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Absurd segregation

Lawrence Krauss agreed to a debate with a Muslim spokesman at University College London, and discovered that the Muslims had organized segregated seating: men in one section, couples in another, and women in a third (apparently, in back, too). He walked out until they agreed to allow mixed seating. Richard Dawkins has an account, and there’s another on facebook from an attendee, with video.

It’s bizarre. I have no idea what they talked about; it’s all overshadowed by the archaic bigotry of an old patriarchal religion. Of course, do we even need to know what was said after the Muslims shot themselves in the foot so thoroughly?

Comments

  1. ShowMetheData says

    Distracting Tactic or Pure Privilege Power Pose?

    Tactic – as in “those intolerant atheists cannot tolerate our god-ordained rights (i.e. intolerance)”

  2. nullifidian says

    Good for Dr. Krauss for insisting on basic equality and human rights.

    Though it’s too bad that his principled stand was rewarded with an evening spent listening to Hamza Andreas Tzortzis.

  3. Dabu says

    Lawrence Krauss should have turned up to see the University College staff still laughing at the Muslims’ ridiculous demands.

  4. says

    Can I just say how thrilled I am when prominent men make such a stand? (Dan Barker of FFRF also recently declined to participate in a debate because the venue was restricted to men only.)

    In a just world such men would not deserve cookies just for standing up for the basic humanity of women. But when I read shit like this I cannot help but feel like baking.

  5. ricklongworth says

    I can’t help but think incidence such as these are helpful in moving society forward. Islam is archaic and thus forms a challenge to modern humanism. Incidents like this, I hope, will serve to reinforce our feeling that we have made important progress. Go Lawrence!

  6. robro says

    Did any women move to the front after Krauss returned? In particular, did any single Islamic women move out of the designated seating area for them, assuming there were any single Islamic women there? I would hope so, but that’s not mentioned in the comments on Sondergaard’s page or in Dawkins post about the event.

  7. René says

    A clear case of WTF. What I would like to know though: weren’t there any non-muslim students (f/m) present at all? I would understand a British student (m/f) not being very eager to sit among the bearded patriarchy, but come on, no ‘Western’ students interested in a discussion with Lawrence freckin’ Krauss? Where did they seat themselves?

  8. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Perhaps a stupid question but for the sake of getting the discussion started would it have been acceptable to divide the area in 3 sections. one for women who choose to be segregated, one for men and one unsegregated?

  9. cyberCMDR says

    Was this debate against the same Hamza who thinks Mohammed understood embryology?

  10. cyberCMDR says

    Yeah, just looked it up. I’m surprised Krauss gave him a platform to spread his nonsense.

  11. Abdul Alhazred says

    Not the slightest bit surprising, and not peculiar just to Muslims.

    That seating arrangement is found in slightly less than Orthodox Jewish synagogues (strict Orthodox would be sex separate seating period, often with the women in back).

  12. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    I’m kind of curious why we see the repeated pattern of segregation of women and femophobia in various cultures. My partner has expressed the hypothesis that societies that depend on an oppressed class are incredibly threatened by empathy and thus have to discourage it.

  13. maddog1129 says

    I don’t know how such a thing could even have taken place … bravo to Prof Krauss for refusing to countenance such discrimination.

  14. catballou says

    @Ing
    No, it’s not acceptable to divide the seating into sections of any kind. The existence of divisions allows for the enforcement of divisions.
    If the discussion were about racial segregation, would it be OK to have a section for whites who choose to be segregated?

  15. says

    I’m kind of curious why we see the repeated pattern of segregation of women and femophobia in various cultures.

    Divide, et impera.

    Perhaps it’s that simple: if you can create a level of constant conflict in your subjects’ lives where they can’t resolve it, they may be too busy to realize that your claims to rule by divine right are obviously not true?

  16. nmcc says

    Yeah, Krauss is a stout defender of womens’ rights. Well, apart from those prostitutes and 13 year old girls abused by his billionaire friend, that is. That’s what I like about the ‘new’ atheists – their consistency.

  17. catballou says

    Message to the Comments moderator: What’s the difference between “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” and “Notify my of follow-up comments by email”? (Aside from the wandering hyphen and the “via/by” switch, of course.)

  18. says

    Does the college normally have segregated seating? O-o

    If they wanted to make an optional segregated seating section, they could have, but to segregate everyone (and in such an unequal way) is ridiculous.

    At least I have the right to say such. I wonder what happened to the several who were ejected for violating the seating protocol?

  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Message to the Comments moderator:

    Comments aren’t moderated. A few posts run afoul of PZ’s spam filter.

  20. fernando says

    “Everyone” knows that muslim segrate women to “protect” them.
    Muslim are so respectful of women, that they don´t allow prostitution, but suport “temporary marriages”.
    Truly. Islam is the best!

  21. cyberCMDR says

    This sexual segregation by religions dates back to tribal times, I imagine from when the tribal leaders figured out most of the intra-tribal fighting was over women. They basically decided it was because women gave men unclean thoughts, so it was their fault that the men were acting badly. Obviously, they had to cover up the women, segregate them from the men, and have the priests decree that it was God’s will. This kept the peace. This is similar to the belief in breaking a mirror causing bad luck. Somebody way back used that story to make sure the kids and hired help were careful about their expensive mirror. The solution worked, and the superstition was passed on.

    The problem is that sexual segregation as a solution is not viable in a modern society (not to imply it was ever a just solution), but people still follow it because it has become canon in their culture. It’s easier to do something because “that’s the way we always did it” than to actually think about that action and make a reasoned decision.

    How many of our problems today are because people are on autopilot? We shout “Merica is the greatest!” as a knee-jerk reaction, ignoring problems that need fixing because we are the greatest by tradition, not facts. America has the greatest health care, as long as you don’t look at our stats (longevity, infant mortality, diabetes rates, etc.) or the per capita costs. America is the land where anyone can get rich, except that class mobility has been declining, and is worse than many other countries. Same for education, infrastructure, etc.

