This Is What Happens When You Ban Straight White Men From a Conference on Equality
In a move to maintain productive discussion about the difficulties minorities face daily, the University and Colleges Union in the U.K. has banned straight, white men from its annual equality conference to be held at the University of Greenwich.
While it might seem a counterintuitive move for a meeting on equality, according to Reuters, the goal is to create a "safe space" in which female, LGBT, disabled and black individuals can talk openly about topics like sexual harassment, racial discrimination and salary inequities.
"Members felt that it was important that those from different minority groups should be able to meet to discuss the unique hurdles they face together," a spokesperson for the UCU said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Able-bodied, straight, white men are rarely confronted with the topics the conference is designed to tackle, which is why a motion raised to allow all UCU members to take part in the summit was denied. The sentiment seems to be that, while inclusivity is a pretty thought, in reality straight white men could commandeer the conversation.
Straight white men unaffected by the UCU's decision are naturally peeved about the ban, one blogger at American Thinker goes so far as to compare those left out of this year's conference to "Jews under Hitler ... singled out and denied their humanity because of all the advantages they are supposed to have." Which, let's face it, straight white men do enjoy a lot of advantages. So that's a bridge or ten too far.
Commenters on LGBT site PinkNews also took issue with the UCU's ban, pointing out the inherent contradiction in the idea. "Yes, please. Let's teach a lesson about equality and inclusion by actually prohibiting a group from attending," wrote oregonduckbrad, who would appear to be a white male.
That point makes sense, but then there's also this one: Doesn't feel great being left out of something because of gender, orientation, skin color or physical ability, does it?