In Yale Fraternity Pledging, Rape Is a Laughing Matter

Frat antics aren’t particularly known for their sensitivity.

This week, a YouTube clip of a Yale University Delta Kappa Epsilon pledging ritual went viral on campus. Posted Wednesday night, immediately after the events took place, the video documents the DKE pledges marching blindfolded on Old Campus—home to the majority of Yale’s freshman women—shouting chants such as “No means yes, yes means anal” and “Fucking sluts.”

The Yale Women’s Center responded in a statement to the Yale Daily News:

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.

On Thursday, DKE president Jordan Forney made a public apology, calling the chants “inappropriate, disrespectful, and very hurtful to others.” He said the stunt was “a lapse in judgment” and “in poor taste.”

Is this statement enough? Broad Recognition, a Yale feminist publication, urged students Thursday to demand administrative action against the fraternity, whose actions it called “fear-mongering” and “a call to violence.”

“Yale women are not new to fraternity misogyny, nor are we a stranger to our administration sitting on their hands and doing absolutely nothing about it,” the writer of the article, Hannah Zeavin, told the Good Men Project.

Other students think the reaction is overblown. “These chants are not dangerous,” said a comment on the Daily News story.

Do the frat’s actions merit university discipline? More importantly, will a slap on the wrist—which is more likely to occur—do anything to prevent future demonstrations of frat-sanctioned misogyny?

About Cooper Fleishman

Cooper Fleishman is managing editor of After graduating from Kenyon College in 2009, he moved to New York to follow his dream of book-publishing glory. Once here, he sold dog food on the street and copyedited celebrity-gossip tabloids, finally landing as senior editor of the Good Men Project, where he served for a year before sneaking into HyperVocal. Email: Twitter: @_cooper.


  1. John Anderson says:

    Boys will be boys. I still say and do stupid things to my friends, men and women. The operative word is friends. They’re people who’ve known me a long time, people I trust and who trust me. These chants were not directed at their friends. I don’t know if it was criminal, but it was definitely uncool. One way to check their intentions is to look at their behavior after the fact. Does anyone know if they issued an apology and did it seem sincere? Everyone does stupid stuff now and again, but when you hurt someone, you apologize.

  2. HidingFromtheDinosaurs says:

    If this happened at my university they would have been in deep, deep shit (our frat boys put up anti-rape posters around campus and serious things can happen to people for hate speech, even when it isn’t organized).
    Quite honestly, I don’t think there’s anything lawful or harmless about something like this and I don’t consider it reasonable to expect anyone, male or female, to stand face to face with a mob like that and try to make them stop.

    Something like this doesn’t come out of nowhere, and it certainly makes me glad I don’t go to Yale (I had actually considered it at one point).

  3. wellokaythen says:

    This is in no way an excuse for their behavior, but I would point out that these young men probably make lots of jokes about men being raped, probably lots of jokes about frat members raping each other. This is an outward manifestation of internal stuff that just happens to be directed at nearby women. My theory is that much of this is just overcompensating for their own insecurities about their sexuality. It’s homophobia twisted around into misogyny: “Look how straight I am – I’m yelling that I want to have sex with women whether they consent or not!”

    Men in fraternities and other male-only institutions often express misogyny and hyper-heterosexuality as a way to prove to themselves that they are not gay. They feel the need to compensate for all the homoeroticism inherent in all the things they do to each other — tying each other up while naked, watching each other have sex, being obsessed with anal sex, etc. Think about how many frat initiations involve being tied up, being naked, covering a man’s body in something, decorating his bare skin, dressing him in women’s clothing, etc. It reminds me of hazing you see in the military sometimes. If you ever saw the movie “Jarhead,” you might wonder how you would ever tell the difference between an openly gay Marine and one who isn’t.

    Someone pointed out to me years ago that the stereotypical frat aesthetic – very short hair, baseball cap, preppy clothes, etc., was originally a stereotypically young gay man’s look. Gay men pioneered the whole Abercrombie & Fitch look so popular among oh-so-straight frat boys. If these guys could just accept that they may not be entirely heterosexual, a lot of this garbage would stop.

  4. People that get annoyed about feminists getting annoyed = not really people that have a full grasp on what feminism is. Terming feminists as uppity, picky and easily offended, irrational idealists invalidates what is their argument, and their argument is based on something quite rational and real. To deny that what happened is sexist is ridiculous. Someone else made the point that if they had gone marching through a black neighbourhood yelling about lynching and torturing black people, the reaction the public would have would be a lot different. Call me an uppity feminist- I suppose I see nothing funny about a crowd of people parading through a residence yelling about rape and how it’s awesome. Weird.

  5. How ridiculous. Is rape a problem on the Yale campus? How many have been reported? Probably zero. So fraternity antics are just what they are …antics. If you want to see REAL hatred, take a “women’s study” class at Yale, and I’m sure you’ll see more bigotry and fearmongering than you EVER would during pledge rituals.
    I thought this site was to celebrate men…but it’s just another propaganda site for the politically correct, it seems, based on the uncritical inclusion of articles like this.

    • That’s a terrifying thing to say. The number of rapes that occur (and the smaller number reported) on post-secondary school campuses is obscenely high. If you don’t think “No means yes, yes means anal” is hate-filled, you’re blind.

      Let me suggest you imagine a troupe of women with dildos and gay men shout that at you as you head to your job or classes. Feel good? Feel safe?

    • John Anderson says:

      It’s also a site to explore what being a good man is and to challenge men to strive for that ideal.

  6. Richard Aubrey says:

    Late to this discussion. The headline led me to think there may have been rape involved.
    Apparently not. I guess that’s journalism today.

  7. Male organizations that promote an aggressive version of masculinity are going to be considerably more likely to have rape problems. This is true of the military, of fraternities, perhaps of sports teams. I should stress that these are tendencies, not universal maxims–I have friends and family in all of the above groups–but, as tendencies, they are supported by data. (In fairness, I haven’t found much data either way on sports teams.)

  8. pedrizzle my nizzle says:

    There’s a lot of interesting discussion going on, and I dunno if anyone wants to revisit it, but boys will be boys and call each other faggots and punch each other and eat dirt. I think its part of the developing process. If you remember how you felt when you were younger, it was fucking weird and middle school will always suck forever since its middle school and biology dictates you have hormones making drug cocktails for young developing minds, so you act crazy anyway! If they aren’t doing this, they are hanging out with girls and playing with other gay little boys and dolls. They’re going to yell about fucking sluts and how much dey luv pussy, and run around like psycho pervs. The thing is you can meet in the middle, but only can do that if you also make fun of yourself, and there is an understanding that no harm is meant, it is only in a joking spirit. That way, everyone has a good laugh. If you can’t do that properly, you should then obviously shut your dumb face, and think of something better to say to women, since they deserve nice things, since quite frankly, they’re smokin hot. and gay dudes are awesome too, we cant have complete equality without bearded cock gobblers (<3 waltwhitman). I think ultimately solutions to these issues are solved through education, understanding, and communication, not censorship and Big Sister getting all huffy and puffy (get it? they're feminists!) and suppressing male sexuality instead of redirecting it (come on yale, you're supposed to teach your students not let sexually confused(or disturbed) men loose upon you're student population). It for reasons like this that I think we should change it to humanism (a sweet ass name, same idea) feminism is a shitty word since it lets girls use the "feminism" card, but if its humanism, we can just to instant reverses constantly and actually live in a world that respects people equally. Unite and overcome! Sorry Big Sister, but little brother has had enough.

    • Haervard Yardy says:

      If the frat boys had been saying racist stuff nobody would defend them. I wonder if boys will be boys would be a good enough excuse for KKK style chanting outside a black church for instance? Would that be all good fun and letting off steam?

      Oh yes and Feminism is just fine because it gets to the reality of our nasty little rape culture – something I suspect you’d like to deny or trvialise.

    • Boys will be boys is always a nice excuse for the threat of rape. Good job.

  9. Maybe there is something in the water at Yale. I dated a guy from Yale and he turned out not to be a good guy.

    “On Thursday, DKE president Jordan Forney made a public apology, calling the chants “inappropriate, disrespectful, and very hurtful to others.” He said the stunt was “a lapse in judgment” and “in poor taste.”

    I hope all the mothers, sisters and girlfriends of these “men” know exactly what they were doing.

    But you know what’s just as bad? Other men that let guys like this get away with this stuff and stand on the side lines not protecting women.

    Could you imagine a group of girls running throw the streets saying stuff like “ Men are just wallets, take them for all they are worth.” There are things you can say about women, there are things you can do to a woman through the media that you could NEVER do to any other man in a social, ethnic or religious groups.

    • A group of Yale frat boys said reprehensible things on initiation night
      + the one guy you dated from Yale was “not a good guy”
      =/= “there is something in the water at Yale”.

      Yale ’09

    • Ah, yes, women are equal and therefore it’s the responsibility of men to protect them since they can’t protect themselves. If a woman feels intimidated, that’s because of misogyny. If a man feels intimidated, it’s because he’s a coward.

      • I was going to comment to say roughly the same thing. I don’t think the women standing idly by are any more innocent than the men. Some might say it’s scarier for a woman to confront that kind of situation, but I think it would be equally hard for a man to do it.

