IT IS 2017 and WE NEED EQUALITY, nobody is disputing that. The United Nations aims to eliminate Gender Inequality by 2030 through the sustainable goals for development. Our union has always been at the forefront of creating equality, from gender neutral toilets to the amount of campaigns we run each year. We have a female led SAC, I believe a female majority on council and an all-female delegation to the national conference this year. BUT why can’t we have the discussion to give males a voice!
The unions mission statement is ‘To make life better for students’ and in the memorandum & articles of association of the union it states that the union will
- ensure that the diversity of its membership is recognised and that equal access is available to all members of whatever origin or orientation
- pursue its aims and objectives independent of any political party or religious group and
- pursue equal opportunities by taking positive action within the law to facilitate participation of groups discriminated against by society
These articles are the unions law basically, and all the trustees sign an agreement saying they will abide by these articles. Well right now the union is failing, it is excluding a portion of its membership and alienating them, there is not EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES! We have a position purely for females to represent females, we elect two delegates who are specifically female to represent females to go to conference. But do we do that for men, NO!
I’m calling on all Trustees and Council Members to follow these articles of association, that you all just amended and agreed to at the last council session and facilitate a male rep on council. Let’s look at the points raised by the big idea!
We provide safe spaces all the time, to a wide range of students, why should males be excluded from this? The safe spaces out there, aren’t safe for everyone, they never have been. We’re not saying segregate women and men, it’s providing the option of having somewhere safe to go. Look at this way, when the union got a Gender-Neutral Toilet, there was a lot of backlash, saying they were taking away regular toilets, but that wasn’t true, they were simply providing another option for people to use.
Let me start by saying not everyone feels comfortable campaigning, it’s not something that comes natural to a lot of people. I love to campaign but even I find it uncomfortable talking about these issues, I find it hard to go out there and deliver information on this subject because it’s something we would naturally talk about. Yes, there are plenty of services out there for issues like, same for the issues that women have, but the difference is that we lead campaigns around of the female issues, led by the full-time officers or council members. But where is the male rep to do that for us?
The author of the other article said “Grow some balls and campaign”. That phrase is very sexist and offensive just like telling someone to “Man Up”. You talk about a patriarchal society, then why are you upholding that with that sentence?
Suicide and Depression
This is a big one, sure there are services out there, but until you have been in that place, you can’t say “Oh yeah, just go to the doctor” or “UCLan has plenty of services available” because it’s not that easy to talk about, and maybe a male rep won’t solve the problem, maybe it will just provide people that other option, to talk to someone that is a peer, instead of someone unknown.
It does not amplify that men can only talk to men or women can only talk to women! It says, go talk to whoever you feel comfortable talking to, whether that’s a man or a woman, having that option there is beneficial to everyone.
Also, yes there is a disability rep but a lot of people with mental health issues wont regard themselves as having a disability and if someone does not define themselves as having a disability, you can’t force that on them
Non-Binary and Gendered Appearance & Trans Men
It’s true, you can’t tell what someone’s gender is by the clothes they wear but that doesn’t stop everyone from assuming or judging in their heads. Yes, there is a trans rep and that was fought for, after years of trying to get one. But you can’t force someone into a box and say speak to that person. Having a male rep gives that other option there for someone else to talk to. We have lots of school presidents and the reason why we do, is because every course is different, every course needs a voice just like every gender
Once again, not everyone feels comfortable campaigning, especially around issues as big as these. If men speak up a lot of the time they are shot back down and told to go away. Sure, the advice centre is a great place to go to, so is the police and so is counselling but you try getting people to listen to that, they are scared and don’t want to have ‘therapy’ or be interrogated by the police. Having a man’s reps allows a friendly face there for people to talk to and let them campaign on their behalf.
Women dominated courses
It Is a big problem, we have women led courses and male led courses but the big difference is that are plenty of campaigns going on trying to get women into STEM subjects or male dominated areas. There are not the same for men. It is based on interests; some people are just naturally not interested in certain areas. But we need to campaign, having a man’s rep allows that campaigning to happen, to try and get more males into women led courses like childcare or nursing. Just like how we campaign to get women into STEM subjects.
Men are often told to “Man Up” and get over it or as the author of the article against this idea likes to put it “Grow Some Balls”. It isn’t right and a mans rep can be there to help with this issue
OVERALL, WE NEED MORE REPRESENTATION, to represent all students, including those who are discriminated against by society. In 2017, men are discriminated against in a wide range of areas, from Education to Crime. It’s not right. Yes, men historically have been given the power, is that right? NO! But is it right to hand over the keys to the kingdom to all women? Equally no! There needs to be equal representation on both sides.
I ask for any student to vote for this idea by clicking here
I’m calling on the board of trustees, the students council and the full-time officers to facilitate a man’s rep as soon as possible because otherwise you are failing in your duties as representatives of this union to live up to the articles of association set down as company law to regulate our charity. If you do not, then you are in breach of company law, WHICH YOU ALL SIGNED AND AGREED TO!