Letter: Nothing Changes at Dartmouth

Nothing Changes at Dartmouth

To the Editor:

I would like to add my voice to that of Gretchen Spalding Wetzel (Forum, April 1) and others who have written to protest the verdict in the Parker Gilbert trial.

The office where I worked at Dartmouth during the 1980s employed a student who played on the women’s rugby team. Although the women regularly attended the men’s rugby games to show their support, the men did not attend the women’s games. At one point, in fact, the men circulated a joke, “Why having a beer is better than having a girl,” which quickly spread around campus. The joke was not funny, even in a raunchy way; it had nothing in common, for instance, with the ribald remarks characteristic of the entries in the Outing Club logbooks of the pre-coed days. It was simply degrading. But the women players thought that they shouldn’t allow themselves to be upset by the joke, because sometimes “you just have to go along with things.” If they had expressed their disapproval, they too would have become the objects of opprobrium and censure at a college defined by the male point of view.

Nothing at Dartmouth ever changes.

Patti Houghton Arrison