Stop the Hate!

A blog dedicated to stopping the anti-woman hate speech at Harvard Law School, where women are being publicly called "sluts"

Now Women Harvard Law Students Are Being Called “Sluts”

There are plenty of women students at Georgetown, including at the law school, who don’t hide their sexuality.

But it’s hate speech for anyone to call any of them a “slut” or talk about how much sex they’re having. Such “misogynistic and hateful language” is beyond the pale — truly unforgiveable.

“All decent folks can agree,” President Obama remarked, that a woman should not be called a “slut” — the word has no “place in the public discourse.” As Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) put it in an interview on Meet the Press, “I don’t know any woman in America . . . that thinks that being called a slut is funny.”

So why are women at Harvard Law School having to endure being called “sluts”? Why are people being allowed to openly talk about how much sex these “sluts” have — and even more private, about how frequently they have orgasms? And have this happen not on a talk radio show they probably never listen to, but right in the halls of their law school as they walk from class to class?

Recently the Harvard law campus has been papered with posters and flyers doing just that:

The posters and flyers advertise a class scheduled for March 26 offering “sex tips” for “sluts,” including information on lube and sex toys. The class is being promoted on huge posters advertising “Sex Week” events (more on that here). Here’s the key part of the poster (HQ image of entire poster here):

A separate flyer on plain white paper, devoted entirely to the March 26 event for “sluts,” talks about how much sex the “sluts” are having. It focuses on helping these “sluts” have more orgasms, and expresses criticism of the 89% of Harvard law students who don’t have multiple orgasms each day (HQ image of entire flyer here):

The posters and flyers aren’t a prank. They’ve been put up by an officially sanctioned law school student organization, Harvard Law Students for Reproductive Justice (HLSRJ). The posters and flyers have been up for days. They’re being paid for out of students’  tuition money because HLSRJ is one of the many student organizations “funded through the Dean of Students Office,” as part of the school’s overall budget, working with the student-run Student Funding Board.

They haven’t been taken down, because apparently calling women at Harvard Law School “sluts,” and publicly criticizing the 89% of them who don’t have multiple orgasms each day, is okay with the administration — even though these posters and flyers are a prima facie violation of the rules against hate speech adopted at Harvard Law School in 1995, which mandate in relevant respect (Part I, Guideline 3):

No member of the Law School community shall subject any other member of the Law School community to any . . . speech or conduct of a sexual nature that (i) is unwelcome; and (ii) is abusive or unreasonably recurring or invasive; and (iii) has the purpose or effect of . . . creating an intimidating, demeaning, degrading, hostile, or otherwise seriously offensive working or educational environment at Harvard Law School . . . .

Help stop the hate. Help fight against the war on women.  Here’s how you can help:

1. Write or call the president of Harvard Law Students for Reproductive Justice, a woman, Kandis Brittany Wood (kwood@jd13.harvard.edu; 404-250-0354). Tell her to take down those posters and flyers, and stop calling female Harvard law students “sluts” and talking about how much sex they’re having.

2. Write or call the law school Dean of Students, a woman, Ellen Cosgrove (dos@law.harvard.edu; 617-495-1880). Tell her to work with the head of the Student Funding Board, Dylan Stern, to cut off funds to HLSRJ, to ensure that the money students pay for tuition isn’t used to fund anti-women hate speech.

3. Write or call the law school Dean, a woman, Martha Minow (minow@law.harvard.edu; 617-495-4601). Remind Dean Minow that two years ago she spoke out strongly against a white student’s hate speech against black students, even though the white student made the comments in a private e-mail. Urge Dean Minow to treat at least as seriously hate speech against women, calling them “sluts” and talking about how much sex they have, and expressed not in private but in public. Ask Dean Minow whether she would want her own daughter subjected to such hate speech.

4. Write or call the President of Harvard University, a woman, Drew Gilpin Faust (president@harvard.edu; 617-495-1502). Remind President Faust that she became president because of the early departure of her predecessor, Larry Summers, largely traceable to the controversy that erupted after he publicly questioned the ability of women to succeed in the sciences. Urge President Faust that the same standard applied to judge Larry Summers needs to be applied to everyone at Harvard who makes anti-woman comments — even other women.

5. Write or call the Attorney General of Massachusetts, a woman, Martha Coakley (office@marthacoakley.com; 617-727-2200). Ask her to investigate and enforce, to the full extent of the law, hate speech and harassment of and discrimination against women at Harvard Law School.

6. Call the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, a woman, Kathleen Sebelius (877-696-6775).  Ask her to investigate and enforce, to the full extent of the law, hate speech and harassment of and discrimination against women at Harvard Law School, an educational institution heavily subsidized by the federal government and subject to a myriad of potentially relevant statutes and regulations enforced by the Department.