        Men don’t owe women protection, but good people stand up for other people.

  10. I wonder what Yale’s sexual harassment policies are and if Yale women could band together to form something like a class action suit against the fraternity…

  11. Acts of violence are not protected by free speech, nor is speech encouraging violence.

    • Thumbs down for a profound misunderstanding of first amendment jurisprudence.

      • In the 1969 Supreme Court case Brandenburg v. Ohio, speech which would be directed to and likely to cause lawless action was banned. So speech encouraging violence against a specific group is banned. However, the issue becomes whether or not this was encouraging violence against women, which these men would make the argument that it was not, just a thoughtless antic.

        I don’t personally believe that these kids thought these sayings are true, but the fact that they are saying them is what’s important. You should never say such things, even in jest. Having someone say these things starts them thinking that they’re true, or at least not wrong.

        • Never mind that the best way to cancel out the importance of a topic is to make fun of it. Arguing against humor never wins, because humor robs whatever power a problem has. Imagine arguing against a comedian about misogyny–honestly, in the end, you’d look like someone arguing with a ten-year-old to the audience. Humor does not lead to serious discussion, and serious discussion is what this frat needs.

  12. a GOOD comment, Holly! :


    Some of a discussion from a different page (

    October 8, 2009 at 5:45 am #
    Consider: if every rapist commits an average of ten rapes (a horrifying number, isn’t it?) then the concentration of rapists in the population is still a little over one in sixty.

    You know, it never occurred to me before now, but I’ve never seen that “one in six” (or however many) statistic turned around that way, and I think that’s probably the other side of the “how not to get raped” coin. Or… I guess… the same side, but a different part of the etching. I don’t know, metaphor, not my strong suit.


    When we talk about rape as something that happens to 1 in 6 women, it is something that happens to women. Oh no, women! You have a problem! A women’s problem! That has to do with women! What are women going to do to solve this problem?

    Perhaps if we rephrased that as “one in sixty (or however many) men will commit rape in his lifetime,” the problem might start to look a little different to certain people.

    October 8, 2009 at 5:46 am #
    I would like to hand this out on the train. Awesome post.

    October 8, 2009 at 5:53 am #
    Liza-the-second: I know. Isn’t that horrifying? It’s not even taking into consideration the possibility that some of those one-in-six have been raped more than once. And the one-rapist-to-ten-rapes number is pulled out of thin air. We just don’t know. Because we don’t catch these creeps. We don’t put them in jail. Either there is a staggering number of rapists, or rapists are routinely getting away with numerous felonies. Either possibility is horrifying.

    That, or P. Garrido/B.D. Mitchell et al have some special Santa Claus power that enables them to be in a thousand places at once. Maybe tied to the Homemade Religion? I don’t know.

    October 8, 2009 at 5:58 am #
    …oh that’s cool, Starling, I wasn’t planning to ever sleep again anyway.


    In seriousness, though, thank you again for making that point. I can’t believe I never thought about it that way, when it seems so stunningly obvious now. And wow, it kind of makes sex offender registries look like a joke, huh? OMG! There might be a RAPIST in your neighborhood! Well… yeah… if there’s more than a handful of people in your neighborhood, there almost certainly is.”

  13. About half way down the comments, Daddy Files asks the following question:

    “What culture do you live in that condones rape and misogyny?”

    ARE YOU KIDDING, Daddy Files?

    What culture do I live in that condones rape and misogyny?

    Oh my god.
    “1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their life time.” (
    “College age women are 4 times more likely to be sexually assaulted” (ibid.)

    Some more edification:

    “Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.
    73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.
    38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
    28% are an intimate.
    7% are a relative.
    Only 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail.”

    How could all this be the case unless our culture was accepting, explicitly or not, of treating women like shit? Are you suggesting that there is a tiny, tiny number of rapists going around committing acts of violence, and all the many, many good men who would never attempt rape are just POWERLESS to stop them. Wow. That would be great actually. We could go find them and kill them. No – much more unfortunately, rape is, and has ALWAYS, been a horribly inherent aspect of our male-dominated culture, and many, if not all, others.

    And stop, stop, STOP harping on all this LEGAL shit. Who cares what the law says?
    It used to be LEGAL to do a LOT of horrible shit, especially to women. When has the law ever proven itself as something that helps women in the historical perspective??? Sure, some courts award victories to some women, but many feminists would inform your naive ass of the hierarchy that the law constantly upholds, in which men, especially white men, especially rich white men (YALE!!!) are constantly given domination over other groups – women, people of color, the poor, LGBT people.

    Daddy Files, you act like this event occurred in an historical vacuum. You completely decontextualize it by propagating the completely false MYTH that we don’t live in a rape culture.

    Are you familiar with that term: RAPE CULTURE. Because if you’re not, and it certainly appears you are not, then you need to shut your uninformed, violence-supporting (albeit potentially unintentionally) mouth.
    Having even the SLIGHTEST CLUE with regards to the MOST BASIC IDEAS in a discussion YOU INITIATE (!) is usually a prerequisite for people taking your comments seriously.

    -From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia-

    Rape culture is a term used within women’s studies and feminism, describing a culture in which rape and other sexual violence (usually against women) are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or encourage sexualized violence.

    Within the paradigm, acts of sexism are commonly employed to validate and rationalize normative misogynistic practices; for instance, sexist jokes may be told to foster disrespect for women and an accompanying disregard for their well-being, which ultimately make their rape and abuse seem “acceptable”. Examples of behaviors said[by whom?] to typify rape culture include victim blaming and sexual objectification.
    In a 1992 paper in the Journal of Social Issues entitled “A Feminist Redefinition of Rape and Sexual Assault: Historical Foundations and Change,” Patricia Donat and John D’Emilio suggested that the term originated as “rape-supportive culture”[1] in Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape.
    In addition to its use as a theory to explain the occurrence of rape and domestic violence, rape culture has been described as detrimental to men as well as women. Some writers and speakers, such as Jackson Katz, Michael Kimmel, and Don McPherson, have said that it is intrinsically linked to gender roles that limit male self-expression and cause psychological harm to men.[2]
    Researchers such as Philip Rumney and Martin Morgan-Taylor have used the rape culture paradigm to explain differences in how people perceive and treat male versus female victims of sexual assault.[3]

  14. does anyone know the names of the fraternity boys?

  15. Natasha Barton says:

    Reeks of publicity stunt to me. Frankly I wld have expected something a little more imaginative. London and I are not amused.

  16. The guys who did this should spend some time answering phones at a rape crisis hotline or volunteering at a shelter for battered women.

    • I have volunteered on a rape helpline for the last 3 years. It is a ridiculous notion to suggest that any of these men should be allowed anywhere near a position that requires a great deal more sensitivity and understanding than they possess. They could do untold damage to somebody phoning a helpline. Yes it would be great if they could learn more about rape and its effects and educate themselves but not at the expense of the women who telephone in their most vulnerable moments.

  17. Stephanie says:

    As a female college student, I would have to agree that those chants were incredibly inappropriate. It’s not exactly a comforting feeling for a freshman woman to hear a mob of men saying that there is no way of saying no. If I had heard that, even knowing it was done jokingly, I would be completely offended, and honestly, scared. I don’t know any of these guys, and yet they’re telling me that I can’t say anything to stop them if they’ve got me cornered. It is totally insensitive.
    As this is a fraternity, the university should take action. If those are the views of the fraternity, it should be dismantled immediately. Rape is not something to joke about so blatantly on a school campus.

  18. What scares me most about this story is that everyone knows that behind every jest is a modicum of truth. Someplace within this chapter, someone within this organization said this in jest, but probably believes at least part of it to be true. Enough to maybe blur the lines that when someone says no, they might really mean yes. That someone has enough influence, that a larger group of people ignored their own better judgment (at least I like to think they had better judgment) to go along. For the purposes of belonging to a group where someone of influence actually believes this to be true.

    What should happen is a boycott of DKE by all the women of Yale and the Greater New Haven area. You want to teach consequences of their actions, women stop attending their parties, stop dating them, stop hanging out with them. By them I mean every single member of that group, because even if it wasn’t there idea, even if they weren’t involved, they did NOTHING to stop it. Who knows what else they will do nothing to stop. Unfortunately, we all know this won’t happen. There will be a party at DKE this weekend full of women and alcohol and soon enough, that person of influence will end up sexually assaulting someone. Judging by the split reaction to just this story, that woman who’s sexually assaulted will probably keep it to herself.

    • By them I mean every single member of that group, because even if it wasn’t there idea, even if they weren’t involved, they did NOTHING to stop it. Who knows what else they will do nothing to stop.

      How do you know that no one complained. Unless you were there or a part of “internal’ discussions you really don’t know what was said so your comment is just speculation. And speculation based upon emotion can be just as dangerous.

  19. Organisations that promote sexual abuse have no place at Yale or anywhere. says:

    This fraternity should lose its charter and be disbanded. Everyone that participated ought to be subject to some sort of disciplinary action.

    It is no longer a fraternity, it is a hate group.

