The strength of political consensus

Student Rights has a useful post on the victory, with many links for reference.

The news that Universities UK has announced that it will be withdrawing guidelines which excused gender segregation on UK campuses is a great success for those who have been campaigning on this issue since the guidelines were released in November.

It’s a success in this particular case and, even more, it shows that such a success is possible. So often there are protests but nothing changes; it’s very heartening to see a real result.

A demonstration outside UUK’s offices showed that people were willing to turn out on the streets to support the rights of women on campus, and this brought the issue to wider public attention.

This led to vocal opposition to this practice from both Labour and the Conservative Party, showing that this was a non-partisan issue, and giving the campaign the strength of political consensus.

There was a crucial intermediate step between the protest and the opposition from Labour and the Tories, and that was the coverage by Channel 4 and the Independent and then the BBC.

H/t Dave Ricks.


  1. RJW says

    Very encouraging news indeed, however it’s a skirmish in a very long war which started 1400 years ago.

    Islamisation is aided and abetted by ‘useful idiots’ who, in the name of ‘religious freedom’ and ‘anti-racism’ sell out liberal democracy. Of course it’s a non-partisan issue how could any democratic party support such a misogynistic practice?

    The most alarming aspect of this incident is that gender segregation was supported by Britain’s supposed intellectual elite.

  2. says

    @RJW – Britain’s supposed intellectual elite have often been treacherous, muddle-headed idiots. They’re the ones who embraced Stalinism, who were big supporters of eugenics, who thought Russia was The Future, who went in for pacifism when Nazis were running rampant, on the grounds that liberal democracy and fascism were basically the same thing. The intellectual elites have been right on a few issues – but very wrong on others.

    I’ve been totally heartened that the British political establishment have been unanimous in condemning this.

    You expect crap from sections of the progressive left. The Guardian carried one article by Polly Toynbee, a reliable old feminist and atheist but otherwise has been highly factual on the subject. Their pieces which just quote Dandridge/Gove/Cameron have had thread full of the anti-segregationists. At least they haven’t carried a piece by the usual simpering apologist in a hijab, as is their wont. The New Statesman has stayed schtum.

    But at least their silence is better than the usual apologetics on such topics.

  3. Shatterface says

    I think part of my intemperate response to this has been that this is a battle we were supposed to have aleady won

    I mean, you expect this shit from theocracies but expect that ultimately they’ll get their shit together and move in a less chauvinistic direction but you don’t expect that the UK would make a huge leap backwards.

    Maybe we’re just getting too complacent.

  4. Kels says

    You know what depresses me? That among those speaking out against gender segregation are probably TERFs who believe that a different sort of segregation should be enforced not just in universities, but the entire world.

  5. Maureen Brian says

    Whatever gave you that idea, Kels? Your thoughts seem to be exiting via the wrong orifice.

  6. Kels says

    Piss off with the cutesey insults, Maureen. The fact is, it’s a feminist issue, and it’s a depressing and quite serious though that some of the voices that do speak out here speak out in exactly the wrong way elsewhere. Maybe it’s just being sensitive after looking at some of the #sharedgirlhood tag earlier today and connecting it with the “End Gender Apartheid” sign above. I dunno.

    I am happy for progress, though.

  7. miraxpath says

    quite serious though that some of the voices that do speak out here speak out in exactly the wrong way elsewhere

    Care to substantiate that?

  8. RJW says

    @ 2 rosiebell,

    “You expect crap from sections of the progressive left.”- yes, in particular the demented notion that secular liberal democratic values are subordinate to the doctrine of ‘religious freedom’.

    @ 3 Maureen Brian,

    Interesting article, some of the hare-brained comments are also informative.

  9. medivh says

    @Shatterface, #4:

    The UK is a theocracy, controlled by God through the crown, worn by His agent Queen Elizabeth the Second. This whole liberal democracy bit is an illusion that has gained most of the qualities of reality by way of being a lie about society that was repeated often enough that most came to believe it is true. Further, I’m not sure how how democratic, a society can be when both the head of state and most of the seats in one of the houses of parliament are inherited by birthright. Or when the power to rule is derived by divine right rather than consent of the people.

  10. mildlymagnificent says

    I think part of my intemperate response to this has been that this is a battle we were supposed to have already won


    I really thought we’d more or less won these battles back in the 70s and 80s. All that was left to do was to fight through a few specific skirmishes on particular issues (maybe not so few once you add them all up) as well as spread that victory into areas / countries / regions that hadn’t been central up to that point.

    I never expected that my children, and possibly even their children, would be obliged to do all of it all over again.

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