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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Are there still any laws that apply to women but not men?

89 replies

CuppaTeaJanice · 10/01/2011 10:11

Or vice versa? Or any offences that carry different penalties depending on the gender of the offender or victim?

The area that immediately springs to mind is being topless in public. Also I expect there were many old laws eg. homosexuality only being illegal for males because Queen Victoria didn't believe females would do such a thing. And women not being allowed to vote, her possessions being 'owned' by her husband etc.

Does anybody know if all the gender inequalities in British law have now been rectified, or are there still a few odd laws left that are not equal?

Smile

OP posts:
ullainga · 10/01/2011 11:46

maternity leave, only available for women. Many other countries have parental leave and the parents can decide themselves how they want to share it.

David51 · 10/01/2011 12:59

There is a law going back to Henry VIII's time that fathers with male children over the age of 7 face a fine if they have not provided them with a bow and two arrows and taught them how to shoot.

This law is still in force!

CuppaTeaJanice · 10/01/2011 13:41

I love old laws like that!! I wonder how much the fine is? I should think a bow and arrows set is pretty pricy these days.

Wasn't there some talk of the UK changing to parental leave? I quite liked having 9 months off!!

OP posts:
sethstarkaddersmum · 10/01/2011 13:41

if a man had a baby he would get maternity leave though?

ullainga · 10/01/2011 15:17

hmm I don't know what the actual wording of the law is, does it say "women" or "mothers"? But why shouldn't it say "parent"? It's two people having this baby. Yes, mother needs some time to recover from the actual delivery, but if after that they decide that it would make more sense for the other parent, the father, to stay at home, I see no reason why he should not be able to do so.

Heroine · 10/01/2011 17:26

um all offences where a custondial sentence is the penalty typically give sentences three times as long to men than to women

sethstarkaddersmum · 10/01/2011 17:35

really Heroine?
According to Helena Kennedy women get sent to prison for lesser crimes than men do.

bucaneve · 10/01/2011 17:37

The Victorians stopped women from going down the mines, is this still in place? I don't think I've ever seen a female miner.

Heroine · 10/01/2011 17:38

Well Helena Kennedy is talking rubbish - you can find these stats on the direct.gov site

ISNT · 10/01/2011 17:40

I was also under the impression that women were punished more harshly than men for the same crimes.

I'm sure I had heard that, plus that if you look at the prisons, most men are in for violence ie they may be a danger to society, while most women are in for things like debt ie not a danger to society.

I'm sure there are some stats somewhere Smile

ISNT · 10/01/2011 17:41

Can you link then please heroine rather than sending everyone off on a googling errand, that site is huge.

sethstarkaddersmum · 10/01/2011 17:41

really, where?

bucaneve · 10/01/2011 17:41

Ooh and I'm pretty sure (or maybe I've seen it in a disaster movie) that only men are allowed to work with radioactive stuff as it would fry womens reproductive bits too much.

GrimmaTheNome · 10/01/2011 17:42

The Victorians stopped women from going down the mines, is this still in place?

Rather theoretical nowadays, I'd have thought!

Women still can't be front-line soldiers, can they? are there any other specific jobs which are gender-specific, one way or t'other?

scallopsrgreat · 10/01/2011 17:44

Men get maternity leave if the women dies in childbirth or within the time length of the maternity leave (or if the woman is incapacitated e.g. in a coma).

MistletoeMush · 10/01/2011 17:48

Not a law as such but Women are not allowed to work on submarines in case they are already/become pregnant.

GrimmaTheNome · 10/01/2011 17:49

But they can now join the Antarctic Survey!

CuppaTeaJanice · 10/01/2011 17:51

bucaneve that reminds me of a time I got into loads of trouble at school!

One 'careers' lesson we had a mine manager in who told us that women weren't allowed to work down the mines. Being 16 and just discovering the realities of discrimination and feminism, I had an argument with him about the reasons for this rule, and the stupidity of it. Blush

Got hauled into the head of year's office for that one!!!

Would have been early 1990s - does the law still exist now?

OP posts:
scallopsrgreat · 10/01/2011 17:55

Well this woman won the right to be a Forest of Dean Freeminer recently so it is probably now allowable for women to be miners.

EdgarAleNPie · 10/01/2011 17:56

where a custondial sentence is the penalty typically give sentences three times as long to men than to women

crap. crime for crime, women go to jail for uch longer.

on average the female sentence is lower, but this is because they are often sent to jail for trivial offences that men would not get custodial sentences for.

so you are saying female shoplifters getting shorter sentences than male armed robbers is a sign of bias?

ISNT · 10/01/2011 17:57

"Ooh and I'm pretty sure (or maybe I've seen it in a disaster movie) that only men are allowed to work with radioactive stuff as it would fry womens reproductive bits too much."

I'm sure that's not the case now Grin

GrimmaTheNome · 10/01/2011 17:58

Hum, according to this, women (and children) were banned from working underground in 1842 - because of the appalling conditions - but that in 1900 part of the act was repealed 'giving women the choice to work underground.'

scallopsrgreat · 10/01/2011 18:02

God I didn't know that women got more prison time, crime for crime (studiously ignoring Heroine Wink). That is really quite shocking and really quite indicative of society's view of women isn't it?

ISNT · 10/01/2011 18:05

I'm still waiting for Heroine's link. She seemed very sure, let's see what it says...

sethstarkaddersmum · 10/01/2011 18:06

I'm quite prepared to believe Heroine if she shows me the evidence (rather than vaguely asserts it is out there). The edition of 'Eve was framed' I read was from the 90s so things may have changed. In the absence of evidence, though, I'll go with the distinguished feminist law expert rather than the random internet person....

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