To the Editor:
I was surprised and disappointed at Sarah Weiss’s column (“The seamless transition from regionalist to Yalie,” 1/23), which included a paragraph about “New York Jews” at Shabbat dinner. The portrayal of “Jewish girls from the city” tending to wear “chunky shoes with square soles” propagates an unflattering and inaccurate stereotype.
No other ethnic or racial group was singled out in Weiss’s column and I doubt that, in the spirit of Martin Luther King Day, Weiss would have felt comfortable making similarly stereotypic statements about outfits worn by African American Yalies who come from Harlem.
Further, many different types of women in “the city” wear “chunky shoes with square soles.” A more accurate description of this genre of footwear might be “platforms,” a la Steve Madden and 8th Street. I would also point out that such shoes are worn by many non-Jewish, non-New York girls, right here in New Haven, and can be found at your local and friendly Bottega Giuliana or Urban Outfitters.
Though I understand that Weiss’s piece was meant to humorously poke fun at regional stereotypes that already exist on this campus, singling out a religious/ethnic group is both inappropriate and irresponsible.
Alison Hornstein ’02
January 23, 2002