Monday, April 17, 2006

The Yale of the future? Still not so bright.

The Asian American Students Association and other groups are protesting racist content in the Bulldog Days editions of the Herald and Rumpus. There's a facebook group that makes the arguments and has a lively discussion board.

We've found it hard to laugh at the Rumpus' tasteless and irresponsible articles in the past, and we've had the same debates on this blog about rape jokes and the promotion of sexist stereotypes. The verdict is that the line has been crossed, again. I find it disturbing, telling, fitting that it's been crossed in connection with Bulldog Days, a time notorious for sexual assaults on and among pre-frosh and what exists of Yale's frat culture is played up to the max. Not only does this "undermine diversity recruitment," it fosters this culture among Yalies - before they even get here. That's shameful.


laura said...

I think what's most interesting in the editorial by Hung and Wong today in the YDN is the way they specifically identify racialized gender stereotypes: "The submissive, golddigging, hypersexualized beings portrayed in the Rumpus are not the vocal, go-get-'em, independent Asian-American females we know. By the same token, the Asian males we know are passionate, strong-minded leaders -- not sexless, passive nerds." The authors also write that they are offended by "Yale Record's inclusion of an aggressive Asian girl as one of Yale's prominent campus personalities and in the Rumpus's depiction of Asian males as having "no game."

This is typical of much social commentary: in trying to refute racist sterotypes, which these women rightly bristle at, they identify traits of ambitious people in very traditional gendered ways. Is the idea that Asian men are sexless and passive just as offensive as the idea that Asian women are porn stars? What type of masculinity is at stake? (A sexualized one.) What type of femininity is at stake? (An unaggressive" one.) Why are men described as leaders and women as merely independent?

There's really complicated stuff going on in that sentence. BR, comment on that!

Amy said...

I fully supported the Day of Silence because racial jokes are never funny. Also, the Rumpus portrays women in such a way that they are only valued for their sexuality. How long I "stay tight" is no one's business and should not determine anything about my worth.