Equality Conference Bans Straight White Males To Create ‘Safe Space’


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A lecturers’ union in England banned straight, white, able-bodied males from participating in an equality conference in order to create a “safe space” for conference attendees.

In order to attend the majority of the University and College Union’s equality conference, prospective attendees had to identify which “protected characteristic” they posses, such as being gay, disabled, or non-white.

An amendment to allow all elected union officers — regardless of their personal characteristics — participate in the conference was voted down by union leaders, according to Times Higher Education.

Organizers divided the conference into four sections: women, disabled, LGBT, and ethnics minorities. Attendees who didn’t possess the required “protected characteristic” would be unable to attend that section, in order to create a “safe space.” In other words, straight, white, able-bodied men would be barred from attending any of the sections.

Northumbria professor Emma-Jane Phillips, who sponsored the failed amendment, worried that union representatives would have to lie about themselves in order to attend.

“Equality reps are passionate about equality regardless of their own situation,” she told Times Higher Ed.

“To infer that someone does not understand someone’s situation just because you don’t tick a box is insulting,” she said. “It is ridiculous that people who regard equality as their life can’t attend our equality conference.”

Ciara Doyle, a senior lecturer at the University of Greenwich, reportedly threatened to boycott the conference if it was open to all characteristics of people because it would no longer be a “safe space.”

“We see in the union movement that…some people’s voices are far louder than others,” she told Times Higher Ed.

Follow Peter Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson