Best Column

Ban college frats to keep young women safe

Obscene fraternity initiation rites at Yale are further proof that the Greek system is hostile toward women students, says Caitlin Flanagan in The Wall Street Journal

Last October, Yale University came under fire for failing to take disciplinary action when 15 pledges of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, at the order of their senior brothers, marched through campus chanting "No means yes, and yes means anal!" and "My name is Jack, I'm a necrophiliac, I f*!@ dead women and fill them with my semen!" Last month, that incident, among others, led 16 Yale students to file a complaint alleging that the university had violated Title IX by exposing its female students to a "hostile sexual environment." The lesson here, says Caitlin Flanagan in The Wall Street Journal is that "if you want to improve women's lives on campus, if you want to give them a fair shot at living and learning as freely as men, the first thing you could do is close down the fraternities." An excerpt:

Can the mere presence of slur-chanting fraternity men really create an environment that robs young women of equal opportunity to education? Yes, it can... The Greek system is dedicated to quelling young men's anxiety about submitting themselves to four years of sissy-pants book learning by providing them with a variety of he-man activities: drinking, drugging, ESPN watching and the sexual mistreatment of women. A 2007 National Institute of Justice study found that about one in five women are victims of sexual assault in college; almost all of those incidents go unreported. It also noted that fraternity men — who tend to drink more heavily and frequently than nonmembers — are more likely to perpetrate sexual assault than non-fraternity men, according to previous studies. Over a quarter of sexual-assault victims who were incapacitated reported that the assailant was a fraternity member.

Read the entire article in The Wall Street Journal.

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