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The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Addressing Gender Issues

Lindsey Bell Co-Features Editor At first glance, the recent assemblies might seem unrelated or maybe even conflicting in their promotions. Men’s Alliance and LAW have typically been seen as opposing forces in the community, simply due to their names. However, as the recent assemblies have proven, both are clubs that encourage mutual respect and tolerance for all. Men’s Alliance, a club composed of male students, is really a space for the men in the Latin community to come together to discuss issues which are tougher to cover in a co-ed setting, including not only how to be yourself but also the importance of encouraging others to do the same, regardless of what that might mean. This is not only relevant to the men of the community, but also the women. In the past, LAW has been regarded as a club for women to come together to bash men for being sexist. I believe the most recent assembly proved the falsehood of this accusation. Jason Katz was very specific in stating that he was not intending to lecture the men or put any blame on them. His presentation was meant to raise awareness, similar to the goals of LAW. However, while the assembly directed by Men’s Alliance was a very effective and well-organized presentation, I do not know if the assembly directed by LAW was as effective. One thing that worked really well in the Men’s Alliance assembly was the fact that every person who spoke was an alumnus of the school.  They shared personal stories, which always allows the audience to connect more with the person they are listening to, thus having a greater impact. On the other hand, Jason Katz was not an effective speaker. His presentation lacked focus and it was often difficult to follow the points of his argument. I believe this is primarily due to the little time we were allowed with him. He was attempting to cover several big ideas in a short period of time, and it might have been more effective if he had focused on one in particular. I am a firm supporter of what he was promoting and I strongly believe in his cause, however I think it would have had a greater effect on the community as a whole if he were more specific and clear in his delivery of his message. One thing I think we can all take away from the recent presentations is the notion that it is important for us to be respectful of each other, regardless of male or female, sexual orientation, or anything else that might define us.]]>

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  • L

    lbellOct 20, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    First of all, no offense is taken. Comments, whether in agreement or disagreement, are always welcome. That is the purpose of this blog, and ultimately the beautiful thing about freedom of speech. However, I feel that it is important to clarify the main point of my article. I did not write this article to pin one school organization against the other. In fact, I make a clear point to say that although perceived by some to be opposing forces, they are actually working for a common goal. I wrote this article to hopefully take away from some of the negative perceived notions of what goes in during LAW or Men’s Alliance meetings. It isn’t about male versus female, but rather male and female working together for mutual respect among all. That being said, to say this article is anti-LAW is ignoring the heart of the article. I was only commenting on the effectiveness of Jason Katz’s presentation due to the structure and lack of time for me, personally. I was not criticizing the ideas within his presentation. To the contrary, I actually firmly support what he was promoting. The comparison of the two organizations was not meant to spark any sort of animosity, but rather to show that two, sometimes preconceived as opposing, school organizations are not at all conflicting in what they advocate, but in reality are harmonious in their efforts.

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  • C

    cschultzOct 20, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    No offense Lindsey, but I don’t think that these two assemblies should have been compared in the first place. The content was similar in some ways but not enough to make them comparable in the least, the only thing that makes you compare them are the names of the two clubs that sponsored them. (Like everyone already said) But I feel like this situation could be similar as someone comparing a LASO assembly and a BSU assembly. Just because their clubs support different races at Latin, which makes them similar. Doesn’t mean that their assemblies should be compared.

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  • D

    dakgunduOct 20, 2010 at 8:04 am

    thank you for that last paragraph joe 🙂

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  • J

    jbucciero11Oct 19, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    The LAW vs. Men’s Alliance bit hadn’t even occurred to me before reading this article and its comments, so I don’t think the comparison of the two organizations, both of which are endlessly admirable, is, as Dilara put it, “inevitable.” I think the comparison is entirely unnecessary, actually. These are two organizations doing more or less the same thing. Who cares which one is responsible for which assembly? You don’t care which club is hosting which bake sale, you just care that they’re selling Sweet Mandy B cupcakes for a dollar.
    As far as the assemblies themselves are concerned, Katz was entirely unorganized and self-aggrandizing–but he had a powerful message, and that message alone was enough to keep me interested. The Men’s Alliance assembly was well curated and thoughtful. Disagreement is inevitable, so I don’t know what the fuss is about.
    (At the end of the day, though, just say that articles like these are personal editorials and don’t represent the Forum as a whole because you get into the mess of making the Forum sound anti-LAW or something like that, which it does here.)

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  • N

    nlehmannOct 19, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I think some are confused by the purpose of this article. I don’t think Lindsey was saying that the Men’s Alliance assembly was so much more meaningful and important than the assembly that LAW sponsored. I think she compared the two because that’s what happens when we have different speakers. I agree with Lindsey, I do believe that Katz’s presentation was in poor format and all over the place. It seems a bit ridiculous to say that no one had disagreements with the gay rights assembly, because if you walk down the halls of Latin, you will definitely hear these “disagreements”. I thought this was a well-written article and many would agree that with more time, Katz’s assembly could have been more organized and effective.

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  • D

    dakgunduOct 18, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I personally liked Katz, but the truth of the matter is that one assembly was run by Men’s Alliance and the other one by LAW. In the end, it Is inevitable that the two of the assemblies will be compared by the organizations they were sponsored by. Perhaps one assembly was more successful for some than others, and therefore, it is more than likely that their club affiliations will be brought up in accordance to their success.

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  • E

    egrafOct 18, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Perhaps some people think that LAW is a place for women to bash men, but this assumption is completely false and has never been the purpose or function of LAW. While criticism of Jackson Katz is, of course, inevitable, it bothers me that the forum would state that the Men’s Alliance assembly was more effective. Making this comparison instantly pits LAW against Men’s Alliance, even though the two assemblies were not coordinated together or related in any way, except by subject matter. The two assemblies were not a contest to see who would be more well-received by the student body. The fact that Jackson Katz created so much controversy speaks to the fact that we need more speakers about gender issues in our community. No one had any disagreements with the gay rights assembly, whereas the critiques of Dr. Katz’s speech were endless from both men and women. To spark change we must create disagreement. I hope no one thinks that LAW members sit around bashing men. As Jackson Katz said, feminism is pro-male because it believes men are capable of more.

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  • K

    kharrisOct 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I disagree. I thought that Jason Katz was a very good speaker for LAW. Maybe he didn’t speak to something that was very relatable for our community, but it was a very good topic that many people will face later in their life. I felt like he captured the audience as well. The only thing I didn’t like/understand was why he ending his assembly by showing us the Tip Drill video

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