Back in 2016, Harvard University President Drew Faust sent an email to undergraduate students and the Harvard community, announcing that beginning with the 2017 entering class, undergraduate members of unrecognized single-gender social organizations (called “fraternities and sororities” at normal colleges) would be banned from holding athletic team captaincies and leadership positions in all recognized student groups. They would also be ineligible for College endorsement for top fellowships like the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships. I wrote in part,
Let us be clear what Harvard is trying to do here. It is seeking to punish students for their associations and activities unrelated to the school itself, and using its power within the limits of the campus to indoctrinate ideological values and require conduct that is unrelated to education. This is a rejection of the principle of freedom of association, one of those enumerated rights protected by the Ninth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and a cornerstone of American principles. If the college can, in effect, create a blacklist withholding institutional honors from those who choose to belong to an all male or all female club completely distinct from the university, what clearly delineated line prevents the same institution from declaring that membership in the Republican Party, Occupy Wall Street, Americans For Trump or the NAACP are similarly undermining its values?
There is no such line.
But the policy went forward. Then, last July, a Harvard University task force advised banning students from joining any “fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations” as part of a process to phase out the social groups entirely by 2022. The recommendation was not adopted. Now, three sororities (remember, these are off-campus organizations not officially affiliated with Harvard) announced that they will still recruit freshman women next semester.
“This is the spirit in which Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, and Kappa Alpha Theta were established during the early 1870s,” the sororities said in their joint statement, titled, “We Believe Women Should Make Their Own Choices.”
Ah! The magic word “choice”!
Your move, President Faust!
Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta stated in their protest manifesto:
We realize that including freshman women as members in our organizations is in contravention of the current sanctions Harvard’s administration has imposed on single-gender social groups. These sanctions have been touted as a response to the recommendations of a report on sexual assault prevention. Yet penalizing our future members for their involvement in a sorority in reality denies them access to member-driven education and support systems shown to be effective in battling sexual assault, as well as alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and the particular challenges inherent in college life. Further, while Harvard’s sanctions claim to support women’s right to make their own decisions, these sanctions actually force women to choose between the opportunity to have supportive, empowering women-only spaces and external leadership opportunities.
As for the male students, who cares? This is about being fair to women, who deserve fairness, and choice. After all, they say, the idea was to stop men from female students. Why should women have to follow the same rules as the men?
Writes Professor Turley, “I would have hoped for a principled position in favor of free speech and association rights for all students, not just women.”
How naive. Progressive efforts to demonize men and divide society along gender lines have been far too successful on elite college campuses for that, with the #MeToo witch hunts being the latest example.
Pointer: Res Ipsa Loquitur
Facts: Metro USA
47 thoughts on “Harvard’s Female Students: ‘Wait, That Ban OnThe Freedom Of Association Off Campus Wasn’t Just For Men? Outrageous!’”
The freedom to choose is a manifestation of power. The ability to freely associate is a means to accumulate collective power. The ability to diffuse the collective power of a potential group by banning their ability to form is an exercise of power for the purpose of amassing more power to control.
Exactly correct. Well said Chris.
So first they wanted to ban all such organizations, because a one-sided ban would be obviously unfair. Then a year later they just claw back their own half (that’s not hurting men, just doing something nice for womyn!) and effectively get a one-sided ban anyway.
That’s actually impressive villainy.
I think so too.
I said in another post that the left is very good at chipping away at others’ freedoms. They know damn well that doing something obviously unfair or obviously crazy will move the ball backward, not forward. So they disguise, they dissemble, and they out right lie so that Joe Average won’t wake up and say “hey, not so fast, hey, not so far, hey, this isn’t right.” The Communist idea was to take two steps forward and one step back, so that you keep picking up one step, until you take over. This is just a very sneaky example of that, with the addition of double standards, something the left is also very good at.
