"In other words, Universities UK’s acquiescence in the practice of gender discrimination isn’t really about ‘deeply held religious belief’ at all (a stupid phrase; are all other beliefs just a bit of fun?) but is rather a zero-sum game of appeasing whoever can demand the most ‘rights’ based on perceived oppression.
The fact that there hasn’t been a greater degree of outrage about the authorities giving the green light to sexism on campus is testament to how comfortable many comrades have become defending bronze-aged bigotry against the enlightenment values of equality, universal rights and reason. I would be lying if I said I was shocked at the lack of outrage about Universities UK’s ruling. Sadly, however, I’m not”
- See more at: http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2013/11/27/why-are-we-silent-on-our-universities-kowtowing-to-bigotry/#.UpjZ-LliKFJ.facebook
An interesting piece which half gets it right other than the atheist overtones nodding to the Enlightenment whilst discussing faith in relation to education. It was Catholicism after all, “bronze age” faith, which established universities so the piece probably needs to take this into account. Nevertheless it’s beyond pathetic that gender segregation has been given a thumbs up in 2013.
But yeah. What a crock of shit going on quietly in British universities.
Last night as I drifted off to sleep (hahahahahaha! sleep?, drift off?) I started pondering whether or not I made the right decision to not go to University in my twenties and instead go live in Europe and South America to learn some languages (French and Spanish) and undertake charity work. At the time, I was in love which, ahem, influenced where I would learn the Spanish! When I returned I was single and went on to complete a bachelors degree eventually. Just not through the expected route.
Then I read this and concluded yes I made the right decision. And further more my son won’t be pursuing an education in a British university either. Brazil? Yes perhaps. But here in the UK?
NO. FUCKING. WAY
This is so sad, so incredibly mind blowing that it’s hard to fathom. It’s bad enough that I have to pretend women covered from head to toe in a black sack represent women’s “liberty” in Tower Hamlets - now… we plan on seriously discussing gender segregation in our universities.
I watched the brutal beating of a woman I lived with in Algeria for refusing to wear her niqab. She separated from her husband, lived in France and we went on “holiday” there together. It would take me too long to chart the horror story and after we lost touch I never managed to find out what happened to her. I was cut off. Years later we seem to think that somehow because women choose to blot out their womanhood in the UK, that precisely because it is done in the UK it represents freedom to choose. God, what twisted crap. Being told you need to comply and that you are a slag and will be cut out of your community if you don’t (by women aswell as men), isn’t by any stretch of the imagination ‘freedom’. And women who wax lyrical about the “joy” of hiding behind a veil aren’t promoting women’s liberation so much as endorsing a form of male patriarchy. A patriarchy that holds women 100% responsible for the violent sexual actions of men. There were plenty of women who thought it wrong that women should be given the vote and no longer be subservient to their husbands. I dare say they could concoct splendid reasons too, it doesn’t mean I have to go along with their views. These days I DO have to go along with it all. I must keep my mouth shut and say nothing because to do otherwise opens you up to the twisted and utterly fucked up accusation of racism.
So go ahead British universities, adopt gender segregation to boot and wax lyrical about why it’s just so bloody acceptable.
In a few years the student unions can all start discussing why women shouldn’t really even be in university and no doubt justify that one too.
Alternatively these wildly stupid student unions numpties could all just get a grip, knock that shit off and take their precious heads out from up their precious arses.
Clerical fascism isn’t freedom.
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew;
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Shakespeare Sonnet 98
Lovely dinner watching the beautiful London skies and my son gawping at the “moooon!”. A chat with other half who filled me in on stuff. We are now somewhat closer than I had imagined to a future unknown. In my head? plan for moving was 5 years. Reality? Looks like it is now 2015. America. Dinner next week with his friends already living there so I can find out from his wife what it will be like with a young family.
I hope and pray to God that 18 months to 2 years is long enough to help my parents and us organise and plan for this. Perhaps getting them on board with this plan this Christmas will help.
My experiences of the past few years (horrible phone calls from my mother to say my father has collapsed, while I held a newborn, was sleep deprived and had no way of reaching her for at least 24 hours) have informed this decision making progress. As has my friend Beth who emigrated to the States found a husband, had three babies then moved back to the UK as her parents aged and father was diagnosed with cancer.
My parents cruised through life health wise til their late 60s. Then all manner of hell broke loose. Just as they cared for me all my young life as I care for Joseph now and truly understand the mammoth task that is parenting, it feels natural to want to provide for them as they age further yet. I don’t envisage a future with our growing family where they are not central to it and where I never have to worry about being a zillion miles away from a distraught mother and sick father again. My sister yearns for the same. Her journey was ten times worse and now she has a toddler we worry constantly about how to get her here if and when things happen again.
Lots of planning to be done in 2014. All possible. Nothing is impossible. Oh and I want another baby, two babies actually but life hasn’t dealt me the easiest of hands in this department so it’s all down to prayers.
Tall order living?
Other half away for a week. Playdates and playgroups fill the week. Just as well because I really miss my family. No husband. No mother and father. No sister. And a son who knows this.
