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It's a man's world - just when you thought women were taking it over


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#21 Martyn Sadler

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 04:12 PM

I agree with you if "not allowed". Personally I wouldn't particularly want to choose the single gender idea either given free choice. I just don't see what's wrong in saying go where you want, there are facilities for you to follow your religious beliefts if that is what you choose. Much like Sunday working, Christians can opt out if they choose for religious reasons, but that doesn't mean that all shops have to shut for the rest of us.

What happened in this specific case depends on if you believe Richard Dawkins, Zayd Tutton, or some other version of events.


I have absolutely no objection to Muslims wanting to segregate themselves. I would expect to see that practice in mosques, just as I would expect to take my shoes off when going into a mosque.

And if this event had been staged in a mosque, then the seating arrangements could have been determined by the mosque officials.

What is notable, however, is that it was a debate open to a wide audience that took place on UCL premises.

According to Zayd Tutton of the Islamic Education and Research Academy: "There were three sections, as agreed with UCL prior to the debate. This was agreed clearly with UCL representatives.

"Muslim women choosing to adhere to orthodox Islamic principles in sitting in their own area had their own section. As for those who wanted to sit together, male or female, they had their own section where they freely mixed and sat together from the beginning."

In other words, the University, which hasn't denied Mr Tutton's version of events, agreed to the segregation of its audience. And, as Mr Tutton doesn't say, the women were at the back.

I don't think an academic institution, particularly one that was an enabler of women when they had few opportunities for higher education, should agree to this sort of demand.

#22 gazza77

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 05:54 PM

I have absolutely no objection to Muslims wanting to segregate themselves. I would expect to see that practice in mosques, just as I would expect to take my shoes off when going into a mosque.

And if this event had been staged in a mosque, then the seating arrangements could have been determined by the mosque officials.

What is notable, however, is that it was a debate open to a wide audience that took place on UCL premises.

According to Zayd Tutton of the Islamic Education and Research Academy: "There were three sections, as agreed with UCL prior to the debate. This was agreed clearly with UCL representatives.

"Muslim women choosing to adhere to orthodox Islamic principles in sitting in their own area had their own section. As for those who wanted to sit together, male or female, they had their own section where they freely mixed and sat together from the beginning."

In other words, the University, which hasn't denied Mr Tutton's version of events, agreed to the segregation of its audience. And, as Mr Tutton doesn't say, the women were at the back.

I don't think an academic institution, particularly one that was an enabler of women when they had few opportunities for higher education, should agree to this sort of demand.


I guess I'm on my own here. I don't see the issue of those who wanted to be segregated could be but those who didn't want to be segregated were not forced to be. Happy to agree to disagree though.

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#23 Bleep1673

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:05 PM

Are the Muslims who attended this event going to turn round and say to the establishment of UCL that, if you can segregate for a debate like this you must be able to segregate for normal lectures, even down to eliminating females from lectures as they shouldn't be entiltled to education?
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#24 Johnoco

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:42 PM

I guess I'm on my own here. I don't see the issue of those who wanted to be segregated could be but those who didn't want to be segregated were not forced to be. Happy to agree to disagree though.

Hang on, whites in South Africa *wanted* to be segregated from blacks. That doesn't make it acceptable. (I'm not implying you would argue it does)

Surely the principle is the same?

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#25 gazza77

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:53 PM

Hang on, whites in South Africa *wanted* to be segregated from blacks. That doesn't make it acceptable. (I'm not implying you would argue it does)

Surely the principle is the same?


The principal is only the same if those who want to mix can but those who don't want to can't. My SA history knowledge isn't great but did they have a choice to do either?

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#26 Martyn Sadler

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 11:39 AM

I guess I'm on my own here. I don't see the issue of those who wanted to be segregated could be but those who didn't want to be segregated were not forced to be. Happy to agree to disagree though.


The girls love being at the back of the hall, just as the black population of Alabama used to love being at the back of the bus in the 1950s and 1960s. The governor of Alabama assured us it was true, and, after all, Rosa Parks was just a troublemaker.

#27 gazza77

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:11 PM

The girls love being at the back of the hall, just as the black population of Alabama used to love being at the back of the bus in the 1950s and 1960s. The governor of Alabama assured us it was true, and, after all, Rosa Parks was just a troublemaker.


There is however a difference in the two examples though. Blacks were forced to be segregated in the 50s and 60s, where as no one was forcing the girls to sit at the back, merely providing the opportunity to do so should they wish - assuming the statement in the Guardian article is truthful.

I'll try to simplify my viewpoint. Forced segregation is in my opinion wrong. Offering facilities for those who wish to voluntarily segregate is in my opinion acceptable, only providing that those who do not wish to segregate are provided with equal facilities, and those who choose to be segregated do so at their own free will.

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#28 Johnoco

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:16 PM

gazza, given that security guards moved some guys who opted to sit amongst the women, how exactly was it free will? Sounds like 'sit here or else' to me.

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#29 hindle xiii

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:31 PM

gazza, given that security guards moved some guys who opted to sit amongst the women, how exactly was it free will? Sounds like 'sit here or else' to me.

Yeah but one report says they wanted to break the conformity and be at ease. Other reports say they were loutish and making inappropriate advances.

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#30 Martyn Sadler

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:43 PM

There is however a difference in the two examples though. Blacks were forced to be segregated in the 50s and 60s, where as no one was forcing the girls to sit at the back, merely providing the opportunity to do so should they wish - assuming the statement in the Guardian article is truthful.

