In American culture, the name itself reeks of “privilege.” Harvard, the oldest university in the United States, one of the few that pre-dates the nation herself, and one of the places where tailgating vittles includes champagne, caviar, and pheasant, has now decided that privilege needs to go, and is making moves to see that it happens in a timely fashion.
Last year, Harvard University took the unprecedented step of banning on- and off-campus single-gender organizations. The ban targeted sororities and fraternities, but also “unrecognized single-gender social organizations” called “Finals Clubs” that served as gathering places for the school’s legacy students….
In December, Harvard finalized the policy, but women at Harvard immediately protested because the single-sex ban was supposed to come down only on those organizations that represented “privilege” — and there’s no way an eternally oppressed, female-only organization at an Ivy League school, made up entirely of the gender-underprivileged, could ever be a place of exclusivity, elitism, and classism.
The Harvard Administration listened, and so while the heads and members of male-only groups will be subject to immediate punishment under the policy, women’s groups will have five years to come up with ways to comply with the new rules. Until then, they can call themselves “female-focused” and be considered to be in line with the policy change.
Nothing like giving the girls a little extra time to get ready.
This being Harvard, of course, such bans are not the end of the story. Oh, no, the boys are lawyering up, and preparing to sue the Crimson for their share of the privilege pie. (Seriously, why else would half the people who go to school there, go to school there.)
A few prestigious “finals clubs” are also lawyering up, preparing to sue the school under the theory that Harvard is unnecessarily burdening students’ right to free association, and that Harvard cannot punish members of clubs that don’t officially exist on Harvard’s campus.
Forget popping popcorn for this soap opera. Pass the pheasant and Dom.