I lived in a household with 4 women for a number of years, so I saw first hand numberous of times men’s rights versus women’s rights; they weren’t equal, so I became an advocate for equal rights for all with one exception.

If there was a male organization which offered the same opportunities, only then did I believe in separation of male and females.   Each groups needs an outlet to let off steam, act silly, and be with the guys or girls but not together.

For 75 years the ‘guys’ have held an oyster eat at the Georgetown Fire Hall. Not being a raw oyster eater, I went once to see what the event was all about. As I suspected just a bunch of guys, many professional businessmen, judges, elected officials dressing down, loosening up, smoking a cigar or two and acting like a good-ole-boy redneck for one evening. No one got out of hand, everyone just having fun.

It has been an all-male event. A few years ago the women started a Ladies Shrimp Feast, which I understand is a lot wilder than the men’s, so each had their night out and that’s the way it was until last night when two women showed at the men’s function.

Some of you may say it’s only a couple of women, what’s the fuss?  When women are present at a function like the oyster eat the fire of the evening is doused. Something similar to having sex with your spouse and your young child walks through your bedroom door.

Years ago I was a member of the Laurel Lions Club, then the largest in the state. All male, and wild and crazy as held; twice a month we let our hair down; I looked forward to the meetings and fellowship. The women had their own organization, the Lioness; each club did their own thing until women were allowed to join the male club.

Instantly the membership plummeted from well over 100 to 35 members and the club has never been able to reach their peak or even come close to that number.  I could never understand why a male member would encourage his spouse to join a male organization especially when they knew what occurred at their meetings.

Many years earlier the same happened to the Jaycees, once the most powerful group of young men in Delaware. Again, Laurel had the largest organization in the state; clubs were in Seaford, Millsboro, Georgetown, Milford, all over the state. We were all young, many of us including myself single, we had a ball and a half.  Many mornings I came home in time to get to work.

The women had their organization, but enter the women into the male domain. When was the last time you heard of the Jaycees? I rest my case.

Now that the sex barrier has been broken into the men’s group, I can see that going down hill. What male wants the town to know they acted a little unlike themselves especially if they are a judge, elected official, or a church goer?

Since I don’ like raw oysters, but love shrimp, I guess the door is open for me to attend the women’s shrimp event. Wonder if they’ll allow a male to enter their domain? I’m not going to be the first to try!!



  1. I saw this in the paper and agree it’s a shame we just can’t leave some time honored traditions alone. The article stated one woman was there with her boyfriend. I know I’d want my wife/girlfriend ogled by 1000 beer swilling men. I’d bet if you had a dollar for every “inadvertent” pat on her butt last night you probably could take next week off. Going into John Trivits mode here: boys belong in the boy scouts, girls in the girl scouts…girls should play high school softball and field hockey not boys. There are certain things that should be left alone that are not sexist or or promote inequality.

  2. Frank, this is one point I agree with you, that men and women need time apart and as we are seeing now in education, all girls’ schools are producing better educate and more confident women. When I was a reporter, I did get a glimpse into the Georgetown Fire House after an Oyster Eat and sawictures of the event. I can’t imagine why women would want to go, if only to make a point about exclusion. It has to be hard for a man to relate to being excluded from anything, after all what have you ever been denied entrance to? It hasn’t been that long in the United States that men could legally rape their wives, withhold money, took ownership of their property, and considered women their property ,just as their horse, car, and children.

    Thank G-D women changed those laws and attitudes, if it weren’t for women working in the 21st Century, many of their families would not eat, or have a place to live. More women are working than men, while still earning 71 cents for every dollar a working man earns. Women are supporting their families and deciding elections. Women had to fight our way into the voting booth, and as statistics show, this was one (of many doors) instance where barging in paid off for everyone, men included.

    As for the demise of male service organizations, was theuose of these meetings partying, or providing community service? Perhaps women reminded your clubthough, members the community service was the focus? I can tell you, though, women’s service organizations have also died. Primarily because women, who have historically been responsible for bringing about sociial andolitical change, are now working full time, plus, and we have had less time for community service. It’s a great challenge now to inspire women, especially young women who didn’t Iive through the change process, to do co,ministry service. After all, they are now the primary breadwinners while still having the full time responsibiIty for the home and children.

    Women barging in, in the long run, has been a good thing, overall. Women want their input into the things that are important to society and to be equally represented.

  3. Amen Brian! You are obviously referring to my age old statement of the 5 things that women should not attempt; Firefighting, policemen, Clergy, race car drivers and oyster eat attendees !!!!!!!

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