Welcome to Yale, freshmen — now take off your pants.
That’s what freshman orientation might be like at the Yale portrayed in “Sex and God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad,” a new book by Nathan Harden ’09 that slams the University for allegedly creating a sex-obsessed culture. “Sex and God at Yale” has stirred debate over Yale’s sexual culture in major national publications, even landing on the front page of this week’s New York Times Sunday Book Review.
Harden, a self-described “post-Bush conservative” who came to Yale already married, also criticized Yale’s treatment of sex in “When Sex Isn’t Sexy: My Bizarre Education at Yale University” on The Daily Beast.
“During my time at Yale, the university hosted porn film screenings in its classrooms that included glamorized sexual violence and ‘fantasy rape.’…It doesn’t take much to get from ‘fantasy rape’ in the classroom to ‘No Means Yes!’ on the campus quad,” Harden writes, in reference to a 2010 incident when fraternity pledges chanted offensive sexual phrases on Old Campus.
In response to Harden’s post, former Women’s Forum board members Kathryn Olivarius ’11 and Claire Gordon ’10 posted on the Daily Beast, as well, arguing that Yale shouldn’t blame porn workshops for on-campus sexism.
“But, in our opinion, bunches of dudes weren’t misogynist dicks because of a talk by a porn star or a workshop on vibrators—the crux of Harden’s book. They were misogynist dicks because they grew up in a world full of misogynist dickishness,” Olivarius and Gordon wrote.
Harden’s book is the latest in a series of public critiques of Sex Week and of Yale’s sexual culture. After the University’s November 2011 report on campus climate called for the banning of Sex Week, the event’s organizers submitted a new proposal that got the OK from administrators. Sex Week went up in February; the event’s detractors organized a “True Love Week” to run at the same time.