Bristol Uni SU forbids women discussing male violence without male guardians present

(68 Posts)
severnboring Sat 13-Mar-21 20:04:07

FFS. Bristol Uni SU is disciplining Raquel Rosario Sanchez, who's been targeted by transactivist bullies there for years, because she ran female-only meetings.

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/13/university-feminist-society-disciplined-excluding-trans-women/

"Women Talk Back hosted women-only meetings at Bristol University to discuss male violence against females, and argued the presence of men could make attendees fearful to speak out.

The students refused entry to male-born transgender people who self-identify as women, classed as men under equality laws unless they have changed their legal sex.

Now Bristol Students’ Union has ordered the society’s president, Raquel Rosario-Sanchez, to stand down and banned her from union leadership posts for two years.

And committee members must complete an “equality, diversity and inclusion” course."

"The society was told that Bristol SU defines women as "all who self-define as women, including (if they wish) those with complex gender identities that include ‘woman’, and those who experience oppression as women"."

OP’s posts: |
Redshoeblueshoe Sat 13-Mar-21 20:06:34

How the fuck are these students going to cope when they get into the real world ?

severnboring Sat 13-Mar-21 20:08:28

Redshoeblueshoe

How the fuck are these students going to cope when they get into the real world ?

They'll be the ones running the equality, diversity and inclusion courses.

OP’s posts: |
CharlieParley Sat 13-Mar-21 20:14:19

As we are often told, it's true that no one is obliged to hold a female-only meeting who doesn't want to, no matter who they are, but under the Equality Act we have the right to hold female-only meetings.

It doesn't matter how Bristol Students Union defines women. The Equality Act cannot be overridden by an association. (Imagine a student union defining adults allowed to drink as 15+. That would have no more legal standing than this.)

persistentwoman Sat 13-Mar-21 20:20:49

As this forum regularly evidences - certain men get very upset when women speak our truths without their presence or permission.

PurpleHoodie Sat 13-Mar-21 20:24:45

Bristol SU is breaking the law.

Which reminds me, Raquel's dundraiser/crowdfunded is still open if anyone wants to contribute.

I'd suggest these young women move their meetings to private premises....as private non-university meetings for the time being.

Still advertised their meetings, but through private channels.

flowers

PurpleHoodie Sat 13-Mar-21 20:25:09

*fundraiser

BoomBoomsCousin Sat 13-Mar-21 20:40:38

CharlieParley

As we are often told, it's true that no one is obliged to hold a female-only meeting who doesn't want to, no matter who they are, but under the Equality Act we have the right to hold female-only meetings.

It doesn't matter how Bristol Students Union defines women. The Equality Act cannot be overridden by an association. (Imagine a student union defining adults allowed to drink as 15+. That would have no more legal standing than this.)

Sadly, this analogy does not hold.

The equality act allows organizations to use single sex exemptions that mean single sex, but it does not require them to allow them. Bristol Students Union does not breach the act by telling their own members that they may not use this extension within the union as there is no requirement to use the single sex exemption. Whereas there is a legal requirement not to serve 15 year olds beer.

Bristol Students Union may be breaching the equality act if, by not allowing the use of single sex exemptions and all the other actions they take or don’t take they create an environment that is discriminatory towards people who are legally female, but that’s a much more complex argument.

I’m not saying I agree with Bristol Students Union - I think this is a chilling attempt to shut down organizing by women as a sex class and it’s politically really dangerous for us. But I don’t think the law as it stands supports us in this instance.

severnboring Sat 13-Mar-21 21:13:53

I get what you're saying Boom but I don't think it's that complex - it's not just any association, every student should be able to be an SU member. They've effectively barred a significant number of female students. Clear-cut sex discrimination.

Looks very bad - as if they have a grudge against Raquel R-S for standing up to the transactivists.

OP’s posts: |
Ereshkigalangcleg Sat 13-Mar-21 22:08:16

Looks very bad - as if they have a grudge against Raquel R-S for standing up to the transactivists.

That's exactly what it looks like.

PurpleHoodie Sat 13-Mar-21 22:09:43

And that's exactly what it is.

severnboring Sat 13-Mar-21 22:22:44

Indeed.

Here's their letter to the Universities Minister:

filia.org.uk/latest-news/2021/3/13/open-letter-to-the-minister-of-education-by-feminist-student-society-women-talk-back

The meeting the male student demanded to attend was called 'Boundaries'! You could not make this up.

"It is important to note that at the time this incident and subsequent sanctions were imposed on us, the Women Talk Back! leadership was entirely made of international students from Latin American and the Caribbean. Why should it fall on immigrant women within British academic institutions to uphold UK law?

While we are grateful to our President for her unwavering commitment to protecting women's rights to privacy, safety and dignity, and to uphold the single-sex exemptions enshrined in the Equality Act 2010, it should not fall on students to fight for our legal rights against academic institutions and student unions that prove themselves to be complicit in the relentless targeting of feminist students and staff.

No woman should ever have to spend 45 minutes repeatedly asserting her boundaries when dealing with a male person who refuses to take the word “no” for an answer, like Raquel did that night in March 2020. And as a result, no group of female students should ever be punished and coerced into weakening our established boundaries, by institutions with a duty to protect us from targeting, like we are right now in March 2021. These are not the lessons women should be learning in academia.

This was not an isolated event, but rather the culmination of a pattern of behaviour displayed by the Bristol SU in an attempt to bully our student society out of existence."

