Last week, the young men pledging to Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity at Yale were blind-folded in the middle of the night and sent to march in front of the dorms on Old Campus, where most of the first year women are housed, and chant such things as, "No means yes! Yes means anal!" and "My name is Jack, I'm a necrophiliac, I f-ck dead women and fill them with my semen." Their actions were met with righteous outrage, with a statement issued by the Yale Women's Center immediately, "This action by DKE has made public that they see rape as a joke or, worse, something they support. That these calls may have been made in jest should not distract from the fact that they incite violence." Jordan Forney, DKE president, predictably made a public apology, acknowledging that his fraternity's actions were "a lapse in judgement and in poor taste."
Hm. I don't know about you, but I am getting sick to my stomach as I recount this. A lapse in judgement, in my book, is picking the wrong colors to represent your club or serving food that most people are allergic to at a party. We're talking about advocating rape here. To worsen the matter, the administration did not immediately take action against the fraternity- a meeting had to be called by Yale's Women's Center, and there are comments floating around defending the fraternity's right to free speech. Today, the Yale Daily News published a controversial article that made light of the assault and discredited the Women's Center, with statements such as, "Feminists at Yale should remember that, on a campus as progressive as ours, most of their battles are already won: All of us agree on gender equality. The provocateurs knew their audience’s sensibilities and how to offend them for a childish laugh. They went too far. But the Women’s Center should have known better than to paint them as misogynistic strangers and attackers among us, instead of members of our community; after all, they once partied in the brothers’ basement."
As far as I'm concerned, this fraternity's "stunt" qualifies as violence against women and if they do not face serious consequences, then the administration is allowing it. Allowance is a form of encouragement, and don't we all know better than to encourage frat boys to take rape lightly?
If there are any doubts as to how disconcerting this all is, their chanting was recorded and you can watch it here- but be warned, it may induce violent actions and/or vomiting.
PHOTO COURTESY OF salon.com/life
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