Speaking of double standards, I say that Cory Booker just committed a whopper with his unforgivable rant at the Secretary of Homeland Security. If the parties were reversed, and John McCain or Ted Cruz tore into Loretta Lynch or someone like that, the media would go crazy with accusations of sexism and bullying. If the genders were reversed, and Diane Feinstein or Elizabeth Warren tore into Mattis or Tillerson, no problem, but heaven forbid either of those men tear back or give a real “world with walls” speech, because then suddenly they will be the bad guy. I think Booker was not just a dunce but a coward and a sexist. I would love to see him try to take on Mattis or Dunford and act like that.
On Booker: he did, and now we have on video the unstable weirdness of Booker that has long been whispered about. This is why Oprah might run after all. The alleged Democratic contenders, like Booker, Bernie, Hillary, Gillibrand and Warren, have been working hard to eliminate themselves. The Democrats really don’t have a plausible leader at this point who is under the retirement age. Amazing.
I know the man, although not that well. He is great at ranting and talking at people. When he has to talk TO people he quickly becomes just another arrogant liberal. He is also thin-skinned and overreacts at having his will crossed. All of Brick City was a love-fest until, shortly after his reaction in 2010, he decided he was going to eliminate the Newark Water Department and create a new Municipal Utilities Authority that he could stock with his friends and use for credit and bond issuance authority, since the City’s was already all used up. The Municipal Council refused to go along with it, and he ranted, on the record, that he wasn’t even going to buy toilet paper for City Hall until the money he would have realized from the MUA was recouped.
As for new leaders, I wouldn’t worry, the GOP is doing a dandy job of seeing that we’ll have a whole new crop of Democrats in Congress this fall from which to draw some new leaders. Senator Manning, anyone?
“The Democrats really don’t have a plausible leader at this point who is under the retirement age. Amazing.”
I have a theory about that.
The Clintons have sucked the air out of the room for so long that only long established Democrats can get traction. Newcomers have been stifled for most of a decade as a result of Hillary’s attempted coronation. The Clinton political machine handled Democrat ‘threats’ much more efficiently than even GOP ones! (Witness how Sen Sanders was cheated!)
Meanwhile the party has not lurched but RACED to the left, at the lower levels, fed by the ‘no compromise’ elements of progressive society. The leaders at this level do not know how to moderate themselves like the old timers, and are not interested in learning that art (after all, they are the righteous ones!) They are therefore unpalatable for national office, even with low information Democrat voters. The base has not moved as fast as the progressive avant garde, and has eroded as the ‘Democrat leaning’ have realized how progressives will turn on them given an opportunity, and have not really done anything for them in the past two decades. (Witness the formerly blue states, ignored by Hillary, that went for Trump)
Open for debate, as all good theories should be.
Thanks for this set of links, Tex. Good reads, all.
I agree, sw. To explain the current state of the Democratic Party, I have two words for you: “Rachel” and “Maddow.” Just one of many wild-eyed, lefty firebrands leading the party off a cliff.
The scary thing on the horizon is that the older generation of democrats is dying off and the younger generation, fully raised by Leftist teachers for 13 years in the Leftist seminaries and increasingly 17-18 years LERV LERV LERRRRRRRRV hyper-socialism.
We’ve already seen that happen in the media. It’s all the journalism school and undergrad kids that are now experts on foreign policy and military theory, etc., etc. who have turned the media into a propaganda outfit. I worry it will happen to the general electorate well before I get all my social security and check out. What ever happened to people getting more conservative as they get older and have to pay taxes and buy houses and cars and raise kids?
How many millenials live with their parents? How many live in ‘mixed use’ urban areas, and do not own cars, houses, or property more valuable than their iPad? Why own a polluting car, when I can walk to everything I need?
How many people depend on welfare, as the third generation has been raised to work the system and not hope for more? Why work and take a pay cut?
And millenials have been indoctrinated to believe that paying ever increasing taxes is a good thing, and makes them virtuous.
Why ever grow up?
“How many millenials live with their parents? How many live in ‘mixed use’ urban areas, and do not own cars, houses, or property more valuable than their iPad? Why own a polluting car, when I can walk to everything I need?”
