Wednesday 27 November 2013

Jim Crow Redux: Gender Segregation at UK Universities

Letter to a mate.  Please also pass on and sign, wherever you are.

G'day mate!

Have you come across news about the latest Guidelines by Universities UK (“The voice of UK universities”) on gender segregation on UK campuses? 

Basically they allow gender segregation — extraordinarily, on “separate but equal” grounds — if a certain speaker has “strong religions beliefs” that the audience should be segregated (and guess just which religion might have just such "strong beliefs"?… hint: it’s a “religion of peace”™).

I’m rather horrified at this — Jim Crow redux -- as are many in the UK.  There’s an open letter signed by, inter alia, Richard Dawkins, A.C. Graylling, Gita Sahgal and Polly Toynbee (link in the post linked below).

My reason for emailing you is to ask — if you agree that it’s an egregious, perhaps even dangerous, move — if you might send out the link to the petition to your addressee list. I see you have a long addressee list which would include many or most who have (had) or will have kids at UK Universities — as we expect our son to go to as well.  This is definitely a case of “letting the nose of the camel in the tent”….

There’s a post on the issue at Harry’s Place — a kind of lefty site, but with a mix of commenters who are probably 50-50 left/right, with those on the left describing themselves as “of the Left, but pissed off with Islamism”, which I guess would pretty well describe me as well. It’s an interesting site, in any case.

Have a look at the comments on the post, if you have a half-hour or so to spare.  Some of them rather good, especially Aloevera, who describes herself as a non-Anglo Saxon American woman (somewhere in her 60s, it seems), with an interest in the UK as she’s married to a Brit and planning to move to the UK — and with an interest of the history of British (English?) Liberalism.  You have to read the comments in the next few days, as they’re deleted after 2 weeks, something to do with UK Libel Laws (something else that needs fixing!).

I trust this finds you well...