Harvard University really hates fraternities, sororities and final clubs.
It just put out new rules that will make members of these organizations second-class citizens on campus, blacklisting them from activities and funding sources in an attempt to obliterate single-sex clubs on private property with no ties to Harvard whatsoever.
Because hanging out with your own sex promotes “privilege and exclusion.” Unlike Harvard.
I mean, it's not as though Harvard's entire business model is built on privilege and exclusion. Oh no no no. https://t.co/sOh35E340f
— Reihan Salam (@reihan) May 6, 2016
It’s not a stretching to call this effing insane.
Duke University has its own insanities, but a jihad against men hanging out with men and women hanging out with women is not one of them (that I know of).
Indeed, the private university just approved a new “all-female selective living group” whose explicit purpose is to “create a safe social space for women that is not dependent on male influence,” The Chronicle reports.
What?! Letting women hang out together instead of having men around all the time?! Put Harvard’s Rakesh Khurana on a plane to Durham so he can put a stop to this reactionary policy! (It’s out of Harvard’s jurisdiction, but that’s never stopped Khurana before.)
In case you haven’t already vomited at the thought of women being allowed to live together and enjoy each other’s company, read more about the new group, the operatic-sounding “Illyria”:
By national bylaw, the sororities on campus are banned from serving alcohol in their facilities. However, as an SLG, Illyria will not be subject to this mandate and will be able to host events that serve alcohol. [Co-founders Lauren] Anders, [Ann Marie] Guzzi and [Lindsey] Snyder explained that this makes a difference in the social culture.
“Inherently, as you step into a male-dominated space, there’s a give-and-take,” Anders said. “We think that’s absolutely ridiculous. We’re trying to change the status quo and flip the script on people, so they realize that it doesn’t have to be this way.”
— The (Duke) Chronicle (@DukeChronicle) May 9, 2016
I know these words are hard to hear, because they promote the inherently wrong idea of women hanging out together, but try to keep an open mind:
“We will live in a society that is still very sexist,” [Women’s Studies Program Director Priscilla] Wald said. “Women-only spaces function in allowing women more opportunity for growth and empowerment… I’m very impressed that students are constructively addressing an issue that has been baffling administration and the legal system for a very long time.”
That issue is sexual assault, which Harvard thinks is happening because single-sex clubs exist. Duke thinks quite rationally that women who are part of a strong institutional social network with each other might find themselves at lesser risk of getting raped.
Illyria doesn’t have its own university-provided housing yet – it needs another SLG to leave its section first – but it’s laying the groundwork for a culture-changing organization. One that accepts only women (!), but also reaches out to racial and socioeconomic groups that are less represented in sorority life.
Freedom of association is a wonderful and valued thing. Unless you’re in Cambridge under the diktat of the Khurana Rouge.
IMAGE: Exchanges Photos/Flickr