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 23 2011: Hi Nick,I feel that an entire generation of young men are feeling a significant amount of frustration with the women's movement. I just wish I could remind you that in all of human history it is only in the last 100 years that women have had any personal rights (short of the property rights that women have had in Islam). In that 100 years women have seen how quickly those right can be lost for example in places like Afganistan- or even Buffalo when someone decides to behead them because they do not 'please' their husband. When women support other women we also tend to help all the kids and when women have a better place in society the men they love are generally better off and the boys they give birth to live in a better world.
  • Mar 27 2011: Why is her speech so important? I thought this forum was for amazing ideas. I am a woman and I just don't get the point of this video. What has she done that is noteworthy other than join a bunch of other women that are making a difference? I'm sure on some level she is making a difference but it just doesn't seem to leap out at me like, "Wow', that is amazing!" Which, in all honesty, is what I expect from a TED talk.
  • Mar 24 2011: Male Only things exist often times due to sexist stereotypes(or is is the perception)

    Female Only things exist to organize and invigorate a portion of the population which has been repressed since the dawn of time

    Think of it as a kind of ***Affirmative Action***

    If you are left thinking "what of the young men?"- the answer is to be a role model for them, in a very personal sense. That way you can focus on keeping up the character of young men, with the justification that you are merely keeping up the character of an individual (or two or three). This is the responsibility of all in society. Right now we are giving women the ability to catch up by making girls-only institutions socially acceptable. However once society begins to equalize, such institutions will be done away with.
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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.