As you may be able to tell (!), I think that dropping the degree requirement is critcal to AAUW’s future. However, there are many members for whom that requirement is deeply embedded in their identity as AAUW members. It will not be an easy change, and I recognize that.
The purpose of these posts is to find different ways to present the change in order to find one that will help convey why I think it is so important.
At the moment, my “but it has nothing to do with our purpose” argument is most compelling to me — but I realize it may be begging the question.
The “official” recommendation is to simply let people list the reasons for and against the change — with, I guess, the assumption that the light will dawn? Again, this seems even further down the “begging the question” path, though reports are that it works — AAUW members do know that discussion can lead to change.
Another strategy is to list some of the incredible women who aren’t/weren’t eligible for membership under the current requirement: from Eleanor Roosevelt to Lilly Ledbetter, what are we losing if we shut our doors to such potential women?
Yet another talks about how we’ve gradually opened up over the years (widening the list of colleges whose degrees were acceptable, for instance) and broadening our diversity statement a great deal since early in the last century (when it was customary in some branches to have a vote on a new member). Is this change just an incremental continuation of that process?
What are the other ways to think about this? Which ones resonate with you? If you’ve changed your opinion on the degree requirement, what were the ideas that led to that change?