Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sotomayor And The Belizean Grove

I've often wondered why the Boy Scouts shouldn't be just that - for boys. And the Girl Scouts and Campfire for girls. And the Seven Sisters, the Ivy League's counterpart, remain institutions of higher learning for women. Somewhere along the line political correctness got in the way of good sense.

That in mind, I was surprised to learn Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a member of an all woman's club. I hadn't realized there were any, at least not on the scale of this one. Why should I be surprised? Men have them. Everything from smoking clubs and service organizations to golf clubs and yes, a counterpart to the woman's organization to which Sotomayor belongs.

The men's club, The Bohemian Grove, is a 130 year old organization made up of men of many persuasions including former Presidents, military men, business men, leaders from the non-profit sector, musicians, artists and academics. A pretty impressive cross section of successful men.

Realizing women had no such organization, a group of twenty six got together around ten years ago and founded The Belizean Grove. Sotomayor has been a member about a year.

If they actually do what their website claims, it would be wonderful if there were more like them. As with the men's organization, members are highly accomplished women from a variety of fields and nations. They claim to be a network dedicated to helping women achieve their dreams and ambitions; literally raising the bar.

That Sotomayor has been invited into this group says a lot about her level of accomplishment. I'm disappointed, however, that there seems to be no trickle down in their mission. It is an open yet closed group. What they have to offer in the nurturing of women could have an enormous impact on those with great potential.

That they mentor one another is wonderful. Should they at some time decide to expand that effort to another level, it could do wonders toward breaking that glass ceiling once and for all!

Footnote: It is learned today, Saturday, June 20, That Sotomayor has resigned her membership in this organization.

According to the The New York Times, "Judge Sotomayor said she was convinced that the club, the Belizean Grove, did not practice “invidious discrimination” and that her membership in it did not violate judicial ethics."

Federal judges are bound by a code that says they should not join any group that discriminates by race, sex, religion or nationality.

I am not sure she is the best person to make this judgement since the club does indeed discriminate by sex. If this is her judgement I question her ability to make judgements in a court of law. The question is not the intent of the organization, it is that it discriminates by sex. Period.


Melissa Monks said...

Three cheers for common sense!

John Dwyer said...

I am highly suspicious of this whole episode. It certainly places an innocuous item front and center while not dealing with the fire fighter ruling in the necessary depth. Years ago when I would be audited by outside agencies, I would purposefully lead them to an easy to fix error. It is an old tactic.

Word Tosser said...

I still don't know where I stand on her...too much conflicting..
but to remain in a woman's group, or not... I have to wonder how many judges over the years belong to Men Only clubs of Washington, DC over the years. I would be surprised greatly if they said none. In fact I would wonder about a cover up, if that is the answer.