    I’m not sure how to solve this, as I’m one of the most guilty when it comes to running on autopilot. I guess the best way is to keep participating in forums where these issues are being argued. If the opposing view has arguments with merit, maybe some of it will sink in. If we just amble on without questioning ourselves and others, whatever mistaken beliefs we have will never be examined.

  22. says

    I see Ophelia Benson added relevant information in the comments of the Dawkins article, but didn’t encounter much love:

    [Link to personal blog removed by moderator for 4th time. Please do not repost]

    Maybe it’s their policy?

    Apart from that, yes, WTF indeed. It’s the WTF double whammy, gender segregation in 2013, and debating the Muslim Ray Comfort, Hamza Tzortzis.

  23. loopyj says

    I just love how in patriarchal religions and cultures there isn’t even the pretense of ‘separate but equal’.

  24. says

    Of course, Prof. Krause was treated to several rounds of, “How ridiculous to make a fuss over such a little thing!” which, dare I say it, sounds depressingly familiar in all women’s rights discussions.

  25. mikeyb says

    It also puzzles me that they would want to expose these people to a debate with the likes of Lawrence Krauss. Makes me wonder if they really knew anything about his writings before the talk. If you want to enforce certain attitudes, why would you go about exposing them to Satan.

  26. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    tribal times? Price check for real anthropology

  27. says

    Seems to me like if you allow segregated seating “to get the discussion started” then you’ve already ended the discussion and ceded the point.

  28. lexie says

    Robro @6 – I’m not sure if he added to it or not, but, according to Dawkins’ account when the organisers announced that segregated seating was not going to be enforced and that people could sit where they wanted three men moved from the front to the women’s section, then security told them to leave and Krauss stood up for the three men and security gave in. Dawkins also states that these three are the only ones who move at all and that no women moved into the men’s section.

  29. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    University policy should be if there is sex segregated seating, the menz are the ones with inferior seating….

  30. cyberCMDR says

    @ Ing on 30:
    OK, tribal times was a shortcut. I should have said something like during the neolithic period, pertaining to a nomadic culture prior to the development of large urban centers.

    Damn, can’t get away with any imprecise terminology around here….

  31. says

    So, is this an example of feminism “infecting” or “polluting” the atheist movement? Or is feminism okay so long as the feminist critique is directed at the out-group?

  32. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    ok great. Can you cite your claims about life in that period?

  33. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    also yeah it was your terminology that was the problem

  34. chigau (違う) says

    cyberCMDR
    Your entire first paragraph in #25 is absurd.
    Your #35 demonstrates a misunderstanding of what was happening during Neolithic Era.

  35. cyberCMDR says

    Ing:
    No, I can’t. It was a supposition, based on my limited knowledge of the period. I guess I was extrapolating from “Guns, Germs and Steel” on how religion was used as a means of controlling violence, although the focus in the book was its role in controlling inter-tribal violence as groups coalesced into nation states. I do seem to recall there were examples of conflict in the Bible over which man got which woman, so it was a problem for the early Jewish society. It certainly was fodder for many of the Greek myths.

    Based on the very limited anthropological knowledge I have (History channel, National Geographic, etc.), competition for sexual partners does seem to be a source of conflict in modern tribes. This wasn’t a universal observation, but seems to happen often enough.

    I wish my memory was better regarding the details, but all too often my mind seems to dump most everything but plots to old scifi novels/movies/shows and other useless trivia.

  36. skmc says

    I imagine from when the tribal leaders figured out most of the intra-tribal fighting was over women.

    You’re going to have to do a lot better than just imagining ’round these parts, I reckon.

  37. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    If your anthropology sources are history channel and bible it’s best to not share your thoughts.

  38. Dennis Strubbe says

    As a psychology student, the first years of my classes were harder than the years thereafter because of the many hot girls in the first bachelor years. It was hard to concentrate my attention to the lesson when there were hot blond girls with big boobs sitting in front of me. Luckily, most of these girls dropped out or went to study clinical psychology and my ways were into theoretical psychology (more males and girls look more like males). This has improved my attention. In that sense, i’m in favor of strict dress codes in school.

    There rules already exist in exam periods when a girl has to give an oral exam: it is forbidden for her to wear sexy, inappropriate clothes. I think the same standard should be applied in other university context, like in classe.

  39. The Mellow Monkey says

    As a psychology student, the first years of my classes were harder than the years thereafter because of the many hot girls in the first bachelor years. It was hard to concentrate my attention to the lesson when there were hot blond girls with big boobs sitting in front of me. Luckily, most of these girls dropped out or went to study clinical psychology and my ways were into theoretical psychology (more males and girls look more like males). This has improved my attention. In that sense, i’m in favor of strict dress codes in school.

    ::blinkblink::

    If the very presence of breasts in the same room with you caused you to struggle as a student, the problem is not the women.

  40. catballou says

    Based on your apparent attitude, I’m guessing that those “hot blonde girls” didn’t find YOU distracting at all.

  41. Dennis Strubbe says

    I doubt you can focus your attention on other things when someone sits completely naked next to you or couple seats away.

    That’s the other extreme ofcourse, but it does give the sense that at least some clothing standard is needed.

    Now i’m not sure what the rationale was of the sex segregation, but if it because of the arguments i’m outlined, then i’m all in favor. Ofcourse, the better solution would be that males and females can sit wherever and both need to dress appropriately so that there is no unwanted attention.

  42. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    DENNIS STRUBBE IS A PSYCHE STUDENT? your school clearly suuuuuuucks

  43. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Dennis please change majors

  44. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Dennis Strubbe, are you a boy?

    May I refer to you as a boy.

    My, that boy is a clueless ass.

  45. Dennis Strubbe says

    There’s a certain type of Muslim woman who would not attend an event if the seating wasn’t gender segregated. And they wouldn’t want to sit anywhere but the back for fear of men ogling them. This event provided for the needs of those people. Would Dawkins prefer their needs not to be provided for, preventing them from ever seeing a male atheist speaker present their case in person?

    Apparently, this was the reason of the sex segregation. It had nothing to do with unwanted attention via dress codes (but on the other hand, why didn’t the females sit next to the males, because of unwanted sexual attention ?).

    The intent of the segregation is clear (if what the guy says is true) and I don’t support it. If a woman doesn’t want to sit next to a male, she can just phuck off or sit somewhere else. No need to a priori allocate the seats.

  46. Dennis Strubbe says

    A muslim women speaks out

    Dear Prof Dawkins: I’m sorry that you have portrayed the event in this way when I’m sure that if you ask Professor Krauss you will find that he was treated very well by the organisers who hosted him and they genuinely gave him the best hospitality they could and wanted to engage with him. I would like to tell you that as a Muslim woman, I actually PREFER to sit separately from men in public places. There was a mixed section for people who wanted to sit there, and a section for women like me who prefer to sit separately. So the organisers were actually being considerate to everyone and making women like me who wanted to sit separately more comfortable. They gave everyone the choice to sit in the mixed section if they wished to. To say to women like me – no YOU HAVE TO SIT WITH MEN at an event organised by Muslims who know my sensitivities is an ugly form of secular fundamentalism. For someone like you who talks about reason and proof to comment about an event you were not at, using badly conveyed third party information is really quite ironic. Well at least it has given the debate a higher profile so that even more people will see for themselves that one of atheism’s biggest names was answered so well and his arguments so effectively refuted. We look forward to seeing the video when it is released.

    What a crazy bitch :D

  47. Pteryxx says

    I doubt you can focus your attention on other things when someone sits completely naked next to you or couple seats away.

    …so where is this school with the completely naked first-year psych students? Oh, they weren’t actually naked? Then that was a strange conceptual jump for you to make, wasn’t it? Sheesh.

    Incidentally, yes many of us CAN go on with our lives with naked people nearby. Nudist colonies are a thing that exists, and having spent a few days with some naked friends, I can say it stopped being weird after half a day or so. People are adaptable, when they want to be.

  48. Dennis Strubbe says

    It was a thought to show that we can’t dress (or go naked) willy nilly), we need some standard.

    Now the majority dresses normally and I don’t have a problem with that, but it becomes a problem when someone dresses provocatively in a public context where my attention is needed to follow the classes.

    It would ge a good idea then on either dressing down or if you wanna dress sexy, then just sit in the back.

  49. The Mellow Monkey says

    I doubt you can focus your attention on other things when someone sits completely naked next to you or couple seats away.

    This is what you consider a reasonable comparison to “I saw hot chicks in my class”? Yes, I could do just fine with naked people sitting around me. I’ve been around nude people before.

    My friend has stared into over a thousand naked crotches and put her hand inside of them. Somehow, she’s still able to function at her job and doesn’t kill people via lack of focus. I’m sure it might have seemed weird the first time she examined a patient, but she and millions of other medical professionals can actually touch naked people and remain focused.

    There’s this interesting little mental trick they use, which you might find helpful: they don’t view the bodies of their patients as sex objects. It can work on classmates–even clothed ones!–as well.

  50. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Or Dennis maybe you could act like you have some maturity and worldly experience and let people dress as they choose?

  51. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but it becomes a problem when someone dresses provocatively in a public context where my attention is needed to follow the classes.

    Word to the unwise DS, if you can’t stand the heat, stay out the classes. You are the problem. Period, end of story. What part of that don’t you understand, so I explain it to you in words of one syllable or less, with a clue by four?

  52. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Dennis: Stop blaming women for the fact that you are dumber than a sack of very dull rocks. No, women do not need to dress “appropriately” (whatever that means, I’m just going to assume you want burkas) to keep men like yourself from being “distracted”, simply being a human being capable of self-control will do fine.

    And yes, I can and have gotten productive and unrelated work done with people clad in lingerie and other assorted actually explicitly sexy garb sitting near me. I can also walk and chew gum at the same time. Again: stop blaming that you’re a creepy, stupid, leering pig on women.

    How about instead of “strict dress codes”, we teach men (and let’s face it, it’s usually men) not to treat others like objects in a school environment?

  53. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Also, Stubby @ #52: knock it the fuck off with the gendered slurs. Unacceptable.

  54. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Dennis Strubbe, simple question for you. Should a religious group get to dictate the terms of how a secular facility is used for an event that is open to the public?

    Remember, this event happened in England, not Saudi Arabia.

  55. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Does anyone think Stubbed can responsibly treat a woman as patient?

  56. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but majority doesn’t.

    Unevidence assertion. Which is *floosh* dismissed as utter fuckwittery without a citation….

  57. Dennis Strubbe says

    Should a religious group get to dictate the terms of how a secular facility is used for an event that is open to the public?

    Your question is heavily biased (you use words like dictate).

    I posted the interpretation of a muslim girl few posts above. She said that there was a mixed group and a female only group.

    I find females who don’t want to sit next to a guy disgusting, but as long as there is a mixed group, then I’m not sure what my opinion is. I gotta think this one trough, so I can’t answer your question.

  58. catballou says

    It’s astonishing that so many cultures around the world and over the millennia have been able to function while wearing little or no clothing. Let’s see, there’s ancient Egypt, the meso-American empires, many contemporary tribes in Africa and Australia, etc. etc. Somehow, they go about their lives without tripping over their tongues.
    Your inability to function when women are nearby is not THEIR problem, it’s yours. Why should they change their preferences and behaviors to suit you? I like men’s forearms, and if they wear long-sleeved shirts and roll the sleeves up partway…dammit, I’m distracted again. Men should have to wear baggy sweatshirts at all times.
    As you see, Dennis, you aren’t going to get much sympathy around here.

  59. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Stop calling women “females”. Jesus fucking Christ, that’s so creepy.

    And frankly, any woman is perfectly entitled to not want to sit next to a man, for any reason. Her boundaries.

    (Though I can imagine you might have fewer women than most wanting to sit anywhere near you.)

  60. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gee DS why do you think anybody really cares about your hang-ups? Find a therapist and work on your problems off-line.

  61. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    I posted the interpretation of a muslim girl few posts above. She said that there was a mixed group and a female only group.

    And I stated what the situation was. That does not make the question “biased”.

    So answer the question.

  62. anteprepro says

    Your question is heavily biased (you use words like dictate).

    Would you prefer trying to answer it with the word “control” instead? Or is that too mean and biased as well?

    I posted the interpretation of a muslim girl few posts above. She said that there was a mixed group and a female only group.

    Whereas, if you read the OP and the linked articles, you would see that this “mixed group” was a “couples group”. Which is hardly the same thing. If you are going to go about asserting that the “mixed group” wasn’t just strictly for couples, prove it.

    I find females who don’t want to sit next to a guy disgusting

    You’re a real cornucopia of mindless misogyny, aren’t ya?

    Does anyone think Stubbed can responsibly treat a woman as patient?

    Short answer: No. Long answer: Fuck no, and judging by his muddled thinking here, I doubt that he would ever be competent enough to treat anyone, with or without hypnotic boobehs.

  63. Dennis Strubbe says

    Whereas, if you read the OP and the linked articles, you would see that this “mixed group” was a “couples group”. Which is hardly the same thing. If you are going to go about asserting that the “mixed group” wasn’t just strictly for couples, prove it.

    Laurence krauss and others say that there was a couples group, the muslim girl claimed there was a mixed group. It’s unclear what the truth is.

    If it was a couples group, then i would object the situation.
    If it was a mixed group, then I don’t have an opinion about the situation. Good part is that they cater to the muslimas needs, but the sad part is that these women don’t want to sit next a men simply because of their sex.

  64. Dennis Strubbe says

    And frankly, any woman is perfectly entitled to not want to sit next to a man, for any reason. Her boundaries.

    1. strong sexism
    2. then you don’t agree with the OP then, since pz myers, laurence krauss and dawkins describes the situation as a sex apartheid.

  65. says

    Was this debate against the same Hamza who thinks Mohammed understood embryology?

    Yeah. He doesn’t need to debate a physics professor; he needs to sit down and listen to a high school science teacher.

    I don’t understand what Krauss thought was going to happen. It ought to be obvious that Tzortsis was going to do nothing but lie. So what kind of “debate” are you going to get between someone who’s got unadulterated bullshit to offer? Krauss would be sitting there going, “that’s not true!” and he could do that until he’s blue in the face and obviously it’s not going to affect Tzortsis at all – he’s an ignorant savage by choice.

  66. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Dennis: I’m repeating this because you’re a bit on the stupid side: If women don’t want to sit next to men, for any reason, that is their fucking right. Their boundaries are actually their business. You fucking creep.

  67. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Jesus Fuck, boy, but you are fucking dense.

    The event happened at University College London. It is a secular institution. It was founded as a secular institution.

    So why the fuck should a secular institution allow their facility be used in a religious fashion?

    Simple fucking question.

    Or are you being distracted by hypnotic breasts, boy?

  68. Dennis Strubbe says

    Why should they change their preferences and behaviors to suit you?

    The same reason why it is prohibited to wear sexual clothing when given an oral exam. The professor gets distracted by it and thus cannot examine the responses of the female appropriately.

    Same applies for me and other male students (and lesbians/bisexuals) who are distracted by how other people dress.
    You also don’t someone in your proximity who wears flashy clothes that change colors all the time, since this will distract you also (luckily people don’t wear those freakish clothes), but sexually unveiling clothes are still okay in university classes and this shouldn’t be the case in my opinion.

  69. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Dennis @ #72: Women can’t be sexist towards men. You fucking dipshit.

    As for your second point, seeing as PZ is the only one out of the three who I don’t find morally repugnant, I’m not seeing how this is supposed to chastise me. Also, you’re confusing enforced segregated seating with personal choices of seating. I am shocked, shocked that you don’t see the difference. Enforced gender segregation to keep the sexy temptress women from distracting the menfolks is your and the debate organizer’s thing.

  70. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Creepy Dennis: Define sexual clothing! There is no such thing as clothing that someone doesn’t find sexy. How about you grow the fuck up instead of being a leering pig? Also, there was never a dress code for exams when I was taking them.

    Also, as I said, into people of all genders, have gotten plenty of work done around lingerie-clad ones. Maybe because I am not an objectifying creep?

  71. Dennis Strubbe says

    So why the fuck should a secular institution allow their facility be used in a religious fashion?

    Simple fucking question.

    The justification was not according to islam. A secular person like myself can also defend such a position. If a female wants to have seperate seats and I’m willing to cater to their needs, then this has nothing to do with religion.

    Ofcourse, the most probable cause is that these women didn’t want to sit next to a man because of their religion, but since you don’t know for sure, you can only assert that they don’t want to sit next to a male because they simply asserted it (whatever their reason may be).

    Perfectly possible in a secular environment and can also be done by an atheist like myself.

    Try to think for yourself for the next time, I should not make everything clear for you.

  72. Dennis Strubbe says

    Dennis @ #72: Women can’t be sexist towards men. You fucking dipshit.

    Lol. just lol

  73. anteprepro says

    Laurence krauss and others say that there was a couples group, the muslim girl claimed there was a mixed group. It’s unclear what the truth is.

    We either have two options then:
    -The anonymous web commenter didn’t just dishonestly call the couples group “mixed,” being a couple really wasn’t a condition for sitting outside of gender separated sections and was just a condition made up by those big mean secularists, and Lawrence Krauss had a big ol’ tantrum about nothing.
    -The anonymous web commenter did just dishonestly call the couples group “mixed” in order to Lie for Jesus, Muslim edition.

    I am so sorry that I am BIASED towards one answer over the other. I’m afraid I can’t join you in your game of tossing up hands and saying “welp guess we’ll never know now”.

    then you don’t agree with the OP then, since pz myers, laurence krauss and dawkins describes the situation as a sex apartheid.

    Individual women choosing not to sit near men =/= Mandatory seating separating all single men from all single women.

    Riddle me this: How did a below average sixth grader get into college?

  74. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Sorry Dennis, women don’t have institutional power over men, so no, women can’t be sexist toward men. Damn, you’re stupid. Seriously, what the hell school let you in, and let’s be real, their “accreditation” is written in crayon on a napkin, yes?

