Main opponents of forcing “misogynist” Harvard final clubs to go co-ed turn out to be…women
From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:
Harvard protesters: Female students actually like single-sex clubs
“Dozens of students marched around Harvard Yard Monday, saying the move unfairly hurts Harvard women.
“Shouting ‘Hear her Harvard,’ the protesters — who were mostly women, many belonging to all-women final clubs or sororities — said Harvard’s restrictions would deprive women of spaces away from men.
“The women say these spaces are necessary to foster self-confidence on a campus where they say men tend to be overbearing in class and disrespectful in social situations.”
Seems that when Harvard administrators made their big move last week to force the off-campus clubs to go co-ed by sanctioning Harvard students who joined them, they forgot that some of the reputedly misogynist clubs were were actually sororities and other organizations whose members are exclusively female–and that that’s the way their members like it.
The target of Harvard’s vendetta was supposed to be the ultra-secretive 225-year-old Porcellian club, open only to male Harvard students and drawing its members from an upper-crust demographic that seemed to have gotten under the skin of some administrators. Porcellian and the other elite final clubs (so-called because they’re the last clubs that students join before graduating) had once been officially affiliated with Harvard, although their clubhouses were off-campus. But when the university issued an earlier decree for them to go co-ed, in 1984, the clubs severed those official ties while continuing to draw their membership from Harvard. Some of the clubs have since agreed to admit women under relentless pressure from Harvard, but Porcellian has been an outspoken holdout. According to the Washington Post:
“After a university task force found that the Porcellian Club and its ilk (there are eight all-male final clubs, according to the Harvard Crimson) held ‘deeply misogynistic attitudes’ that contribute to an unsafe sexual environment, pressure mounted for the clubs to either admit women or risk sanctions.”