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lindisfarne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 04:41 PM
Original message
Sotomayor says women's club doesn't discriminate
Source: CNN

An all-women's club that counts Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor among its members does not "discriminate on the basis of sex," she told senators.
...
"The Belizean Grove is a constellation of influential women who are key decision makers in the profit, nonprofit and social sectors; who build long term mutually beneficial relationships in order to both take charge of their own destinies and help others to do the same," a statement on its Web site said.
...
Sotomayor told senators her group is not purposely exclusive. "To the best of my knowledge, a man has never asked to be considered for membership. It is also my understanding that all interested individuals are duly considered by the membership committee," she wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

She added that men participate in the group's activities, including trips, hosting events and talks.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/16/scotus.sotomayor.club/index.html



The Code of Judicial Conduct says judges should not join organizations that discriminate based on sex, religion, race or nationality.

Any powerful organization with 115 members, all one sex, has to be questioned as to whether it is discriminating.

Sotomayor is not the only high-level judge in such an organization, but I think we've reached a stage in our history when such organizations, especially when they wield a great deal of power, should be strongly questioned.

I'm all for Sotomayor being confirmed. But I think her response is a bit disingenuous. ""To the best of my knowledge, a man has never asked to be considered for membership." If this were a male judge who belonged to an all-male group which wielded a great deal of power, I think there'd be a large amount of outrage.
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MNDemNY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. Let's see,
I'm sure they will have some male applicants before the week is out.I'll wait for this one.
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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. Why would she want to join a group that models itself after The Bohemian Grove?
http://www.belizeangrove.com/grove_overview.pdf

Introduction and Background:
THE BELIZEAN GROVE
Having observed the power of the Bohemian Grove, a 130 year old elite old boys network of former Presidents, businessmen, military, musicians, academics, and non-profit leaders, and realizing that women didnt have a similar organization, Susan Stautberg and 26 other founding members created the Belizean Grove, a constellation of influential women who are building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships to both take charge of their own destinies and help others do the same.
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. It is also an invitation only establishment
If they don't invite any men, they won't come a knockin'.

But it probably is considered a very presigious thing to get invited into--kind of like the Skull and Bones.
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. A more honest answer would be that the code of conduct wasn't intended to be applied...
...to all-female clubs.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. Why is the answer less than honest? There is nothing I see in the name or description
of the club that would exclude interested men -- as long as the men were supportive of the goals of the club.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. This is the description from their own website
"The Belizean Grove is a constellation of influential women who are key decision makers in the profit, nonprofit and social sectors; who build long term mutually beneficial relationships in order to both take charge of their own destinies and help others to do the same," a statement on its Web site said.

Not sure how you have men in this "constellation."
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vadawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. rofl time to suspend disbelief
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musette_sf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. since SCOTUS and POTUS names abound on the Bohemian Club membership list
i think this is just a smear and a cheap shot at Sotomayor.
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lindisfarne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. No, it's not. I question anyone who thinks a club which discriminates on the basis
Edited on Tue Jun-16-09 05:17 PM by lindisfarne
of sex is justifiable. It is especially problematic when it is a group of people who wield a great deal of power. It is even more problematic when the Code of Judicial Conduct says judges should not join organizations that discriminate based on sex, religion, race or nationality.

She's a person obligated to follow the Code. Her explanation was pretty disingenuous; I'd expect better of her.

I also question whether any other judge (male or female) who is obligated to follow the Code of Judicial Conduct should be in an organization that excludes one sex.

There are things that are leftovers from the past, but I think we've reached the point in history where we can expect high level judges to follow the code which governs them. If there are other high level judges who belong to such organizations, I think that should be an issue as well.

As for presidents: first, they don't have a professional code which governs them. But good judgement should also cause them to forego membership in such organizations. These are "Ladies Auxiliary clubs" at one's church.

