In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise, the Princeton-bound Midwestern striver Amory Blaine says, “I don’t know why, but I think of all Harvard men as sissies, like I used to be, and all Yale men as wearing big blue sweaters and smoking pipes.”
Thinking this was a brilliant dis of the Cantabs, some young pipe-smoking freshmen decided to put part of that quote on their big-blue sweaters. Apparently they forget that at an elite American university such language must be cleared with the PC police:
The [Freshman Class Council] has decided to change the design of its shirts after the original design, which was submitted by students and voted on by the freshman class, sparked outcry from members within the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. But after the LGBT Cooperative and other students raised concerns about the design — which contained the word “sissies” — administrators asked the FCC to reconsider. FCC representatives decided Tuesday to scrap the old T-shirts, which had not yet been printed, and make a new design.
The original design, which won out over five other entries, displayed an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote in the front — “I think of all Harvard men as sissies” — in bold white letters. The back of the long-sleeved, navy blue T-shirt said “WE AGREE” in capital letters, with “The Game 2009” scrawled in script underneath it.
But the term ‘sissies’ is considered offensive and demeaning, and as well as a “thinly-veiled gay slur,” said Julio Perez-Torres ’12, a member of the LGBT Co-op.
The fact that the term is “considered offensive and demeaning” is sort of the point, isn’t it? And does Perez-Torres and and the LGBT Co-op really think that “sissies”—a term that means effeminate, timid, or cowardly—is used only as a gay slur? What word would they prefer to be used to describe effeminate, timid, cowardly men? Or do we now live in an age where all men are manly, bold, and brave? (I’m not saying that I approve of the wide and thoughtless use of the term—I just don’t think it should be verboten.)
The change in the shirt, however, is probably for the best if the wittiest retort the Yalies can come up with is adding “WE AGREE” to a quote by a Princeton grad (Class of 1917).
(Via: Pajamas Media)