Last spring a story in the Yale alumni magazine dealt with the university’s decision to cut ties between its chapel and a particular denomination. The magazine’s cover featured four beaming clergymen posed before neo-Gothic arches. “So, a minister, a priest, a Buddhist, and a rabbi walk into a university…no joke: religion at Yale,” read the caption.
Pretty harmless stuff, right?
Well, as Heather Mac Donald reports in a hilarious piece in this week’s Weekly Standard, it was enough to render two Yale feminists hysterical:
“‘I was ashamed at the cover of last month’s alumni magazine,’ wrote Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio in a letter to the editor. Demonstrating the deconstructive interpretive skills she undoubtedly picked up as an undergraduate, Tumminio went on: ‘[T]his image sends the message that Yale as an academic and spiritual center has not progressed far from the days when only men could take books out of the library, enroll in classes, and graduate with diplomas that gave them the privilege to lead congregations….[I]t waters down religion at Yale to a patriarchy in which students are asked to conform to the God of the old boys’ network.’
“The Rev. Clare Robert, a divinity school graduate, was equally distraught: ‘I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the latest issue of your magazine,’ she wrote. ‘I believe an apology is in order.’ To the Rev. Robert, Yale’s cover shows the failure of ’30-plus years of feminism and feminist theology.’ She asks incredulously: ‘Didn’t anyone look at that front cover of four clergymen and see how unrepresentative it is of Yale, of the people in the pews, and even the campus ministries these men supposedly represent?’ Inevitably, Robert also took offense at the article’s title: ‘Gods and Man at Yale.’ A more ‘sensitive’ editor, she admonished, would have amended the title to ‘Gods and (Wo)Man at Yale’–and literary style be damned.”
Of course, this is both silly and pathetic–the latest example of how emotional and trivialized typical campus feminism has become. Mac Donald compares it to the hysteria that broke out on Harvard’s campus when President Larry Summers dared to speculate aloud on scientific theories:
“The world learned last January that the neurasthenic streak in today’s feminists has become so strong that they collapse at the mere mention of scientific hypotheses that displease them (as befell MIT biologist Nancy Hopkins upon hearing Harvard president Larry Summers aver to possible sex differences in mathematical ability). Now it turns out that the neo-Victorians cannot even tolerate the sight of men together without breaking out into shame and dismay….
“The suggestion that the alumni magazine’s editors are insensitive to women is equally delusional. This is the same magazine that enthusiastically follows every latest development in Yale’s women’s and gender studies program, as well as in its queer studies initiatives. In the issue in which Tumminio’s and Robert’s letters appear, the renowned-alumnus slot goes to Debbie Stoller, the editor of Bust magazine (‘For Women With Something to Get Off Their Chests’) and author of Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation, which inspired an international network of women’s knitting groups.”