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Wondering Why Ramirez Needed Six Days to 'Assess Her Memories'? Yale's Sexual Climate Holds the Answers

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Deborah Ramirez was sexually assaulted at Yale. That part, she’s sure of—she was on the floor, drunk and incapacitated, when a man exposed himself. As she struggled to get up, he thrust his genitals in her face, causing her to touch his penis. Bystanders allegedly taunted her to “kiss it.”


Then, it gets murky. Ramirez spent six days “assessing her memories” to determine whether the penis in question belonged to Brett Kavanaugh. She wasn’t sure. Apparently, it could have been anyone’s.

Many people wondered why Ramirez needed six days to “assess her memories” about such a bizarre and offensive incident. For answers, I suggest reading the 2012 book "Sex and God at Yale" by Nathan Harden. 

Yale is governed by “leftist ideologues and free-love social revolutionaries," as Harden calls them. And at Yale, sexual assault isn’t a rare, unforgettable event. It's common.

I interviewed Harden in 2012 after reading his shocking expose on the sexual climate at Yale. An entire section of Harden’s book is titled “Yale’s War on Women.”

Yale women are constantly degraded on campus. Watching hardcore porn in class is often required. Female students are encouraged to take part in “porn star lookalike” contests during “Sex Week,” the biggest event of the school year.

The most shocking event Harden described was a screening of pornographic films in the Yale Law School. (Yes, the law school Kavanaugh and Ramirez attended in the 1980s.)

In front of an audience of 200 students, the coordinators of ‘Sex Week’ played a film that featured rape scenes and graphic violence against women. 


“The big porn screening had been billed as one of the highlights of ‘Sex Week’ at Yale,” Harden writes. “But it turned out to be a real bust. Coordinators of the film said they were ‘appalled’ by the film, which they hadn’t bothered to watch first. Although the images were ‘sexually unhealthy and disrespectful to women,’ there was a ‘sense of revelry’ among the audience, which coordinators found disturbing.” 

In the mid-2000s, Yale made headlines for a string of incidents involving fraternities. Young men marched around campus chanting, “No means yes, yes means anal” and carried signs declaring, “We love Yale sluts.” The hostile, threatening environment brought Yale under federal investigation for gender discrimination. 

“Ironically, by advancing a morally unbounded notion of free speech, Yale may actually be silencing women,” Harden writes. “No student wants to come across as a prude or a killjoy. If women are publicly demeaned, some will be less likely to feel empowered to speak up for themselves in the public arena. For this reason, Yale has taken a position that is utterly incompatible with the notion of women’s equality.” 

And, of course, this hostile climate didn’t materialize out of thin air in the 2000s. It existed in the 1980s, when Ramirez’s alleged assault happened.


But from all we’ve learned about his life, it seems Brett Kavanaugh was an outsider to Yale’s culture. He attended a Jesuit all-boys’ school, where he was taught Catholic values like chastity and sexual restraint. Kavanaugh is adamant that he didn’t just talk the talk, but walked the walk, remaining a virgin throughout high school and “for a long while after that.” As Harden noted throughout his book, students like Kavanaugh are often ridiculed and treated like pariahs on liberal campuses. Does anyone remember the case of the five Orthodox Jewish students who petitioned Yale for permission to move off-campus, saying the sexually depraved atmosphere in the dorm was hostile to their religious values? Yale said no—and the students were widely mocked for being “narrow-minded” and judgmental.

From his and countless others’ descriptions of his life, Brett Kavanaugh has much more in common with those Orthodox Jewish students than with the students running around Yale naked, listening to “educational” lectures from porn industry honchos during “Sex Week.”

After Ramirez came forward, 600 women who graduated from Yale University between 1966 and 2018 signed a letter supporting her. 

“We are coming forward as women of Yale because we have a shared experience of the environment that shaped not only Judge Kavanaugh’s life and career, but our own,” the open letter states.


In a way, they’re right: Yale’s environment does encourage sexual assault. In an environment like this, students—who face enormous peer pressure to participate in this free-for-all—have trouble saying “no” when they want to. Other students simply don’t respect a “no.”

When pointing fingers, perhaps Yale students and alumni shouldn’t be so quick blame all-boys Catholic schools or “white male privilege.” Instead, they might want to take a closer look at the left-wing sexual revolutionaries running the place. 

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