“Men For Others” Includes “For Women”

Join the Gender Equality Club

Patrick Stanton ‘20, Contributor

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The Gender Equality Club began meeting in November 2017 as one of BC High’s newest — and perhaps one of the most important — clubs. Why does an all-boys school need a gender equality club? Perhaps it is better to rephrase: Before joining the college and working ranks, do 1,600 boys (who for 4 to 6 years—depending on if they attended Arrupe—interact only occasionally with girls, predominantly on a social level) need a means to better understand issues about the equality of women, including social, economic, and workplace issues? Yes. Now, more than ever before, engaging in gender equality is critical.

BC High’s Mission Statement challenges each of us “to become young men of integrity, educated in faith and for justice, committed to academic excellence and service to others. As a Jesuit, Catholic high school, we strive to reflect the diversity of our church and community.” Relatedly, in The Platform for Action, adopted in 1995 at the Fourth World Congress on Women in Beijing, it is stated, “[t]he advancement of women and the achievement of equality between women and men are a matter of human rights and a condition for social justice and should not be seen in isolation as a women’s issue.”

Our school and families expect most of us to graduate, to attend college (basically all of which are co-ed), to begin work and become leaders in professions (all of which involve women), and to date, get married, and become husbands and fathers (mostly with women.) Thus, our futures, once we leave BC High, will involve daily work and social relationships with women. We need to be ready. We need to understand and engage in women’s equality efforts to become men of integrity, work for social justice, and to reflect the diversity of our Church and community.

As demonstrated by recent headlines, society is changing and it is important to stay current with and participate in social developments including gender equality. Examples of increasing gender equality do exist. For instance, Grace Cotter Regan is BC High’s first female president. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote for President in 2016 and the country almost elected its first female president. However, studies establish that women are still underrepresented as executives in most business communities, are paid less than their male counterparts, and are exposed to outdated stereotypes and sexual abuse and harassment by male leaders and colleagues. The #MeToo and #TimesUp social media movements are changing Hollywood, businesses, politics, and schools by exposing the shameful and inappropriate behavior of men in positions of authority, as well as issues of marginalization and underrepresentation. This is the time for male students to move beyond apathy and to begin actively learning and practicing gender equality.

Achieving gender equality is important for boys and men because it will improve our homes, family relationships, work places, and quality of life. Anyone can come to listen, ask questions, converse, and learn, and the agenda is open to suggestions from all club members.  Join now.

The Gender Equality Club meets on Mondays at 2:45 in room M208, and is moderated by Mrs. Keenan-Byrne. For additional information, or to join the club’s email list for weekly topics, please contact pc.stanton20@bchigh.edu.

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“Men For Others” Includes “For Women”