  75. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Ofcourse, the most probable cause is that these women didn’t want to sit next to a man because of their religion, but since you don’t know for sure, you can only assert that they don’t want to sit next to a male because they simply asserted it (whatever their reason may be).

    So, using are using the words of a member of the audience to justify the group using religious based segregation at a secular institution. Please, continue putting the cart before the horse.

    Try to think for yourself for the next time, I should not make everything clear for you.

    Now, answer the fucking question, boy. Should a secular institution allow their facility be run in a religious manner for an open event.

    Or is this too difficult for a free thinking person who is distracted by hypnotic breasts?

    Am I the only one laughing at the irony?

  76. Dennis Strubbe says

    Enforced gender segregation to keep the sexy temptress women from distracting the menfolks is your and the debate organizer’s thing.

    False, the muslim debater simply catered to the needs of female muslims, as he himself presented it that way. A female muslim also corroborated his stance.

    I wasn’t aware of this before I made my point. I said that IF the reason was that the muslim debater enforced a sex segregation because he didn’t want that males were distracted by the females and thus choose the latter group to be seated in the back, then I would not have a problem with this.

    It all depends on the intention of the sex segregation.
    If muslimas don’t want to sit next to a male because of their sex, then i have a problem with it.
    If there is a sex segregation because men/women find eachother inferior and don’t want to be seated next to eachother, then I would have a problem with that.
    If there is a sex segregation because the teacher wants everybodies fully attention, then I would not have a problem with it.
    etc etc

    It all depends on the intention of the speaker. Sex segregation is not a priori good or bad. (think about females who don’t want to see a male gynacologist, men/women toilets, etc)

  77. anteprepro says

    A secular person like myself can also defend such a position.

    I’m somehow reminded of homophobia, and how that is either a vital expression of righteous Christian beliefs or a position based on nature and pure secular logic, depending on which is most convenient during that particular time of day.

    I’m sure genital mutilation, slavery, and genocide can be defended by “secular people” too, Stubbs. Doesn’t mean shit.

  78. The Mellow Monkey says

    Same applies for me and other male students (and lesbians/bisexuals) who are distracted by how other people dress.

    1) Gay men exist.
    2) Not all people attracted to women behave the way you think they do.

    My interest in women has never interfered with my ability to function in a classroom or at a debate. Stop fucking assuming we’re all like you, you creepy jackass.

  79. Dennis Strubbe says

    using religious based segregation

    False. You don’t know for this sure. A female simply said: i don’t want to sit next to a male. She didn’t say the reasons for it.

    If you assume it was because of her religion because she identifies herself as a muslim, then you are making a crude assumption.

    As long as she didn’t sate her reasons, you cannot know for sure. (However, I also believe it was for her religious reasons, but again, we don’t know for sure)

  80. Dennis Strubbe says

    My interest in women has never interfered with my ability to function in a classroom or at a debate. Stop fucking assuming we’re all like you, you creepy jackass.

    I never claimed it applied to all men. Strong reading comprehension skills.

  81. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    No, there is nothing wrong for a woman not wanting to sit next to a man, for any reason! Explain why. Explain why women having boundaries is a bad thing. (I wanna watch you try that one.)

    And holy shit, do you not see how creepy it is that you’re fine with gender-segregation when it’s because of dipshits like yourself being raised to think of women as objects, but get really angry when women might have boundaries that they will assert openly. HMMM. Isn’t that an interesting set of priorities?

  82. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Dennis @ #88: Of course not all men are revolting wastes of cells like yourself! Also, I’m not a man. But the thing is, the people who have to shape the fuck up are not women who make you lose what little was left of your brainpower! There is a problem here, and it’s you.

  83. The Mellow Monkey says

    I never claimed it applied to all men. Strong reading comprehension skills.

    I’m not a man, as are a number of people attracted to (but not prone to objectifying) women.

    Fine: So you admit that some straight men are not creepy turd waffles like you. Progress!

  84. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Dennis @ #92: Aww, I’m sorry the basic realities of power dynamics have gotten you so emotional. Maybe you should just sit back and let the adults talk for a while?

    (Also, not a woman either.)

  85. anteprepro says

    If muslimas don’t want to sit next to a male because of their sex, then i have a problem with it….
    If there is a sex segregation because the teacher wants everybodies fully attention, then I would not have a problem with it.

    Think this one through, asshat. What kind of distraction would occur that sex segregation prevents? What is the nature of this hypothetical distraction? Do you really think that the teacher should be allowed to force girls and boys to sit apart from each because you can’t help yourself from drooling at the sight of boobs? Yet the girls that you are drooling aren’t allowed to, of their own accord, avoid being drooled over*? You can’t have it both ways. You can’t make it axiomatic that boys and girls sitting together leads to sexuality-charged hijinx and yet object to girls who are personally not willing to sit near boys unless you are misogynistic asshole who thinks that women should always just grin and bear it, and only care about things insofar as they negatively affect teh menz.

    (*And yes, this isn’t exclusive to girls wearing “sexual clothing”. Even women in burqas are treated as sexual objects. Women are raped regardless of what they are wearing. Yet you are one of the countless men who insist that clothing that you interpret as “sexual” make the woman wearing it fair game to anyone and everyone. I mean, seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?)

  86. Dennis Strubbe says

    No, there is nothing wrong for a woman not wanting to sit next to a man, for any reason! Explain why. Explain why women having boundaries is a bad thing. (I wanna watch you try that one.)

    Another weird female logic.

    The problem lies with any reason.

    If a female doesn’t want to sit next to pz myers because of his ugly beard, then that would be offensive?
    If a female doesn’t want to sit next to a male, because she believes he will sexually assault him, that would be offensive.

    There can be bad reasons and there was be good reasons. It all depends on the intention.
    My reason is that my attention gets drifted and I could not focus easily on the classes. I believe my reason is justifable since the same rules also apply in oral examens (and I don’t know how it works in america, but in Belgium and both in the university of Ghent and KuLeuven, it is prohibited for a women to dress sexually unveiling when given an oral exam. I use the same rationale as what the institution uses)

  87. Dennis Strubbe says

    Do you really think that the teacher should be allowed to force girls and boys to sit apart from each because you can’t help yourself from drooling at the sight of boobs?