    Fraternities can do a lot of good. They are social organizations that can provide structure and support to college students as well as a basis and platform for life-long friendships. But, they are also in-groups and a bit of a mutual-admiration society. Partially because of this fraternity members are more likely (than non-fraternity members) to commit a rape, use coercion, use alcohol as a tool of coercion and to commit a gang rape with other fraternity members. So, a fraternity that openly advocates rape and sexual abuse is making a very believable threat.

  20. For what it’s worth, DKE pledging has already been suspended and there will be pretty serious consequences.

  21. This is sad beyond words for so many different reasons. But you know who this sort of thing both terrifies and incites violence from the most?

    Fathers who have daughters.

    While I plan on teaching my daughter respect and tolerance, I also plan on showing her the results of passivity in the face of oppression in any form. It’s true that Gandhi didn’t physically fight back, but he always fought.

    I’m not Gandhi and I can’t even post what I would do if my daughter was of age and someone spoke these words to her. Actually by then she’ll be trained in kickboxing and aikido amongst other defensive (UL) skills so she can tend to such matters herself. Then, while other people debate whether something could be proven in court as “justifiable cause” she can just deal with it how she sees fit based off her personal reaction and the circumstances of the situation.

    But the bigger truth is that most of us actually live in a world that is often violent and terrifying.

    Change comes about when enough people demand it and see to it that it occurs. It doesn’t come from doing nothing or speculating on matters requiring change.

    People have been punishing people for more years than these hooligans can probably count and it hasn’t changed a damn thing.

    These kids are what? 18-20 years old physically (not mentally obviously)?

    Punishment is not what’s needed.

    Responsibility is what is needed.

    Saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it.

    Future leaders of America someone above said? HA! Not a chance.

    In today’s day and age of instant access information these boys have screwed any hope of a political future. After all your political campaign doesn’t really sustain well when an opponent publishes a youtube clip showing you chanting this sort of stuff. And I highly doubt the female voters are going to buy “I was drunk, young and stupid.”

    However they might accept “I was drunk, young and stupid and in seeing the errors of my ways I went and did an entire semester of volunteer work cleaning the floors and taking the trash out at the local women’s rape crisis center. I also championed an on an campus ethics and values campaign and got most of the other boys involved to do the same. ” or something similar. You know…responsibility.

    Parents who have daughters attending the school should put pressure on Yale and demand that responsibility be taken and amends be made. How? That’s not the parent’s problem, that’s the student’s problem.

    If ANYONE should be expelled it should be whoever put them up to it. These kids are just dupes who need to be made to take responsibility for their actions and make amends so that they actually LEARN from their mistake as opposed to just regretting it.

    But there is another layer to all of this that has to do with us as US citizens.

    One thing I can say having lived abroad from the US for a number of years now is that violating the amendments and rights covering freedom of speech is not the problem here. Taking them for granted is.

    We have become so spoiled as a country it can at times be nauseating. Is this what our soldiers are dying for? To defend “our way of life” and “our rights.”

    The rights of these boys?

    And let’s just skip the entire political mess and go to what’s really important: those soldiers are someone’s children. Most of them being a similar age as the young men in this video. I don’t want to muddy the waters too much here but that we, as US citizens (and yes, this does reflect on us as US citizens), even have the opportunity to do things this stupid is blatant and gross misuse of the privileges we have.

    If these boys were living in Mexico, most of them probably wouldn’t be worrying about punishment from the school or the civil system but that coming from the familial system. And unfortunately, if they offended the wrong girl, a number of them might never be seen again. That’s just a fact of life.

    They are LUCKY at this moment in time to be living in the US.

    The moment you take someone else’s rights for granted, to some degree you have just forfeited your own.

    As a request to the publication, publish the names of the students who participated in it and the name(s) of the students who put them up to it. That might require some investigative reporting, but it will do more to reform these boys then a bazillion comments debating the point.

    Not to compare the seriousness, but merely the necessity to insist upon a change and the respecting of the rights of others, this statement sort of says it all doesn’t it:

    They came first for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.

    • Woobie Tuesday says:

      I agree with making their names public and punishing the organizers of the march. Great post, thank you.

    • If I have read your post correctly…thank you. This was well put.

      Every single one of these boys needs to understand why his actions were wrong, not just cringe and slink away because they got caught doing something naughty.

      • That’s exactly correct.

        We ALL, every single one of us have done something stupid that we regret.

        But did we learn from it?

        Did we take responsibility for it and make good?

        That’s what separates the children from the adults. And I’m not trying to denigrate children either, there are a lot of kids I’ve seen with more responsibility than what showed up at Yale.



  22. Woobie Tuesday says:

    It looks to me like the participants may have violated Connecticut’s Bias laws. According to the Connecticut Office of Legal Research it appears to be a Second Degree criminal violation and a Class D felony if convicted. Here’s the link to a law report which spells it out pretty clearly:

    • brain-ee-ak says:

      This would in no way constitute a Class D felony.

      The person(s) would have to:

      1. Make physical contact (they didn’t)
      2. Damage, destroy, or deface property (they didn’t, to my knowledge)

      This means the plaintiff (i.e., the victim) must prove to the courts that they have reasonable cause to believe that specific person(s) X will carry out the threat. Who is the plaintiff? Any person on campus? Any girl on campus? Which boy(s)? All of them? Simply because of this march and this march alone?

      If that’s the case, this would get laughed out of the courts. Show me a similar case where the courts have ruled in favor of the plaintiff on such kind evidence. It’s a joke.

      • Woobie Tuesday says:

        Read it carefully. I think it could even be argued to fall under First Degree crime of bias, a Class C felony. These are the elements of 2nd Degree Bias under Connecticut law:

        A person commits the second degree crime if he acts maliciously and intends to intimidate or harass someone because of his actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression if he (point 3) threatens to either (point 1) make physical contact (i.e., “no means yes”–‘You say no to sex with me, I will make you have sex with me.’ That’s an EXPLICIT threat of physical contact if you deny the chanter sex. I agree that the second element of damage to property does not apply.

        That brings us to the remainder of the language in the 3rd point: “and the victim has reasonable cause to believe he will carry out the threat”. This means that the victim(s) of the threat must have reasonable cause to believe he will carry out the threat. The plaintiff is any person on campus who directly hears, and correspondingly feels threatened by, the remarks. The legal standard brought by the language of this legislation is that of the doctrine of reasonableness, or reasonable cause.

        Is it reasonable for an 18-22 year old female (or any other person, for that matter–but these chants were specifically targeting an audience of Yale frosh women, i.e. “I f— dead WOMEN,” “f—ing SLUTS”) to feel threatened by a very likely drunken mob of more than 20 exuberant men marching in her immediate vicinity under cover of darkness and chanting about hurting her?

        These are men who are apparently willing to do ANY STUPID THING necessary to please their frat brothers. Tell me, why would a woman who has never before encountered these men, who has no basis upon which to form an opinion about their intention apart from the words and actions that she is viewing at that instant, think that they are willing to do anything BUT what they are saying??

        Any girl who witnessed any chanter could feel threatened by those acts. It only takes one to commit rape. I did not witness the event first hand, but I feel thoroughly threatened by their acts. The act of marching in itself is meaningless. The CHANT, on the other hand, is quite purposeful and meaningful. It was meant to intimidate women.

        I say again what I have said before: Men who do not take rape, the threat of rape, or making light of rape seriously do so because they are coming from a position of PRIVILEGE. The only way men will be able to grasp the threat that is implicit in this behavior is to understand what it feels like to be victimized by somebody in a higher position of power. Think race theory and apply it to gender inequality. If you don’t understand, READ about it until you do.

        • brain-ee-ak says:

          Again, stupid – yes. Disgusting, perhaps to many. If you want to go to race, immigrants could also feel threatened by anti-immigrant, pro-white (ie, white supremacist) marchers.

          The law doesn’t work the way you are reading it (and for good reason). If you really believe it does, find precedent.

          • Woobie Tuesday says:

            Sure, I can do that. I’ll call this group tomorrow and discuss the case with them.

            …”[T]he Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) Hate Crimes Project…both records hate incidents and advocates for victims as well. They can be contacted at (860) 247-6090 or Toll-Free (800) 479-2949.”

            Or, you could do it too if you’re really interested.

  23. This is sexual harrassment. These men are outside the Yale women’s centre calling female students sluts and threatening sexual violence against them. Their speech constitutes sexual harrassment of all female students at the university. Public and private institutions have a duty of care to protect their members, employees, students etc. from sexual harrassment. Therefore these men need to be punished. Failure to do so would be discriminatory to their female students.

    As someone mentioned earlier, the inability of some men to see this as anything but an offensive, bad taste joke is due to male privilege. These men can brush it aside because it’s very unlikely to effect them in a real way. This is unfortunately not the case for women who are much more likely to be the victims of sexual assault. There are documented instances of men packs in in very public settings who have quickly turned on women and committed group sexual assaults against them. Women have every reason to feel threatened, intimidated and fearful of such a public act of aggression and assertion of male power. As for free speech, the very reason that it’s protected is because words have tremendous power. It’s very convenient and disengenuous to say ‘just a joke’ when you’re not on the receiving end of that power.

