Radfem2012 and Conway Hall

Conway Hall have put up an announcement regarding the conference. It seems that feminists are not allowed to meet unless there are males present (does anyone else’s mind go to eunuchs/harem?). “Not satisfied” is not the same as “does not conform to”, because they do not have grounds.

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Statement Regarding RadFem 2012

In consultation with the organisers of RadFem 2012 and our legal advisors, Conway Hall has decided not to allow the booking in July 2012 to proceed. This is because it does not conform to our Terms and Conditions for hiring rooms at Conway Hall. In addition, we are not satisfied it conforms with the Equality Act (2010), or reflects our ethos regarding issues of discrimination.

We had sought assurances that the organisers would allow access to all, in order to enable the event to proceed at the venue. We also expressed concern that particular speakers would need to be made aware that whilst welcoming progressive thinking and debate, Conway Hall seeks to uphold inclusivity in respect of both legal obligations and as a principle.

In the absence of the assurances we sought, the event in its proposed form could not proceed at Conway Hall.

That said, we recognise the breadth of debate to be had amongst the feminist and transgender communities and it is our sincere hope that there will be constructive and positive dialogue on these matters going forward.

In response to Sheila Jeffreys’ online Guardian article in their ‘Comment is free’ section, dated 29th May 2012, we would like it to be known that Conway Hall has in the past made clear that speakers / attendees at events for other hirers will not be permitted where we have felt that these individuals have expressed and may express (on our premises) views which conflict with our ethos, principles, and culture; the reference to David Irving was simply one of the examples given.

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13 thoughts on “Radfem2012 and Conway Hall

  1. I expect that the organizers will arrange for an alternate unpublicized venue. It will be a great relief for the women attending.

    Nothing the matter with organizing underground. Think of the French resistance during world war 2.

    Males are an occupying army.

    Another thought that springs to mind, a saying from a long time ago: “the revolution will not be advertised.”

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    • In some ways, the drama over this one all-female event, with just a few hundred women, could stand as the first step in a legal challenge against the Equality Act – at least to the point where clarification is made that born-females have the right to separate organising. Because as it stands now, unclear, if born-females have no right, then they effectively have no real rights under sex protection (the complaint we have had for some time, gender protection trumps sex protection).

      The response from Conway Hall has been one of backdoor chickenshit. As I said in the intro, “not satisfied” is not the same as “does not conform to”, but that is a smokescreen. The backdoor method was in banning Sheila Jeffreys from the venue, which they knew, being a key speaker, would cause the organisers to pull out of the venue anyway.

      Frankly, we should sue Conway Hall, for causing the disruption and inconvenience to the event, at such a late hour. I hope the organisers hit them for compensation.

      It has been announced on the website that the conference is going ahead at a different location.

      But in the meantime of course, there is the underground option, which we have generally done anyway.

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      • I hope they have the wits to not put the physical location on the internet, unless they want to start another circus. (I can say that … I’m the bad cop, i.e. the separatist.)

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  2. Organizing underground doesn’t mean we are being silenced. It just means that we don’t have the media peering up our butts.

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  3. Religious beliefs also trump sex protection as females. It is perfectly acceptable for orthodox religions to segregate on the basis of sex, as they have done for eons.

    Here is a copy of the complaint sent in by one formerly Muslim woman:

    How disappointing that you have opted to cancel the RadFem 2012 event organizers’ rental of your facilities after a vicious and slanderous online campaign designed to silence women into submission. I do so hope that when you entertain Muslim speakers in the future, you ensure that the Muslim women and men are seated in a fully integrated fashion, rather than the unfair and oppressive sex segregated fashion that the attendees are forced into at Islamic events throughout the nation. As a formerly Muslim woman, I have yet to cease being disappointed at the briskness with which allegedly secular facilities managers hasten to conform to conservative Muslim demands for sex segregated facilities and seating. Or their ignorance in inviting speakers who process heinous views within the Muslim community to speak to the public as a mark of dialogue and respect.

    In fact, it would be only ethical and fair and non sexist if you were first to take a thorough inventory of the scheduled speakers’ beliefs about women, gays, non Muslims and specifically Jews to best ensure that *all* of your invited speakers are acceptable, not just women who have run afoul of a campaign spearheaded by those raised with all that male privilege entails.

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  4. Ironic is it not that Sheila Jeffreys’ latest book Man’s Dominion: The Rise of Religion and the Eclipse of Women’s Rights focuses and analyses the issue of how religion is increasingly being used to trump all women’s human rights. I quote as follows from Amazon’s page for this book:

    ‘Focusing on the three monotheistic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam, this book examines common anti-women attitudes such as ‘male-headship’, impurity of women, the need to control women’s bodies, and their modern manifestations in multicultural Western states.’ It points to the incorporation of religious law into legal systems, faith schools, and campaigns led by Christian and Islamic organisations against women’s rights at the U.N., and explains how religious rights threaten to subvert women’s rights.’

    Contained within this book are women’s first hand accounts of how religion is being used to oppress them and these women’s experiences are not all from the white western christian experience. Equally telling is that yes white powerful male dominated institutions are falling over themselves to put patriarchal religious concerns first and women’s rights last – or rather to see only a male myopic perspective wherein man (sic) is accorded his right to practice patriarchal religion

    And not forgetting that other matter – men claiming to be really women and this is being used to deny us all female born women our fundamental right of meeting without the mandatory presence of our male oppressors!

    Similar to a pincer movement – male supremacy is using religion and men’s claims they are really women to eradicate the tiny rights we women managed to wrest out of the hands of men. But we will not be silenced – because there will always be some women refusing to be men’s submissive handmaidens.

    South Place Ethical Society – what a joke! Perhaps they should change their name to South Place Ethical Society for Males – women not allowed!

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  5. Perhaps we should turn up at masonic meetings, dressed as men, and demand entrance. Then use their refusal as an example, that access for all is a bullshit concept. Every time the trans community refuse to let us hold our meetings we should bother the masons, let them take on ‘the right to exclusivity’ issue.

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  6. Pingback: Radfem2012 and Conway Hall’s ‘ethics’ « Radfem Groundhog Day

  7. Pingback: Flying by Kate Millet. Part 1: Japan « Cherryblossomlife

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