Whoever thought a seemingly innocent Harvard-Yale shirt wouldn't be found offensive by so many people was wrong. Yes, it's the end of December, we've already claimed victory, and yet we're still talking about those shirts. Well, one shirt in particular.

While you were waiting in the bitter cold line for that free "FALE" shirt in November, our Yale compatriots rivals were debating whether a "Sissy" shirt should be printed at all.

The design in question read "'I think of all of Harvard men as sissies.' - F. Scott Fitzgerald," on the front, and "We Agree. The Game 2009" on the back. The characters in This Side of Paradise, from which the quotation was taken, were discussing the merits of Princeton, where Fitzergerald himself was an alum.

So what's the problem? Read more after the jump.

After the Yale Freshman Class Council (FCC) announced this design as the winner of a class-wide vote, some concerns were raised by the Yale LGBT Cooperative about the derogatory use of the word "sissy." Then the administration was consulted and more voting took place, and the shirt design, as reported by the Yale Daily News on Nov. 19, was pulled. A boring H in a circle with a line through it would take its place.

But now, about a month after the YDN story, Adam L. H. Kissel '94, Director of the Individual Rights Defense Program at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), wrote a letter to Yale President Richard C. Levin, requesting assurance that the infringement upon students' right to speech would never happen again.

"The root problem from FIRE's perspective," Kissel told FlyBy, "is that it was a decision by an administrator."

According to the YDN story, the pulling of the shirt was done at the urging of one of the deans whom the FCC had consulted. Kissel asked for a response by Jan. 12, 2010, the date of the Harvard-Yale hockey game.

"It was not really different from other shirts that I've seen through the years," Kissel said. "They were trying to be offensive to Harvard students in general and not to the queer community."

But Christian L. Garland '10-'11, co-chair of the Harvard Queer Student Association Students and Allies, said he disagrees.

"Creating a shirt about sissies is not, in my opinion, an effective way to create conversation," said Garland, a women and gender studies women, gender, and sexuality studies concentrator who even says Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is one of his favorite books. "I'm glad that the University banned it."

The controversy has left FlyBy wondering what all the commotion was about in the first place. Here's what we researched—and we'll let you decide.

Exhibit A: Urban Dictionary's most popular definition for "sissy" is "weak," while the second definition says it's "not always straight or gay."

Exhibit B: Merriam Webster defines the word as "an effeminate man or boy," but also more generally, "a timid or cowardly person."

Exhibit C: Barney Wiki says that BJ (the yellow one) calls his sister Baby Bop (the green one) "Sissy."

Why can't we all just love each other like Barney says?