Letter: Legitimizing the legitimate

Re: “Legitimizing the ridiculous” (Oct. 18): I’d like to address the necessity of “Relationships: Untitled”: sexual violence is an unfortunate reality that is relevant in any college environment. The movie wasn’t meant to incite man-hating, but instead generate conversation — and not necessarily agreement — on the subject of sexual relations at Yale. It made students think about the impact of their actions and forced men to confront realities (fair or not) about how they’re portrayed in the legal system. It opened up discussion between genders.

Additionally, I disagree that DKE’s message was not “a direct call for sexual violence.” While maybe not serious in intent, deliberately forcing pledges to enthusiastically chant scenes of sexual violence directly at the Yale community was completely contrived. This was not a spontaneous act but a planned initiation which tested men’s worthiness of acceptance into the fraternity. Because of it, all of the female community’s self-respect was made the brunt of a “joke” which many complain has been taken “too seriously.” But if there is pressure for women to be silenced when they’re being publicly degraded, how telling is that of the Yale community? Will women ever be able to stand up for themselves without being stereotyped as hypersensitive? How can we ever improve if we’re not willing to confront blatant injustice? It is precisely these kinds of differences in understanding that make “Relationships: Untitled” so essential for all incoming students.

Raquel Guarino

Oct. 20

The writer is a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College.

Comments

  • The Anti-Yale

    Women are socialized to believe (unfortunately) at a very early age, that if they do not speak softly and gently, they will be perceived as pushy, as martinets—–and they will scare off potential offspring-producers (males), i.e. they’ll never get a consort.

    It is subtle, it insinsidious, it is cultural.

    Now that the dust is settling, and I read that the DKE pledges’ behavior was not because they were drunk or just plain stupid, but because they were following hazing orders—i.e. they were COERCED by male-bonding-pressure — the whole thing becomes worse.

    It is POSSIBLE —just possible—that some of those pledges KNEW it was WRONG and didn’t want to do it.

    It is a double edged sword of violence, against the perpetrators as well as against the victims.

  • Summer

    > Women are socialized to believe (unfortunately) at a very early age, that if they do not speak softly and gently, they will be perceived as pushy, as martinets—–and they will scare off potential offspring-producers (males), i.e. they’ll never get a consort.

    Women learn that because it is often (although obviously not universally) true. Until you convince men to be attracted to a different sort of woman, you’re not going to change this.

    (And frankly, who are we to dictate what sort of women a man should be attracted to?)

  • schmecs

    Summer, if we’d followed your proposed logic throughout history, we’d still be stuck in corsets, or have our feet bound, or some such. We don’t “dictate” what sort of women men should be attracted to: we change the types of women that are available to them in the first place.

  • The Anti-Yale

    The phenomenon is pure biological determinism. Women’s bodies say “make and raise babies”. Only a foolish mother does not speak softly and gently to a cooing infant. Therefore soft and gentle speech is the province of baby makers and bay raisers. Tough and aggressive speech is the province of dynasty makers.

    Guess which gender suits which behavior?

    BTW: Before the advent of radio, finishing schools” taught women that their “ROLE” was to bring music into the home for children and consort, not only by singing and playing piano, but by cultivating a music lilt to one’s voice.

    Canaries.

  • The Anti-Yale

    PS
    I was raised by tough, tall (over 5’10”) aggressive women (Katherine Hepburn types, without the money) Any woman under 5’10” tall with a canary voice seems foreign ( even brittle) to me.

  • YaleMom

    Yah for Moms and Raising little boys right!! I don’t have a boy, but They seem nice!! If those little misguided boys out on the lawn had had good mommies they would have been studying their books instead of yelling!!

    @I’m a small lady! Maybe I’m more like *Peanut* Brittle!

  • The Anti-Yale

    Hi YaleMom:

    I’m getting to like you!

    Take a look at the tall and tough non-canaries who raised me, at http://theantiyale.blogspot.com [link text][1]

    PK

    [1]: http://theantiyale.blogspot.com

  • The Anti-Yale

    PS:
    Have been advised that YaleMom is an alias for a troller and I have been hoodwincked.
    So be it!

  • The Anti-Yale

    winked

  • penny_lane

    Sorry to bust your bubble Summer, but plenty of men out there are attracted to strong women. Whoever brainwashed you to think most men only like meek and mild little ladies was a sexist boor.

  • Summer

    > Sorry to bust your bubble Summer, but plenty of men out there are attracted to strong women. Whoever brainwashed you to think most men only like meek and mild little ladies was a sexist boor.

    Meek and mild are your words. My words would be gentle and classically “ladylike”. I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe that men and women are attracted to different personality traits. Polls consistently show that – on average, obviously, there are people who have different tastes – women are attracted to classically masculine men, and men are attracted to classically feminine women.

    Maximizing one’s attractiveness is just good sense – we don’t even do it consciously. No wonder men join the football (or start a band) and women wear make-up and high heels.