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Main Forums => Father's Issues => Topic started by: Brent on Apr 30, 2004, 11:36:37 AM

Title: Women's Groups are Excluding Men? Say It Isn't So!
Post by: Brent on Apr 30, 2004, 11:36:37 AM
Oh My! Women's Groups are Excluding Men

April 28, 2004
by Carey Roberts

Word comes from Martha Burk that the Augusta National Golf Club still “openly and proudly discriminates against women.” We should all be working ourselves into a lather over that. So now Burk’s umbrella group, the National Council of Women’s Organizations, is unveiling its Women on Wall Street campaign. This corporate shake-down is hoping to teach a lesson to those naughty companies that are harboring all those Augusta Neanderthals.

For sure, the members of the NCWO are paragons of female virtue, free of any trace of gender bias or exclusion.

But then, I began to wonder. So I decided a little fact-finding was in order.

I contacted all 178 member organizations of the NCWO, from the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund to the YWCA, and asked them two questions:

1. What percentage of your organization’s membership is female? 2. What percentage of your board of directors is female?

Knowing that the Women on Wall Street campaign is pushing for corporate accountability, I was confident the NCWO groups would respond freely and openly to my questions.

So I was gratified when the e-mail responses came pouring back, literally within seconds. Thirty-one replies, all tagged as “Undeliverable.” Well, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Kimberly Schuld, who wrote the Guide to Feminist Organizations, has warned that many of the NCWO members went belly-up long ago.

Then, real people began to send me responses. And to my surprise, some of them got a little defensive.

One woman retorted, “Why are you asking these particular questions? Do you think there is some kind of problem regarding the membership or governance of organizations that work for the empowerment of girls or women? Does it relate, perhaps, to the Augusta National Golf Club story?”

Another woman became downright hostile: “Dear Fake Reporter, I have been contacted by NCWO. And I will not answer your questions.”

Despite the NCWO warning to shun the Fake Reporters, 29 organizations did respond to my inquiry. Ms. Burk, I have a bit of unpleasant news. It turns out that eight (!) of the NCWO groups that answered my questions do not have any male members.

The American Medical Women’s Association, Financial Women International, Gender Action, National Association of Commissions for Women, National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, National Hispana Leadership Institute, Veteran Feminists of America, and Women in Military Service for American Memorial Foundation – all are self-admitted bastions of female exclusivity.

But wait, other problems are lurking. Two of the NCWO organizations, GenderWatchers and the League of Women Voters, revealed that they do have male members. But then they conceded that there are no males on their Board of Directors. As everyone knows, that’s a prime example of the glass ceiling, and we can’t have that.

The story worsens. Only three of the 29 NCWO groups reported that they have more than 10% male membership. Since gender diversity is now the Law of the Land, Ms. Burk, really, I’m shocked.

And don’t give me that old line that women’s organizations should be composed only of women. We all know that gender is purely a social construct, so obviously many biological males, with proper socialization, could easily become gender females.

But this is the part I haven’t figured out. The website of NCWO states that its purpose is to work for “equality.” Of course, males are sadly lagging behind females in areas such as education and health.

And indeed, there are 15 health-related organizations that belong to the NCWO. Men’s lifespans are five and a half years shorter than women’s, but nowhere did I find that disparity even mentioned on the websites of these women’s organizations. So the question is, are these outfits working for gender equality, or gender inequality?

Very confusing. All along I’ve been counting on the feminists to lead us to a more inclusive, a more equal, a more caring society – a veritable gender utopia. Heavens, something has gone terribly wrong.

Carey Roberts
Title: Here's another one: Curves (a women only gym) eom
Post by: Kent on Apr 30, 2004, 12:59:48 PM