  24. brain-ee-ak says:

    Yes, it was hateful, ignorant, horrible, etc. etc. and arguably inciting violence. However, two things I noticed missing (thru about half the posts as of Oct 16 9:01am):

    1. This is a leaked video from a private gathering.

    2. Maybe we should also be questioning, as, say, feminists, whether or not corporations (and yes, that’s what Yale is) should be empowered to regulate the speech of its members on its premises. I suppose we should reimpose mandatory uniforms to complement our 21st century surveillance cameras that increasingly cover our every movement within “Yale’s” space?

    • Woobie Tuesday says:

      1. It may or may not be a “leaked” video. It sure the hell was NOT a private gathering. It was a public display on an open campus common area. Video of the march may have been taken by any number of the campus employees, residents or visitors.

      2. While the administration may be corporate members, the student body is not. See the Yale Corporation organizational chart: Regardless, I’m sure that the acceptance of an offer to study at Yale and the payment of tuition constitute an acceptance of whatever campus rules and regulations are in place at the time the contract is negotiated.

      As to the rest of your second point, I don’t think I understand the relevance of your reference to uniforms and surveillance cameras. Nor do I understand how the implementation of either one would have effected anything which gave rise to the situation at hand.

      • brain-ee-ak says:

        (tried to post this several times, think it didn’t post b/c of an ACLU link, so here it is w/out it)

        1. Students are not EMPLOYEES of the corporation. They are still members, and it is being stated that as members, they are subjected to different legal rules and regulations pertaining to free speech.

        2. Let’s say that members of a Yale anti-immigration group showed up to East Haven and countered a pro-immigration group. Let us say that they held up signs that were borderline white supremacist and certainly anti-immigrant, arguably inciting violence. Deplorable as their message is, should they be allowed to organize and express their views?

        I just don’t understand all of this. The reference to dress codes is, who gets the power to decide how we express ourselves and what we can say? Yale? Why? Their rules are dominated by the board of trustees, and there is little to no democracy in the process. According to them, the market will ensure just conduct, less they lose students to another university.

        I’m not raising this to defend the actions of the students, but just to point out the pros and cons of certain rules and regulations. Campuses have recently been hotbeds of an array of police state measures, from extensive surveillance (with cameras and network monitoring) to tasing students, who “agree to the terms in their contract.”

        I think the ACLU makes a good statement about how we should handle these kinds of things on campuses.

        GOOGLE: ACLU hate speech campus

  25. I see a bunch of college-aged men marching around, gleefully mocking the “Take Back the Night” anti-rape events with chanted threats of rape. How can people not thing think this is a problem?

  26. Woobie Tuesday says:

    I am dismayed about the lack of discussion surrounding this event outside of this small circle. These are men of privilege. They are expressing a sense of entitlement to their own sexual gratification and the violent exercise of power over women–or anybody else–who happens to be in their sights. This is the frat that brought us G.W. Bush. These are the future leaders of America. I think Daddy Files’s wife is right. This is a teachable moment. Yale is an educational facility. As such, Yale has a responsibility to TEACH these men that advocating sexual violence against another is neither appropriate, nor acceptable. This discussion is very timely given the current events with bullying and intolerance against members of the gay community.

    I am not a teacher, and I do not know the best means of education. Rewards and punishments have worked in the past. It seems to me that punishments are in order.

  27. University censure or no, let’s see what plays out on campus this year.
    If any of these tool boxes get laid, if any woman on campus will go near them, then we know that a) this incident didn’t mean that much, and that, b) Yale women have too little self respect.

    • Whether they get laid or not has nothing to do with whether this incident matters.

      a) getting laid says nothing about whether you are a good person

      b) women are not prizes for good behavior or a measure of worth, please don’t talk about us as if we are

      c) why are you shifting the point of disgust away from these frat boys and onto women who might sleep with them?

  28. Consitutional Law Major says:

    The clear-and-present-danger doctrine is a freedom of speech doctrine first announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47, 39 S. Ct. 247, 63 L. Ed. 470 (1919), during a controversial period in U.S. history when the First Amendment often clashed with the government’s interest in maintaining order and morale during wartime. Various formulations of the doctrine have appeared in other significant Supreme Court decisions throughout the years.

    The Supreme Court has been using this test since the 1920s to determine when it is appropriate to bridge the right of free speech. The test has been used most often during war times, but in the case of Brandenburg vs. Ohio, it was used to limit the speech of a KKK member who was “calling for violence.” Note that he did not commit any physically violent act. The standard set by the Supreme Court for judging when freedom of speech may lawfully be limited was set by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., illustrated the point by arguing that no one has a constitutional right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater when no fire is present, for such action would pose a “clear and present danger” to public safety.

    So. There is indeed a LEGAL limit to speech. You can take it to the big SP, but they have yet to rule against a “clear and present” danger claim.

  29. What jerks! But any slap on the wrist by the administration isn’t going to do much. Maybe their Pan-Hellenic can blacklist the DKEs for the year (or four), and the DKEs can explain to their new pledges why the brothers wouldn’t want to party with those fucking sluts anyhow.

  30. If I were a woman on campus hearing that shouted chant from a group of male students, I would be terrified. If Yale doesn’t call it out, it’s condoning it. Really terrible stuff.

  31. Kyle Michel Sullivan says:

    If “No” means “Yes” and “Yes” means “Anal,” then they’re really proclaiming themselves — these boiz with the DKE — available for sexual encounters with other men. Aren’t they? All they’re doing is letting the females know they are not available, right? Isn’t that what the chant really means? Sounds like it to me. So everyone’s really just being homophobic and not letting these new gay kids express themselves in a manner befitting their lifestyle. I say let the poor little dears be and let’s go find them some nice gay biker boiz to have fun with. Then they can find out the true meaning of “No means yes.”

    Of course…it could also just be a case of idiots being idiotic. But that’s so…so…so typical of a fraternity, I hate to hang the label of uninspired about their charming little necks.

  32. Absolutely disgusting, and a clear example of hate speech/threats—otherwise, why go to the freshmen women’s dorms?

    Adding Yale to the list of schools where women aren’t safe, especially if they took no serious disciplinary measures.

  33. PIGS. p.s. they look like dorks.

  34. Women clearly recognize this as threatening, even hate speach. I’m not a woman, but if I can absolutely see that. Walk a mile in my shoes, all that.

    Guys, I think, recognize a bunch of frustrated, geeky chuckleheads who had too many beers, looking for attention. Harmless. Guys don’t recognize the threat here, just the idiocy. The guys in this video truly are social morons, and I would bet every dollar in my pocket not one of them is proud of his performance. Or defending it.

    • Woobie Tuesday says:

      I read another man in another blog commenting on this video to the effect that it was a bunch of men humiliating themselves. He attributed it to men acting powerless in a hazing ritual. Since I cannot get inside the head of a man, I would have to say that may be so. But if this is the case, it is only an expression of powerlessness in relation to other men. It is an expression of violent power over women. The latter expression is more virulent issue here given the innate inequality, in most cases (speaking about the sheer differences between the sexes in physical size and strength), of the power structure between men and women.

      Harmless? Really? Men who do not take rape, the threat of rape, or making light of rape seriously do so because they are coming from a position of PRIVILEGE. The only way men will be able to grasp the threat that is implicit in this behavior is to understand what it feels like to be victimized by somebody in a higher position of power. Think race theory and apply it to gender inequality. If you don’t understand, READ about it until you do. This is a website dedicated to men actively taking steps to make themselves the best men they can be. What an awesome aspiration! But don’t just do it for your sons. Do it for your daughters or your future daughters, your mothers, sisters and wives. Make sure that you teach your children–male and female–to look for imbalances of power in every relationship they encounter. Teach them that they will sometimes be in a position of power, and sometimes in a position of powerlessness. They will learn awareness of power that they didn’t even know they had and, hopefully, they will express power in a way that is compassionate to all of humanity.

  35. Georgia T says:

    I am not inciting violence against men but just an idea-it would go a long way if the women blasted these chanters in the face with pepper spray and left them crying on the floor for their mommies. If you want to end it, then end it.

    • Yeah, that would solve the problem right? Nevermind the fact they didn’t do anything criminal, let’s fight ignorant words with violence. Because that’s sure to solve everything.

      • Carefully Considered says:

        Daddy Files, you keep maintaining they didn’t do anything criminal but I would definitely identify this behavior as sexual harassment. Whomever they decided to chant this near, these words are sexually charged and intimidating. This argument (on the whole), seems to focus on the women they may have been directing their chants toward, but in my opinion it makes no difference whom they were targeting. I think reprimands and repercussions are definitely appropriate here, and while the degree of severity those should assume can be contested, this matter should be taken seriously. I agree with you that these boys are more likely idiots than true threats, but nonetheless this behavior was deplorable and even idiots should be held accountable.

        I do not assume you are a rapist or condone rape, and I agree that spraying these individuals with pepper spray is hardly a helpful response.

        • Carefully Considered: Thanks for your intelligent and well-reasoned response.

          I think we’re getting into an entirely new arena when discussing criminal charges. To the best of my knowledge, sexual harassment is not criminal. It’s civil. If it gets bad enough, someone would be charged with assault. But I’m no lawyer or legal scholar, so maybe I’m wrong.

