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Oxford ends women-only fellowship after university rules that it breaches equality law (the move has prompted a backlash from previous recipients)


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#1 letsrewindit

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:13 AM (Edited by letsrewindit, 12 January 2019 - 10:14 AM.)

Oxford has ended its women-only fellowship after the university’s administrators said it breached equality law.
 
The Joanna Randall-MacIver junior research fellowship, established in the 1930s for women studying fine arts, music or literature, was deemed to be “discriminatory on the grounds of gender” by Oxford’s Council.
 
This is the first time that the university has opened up a historically female-only fellowship to male applicants, and the move has prompted a backlash from previous recipients.
 
The decision means that other research fellowships could be under threat, including those run by Cambridge's female-only college Newnham. The College say that its women-only appointments comply with the Equality Act.
 
Professor Elizabeth Cullingford, a Randall-MacIver fellow in the 1970s who is now chair of English at Texas University, said: “I feel pretty strongly that having one or two things that are special to woman aren’t going to threaten any great power structure at Oxford.
 
“The history there is totally male – for years women couldn’t even be in the university and couldn’t be fellow of a college.”
 
She said that women do still have some “catching up” to do with men, adding: “We may have parity in numbers but do we have parity on power? I doubt that. I am the first female chair of the English department and Texas University has been around since the 19th century.”
 
The fellowship is funded by the estate of British-born archaeologist and Oxford graduate David Randall-MacIver, who set it up in his wife Joanna's name after her death in 1932 and stipulated that it should only be awarded to female academics.
 
Former recipients include Jennifer Mundy, The Tate's head of Art Historical Research, and Georgina Herrmann OBE, an eminent archaeologist and the first woman to discover the Afghanistan’s Lapis Lazuli mines in the 1960s. 
 
Alexandra Wilson, a professor of music and cultural history at Oxford Brookes, said that her Randall-MacIver fellowship in 2004 transformed her career in academia.  
 
“These posts are like gold dust, they are highly competitive. When I was applying it was very common to find music departments that were entirely male. Things have improved, but possibly not to full equality,” she told The Daily Telegraph.
 
“I do think it’s a rather regrettable consequence of a well-intended law that this opportunity for women should be removed.”
 
Another former recipient, now in her 80s, said: "I would like to see it continuing as women only because I think it is sometimes quite tough for women - less tough than it used to be, but it’s nice to have one or two things that are women only.
 
 “On the other hand I am not sure it has swung rather far the other way. I don’t really like positive discrimination, I think that’s insulting. We can stand on our own feet and fight our corner.”
 
Under the Employment Equality Act 2010, employers are not permitted to advertise or recruit to posts open to one gender only.
 
There are exceptions to this which allow for “positive action” to be taken in favour of a particular group if they are underrepresented in the relevant field of work.
 
Catherine Casserley, a barrister at Cloisters Chambers and one of the country’s leading experts in discrimination law, said that any institutions which have women-only fellowships will now have to reconsider.
 
She said: "What universities are going to have to do is look at their scholarships and fellowships see whether legally, in light of the Equality Act, they can offer them to only one gender and see whether exceptions or positive action provisions applies.”
 
A spokesman for Oxford University said: “As a consequence of the [Employment Equality] Act, Oxford University has changed the terms of a number of historically-created trusts so they are no longer gender-specific. The Randall-MacIver Fellowship is the most recent example.
 
“The University is very much aware of the lack of women in academic roles at many levels and is working to end the imbalance as a priority.
 
“Several initiatives to promote equality, including strengthened recruitment processes and professional development programmes for female academics, are now well-established and beginning to show an impact at all levels, including professorial posts.”  
------------
 
Reminds me of an incident where a female and male acquaintance talking about mandatory military conscription.
Female: I want equality!
Male: then you should serve mandatory military conscription too
Female: No! Only males should serve mandatory military conscription
Me: imstupid.png
 
 

 


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#2 HRH Ayyu

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:20 AM (Edited by HRH Ayyu, 12 January 2019 - 01:38 PM.)

welll equality is equality.

