sexual segregation in UK universities

(220 Posts)
carlajean Mon 09-Dec-13 19:35:58

I don't know if i've missed any threads on this, but i'm horrified to have just learnt that some UK universities are going to allow sexual segregation in some lectures. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown commented on it in today's Independent, and Polly Toynbee wrote about it in the Guardian.
Why hasn 't the NUS objected?
I'd be interested to hear what other mnetters think about this. As i've said, I object strongly to this, but would be interested to hear what others think.

manicinsomniac Brazil Tue 31-Dec-13 02:08:45

It's wrong but UK universities have form for it. Even in the 21st century.

The university I went to had an all female college until late 2005. Most girls who went to it did not apply to it and had been put there because their course had accepted them but their college choice was oversubscribed. They had a fresher's teeshirt one year that said on the back 'St Marys: no we didn't and no we're not' (ie we didn't apply here and we're not lesbians - a so called joke often thrown around about them)

The university my sister went to had an exclusive society that only boys could apply to until 2012! (Kate Kennedy club)

Oxford had an all female college until 2008

I think Cambridge still has 2 or 3 female only colleges in 2013.

Beyond university years there are several gentlemen's clubs that remain men only. One or two still won't even allow women to visit (eg Beefsteak club).

All the universities and clubs mentioned are old and traditionally middle-upper class. Maybe gender segregation is as much about class as religion.

I do wonder whether there were any actual complaints or if someone just assumed Muslims would be offended.

Muslims are prohibited from making or showing images of their Prophet, but non-Muslims aren't obliged to obey the rules of Islam. No more than atheists have to avoid bacon because of Jewish or Muslim dietary restrictions.

I'm vegetarian and believe very strongly that eating animals is wrong and cruel, but I don't snatch bacon butties out of other people's hands. Or complain to 'the authorities' in any particular location that people are eating meat. And if I did, I'm sure the authorities - the university, for instance - would tell me to go away.

alemci Sat 21-Dec-13 08:55:03

what do you think to it Silver? As a christian I am unsure. It may be different for me because I am so used to Jesus being portrayed in art, film etc.

SilverApples Sat 21-Dec-13 00:13:26

The images were from the comicstrip, Jesus and Mo. here's a wikki explanation of the fine line they were treading.

'The comic is simply drawn, typically using a single image for each face, each of which is duplicated for each panel in the strip. It features two present day religious prophets, Jesus and Mo. While Jesus is portrayed as the actual Christian figure, Mo claims to be a body double, using casuistry to oppose the restriction of Islam in representing the Islamic prophet Muhammad pictorially.

Jesus and Mo share a flat, and occasionally venture outside, principally to a public house, The Cock and Bull, where they drink Guinness and engage in conversation and debate with an atheist female bar attendant known simply as Barmaid, who is never drawn but is characterised only as an out of frame speech bubble.
The barmaid functions as the voice of reason when criticising the Abrahamic religions or religion in general. Other times, Jesus or Mo may act as the voice of reason depending on which religion a particular comic aims to criticise. Jesus will act as the author's mouthpiece if the comic aims to criticise Islam while the character Mo will be used to criticise Christianity.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 20-Dec-13 21:35:55

>or were the organisers offended on behalf of someone else
The report said they had had complaints, so I don't think it was that phenomenon for once.

alemci Fri 20-Dec-13 18:33:23

or were the organisers offended on behalf of someone else

alemci Fri 20-Dec-13 18:32:08

re: offensive t-shirt
are they offended in all honesty or is it about getting the upper hand and wanting everyone to jump to the complainers' tune

Mary2010xx Fri 20-Dec-13 18:06:31

Yes, if they are offended they can always avert their eyes just as they can from women's in jeans and T shirts if that offends these religious types too.

'It's like the Christian Union complaining about the Pagan Society' - exactly, Ubik1, perfect analogy.

Errol, spot on!

ErrolTheDragon Fri 20-Dec-13 13:58:06
Ubik1 Fri 20-Dec-13 12:57:55

Two students who were forced to cover up T-shirts depicting the Prophet Mohammed and Jesus at a freshers’ fair have received an apology from their university head.

Chris Moos and Abhishek Phadnis were manning an Atheist Secularist and Humanist Society stall at the London School of Economics’ Freshers’ Fair on 3 October when they were asked to cover their T-shirts, which used pictures from the satirical comic strip Jesus and Mo.

The pair were told by student union officers that displaying the T-shirts, which featured a depiction of Mohammed prohibited under Islamic law, may constitute harassment of a religious group.

With security staff threatening them with expulsion from the fair, the two students reluctantly agreed to cover up the T-shirts.

The LSE later said the T-shirts were “clearly designed to depict Mohammed and Jesus in a provocative manner” and that a number of complaints had been made.

The students formally appealed to the School on 12 November over its actions and have now received a public apology from the LSE director Craig Calhoun.

