Students Sue Over Sexist Single-Gender Rule, And You Don't Need A Harvard Degree To Get Behind It

Students Sue Over Sexist Single-Gender Rule, And You Don't Need A Harvard Degree To Get Behind It

As a member of a "single-gender social organization," let me say that their rule is absurd.

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If you've been following national news, I'm sure you have heard about Harvard's rule against unrecognized single-gender social organizations (USGSOs). If you have, I'm sure you have also heard about the backlash that rule has received. In case you're unaware of what the rule is, here is an exact quote from the Harvard College's Social Organization Policy.

"In May 2016, Harvard College announced a new policy stating that beginning with the class of 2021, undergraduates at Harvard College, who are also members of USGSOs, will not be permitted to hold leadership positions in recognized student organizations or on athletic teams and that they will also not be eligible for letters of recommendation from the Danoff Dean of Harvard College for scholarship opportunities, including the Rhodes and the Marshall." — Harvard College Social Organization Policy

Harvard also argues in their policy that these USGSOs "have an outsized and negative impact on the social and personal experiences of Harvard College students" and implies sexual assault by referencing that these impacts have been noticed by multiple committees including the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Assault.

Although I am not a Harvard student, I am a part of one of these organizations at another university. As a member of a single-gender social organization, let me say that their rule is absurd. Being a part of my organization has never made me a disruption or endangerment to my college peers. If anything, my single-gender social organization has taught me how to interact with others, become more independent, develop individual strength and establish connections between people who reside across the nation. It has also encouraged me to help others in need, volunteer when I can, donate to amazing causes and present myself in a professional manner to students in my university and beyond.

I know I can't speak for whatever is happening amongst the campus of Harvard College, but I can attest that organizations that distill these kinds of values in their members are not to blame. People can make poor decisions, and yes, if they're in an organization, it could result in making that organization look bad. However, that goes for any organization, not just ones that are single-gendered.

Besides the fact that a person's actions reflect upon the reputation of an organization, people should be responsible and held accountable for their actions, not the organization that they are in. Going along with that, organizations such as these aren't going to want people who will represent them in those sorts of ways and will often revoke membership from an individual who does not present themselves with the values distilled in them by that organization.

A right that Harvard College is depriving their students of with this rule within the Social Organization Policy is the right to choose. Any student should be not only free to but encouraged to join an unrecognized single-gendered social organization if that student chooses to do so. These organizations include sororities, fraternities, and final clubs. It's also not fair for students to be stripped of scholarship, leadership and fellowship opportunities specifically because they decide to join one of these organizations. A student should be judged based on their academic performance, campus involvement, and professional contribution, not on what type of college organization they join. If anything, involvement in these organizations provide students with the social experience that should add to a resume and help prepare a student for leadership positions, as they are given opportunities to run for positions on the executive board within their organization.

In result to the Harvard College Social Organization Policy, students have taken the chance to fight back against the foolish rule. Sororities and fraternities have teamed up to sue Harvard College. The cases against the college argue that "the school's policy discriminates against students based on their sex and spreads negative stereotypes about students who join all-male or all-female organizations" and violates opportunities protected by the First Amendment and Title IX. I completely agree with them and that statement. The school is being sexist by relying on gender stereotypes, especially by making the assumption that an all-male organization is what causes sexual assault.

Those suing Harvard College have developed a website that features a petition and other various ways to get involved. To sign the petition, learn more about the issue, or follow to the case, be sure to visit standuptoharvard.org.

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I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists

I believe that I am a strong woman, but I also believe in a strong man.
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Beliefs are beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm all about girl power, but in today's world, it's getting shoved down our throats. Relax feminists, we're OK.

My inspiration actually came from a man (God forbid, a man has ideas these days). One afternoon my boyfriend was telling me about a discussion his class had regarding female sports and how TV stations air fewer female competitions than that of males. In a room where he and his other male classmate were completely outnumbered, he didn't have much say in the discussion.

Apparently, it was getting pretty heated in the room, and the women in the class were going on and on about how society is unfair to women in this aspect and that respect for the female population is shrinking relative to the male population.

If we're being frank here, it's a load of bull.

SEE ALSO: To The Women Who Hate Feminism

First of all, this is the 21st century. Women have never been more respected. Women have more rights in the United States than ever before. As far as sports go, TV stations are going to air the sports that get the most ratings. On a realistic level, how many women are turning on Sports Center in the middle of the day? Not enough for TV stations to make money. It's a business, not a boycott against female athletics.

