Four Cornell University freshmen, including a teen-ager from Newport Beach, are being investigated by university officials for sending e-mail that disparaged rape victims and black female entertainers.
The students circulated the e-mail, titled "Top 75 Reasons Why Women . . . Should Not Have Freedom of Speech," late last month to about 20 of their friends. They later contended it was a joke. Others picked up the transmission and circulated it to a far wider audience throughout the Internet, prompting several thousand complaints by e-mail to officials at Cornell, in Ithaca, N.Y.
According to a copy of the original e-mail provided by the Boston College Women's Resource Center, which has complained to Cornell, the "Top 75 Reasons" included:
No. 9: "Affirmative action."
No. 10: "When men whistle at them in the street, they should just shut up and obey anyway."
No. 27: "Dykes."
No. 35: "Female drunks are annoying unless they put out (for which they don't need to talk)."
No. 38: "If she can't speak, she can't cry rape."
No. 57: "Janet, Mariah and Whitney," referring to singers Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.
The students--Brian Waldman of Massapequa, N.Y., Evan Camps of Bethesda, Md., Rikus Linschoten of Newport Beach, and Pat Sicher of San Juan, Puerto Rico--had dubbed themselves the "Four-Players of Cornell" and had signed their names to the original e-mail.