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.
“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 (firstname.lastname@example.org; 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 (email@example.com; 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org; 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 (email@example.com; 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.