I'm not opposed to her confirmation (or at least, I haven't seen anything which would make me be opposed). I don't agree with her every position. But this is something she can easily disassociate herself from, and she should have long ago.
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musette_sf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. don't agree
Edited on Tue Jun-16-09 06:01 PM by musette_sf
unless every single solitary member of Bohemian Grove who is/was POTUS, SCOTUS, or associated with either, publicly quits Bohemian Grove as well.

i don't particularly care for gender segregated clubs where business and fun are had. but i maintain that it is a cheap shot to smear Sotomayor with her club membership when it is a long standing tradition for men to have the same kind of membership. either male and female POTUS and SCOTUS members are held to the exact same standard, or they're not.

come back when you get all those guys to resign Bohemian Grove for all the reasons you specify that Sotomayor should resign her club affiliation.

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lindisfarne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I did say high level judges should follow their judicial code. I don't believe Sotomayor should
be the last one to do it. She can be a good example. Is membership in a club that important?
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. There is no evidence she is not following the judicial code.
Networking and advocacy groups FOR MINORITIES are a counter balance to discrimination, not discriminatory in themselves. Or else, you'd have to shut down the NAACP, NOW, UFW and so on.
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lindisfarne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. The NAACP and NOW admit all people. n/t
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Whooooooosh.
Edited on Tue Jun-16-09 07:59 PM by EFerrari
Do you have any evidence whatsoever that this women's organization has done anything more than promote a minority, i.e., women?
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lindisfarne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. The number of male members or lack thereof suggests discriminatory practices. n/t
Edited on Tue Jun-16-09 08:10 PM by lindisfarne
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AlphaCentauri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Is this a private or public Club?
if that is a private organization then we have to demand that the KKK include some minorities.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #33
41. LOL. So then does the population of my home.
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AlphaCentauri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #41
48. Benedictine Nuns have a New Eco-Convent
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. I don't see the evidence that this club discriminates against men or excludes them
from membership.

It doesn't call itself an all women's club -- that's how the media is labelling it. Anyone who supports its goals is eligible to apply for membership.
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960 Donating Member (676 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
6. She's an awkward, overgrown corporatist hack - and now this.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
7. Remember VMI?
Virginia Military Institute...

Admission of women
VMI was the last US military college to admit women. VMI excluded women from the Corps of Cadets until 1997. In 1990 the US Department of Justice filed a discrimination lawsuit against VMI for its all-male admissions policy. While the court challenge was pending, a state-sponsored Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership (VWIL) was opened at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, as a parallel program for women. The VWIL continued, even after VMI's admission of women.<36>

After VMI won its case in US District Court, the case went through several appeals until June 26, 1996, when the US Supreme Court, in a 7-1 decision in United States v. Virginia, found that it was unconstitutional for a school supported by public funds to exclude women. (Justice Clarence Thomas recused himself, presumably because his son was attending VMI at the time.) Following the ruling, VMI contemplated going private to exempt itself from the 14th Amendment, and thus avoid the ruling.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Frederick F.Y. Pang, however, warned the school that the Department of Defense would withdraw ROTC programs from the school if privatization took place. As a result of this action by Pang, Congress passed a resolution on November 18, 1997 prohibiting the Department of Defense from withdrawing or diminishing any ROTC program at one of the six senior military colleges, including VMI. This escape clause provided by Congress came after the VMI Board of Visitors had already voted 8-7 to admit women and the decision was not revisited.

In August 1997, VMI enrolled its first female cadets. The first co-ed class consisted of thirty women, and matriculated as part of the class of 2001. In order to accelerate VMI's matriculation process several women were allowed to transfer directly from various junior colleges, such as New Mexico Military Institute (NMI), and forgo the traditional four year curriculum that most cadets had been subjected to. The first female cadets "walked the stage" in 1999, although by VMI's definitions they are considered to be members of the class of 2001. Initially, these 30 women who were held to the same strict physical courses and technical training as the male cadets until it became apparent that adjustments to the standards had to be made. VMI resisted following other military colleges in adopting "gender-normed" physical training standards until the situation became impractical and now <37> gender norming has become a goal of VMI in its 2039 Strategic Plan;<38>. On June 30, 2008, gender normed standards were implemented for all female cadets.<39> Female Rats are required to maintain a short haircut of approximately four inches or less and are forbidden to wear makeup or jewelry.


Wikipedia

I remember thinking at the time, "Why would any woman want to join an organization that didn't want her as a member?" Then one of the first women cadets made the observation that it was all about making contacts and establishing relationships that would last a lifetime. In essence, this: who build long term mutually beneficial relationships in order to both take charge of their own destinies and help others to do the same.

