T-shirts printed by the Freshman Class Council for football games against Harvard have traditionally featured taunts and put downs of the rival institution, and vice-versa, but this year the featured text – “I think of all Harvard men as sissies,” – proved too provocative for the increasingly sensitive Yale palate. After the LGBT co-op criticized the text (as it happens, it is a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise) for being a “thinly veiled anti-gay slur,” it was replaced by a rather lame H with a slash through it.
This is the second time in a few months we have evidence of Yale’s exacerbated sensibilities to speech that may provoke offense. In the summer of 2009, the university removed all images from a book on the Danish Cartoon controversy because of possible future violence. Perhaps, in fact, it’s Yale, not Harvard, who is the sissy. (Oh, oops, was that offensive?)