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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.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Mon 09-Dec-13 21:11:13

The NUS are as far as I can tell being spineless apologists for this. It is appalling and should be banned. Speakers who want to segregate can find, book and pay for a private venue if they want, and should be obliged to advertise their policy of segregation in enormous letters on any publicity material relating to the letter. Then let's see how many people outside their religious fundie niche group turn up. angry

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 10-Dec-13 00:16:39

No, no, you all misunderstand. Because the women are to the side not at the back, it's all OK. hmm What a load of sexist nonsense. Here is the Avaaz petition.

MurderOfGoths Tue 10-Dec-13 00:18:06

Wow.. it is 2013 right??

MurderOfGoths Tue 10-Dec-13 00:24:44

“imposing an unsegregated seating area in addition to the segregated areas contravenes the genuinely-held religious beliefs of the group hosting the event, or those of the speaker, the institution should be mindful to ensure that the freedom of speech of the religious group or speaker is not curtailed unlawfully.”

WTAF? Unsegregated areas could be curtailing freedom of speech? What on earth is going on??

PosyNarker Tue 10-Dec-13 00:30:26

Religious beliefs are no different from any other belief, except within a religious group. I don't know the details of the lectures, but by not allowing free choice (women right, men left, the sane people not bothered in the middle) they are arseholes.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Tue 10-Dec-13 00:36:02

wtaf ?

KissesBreakingWave Tue 10-Dec-13 00:39:15

Religion is no different from any other hobby. We don't give trainspotters special privileges, and they can prove trains actually fucking exist.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Tue 10-Dec-13 00:43:33

Well said, kisses

Princessdeb Tue 10-Dec-13 00:48:45

Dear OP,

I just want to point out this is not going to be applied to lectures within a university course but could be applied to events with external speakers arranged for example by university societies.
That said I do not agree with it and I think the part of the text accompanying the petition that states "separate is never equal" is very true. I hope that the liberal societies that flourish in the university setting will use their right of freedom of speech to protest if their own university allows this misogynistic nonsense to happen on their premises. And I have signed the petition!

DoctorDonnaNoble Tue 10-Dec-13 05:20:24

Wouldn't have been allowed in students' unions in my day as it is in contravention of the equal opps policy. Actually, most speakers who wanted segregation would contravene the equal opps policy in several ways.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Tue 10-Dec-13 08:58:48

Petition signed and shared. What a bunch of sandal-socked politically correct spineless little turds the people who have allowed this are...

fairisleknitter Tue 10-Dec-13 09:11:48

I heard a (female) speaker on the radio justifying this for talks hosted by student Islamic societies. I do not find it acceptable (the NUS do?confused)

VivaLeBeaver Tue 10-Dec-13 09:18:08

Blimey, if I was a student I'd be staging a sit in in the middle of the mens area and refusing to budge! Ahhh, actually I am a student. Have an nus card and am enrolled at sheffield uni......forgot that! grin

Are there any of these events at sheffield because I'm there. Seriously.

nomorecrumbs Tue 10-Dec-13 09:25:43

It is a contravention of equal opps. Both women and men should be able to sit wherever they damn well want in a university setting. This is not a religious setting.

fairisleknitter Tue 10-Dec-13 10:06:43

Viva I'd join in!

I got very het up at the radio and started telling the kids I would go along and sit where I liked.

carlajean Tue 10-Dec-13 11:01:18

Thanks for the clarification PrincessDebs. As you say, though, it's still shocking. Imagine if a group decided that you should segregate racially, but hey, this is religious based, so it's OK.

nomorecrumbs Tue 10-Dec-13 11:07:19

I would just deliberately sit with the men if this ever came into force.

Actually I did this at primary school when they made us line up into "boys and girls" queues angry

I made a boys name for myself and got to play football with them grin

Equal opps have come a long way in the last 20 years...let's not regress now.

GoshAnneGorilla Tue 10-Dec-13 11:58:07

It's the seating arrangements a club (which would presumably be the university Islamic society) has for it's members, that the members are obviously happy with. So unless you wanted to actually go to an Islamic society event, it would never effect you.

I'm struggling to see the reason for the outrage, tbh. Maybe they can have some special chairs in the middle for all the many, many people that obviously desperate to go to an ISOC event (as I'm sure all the signers to the petition are), but aren't able to go because they feel too offended at having to sit on either the left or right side of the hall.

fairisleknitter Tue 10-Dec-13 12:20:17

The primary issue to me is that it is taking place in a University.

In my experience you did not have to be a member of a society to attend an event and I as a student attended many events run by different socs.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Tue 10-Dec-13 12:39:18

Exactly, fairisle. The fact that they are allowed to do this on University premises is the decider for me. If they want to impose their 12th century rules, they can do it in a private venue that they pay private level fees for. Or in a mosque, if they so desire. I would feel no different if a fundamentalist Christian or very orthodox Jewish group decided to pull a stunt like this, by the way.

fairisleknitter Tue 10-Dec-13 12:51:54

Gosh of course the attitudes of some people towards gender segregation affect me. Why wouldn't they? Why would I not care, male or female?

MamaMary Tue 10-Dec-13 12:59:20

Shocked and appalled at this.

What nonsense about non-segregation violating the freedom of speech of the speaker. That just doesn't make sense. Let him speak to whoever wishes to listen, but what right has he to dictate where people sit?

It's not a religious event if it's taking place in a university and I'm amazed universities are allowing this.

AuraofDora Tue 10-Dec-13 13:20:24

Utter bonkers, dangerous and so very kwrong. Have signed.

ParcelFancy Tue 10-Dec-13 13:39:11

Wow. I've often been in two minds about No Platform, and the value of allowing speakers to explain their views and be shot down vs not validating them.

But I can't remember a speaker ever having the gall to enact their views on the audience. Yeah, let's have all the black people over there, or Jewish over here, or women over there - cos it's what I believe and I'll get all offended, man.hmm

Also worth bearing in mind that, if an entire audience were genuinely in agreement with sexual segregation, there would be no need to actively prevent unsegregated areas, because no one would chose to sit in them.

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