A thought occurs to me about this gender segregated seating caper. The Equalities Adviser told Chris Moos that
All attendees are free to sit wherever they feel comfortable. If some female and male attendees choose to sit in separate areas, that is of course fine, however it is expected that there will be a large mixed area where anyone can sit.
Hm. Suppose some female and male attendees choose to sit in separate areas, and then someone from the “wrong” gender sits there. Then what?
What are the UCL people visualizing? That the voluntary self-segregators will very politely ask the interloper to go away?
That seems like the least coercive likely reaction, but really, think about it. Is it possible to ask someone that in a public place politely? No, not really. That’s why we don’t have segregation in public places. The whole idea is rude.
As usual that becomes obvious if you switch the category from gender to race. “Excuse me, but we want to sit together by ourselves – could I possibly ask you to sit somewhere else so that we can sit together by ourselves?” Not cool.
You can do that kind of exclusion and selection at home, but you can’t do it (decently) in public. It’s a bad idea. It shouldn’t be attempted.
Modernity means mixing. It means being a mongrel and living with other mongrels, and being content with that. It means letting go of archaic notions of purity, and getting used to sloppy mixing of all kinds.