          Let me ask you this, would you consider it an appropriate reprimand if they had mandatory sensitivity training classes or volunteered in some way with a rape crisis center? Or do you think this should absolutely result in a suspension and black mark on their record? I agree that their behavior was deplorable. Even as a pledge, there has to be a line when it comes to hazing and the things you’ll do. But because I truly believe they were just idiotic (and probably drunk) frat boys being stereotypical morons, and throwing in the fact there was no violence and no one was physically hurt, I think a dose of common sense and education would be more effective than booting them out of school.

          • Daddy Files I was surprized by your assumption that sexual harassment is a purely civil matter, so I looked it up. It turns out that like many issues related to bodily integrity it is both civil and criminal.
            This page on The Connecticut State Human Rights and Opportunities’ website states clearly that sexual harassment is illegal. I know it deals specifically with sexual harassment in an employment context. I am in a bit of a hurry and have not had time to read it through carefully or find one dealing with educational contexts, if you or anyone else reading this finds one, please post it. I don’t know a huge amount about U.S. or CT law but it seems reasonable to assume college students would be given similar protections to employees.

            Even if this specific act of sexual harassment was not found to be illegal, I would be shocked if Yale doesn’t have its own rules governing respect of other students. Perhaps expulsion would be going to far but the University should certainly suspend the frat. In fact given that this was done in the name of the frat, this seems the most appropriate action as far as Yale itself is concerned.
            As far as volunteering in a rape crisis center is concerned, not bad from a point of educating them, but I agree with Danielle that they should be in the office, not actually in contact with victims – at least not unless they could prove themselves wholly reformed.

          • It’s easy to write this off as “one of those stupid things frat boys do”, but it’s important to remember that just because something is stupid, it doesn’t make it harmless or excusable. Lots of frat boys do harmless idiotic things, but some also rape and sexually assault women. Of course these pledges weren’t committing rape there and then, but they were contributing to a mentality that at the very least trivializes rape. As someone who is married to a rape victim, you are no doubt able to appreciate how horrific rape is. I think what you may not appreciate is that some people do not take it so seriously and perhaps precisely because you take rape so seriously yourself, you can’t comprehend how an act like this could trivialise it.

            When it is called rape (almost) everyone takes it seriously, but if you leave the R word out of it, many people fail to recognise the severity non-consensual sex. I’m not saying that because these pledges took part in this will now go and rape someone without realizing it (studies, see below find that date rape is not generally due to misunderstandings) but I believe it does do is contribute to a general culture in which predatory sexual behavior by men is normalized. In such a culture they would be less likely to think about reporting on or intervening if a rape was occurring next door. They’d be less shocked if they heard that one of their ‘bros’ “fucked this slut who wasn’t really up for it”, less likely to intervene if they see a girl being plied with alcohol by a ‘bro’ they suspect is doing so precisely so he can take advantage of her. They wouldn’t think of these “bros” as criminal rapists, but just “guys after a bit of pussy”, because that’s “just how some guys get it”. There’s a lot about the importance of culture in implicitly permitting rape and the lack of seriousness people attach to it when the R- word is missing on the blog and book “Yes Means Yes”, I would recommend everyone read it particularly recommend this entry:
            The link between words and actions is not direct, but unless what these pledges did is punished in someway, it sends a message that furthers this macho, sexually predatory sub culture.

  36. Since one in four women will be assaulted at some time in her life before the age of eighteen something like this can be extremely intimidating to those women. I was assaulted at a young age and I can tell you if I had to listen to this outside my dorm room I’d have been truly afraid. Not of all of them but, not knowing which one of them may actually be capable of such an act. It’s also pretty disheartening that no one in that group said a word about doing this and had it not become public it likely would have been laughed about among all of them. This is misogyny and it’s as pervasive at Yale as anywhere else. No excuses ought to be made for this in any way shape or form. Yale needs to send a strong message here. I would never consider sending a daughter here if they do not respond appropriately.

    The less acceptable this sort of thing is the better. The consequences should be as serious as the damage something like this can do to women on campus who have to live in a world that directs violence at them. If Yale cannot respond to these disgusting actions with a strong message of support for the women on that campus then perhaps it’s not worthy of another dime from those young women. This was blatant hatred and purposeful intimidation. There is no reasonable defense or excuse for it. If I were a young woman whose room they marched past chanting this at me I’d file charges of harassment against that fraternity.

  37. What about instead of kicking them out of school, suspending them or revoking their charter, they volunteered in a rape crisis center? That way it’s a teachable moment that’ll make more of a difference?

    And for full disclosure, that suggestion came from my much better half.

    • After reading all your other comments, I find the latest rather suspect – something along the lines of if you really find it abhorent, how about a plea bargain. Ignoring all the self serving stories about your wife and her experiences through your lens, were you one of the “jolly” bunch out there on the prowl advocating rape?

      • HT: After reading your last comment, I’ve determined you’re a raging idiot.

        Fuck you for insinuating I’m using my wife’s story for “self-serving” purposes. If you were here right now and made that comment, you’d get a first hand glimpse of a truly violent act. And fuck you again for telling me I’m advocating rape.

        If you could put your meager comprehension skills to work even for a second, you’ll see at no point have I ever advocated for these students. I said they were childish idiots. I said I don’t agree with the chants. And I’ve also said I was never a member of a fraternity and I view frats as “paid friendship.” But having spent four years dealing with a campus full of frats, I’ve learned a lot of them are just idiots who don’t think for themselves. Especially when they’re pledging, and these younger students blindly do whatever they’re told. It’s the dumbest thing imaginable and I abhor it.

        But they didn’t do anything criminal, that is a fact. And I don’t think their actions deserve some sort of sanction from Yale in the form of a suspension or charter revocation. As I said before, why not have these kids volunteer at a rape crisis center and listen to some of the stories of survivors so they know exactly why their words may have hurt so many?

        But don’t ever tell me I’m someone who advocates for rape. You fucking moron. Try thinking a little before you open your ignorant yapper. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t turn them into a rapist, you small-minded twit.

        • And the true Daddyfiles comes to light. Wow you are angry.

          And you do advocate for rape, you’re just too stupid to realize it.

        • Coming from someone who has never been in the position of looking over his shoulder wondering when he’ll get attacked by the students in his class. How convenient.

    • I’ll agree with your better half on that. I don’t think those kids should be allowed to counsel women who have been raped, but it’d do them a lot of good to volunteer – even if it’s just doing paperwork and other office-ly things. A rape crisis center, or a women’s counseling center, or any number of organizations that provide a safe haven for domestic abuse and sexual assault. My biggest issue with this is the lack of education that led to such a poor demonstration of fraternity life.

      For the record, I don’t think these kids should be kicked out of school. But they need to do more than a forced public apology. They may as well be laughing in our faces.

  38. I thought Yale was an educational establishment. Evidently these Dekes haven’t been educated even in the most basic elements of human interchange. Not reacting to this carried implicit approval. At the very least, give these so-called men some kind of consequence and some kind of amends to make. That’s how we teach all ignorant children, no matter what their chronological age.

  39. Calling this behavior an exercise in free speech that needs no punishment is lot saying that if Tony Soprano mentions he is thinking of searing your eyeballs with a blowtorch, that’s just good ol’ Tony exercising his First Amendment rights.
    This is not about speech–it is about intimidation.
    No woman at Yale should need to wonder if the guy in the seat beside her or across the study table in the library is a beer-swilling lout who with the encouragement of his fraternity brothers is intent on rape. Short of a kick in the balls, exactly how can she say “No”? $50,000 per year ought to buy her peace of mind.
    Yale is an enclave of the rich and allegedly educates for leadership. An administration that does not go beyond asking for a mumbled apology is part of the problem.
    Throw these criminals out of the college for at least a semester; close this fraternity for five years. Let’s hear no horseshit about “brotherhood” for behaviors worthy of Nazi Brownshirts.
    Going to Yale is not an entitlement that brings with it a Get Out of Jail Free card.

  40. So, as a Deke myself, I am disappointed but not surprised by this behavior. Whatever happened to “Gentleman. Scholar and Jolly Good Fellow”?

  41. I understand this happened at a private institution. But please don’t tell me free speech has a limit and that limit is hit when the speech incites violence. That is unbelievably ignorant and just plain wrong.

    Neo-Nazis are allowed to assemble and spew their hateful rhetoric, yet their right to free speech is legally protected. And last time I checked, they are nothing but hate speech and inciters of violence. Granted, such a rally would normally take place in public, but free speech ABSOLUTELY includes hate speech.

    Personally, I thought these pledges were making fun of themselves when I read the story. “No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal, Fucking Sluts” could be what they were made to chant about themselves. I took it to mean they were calling themselves fucking sluts at the direction of their “brothers” and telling the world they will take it up the ass. Hazing and all. Not that it makes it a whole lot better but has anyone asked that question?

    And I’m sorry, but no one was actually threatened during this rally. That’s like asking the college to sanction a student who walks out in public and yells “I want to kill my roommate.” I’m not trivializing rape of women (or men for that matter), but why does no one realize this is a stupid and ridiculous hazing ritual and nothing more?

    And it’s worth noticing that the majority of complaints about my comment came from women, with one even purporting that men in groups are no good because we do outlandish things. That is ridiculous. Mob mentality is blind to gender, and you certainly can’t judge all groups of men by the actions of a stupid fraternity.

    It’s a long fall from atop your soap boxes.

