An online space for queer, questioning, lesbian, bi, trans and everything else in between women at Yale

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Apparently, Feminism = VULGAR SEXUALITY

So if you haven't read THIS ARTICLE yet, you really should. Meghan Clyne's review of the Title IX suit in the New York Post has been all over Facebook today, provoking almost unanimous fury from the queer and feminist who come up in my News Feed. Whatever you think about the Title IX suit -- and I understand people who are totally conflicted about it -- this article is completely uncalled-for and offensive.

In case you don't want to read the entire article, here are some highlights:

"Before you shed a tear for Yale or its feminists, consider the role that both have played in saturating the campus with vulgar sexuality. In an effort to foster "dialogue" and "acceptance" of every possible sexual choice or act, they've drenched students, faculty and administrators in images and vocabulary of graphic sexuality."

Really, Meghan Clyne? Vulgar sexuality? The incidents cited in our attempts to hypersexualize all of Yale include hosting drag workshops during Trans Week and discussions about intercourse and its relations to patriarchy. OH GOD PEOPLE WEARING DRAG! OH GOD PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT SEX! VULGARVULGARVULGAR. This just seems ridiculous to me. And frankly, it's incredibly offensive. Heteronormative reactions like Clyne's are prohibitive to constructive dialogue and completely criminalize alternative sexualities. I don't personally see how drag workshops are a legitimate provocation for the "We Love Yale Sluts" incident. But what do I know? I'm just a little girl feminist. I don't know anything.

"When every taboo around sex is systematically eradicated, aren't cries of "We Love Yale Sluts" inevitable?"

Inevitable? Yes, please, please, PLEASE tell me that eradicating heteronormative, discriminatory, exclusive practices of sexuality is a cause for misogynistic chanting. Please, please, PLEASE demonize any form of public sexuality that isn't "inoffensive" to your poor eyes. I truly, TRULY do not understand how having discussions of masturbation or demonstrations of the use of condoms makes that incident okay. I also don't understand why we would want to keep taboos about sex that are clearly outdated, unhelpful, and offensive. You think that the administration should "insist on the basic norms that govern life outside the academic bubble"? Those norms are excluding of a large portion of the Yale student body. They cause problems throughout the United States for queer, feminist, and sex-positive people regardless of gender. The institution should work to eradicate harmful norms, not reinforce them.

And, perhaps the most ridiculous claim of all: "The people who truly must suffer in Yale's climate are those who disagree with the Women's Center's agenda."

The Women's Center. Is not. A majority. They are not the loudest voice on campus. And these incidents of harassment being protested by the Title IX plaintiffs are real incidents that occurred regardless of the Women's Center's attempts at advocacy. Sexual culture at Yale is not dictated by the Women's Center. In fact, my experience has been that--outside of the LGBTQ Co-Op events--sexual culture is far more dominated by hegemonic, heteronormative ideas of sexual interaction. Who in that culture is suffering because of the Women's Center? Should we feel bad for the members of Yale's campus who "suffer" because sexual harassment is becoming an increasingly public and less tolerated issue? NO.

Honestly. I want an answer from this lady. Who's really suffering? The members of campus culture who follow the norms of Yale sexual interaction? They seem to be fitting in just fine to me.

What does everyone else think? Am I overreacting? Or are Meghan Clyne's accusations of "sexual exhibitionism/vulgar sexuality" completely out of line?


RachelinDeutschland said...

Meghan Clyne is completely and utterly out of line.

Guess you can't expect much more out of the NY Post though :/

Anonymous said...

Totally agreed! the NY post article is poorly researched and just down right wrong. All phrased in the most offensive and victim blaming way possible.

The Tame Lion said...

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