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Nick Edwards

Brown University

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What happens when her son wants to attend Barnard College?

Courtney Martin's father was applauded for the fact that he quit his membership in an all-male business club. His motivation was that "he would never be part of an organization that would one day welcome his son, but not his daughter."

When her kids grow up, will her alma mater, an exclusively female school, welcome her son? This seems like a bit of a double standard to me.

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    Mar 22 2011: Male Only things, and Female Only things are necessary for sorting out feelings and issues that arise among the sexes.
    • Mar 22 2011: I agree. But, then do we tear down Male Only institutions? Or build up Female Only institutions? Or both?

      Why should we applaud his decision not to participate in the business club? It doesn't make sense to advocate exclusivity for one gender (female) and condemn it for the other (male). This is my main criticism of the feminist movement. Rather than creating equality, it tends to polarize an already difficult situation.

      P.S. Maybe I should have put this in the "Debate" category
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        Mar 23 2011: I don't think anyone is asking you to applaud it- after all only one man took such a stand based on his personal convictions all of the other men who belonged were content with their own choices.

        If, however, the club is one that forms a network that promotes and helps only men in business - do you think that is fair - especially when it is the women who are trying to find their place and be given a chance?

        I think that there is certainly a place for men only time together just as I want time with men and time without men to be with just women. It is the sort of place and its purpose that should be considered.

        Thanks for engaging me in dialogue. I think it helps us both.
        • Mar 29 2011: Thanks for your reply. To be honest, I'm a scientist and didn't even know what a "business club" did. But I agree that it's unfair to promote the success of one sex and not the other. And yes, when you take history and other cultures into account (referring to your comment below), my own perspective is limited.

          However, in modern America, the tide seems to be changing. For a middle class white male, the frustration comes when you realize that you often need to be overqualified to gain employment, scholarships, admission to graduate school, etc. The frustrating part about "equal opportunity" is that the opportunities are elevated for some and depressed for others.

          Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that women should not be given more opportunities. I strongly believe that all people should have the same rights and privileges. But problems arise when any group is privileged over another, whether it's black/white, male/female, or gay/straight.

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