Friday 15 October 2010

Is It ‘Cos I Is A Bloke?

John Mandy's retirement dreams have stalled after being told he can't go on the mechanics course he wanted because he's the wrong sex.

Mr Mandy, 58, of Stockport, Manchester, had sensibly planned to tune up his skills ahead of a trip of a lifetime around Europe in a VW camper van with wife Joy, 57.

But his plan failed as the one local evening class he could find - at Trafford College - only accepts women so that men can't 'intimidate' them in lessons.
Intimidate them how? Sexually?

No, reading between the lines, it seems that it might be their superior knowledge of things mechanical (though why anyone who already knew mechanics would be on a beginners course escapes me)…
Mr Mandy, who works at Kellogg's in Old Trafford, said: 'I just can't get my head around it.

'I could understand if it was swimming classes or something like that, but it would just be a group of people in overalls learning about cars. I don't see what difference it makes whether you're a man or a woman.

'I wouldn't be any sort of threat to anyone learning there. I doubt anyone knows as little about mechanics as me.'
But the college insists that there’s nothing untoward about this sort of segregation:
But Trafford College spokeswoman Anita Dolan said demand for female-only classes had triggered the admission policy and that Mr Mandy would be eligible for a new course starting in January.
Once, many years ago, women would have been fighting to be included in any ‘traditionally male’ activity.

Now, when they have the equality they’ve been fighting for at last, how do they use it? Whining that men ‘intimidate’ them….


Martha said...

And why is it ok to have 'women only' activities but not 'men only' in the first place?

I'm a she but it seems to me that men are discriminated against constantly.

Macheath said...

It's a perfect example of Orwell's doublethink in action.

Suggest that women are inferior to men in any capcity and the sisterhood will fly screeching at your throat, but it's quite acceptable to exclude men from a mechanics class because they' at it than women.

Well, it's either that or the organisers subscribe to the all-men-are-potential-rapists theory promulgated by Andrea Dworkin and, coincidentally, by a fair number of religious extremists - take your pick.

'Stockport, Manchester' suggests that the there might perhaps be a veiled truth behind his exclusion.

(btw, congratulations on your cabinet appointment - definitely the best person for the job!)

KenS said...

It always annoys me when public swimming pools have "women only" sessions, but no "men only" sessions. Why would I want a men only session? Because experience has taught me that a significant proportion of women like to swim two lengths and then hang around in the pool nattering, getting in the way of people would actually want to swim.

Jeff Wood said...

Well spotted Macheath.

I recall recommending the exquisite Julia for the Home Secretary post in a comment on the late, lamented NightJack. The job of Met Commissioner was coming vacant, and I asked NightJack to apply for it.

I had in mind myself as Lord Protector, but maybe the excellent Mark has that office pencilled in for himself. Fair enough.

Agreement with Martha. However I don't actually care, as I think of myself as an independent sort, so it doesn't matter; or, as I more often put it, Fuck 'em.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Is this actually legal?

I know we have Muslim-only swimming sessions and suchlike nonsense but that is because they are above the law as we all know.

But this sounds like a straight sex-discrimination case to me. Maybe he should suggest that he'll see them in court.

microdave said...

I demand to have "Male Only" cookery lessons - I don't see why I should be intimidated by the superior knowledge of a mere female....

Dick Puddlecote said...

You said it all in the denouement. Equality in all things ... until those calling for equality want a little bit more. Inequality is fine if it only affects 'others'.

NickM said...

Oh for pity's sake!

Yes, this is Nick. This is a geezer who studied physics and astrophysics and computation (and sundry manly stuff) and guess what? I shared offices with women with like tits and everything and (horrors!) I was even taught by women with like wombs and all that jazz.

Did we get on? Well, as much as I got on with the chaps I guess. Because you see we weren't doing "girl science" or "boy science" but science. I know it is shocking to those who wish to filter every aspect of the human experience through the filter of sexual politics but it just didn't work like that. It just didn't. It was like, you're stuffed on your vector analysis see Nick (me!) or Unix has had a cow see Sarah or Alex. The sub-routine for a compressible flow sim has gone pear-shaped - see Dominic or Mark.

I spent three years sharing an office with Sarah and Dom. Now, don't get me wrong here. Sarah had better legs but they were both top-notch astrophysicists and it wasn't the boys club or the girls club but the astrofizz club. Next door were the combustion theorists, a biomathematician and a couple of logicians. Both male and female and the hell with 'em!

To regard technical skills as being "sexed" is truly appalling. We were Astrofizz. That is all one needed to know.

We knew the disturbing function. I think that is enough. It bloody well was for me.

In parts both secular and canonical, real and imaginary.

To fourth order.

In all orbital elements.

Gene Pool Attendant said...

As Orwell said; all animals are equal....

Captain Haddock said...

Poor bastard ..

With a surname like "Mandy" he should get a course all to himself ..

On political or humanitarian grounds, I reckon he must have suffered enough already ..

blueknight said...

so the sensible shoe wearers don't get offended by a man mentioning 'screw' 'nuts' 'shaft' or asking 'have you ever seen a tool like this?'

JuliaM said...

"And why is it ok to have 'women only' activities but not 'men only' in the first place?"

Beats me. It would seem to fly in the face of...well, EVERYTHING that women's lib advocates fought for.

But then, modern feminism has strayed sop far from those ideals as to be almost unrecognisable.

"t's a perfect example of Orwell's doublethink in action."

Some animals are, indeed, more equal than others...

"btw, congratulations on your cabinet appointment - definitely the best person for the job!"

Cheers! ;)

"The job of Met Commissioner was coming vacant, and I asked NightJack to apply for it."

Oh, that would have been a sight to see! ACPO would probably have hired a hitman...

"Is this actually legal?"

It would appear to be not just legal, but encouraged...

JuliaM said...

"Inequality is fine if it only affects 'others'."

We really do seem to be through the looking glass with some of this stuff. It's like they just don't care about the contradictions, because no-one's bothered when they are pointed out...

"Because you see we weren't doing "girl science" or "boy science" but science."

Spot on!

"so the sensible shoe wearers don't get offended by a man mentioning 'screw' 'nuts' 'shaft' or asking 'have you ever seen a tool like this?'"


Primitive nuts said...

You always have to remember that, although I am a big fan of women and would marry none but one of their kind, I do know when feminists bleat they are allowed to say a woman's behaviour is 'natural' but with men it's all 'primitive.'

So, naturally, the women are doing it to better themselves. The men however, are merely doing it to satisfy some basic urge with "hands-on experience."

We men are such bastards: I must go and read the Grauniad to correct any primitive urges down below.

Macheath said...

JuliaM:'modern feminism has strayed so far from those ideals as to be almost unrecognisable

You're telling me! Don't be fooled by the blogging persona - I was once the first ever Women's Officer in a thoroughly male-dominated academic institution.

We thought we were campaigning so that future generations of women would have equal recognition for their achievements and fair treatment and dignity in the workplace.

Instead, we got 'Girl Power' and the assertion that pole-dancing is a valid career aspiration for female children, together with positive discrimination and all-female shortlists.

And let's not forget Gordon Brown proudly announcing that women outnumber men at university, as if this inequality were somehow cause for rejoicing.

Where did it all go wrong?