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A Guardian writer describes a new report approving gender segregation in British universities.

Good grief. The compromise is that women can’t be put at the back: “The room can be segregated left and right, rather than front and back.” Depressingly, the National Union of Students has endorsed this. What’s wrong with “side by side” segregation? Just ask how that would look if universities allowed speakers to demand separation by race.

This sickening report – which UD hopes self-respecting UK universities will ignore – caves to what the Guardian writer calls “the sexist eccentricities of some religions.” If only they were as innocuous as eccentricities. They are profoundly encoded convictions, excruciatingly out of place in liberal democracies.

If liberal democracies don’t fight back in places devoted to intellectual and social freedom – places like universities – they are making the world safe for theocons. UD is proud of the way her country has decisively rejected theocons at the polls (Rick Santorum, Ken Cuccinelli); for contemporary Britain she feels sorrow and alarm.

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4 Responses to ““Excruciating nonsense.””

  1. voxcorvegis Says:

    I wonder where gender-nonconforming students are meant to sit in this ridiculous arrangement.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    voxcorvegis: Yes – that is only one of several questions left unanswered here. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the sort of speakers demanding segregation of women will also be… uh… unenthusiastic about gender nonconformers. I’m going to guess that these people will get herded into the women’s pen.

  3. NancyP Says:

    Pathetic! If they want gender segregation, let them take an online degree or start their own self-funded universities. If a religious leader objects to having a mixed audience, he could produce a podcast. The listener may be in mixed company, but in all likelihood would not be in a mixed audience.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    NancyP: Yes. And, as other observers have pointed out, these organizations are always free to rent a hall at their own expense and engage in any number of gender perversions.

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