Let’s relive Plessy v Ferguson, only Plessy’s a woman

Helen Dale pointed out in a comment on my Facebook post that the UK Universities are paraphrasing Plessy v Ferguson, with sex switched in for race. Yeah. Plessy was decided in 1896. Brown v Board of Education overturned Plessy.

Right, let’s have a bit of Plessy v Ferguson, courtesy of Cornell.

The object of the [14th] amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law, but, in the nature of things, it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social, as distinguished from political, equality, or a commingling of the two races upon terms unsatisfactory to either. Laws permitting, and even requiring, their separation in places where they are liable to be brought into contact do not necessarily imply the inferiority of either race to the other, and have been generally, if not universally, recognized as within the competency of the state legislatures in the exercise of their police power. The most common instance of this is connected with the establishment of separate schools for white and colored children, which has been held to be a valid exercise of the legislative power even by courts of States where the political rights of the colored race have been longest and most earnestly enforced.

So the vice-chancellors of UK universities take the same view of women, in 2013, that the majority on the Court took of race in 1896. How very impressive.



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