 

edit: someone made a point about it beng okay if the number of women is very low than it should be okay. in situation like that i see no problem. but if the have to abide by equality laws it can be tricky.


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#3 capital

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:25 AM

Well in my country women willingly have joined a non-mandatory army, so...

 

On the topic - I think the scholarship should be maintained for women until about 50-50 balance of men and women in academic departments is achieved. Women have been historically discriminated when it came to higher-studies and jobs, so there needs to be some measures that help them make up.

 

Also, equality is probably the most misconstrued work in social studies nowadays - it is an ideal we have to strive to relentlessly, but not something that denies historical or biological reality.


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#4 A h n

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:29 AM

I think it's a nice change. Equality is equality, not having "one or two things that are women only"


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#5 coval

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:30 AM

I'm all for equality.


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#6 Nip&Hip

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:37 AM

This is why equality is a reductive term that should have never been the main framework to understanding and approaching social injustice issues.
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#7 choiyujins

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:44 AM

heyo

 

iisc_equalityequity-1.png


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#8 Alena's foot worshipper

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:50 AM

I think it's a nice change. Equality is equality, not having "one or two things that are women only"


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#9 letsrewindit

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:06 AM (Edited by letsrewindit, 12 January 2019 - 11:08 AM.)

Well in my country women willingly have joined a non-mandatory army, so...

Voluntary conscription is different from mandatory conscription. Males in my country are conscripted against their will.

If the said female acquaintance wanted gender equality. It also means having mandatory conscription for females. You can't choose what you like or don't like when you want gender equality
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#10 capital

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:19 AM

Voluntary conscription is different from mandatory conscription. Males in my country are conscripted against their will.

If the said female acquaintance wanted gender equality. It also means having mandatory conscription for females. You can't choose what you like or don't like when you want gender equality

I am against mandatory conscription. The thing is, it isn't equality to think that if men suffer women must too!

 

It has to be that - if any matter of national suffering (war or natural calamity) has arisen both genders should share in the load, to the best of their abilities. In the ideal condition, men who cannot (for physical or emotional reasons) join in army service should be set to other work - police, emergency medical training, etc. And capable and willing women should be invited to fill the empty spots.

(I hope you realise that due to biological sex - women in general tend to be physically weaker and smaller, and have a higher chance of encountering sexual violence - it makes sense for men to be preferred for military work).


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#11 freya

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:32 AM

The percentage of male to female academics in arts is actually amazing- so dominantly male when undergrad is full of women. A single scholarship like this wouldn't make a dent at all but likewise shouldn't be seen as a marker for discriminatory practice- it existing is not going to hurt anything but male ego that already will look at the demographics in academia and cite some bullshit about varying gender characteristics.
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#12 A h n

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 12:15 PM

It would be nice if we could respect others' opinions imstupid.png


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#13 Jinsus

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 12:34 PM

We don't need women only or men only things anymore. Good change imo.


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#14 Lugoose

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 12:49 PM

I am against mandatory conscription. The thing is, it isn't equality to think that if men suffer women must too!

 

the tea has been served and it is delicious

 

nC03VTD.gif


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#15 Mark Lee

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 06:16 PM

I'm a feminist and right now I'm currently sending hate tweets to oxford.
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#16 TheBigMermaid

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 08:00 PM

Voluntary conscription is different from mandatory conscription. Males in my country are conscripted against their will.

If the said female acquaintance wanted gender equality. It also means having mandatory conscription for females. You can't choose what you like or don't like when you want gender equality

 

Do women in your country insist on men getting conscripted?


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#17 letsrewindit

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:01 PM (Edited by letsrewindit, 12 January 2019 - 11:09 PM.)

I am against mandatory conscription. The thing is, it isn't equality to think that if men suffer women must too!

