Channel 4 reported not just the protest but also the subject of the protest, and did it rather well, too.
They talked to Maryam there. Meet Maryam!
Chris Moos, a PhD student at the London School of Economics, who is attending the protest, told Channel 4 News: “What we want to achieve is for Universities UK to immediately rescind their guidelines condoning gender segregation, and issue guidelines that clearly lay out that any kind of segregation, whether under racist, cultural, religious, nationalistic or sexist pretences, is wrong and has no place in the public space.”
Erin Marie Saltman, research project officer at Quilliam and PhD researcher at UCL (University College London), told Channel 4 News: “This is a bigger issue of racism of lower expectations, of avoidance.
“There is a fear of offending the Muslim community but there are a lot of modern Muslims that would never allow gender segregation.”
I was a little disappointed that the protest was fairly small, but channel 4’s reporting it makes up for that and then some. Well done Chris Moos and Maryam and all!
In a statement, UUK said: “The guidance was approved by senior legal counsel as properly reflecting the law. It is not prescriptive. Universities are independent institutions and will make decisions on a case by case basis.
“The guidance does not promote gender segregation. It includes a hypothetical case study involving an external speaker talking about his orthodox religious faith who had requested segregated seating areas for men and women.
“The case study considered the facts, the relevant law and the questions that the university should ask, and concluded that if neither women nor men were disadvantaged and a non-segregated seating area also provided, a university could decide it is appropriate to agree to the request.”
They just refuse to understand. Or pretend to. You can’t segregate women from men and then talk about that in terms of “if neither women nor men were disadvantaged” – being segregated is being disadvantaged. By itself. It doesn’t have to be in worse seats, or in the back, or farther away, or standing up, or hung upside down, or under a leak in the ceiling, or on broken glass. The segregation itself is disadvantageous. Separate is not equal. Get a fucking clue.
Channel 4 talked to Saleem Chagtai of the iERA, and asked him quite assertively what gave him the right to demand segregation. Channel 4 was a lot tougher than the BBC would have been, I think.