7. Call President Barack Obama (202-456-1111). Or start or join a petition, at the White House’s We the People website. Remind President Obama that on March 2 he placed a phone call to a woman student at Georgetown law school who had been called a “slut.” He said he did so because he wouldn’t want to see one of his own daughters grow up, become involved with public issues, and then be called a “slut” and have people talk about how much sex she has.  Remind President Obama that he’s said “all decent folks” can agree such language should not be used, and that the head of the Democratic National Committee, a woman, has said that no women in America thinks “being called a slut is funny.”

Ask President Obama to call women students at Harvard Law School and ask them how they feel about being publicly called “sluts,” and having the frequency of their orgasms made the subject of public notice. Ask him: does he only care about women at Georgetown’s law school who are called “sluts” and are subjected to public discussion about how much sex they have?  Doesn’t he want his daughters to have option of attending Harvard Law School, which both he and his wife attended, without being abused in this manner?

Help affirm “the basic dignity of each member of society.” In a recent lecture series at Harvard Law School, legal philosopher Jeremy Waldron emphasized that efforts to stamp out hate speech need to start with targeting “expressions of hatred that are printed, published, or otherwise put into the visible environment. ” The visible environment at Harvard Law School, the very place Waldron spoke, is polluted by hate speech against women.

Help stop the hate speech.

Help fight against the war on women.

Tell Dean Cosgrove, Dean Minow, President Faust, Attorney General Coakley, and Secretary Sebelius that it’s not enough to stop men who hate women.

And it’s not enough to stop radio hosts from offending women who never listen to them.

We need to stop the women who hate other women so much that they call them “sluts” and talk about how much sex they have, in the halls of the school these women students attend, all funded by the tuition dollars their victims pay.

And if these women don’t stop the women who hate women, then help encourage President Obama to stop the women who won’t stop the women who hate women.

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18 thoughts on “Now Women Harvard Law Students Are Being Called “Sluts”

  1. Guest on said:

    This is satire, right? Because the Harvard student group’s poster definitely is.

  2. It saddens me that many will interpret this as a serious call to arms…

    I’m at GULC, and no doubt this will be seized upon in some way or other.

  3. GUEST on said:

    “Ask her to investigate and enforce, to the full extent of the law, hate speech and harassment of and discrimination against women at Harvard Law School…”

    This post was not written by an HLS student.

    • Joe White on said:

      I agree this is bad writing. I know, because I’m a bad writer. But you can be a bad writer and still be a student at HLS. At least if you’re one of the 80% of African-American students who got in pretty much because of the color of their skin, and not the content or quality of their writing (okay, it’s not just the African-American students — I’m a bad writer and I’m white, but it’s mostly the African-American students who are real, real bad writers).

      There’s a whole blog about all the African-American students here who aren’t even close to as smart as their classmates: http://harvardlawcaveman.wordpress.com.

      Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that blog, because I guess it’s hate speech under the law school rules. Just like the “slut” posters. But a lot of people seem to like that blog. More than 11,000 people, says the counter on the blog.

      Anyway, where was I? Oh. About how some HLS students write this bad. Or even worse. Here is part of a paper that a recent woman African-American student at HLS wrote (I found a link to it on that blog I mentioned; I’m not going to mention her name because I see no reason to embarrass her personally):

      “In addition to preventing essentialist notions about hip hop culture from affecting the African American community, the exploration of love in hip hop culture will reveal that rap music is more than the gangsta rap monolith to which critics diminish hip hop. The rap music of Will Smith differs substantially from the music produced by NWA. The content of rap songs draw from myriad life experiences and situations.”

      “I will examine hip hop productions that contains [sic] romantic love but to the cultural critic may not be conceived as such.”

      “If love exists in American society despite the presence of these flaws then the accusations that hip hop is devoid of love because of the possession of the same flaws is [sic] not substantiated.”

      “Exploring love in hip hop culture does not amass to rationalizing misogyny, violence or any of the aforementioned characteristics; it is a rare exploration of the possessions of hip hop instead of an exploration of its shortcomings. There are problematic elements in hip hop culture, as in any, and many scholars have extended this discussion to include the gender crises in the African American youth culture; this study makes no attempt to address or minimize the perceived problems. This essay contributes to the academy of hip hop specifically, and cultural studies generally, by consciously attempting to illuminate the selective application of logic used to assess the same concept in American society and its subcultures, that pervades the cultural studies of minority populations.”

      These are parts of a real paper by a real HLS graduate, downloaded from her undergraduate university website. I think this was her honors thesis. Imagine how bad her regular writing must be! Does everybody agree it’s a lot worse than the part of the blog post you quoted? It seems pretty clear the blog post could have been written by a student at HLS, so it seems like maybe there’s at least one student at HLS who is bothered about women being called “sluts”!

