At the MSU Law Symposium on “Gender and the Legal Profession’s Pipeline to Power,” more than one speaker has commented on how “great” it is to see so many men in the audience. I’m eyeballing the room, and I’d say that there are about 100 people in attendance at the conference. Excepting the speakers, the audience is comprised mostly of law review students, approximately half of whom are male and all of whom are required to be here.
Involving men in conversations about gender issues is necessary. Undoubtedly some of the male (and female) students in attendance have genuine interest in gender issues. And of those who don’t have an interest in gender issues, I am confident that some of the male (and female) students in attendance are enjoying the symposium. But I’m not sure what we can take, derive, assume, infer from the number of men in the room, especially when so many are not here by choice.