Tyler Professor of Constitutional Law Laurence H. Tribe '62 yesterday delivered a stinging attack on the Harvard Law Review spoof issue which parodied an article by the late Mary Joe Frug.
Addressing a group of about 50 students at a Harvard Jewish Law Students Association brunch in Pound Hall, the prominent legal scholar compared the parody to the work of Holocaust revisionists.
He also expressed remorse for "sharpening" the minds of the parody's authors, and suggested that students boycott the Law Review next year.
Revisionist historians deny the existence of "the Holocaust as a historical truth," Tribe said. And although he said the writers of the Frug parody had "a less clearly defined mission," the article's message is that "the hatred of women is a hoax perpetrated by feminists."
The parody issue, called the Harvard LawRevue, has been sharply attacked asmisogynistic by Law School students, including topLaw Review editors (see relatedstory).
Tribe said the annual spoof edition of theLaw Review has a tradition of humor "withan edge." But the parody of Frug's scholarlyarticle, Tribe said, was "a cruel mockery of thelife and death and work of Mary Joe Frug...a rapein all but biological reality."
In his speech, Tribe echoed the sentiments ofstudents who have protested the parody, saying theRevue's misogyny has sources in society andin University policy.
"There are not many female role models," Tribesaid, adding his voice to already strong criticismof the Law School's record on women and minorityfaculty hiring.
Tribe also called the parody an example of"hate speech," the scheduled topic of his talk.
"[Hate speech] does injury by its veryutterance and by what is revealed about theinside."
Referring to the parody's authors, Tribe addedthat the "inside" of the Law Review is"probably beyond redemption."
In addition to the comparison to Holocaustrevisionism, Tribe said the Revue authorsbear resemblance to the Ku Klux Klan. He arguedthat both groups adhere to a "code of silence,"the parody authors hiding in anonymity just as KKKmembers wear white hoods to shield their identity.
Tribe also said he felt remorse for cultivatingthe skills and intellect of students who resort tosuch parody.
"What is the point of teaching?" Tribe asked."I'm sharpening their knives to stab innocentvictims."