â€œI want to go to Princeton,â€ said Amory. â€œI donâ€™t know why, but I think of all Harvard men as sissies, like I used to be, and all Yale men as wearing big blue sweaters and smoking pipes.â€
â€œIâ€™m one, you know.â€
â€œOh, youâ€™re different â€” I think of Princeton as being lazy and good-looking and aristocratic â€” you know, like a spring day. Harvard seems sort of indoors â€” â€
â€œAnd Yale is November, crisp and energetic,â€ finished Monsignor.
–F. Scott Fitzgerald, Princeton ’17, This Side of Paradise.
Andrew Sullivan will be so proud.
The Yale Freshman Class Council (I don’t think we had one of those in my day) decided to produce a T shirt for the Harvard Game featuring some expression or other of the Yale point of view on the classic athletic rivalry.
There was an opportunity for design suggestions, followed by a vote.
The original design, which won out over five other entries, displayed an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote in the front â€” â€œI think of all Harvard men as sissiesâ€ â€” in bold white letters. The back of the long-sleeved, navy blue T-shirt said â€œWE AGREEâ€ in capital letters, with â€œThe Game 2009â€ scrawled in script underneath it.
Well, Yale has its own sissies these days, and they are organized and influential.
[T]he term â€˜sissiesâ€™ is considered offensive and demeaning, and as well as a â€œthinly-veiled gay slur,â€ said Julio Perez-Torres â€™12, a member of the LGBT Co-op.
After the winning design was announced, FCC President Brandon Levin â€™13 said, several students raised concerns about the design to their respective FCC representatives, which they in turn brought to the attention of the FCC Executive Board and Dean of Freshman Affairs Raymond Ou.
The LGBT Co-op first heard about the T-shirts from a member of the Yale College Council, LGBT Co-op Coordinator Rachel Schiff â€™10 said. She followed suit by contacting the dean and master of her college â€” Silliman â€” to encourage dialogue among the Co-op, administrators and FCC.
Ou said Wednesday that he first heard about the winning T-shirt design when FCC brought the complaints to him. In response, he told the FCC chairs to meet with the concerned students face to face. Shortly after he told FCC to respond to the co-opâ€™s concerns, Ou said, he told Yale College Dean Mary Miller about the issue, and she decided to pull the design.
â€œWhat purports to be humor by targeting a group through slurs is not acceptable,â€ Miller said in an e-mail to the News. …
[The Freshman Class Council] decided to withdraw that design and opt for a different one, featuring a white â€˜Hâ€™ in the front inside a transluscent white circle, with a white line slashed through it. …
YCC President Jon Wu â€™11, who said he has been advising the FCC on the issue, said the problem was that the line of people that approved the shirts did not realize the word â€œsissiesâ€ was offensive.
â€œNone of us realized the connotation,â€ Wu said in an e-mail to the News. â€œNo member of the Yale community should feel marginalized.â€
The liberal tradition of pluralism and tolerance has evolved into a readiness to swoon and surrender in the face of any complaint or demand for concession by any group traditionally held in contempt.
Why even hold a Harvard game? If Yale cannot take the position that being a sissy is something of a negative, that being weak and cowardly and effeminate is undesirable, on what possible basis can the University justify being so rude and insensitive as to try to injure the feelings of the Harvard community by defeating its team in a violent athletic competition?
Yale’s administration, Freshman Class Council, and certainly its LGBT Co-op ought to draft an immediate letter conceding all future football games and other athletic contests to rival schools, apologize for each and every past expression of animosity and contempt, and humbly beg pardon for all the times in which Yale was crude enough to win.
It is becoming actively embarrassing to be associated with that University.
Hat tip to Robert Shibley at PJM.