Still on a break, but I’ll be putting up some Feministe Feedback posts this week. And if you have a question for Feministe readers, email feministe-at-gmail-dot-com. Today’s question:
I recently found out that my father has been asked to join an all-male social club. It’s not quite the Freemasons, but it’s definitely one of those “Former Presidents became members before they became Presidents” clubs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohemian_Club). He’s a working-class guy and would never have been asked to join were it not that he has some skills and qualifications that they require for some of their activities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohemian_Grove). He was very excited about it when he told me about it, offering to take me in on their “Ladies’ Night.” I was a little shocked that he assumed I wouldn’t have a problem with it. At the time, I just rolled my eyes and changed the subject, but it’s been bugging me ever since.
What I need some help with is, how do you explain what’s wrong with all-male organizations like this one? I’m at a loss for how to talk to him about it, in part because it seems so obviously wrong to me that I don’t quite know where to begin with someone who can’t see it intuitively. My dad normally has a fine-tuned sense of fairness and in the past has been willing to do what’s right at the expense of what’s convenient, but something’s gone wrong in this case. Can you help me articulate concrete reasons why he shouldn’t join this club?