Then it made sense to me...
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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Exactly, men should be allowed to join.
Calling it an all women's club, probably hinders that from happening.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. They call themselves the Belizean club, not an all-woman's club.
And they say that the club is designed to help promote and support women -- not that only women can join it.

Gay supporters can join GLBT school groups -- I would think that this group is open to men on a similar basis -- they can be eligible to join if they accept the goals of the group.
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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #15
27. Mission Statement
Edited on Tue Jun-16-09 07:13 PM by masuki bance
Mission Statement:
The Belizean Grove is a constellation of influential women who are key decision makers in the profit, non-profit and social sectors; who build long term mutually beneficial relationships in order to both take charge of their own destinies and help others to do the same.


http://www.belizeangrove.com/grove_overview.pdf

Approximately 115 women are members of the Belizean Grove. These women are leaders of the
profit, non-profit and social sectors. A partial listing follows.
Among our ethnically, racially, age, and geographically diverse members are:

Funny how they forgot to mention gender diversity.





*edit for format
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #27
45. If no men have ever applied for membership, then that is an accurate description
Does it say anywhere in there that men are forbidden from joining up? No. It just says that so far, they have no men among their ranks.
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EndersDame Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
26. Men and Women have different problems in the work place and in life
Cant you just imagine trying to talk about maternity leave and wondering how it might effect you and wanting to get advice from others who have gone through it before only to have glazed over looks from guys?

I think that men should have their own clubs as well since they have to deal with gender specific expectations and problems as well
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #7
43. so VMI actually lowered its standards to let women graduate?
that is really lame; what idiot came up with "gender normed" standards?
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
10. Just the sort of reasoning I'd expect considering who picked her
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
12. Ah, a new version of the reverse racism argument.
Edited on Tue Jun-16-09 06:02 PM by EFerrari
When men are beating down the doors of women's clubs that are exclusive bastions of wealth and power in this country, then you will have an argument.
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musette_sf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. + 1
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. Uh...this is exactly that case
Edited on Tue Jun-16-09 06:34 PM by WriteDown
"The Belizean Grove is a constellation of influential women who are key decision makers in the profit, nonprofit and social sectors; who build long term mutually beneficial relationships in order to both take charge of their own destinies and help others to do the same," a statement on its Web site said.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. No, it isn't. Have you ever heard of it? Do politicians beat their door down?
Do they call the shots in their district? No. They are a networking site for WOMEN. They have little or no political power in the culture at large.
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bitchkitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. Right on. n/t
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AlphaCentauri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #12
37. yep, another - she is part of the reconquista - n/t
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #37
40. LOL.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
20. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. I don't get it. What in the world does that have to do with this club?
What long line of disenfranchised men are being excluded?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #23
46. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
EndersDame Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
21. I don't see what the problem is with men or women specific clubs
We had on campus a womens issue club and a men issue clubs because our problems are different in society. The Women's club focused on how to get ahead ,how to deal with the gender specific obstacles in the workplace and academia and how to be a good mother while going to school. There was also a Men's club that dealt with being a good father while going to school, how to hget ahead and I think they dealt with anger management.

The pupose of the group that Sotomayor is apart of probably deals with the specific problems women face in the work place.I can just imagine a woman who is sharing her feelings on maternity leave to a group of glazed over guys. Just as I think that there should be organizations for men who want to share their feelings with people who would totally understand

Each gender has problems and different experiences as well as whats expected of them and how to over come them.

Yet another non issue
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tomhayes Donating Member (476 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
29. The women's club where I have worked allowed men
Edited on Tue Jun-16-09 07:34 PM by tomhayes
True story.

And this smacks of a white guy saying "Why don't they have an NAACP for whit people?"
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
32. Yeah, right. I'm sure they would accept me as a member tomorrow if I would only ask them!
Who do they think they're fooling? :eyes:

That said, I have no problem with men and women having clubs that exclude the opposite gender.
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
34. Just like Augusta National Golf Club
Edited on Tue Jun-16-09 09:54 PM by Psephos
No black members until 1990, no female members currently. However, there's no prohibition, so ANGC does not discriminate in the same way Belizian Grove doesn't. Right?