I'll try to simplify my viewpoint. Forced segregation is in my opinion wrong. Offering facilities for those who wish to voluntarily segregate is in my opinion acceptable, only providing that those who do not wish to segregate are provided with equal facilities, and those who choose to be segregated do so at their own free will.


Segregating an audience at a public debate, and restricting women to the back of the room, whether or not they want to sit there, should be so offensive to an academic institution, especially one that in the past has championed women's rights, that it should dismiss a request to do so with the contempt it deserves.

#31 gazza77

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:45 PM

gazza, given that security guards moved some guys who opted to sit amongst the women, how exactly was it free will? Sounds like 'sit here or else' to me.


I agree, in that case it would be wrong.

It depends which side of the story you believe, that told by Richard Hawkins in his blog or that told by Zayd Tutton in his quote in the Guardian. They can't both be right, but the truth could lie elsewhere.

The concept as I outlined I don't have an issue with. In this particular example, it depends on where the truth lies as to whether I'd view it as right or wrong. As there are conflicting stories regarding the events, without having been there, I have no way to say for sure what the actual truth is.

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#32 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:46 PM

I have absolutely no objection to Muslims wanting to segregate themselves. I would expect to see that practice in mosques, just as I would expect to take my shoes off when going into a mosque.

And if this event had been staged in a mosque, then the seating arrangements could have been determined by the mosque officials.

What is notable, however, is that it was a debate open to a wide audience that took place on UCL premises.

According to Zayd Tutton of the Islamic Education and Research Academy: "There were three sections, as agreed with UCL prior to the debate. This was agreed clearly with UCL representatives.

"Muslim women choosing to adhere to orthodox Islamic principles in sitting in their own area had their own section. As for those who wanted to sit together, male or female, they had their own section where they freely mixed and sat together from the beginning."

In other words, the University, which hasn't denied Mr Tutton's version of events, agreed to the segregation of its audience. And, as Mr Tutton doesn't say, the women were at the back.

I don't think an academic institution, particularly one that was an enabler of women when they had few opportunities for higher education, should agree to this sort of demand.

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#33 gazza77

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:46 PM

Segregating an audience at a public debate, and restricting women to the back of the room, whether or not they want to sit there, should be so offensive to an academic institution, especially one that in the past has championed women's rights, that it should dismiss a request to do so with the contempt it deserves.


I think you're missing my point. One of the two quoted articles denies that women were forced to sit at the back. If that article is the truth, then I have no issue. If it is a lie, then there is a certainly an issue for the reasons you state.

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#34 Johnoco

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:55 PM

I think you're missing my point. One of the two quoted articles denies that women were forced to sit at the back. If that article is the truth, then I have no issue. If it is a lie, then there is a certainly an issue for the reasons you state.


I'm not comfortable with it at all. What is true is that there was some form of segregation and the UCL, being what it is should hold no truck with it. Arguing about who wanted to sit where is irrelevant, it shouldn't be happening. It shouldn't happen anywhere IMO but if that's the practice in mosques etc, that's one thing, liberal establishments should tell them to jog on.

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#35 gazza77

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:06 PM

I'm not comfortable with it at all. What is true is that there was some form of segregation and the UCL, being what it is should hold no truck with it. Arguing about who wanted to sit where is irrelevant, it shouldn't be happening. It shouldn't happen anywhere IMO but if that's the practice in mosques etc, that's one thing, liberal establishments should tell them to jog on.


We clearly have different view on it, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Providing facilities for those of a particular faith, such as prayer rooms and chapels in hospitals, provided that it does not impact upon those who do not believe, is something that I don't have a problem with. Some people feel that religion should simply be kept out of the public arena and that people should practise their faith as a matter of privacy. Different views, neither necessarily wrong. :)

Edited by gazza77, 15 March 2013 - 02:07 PM.

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#36 Johnoco

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:15 PM

We clearly have different view on it, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Providing facilities for those of a particular faith, such as prayer rooms and chapels in hospitals, provided that it does not impact upon those who do not believe, is something that I don't have a problem with. Some people feel that religion should simply be kept out of the public arena and that people should practise their faith as a matter of privacy. Different views, neither necessarily wrong. :)

With respect, you are talking about freedom of worship there. Not the right to segregate public meetings.

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

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#37 gazza77

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:27 PM

With respect, you are talking about freedom of worship there. Not the right to segregate public meetings.


I accept they are slightly different concepts, but in my view the principle behind my comment is the same; as long as it doesn't impact upon someone who doesn't want to follow the particular belief in question, then it's not an issue. I'll leave it there anyway, as I think we're both beginning to go round in circles repeating the same points, when we're not going to agree! :)

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#38 John Rhino

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:58 PM

I think you're missing my point. One of the two quoted articles denies that women were forced to sit at the back. If that article is the truth, then I have no issue. If it is a lie, then there is a certainly an issue for the reasons you state.

The speaker, Krauss, certainly felt there was segregation, as he said, he thought strongly about pulling out and now wishes he had to create the publicity. It was only good manners that stopped him.
He did protest and it was announced that the room was not segregated, at which point some people moved
The organisation that arranged the discussion has now been banned - which should be the last word on the subject.

Edited for typos

Edited by John Rhino, 15 March 2013 - 03:00 PM.

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