It's insane. There is no human right not to be offended! It's a Freshers Fair FGS

It's like Christian Union complaining about The Pagan Society

ErrolTheDragon Fri 20-Dec-13 12:33:30

If anyone wants to make a formal complaint, here is the page with the relevant info and links.

claig Germany Fri 20-Dec-13 12:24:08

Good article, Gosh.

Here are some quotes from another Telegraph article about it.

"John Spellar, the Labour MP for Warley, said: “I find it quite extraordinary that someone who is so hostile to British values and so unrepresentative of the Muslim commuity is endlessly given space by the BBC.

“Their idea of balance seems to be Anjem Choudary and somebody from the BBC and mainstream voices get excluded.

“The worst thing is that they probably even think that it made good radio.”

He added: “I believe in a public service broadcaster. I just wish that [the BBC] would have a greater regard for their public.

“This is a cultural problem inside parts of the BBC.”

Diane Abbott wrote on Twitter: “I am a big believer in free speech. Opposed the war in Iraq etc But WHY give airtime to Anjem Choudary!”

Listeners posted their views about the interview on Twitter. Daniel Trilling wrote: “Morning after the Woolwich verdict and Today invites Anjem Choudary on for yet more BBC airtime. Disgraceful.”

Steve Mitchell wrote: “Ridiculous that Anjem Choudary is given an opportunity to try to legitimise Woolwich attack. Media fascination plays into hands of extremists.”

www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/10529802/BBC-criticised-for-giving-extremist-preacher-Anjem-Choudary-airtime.html

None of them, though, understand the real reason why it is done.

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Fri 20-Dec-13 11:59:01

Apparently BBC Today saw fit to put Anjem Choudary on this morning.

Good response by the Daily Telegraph here: blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100251464/the-bbc-putting-anjem-choudary-on-the-today-programme-isnt-free-speech-its-trolling/

Relevant to this debate - LSE has apologised for stopping two students promoting an atheist society during Fresher's week (dispute about their T-shirts, bizarrely). Heard on Radio 4 news but can't see link on Beeb online.

alemci Thu 19-Dec-13 16:30:55

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25426155

trying again on main pc.

alemci Thu 19-Dec-13 16:28:14

I thought this link was relevant when discussing being tolerant whether you are a minority faith or in the majority

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25426155 is it too low budget for extras/

claig Germany Thu 19-Dec-13 14:05:17

I agree SilverApples. The more publicity they give to Choudhary, the more they interview him, the more people will become uncomfortable about what is happening.

The more reports Channel 4 News do about some British Muslims driving to Syria to give aid and be doctors etc, the more calls for bombing of Syria by our politicians, the more people will begin to wonder what is going on.

SilverApples Thu 19-Dec-13 13:56:44

I think what's bothering me more than the DM reading grannies is that I'm hearing opinions that bother me from friends and acquaintances of mine.
I'm a lefty, lentil-weaving treehugger eco-type, as are many of my friends, and many of them are now uncomfortable or becoming more insular in their views about Muslims, immigration and supporting aid requests for victims in countries in conflict, like Syria.
It's disturbing.

claig Germany Thu 19-Dec-13 13:51:30

'what pisses me off about it more than anything is our pathetic inability to stand up and say here are the values we believe in. We are building a society based on equality and this is non-negotiable.'

Quangle is exactly right. There should be fewer 10 minute discussions on Channel 4 News or BBC Newsnight about this and a simple, quiet defence of our values instead. Because 10 minute discussions only frighten the old grannies even further about what is going on and when Choudhary pops up with the talk of '40 lashes' some good Daily Mail readers actually believe he is for real.

claig Germany Thu 19-Dec-13 13:48:11

That's why I think the media should give no access to Choudhary who is totally unrepresentative of the millions of Muslims in this country because the publicity he gets may distort the image of Muslims for some members of the public.

claig Germany Thu 19-Dec-13 13:46:00

I agree that there are real consequences to the media access and oxygen of publicity given to people like Choudhary and the EDL who are invited on to debate with Paxman.

I believe that the media allowing access to Choudhary to spread his poison and what I believe is his act with statements like "People who commit adultery would be stoned to death" frightens many members of the public and makes some of them believe that they are under threat.

SilverApples Thu 19-Dec-13 13:41:09

The increased violence against Muslims isn't panto though, or the withdrawing of sympathy and tolerance by many who were previously neutral or supportive to minority communities.

claig Germany Thu 19-Dec-13 13:38:03

SilverApples, I don't think it is meant to be good for Islam. I think he is panto and not for real. If he was for real, I don't think he would be invited onto news programmes to spread his message. If he was for real, I believe that what Ubik1 said about the BNP would be applied to him by unions and journalists and the media

"When I was a reporter it was union guidelines that the NF/BNP were not given the oxygen of publicity as union members did not want to be used a promotional tool."

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