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30 years after the introduction of the Sex Discrimination Act, how on earth is this acceptable in 21st century Britain? By a female elected MP, no less.

(54 Posts)
Izlet Fri 11-Mar-16 19:56:55

Labour MP Paula Sherriff was the guest speaker at a sex segregated rally next month hosted by an Islamic extremist who thinks women are “subservient” to men. Sherriff is named alongside Shaikh Sulaiman Gani on the advert, a radical imam who calls women “subservient”, condemns homosexuality and wants justice for al-Qaeda terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, currently serving 86 years in jail for the attempted murder of troops in Afghanistan. Despite it not being a religious event and not being held in an Islamic centre, the poster says there will be “segregated facilities for sisters”. “Sisters” even have a separate phone number to call than male guests.

She has since pulled out, but only thanks to an exposé by Guido Fawkes. The fact that she was even considering it is shocking.

This the same woman who is campaigning against the "tampon tax" for "gender equality". Has she perhaps confused the level of seriousness of the 2 issues? What does it tell our daughters? That they have no more rights but hey, the sanpro is now cheaper, so smile!

is there no limit to lows to which one would sink to garner votes?

Inkanta Fri 11-Mar-16 20:04:19

Cameron raised this issue on Wednesday at PMQT; - “Let me say this to the Labour party, one thing you could help with: no more segregated political meetings. Let us end the process of having people with bigoted religious views treating women as second-class citizens. I think you should all take a pledge: no more segregated meetings.”

I thought, wow - good on you Cameron!

Wonder if that contributed to her pulling out.

Indigofactory Fri 11-Mar-16 20:05:06

Is there a link? Does it say what she was speaking about? I cannot imagine what a 'proud feminist' could possibly be saying to such a segregated crowd.

Didn't Camerin recently suggest to Corbyn that he dragged his disgraceful sexist party members into 2016 discourage attending such meetings?

The hypocrisy of MPs is endless.

iwantbrewstersmillions Fri 11-Mar-16 20:09:52

Interesting. One of our local councillors is an Muslim (and Tory). She gets lots of abuse from Muslim men as she holds events with alcohol available (she doesn't personally drink) and won't go to any events that are segregated.

SpringingIntoAction Fri 11-Mar-16 20:21:57

I find it pretty shocking actually.

Here's a link to the story mentioned by the OP

Not the first time either. Tom Watson and Liam Byrne were slammed during the general election campaign for attending a segregated meeting.

Yes, I thought 'well done Cameron' too.

Izlet Fri 11-Mar-16 20:22:33


Izlet Fri 11-Mar-16 20:23:17

Cross post

Indigofactory Fri 11-Mar-16 20:38:47

"Segregated facilities" separate entrance (on separate street) and even a separate phone number.

It's apartheid.

How is this happening in 2016?

Maudofallhopefulness Fri 11-Mar-16 20:45:14

To me it depends what she was intending to say. Was she hoping to challenge the ideas from within the event?

SpringingIntoAction Fri 11-Mar-16 20:45:58

Oops! sorry. When you mentioned Guido I went to have a look and posted the link.

Izlet Fri 11-Mar-16 20:46:44

Exactly my point Indigo. Why is the UK going backwards? I live in mainland Europe and a meeting like that would never get publicly supported by any politico.

HidingUnderARock Fri 11-Mar-16 20:53:58

I saw the Guido thing.
He looks like one of those gangsta rappers.
misses point

Indigofactory Fri 11-Mar-16 20:54:18

A Labour spokesman again denied that any segregation had taken place. “The Labour party organises no segregated meetings, and segregated meetings are wholly unacceptable,” he said. “If it has happened, then we’ll have to investigate, and tackle that.”

This was on Wednesday. Two days ago.

If there were meetings happening at which Asian or black or disabled people were made to use a separate entrance, on a different street and buy tickets through a separate phone line (my mind implodes at this idea), there would quite rightly be a howling outcry.

So why does labour persist in turning a blind eye when women are treated like shit?