    • Valkyrie607 says:

      “I’m not trivializing rape of women (or men for that matter), but…”

      Add that phrase to the list of things people only say when they mean the exact opposite. I.e.

      “I’m not racist, but…”

      “I’m not bluffing!”

      “I don’t mean to offend you, but…”

      Neo-nazis’ hate speech is protected for the purposes of their use of public space. If anyone can have a march and a rally on Main St., then anyone can have a march and a rally, including neo-Nazis. However, neo-Nazi students at a private college can’t expect to hold marches on campus chanting about how they’re going to have a lynching party, and how much fun it is to beat up black people (chill out, they’re just JOKING!), and not expect serious consequences–having their club disbanded, or even being kicked out of the college.

      The first amendment applies to government restrictions on speech; when a private university says that they want to put limits on the type of speech that’s allowed on their campus, that’s not a violation of the first amendment.

      • Val: I’m all for heated debates and good arguments. But you, my friend, have gone way too far.

        You say I “mean the exact opposite” when I wrote that I would never trivialize rape. How dare you?! I’m the husband of a rape survivor. So while I’ve never gone through that horrible trauma myself, I have certainly had experience with the after effects. I know first-hand how damaging and awful that is. There are no punishments harsh enough for a rapist, and I take great offense to some idiot like you who has never met me, telling me I trivialize rape.

        I think what these kids did was stupid and childish. I don’t agree with it. I’ve said that repeatedly. And perhaps it was not the most effective choice of words to use free speech, mainly because of all the connotations that phrase brings into the argument. So fine, I take it back. But my basic point remains the same, and that is I don’t believe they should be punished for this by Yale.

        If you disagree with my opinion that’s fine. We can discuss it at length. But keep in mind these kids broke no laws. They didn’t threaten anyone with rape. So just because I don’t think there’s a basis for punishment from the school, to you that means I somehow condone rape. Why don’t you try making a point without the hyperbole and factually incorrect statements.

        But don’t ever tell me I trivialize rape when the woman I love most in this world has been a victim of it. That’s obnoxious and ill-advised on your part, not to mention just plain wrong.

        • Maybe you should ask your wife how she would feel if she was a college student at Yale, and she heard those men chanting outside of her dorm.

          And even if she says to you that it wouldn’t have bothered her that much, and even if she agrees that these kids should not be punished, please try to remember that many other women who have been victims of sexual assault DON’T feel the same way.

          You’ve been attacked numerous times in these comments, but I’m trying really hard not to do that. I hardly feel that all men are pigs, and that all men deserve to go to hell because these Yale students are representations of what all men are like. But we live in a culture that condones rape and misogyny, and even if what these kids did was just childish and stupid, it’s still inexcusable on a college campus. College should be a safe place. What they did could have made many people feel unsafe. I know women who would break down into panic attacks from just hearing those words.

          Yes, I know – they’re just words. But words are so powerful and we can’t even begin to change the nature of our misogynistic society until we change the way we -talk-. It’s not okay to joke about rape.

          • My wife and I went to college together. She’s heard much worse than these dumb chants.

            I know not everyone will have the same reaction, but you need to realize that as well. Just because you’re deeply offended by this doesn’t mean everyone else has to be. And if they aren’t, there’s no need to attack them just because they don’t share your level of outrage.

            What culture do you live in that condones rape and misogyny? I don’t live in that culture. There’s a special place in hell reserved for rapists. And just because I don’t think these students should be officially sanctioned, it doesn’t mean I condone what they did. In fact, I’d love for someone to write an article interviewing a few of these pledges to see what they think of this and how they feel with all the media backlash. Maybe they feel as idiotic as they should. Maybe they’ve learned something. I certainly hope so.

        • Woobie Tuesday says:

          It looks to me like they may have violated Connecticut’s Bias laws. According to the Connecticut Office of Legal Research it appears to be a Second Degree criminal violation and a Class D felony if convicted. Here’s the link to a law report which spells it out pretty clearly:

          • It could certainly be argued, but I read through them and I highly doubt it would hold up in court. Just my opinion, but that’s what lawyers are for I guess.

            Thanks for providing that link though.

    • legalmind says:

      Incitement to violence is in fact one of the limitations to free speech, see for example, the Supreme Court’s decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio. There are legitimate, actual limits to free speech, legally speaking. First & foremost, based on the first four words of the Amendment, is that the 1st Amendment only concerns GOVERNMENT action.
      Also, not punishing them IS condoning their behavior, it just doesn’t necessarily promote it. Acquiescence is just as dangerous as “awesome dude!”
      Maybe there’s a connection between such a “stupid hazing ritual” and the fact that a great deal of college rapes happen in frat houses? (or that an alarming number of rapes happen on college campuses in general)

    • I’ll repeat something I wrote above…

      No one takes Nazis seriously because the last time Nazis had any power was in ww2 germany.

      Rape is common and prevalent on university campuses everywhere. There are victims of sexual assault and rape everywhere. This isn’t some joke made about issues from the distant past. This kind of thing is going on right now. It’s not funny and it IS a call to violence that could be taken seriously. And it’s wrong and should be punished. They are organized not on public property, but on a private institution’s grounds. It’s up to Yale. And Yale has every right to punish them, and should.

  42. Yale Grad says:

    I wouldn’t think too much of it. As a Yale alum, I’ve been to many DKE parties, and their “frat” is hardly a “frat.” Furthermore, many of them are gay. I slept with some of the brothers of DKE while I was there.

    The Women’s Center at Yale, however, is quite a joke. Most of the women at Yale (feminists included) don’t take those ladies seriously at all.

    • Yep, I agree. When I was an undergrad (during the first Gulf War), DKE was never taken seriously. There are probably meat heads at every institution, even my alma mater. Boola boola!

    • both points are completely irrelevant to the discussion.

  43. First and foremost, the second amendment? That’s the one about bearing arms, not free speech.

    Secondly, why are so many people willing to let these guys off with nothing more than a little bad press? 18 year old girls, who’ve only been away from home for a couple months now, could hear a mob, a literal mob, of men chanting about raping them outside their dorm windows. Can you imagine how frightening that would be? I would be terrified. Some of these girls might leave school altogether, and could you blame them? They’re being forced to choose between getting an education and possibly being raped by some frat guy who doesn’t care that she said no, and apparently there are a LOT of guys like that at Yale.

    • Tanya, you make an excellent underexamined point. Would it be wrist-slap time if a gang of white guys marched through campus chanting like a lynch mob? I guess once upon a time it was. “just kidding….” Folks have got to move past the mentality that this is about silly and harmless behavior.

    • Valkyrie607 says:

      Imagine a woman who’s a freshman at Yale. Imagine that she has been raped before. (I guarantee you there’s at least one.) Imagine she’s sitting in her dorm room, peacefully studying for a class during her first semester, when outside she hears a bunch of male voices, chanting, “No means yes and yes means anal!”

      That has got to be amazingly traumatic. I would completely understand if a young woman felt like she couldn’t stay at Yale after that – and what a horrible choice to have to make: whether to preserve her sense of safety from sexual assault, or to continue her education at one of the top schools in the country, which she no doubt worked her butt off to get into.

      Tanya makes an excellent point.

  44. Yale? I mean…Yale? Wow. I am totally depressed now. Thank God the comments took an upturn after the first one. Re: the Good Men project, I think we have to be open about how the behavior of men in groups can be very dangerous – men do things in a group they would never consider doing as individuals. The whole group culture and what it’s about is really important.

    • Trust me, even the best universities have their share of idiots.

      • Your point is well taken, Matt. It’s a mistake to think any “place” with humans in it is ultimately any better than any other when it comes to this kind of thing.

        • Yes, Yale. Sad but true. I went to college there and I still distinctly remember the day when, after a heated conversation at the dining hall with some friends, I realized not only that education makes little difference when it comes to misogyny, but that it is precisely because privileged men like these go on to dominate society that the status quo is what it is. I have been a pessimist ever since. And a feminist.

    • According to several female Yale students and alumni, they pull something like this stunt around the Women’s Center on a fairly regular basis.

      Also, it’s pretty discouraging that at least half the reasonable commenters on The Good Men Project are female. I’d have hoped more men would have some interest in being decent human beings and making the world a safe place for everybody, not just rapists and their apologists.

    • Incognito says:

      I’m not saying that this attitude isn’t completelly disgusting, but that type of attitude is common in groups of people in general. I’ve always heard it called Mob Mentality.

      This specific behavior is probably more pronounced in men on a cultural level though, as they have the power in this case to say these things.

  45. Davey Haas says:

    Stupid? Yes. Punishable? No. Funny? Not really. It’s good to see that a fraternity chant can still freak people out though. To the others that have weighed in so emotionally and so intelligently, no one noticed the references to the second amendment for free speech. Come on! That’s basic!! Finally, a lot of guys join fraternities to party with women…do you think many women from campus will be around this year? They have punished themselves! Let it be.

    • One. Women are not a reward for basic decency, or any kind of behavior for that matter, so a lack of women can not be a punishment. Punishable? Certainly. They are at a private institution. They were calling for violence and making rape into a joke. They can say what they want, but they certainly have to face consequences from the people they hurt or offend for that they say. I hope that in these boys’ cases, that means the fraternity loses its charter at Yale.

