The boys (not men) of Yale’s Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) chanted, “No means yes! Yes means anal!” at the Women’s Center on campus last week. See video.
What was their motive?
When people do things like this – put others down – they’re trying to create an identity for themselves and for the people they are targeting.
“No means yes.” While rape has a sexual component, it’s mostly about power. In this chant, the guys were celebrating images of men overpowering women. “Yes means anal”? If she says yes, then do something she didn’t ask for (and presumably wouldn’t want) turning even “yes” into rape.
Chanting in front of the Women’s Center – a safe space for women who have been assaulted or abused – makes that message stronger.
Afterwards, the frat offered an apology that let them off the hook. And which actually helps them to feel powerful: We can do anything so long as we apologize.
How sorry are they? Frat boys shouted the same slogans in front of the Women’s Center in 2006. In 2008 a different fraternity bellowed their love of “Yale sluts” in the same location.
Here we have boys desperately trying to assert their manhood. Intimidating women to create a sense of male superiority that doesn’t exist in nature – otherwise they wouldn’t need to try so hard. It all screams “insecurity!” There must be a big gap between the men they want to be, and the boys they seemingly are, to make that much effort.
Guys in frats are often pressured to hurt women to prove their manhood. “Bros before ho’s.” Sociologist, Michael Kimmel, studies men. And he says that many of these pledges don’t want to do the hurtful things to women that they are pressured to do.
But aren’t men supposed to be strong, confident, courageous? Don’t men follow their conscience instead of following the crowd?
What we see here is not courage but bravado. Trying to appear more brave than they really are.
This is supposed to prove their manhood?
Are women that threatening? Really, these guys are just scaredy cats.
Related post: Ever Wanted To Be A Woman? What Men Say