    1. not because of one person, but i’m sure the majority of the males attention are getting diverted, so I can make a case that it ‘hurts’ most males
    2. best solution is to tone the dresses down so that there is no need for sex segregation seats
    3. I don’t think people view burkas as sexy satisfying. Ofcourse you can rape them because you believe there is a female under it that you can rape, but the burka itself doesn’t send a sexy message. Now I don’t know of any experiments where they compared a burka female with a non-burka female on it’s level of sexiness, but if you honestly believe that they are equally attractive……..then lol, just lol

  88. Owlglass says

    Found his behavior very laudable. It is probably not easy to be so outspoken and confrontative before a crowd that has invited you over. But then what can possibly come out of this debate? I find it somewhat troublesome that the atheist view is so strong, while the faithful have absolutely nothing. There is practically no room for debate at all. The Christians can at least retreat to moderate views, but Islam seems far more firm and restrictive, all while the pressure from science is increasing. And now I’m somehow thinking of the San Andreas Fault.

  89. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    “If a female doesn’t want to sit next to pz myers because of his ugly beard, then that would be offensive?
    If a female doesn’t want to sit next to a male, because she believes he will sexually assault him, that would be offensive.”

    No, either of those reasons are valid ones if that is how she feels. Besides, weren’t you just blaming rape victims for not taking enough precautions in a thread earlier? One would think fearing assault and avoiding the man causing the fear would be a perfectly reasonable thing to do then. Oh wait, I forgot that you’re a piece of ambulatory shit.

    You still have not said what is “sexual” clothing. Or addressed the fact that women in burkas are also objectified, so clearly the relative modesty of the clothing doesn’t mean shit. Also, again, these exam rules are by no means universal. So fuck your piece of shit institution.

  90. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Stubbes how do I know more psychology than you. I don’t believe you’re a student of it

  91. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    I’m off to bed. Good night everyone. Smile and be happy!

    Dishonest coward.

    And fuck you too.

  92. says

    Dennis Strubbe #99

    not because of one person, but i’m sure the majority of the males attention are getting diverted, so I can make a case that it ‘hurts’ most males

    You keep saying variations on this, and yet you have no evidence for it. I strongly suggest you find and present some evidence to back this up, or STOP PRESUMING TO TALK FOR THE MAJORITY.

  93. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    The Christians can at least retreat to moderate views, but Islam seems far more firm and restrictive, all while the pressure from science is increasing.

    How lucky we are that christians do not do extreme things like murder abortion providers, kick the rebellious LGBT children out of their homes and fight the teaching of evolution in schools.

  94. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    myeck waters @ #105: I know! I mean, I thought I was the misandrist feminazgul here, but shee-it, I give y’all a lot more credit than dudes like Dennis here seem to.

  95. says

    I doubt you can focus your attention on other things when someone sits completely naked next to you or couple seats away.

    Of course I can. I can read books, eat a meal, have a conversation, listen to the radio, whatever. I haven’t tried working, but that’s because I normally wear clothes while working, but I’m confident that if it ever came down to it, and I for some reason found myself in a work environment where the norm was nakedness, I’d be able to focus.

    I guess you’ve never been to a nude beach or a sauna? Sheesh. Kids these days.

    Anyway, looks like Dennis has a consistent pattern: drop a few misogynist turds in the punch bowl and then claim that it’s bedtime, then come back the next day and shit in a different punchbowl without acknowledging that people are still cleaning up the messes he left elsewhere. Fucking coward.

  96. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @chigau

    And will he dream of electric sheep?

  97. Rey Fox says

    He’ll probably just forget everything about this and the other threads and bumble into another one.

    Jesus H. Fuck, what a misandrist. I mean really, this guy thinks men are fucking troglodytes.

  98. anuran says

    Gender segregation is actually worse among Orthodox Jews. At the very least there would have to be a barrier separating women’s seating from men’s, or women would have to be in the back on a balcony. If pictures were taken the very Orthodox would edit out any of women. And women would not be allowed to speak in public where men might hear them.

  99. says

    Wait… so Dennis not wanting “hot girls” within view, thinking it shouldn’t be allowed because it’s distracting… that’s normal, and we’re all fucked up for not agreeing… but a woman choosing of her own accord not to sit next to a man is “disgusting?’

    WTF?

  100. brucegorton says

    This sexual segregation by religions dates back to tribal times, I imagine from when the tribal leaders figured out most of the intra-tribal fighting was over women.

    What’s this dates back to tribal times? Did they end yesterday or something? The nation state is essentially tribal, as is political affiliation, as is religion, as is social caste, as are most things which define human groups.

    We still very much exist within tribes.

  101. chigau (違う) says

    We still very much exist within tribes.

    Especially if you watch Reality TV™.

  102. says

    secular fundamentalism

    The terror of freedom from religion. To laugh or cry?

    Not enough discussion about whose heads must roll at UCL, IMHO. If I was the head of this university, I would have culled the whole lot who came up with segregated ticketing already.
    Although I have to say I’m a bit disappointed in those Muslims who co-organised the event. No segregated segregation for menstruating women? How sloppy! Wait until the Imam finds out, Hamza!

  103. Freodin says

    blockquote fail… I know I should check before. ;)

    And frankly, any woman is perfectly entitled to not want to sit next to a man, for any reason. Her boundaries.

    What do you propose she is to do when she doesn’t want to sit next to a man?

  104. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    I have to wonder how someone as “smart” as Dennis gets all a-flustered at even the slightest hint of a boobie when entire classes of lowly art students not only look at completely naked people while doing their work, but are required to look at naked people all day, and still manage to get good grades and graduate and do successful work.

    Maybe Creeper Dennis should just give up on college entirely and join a nice monastery.

  105. davehooke says

    I’m always telling people what a great city London is. I am ashamed that it happened in London. Of course, as a human, I am angry that it happened at all. I’ve emailed the Head of Media Relations at UCL and shared this on Facebook. I’m sure UCL will introduce a policy as well as making a strong statement.

