A reader writes:
Last Thursday night, pledges to the DKE fraternity at Yale marched through various central and public spaces on the Yale campus chanting. Among the slogans they repeatedly shouted were “no means yes, yes means anal.” Footage of the incident is available online both on the Yale Daily News website and YouTube.
Incidents of this sort seem to occur every 2-3 years at Yale. The last such incident involved twelve initiates to another Yale fraternity, Zeta Psi, who posed with a sign reading “Love Yale Sluts” and shouted various slurs against women in front of the Yale Women’s Center in January 2008. The presence of the Zeta Psi initiates was so intimidating that one Women’s Center member felt barred from entering the building.
Both DKE and Zeta Psi have issued public apologies. But the apologies have been to the Women’s Center, not to women at Yale. And, beyond holding forums to discuss the problem, the Yale administration has yet to take any clear action to prevent the problem from recurring or to improve the working environment for women on campus. One of the arguments that was advanced in 2008 for the administration’s apparent inability to act was that fraternities are “private” entities, not part of Yale, and are therefore outside the purview of Yale as an academic institution. Although the administration has made it clear that they do not condone such behavior, no action has taken to penalize either the students or the fraternities.
The Yale campus continues to be an unfriendly place for women to study. Witness, for example, a couple of the online reactions to one of the Yale Daily News pieces on the DKE incident:
“I still don’t understand why ranking women (or men, or cars, or cows) by attractiveness constitutes misogyny.” (This was in reference to the “Preseason Scouting Report”, which ranked the women (and only the women) of the class of 2013 by physical appearance.)
“Promoting sexual violence is not necessarily misogyny. Even the most evil rapists are not necessarily misogynistic.”
For more, see http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2010/oct/15/womens-center-board-members-responding-maturely/ and other YDN articles.
Where are the Yale faculty, residential advisers, Deans, etc in these online forums? Why is no faculty member stepping up to educate and censure blatantly misogynistic remarks and behavior? (I would certainly feel compelled to do so in the event of a similar discussion about hate crimes at my own institution.)
Until this problem is addressed, I don’t see how I can in good faith recommend the Yale graduate program to my undergraduate advisees.
We’d welcome any further information about this from our readers.