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Bones of contention.

Should George Bush resign from Yale's Skull and Bones club because it blackballs women? Even Judge Kenneth Ryskamp belatedly resigned from a discriminatory country club.

The supersecret Skull and Bones, which Bush joined more than forty years ago, has been in the spotlight lately because the fifteen seniors who make up its on-campus complement defied the 159-year-old tradition excluding women and "tapped" seven. The society's board of trustees promptly nullified the induction and changed the locks on the tomblike meeting place in New Haven. The board had proposed separate but equal membership for women as a compromise between old-grad Bonesmen-who object to women out of mossback sexism or, more politely, on the theory that their presence would inhibit the lengthy life-history confessions members make--and the younger members, who say exclusion of women is wrong and an anachronism. The seniors rejected the board's proposal and the board ejected them.

So where's George? Despite repeated queries from Nation intern Amy Lowrey weeks ago, he remains silent, true to Bones tradition.

In a country where segregated public schools are making a comeback, where students at CUNY protest tuition hikes en masse, where even affluent school districts are cutting back on teaching staff, where faculties at universities like Yale are dominated by white men, the problems of an elitist secret society are only a tiny microcosm of the inequality throughout education. And so, when Bush introduced his long-promised education package, someone should have asked him where he stands on sexism at Skull and Bones. If he won't condemn it, he should at least resign as the Education President.

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Title Annotation:Yale University's Skull and Bones club continues to exclude women
Publication:The Nation
Article Type:editorial
Date:May 6, 1991
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