Sotomayor could make an honest argument in favor of Belizian Grove's all-female membership rolls, and I'd at least listen to it, even if I disagreed. (She'd have to answer why she has ignored the Judicial Code of Conduct prohibiting membership in single-sex or single-race associations, for one.) But I have no patience with her saying with a straight face that a 100% female association doesn't discriminate. She's playing us for rubes.

Orwell anyone?
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
36. All or none.
People complain about exclusive clubs all the time. Either people can establish any type of legal club they want or no group can.
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Dark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
38. Yes it is discrimination. But unless we're willing to go after every judge who joins
a gender based country club, we'd better just let it go.

However, I bet conservative radio will latch onto this.
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DallasNE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
39. This Is A Tough Call
This orgination was created as a "me too" organization hoping to be a mirror image of an even more powerful all male club. Obviously, two wrongs to not make a right. On the other hand there is that little thing called a glass ceiling so that deflates the argument that "If this were a male judge who belonged to an all-male group which wielded a great deal of power, I think there'd be a large amount of outrage". The obvious answer to this would be for the two organizations to merge then have sub-committees that answer gender related issues. Has there ever been any talks to merge the two organizations. If not, why not? If so, who blocked it?
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Zavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
42. There would be a lot of outrage if it were a man and an all-male group,
and Sotomayor's answer looks like festering bullshit.

Unlike the OP, though, I'm not for her being confirmed (overturn rate is too high), so the more crap like this I see, the better. The Supreme Court already has too many people I don't like from the other side, I don't want another and have our side be responsible for it.
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. Their stock response is the same--no women ever apply to be members.
Of course that's true when it's an invitation only club. They don't accept applications, so it's a non sequitur.

A more truthful response would be that no men have responded to an invitation (assuming for the sake of argument that invitations had actually been given to men).
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-18-09 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #42
52. I guess I must have missed all the outrage over the Bohemian Grove.
Edited on Thu Jun-18-09 09:35 AM by No Elephants
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
47. I think judgement should be withheld until
we've heard from all the men who were denied membership into this organization.
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. I agree. However...
I also think they should supply a list of all of the men who were offered a membership in their organization, and a list of the men they actively recruited into their organization. You know, just so that we have all of the relevant information needed to make an honest assessment.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. Yes, they should.
Of course it could be, as I suspect is the case with a number of "men only" clubs, that they've always operated under the assumption that members of the opposite sex would not be interested. I think that excuse is reasonable, provided they take immediate, steps to remedy the situation without balking.
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. Truth be told, I don't care
I'm in favor of both men and women having private clubs that exclude the opposite gender, and I think this is much ado about nothing.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-18-09 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
53. IIRC, good reasons led to womens business and professional networking organizations that do not
Edited on Thu Jun-18-09 09:48 AM by No Elephants
apply--and never did--to white mens' business and professional networking organizations. Let's see now. What could those reasons possibly have been?

:sarcasm:


According to wiki, every Republican President since 1923 and some Democratic Presidents were members of the Bohemian Grove, as well as some Democratic Presidents (love to know which Democratic Presidents). Yet I don't recall any outrage over Bohemian Grove every time a Bohemian Grove member got nominated for the Presidency (or the SCOTUS).

When white males have to band together to have even a shot at entry level positions in the business, professional and political l power structure of this nation, let me know and I'll be as outraged over this as I am about any form of unfairness.

When the Bohemian Grove ceases to exist, let me know.

When a bunch of men who applied for membership in the Belizean Grove and were denied show up, let me know.

I am as against exclusion as anyone, but the double standard is pathetically obvious.


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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-18-09 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
54. Some members of the Bohemian Grove (allegedly). A real eye opener.
http://www.isgp.eu/organisations/Bohemian_Grove_members_list.htm

See also, Knights of Malta.

Holy crap. Until I googled, I thought the Illuninati were like the Tooth Fairy. Now, I'm not so sure.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-18-09 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
55. So the Michigan Womyn's Festival is discriminatory now too?
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Lance_Boyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-18-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. Possibly. But it's damn sure misspelled. n/t

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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-18-09 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
57. Colbert wants in!
We'll see what happens.

Not to forget that Augusta National Golf Club (Master's Tournament) is a male-only organization.
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