    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cam/who-we-are

  106. opposablethumbs says

    What’s in it for Dennis Strubbe … he probably does indeed believe all the slime he upchucks on this and other threads, though he may be couching it deliberately in the most malodorous terms he can because he likes the response, but it’s funny to think that he’s openly displaying the paucity of his thought, lack of reasoning (and reading) ability and complete incompetence as a psych student. Why would anyone want to dance around squealing lookit, lookit me how stupid and shitty I am!?

  107. Dennis Strubbe says

    Some people suggested that they dont mind naked bodies. That ascertion doesn`t pose a threat to my claim that nakedness (and sexy revealing)clothes are still an exogenous attentional stimuli for the majority of the human population.

    And especially the average males heterosexual system inherently functions as a detector for sexy visual images coming from the other sex. The choice of a female to dress sexy isn`t random ofcourse. It caters in part for the males desire. Now such a view is certainly appealing to the eye, but in a working context it can distract you. So either dress down or remove yourself out of the males sight is a reasonable solution.

  108. Ichthyic says

    Shorter Strubbe @99:

    I shame sluts.

    it’s what I do.

    I shame sluts.

    how bout you?

  109. Ichthyic says

    …his cheer continued in 123.

    Hey, Strubbe…

    need some pom poms to go with that slut shaming cheer you got going there?

  110. Ichthyic says

    either dress down or remove yourself out of the males sight is a reasonable solution.

    hey, Dennis, finish this sentence for me:

    if thine eye offend thee…

  111. Dabu says

    Dennis Strubbe, you have contributed to the thread like a big runny worm-laden dump contributes to a pot of minestrone.
    Truth is, you’re using women’s sartorial choices as an excuse to fan your misogyny. If they all went about in overalls & thick woollen hats, you’d be complaining that their lipstick, eyelash extensions or melodious voices was putting you off your game. You’re not mature enough to relate to women, and you’re choosing to blame them instead of yourself.

  112. marinerachel says

    This is the exact same logic applied by people who enforce the wearing of burqas.

    If I’m wearing very little it’s because it’s hot out. If a man gets turned on by my wearing little, he can look at his feet until he regains his composure. I am not going to be made to be uncomfortable because others make excuses for men behaving badly.

  113. Dennis Strubbe says

    I am not going to be made to be uncomfortable because others make excuses for men behaving badly.

    I think it has more to do with a females craving for attention and how she can use her physical appearance for getting higher in the social hierarchy. You cannot say that getting breast implants and wearing high heels are for comfortability :/

  114. Dennis Strubbe says

    If I’m wearing very little it’s because it’s hot out.

    Also, stop making everything about yourself. Cant you provide more general statements instead of relating everything to your own life. The world doesnt revolve around you, ya know. Stop with the anecdotal arguments, it`s so boring. To that with your girlfriends or sth, not in a serious discussion.

    Also, I dont know how you look. Im assuming you are average so it really doesnt matter what you dress. What I outlined above only applies to hot girls. They should tone their dresses down. Majority of the males don`t give a rats ass what a below-average/average female looks like/how she dresses, they don`t disregulate to our attention system.

  115. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    You cannot say that getting breast implants and wearing high heels are for comfortability :/

    Actually, I can say just that. You’re not being very nuanced when you approach it from a physical comfort stand-point. It’s an issue of mental and emotional comfort within a society that places emphasis on exaggerated bosoms and awkward postures. If that is also the woman’s ideal of beauty, then by all means she should appear how she wants for whatever reasons she wants. Your failure to acknowledge any other reason, or even that women have the faculty to judge for themselves their reasons, is typical of a misogynist fuckwit.

  116. Dennis Strubbe says

    It’s an issue of mental and emotional comfort within a society that places emphasis on exaggerated bosoms and awkward postures.

    True, but she should take that outside, not in a class. Most men wont mind big boobs outside of a class.

    Im in a computer class right now and theres an immensely sexy girl with yoga pants before me. And I suddenly realize wtf I`m doing here.

    I`m out for now, bye

  117. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    I`m out for now, bye

    I look forward to never seeing you again.

  118. blf says

    Im [sic] in a computer class right now…

    And clearly paying close attention to the instructor / lesson.

    The logical reasoning that has been displayed in previous comments suggests you really should pay more attention to the instructor, lesson, and assignments. And take a few remedial courses, such as “Basic Humanity for Nitwits 101″.

  119. thumper1990 says

    They probably thought allowing couples to sit together was liberal enough. Good on Lawrence Krauss!

  120. says

    Dennis Strubbe is out for good. It’s for his own protection: all the women here are hot, and they’re all exposing their sexy intellects nakedly for all to see, so by his own admission poor Dennis would be incapable of restraining himself.

    Also, he’s an extraordinarily creepy fucker.

  121. pensnest says

    Dennis Strubbe, #132

    Most men wont mind big boobs outside of a class.

    How nice it is to know that the men’s opinion is so important—and so generous, too.

    What, exactly, do you suggest a large-breasted woman does when she attends classes? Is she supposed to leave them outside? Or perhaps only women with small breasts should be allowed to go to university—why, yes, that’s it, there should be some kind of panel of, ahaha, disinterested men, empowered to judge whether a female applicant is sufficiently unsexy to be allowed to participate in higher education? Just to ensure that men like you are not distracted by women, in their vicinity, going about their business.

    Im in a computer class right now and theres an immensely sexy girl with yoga pants before me. And I suddenly realize wtf I`m doing here.

    Something you should be doing in private, I feel sure. If you cannot concentrate on your work, it might be best for all concerned if you give up your pitiful attempts to perv on all the women students in your vicinity study, and give up your place to someone who is capable of taking his or her work seriously.

    Pillock.

  122. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    So either dress down or remove yourself out of the males sight is a reasonable solution. – Dennis Strubbe

    I have a much more reasonable solution: if your self-control is as poor as you say, you should wear a blindfold whenever you might be in the presence of a woman. Or of course you could take the Oedipus option, but that seems unnecessarily drastic.