I don’t have an inherent problem with people arranging their lives like that, as long as all the parties involved have consented.
My problem arises when we governmentally impose on others who would not normally be consenting parties to any of those arrangements and compel them to be parties to subsidizing those arrangements.
“My problem arises when we governmentally impose on others who would not normally be consenting parties to any of those arrangements and compel them to be parties to subsidizing those arrangements.”
While that is a valid point to which I agree, it misses the social consequences of the situation I mentioned. I was not condemning these choices (well, the welfare one…) but explaining why values have changed as living situations and life experiences have changed.
I used to roam the countryside with a gun, as a minor, and property lines meant less than nothing as I did what boys were expected to do: be out in nature, and sometimes bringing home meat for the pot. If I was caught, (I was never caught) I would likely get a stern talking to about being on that particular landowner’s property. The sheriff would tell the ‘miscreant’ that “So-and-so does not want you on his property, so hunt elsewhere son… or don’t get caught (wink)” And we would avoid that property (or just be more careful) in the future. (There was a running gossip thread on who got caught, and what happened to them… so we knew who objected to trespassing) That was the extent of consequences. Society shrugged this off as ‘no harm done.’
Today, what do you think the reaction would be? I bet SWAT would be called as a ‘dangerous armed criminal’ was seen trespassing. Such a child could expect to be treated as a serial killer today, if they did not get shot during arrest. We no longer know our neighbors like we did in the 70’s and 80’s, and basic values are different.
Society has changed. Some of those changes do not lend themselves to personal responsibility. We used to say “If you are not liberal when you are young, you have no heart; if you aren’t conservative when you are older, you have no brain.” I am not sure this is universally true any longer, in that the incentives for becoming conservative have been removed for many these days.
Spot on, sw. I grew up in suburban Miami, Florida in the ’50s. We could roam through any and everyone’s yard. There were very few fences but we could either let ourselves through the gates or jump the fences if we had a reason to. We weren’t expected home until dark/dinner time. Free range before the term existed or at least before it was applied to anything other than poultry or livestock. We played mostly pick-up games and called our own fouls and outs and penalties. Maybe these sorts of environments have a more profound, long term effect than we realize?
Personal responsibility, back by natural consequences, always produces superior results. Every time it is tried.
How many millenials live with their parents? How many live in ‘mixed use’ urban areas, and do not own cars, houses, or property more valuable than their iPad? Why own a polluting car, when I can walk to everything I need?
This partially describes the millennials I know, but for very different reasons than you’re suggesting.
I’m a millennial who lived at home until I was 26…because I was helping financially support my household, which included my single mom and my niece, whom my mom was raising because my Gen X brother is constantly out of work and the kid’s Gen X mother abandoned her.
I’ve been a car owner for a year now, but was only able to afford it because I was gifted my first car by my aunt, so I didn’t have car payments for my first few years as a driver. I went to college through FAFSA, and worked at Wal-Mart during that time. I did have to take out loans during the year and a half it took me to get my teaching credential, but $13,000 of debt isn’t a lot compared to what most college grads have. I had to quit my Wal-Mart job in my last semester of student teaching, because one simply cannot be an effective teacher of three different grade levels while working 16 hour days, and I almost went flat broke.
I was lucky to get a long-term substitute teaching job as soon as I completed the program, but went several months without a paycheck. When I got hired at my current job, I was so happy that I would finally be able to move out of my family’s one-bedroom house and still be able to help my mom financially (rent was only $460/month and she had lived there for thirty years), except a month later the landlord said he was selling the house, and I knew there was no way she’d be able to afford to move on her own. So we rented a three bedroom, and everyone finally had their own room, but now I had a girlfriend who lived a couple towns away and needed to be on my own. So I stayed a year, then moved out, but still sent my mom money every month, which meant I almost went broke again. Moving in with my girlfriend helped. She’s now my fiance, and we’re planning for a wedding, but we probably won’t be able to afford to own a home for several more years.