OP’s posts: |
PurpleHoodie Sat 13-Mar-21 22:25:24

Brave young women flowers

Impatiens Sat 13-Mar-21 22:54:23

PurpleHoodie

Brave young women flowers

Wonderful. I hope they go into Politics.

And committee members must complete an “equality, diversity and inclusion” course." So sinister.

StillFemale Sat 13-Mar-21 23:03:11

Fuck it, I’ll be making another contribution to Raquel’s CrowdJustice fundraiser once her page has moved

You can keep trying to silence us lads we’ll keep talking amongst ourselves

CharlieParley Sat 13-Mar-21 23:20:22

The equality act allows organizations to use single sex exemptions that mean single sex, but it does not require them to allow them. Bristol Students Union does not breach the act by telling their own members that they may not use this extension within the union as there is no requirement to use the single sex exemption. Whereas there is a legal requirement not to serve 15 year olds beer.

Bristol Students Union may be breaching the equality act if, by not allowing the use of single sex exemptions and all the other actions they take or don’t take they create an environment that is discriminatory towards people who are legally female, but that’s a much more complex argument.

My analogy may be pants, but Bristol Students Union cannot tell affiliated societies that they are forbidden from using the sex-based exemptions in the Equality Act. Because contrary to your view, that does indeed breach the rights of these women under the Equality Act. Just as they cannot forbid other groups to limit attendance to those sharing their protected characteristic.

It's not complicated either, as the cases of anti-abortion societies showed. Various student unions across the UK sought to deny such societies affiliations and lost legal challenges brought against them. IIRC, not one student union prevailed as these are such clear cut cases of discrimination against a group with a protected characteristic.

Manderleyagain Sat 13-Mar-21 23:27:00

Could it be this simple? - if the union doesn't let its members form a group specifically for black ppl, it is discriminating against them on the basis of race. If the union doesn't allow a group just for disabled ppl, its discriminating against disabled ppl. If it bans a group just for female ppl it is discriminating on the grounds of sex. Because it is failing to allow (actually obstructing) the kinds of provisions which are allowed in the EA which recognises that ppl need to form groups around the protected characteristics, in order to flourish in a world which does discriminate on those grounds.

MaudTheInvincible Sat 13-Mar-21 23:29:03

You can keep trying to silence us lads we’ll keep talking amongst ourselves

Hear hear!

NeedToKnow101 Sat 13-Mar-21 23:32:56

This is awful. Im so ashamed that so many of the ongoing attacks on women's rights have been by white males on black or brown women. Can't they see how fucking awful (racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic) they are being?

On a positive note, I've been meaning to donate to her fundraiser, and this has reminded me to do it.

BoomBoomsCousin Sat 13-Mar-21 23:40:59

It's not complicated either, as the cases of anti-abortion societies showed. Various student unions across the UK sought to deny such societies affiliations and lost legal challenges brought against them. IIRC, not one student union prevailed as these are such clear cut cases of discrimination against a group with a protected characteristic.

I didn't see any court cases that actually concluded from those anti-abortion group actions, though the capitulation of the various Unions suggests most lawyers thought a ruling would go against them.

However, these were all taken on the basis that a "belief" was being discriminated against. In the case here, the belief that male violence is something that needs talking about is not being challenged/shut down/discriminated against - it is the action of limiting discussion to women only (and the exclusion of trans women from that category) that is being challenged.

I don't think the law is as clear cut in this case, though I hope you are correct and it gets clarified quickly and we see an end to this intimidation.

Really like their letter to the minister.

OvaHere Sat 13-Mar-21 23:53:21

Raquel has a new page for her CJ fundraiser which will go live tomorrow evening. She has had to make a new one because her lawyer has moved firms and CJ requires a new page when that happens.

Anyone who donated previously should have the details in an update email.

Manderleyagain Sun 14-Mar-21 00:07:09

However, these were all taken on the basis that a "belief" was being discriminated against. In the case here, the belief that male violence is something that needs talking about is not being challenged/shut down/discriminated against - it is the action of limiting discussion to women only (and the exclusion of trans women from that category) that is being challenged. I think the argument will have been that they shared the p/c of this particular belief & so were allowed to organise around it. This is a bit different because the question is over membership of the category - but I think it would be clear that a male person who is legally male doesn't share the p/c with the members who wanted to meet on the basis of that p/c for the legitimate purpose. The union will have to argue that it discriminates on gender reassignment not to allow the trans student. It all needs testing but I really don't think the union's argument would win. Not a lawyer tho!

This has actually really upset me. She & her fellow members are obviously really brave.

PurpleHoodie Sun 14-Mar-21 00:44:20

NeedToKnow101

This is awful. Im so ashamed that so many of the ongoing attacks on women's rights have been by white males on black or brown women. Can't they see how fucking awful (racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic) they are being?

This cannot be stated enough.

MeltsAway Sun 14-Mar-21 09:43:00

I'd suggest these young women move their meetings to private premises....as private non-university meetings for the time being.

Remember the suffragette who hid in a cupboard in the Houses of Parliament, so she could speak ...

Plus ça change ....

Impatiens Sun 14-Mar-21 09:49:23

PurpleHoodie

NeedToKnow101

This is awful. Im so ashamed that so many of the ongoing attacks on women's rights have been by white males on black or brown women. Can't they see how fucking awful (racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic) they are being?

This cannot be stated enough.

It can't, resposting.

No doubt the people trying to silence these women consider themselves the last word in tolerance and free-thinking. All while behaving like a totalitarian mob.

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