How the admission of even one woman into a previously all-male institution must transform it

Joseph A. writes:

This evening, I was reading about the Citadel when I found this, at Wikipedia:

No lock tradition: Since its founding, male cadets at the Citadel had not had locks on their barracks doors. Every cadet had a lockbox, however, that could be used to house valuables. The tradition evolved in keeping with the spareness of military life and with the school’s honor code, which mandates that cadets do not steal. Since 1997, female cadets have been able to lock their doors from the inside. In 2007, all barracks doors were fitted with working locks. As of 2009 all [cadets] are required to lock their rooms after Taps.

“This decision in no way compromises the honor system. The personal standards that a cadet does not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do, remains the centerpiece of The Citadel experience.

Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, USAF (Ret)”

Women were permanently admitted in 1996.

This is another small but telling example of what happens to an institution that caves (or is forced to conform) to leftist demands, as you tirelessly remind us.

LA replies:

The problem here is not leftism with its agenda to destroy the traditions of society; the problem is moderate, anti-discriminatory liberalism, which inevitably leads to leftism. The story shows how the inclusion in an institution of a category of people who by their nature and characteristics do not fit in that institution inevitably changes the institution into something else. Your right-liberals, your libertarians, your “moderate” feminists, deny this fact of life. They all insist that admitting qualified females into a previously all-male institution such as the Citadel will not change the institution, but will simply rid it of the injustice of arbitrary sex discrimination.

The problem is that even if a female is “qualified” according to certain formal criteria, such as aptitude for military subjects, she is still a female, not a male. Mixing females with males requires, among other things, that the female have more privacy among the males than a male would require. Thus females need to have locks on their doors, and thus eventually, in order to have everyone living under the same rules, all the cadets must have locks on their doors, and the Citadel’s unique tradition of trust has been undone.

Note that the admission of only ONE female into the Citadel—even if she was bigger, stronger, and more interested in military culture than all the males—would have been enough to work this transformation.

- end of initial entry -

January 10

Lydia McGrew writes:

I’m in wholehearted agreement with what you say about not admitting even one woman into a previously all-male institution. I get frustrated with conservatives who don’t “get it” on this issue.

I thought of your entry this evening when my children and I were watching some videos of southern gospel music. This type of music contains many all-male groups—male quartets and trios with their male pianists and all-male crew of sound technicians or instrumentalists who travel with them on the road. The atmosphere is indescribably heartening. When you watch them sing together there is a masculine chemistry, a “click” among all the group members. One can only be grateful that affirmative action doesn’t seem to have had much effect on at least one industry that still has its own culture. That is not to say that there are no female musicians in the genre, but they generally travel either as part of family groups or in all-female groups. They have their place, and the all-male groups have theirs. It’s a very healthy and professional atmosphere and culture, and I think audiences respond to it as such. Let’s hope the feminists never get their hands on it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 09, 2012 09:12 AM | Send

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