Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Bob Pitt: appeaser of gender separation

The decision of UK Universities to allow for gender separation  on campus to appease the wishes of misogynist preachers who seemingly are unable to control the sexual desires of either themselves or their fragile followers rightly led to a furore across the nation causing the Government to intervene.

You'd think that this decision would be welcomed by all progressive thinkers on the left right?


There's a website run by former Workers Revolutionary Party apparatchik, Bob Pitt, disingenuously called Islamophobia Watch.  The WRP, of which Pitt is a former member was hardly a good training ground to learn about such matters as women's rights, democracy or the dangers of pandering to the murky world of Middle Eastern politics.  Two words: Gerry Healy.

Still people change don't they? Well not always for the best. Islamophobia Watch is not a pleasant place to visit. It's a mix of real news about problems faced by Muslims with a hefty dose of bile aimed at anyone who dares to raise any criticism of any part of Islam whatsoever. That includes atheists and secularists who actually argue against all religion not that that's ever bothered Pitt himself.

Every critic, every criticism of Islam or any Muslim is "Islamophobic". and if you are noticed by this one-man  crusade you'll likely end up being painted as the "Great Satan" himself in the hallowed pages of Pitts view of the world.

Take the example of gender separation. Pitt writes:

When Universities UK published its guidelines on External Speakers in Higher Education Institutions last month it can hardly have anticipated the outcry that would result.

Pitt then goes on to tell us about a "clash" at a meeting held in  University College London. Quoting Channel 4 News he write:

“This was the moment one academic snapped. Professor Lawrence Krauss had come to debate ‘Islam versus atheism’, but not before a segregated audience. The clash dramatised a problem that has been quietly building on campuses – Islamist students insisting on meetings that separate men and women.”...

The reality is that gender separation was not imposed at the meeting.

Pitt then contradicts himself completely:

The audience was divided into three sections – one for women who wanted to sit separately, another for men, and a third mixed-gender section at the front .People attending the debate were free to sit where they chose.

Not sure how that doesn't count as "gender separation". And people were not "free to sit where they want" as two men were ejected for trying to do that. 

A spokesperson for iERA later explained that the two men were being ejected because they had forcibly tried to sit in the women’s section of the audience.

The men were both atheists, by the way, but what part of "women's section" was not gender separation?

It is quite obvious that the organisers were trying to separate people by gender and that's what we all object to. One of these women claimed it was her right to sit separately. Actually Its not. You are in a public space and sexual apartheid is not acceptable under any circumstances. Its' called equality and the Islamists are just trying to undermine that.

Women have fought in this country and elsewhere for equal rights, but it is clear that there is a concerted attempt in our centres of learning to reverse history. Remember these people think women are less than men and must be opposed at every turn.

Join the battle against misogyny here: Maryam Namazie is organising!

Pragna Patel, director of Southall Black Sisters, says

"For me, today is a particularly emotional moment. I stand here reminded of the heroic struggle waged against racial apartheid in South Africa, and yet find myself protesting against another form of apartheid that is also being justified with reference to that ubiquitous but flawed logic ‘separate but equal’. Who would have thought that in the 21st century, we would be protesting against policies adopted by institutions that should be in the business of producing and nurturing truth and knowledge, but which are instead endorsing the subjugation of one half of the human race? Who would have thought that in the 21st century, gender apartheid would become the new battleground?"

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