…Wesleyan University is apparently mandating that their fraternities allow women as members. Oddly enough, gender warriors are cheering it as a powerful measure to fight sexual assault and gender inequality.
The foolishness of this plan for such purposes is, of course, remarkable. In his commentary, Professor Syrett proceeds from the typical feminist assumption that all men are larval rapists, and concludes that fraternities reinforce that tendency through the sheer maleness of the whole endeavor. His solution? Balance all that unseemly masculinity by including women to watch over them and keep them in line. You know, kind of like having their moms around. Only these women will be younger, not related to them at all, and hand-picked from among those who are eager to spend time among popular frat boys in intimate living arrangements. In fact, they sound a good deal like the young women Syrett believes are being violated by fraternities in the first place—the ones who quite obviously did not keep those young rapists in line. But through the magic of inclusiveness and gender equality, I’m sure it’ll turn out totally different this time. Wesleyan’s fraternities will no doubt appreciate having such ready access to a woman’s touch (figuratively speaking, of course) to liven the place up a bit.
More interesting to me, however, is this professor’s tangential comment about the nature of the university: “In only allowing men to join, fraternities insist that men are fundamentally different from women right in the middle of an environment — a university — whose goal is to question such shopworn truisms.” The dominance of the ironically unquestioned assumptions of Critical Theory should be no surprise, of course. The reduction of our institutions of higher education into places to ask meaningless questions as a substitute for seeking meaningful answers is a tragedy that has already run its course. But what should be embarrassing to any professor whose life’s goal is to “question shopworn truisms” is his failure to recognize one when he sees it. Universities haven’t been teaching fundamental differences between the sexes for more than a generation. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s been a long time since the 50’s, and if the very existence of fraternities (strictly speaking) insists on sex differences, then it seems the frat boys of 2014 are now the bold free-thinkers questioning the tired orthodoxy of the establishment. Considering the way Professor Nicholas Syrett seems to regard masculinity as if it were something entirely strange and alien, they may very well be the only ones in universities who still do so.