It has to be that - if any matter of national suffering (war or natural calamity) has arisen both genders should share in the load, to the best of their abilities. In the ideal condition, men who cannot (for physical or emotional reasons) join in army service should be set to other work - police, emergency medical training, etc. And capable and willing women should be invited to fill the empty spots.
(I hope you realise that due to biological sex - women in general tend to be physically weaker and smaller, and have a higher chance of encountering sexual violence - it makes sense for men to be preferred for military work).

Tldr: I don't want the negatives of equality but wanted to treated as an equal.

No, you don't want equality, you want privilege of being a woman.

There are many examples of countries making female mandatory conscription work. Mandatory conscription does not mean just army and holding guns or going to war. Woman can be deployed in non combat units for army/air force navy/ police nits. They can also be deployed as paramedics.

P.s. I am a woman. I just dont understand why some women in my country is so selfish. Why do they make so much noise when the govt wants to give a little more benefits to men who are forcefully conscripted against their will. Compared to male who are of my age, I dont have to waste 2 years of my life and I graduate earlier, earned 2 years more of income than them.
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#18 capital

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 12:46 AM

Tldr: I don't want the negatives of equality but wanted to treated as an equal.

No, you don't want equality, you want privilege of being a woman.

There are many examples of countries making female mandatory conscription work. Mandatory conscription does not mean just army and holding guns or going to war. Woman can be deployed in non combat units for army/air force navy/ police nits. They can also be deployed as paramedics.

P.s. I am a woman. I just dont understand why some women in my country is so selfish. Why do they make so much noise when the govt wants to give a little more benefits to men who are forcefully conscripted against their will. Compared to male who are of my age, I dont have to waste 2 years of my life and I graduate earlier, earned 2 years more of income than them.

I wrote - "And capable and willing women should be invited to fill the empty spots". I and you agree on the basics of the conscription - both men and women when required must undertake the jobs necessary for national security. And they, can be army officers (of which many units are non-combative too), police, medics, code-breakers, intelligence etc.

 

Women who are objecting also suffer from the expectations inflicted by patriarchy - the idea that girls are delicate and stupid and can't be trusted to do anything responsible on their own is a damaging stereotype propagated by the masculinist structure that wants women to remain 'pregnant and barefoot' all their life.

But, biologically being a girl (and unless you're childfree), as soon as you get pregnant and start on the process of childrearing - you'll waste about a year per child not being able to work during later months of pregnancy and first months of breast-feeding post-birth. And, it is known even in the most developed countries that women earn about 3/4th to 1/2 of what men earn throughout their life. Taking that into account, do you think getting just two years of extra work-experience makes a substantial difference to your income?


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#19 Brittany

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 05:20 PM (Edited by Brittany, 13 January 2019 - 05:27 PM.)

I don't think people have a really good grasp of historical trends whenever they cite trends from decades, even centuries ago. Senior roles are bound to be dominated by men but that stems from a problem that had taken place in, say, the 1980s (the time at which they were educated); when you distress over things like being under represented, it's like you're distressing over a 1980s issue, and not a 2019 one. 

 

Why, I must say, people have a really poor grasp on time.


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#20 pandabear

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 06:59 PM

Tldr: I don't want the negatives of equality but wanted to treated as an equal.
No, you don't want equality, you want privilege of being a woman.
There are many examples of countries making female mandatory conscription work. Mandatory conscription does not mean just army and holding guns or going to war. Woman can be deployed in non combat units for army/air force navy/ police nits. They can also be deployed as paramedics.
P.s. I am a woman. I just dont understand why some women in my country is so selfish. Why do they make so much noise when the govt wants to give a little more benefits to men who are forcefully conscripted against their will. Compared to male who are of my age, I dont have to waste 2 years of my life and I graduate earlier, earned 2 years more of income than them.


You think any of what you wrote is that simple? Why don't men demand to be treated like women (no mandatory conscription) instead of women being treated like men (everyone has mandatory conscription)? They aren't demanding women be forced because they feel like their being discriminated against. They're doing it to punish and silence women for asking for rights. This is why it's always brought up as a counter argument to things like wage gaps or maternity rights.
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