Whatever happened to chivalry? Why is it so “old fashioned" to allow a man to do the dirty work or pay for meals? Feminists claim that this is a sign of disrespect, yet when a man offers to pick up the check or help fix a flat tire (aka being a gentleman), they become offended. It seems like a bit of a double standard to me. There is a distinct divide between both the mental and physical makeup of a male and female body. There is a reason for this. We are not equals. The male is made of more muscle mass, and the woman has a more efficient brain (I mean, I think that's pretty freaking awesome).

The male body is meant to endure more physical while the female is more delicate. So, quite frankly, at a certain point in life, there need to be restrictions on integrating the two. For example, during that same class discussion that I mentioned before, one of the young ladies in the room complained about how the NFL doesn't have female athletes. I mean, really? Can you imagine being tackled by a 220-pound linebacker? Of course not. Our bodies are different. It's not “inequality," it's just science.

And while I can understand the concern in regard to money and women making statistically less than men do, let's consider some historical facts. If we think about it, women branching out into the workforce is still relatively new in terms of history. Up until about the '80s or so, many women didn't work as much as they do now (no disrespect to the women that did work to provide for themselves and their families — you go ladies!). We are still climbing the charts in 2016.

Though there is still considered to be a glass ceiling for the working female, it's being shattered by the perseverance and strong mentality of women everywhere. So, let's stop blaming men and society for how we continue to “struggle" and praise the female gender for working hard to make a mark in today's workforce. We're doing a kick-ass job, let's stop the complaining.

I consider myself to be a very strong and independent female. But that doesn't mean that I feel the need to put down the opposite gender for every problem I endure. Not everything is a man's fault. Let's be realistic ladies, just as much as they are boneheads from time to time, we have the tendency to be a real pain in the tush.

It's a lot of give and take. We don't have to pretend we don't need our men every once in a while. It's OK to be vulnerable. Men and women are meant to complement one another—not to be equal or to over-power. The genders are meant to balance each other out. There's nothing wrong with it.

I am all for being a proud woman and having confidence in what I say and do. I believe in myself as a powerful female and human being. However, I don't believe that being a female entitles me to put down men and claim to be the “dominant" gender. There is no “dominant" gender. There's just men and women. Women and men. We coincide with each other, that's that. Time to embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: chrisjohnbeckett / Flickr

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5 Things I Want My Orange Hall Ladies To Know

I absolutely love living in my on-campus apartment, but it is in the same building as pod-style rooms with so many freshmen. These are five things I would love for all the girls that live on my floor to know.

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Living in a dorm is always a mess. There are so many people, lots of hormones, a lot of drama, and so many roommate issues. Your first year in college it can also be an amazing resource for friendships and learning about campus. However, it takes a different turn when you are sophomore living in one of eight apartments in a majoritively first-year, female dorm.

To all my lovely ladies in Orange Hall, here is what I want you to know.

First of all, I know I always look exhausted and a little angry, I promise I am exhausted, but I'm not angry! I adore all of you so much and will take time out of my day to talk to you and make sure you are doing OK, no matter how stressed and mad I look.

Second, it is OK to not adore your roommate as long as you are being kind. We all struggle. It doesn't matter if your roommate is random or your best friend, the rooms are small and you will never agree on everything. Just remember to be kind, patient, and attempt to love your roommate as much as you can — life is hard for everyone in college, roommates shouldn't make it worse.

Third, go to floor events and get to know all the building RAs, Hall Director, and Assistant Hall Director! In Orange especially we are so lucky. Our resident assistants plan such fun events and will go out their way to get to know us. Plus our HD and AHD have office hours often and make sure they're accessible if we have any questions, not to mention that they are hilarious and great to talk to. Just get to know the people that are paid to be around to help you through one of the hardest years of your life!

Four, talk to us "oldies"! There are a lot of sophomores and juniors living in Orange right now and we will share our wisdom with you. We already spent time crying over relationships, trying to navigate classes, and making bad choices — let us help you with the things you are going through!

The last thing is to remember all of us are in college. We are on our own, kind of adults, but not really, and trying to figure things out. All of your feelings are valid and need to be handled well. All of our classes are difficult and we all have so much to do we want to cry. Be overwhelmingly kind and patient, clean up after yourself, validate everyone's opinions, and keep your focus on school, not all the other little things happening in life.

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