On Monday, the News used this space to editorialize on the Women’s Center response to last week’s DKE chanting controversy. In doing so, the News’ View generated its own controversy; with this note, we hope to clarify the opinions presented in the editorial and apologize for the misunderstandings that arose from our words.
We hoped to point out that the Women’s Center has a history that makes many women on campus wary of seeing the Center as “their” place, whatever its name.
We hoped to draw a distinction between the boards of past years, which contributed to that attitude, and the boards of last year and this year.
We hoped to point out that many saw the Center’s Wednesday night e-mail blast as a step back toward the Center’s polarizing history, rather than as a step toward making the Center — as its political action coordinator, Natalia Thompson ’13, told the News last month — “a Center for all women, whether or not they identify as feminists.”
We hoped to remind the community that the Center-sponsored forum on Friday saw DKE and campus feminists speaking to each other as fellow students, not as different species.
And we hoped to say that though the forum was an admirable response to utterly contemptible behavior, it should not be the last of the Center’s efforts to include more of Yale’s women, and men, in the discussion.
Many of you did not see these ideas expressed in the editorial. It was written in a way that distorted those ideas or made them invisible. And by using some of the words and examples we did, we, too, were guilty of throwing out “offensive provocations.”
Without rehashing each word, we can say we regret the tone, and many of the phrases, of our News’ View.
But our intent was not to offend. Nor was it to attack. Nor was it to suggest that the Women’s Center, DKE, the administration and our classmates do not have important work to do in promoting conversation about sexual culture and violence. We sought to comment not on whether rape still exists at Yale, but on the most productive way to discuss it.
Our intent was to offer a perspective on the events of last week, how the student response shifted from Wednesday night to Friday afternoon, how it compared to the response surrounding past incidents, and how we should respond in the future.
We thank you for giving us your feedback, positive and negative. In the future, we hope to use this space not to confuse the dialogue on our campus, but to raise it to a higher level.