I fucking hate living so far apart from family and can only wish right now to find a way for us all to be together. Today - my child: “vovo!” (granddad) at an older man in the lift at the Museum of Childhood. Then tears when we walk away and I say “later vovo later”. Last night my mum calling me to check in on me and gutted she cannot help me out. Wondering at what Joseph is learning, saying now. How much he is changing. When we can do the next Skype (not the same at all). Me, curious about what it feels like to ever have a break. Not one since he was born. Not a single hour, a single day, a single night out. Nada. Could I leave my child with a perfect stranger for a break? Yes sure but I won’t. It doesn’t feel right. I honestly don’t know why. Like I yearned for this so much that to let go of him at all feels wrong. And with zero family about to help as they should be, enjoying his every growing moment, things like being on my own and coping are becoming second nature, things like Norovirus are dealt with whilst managing a toddler. Especially when we both had it. We took turns to shiver and throw up, then look after our son. No nanna to call on to take care of him for a few hours. And days my husband works abroad are managed without any help bar playdates. (Thank you Buddha Mamas!). My sis and her husband both dealing with a very sick child this past weekend - none of us could go help out. We just watch on Facebook for developments. I mean…that feels - awful. And will happen over and over again probably.
I loved living abroad in my twenties and thirties - but with a family of my own it is an altogether different experience on so many levels not least of all the lack of interaction my son has with his grandparents, aunties, uncles, little cousin. We will miss his cousin’s second birthday just as we missed his first and that royally sucks. This is the stuff memories are made of and families thrive on. This is the stuff of life goddamit.
One day, one day. I am proud of Alex though. He could really insist. Other places are calling out his future and work mates already emigrated are yanking his chain. But “we can hold on” he says. As we look for another way to keep at least some of us as close as possible while kiddo is so tenderly young. I at least want my parents to be a short flight away and nothing more.
I need another glass of wine.
I’m exhausted. But blessed. Always blessed.
I will never ever be defined as a person by what I do for a living, what job I have, where I work. My intelligence is not defined by the aforementioned either. I am so fed up with being judged for “staying at home”. We must be well off right? Nope. We have taken a huge hit at a precarious financial time in our lives. But nice again I could feel the judgment this morning after a play session and I have had enough!
Check this fella out
"Last week, I was at the pharmacy and a friendly lady approached me.
“Matt! How are those little ones doing?”
“Great! They’re doing very well, thanks for asking.”
“Good to hear. How ’bout your wife? Is she back at work yet?”
“Well she’s working hard at home, taking care of the kids. But she’s not going back into the workforce, if that’s what you mean.”
“Oh fun! That must be nice!”
“Fun? It’s a lot of hard work. Rewarding, yes. Fun? Not always.”
This one wasn’t in-your-face. It was only quietly presumptuous and subversively condescending.
The next incident occurred today at the coffee shop. It started in similar fashion; a friendly exchange about how things are coming along with the babies. The conversation quickly derailed when the woman hit me with this:
“So is your wife staying at home permanently?”
“Permanently? Well, for the foreseeable future she will be raising the kids full time, yes.”
“Yeah, mine is 14 now. But I’ve had a career the whole time as well. I can’t imagine being a stay at home mom. I would get so antsy. [Giggles] What does she DO all day?”
“Oh, just absolutely everything. What do you do all day?”
This guy nails it for me. THANK YOU.
This isn’t about judging others who have to work or choose to work - it is about not being judged for choosing motherhood full time like this is some kind of intelligence fail, female-as-valued-person fail.
"If your mother quit her role as mother, entire lives would be turned upside down; society would suffer greatly. The ripples of that tragedy would be felt for generations. If she quit her job as a computer analyst, she’d be replaced in four days and nobody would care. Same goes for you and me. We have freedom and power in the home, not the office. But we are zombies, so we can not see that.
Yes, my wife is JUST a mother. JUST. She JUST brings forth life into the universe, and she JUST shapes and molds and raises those lives. She JUST manages, directs and maintains the workings of the household, while caring for children who JUST rely on her for everything. She JUST teaches our twins how to be human beings, and, as they grow, she will JUST train them in all things, from morals, to manners, to the ABC’s, to hygiene, etc. She is JUST my spiritual foundation and the rock on which our family is built”
My son hangs around by the front door at around 6pm and says “daddy?”. And every day when we walk past the building at the end of the road where my parents stayed when they came to visit this Summer, he points and says “vovo e nana?” (granddad and nanny in Portuguese). And when I gently and positively say “later” to let him know he will see daddy later tonight or his grandparents again or soon, he bursts out crying. It’s amazing to me. And sad. Sad that he already knows how to miss people. I’ve made a firm promise to myself that somehow we will stitch this family together.
My sister says she doesn’t want Christmas to come too soon because as soon as it comes it will be over. So true. It’s on my mind a lot. A family Christmas. All of us. Little ones too. Together.
And we discussed and ruled out Palo Alto in California again this week. I expected it to come up again.