Re: A place for the guys

John Meyer (
Fri, 22 May 1998 19:15:44 -0600

At 02:22 PM 5/22/98 -0400, you wrote:
>Part of what has to be changed about men's attitudes is this idea
>that they can't be around women without their "primary" thoughts
>being about sex. If you can't do this, John, it means that you
>are incapable of treating a women as if she were a complete and
>complex person. Maybe there SHOULD be very few places where men
>like you can get together with other men and reinforce each
>other's stereotypical attitudes.

Why don't we then bar men from associating with each other altogether?
Deny them their freedom of assembly? And who's attitude has to be changed,
Robert? The guys attitude towards the women, or the women's fear that guys
are somehow dangerous when they are together?

>Maybe this is because all-male institutions have been strongly
>supportive of two tendencies which worked to the disadvantage
>of females:
> a. Reinforcement of the male attitudes which treated women
> primarily as sexual objects to be dominated, and which
> considered women as so different from males that there
> was no reason to include them in ordinary commerce.
> b. Building contacts which reinforced the "old boy's network"
> and effectively removed women from the knowledge and peer
> groups which controlled access to most careers.

B is what bothers me. First, how can you assume that men would
automatically include women in these "old boy's networks" if they were
forced into those groups? My thought is that even if men had women forced
into their meetings, men would not simply welcome the women with open arms.
Those networks would still exist. Remember the Goldwater phrase, "You
can't legislate morality." You can't make men at the Citadel love and
cherish women cadets like their fellow male cadets.
As to A, it strikes me as funny that women would be so powerless as to be
threatened by a fraternity.

>Fraternities and other all-male institutions have been effective in
>continuing male dominance of the economy and higher education. If
>sororities had anywhere near the social influence that fraternities
>have always had, there would be reason to disand them, too.

Funny, I thought the operative reason to disband fraternities was to
decrease 'hazing' and alcohol-related deaths. Do you mean that those that
are struggling to close fraternities are being dishonest?

>then, incorporation of women into all-male institutions (i.e., the
>Citadel, Rotary, executive boardrooms) will be an important tool in
>reducing the attitudes which encourage men
>to discriminate against women, and hopefully will help to push
>men toward thinking of women as complete and capable humans.

So, we're supposed to tolerate integration of the Citadel and the Rotary
while women get their own same-sex schools? Again, you push women into a
boys only network, you will only create hatred towards those women.
I do not say that women should be barred from boardrooms. Far from it; I
am saying that men should have their places of rest from the harranging
without being looked upon as a group of sexist pigs.

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