  123. Anri says

    So, Dennis, your assertion is that women’s bodies are a problem, and women should be responsible for taking care of that problem?

    . . .

    To take a different tack, here’s another episode of It’s Blindingly Obvious When You Put It In Racial Terms Theater:

    If I don’t care to sit next to black people, should I insist on segregated seating? Or should I simply be free to move to a different seat?
    If, as a professor, I don’t care to look at black people, how much can I insist black people cover up?
    What if I insist it’s not all black people who have to cover up, but “just the ugly ones”?

  124. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Its always so cute when boys blame their bad grades an inability to perform in class on the women around him, instead of what it actually is: his lack of intelligence and talent.

    As if anyone, anywhere is fooled by it.

  125. sonofrojblake says

    any woman is perfectly entitled to not want to sit next to a man, for any reason. Her boundaries

    So she’s entitled to not want to sit next to him purely because he’s black? Or a Jew? Or disabled? And making such a choice on those grounds and for no other reasons would be perfectly fine? And… is it OK if an organisation sets up the seating so that her preferences are respected (i.e. no black people/Jews/disabled in this section, please)? Logic seems a little twisted here…

  126. chadwickjones says

    Ahh… I noticed the person Dr. Krauss was raising his voice toward was Hamza Tzortzis… Not at all surprised. Hamza is a freakin’ joke.

  127. Owlglass says

    106, Janine wrote: How lucky we are that christians do not do extreme things like murder abortion providers, kick the rebellious LGBT children out of their homes and fight the teaching of evolution in schools.

    + prosecuted and killed ca. 30,000 “witches” in most hideous, torturous ways (conservative est.)
    + inflicted thirty and forty years of wars on Europe, annihilated up 70% of the population.
    + provided part of the ideological foundation of the systematic killing of six million Jews.
    + invented Christian Rock music.
    + reintroduced torture into legal systems in 1252, originally to persecute heretics.
    + created misogynist Purity Balls.
    + stalled, sabotaged and reverted advances in medicine, leading to large scale suffering over centuries.
    + …
    BUT HEY! They don’t segregate normally! And besides, my idea of “moderate” doesn’t cover any of these things. Islam seems to fall behind when it comes to moderation and progress, which doesn’t remove the issues you noted with Christians of course.

  128. ladyh42 says

    DS @ 175 “Same applies for me and other male students (and lesbians/bisexuals) who are distracted by how other people dress.”

    Just wanted to point out that DS for some reason doesn’t seem to think that women can find men distracting as well. If he did, then he might have to sit in back of class in order to not be a completely hypocritical douchenozzle.

  129. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Chigau, I apologize for telling you that the boy did not do enough to get banned. That fucker went on a rampage in “The Difference Between Us And Them” thread.

    I am sure the Slymies would welcome him with oozing arms.

  130. PatrickG says

    @ Owlglass:

    invented Christian Rock music.

    Amazing how that doesn’t seem out of place tucked in among the other items. :)

  131. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    For those throwing terrified little fits about women who don’t want to sit next to men:

    “OHNOES! What do you suggest they do? It is impossible!”
    I’ve moved seats or asked the person next to me if they’d mind switching with me when I’ve been next to people who’ve made me uncomfortable. Super difficult! Wait, no.

    Sonrofrojblake: I see you missed where I said externally enforced seating sections are definitely problematic. Do keep up.

    And I love that you’re trying to bring up acts of structural oppression to explain why women having boundaries are bad. Class act there, bro.

  132. nullifidian says

    Dennis the Menace @ #130:

    Also, stop making everything about yourself.

    Snerk. Irony.

  133. Owlglass says

    147, PatrickG

    invented Christian Rock music.

    Amazing how that doesn’t seem out of place tucked in among the other items. :)

    You are correct. It was tautological, and already included in the following point. :D

  134. says

    I’m pretty sure Christians also have done segregated seating in their churches and in public places until it was frowned upon by secular forces. I don’t understand this christians-are-awesome crap that seems to ignore all their extremists and all their history.

    BTW, Dennis was at least violating the 20% rule. And apparently the I-went-to-bed-but-couldn’t-sleep rule. That’s when it’s not so good to interact with someone x-x

  135. Ichthyic says

    prosecuted and killed ca. 30,000 “witches” in most hideous, torturous ways (conservative est.)

    conservative indeed, since it’s still going on in some places.

  136. davehooke says

    So iERA have been banned from future events at UCL.

    They are presenting a further event at Kingston University. I had a look online as to what the event was about, and I ended up sending this email to KU:

    “iERA are hosting an event at your University on 13th March. You are surely aware of iERA’s support of gender segregation at the recent UCL event. iERA are associated with Hamza Andreas Tzortis (who debated at the UCL event), a man who thinks that homosexuality is a crime.

    http://hamzatzortzis.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/homosexuality-is-not-unnatural-but-is-it-a-crime/

    iERA links to Mission Dawah, dawah being the purpose of the event at your university. http://www.missiondawah.com

    At the Mission Dawah site the reading material recommended is “The Man in The Red Underpants”. This short online book promotes hand chopping for thieves, death for apostates and adulterers, and death for homosexuals. http://www.allahsword.com/pdf/man-in-the-red-underpants.pdf (pages 26-32)

    It is clear that the mission of iERA is to promote not just Islam but barbaric law. In the UK.

    Do you think that it is appropriate that such an organization should be presenting an event at your university?”

  137. chigau (違う) says

    Janine #146
    I sent my monitor alert just before my #108.
    I may have been premature but it turns out I was right.
    yay, me! ;)

  138. Esteleth, stupid fucking starchild Tolkien worshiping douche says

    I realize Dennis has been banned, but I’m just going to have to stare in shock at his “most people are distracted by the sexeh around nudity” claim.

    This weekend, at work, I helped a male patient use the toilet and bathe. Thus, I saw his naked body in some detail.

    And I did not have the slightest sexual thought.

    And – for the record – I have also helped female patients with this. Same lack of sexual thoughts.

  139. leel says

    To PZ – THANK YOU from a lurker for getting rid of Dennis Strubbe! Fuck me but he was a loathsome creep and pollution stain!