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Madison Scouts now officially co-ed

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5 minutes ago, cybersnyder said:

Guaranteed that there is a email thread circulating among their board right now.

I’ll guarantee you that the Cavaliers board was aware that this was happening already. I’ll also guarantee you that before the Cavaliers were to do anything of this magnitude they will take the wait and see approach. Definitely sit back and see what happens with the Madison Scouts. If you aren’t aware the Cavaliers Organization is handled much differently.

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First, I have no dog in this hunt. Or only tendentially, as:

  1. I love the enterprise of Drum Corps and the opportunities it offers to youth. I come on this late. I might have seen a drum corps show in 1997 when my youngest son dragged me to it. I thought it was kinda neat. Come the next summer, after he finished his 1st year in HS he got a call from a director asking if he wanted to tour with them that summer. It was a lower ranking Div I corps that was doing the week before tour in our home town. He wanted to and we saw no reason to not let him. I did speak with the director for an hour or so. He seemed to have a good summer, we didn’t hear from him too much, but my folks never hear from me much either, that’s growing up. A year later he wanted to tryout for his dream corps. It was nearby so we encouraged him to go the camp and he traveled that summer with his dream corps. He never competed in DCI again. His marimba teacher advised against it, beating up marimbas was not a good thing, and his parents wanted him to develop other skills, like working and earning to pay his way. But the Drum Corps experience never left him. Several years later, he joined the staff of his dream corps and still travels and teaches with that corps and we follow DCI, and his corps along with our home town corps.

  2. I was a Boy Scout, received my Eagle on my 16th birthday and have stayed somewhat involved with the Scouting program. And the Scouting program has dealt with the issue of allowing girls and women into the program. I stayed active in the then Exploring program after Scouts, and soon after I turned 21 and no longer could participate as a youth, they started allowing girls (young women) into the Explorer program. The program became (I think) the Venture Scouts. Recently the Boy Scout program proper has decided to allow girls into the program. And it has been met with controversy. Many people I know, especially those who attained the rank of Eagle, have pushed back. Many of my friends have pushed back. I know the deep-felt desire to keep the program “all male”.

 

I generally support these decisions of the BSA. The BSA does have and has had other problems, and going coed with the Explorer program and now the the Scout program does not address those issues. They are independent and must be dealt with independently.

 

Watching and reading this forum and the others like it in the past couple of years, I see a number of issues and they seem to overlap and are not clearly kept separate. Let’s see if I can sort the various issues apart, without (for now) taking a side on any of them.

 

  1. There are some who consider the “tradition” or “brand” of the Madison Scouts to consist in (at least) a) being all male; b) having a specific uniform; and c) a certain “swagger” that the Madison Scouts demonstrated historically.

This may be expressed by Scerpella “Probably the majority of unrest is coming from the 70's-90's veterans who apart from the two world championships were never that far out of the running. Personally, I don't care if some non alumni doesn't like the idea of superman suits because it wasn't meant for you...ever. Every corps has its own tradition and way of characterizing itself. That was ours, it was our way of saying to ourselves when we suit up we are heroes. Don't know what your group did, but I am fairly certain others from outside your group may have found fault with it.

  1. There are some who do not like the current management for various reasons.

  2. There are some who do not like the current show.

  3. There are some who do not like the current uniforms/costumes.

  4. There are some who do not like the uniform/costume of the featured female soloist.

  5. There may be more, but I’m not sure I’ve isolated any of them.

  6. Now the BOD of the corps has made a decision to go coed. Their stated reason was that it was the extension of the Madison Scouts to be inclusive. I have no reason to not believe them. This is surely a good reason.

  7. Many have suggested that there are other reasons, to deflect, or to better recruit, or whatever. This are probably less good reasons. And, I doubt that going co-ed will help these issues at all.

     

Note, everyone wants the MMs to have a great time, to learn a lot, and enjoy their season. And everyone believes that the MMs are doing their best in presenting this show to the audiences and judges. Let us not forget this.

 

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7 minutes ago, ndkbass said:

100% leadership.  Nothing to do with gender.  I had already marched coed corps before going to Madison.  Going to Devs had nothing to do with gender.  It was more going to a place I knew would contract people due to talent not money (Madison 2009 contracted people because of need for monies, not necessarily just because they were the talent needed), and would treat me well.

Totally understand. And wasn’t judging the move. Just wanted to point out that there are those that do march in all male corps for the brotherhood.

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2 hours ago, rainshdw08 said:

Has nothing to do with being chauvinistic.  It's a brotherhood.  Kinda like a sorority...its a sisterhood.  Are you gonna call for the end of all Sororities now too?

Although this is a different conversation: As someone who has taught at public universities across the U.S. and now internationally for the last seven years, I would most definitely end all greek life on campuses (with the only exception being multi-cultural greek organizations, which arguably serve a different function than traditional greek orgs, although they are not without their problems, too).  They are basically a blight on campuses, and have no true need anymore (originally created to solve a housing crisis way back; check the history books).  The sexist reality of regulations against sororities (see Neighbors 2 for an ironic and satirical take on this) is also arbitrary and ridiculous.  I did not join one during my undergraduate tenure, and as soon as I started teaching saw their extreme detriment to campus environments even more than I witnessed while an undergraduate student.  Also, as some other posters have noted, there are plenty of coed (service) fraternities already.  So, in many ways, I take issue with your argument here.