I know many people in similar situations. My fiance also financially supported her parents for a very long time. Both of us are no longer doing that, and it has caused strain in our respective families.
I say this to illustrate that a lot of the problems you describe as belonging to millennials are actually the result of choices from the previous generation. We live with our parents because they need us. We don’t own cars and homes because we can’t afford them because we don’t get paid enough. Our benefits are shit compared to what Boomers had. The Boomers in my union are constantly trying to negotiate higher wages and benefits and us millennials simply do not get it because we’re still amazed to have jobs where benefits exist.
Is this true of every millennial? No. My fiance’s sister lives at home and doesn’t work because, while he’s a very nice guy, he has absolutely no ambition. But I know way fewer people my age or close who live like that than I do who live like I described above.
Everything you have talked about is a real problem.
I want to be clear that I was not knocking millennials at all in my first comment. For every basement dweller stereotype, I know 10 hard working millennials. It was observation on how societal changes influence basic values.
Your points reflect the same issue: the world of the boomers has failed in many aspects. This makes it harder, but not impossible, to be self reliant and more conservative the older you get.
BTW, Chris, your story smacks of self reliance and compassion, doing for family because it is the right thing. Keeping your money for your family, when it was the right thing to do despite the extended family wanting you to keep paying them.
Maybe our true core beliefs are not as far apart as we both thought. If you had been born in rural Texas, your story might be much the same, but you might have been conservative.
By the same token, had I been born, with all my family in California, never knowing anything else, I might have been liberal… well, maybe not 🙂
Thank you, slick. I agree our core beliefs aren’t that far apart. I do think we have a wildly different set of agreed-upon facts, and that is the root of much of our disagreement. Part of this is the gradual breakdown of trust in the media, much of which is the media’s fault; you simply don’t trust my sources and I don’t trust yours. I’m not sure what’s worse for society–is it better to have wildly different values as long as we all agree on the facts, or vice versa?
Finding true sources is difficult, these days. It take time to read many angles to arrive at the ‘probable truth.’ Who has that time?
I also notice that these people tend to embrace anything labeled progressive, even if those things are not related to each other.
How does one’s opinion on universal health care have to do with, whether or not locker rooms should be segregated by gender identity instead of real sex?
How does one’s opinion on whether or not employers should be required to provide health care coverage that includes birth control without copay has anything to do with whether universities should have hate speech codes?
what is the underlying ideology behind these seemingly independent issues.
Big government socialism is the unifying concept. Notice that in every one of those cases, the solution is MORE regulations, more rules, more control by the government.
As a liberal Democrat, I can’t think of a single objection to your theory, slick.
“I say that Cory Booker just committed a whopper with his unforgivable rant at the Secretary of Homeland Security. “
IT’S OK! We can forget his infantile grandstanding tirade! Put in the rear view mirror his juvenile tantrum ranking him lower than a schoolyard bully!
Haven’t you seen?
He’s going to advance a marijuana legalization bill!
What cynical diversion… it’s like the topic of marijuana legalization serves two purposes for the DNC: divert attention from some scandal or drive people to the ballot boxes in key elections.
Cory Booker, Ethics Dunce
It did pretty well for Phil Murphy here, although I think he was going to win anyway, since Christie became so unpopular. People who otherwise don’t care much will come out to vote for legal weed, so they can get high without anyone hassling them.
Though no longer young, I belong to the Saint Joesph Young Men’s Society. So, I guess no honors, awards, fellowships, scholarships or positions of authority for me either.
Most of the elite schools in America run themselves more as clubs based on common, even if undesirable, values rather than institutions of learning. In many respects that reality is fitting.
And Knights of Columbus, named for that genocidal maniac, puts you right out.
And as if Columbus weren’t bad enough, KNIGHTS? Those privileged promoters of the patriarchy? They used the sword and lance, y’know, which are obviously phallic weapons of war, and oppressed all those peasants (not to mention how racist they were doing all that crusading and whatnot) 😉
Well, some HAVE floated ideas to rename it the Father McGivney Society, after its founder…just another way to push those with different approaches to things into the margins.
