In a number of recent letters to The Post concerning Mills College {"Hypocrisy at Mills College," May 21}, the school's trustees and students are called hypocritical for their stand against enrolling men. I, for one, found the arguments presented in these letters at best specious and at times inflammatory.

To claim that these students at Mills are the same women who oppose all-male institutions such as VMI or all-male social clubs seems more than a little presumptuous. How would anybody know this? Moreover, whether this is true or not has little to do with what decision is correct for Mills College.

Let's get a few facts straight. VMI is a state-funded institution providing a specialized education for students interested in military careers. The argument in favor of admitting women to VMI is that Virginia should provide equal opportunities for both men and women who want to pursue military careers. Mills College, on the other hands, is a privately funded liberal arts college and, as such, has the right to exclude whichever sex it so chooses.

Yes, I too do not feel that the courts should force all-male social clubs to admit women, yet it is again obvious that this issue is irrelevant as far as Mills is concerned. To argue otherwise would be to suggest that men have historically experienced career setbacks owing to their exclusion from this college. Granted, Mills is a reputable institution, but opportunities have and still do exist for male students to obtain quality educations elsewhere.

Private men's and women's colleges in the United States have gone coed for one and only one reason: money, not ideology. Mills should be saluted for taking a courageous stand in the midst of its fiscal problems.

Maybe I should close by providing one more piece of information: I believe Mills already admits men. They're called graduate students.


To the letter writers concerned about ''hypocrisy'' in the story of women fighting to maintain their college, I submit the new story with the image of the female middie at the Naval Academy chained to the urinal and mocked by her male colleagues {Metro, May 20}. This image is a powerful metaphor for the oppressive climate that women experience in many areas of higher education today. The hypocrisy does not lie in the existence of 94 women's colleges today, but in the fact that their existence continues to be necessary in the face of pervasive discrimination in the equal enjoyment of educational opportunities. It's hard to learn when chained to the wall.

The access that the trend toward coeducation gave to women did not also guarantee women equality and humanity of treatment in those institutions. Indeed, in the face of the reports of the harassment and humiliation of women at the Naval Academy and elsewhere, the need for the nation's women's colleges is stronger than ever. Hypocrisy only exists in those quarters that claim that women should abandon this long and worthy tradition of excellent education.

PATRICIA A. McGUIRE President,Trinity College Washington

Aside from the issue of whether one believes that Mills College should remain coeducational, I find it alarming that those who have spoken out against the women of Mills College consistently demonstrate such a disturbing lack of understanding of the fundamental issues at hand. They compare the exclusion of women by educational institutions such as VMI and all-male social clubs with the exclusion of men by Mills College as if they were the same thing. They are not.

The motives behind the exclusionary policies of each are as different as night and day. VMI is a classic example of the oppressors attempting to keep out the oppressed in order to maintain their position of power and domination. Mills College is an example of the oppressed keeping out their oppressors in an attempt to gain and foster educational and social skills free from domination and sexism. J. L. REILEY Bethesda