s changed. It’s not that chauvinistic racist community from the 60s anymore. We *like* you guys, and we want to give you your rights!! No one (except for the select few that are either dumb or twisted) is trying to subjugate you. Calling people out for being dumb just makes you seem like that little kid who wants to get attention by crying over every single little boo-boo.

    Besides, what kind of dumbass would actually believe (especially in today’s atmosphere) in rape and forced anal sex because of a stupid fraternity chant?

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