Edited by ndkbass
corrected spelling

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2 minutes ago, GREENBLUE said:

Totally understand. And wasn’t judging the move. Just wanted to point out that there are those that do march in all male corps for the brotherhood.

For sure.  That was part of why I wanted to join, and partially why I never joined a greek organization at my undergraduate institution.  However, I do not see it as an attack on my experience, and if Madison had gone coed before or during my tenure, it would not have affected my decision making process to audition, stay or leave.

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First of all, drum corps overall is inclusive and in some areas has been ahead of society in inclusivity, but the activity often refers to itself as “educational.” People often say they “taught” at certain corps, etc., but drum corps are given a pass where many educational opportunities would not get the same pass. For example:

Suppose a young woman did not want to wear a color guard uniform she believed was immodest and believed this for religious reasons? 

A hijab could probably be worn and not cause an issue, but what if a young marcher wore a burka and had to have separate sleeping accommodations and eating accommodations because her Muslim faith prohibited her eating with men who are not biological  brothers?

What if a marching member was a Hasidic Jew who believed lifting an instrument and practicing and performing from sundown on Friday until sunrise on Sunday was breaking the Sabbath?

Suppose a talented young person did not audition well the same way a student does not test well.

Most of us would probably say a corps has the prerogative to say it can’t accommodate these situations, but most educational settings, public or private, could not do the same thing.

i point these things out because I learned from my time in the classroom, which was  at an inner city Catholic school in one of Boston’s most challenging areas, at a school of a parish that once sponsored one of the most beloved drum corps of the 1960’s, that being inclusive often means taking baby steps, confronting your own fears and biases, and moving forward. So let’s avoid putting down those who may disagree with Madison’s decision and give time to get used to it, because it may not be due to believing in gender discrimination, and to those who seem to enjoy arguing the point, to some, drum corps may not be as inclusive as we think.

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13 minutes ago, DAvery said:

What if you were a HS drama teacher and you had a female student wanting to audition for a role in the local production of 12 Angry Men or Lord of the Flies? 

To be fair, when that chestnut gets produced today, it's usually called "12 Angry Jurors" and they do use mixed gender casts.

But the larger point that artists retain the right to present their work with any underlying baggage or resonances they want stands. If Crossmen decided to go all female next year because they thought it would be a better way to distinguish themselves, it wouldn't concern me a whit, same as Madison's decision matters not at all. Everyone can just do them.

Edited by Slingerland
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4 minutes ago, ndkbass said:

Although this is a different conversation: As someone who has taught at public universities across the U.S. and now internationally for the last seven years, I would most definitely end all greek life on campuses (with the only exception being multi-cultural greek organizations, which arguably serve a different function than traditional greek orgs, although they are not without their problems, too).  They are basically a blight on campuses, and have no true need anymore (originally created to solve a housing crisis way back; check the history books).  The sexist reality of regulations against sororities (see Neighbors 2 for an ironic and satirical take on this) is also arbitrary and ridiculous.  I did not join one during my undergraduate tenure, and as soon as I started teaching saw their extreme detriment to campus environments even more than I witnessed while an undergraduate student.  Also, as some other posters have noted, there are plenty of coed (service) fraternities already.  So, in many ways, I take issue with your argument here.

While I appreciate your side and understand your beliefs,  I did join a fraternity in college. And while everything was not innocent I did learn many great qualities and develop bonds that I will never forget. Just like marching band and drum corps the fraternity taught me confidence. It molded me into a leader. We did great volunteer work. We were pushed to learn. The positives far out weighed the negative. DCI is much like a fraternal organization.

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13 minutes ago, DAvery said:

What if you were a HS drama teacher and you had a female student wanting to audition for a role in the local production of 12 Angry Men or Lord of the Flies? 

I have seen females play male roles before. Just sayin'

This thread is getting ridiculous.

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It's very important to me that private nonprofits be able to choose their membership and missions as they think best serves them. Even if I don't like their choices. I don't think others should dictate either (membership or missions) based on their own preferences.

What makes this decision so fuzzy is that it has been made at a time when there seem to be other concerns regarding strategy and leadership for the Scouts - both as a nonprofit and as a drum corps. So several issues are getting fused and confused. I think it's a solid point that the Scouts' recruiting problem is not due to being all male. It's also a good argument that going co-ed isn't the solution to recruiting or to the quality of their product on the field.

Are there other strategies forming, or now put in place, for returning the Scouts to some greater success as a corps? I've no idea. (Seems like a lot of speculation, though some folks on DCP may well have accurate inside info.) This is a BOD and ED thing. Great if they could communicate their plans well. But they're under no obligation to tell all of us what they're up to. That doesn't mean there aren't consequences to not communicating, especially for development of their alumni stakeholders.

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