Three female undergraduate students at Yale have sued the school and some of the school's fraternities in an attempt to open fraternity membership to women, according to The Hill.
The women, Anna McNeil, Eliana Singer and Ry Walker, accuse the university and fraternities of being complicit in a culture of sexual misconduct against female and non-binary students.
According to the lawsuit, the three students say Yale has given too much control of the university's social scene to fraternities, and that women who attend fraternity parties are exposed to a high risk of becoming victims of sexual misconduct or other abusive behavior by male fraternity members.
Yale does have sororities, but McNeil, Singer and Walker don't think those organizations are sufficient to create an equal environment for male and female students.
"The sororities are over one hundred years younger than Yale's oldest fraternities, offer fewer total housing units, and upon information and belief, have a smaller and less influential Yale alumni network," the lawsuit claims. "The sororities' national organizations also prohibit them from hosting parties, which leaves Defendant Fraternities—i.e. men—with unrivaled influence over Yale's social scene."
The lawsuit calls the fraternity practice of admitting only men "discriminatory,"
"The presence of Yale's sororities does not alleviate this disparity," the complaint reads. "'Separate but equal' Greek life reinforces gender norms, stereotypes, and prejudices. Sex segregation can hinder cross-gender relationships, facilitate the objectification of people of other genders, and normalize sexual assault. Greek life, with its binary assumptions, also largely excludes non-binary students."
The students say they have petitioned the school and the fraternities to open up their membership to women, and are now taking it to court after those previous efforts failed.
"Having been rejected by the Fraternities and rebuffed by their University, Plaintiffs must now assert their rights in a Court of law to make Yale and the Fraternities safer, more equitable organizations for female students," the lawsuit read.