What institutions have men created that women don’t encroach, break apart, or both?

November 7, 2018 by Joshua
in Blog

When I was in junior high school, Philadelphia’s Central High School for boys went co-ed. Its former sister school, Girls’ High, across the street remains all female. I was in the first class that included girls all four years.Gender symbols

Around the same time, Columbia College went co-ed. Barnard College across the street remains all female.

The cub scouts and boy scouts of America became co-ed this year. Girl scouts remains all female.

I’m not sure the status of all-male clubs at Harvard, but last I heard, the university was trying to close them or force them to admit women. Many women protested that all-female clubs being forced to become co-ed.

Are there any all-male institutions that women have not forced their way into? What organizations can men join to spend time with just men that women won’t encroach?

Why don’t the women forcing men’s groups to admit women force women’s groups to admit women? Why does every time men get together have to mean they are oppressing women? Why can’t women leave men alone? Why do some women see men together as harming women? Do they hate men, going by their actions regardless of what they say?

I’m not a historian or anthropologist, but I believe science began by mostly men and a small number of women asking and answering questions about nature. Over the millennia, they developed many results that became science. I suspect their goals weren’t to create a mostly male field, but it happened, which doesn’t mean they have ill will.

Now that science has stature, many people want half scientists to be women. I doubt people designed it from the start to keep women out of office. I suspect engineering, math, law, and many other fields were started by men, not to keep women out but because women showed less interest.

Now STEM fields seem valuable and women want in. They seem mad at men for keeping them out. I’ll be the first to admit I’m missing something historical, but what about the centuries of women who didn’t participate in them? Where were the women when the fields developed at first?

What other male dominated fields were simply started by men that women didn’t help start and now want in?

The draft is only men. Not many people arguing women should have the responsibility of being drafted. They may suggest women should have the right and privilege to serve, which is almost the opposite of the responsibility. A negligible number of people work to force the responsibility of a draft on women.

Why do women try to get into every place men get together, but few protest women-only spaces?

Why don’t women create institutions that men want to break into and undo?

Why do men respect women’s spaces and not vice versa?


The number one place in this article, 10 Places In The World That Are Off-Limits To Women, is a water park in Germany. Perhaps a big deal to many, but it seems less serious than a college.

This article, 21 Things Women Can Do That Guys Can’t, celebrates advantages women have, like getting out of speeding tickets, being viewed as cougars instead of “dirty old men,” and blaming their actions on PMS.

The number 2 item in Top 10 Things Only Real Men Can Do is “Treat women right,” that is, treating women respectfully, nearly the opposite of what the admittedly frivolous previous article suggested.

Read my weekly newsletter

Lsbs book

Subscribe for a weekly update of musings on leadership, the environment, and burpees.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

6 responses on “What institutions have men created that women don’t encroach, break apart, or both?

  1. You do realize that women were denied access to higher education and scientific societies for centuries, right? Men’s clubs and societies were the seat of power, which is why women wanted to be let in to men’s clubs, but not vice versa.

    • I’m looking at when the institutions came to exist. The time you’re talking about is centuries or millennia later. Before higher education and scientific societies existed, they had no power since they didn’t exist. Were women involved in their creation? If so, did they get cast out, leave on their own, or something else? If not, why didn’t they participate?

      I hadn’t considered this perspective before and am curious. As far as I know, history doesn’t cover how people being curious about nature evolved into an institution with few women, and then became a high focus for women to access, with nothing going the other way, at least that I know of.

      Did the people who created higher education and scientific societies create them to exclude women? Was it a side effect? If women could have participated but chose not to, did the women of that time have in creating institutions as single sex?

      I’m also trying to figure out if women created comparable institutions. If not, why not? If so, what happened to them? Am I not seeing them?

  2. People who aren’t educated generally don’t have the knowledge or means to create their own scientific societies, and regardless, there weren’t enough women in the scientific fields to create their own societies. Women in the old days – by which I mean from ancient times until the 1950s – generally stayed home and raised children. In a world without birth control and with dowries and marriage contracts, there wasn’t much of a choice for most women. Raising children without nannies or babysitters is a full time job, even moreso when you have more than 2 kids, and women in the old days usually had more than 5 children due to high childhood mortality rates and the need for the support (including manual labor) of a large family. You seem to be missing the point that women were excluded, either explicitly or in practice, from higher education until the 20th century and from the scientific fields until the 1960s/1970s. I don’t think scientific societies were created with the explicit purpose of excluding women, but it certainly happened, and once entrenched, men defended their power. Try reading this if you’re truly curious. It outlines the contribution of various women to science over the years, while also speaking to the history of exclusion of women from higher education in general and the sciences in particular, and the sexism that exists even today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_science

    • I’m trying to find out the answers to the questions I asked — about how the institutions formed. What you wrote and that link seem to cover related but different issues.

  3. Well said! Equality doesn’t mean equal outcomes. Masculinity itself is under attack as if men and women Weren’t created differently. We risk raising a generation of total wimps. I asked my husband Sunday what men thought of the female NFL commentator, and he remarked that it’s like having a guy advertising tampons. Sadly, the women pushing their way into cigar clubs are a small, albeit very vocal activist group. Social media hasn’t helped. Us secure ladies don’t feel the need to be so petty. We’re happy letting men be men. It gives us more time with the girls!

    • I’m glad you wrote supportively, though I would say I asked more than I said. At least asking and learning was my intent.

      However much people say men are dominating various fields or keeping them out today, it seems plausible that men and women both contributed to creating at least some institutions (men through participation, women through doing other things perhaps), that no one created them with a goal of excluding anyone.

      Either men and women are identical or there are differences. If there are differences, could they account for men creating institutions based on STEM, camping, sports, and so on? If so, should we force them to include women every time they succeed?

      Should we assume that every time men get together on their own and create an enduring institution that it’s a problem that we must disrupt?

      Under what conditions do people believe men can assemble and create organizations including just men? Under what conditions do people believe women can assemble and create organizations including just women?

Leave a Reply

Sign up for my weekly newsletter