    • Dan Edmonds says:

      Dude, at least learn your amendments. It’s the first amendment. And it only protects you from laws restricting speech; private institutions (like Yale) still have the right to punish their students for inappropriate speech acts.

      • I know my amendments. That was a reference to past comments. Did you read the others. This whole thing is weak. We don’t even know who it was…for all we know it was a random group of guys. Not having women is definitely a punishment.

        • Incognito says:

          No, it’s not a punishment. People are not a commodity to be witheld, this may be a consequence of their actions but it is not a legitimate punishment.

    • I think it could only be seen as funny if rape wasn’t so common. The fact that so many women fear getting raped or have been victims of it is what makes it not funny at all. It happens every day!!
      And it is punishable. These ‘boys’ are representatives of Yale by being students of that institution. Are these students the type of people that Yale wants to produce? Are these these the students that Yale wants to be proud of? They are an embarrassment to Yale and as such, Yale has the right and good reason to punish them. By doing so, they’re sending the message that Yale does not condone such behaviour. An educational institution has the right to punish students for a variety of reasons and inciting violence is perfectly reasonable and it would set a precedent.

  46. I guess this is an example of mob psychology as well as acquiensce to a dim witted authority. This is harrassment and a call to violence. Yale University should issue a public apology to the women of Yale, of New Haven, and the entire country, especially given that they are known to educate many of our future leaders. This is despicable, disgusting, vulgar behavior.

    • Jordan just called it “inappropriate, disrespectful, and very hurtful to others.” But I think you’re a LOT closer to the truth with your “despicable, disgusting, vulgar.” A little stronger and we might be within spitting distance of the truth.

      • daffoditty says:

        you’re right. i can’t believe I live in a world where actions like this are actually DEBATED in whether there should be some sort of action. as a victim of many sexual assaults, words like this almost caused suicide for me as a young girl. who wants to kill themselves at 7 years old? victims of constant sexual harassment and disrespect.

        • changing_hue says:

          But debate is the amazing gift we have to figure these things out, never forget that it is discourse that leads to enlightenment.

  47. Wow, my question is: how did these guys get to this place in life where they even think this is funny? Is latent homosexual curiosity and panic that prevalent in our society? And what of the aggression toward women. I think there is a bigger problem here than the Second Amendment an the interpretation thereof.

  48. “The chants are not dangerous.” Just like using the n-word or telling racist jokes isn’t “dangerous,” until you create and sanction a culture in which some people are less human than others, or not human at all. Why don’t people ever get that all of this is part of a cultural discourse, and that discourses are incredibly, INCREDIBLY powerful. Calling it “gay” wouldn’t help, because you’re just trading one kind of dehumanization for another. You have to actually change the conversation.

    • The chants are indeed dangerous and to deny that they are is just as harmful. Does telling a dog who has been trained to attack and kill –“Attack!” or “Kill!” fall under your interpretation of free speech if the dog follows this “free speech” and kills a person –and is this speech something you would consider to not be dangerous. When speech violates the civil liberties (and the right to be free from violent acts) of an individual or group of people (women in this case) –it is not free speech. Along similar lines, if you put a sign on the front of your restaurant that says, “No Blacks Allowed” or “Whites Only” –only words, right? Wrong! I suggest you read, “Only Words”, by Catharine Mackinnon. These chants are not “part of a cultural discourse” — Actually, they may indeed fall within the definitions of “hate speech”.

      • I’m sorry, the dog analogy is so completely off base it isn’t even funny. And it certainly doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.

        Giving a trained attack dog a command to kill is murder. You are responsible for your dog, and hence the act. It has nothing do with freedom of speech or the incident in question.

        And please tell me, how did these chants violate anyone’s civil liberties? There were no violent acts to speak of.

        • “There were no violent acts to speak of.”

          Sure, the pledges didn’t go into girls’ dormitories and start throwing them down and raping the lot of them, but do they really need to act physically violent for their acts to be considered violent? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Words are very, very powerful, all on their own.

          Daddy Files, I see you have a son. Think about if your baby boy was really your baby girl, and your baby girl went off to Yale for freshmen year, and heard these men chanting outside of her dorm. If she called you, upset because of how those words made her feel, would you have this same reaction?

          Please, step away from your point of view as a white male and try to think about this from the perspective of a woman.

          • Me being a white male has nothing to do with my opinion on this topic. And the fact that you claim that is pretty off-putting.

            If I had a daughter she would already be aware of the dangers out there, including being raped. And in this case, I would tell her to remain cautious but not get all worked up because these are pledges being forced to do some of the most idiotic and humiliating things imaginable all for the sake of “brotherhood.” I would tell her they’re not worth her time.

            And yes, words are powerful. But I do not think some idiotic chanting is the same as a violent act. I just don’t.

          • daffoditty says:

            what if your daughter was a rape victim? Would you still tell her to ignore it? I really do see where you’re coming from. I don’t mean disrespect. I want to help you understand what I go through, which is unfortunately not common. I was in a female physiology class with a surprising amount of men (usually women take the large majority, but it was almost half/half). My teacher invited a speaker and had us close our eyes and raise our hands if we agree with the statement. She started out with statements like, “I would rather walk with a friend during the dark?” A lot of people raised their hands. Then she preceded to statements like, “I would not walk alone during the dark ever.” Some hands started coming down from the men. Then she got a little more personal, “I am afraid of being raped.” Then the hands went back up. “I am so afraid of rape, I avoid certain places all together and are limited on a daily basis.” Then, “I feel that my gender is objectified and disrespected at least twice a day.” I couldn’t see a male raising his hand anywhere. Some men spoke out saying things like, “I had no idea that this many women felt so much fear and disrespect.” others said, “It’s hard to believe that women have so much to worry about and that they’re limited because of this worry.” One young man, said something that really touched me. He said something like, “This is disgusting. It’s disgusting that I was only aware of this 21 years into my life. I think about my sister, my mom, my daughter. As a man, I have to influence other men. They need to know women go through this.” I hope that maybe you’ll take something away from realizing the shit some people have to go through.

  49. David Wise says:

    That fraternity’s slogan “No means yes, yes mean anal” sounds so gay. People should flip it back to them.

  50. 1) Free speech says that the government can’t censor speech. It doesn’t say that you’re protected from the consequences given by a private institution of which you are a member when you say something stupid and destructive.
    2) Free speech doesn’t cover speech that incites violence, which the chant, “No means yes. Yes means anal” arguably does.

  51. Stupid and inappropriate? Yes. Worthy of administrative action? Hell no. Free speech is a great thing, but sometimes it tries our patience and frustrates the hell out of us. They took their lumps in the press and by different groups on campus. Everyone saw how dumb they are, and they apologized for it. But penalizing these students for this particular act would mean heading down a slippery slope.

    • Free speech is NOT without limitation – one such limitation is a call to violence. Loudly stating that you intend to rape women while speaking on behalf of your organization is a call to violence.

      In addition to the fact that they are asking for the University – a private institution – to take action, not the government.

      This does not fall under the purview of the 2nd amendment.

      In other words, OMGBUTWHATABOUTFREESPEECH does not apply here.

      • And the Framers weep says:

        If you’re going to lecture people on the limits of free speech, you should probably know which amendment you’re talking about. Freedom of expression is covered in the First Amendment. The Second Amendment deals with the right to keep and bear arms.

        • youre wrong says:

          there are ABSOLUTELY limitations to the right of free speech, actually. and this does NOT fall under free speech at all! anytime the subject matter degrades others, thats not free speech thats idiotic. stop defending these idiots! this definitely deserves administrative action! they should be on probation at LEAST!

          • So how do you explain nazi hate speech on Main St. That certainly degrades others and it is allowed. I agree it is idiotic, but it’s still legal. But that is totally different than what occurs on a private campus. But if you notice, I NEVER said they were protected under the 1st Amendment. I said penalizing them is going down a slippery slope. I still think that.

            If you could read, you’d see that I’m not defending them. I’ve called them stupid, childish and idiotic. I’ve said very clearly I don’t agree with them. But I also don’t think they did anything that warrants a serious punishment like expulsion or probation.

    • You people need to learn what the hell free speech means. Americans are stupidly ignorant of this and think calling out your ignorant hateful crap = YOUR OPPRESSING MY FREE SPEECH BAWWW

      WEEEEE they apologized. So freaking what. They deserve acting against them.

      • Fartnog Buttstinkle says:

        Actually, freedom of speech is limtless; just because you don’t like like what’s being said doesn’t mean that it should be banned.

        Oh, and talk about the pot calling the kettle black. FYI, if you’re going to call people ignorant, it’s probably a good idea that you know how to use “you’re”.

        • “Actually, freedom of speech is limtless”

          We should pack you into a crowded theater with all the frat boys and yell Fire! then.

    • Dan Edmonds says:

      Ok, let me make this clear Daddy Files: Free speech only means that the government will not impose penalties on people because of speech acts (and, as Laura notes, there are even limits to that). Yale, as a private institution, has every right to sanction their students for what Yale considers to be inappropriate speech acts. Your employer can fire you for inappropriate speech acts (even, by the way, if your employer is the government). You can be thrown out of private property because of your speech acts.

