Carpe Diem

Is this legal? No men are allowed in MSU’s Women’s Lounge

From the Michigan State University (MSU) student newspaper in 2011:

There are very few places on MSU’s campus that aren’t open to everyone, but one of them is the Women’s Lounge inside the [student] Union.

Tina Timm, an assistant professor in the College of Social Sciences, feels the lounge is outdated. “This will probably get me in trouble with my feminist friends but it doesn’t make sense to me to have that in this day in age,” Timm said. “If there was a lounge or study area specifically for men, I think there would be a lot of push back.”

Patricia Lowrie, director of the Women’s Resource Center, said the needs the lounge serves have changed with society. Getting rid of the private space would be equivalent to saying women’s needs that are currently being served by the lounge are irrelevant, Lowrie said.

“Women’s needs now are certainly different now than they were in 1925,” she said. “But that does not mean that public space is the appropriate space to serve those needs.”

Opening the lounge to men has been a topic of debate dating back to 1978 when Bruce Guthrie, a history and economics senior, filed a complaint after entering the lounge and being asked to leave. His complaint went on to be dismissed by the by Michigan Civil Rights Commission in Detroit in 1980.

Lowrie said she has yet to hear of male needs that could be satisfied by a lounge.

MP: According to the Title IX portion of the Education Amendments of 1972, “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.”

Wouldn’t a women-only lounge that discriminates against men be in violation of Title IX? Or since Michigan State is required to provide gender equality for its athletic programs, wouldn’t Title IX require that MSU provide equivalent space on its campus for a men-only lounge?

50 thoughts on “Is this legal? No men are allowed in MSU’s Women’s Lounge

  1. I can see legit situations where each sex may want a place to only be with their own. So I can see a legit reason for a womens only lounge, but only if there is also a male only lounge. But having one without the other is clearly discriminatory, and the feminists are either blind, or grossly biased, to not see that.

    • What is the special need that requires segregation? Menstruation? PMS?

      The value of a segregated lounge is that protects the rest of the student body from whatever infests the misfits who need such isolation.

      American universities have entirely descended from tragedy into farce.

  2. Nothing like setting up double standards to set the example of what kind of equality one seeks. Feminists have made crystal clear how they view equality, and that is women on top, to hell with men. Tina Timm knew it when she said merely suggesting the idea would upset her feminist friends (why would feminists be upset about raising the topic of equality?) and Patricia Lowrie proved her right when she attempted to justify a double standard with vague references to “issues” unique to women, and a handwave away of even the posibility men may have issues too.

  3. If you look at the history of the Women’s lounge, there was once a time where there was a Men’s lounge as well (actually 2, one for studying and one for playing billiards). They decided to eliminate the men’s study lounge because it wasn’t used in the same manner as the women’s lounge was, it wasn’t used as much and it was deemed unnecessary by the college (including students) when it came time to renovate the Union. Women on campus go to the women’s study lounge for a number of reasons that men did not need a separate lounge for. First of all, there are very few places where there is quiet on campus. The library quiet floors are virtually the only other place that are continually quiet. Do you know how unsafe it is for a female to walk to the library on her own at night? It’s known as “the rape trail” for a reason. Gruesome, but true. I have not and will not ever walk that way at night due to safety concerns. Women go to the women’s lounge because it’s SAFER to go there than it is to go to the library which is the only other truly quiet place to study. Second, as a female, if you’ve ever been abused by a male, being around them when you’re feeling vulnerable (paying all your attention to studying, stressed about an upcoming exam, ect.) will take away all concentration on what you should be doing and can make you re-live horrible memories. Or just plain intimidation by males if you’re a quiet or introverted person.

    Take away gender, if you have EVER been in there, it’s a very comfortable place to study that you can count on having a quiet environment with no pressures from the people present.

    Granted, I do think that it could be considered sexist to have a female lounge and not male lounge. BUT you HAVE TO LOOK AT THE HISTORY. There were 2 male lounges at one point and due to the way they were used and the little value males sought from them, they were eliminated for a reason. It was deemed males felt safe at other places, the women’s lounge was kept because there was a large population on campus that did not feel safe, be it because of potential harm, intimidation, ect.

    Want to bring up Title IX, how come the women’s athletics players don’t get the same lounges with flat screen TV’s, Xboxs, Playstations, and catering that their male counterparts do?

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