Decline of chivalry should not be an excuse for prevalence of date-rape

To the Editor:

While I appreciated the genuine sentiment in Peter Johnston’s latest column (“Times are tough for the chivalrous at Yale,” 3/6), I found the crux of his argument to be teasingly misguided. When Johnston says, “Abandoning the standard of chivalry leaves little to check the fulfillment of inappropriate desires,” and then goes on to talk about “barely consensual one-night stands,” he conflates the death of chivalry with the rise of date-rape. While this is a laughable logical twist, it’s also a disturbing idea — essentially, it lets date-rapists off the hook. I fail to see what opening a door for a woman and respecting the word “no” have to do with each other. The idea that men are animalistic heathens with uncontrollable urges swaying them this way and that is just as offensive as the idea that women are too weak or precious to do things for themselves. Johnston hits the nail on the head when he notes that originally, “chivalry was applied to any relationship of unequal power.” That is the real reason why times are hard for chivalrous men at Yale — the power dynamic between men and women is not and should no longer be unequal.

Vivian Nereim ’09

March 6

The writer is in Silliman College.

Arbitrator’s ruling, not complaints of union, caused election’s cancellation

To the Editor:

The union election at Yale-New Haven Hospital was canceled because a neutral arbitrator found evidence that “the employer has engaged in serious violations of federal law, the election principles agreement and prior arbitration awards” and not because the union filed more than 200 complaints against the hospital as stated in the News’ article “Card-check bill may affect union debate” (3/5). While the union organizing committee at the hospital strongly believes their complaints will continue to show an unlawful, widespread, systematic campaign by the hospital that destroyed their union majority, the complaints are at this point allegations until ruled on by the arbitrator. The arbitrator’s decision of Dec. 13 that led to the cancellation of the election was a finding of fact.

Bill Meyerson

March 6

The writer is communications director for the 1199/SEIU campaign.

U.S. is just as bad as China in many areas described by Klein in column

To the Editor:

Matthew Klein’s jingoistic column on Monday (“U.S. must not be blind to China threat”) about his vision of a mounting threat to peace from China is extremely hypocritical. His discussion of China’s modernization as singly obsessed with revenge upon Japan and the West conceals his own equally self-centered American nationalism and blinds him to this hypocrisy. When he criticizes China’s “almost unprecedented peacetime military buildup,” he points to China’s naval construction “for destroying aircraft carriers” and anti-satellite development “whose purpose can only be to thwart American assistance to beleaguered allies,” he ignores our own military machine, whose stated budget has been raised from $420 billion in 2006 to $530 billion in 2007, not counting many military-related expenditures or the Iraq war. In fact, our budget for solely R&D and construction, $80 billion in 2006, still dwarfs China’s official budget, which is increasing 17.8 percent from $36.6 billion, less than the growth rate in the U.S. budget. Furthermore, we continue to maintain our offensive nuclear capabilities as well as push forward in developing ballistic missile defense systems that relate to anti-satellite weapons, for which we have had the capability for decades. While we should legitimately be concerned about threats to peace and military buildups, Klein and others should consider the United States’ own actions in this regard as well.

Ross Kennedy-Shaffer ’08

March 5

The writer is in Ezra Stiles College.