      Free speech simply promises that there will not be LEGAL consequences for your speech acts. Other consequences do NOT impinge upon the right to free speech.

      • Bingo!

        Thank you for this. People in this country are woefully ignorant about what their actual rights are.

      • Dan: I understand what free speech is. I’m perfectly aware that Yale is a private institution of higher learning and Yale officials can impose whatever punishments they see fit. We agree on all counts here.

        My point was it is my humble opinion that Yale should not take action against these students. I do not like what they did. I think it was dumb and void of all forethought. But I fail to see how their words could be construed as a threat. To me, they didn’t threaten anyone. They paraded around looking like idiots, but they did not directly threaten anyone.

        It is akin to punishing someone for walking outside and yelling about wanting to kill his roommate.

        • I just don’t understand how you fail to see their words as a threat. As a young female college student, I would be frightened if these men were walking around my housing building, yelling about rape. I would lock myself in my dorm and wait until they went away. Furthermore, as a young female college student who has been a victim of sexual assault, these words are even more frightening.

          It’s -extremely- threatening for a woman to hear those words – and, I imagine it could be threatening from a male’s perspective as well. Because not only women get raped, you know.

          To me, this falls under the line of verbal sexual harassment, and it’s completely inexcusable to turn a college campus into an unsafe environment. Sadly, it happens all the time.

          • I guess it’s just a difference of opinion. If I saw/heard that on campus I would chalk it up to moronic frat jackasses doing what they do best. And I’d ignore them because they don’t deserve the attention.

            I’m not doubting that you would feel threatened and I’m not belittling your point of view. I know others will agree. I just don’t see it. That doesn’t make me right or wrong, it’s just my opinion. But I think it’d be difficult to prove they created an unsafe environment or specifically threatened anyone.

          • daffoditty says:


            I completely understand your point of view. I guess it just saddens me. As a female college student myself, and a victim of sexual assault my whole life these awful men’s rants are EXTREMELY threatening to me. I respect that you have such a low opinion of them, that it doesn’t even bother you. However, if you know that it frightens others, wouldn’t you agree that there should be some sort of action against this? I mean if a drunk guy threatens a black belt, its humorous. When a drunk guy threatens someone more defenseless, it’s terrifying. I have had it happen to me a lot. At this point, my lifestyle is limited in a lot of areas because of this disrespect. Personally, if I heard that while on campus, I would call the cops. Some people are SO stupid that they plan on harm and will announce it. Again, first hand experience. I wish I could blow them off too. I don’t want to give them ANY power. But I can not sit here, and feel good about them not getting a punishment. To me, no punishment would be saying that what they did is ok. That their message has been approved by Yale University. I know its a bit extreme, but people need to know that rape is disgusting and any mentality supporting it should not be…well, supported.

    • Woobie Tuesday says:

      Daddy Files, I have read your other posts below. I think your wife is right. This is a teachable moment. Yale is an educational facility. As such, Yale has a responsibility to TEACH these men that advocating sexual violence against another is neither appropriate, nor acceptable. I am not a teacher, nor do I know the best means of educating. Rewards and punishments have worked in the past. It seems to me that punishments are in order.

      I am also dismayed about the lack of discussion surrounding this event outside of this small circle. These are men of privilege. They are expressing a sense of entitlement to their own sexual gratification and the violent exercise of power over women–or anybody else–who happens to be in their sights. This is the frat that brought us G.W. Bush. These are the future leaders of America. We should all be outraged.

    • Last week, my visceral response to fraternities and rape culture, which was pacified temporarily upon my immersion into a graduate school, returned with a vengeance. Granted, it’s hard to avoid thinking and getting angry about rape when one works in a law center dedicated solely to responding to it, and when one pursues a graduate degree focused on it. Thus, I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear about Yale’s latest extracurricular sport: chanting. About rape. Anal rape. Rape of “sluts,” campus rape, party rape. All kinds of rape, in fact.

      Now, victim advocates and campus residents are calling for a reaction that goes beyond wrist-slapping (or, as I imagine it, high-fiving). But as with most women’s issues and particularly women’s issues pertaining to “sex” (is rape sex?), the backlash to this feminist response is as strong as the response itself. Protectors of these perpetrators (because, let’s face it, most of them are probably rapists) argue that adjudication by Yale’s administration would be going “overboard,” and claim that the bros in this fraternity were merely practicing their freedom of speech by inciting threats to women’s health and safety.

      In the words of the Dude, “this isn’t a first amendment thing.”

      First of all, Yale is a private institution, and as such, it has the freedom to react accordingly to any actions that intimidate and target half their resident population.

      Yes, Yale has a choice.

      Of course, most institutions turn blind and/or victim-blaming eyes to victims who come forward about completed rape, let alone demonstrations calling for it.

      And you know, I have a feeling that the whole “free speech” defense of these disgusting displays of violence would go out the window if the frat had showed up at a Hillel Club shouting “Kill the Jews” or headed to the Black Student Union screaming for a lynching. Like racial and cultural minorities, across which women span, this half of the world’s population has historically been not only oppressed, but violently so, at the hands of a dominant, unforgiving group: men. Not all or most men, to be sure. But men, nonetheless.

      Our culture needs to reach a consensus about violence against women: it’s historic, it’s present, and it’s detrimental to us all. Rape is already rampant on college campuses in 2010. Remember: 1 in 4 women will be victims of sexual assault in college, and only 1 in 10 these victims will report it. To ignore this battle cry to perpetuate sexual assault is to comply with and condone a future where women are not valued, are not heard.

      We have witnessed an outpouring of support toward suicidal teens and university students in LGBT communities around the country this month. These voices have risen to the top of the media, commanded the attention of the president, and are changing how we respond to verbal assaults upon lesbian and gay youth. Now we need to ask ourselves why we have never found the same relief- the same rallying- for women, who cross all lines of race, class, sexuality and gender identity.

      It would be great to tell all women, “it gets better.” But does it?

    • Free speech. A very interesting term. Its in our constitution, and so It must apply to every walk of life. Yale is a private college. Yale’s administration should disband this frat. Other people say this is a constitutional right, and should not be punished for it. So when I am getting arrested and I say to the cop “I am going to kill you and all your family”, he should not react with more aggression towards apprehending me? If I yell fire in a crowded theater, I should not get punished. News Organizations should be able to lie, because of Free Speech. Bill Clinton got impeached for lying about an affair, a total personal matter, yet we should not punish these frats that promote rape? These are double standards. I go further, the spies who were deported to Russia should not get punished, nor shall any spy get punished, because we have Free Speech. Conservatives please stop pretending we are free, because we are not, Clinton got impeached for lying about an Affair. No harm done except to Hillary and Himself, why was the Senate even forcing him to admit such a thing. Yet Nazis can march through Jewish neighborhoods in Chicago. They should not be charged with a braking a law, because that’s what the Constitution is, the basis of our laws. But Yale a private college should punish them for their disrespect. They represent the college and are supposed to be upstanding members of our community… Don”t confuse being arrested and charged, with punishment at a college. I mean free speech could almost cover cheating on tests… Well I got the freedom to write whatever I want on the brim of my hat… BOTTOM LINE this is a Private College, and these fraternity members most likely broke college rules by promoting Rape, they deserve punishment by Yale, not our government.

    • freedom of speech? even to incite violence against a specific group?


  1. […] college campuses is a growing problem, and the corrupt fraternity system may be at the root of it. Even Ivy League schools like Yale have had their reputations damaged by such […]

  2. […] the post just writes itself: On Wednesday night, Delta Kappa Epsilon pledges marched through Yale’s Old Campus — where most first-year female students are housed — chanting, “No means yes, yes means […]

  3. […] no doubt has been stung in the past by not doing enough about blatant sexual harassment, including the fraternity hazing first reported here on GMP.  But I find the reporting of this incident troubling and all too reminiscent of the Duke […]

  4. Recommended Resources…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]…

  5. […] back in October, we helped break the story of Yale’s Delta Kappa Epsilon pledging ritual that involved marching blindfolded pledges […]

  6. […] the filmmakers might have exaggerated the boorishness of Ivy League fraternities, until I read this. These are our future […]

  7. […] 4) In Yale Fraternity Pledging, Rape Is a Laughing Matter, by Cooper Fleishman […]

  8. […] first grabbed my attention was a headline that read “In Yale fraternity pledging, rape is a laughing matter.”  Yale?  I thought this has to be a joke.  Oh no, it’s not a joke.  The pledge […]

  9. […] Taking a cue from Yale DKE pledges, students from North High School in Eastlake, Ohio, had this to say about the opposing team: […]

  10. […] and from what I can tell, the backs of visible heads tend toward the gray end of the spectrum. Good Feed, the blog of the Good MenProject, covered the story. DKE’s President Jordan Forney, […]

  11. […] « Frat antics aren’t particularly known for their sensitivity. […]

  12. […] the post just writes itself: On Wednesday night, Delta Kappa Epsilon pledges marched through Yale’s Old Campus — where most first-year female students are housed — chanting, “No means yes, yes […]

  13. […] Wednesday night, Delta Kappa Epsilon pledges marched through Yale’s Old Campus — where most first-year female students are housed — chanting, “No means yes, yes […]

Speak Your Mind