First they come for our name, then they come for our funny hats.
More to the point, they come for our right to define ourselves. In the 1970s it was all the rage for blacks to convert to Islam and take Arabic names, and so “define themselves” with their names, their religion, etc. In the 1990s it was all the rage for women to keep their own names or hyphenate when they got married, to continue to define themselves. Unfortunately, the right to define yourself apparently doesn’t extend to white males, especially not old fogey Catholic white males, or old fogey veteran white males, or old fogey Irish males, or any old white males whose name isn’t Sanders or who don’t have gray ponytails and wear Birkenstocks.
I wonder why the hostility towards white males.
It seems too similar to the hostility against Jews in Germany in the late 1930’s.
Mmmm, it’s not too different when you think about it – white males hurt you, white males are holding you back, white males are stopping you from reaching your place in the sun, white males rose to prominence on your backs. Hitler’s rhetoric about Jews stabbed you in the back in the last war, Jews are keeping wealth that rightly belongs to the Reich, etc., is chillingly similar.
The Jews were never well liked because they were in the minority everywhere except Israel, and from the earliest days they were and chose to be conspicuously different from the other peoples around them. White males are of course different from everyone who isn’t, and worldwide are very much a minority.
Ruling or high achieving classes have also never been well liked, well, because they were the ruling or high achieving classes. The Italians, especially in the north, still loathe the Austrians, because the Hapsburgs ruled a chunk of Italy until the 1800s. The Spanish still hate the Moors after spending 7 centuries kicking them out. The Poles have no use for the Russians, Germans, or Austrians, who carved their nation up like a pizza in the 18th century. The Turks partly hated the Armenians because the Armenians placed emphasis on education and reaching white collar status, while the Turks were ok with staying farmers and small shopkeepers. We needn’t even discuss the Irish people’s feelings for the English, who ruled their island for 8 centuries, particularly badly after the Reformation. At this point blacks and browns hate white males because they were ruled by them in colonies or enslaved by them. Yellows hate white males because they were either colonized by them, used as cheap labor by them, or decisively beaten by them in war. Reds hate white males because they drove them almost into extinction. Women hate white males because they treated them as half servant, half brood mare until this past century.
The Germans hated the Jews because they did well in the financial and merchant sectors, while fitting into neither the Protestant north nor the Catholic south. They also hated them for the closed and separate nature of their society – most German Jews didn’t even have last names until the reforms of Bismarck, where all Germans had to take surnames, hence a lot of them taking thrown-together last names ending with -berg, -baum, and -thal, which just mean “mountain,” “tree” and “valley.”
The fact that proposals to take the franchise away from white men actually make it onto the Huffington Post, constructs like “rape culture” that posit all men, but particularly white men, as entitled and evil rapists in waiting are actually considered serious thought, and attempts to shove white Italian culture into the closet in favor of synthesized Indian culture are considered justice rather than bullying should set off a lot of alarms. If I suggested that women should lose the franchise for some period of time until they can produce a mix of candidates who don’t all sound like Hillary, you’d cry sexist, and you’d be right. If I posited a “thug culture” that cast all young black men as muggers, murderers, and robbers in waiting and said none were to be trusted, you’d call me a racist, and you’d be right. If I stated that Mohammed was a pedophile bandit and Islam was an oppressive culture with a terrible human rights record, therefore all public celebration of anything associated with it was to be suppressed, you’d call me an ethnocentric bully, and you’d be right.
White men, however, aren’t entitled to be get the same protection or thinking.
The difference of course being that in our culture, white males still have most of the power. Most of our politicians are white males, most of our business leaders are white males, most of the most powerful people in Hollywood are white males…meaning we’re really not under anything like the threat of systemic destruction that faced the Jews.
That doesn’t make statements of bigotry against us ethical, of course. But the comparison to actual oppressed groups is lacking in a sense of proportion.
