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Second victory this week in California for advancing gender equity – Publications – AEI

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AEI Second victory this week in California for advancing gender equity Earlier this week, I wrote about Stanford University’s new “opportunity for a women’s-only training environment” at its Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center, and suggested that such a policy that discriminates against half the student body probably violates both federal civil rights laws (including Title IX) and Stanford’s own nondiscrimination policy. Following the CD post, the story was covered by The College Fix, The Daily Caller, and Breitbart. And then within 24 hours of the original post, following the national coverage of the situation, Stanford University took down the webpage providing details about the women’s only training program and has apparently either canceled or suspended the program. As

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AEI
Second victory this week in California for advancing gender equity

Earlier this week, I wrote about Stanford University’s new “opportunity for a women’s-only training environment” at its Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center, and suggested that such a policy that discriminates against half the student body probably violates both federal civil rights laws (including Title IX) and Stanford’s own nondiscrimination policy. Following the CD post, the story was covered by The College Fix, The Daily Caller, and Breitbart.

And then within 24 hours of the original post, following the national coverage of the situation, Stanford University took down the webpage providing details about the women’s only training program and has apparently either canceled or suspended the program. As one commenter wrote about the CD post, “This is not even a close call, so obviously a violation of Title IX and Stanford’s own policies that I have no idea how this passed even initial scrutiny from the Stanford’s Legal Department.”

In a related development, there’s been another victory this week advancing gender equity and nondiscrimination in the Golden State, and was covered by the Times of San Diego in an article published last night by Ken Stone “‘Girls Empowerment’ Fire Camp Canceled After Civil Rights Lawyer Complains“:

A “girls-only” firefighter camp in San Diego has been canceled a day after a complaint by a local lawyer known for challenging single-sex events. The San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation’s second annual Girls Empowerment Camp at the Naval Training Center was criticized by Alfred G. Rava, writing on behalf of fellow men’s rights activist Rich Allison.

“Mr. Allison was deterred and prevented from timely enrolling his son in this camp because boys were not invited to attend, based solely on their sex,” Rava wrote Thursday, citing the Unruh Civil Rights Act,a state law that bars gender discrimination.

He said he and Allison — an earlier client of his — applauded the city, fire agency “and anyone who participates in a free camp to teach adolescents how to save lives.” But Rava said “San Diego boys, as well as San Diego girls, should know the important steps to respond to and to revive a grandfather or grandmother in cardiac duress.”

On Friday, City Attorney Mara Elliott wrote: “Dear Mr. Rava: Our office is in receipt of your February 22, 2018, letter. The event has been cancelled.” Rava’s reaction?

“My wish is that the organizers carry out my client’s request and soon put on a free, two-day ‘Girls and Boys Empowerment Camp’ where both girls and boys can learn how to save lives and be empowered to be whatever they want to be when they grow up,” he said.

Here’s part of the letter that attorney Alfred Rava sent to the city of San Diego:

Sex-based, no-boys-allowed or no-girls-allowed discrimination, such as a No-Boys-Allowed or No­-Girls-Allowed Empowerment Camps, hosted or at least aided by for-profit or non-profit California business establishments and by government entities, violate several California and federal anti­discrimination statutes, including the mothers of all statutes – the California and United States Constitutions. California government entities are prohibited from discriminating against persons based on their sex by the equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution. Furthermore, the City of San Diego’s very own Human Rights Commission is charged with prohibiting the discrimination of San Diegans based on their sex.

Accordingly, I ask you and anyone else who has been or is about to be involved in this No-Boy-Allowed Empowerment Camp to please comply with California and federal anti-discrimination laws by doing a “Reset,” and reschedule this otherwise excellent program for a later date this year, and invite both boys and girls to attend so both boys and girls can learn how to save lives and be empowered to be whatever they want to be when they grow up.

MP: The state and federal civil rights laws, along with the nondiscrimination policies of organizations like the city of San Diego and Stanford University, seem to be so crystal clear about proscribing gender discrimination that you have to wonder how and why any organization today would try to circumvent the law and attempt to engage in such illegal practices?

For example, what part of Title IX could possibly be misinterpreted by educational organizations deciding that they are allowed to implement girl-only or women-only programs? “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

There seems to be a real persistent double standard when it comes to gender discrimination — discriminating against women and girls is completely unacceptable (as it should be), while discriminating against men is sometimes allowed, at least until that type of gender discrimination is challenged. Examples include the illegal women-only lounge that was allowed at Michigan State University since the 1920s until just a few years ago, the illegal women-only faculty awards that continued for decades at the University of Michigan-Flint until they were recently challenged and are now open to all faculty starting this year, and the Girls in Engineering, Math and Science summer camp for middle school students at the University of Michigan-Flint that was recently challenged and is now open to all students. See my “Dear Colleague Letter” here for more details.

Q: How is it that the United States in the 21st century continues to have such a “blind spot” for tolerating certain types of blatant and illegal gender discrimination, and why do organizations have to be challenged before they finally agree to stop engaging in such illegal gender discrimination?

 

Second victory this week in California for advancing gender equity
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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