"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

When "Liberalism" Becomes Dogmatic Tyranny: Harvard's Outlaw of Single-Sex Clubs Challenged as Unconstitutional Sexual Discrimination: Gender NEUTRALITY vs. Gender EQUALITY

ANYONE who does not understand the "grass roots" popularity of Donald Trump and his ascendancy to the American Presidency need go no further to look for "political causes" of the current social upheaval than the absurd single-sex club prohibition being enforced at Harvard University in the name of "liberalism", the latter a once honorable political philosophy that has degenerated down into a myopic dogmatic tyranny of inexcusable left-wing "politically correct thinking".

"Freedom of association" is a cardinal right in any free democratic society. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits single sex groups (people of like gender) to gather together as they wish. This freedom of association, however, has not stopped Harvard from imposing its one-sided tyrannical political gender philosophies on its defenseless students, who must toe the line, or else....

As reported at Reuters: "Fraternities, sororities sue Harvard over single-sex club crackdown" (article by Nate Raymond, edited by Scott Malone and Jeffrey Benkoe).

As Raymond writes:
"A group of U.S. fraternities and sororities on Monday sued Harvard University, saying its crackdown on single-sex clubs amounted to sexual discrimination.

In lawsuits filed in federal and state courts in Boston, the group challenged a policy that the Ivy League university adopted in 2016 and began enforcing this academic year that Harvard said was intended to end longstanding practices of exclusion at the elite school.

Harvard has long sought to stamp out single-sex clubs, which it stopped formally recognizing in 1984. But groups known as “final clubs,” informal social clubs a student joins before graduating, as well as some fraternities and sororities have continued to operate off campus.

Under the policy, students who join single-sex clubs may not serve as captains of sports teams or leaders of officially recognized student clubs and cannot receive endorsement letters from college deans for postgraduate fellowships.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts, university was discriminating against students on the basis of their sex by punishing men and women who join all-male or all female-organizations, the lawsuits alleged.

The policy was motivated by sexism, with Harvard incorrectly seeking to link all-male organizations and fraternities to sexual assaults and contending that single-sex organizations subordinate women, according to the lawsuits.

“Harvard’s sanctions policy seeks to dictate the sex of people with whom men and women may associate and the gender norms to which men and women must conform,” the federal complaint said.

The policy has resulted in the elimination of nearly every women’s social organization, with Harvard administrators privately calling them “collateral damage” in their effort to punish men who join all-male groups, according to the complaint.

“Harvard should get out of the business of trying to dictate who students spend their time with off campus,” Stanton Jones, a lawyer for the sororities and fraternities, said in a statement.

Harvard had no immediate comment.

The federal lawsuit was brought by the fraternities Kappa Alpha Theta, Sigma Chi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, as well as three students.

The state court case was filed by the international sorority Alpha Phi and a local chapter, as well Delta Gamma Fraternity Management Corp, which supports chapters of the Delta Gamma sorority.

Harvard’s policy violates Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex, the U.S. Constitution, the Massachusetts constitution and the state’s Civil Rights Act, the lawsuits claim."
In our opinion, Harvard has no legitimate Constitutional legal defense for its current policies intentionally directed against freedom of association.

Theirs is a case of blind dogmatism leading to some of the very same evils that honest but today rarely encountered true liberalism is intended to alleviate. Whenever "rights" are being curtailed ... that is not liberalism.

"Gender neutrality" may be an objective that some find to be worth following, and there are numerous outlets in modern society to give like-minded people an opportunity to exercise their particular philosophy in the ambit of their OWN lives. However - in the eyes of the law, in the life of the law -- "gender NEUTRALITY" is a much different legal term construct than "gender EQUALITY".

The U.S. Constitution requires "gender equality" before the law.
It does not require "gender neutrality".

"Recognition" of gender difference is not automatically gender "discrimination".

Just imagine a legal party in a civil proceeding who chooses to be represented by a team of lawyers who are ONLY males or ONLY females, for whatever reason that legal party chooses to do so. Sex discrimination?

When now U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was Dean of Harvard Law School, the first woman ever to hold that position, we read somewhere at that time that her close staff consisted of WOMEN ONLY (it may not have been true, but let us assume for the sake of argument that it was true). It must have been sort of like a "small sorority" of sisters running Harvard Law School.

How does that differ from single sex gender-limited groups of other kinds?

The administrative people at Harvard seem unable to keep "gender neutrality" and "gender equality" apart. For a university that claims elite status in cognitive fields, these kinds of confused policies are paradoxical.

Few things are as natural and common to humankind as the desire to be among "likes", inbetween their "own", viz. to be among "peers".

Indeed, we find that so-called "peer group pressure", everywhere dominant, especially in academia, is probably the most important, often negative, force at work among the allegedly "thinking" professions, where OUTSIDE academic opinion contra to prevailing "group thought" is not tolerated. Grouping by peers and authorities is the rule, not the exception. See in this regard Michael D. Coe, Breaking the Maya Code. Academia is NOT a "nice place".

In forming groups of their choice, people are not necessarily "discriminating" AGAINST anyone, but rather, they are "exercising their free choice" to associate with whomever they want. It is not always pretty, but that is not the issue. Group selection is inevitable. You can not prohibit human association by ill-formed, Constitutionally-illegal administrative rules or policies.

You have to live with it, or, as Albert Einstein is quoted as saying (by Robert Byrne in 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said), an apocryphal attribution according to Freakonomics:
"Only two things are infinite,
the universe and human stupidity,
and I’m not sure about the former."
Welcome to Harvard....