“This is a rejection of the principle of freedom of association, one of those enumerated rights protected by the Ninth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and a cornerstone of American principles.”
Freedom of Association isn’t derivative of the 1st Amendment right to peaceably assemble?
The left always talks about the tyranny of conservatives… how we want to dictate what goes on in the bedroom, how we want to enslave (place minority group here), how we want to rule over women’s bodies, and so on.
Yet we get this from progressives in power. Is not the move to reduce freedom of speech, of association, of religion, the road to tyranny? Progressives redefine words to beat up their opponents, using double standards and outright lies to further the agenda of the moment, and dare to call their opponents fascists. Limiting basic liberties is not an intellegent political position in the USA, as it betrays the fabric that composes our society.
Now, the GOP is not without fault: this is not a partisan rant. My feelings on the failings of the Establishment as a class are well known on this site.
On this topic, progressives have pushed too far, and the end result is not what they seem to think it will be.
“the particular challenges inherent in college life.”
That’s the funniest line in the manifesto. Don’t these people realize going to an elite private college is like spending four or so years in a foam padded living room?
Exhibit 1 from my college days: My room mate and I were in the college bar below the kitchen for the main dining hall. It was called hilariously in retrospect, “The Pub.” This was when the drinking age was 18 in New York State before the feds screwed that up. My room mate and I were a little gloomy and decided that to cheer ourselves up, we needed to “borrow” the cigarette machine that was in the hallway just outside The Pub to use it as a prop in a gag to be staged at our just off campus apartment. We’d been drinking for a while by this time.
Soooo…. Four or five of us got up, walked to the ciggy machine, picked it up and walked it down the hallway toward the exit stairs, coins and packs of cigarettes falling out along the way. As we walked it up the stairs (cigarette machines were heavy), someone yelled, “Hey, what are you guys doing?” at which point my elbow brushed against the light switch at the bottom of the stairs and turned out the lights.
Outside, we dumped the machine, head first, into the capacious trunk of my room mate’s parents’ ’65 Buick. drove to our apartment, located the machine in our apartment, and staged the prank (which didn’t work out).
Deflated but undaunted, we put the machine back into the Buick, drove back to campus and pulled up outside the scene of the crime and parked next to the campus police guy and his car. “Oh thank God you guys showed up,” was all he said before waiving to us and driving off. We put the machine back and went to another bar and drank awhile longer.
Fat, dumb and stupid is no way to go through life, girls.
Blocking out people from leadership positions and accolades because they are in single-sex organizations, as though the mere membership in such an organization means the particular member must at some level endorse sexism, is one more step towards stacking the future deck with “like minded” people.
Though extremely minor and likely inconsequential, it pushes further in the direction of rewarding and advancing “good thinkers”. Though haphazardly, and as before mentioned insignificantly, it is of course wrong on principle.
Generations from now, when the only people with “leadership positions in Harvard” or “Rhodes scholarship” on their resumes are people who refuse single-sex organizations, those people will have added weight behind their arguments.
Again, the numbers here are insignificant. But that’s how systems die. Not suddenly…but little chips here and little dings there.
I can’t wait to see if Harvard allows sororities and women’s clubs, and disallows fraternities and men’s clubs.
That would be so totally in line with progressive hypocrisy. Some groups are more equal than others, you know, and white males = bottom of the list.
Oh, another thought: What if black male fraternities pitch a fit? The complications of identity politics are manifold.
If male organizations are banned and female ones are not, watch the lawsuits as lawyers come for the deep pockets at Harvard!
I’ll bring the popcorn.
Can anyone explain to me why we should expect employers to continue valuing degrees from Harvard?
Sure. Their students have the highest SAT scores. What they learn AT Harvard is irrelevant.
A friend was a librarian at one of the Princeton University libraries. She recounts having to have a talk with a work-study undergrad who wasn’t real big on either work or study. “Why should I do anything?” he answered when she tried to get him to do his job. “I got IN. My work is done!”