  4. This is ridiculous. HLSRJ is a group actively trying to support Fluke and fight inequality. I hope this is a satire.

  5. I support HLSRJ on said:

    Clearly the event is representing the third-wave feminist “slut walk” perspective, which is not using slut in a derogatory way. HLSRJ’s response on its tumblr is excellent: http://hlssexweek.tumblr.com/

  6. ResponsibleSlut on said:

    I support Kandis Wood and the other members of Harvard Law Students for Reproductive Justice, who are trying to draw attention to the sexual double standard and prejudice about women who engage in sex consensually and for fun. Having sex, even a lot of sex, does not make you a slut. “Slut” is an anachronistic term from a period in history in which chastity (but only for women) was considered a “virtue,” and women were either virgins or whores. We’ve long moved past that dichotomy. Women should be able to live the kinds of sexual lives they want to without condemnation by anyone, and as a society we need to learn to respect a multitude of sexual and reproductive choices. Kudos to Kandis, to Sandra Fluke, to HLSRJ, and to all the young women who are advocating for the right to decide what do to with their bodies.

  7. BD_2026 on said:

    “We need to stop the women who hate other women so much that they call them “sluts” and talk about how much sex they have, in the halls of the school these women students attend, all funded by the tuition dollars their victims pay.”

    Are you serious? This can’t be a real statement. I cannot believe the absurdity and the manipulation of this blog. You are vaguely threatening Martha Minow’s daughter, the Obama girls, and President Faust by telling them that if they don’t respond to this absurd “call to arms,” then what? They aren’t “good women?” They don’t care about women? You LINK to things about their families and careers? You are hateful.

    Why don’t you learn about what you are talking about before posting such a crazy list with people’s personal phone numbers? This event was clearly to have an open dialogue in a sex-positive light (hence the title…?), and the most pro-feminist group at Harvard Law School clearly was not calling anyone a “slut” the way you believe the word is defined. Perhaps you should have started a dialogue with the people in charge yourself and gotten their side of the story, rather than telling other people to do it in a one-sided ranting list of “perpetrators.” And are you honestly telling people who run a law school that this is harassment speech? I would be more upset about this post if it wasn’t so laughable.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • CandyMan2012 on said:

      I’m the last person who’ll defend hate speech, threats, etc., and I don’t agree with everything on this blog, but I don’t think anyone’s in danger here. As best I could tell in following hte links, all the phone numbers are work phones listed on websites. The mention of the dean’s daughter gave me pause, but at the link it quotes her bragging about her daughter’s accomplishments, just like Obama brought up his daughters during the “slut” controversy and said he wouldn’t want them called such things. So the idea seems to be that since Minow also talks about her daughter publicly, it’s fair to ask her whether it would bother her to have her daughter treated like Obama says he doesn’t want his daughters treated. If Minow and Obama hadn’t spoken of their daughters publicly, I agree it would be going too far to say something about her daughter.

      • CandyMan2012 on said:

        Forgot one thing, “BD_2026”: given your concern about what even you admit are “vague” threats against feminists regarding this “slut” controversy, am I correct that you’ve taken a strong stance against the explicit death threats made against Rush Limbaugh in connection with the same controversy? Or do your safety concerns work only one way? Just sayin’ . . . .
        http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2012/03/22/Kill-Kill-Kill-Rush-Limbaugh

      • Of course I am against threats of all kind. Even to people I disagree with. I would never suggest that any threat is appropriate.

  8. Action on said:

    I appreciate HLSRJ’s brave stand. I have attended many of the organization’s events, and each time I leave enlightened. HLSRJ aims to promote women’s rights. Their purpose for “Sex Week” is consistent with that goal. Go HLSRJ!‬

  9. Judeo-feminists=Skanks

  10. GUEST on said:

    Their response is way too long. Also, I LOL’d at “We are all Sandra Fluke.”

  11. reality check on said:

    As a proud fag, part-time bitch, and full-time sane person, I applaud these sluts for standing up for their rights: to sex, to sexual expression, to language, to identity. Words means nothing without context. This knee-jerk, overblown post reveals the same brand of malice, condescension, and sex-negativity that Limbaugh endorses. The self-righteousness and self-obsession is mindblowing – if you don’t have “slut pride”, then this poster WASN’T TALKING TO YOU. Keep your blogs off my body. That is all.

  12. GUEST on said:

    When a word like “slut” tries to turn our bodies against us, when it tries to punish us for our freedom and our choices and our convictions, why should we capitulate, apologize, and deny our humanity? There’s nothing wrong with BEING a slut, a queer, a nigger – unless you think there is. The problem is hate, not speech. The hate lies in the speaker, not the word.

    Last year, a police officer told a group of students in Toronto to stop dressing like sluts if they didn’t want to get raped. We were outraged, we were offended, and we took to the streets, thousands of us. And we called it the SlutWalk, to put the shame back where it belonged – with the bigoted cop who said those words, not the good people they were directed at.

  13. Pingback: Radical Harvard Feminists Repudiate President Obama — Insist It’s Okay to Call Women “Sluts” « Stop the Hate!

  14. Pingback: Hate Speech in Class: Radical Harvard Feminists Write “Slut” on Chalkboards « Stop the Hate!

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