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I guess to some liberals, some people are more equal than others...

Two stories floating around today have gotten me wondering about the nature of "equality," and now certain groups see the best way to achieve fairness.

In today's Boston Globe, the president of Simmons College -- an all-women's school -- has a piece up arguing for their preservation. She says that these bastions of feminine education and development should and must be maintained, as is, and resist the fate of many other schools that have bowed to financial and other pressures and admitted men.

For some reason, though, I don't hear much about all-male schools. The last time I recall any making the news was in regards to The Citadel and the Virginia Military Institute, when they were sued into admitting women.

Also, Massachusetts' Democratic nominee for governor, Deval Patrick, finds himself in hot water over his (apparently past) infatuation with a brutal rapist. Patrick was written by Benjamin LaGuer, who was convicted of brutally raping and nearly killing an elderly woman. LaGuer wrote to the NAACP for help, and Patrick was assigned his case. He wrote several letters to LaGuer's parole board, urging his release, as recently as 2000. (Patrick has said, alternately, that he last attempted to help LaGuer 10 or 15 years ago.)

One must never forget that one of the powers of the Governor of Massachusetts is to grant commutations of sentences, as well as outright pardons.

But enough of that. There's another aspect of Patrick's past that troubles me at least as much, if not more.

In 1989, the Piscataway, New Jersey school board found it had to lay off a teacher. Under state law, layoffs have to be made in order of reverse seniority. Since two of the eligible teachers had been hired on the same day, one would expect the school board to follow its earlier example and flip a coin. Instead, they voted to lay off the white teacher and keep the black one.

The white teacher, Sharon Taxman, sued, saying that she had been discriminated against based on her race. She said that it could not have been based on merit, because she possessed a Master's degree, while the other teacher only had a Bachelor's.

The case wound its way up through the courts, and eventually the Civil Rights division of the Department of Justice got involved. And that's when Deval Patrick entered the picture.

Patrick took charge of the situation and took an absolute line. There would be NO settlement, NO negotiations, Taxman's layoff would stand. And it stayed that way until after Patrick left, when civil rights groups -- fearing that a victory for Taxman would strike a blow to affirmative action -- put up the money to settle the matter out of court.

So that's the kind of guy who wants to be Massachusetts' next governor. And, as of the most recent polling, stands to make it.


Comments (12)

Simmons is a private school... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Simmons is a private school. The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute are public schools. Do you not see the difference? If there are any private all-male schools still out there, they are free to stay that way, though why any straight-male would want to go to one I have no idea.

On the other part, Williams should have been laid off, not Taxman.

I earned my BA at a private... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

I earned my BA at a private women's college. I believe strongly that single-sex education is an important option for those who, as I did, wanted to focus on academics without the social distractions and competitions.

I believe Hampton-Sydney College in Virginia is still a men's college.

There are other reasons to attend college other than sex.

There are other reasons ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

There are other reasons to attend college other than sex.

Agreed. But are you aware of how 18-22 year old males act around each other? Can you imagine living with hundreds of them with no females anywhere? It's not so much the sex as the lack of civilized company. Ok, it's the sex too. ;)

Mantis, using your logic ca... (Below threshold)
cate s.:

Mantis, using your logic can you answer me the question if Smith or any of these all female schools receive federal funds? If that is the case then they should admit the opposite sex. If it's good enough for VMI (my brother's Alma Mater) then it's good enough for Smith. Hampden Sydney is still all male as of right now. Randolph Macon has decided to admit men much to the chagrin of many of their alumnae.

Don't forget Wabash. They'... (Below threshold)

Don't forget Wabash. They're still all-male.

Mantis, using your logic... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis, using your logic can you answer me the question if Smith or any of these all female schools receive federal funds?

I wouldn't need to use logic to tell you if those schools receive federal funds. However, I don't know whether they do or not, as I am not terribly familiar with them. I assume they receive some federal funding in the form of subsidies for in-state students, research grants, and of course tax exemptions. However they are not owned and operated by the state, and therefore are not bound by the same restrictions. Whether or not this is right or not is debatable, but the fact remains that under the law as it now stands, private universities cannot be compelled to go coed by the government. That's not my logic, it's the law.

It was in ignoring STATE la... (Below threshold)

It was in ignoring STATE laws that the school board erred, not a federal violation.

Jim, if it violates state e... (Below threshold)
wavemaker:

Jim, if it violates state equal op law, it would typically also violate EEO (fed) law.

And of course, the fact that an entity is private does not immunize it from anti-discrimination law -- the question is whether the institution can articulate a legitimate rationale for remaining segregated.

Re: comment by mantis on Oc... (Below threshold)
carl:

Re: comment by mantis on Oct.4 You sound like the typical, ignorant and hypocritical liberal. First of all, more women love to visit VMI and the cadets than you could possibly imagine, but then you are probably gay anyway. Secondly, the public v. private debate over all single gender institutions is irrelevant. When an alumnus makes a tax deductible donation, that is a form of tax payer subsidy and, therefore, the law applies equally. When you forced women into VMI, you (liberals) doomed all single gender schools.

You sound like the typic... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You sound like the typical, ignorant and hypocritical liberal.

Thanks. You sound like a typical ignorant knuckle dragger.

First of all, more women love to visit VMI and the cadets than you could possibly imagine,

Ok, what the hell does that have to do with anything.

but then you are probably gay anyway.

Stop hitting on me, I'm not interested.

Secondly, the public v. private debate over all single gender institutions is irrelevant.

Irrelevant to the discussion of single-gender institutions? I don't think so.

When an alumnus makes a tax deductible donation, that is a form of tax payer subsidy and, therefore, the law applies equally.

You should have at least some familiarity with the relevant laws before you make statements like that. You just sound stupid otherwise.

When you forced women into VMI, you (liberals) doomed all single gender schools.

I assure you I had nothing to do with it. In fact, it was the US Justice Department that filed suit against VMI for their all-male policy, in 1990, under Bush 41. That damn liberal!

And single gender schools were not doomed at all, but the public ones can't have single gender policies. As far as I know no school, public or private, has closed due the Supreme Court ruling on VMI, or any other ruling.

Mantis,Your typica... (Below threshold)
carl:

Mantis,

Your typical liberal ranting makes my point even better than I could. Thanks.

Yeah, I figured you'd have ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Yeah, I figured you'd have nothing to come back with. Many happy returns, cowboy.




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