Is it institutionalised sexism that runs rife in the Labour Party? Am I just waking up to it? Or is Corbyn encouraging female apartheid on his watch?

This is not the party I used to put my hopes in. They offer me nothing.

They are letting me, and all our daughters down, almost daily.

Indigofactory Fri 11-Mar-16 20:56:19

saw the Guido thing. He looks like one of those gangsta rappers. misses point

I like that leather jacket. Gary Numan had a similar vibe.

Izlet Fri 11-Mar-16 21:03:14

Errata corrige. It's been 40 years since the SDA (1975). Am I really that old? Old enough to forget my maths blush obviously.

SaucyJack Fri 11-Mar-16 21:03:29

I dunno. Who knows whether appearing or refusing the invitation to speak would have done more harm or good in the long run?

Are the going to be any female speakers at all now? Or just that bloke who thinks wimmin are subservient?

It's a no-win whichever way you look at it.

unlucky83 Fri 11-Mar-16 21:24:13

maud I doubt that was the case...a charity fundraiser is hardly the place to have a debate about inequality
Surely the reputation of the other speaker should have been a big red flag....surely if you have any nous you don't agree to a public appearance without finding out more first?
And Saucy by the look of things she agreed to speak and then pulled out..otherwise the info wouldn't be on a flyer - she could/should have found out more and then refused...not waited until 'guido' highlighted it. And I would prefer an MP of any gender to refuse to address a segregated meeting full I've just said I hardly think she was using it to take the opportunity to promote gender equality...

Anyway I was googling the event for more info and I came across this ...
Why does a fundraiser at a water park have to be 'Brothers only' ? Is that even legal these days?

Looking at Paula Sherriff's web page she has a post 'Happy International Women's day' that includes
Over the last year I’ve had the opportunity to get behind some great campaigns for gender equality. The highlight of these has been my amendment to the Finance Bill which would have forced an EU negotiation on the VAT rate charged on sanitary items, which has been dubbed the ‘Tampon Tax’.
It’s good to shine a light on the deep rooted injustice of gender pricing.

It would be even better to shine a light on all gender inequality...

Sprongpicnic Fri 11-Mar-16 21:38:23

Wow. Simply. Wow.

Indigofactory Fri 11-Mar-16 21:55:03

I saw this recently.

SpringingIntoAction Fri 11-Mar-16 22:37:19

OMG How appropriate. Newsnight is covering the alleged misogyny of "Labour Asian Councillors of Pakistani heritage".

This is terrible. These women are as disenfranchised as the suffragettes were

LumelaMme Fri 11-Mar-16 22:56:33

That pink van... is that meant to appeal to the ladeeez? Coz that don't work for thissun.

I thought separate entrances went out with those schools which had 'Boys' and 'Girls' over different doors. It's a sort of apartheid. If Whites and Non-Whites having separate entrances is wrong, then so is discrimination by gender. Why would anyone be prepared to speak to a meeting like that?

leelu66 Fri 11-Mar-16 23:39:16

is this like a previous thread where the OP complained about segregation and it turned out there were women sitting in the 'men's section' in the pictures. hmm

if some women want the option to sit separately then why not let them? OP's quote says there will be 'segregated facilities for sisters', not that women have to sit separately.

We run the risk of alienating some women if we deny them the right to sit where they please whilst they listen to their MP.

MinnieTeMinx Fri 11-Mar-16 23:48:21

Great. So now no one is talking to them. How else is anyone supposed to make contact with those women?

SpringingIntoAction Fri 11-Mar-16 23:53:23

Why are people assuming that these women were going to hear a balanced view given the description of one of the orators? How do we know that the forum would not just be reinforcing prejudices about a situation and place that they've never visited?

I find the whole idea of segregation absolutely appalling. It's what we hold Rosa Parks up as a paradigm of virtue for railing against.

Would you be saying to Mrs Parks, stop complaining about where you sit, you're lucky you've been let on the bus at all?

MinnieTeMinx Sat 12-Mar-16 00:16:51

No one agrees with the segregation, but making contact with those women is next to impossible.

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