Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Yeah, about that "double-standard" thing...

You may not be aware of this unless you're active on political Twitter, but there's been a heated spat over the last few days about a Yes East Kilbride event that took place last Thursday.  David Hooks (aka PoliticsScot) was on the panel, and had spoken in advance about what a big step it was for him to give a presentation in front of an audience, something he had never done before.  As you'd expect, there was enormous support and appreciation for him putting himself out there and conquering his fears in aid of the Yes movement...or at least there was until a bunch of radical left zealots came along and told him he was a disgrace for having been part of a "manel" (a thoroughly dehumanising word for all-male panel), and that he should have refused to participate unless there had been female speakers.  The organisers pointed out they had approached seventeen women, but every single one had declined to take part in the event.  The response from the radical left?  The event should have been cancelled.

Not surprisingly, David was extremely upset, and I can't say I blame him.  In his shoes, I'd have felt hurt and betrayed.  You do something way outside your comfort zone, you do it for no reward, you travel at your own expense...and then you're told that you should have just stayed at home because your presence on that panel was offensive.  Nothing to do with the content of what you said - just who you are, your anatomy, made you offensive, and everyone would have been much better off if you hadn't been there.  Do the people who come out with this sort of stuff have even an ounce of human empathy?  Are they not aware of how directing cruel comments of that sort to someone at a moment of vulnerability can reinforce phobias or a general lack of confidence, and thus cause a lifetime of harm?  Or do they know exactly what they're doing and just don't care, because the individual in question happens to be a man?

As for the notion that the event should have been completely called off, or that financial inducements should have been offered to potential female speakers until at least one agreed, it's difficult to know whether to laugh or cry.  Local Yes groups are not the BBC - if they can't organise events on a shoestring budget, they can't organise events at all.  They can do their level best to achieve diversity, but they've got a right to expect that their level best should be considered good enough.  In any case, just how many boxes are they expected to tick before the zealots say it's OK for an event to go ahead?  On a panel of five, should at least one person always be gay or bisexual?  Should at least one person always be transgender?  Should at least one person always be a citizen of another EU country?  Should at least one person always be non-white?  Should at least one person always be a wheelchair user?  Should there always be at least one person with autism?  If it's not possible to achieve all of these things all of the time, should no events ever take place?  Should Yes campaigning cease completely?  This is absolute lunacy.

The controversy reached the pages of the Herald today with an article by Shona Craven suggesting that the real issue is that male Yes activists somehow have an inbuilt funding advantage and are subject to less nastiness than their female counterparts, and that women therefore shouldn't really be asked to put themselves forward for panels without monetary compensation.  Here's the key paragraph, which has since been quoted approvingly by the radical left's self-appointed "enforcer" James McEnaney -

"Women in the movement who are prominent in the media – especially if they refuse to toe a pro-SNP line – are regularly accused of using the 2014 referendum to carve out nice little careers for themselves. There's a suggestion this is at best grubby and unseemly, and at worst a cynical ploy by scheming, opportunistic women who refuse to wheesht for indy like good girls. Meanwhile, prominent Yes men rake in thousands via crowdfunding campaigns and are defended to the hilt, even when their behaviour causes embarrassment to the movement as a whole. There is a glaring double standard here, and women notice it."

You don't need me to point out that most of that is based on a false premise.  I would guess that "women are regularly accused of using the 2014 referendum to carve out nice little careers for themselves" is at least partly a reference to GA Ponsonby, who has indeed regularly made that criticism of women like Angela Haggerty - but the snag is that he's also regularly made an identical criticism of men like Loki.  It's never been an attack based on gender, but rather on his personal belief that for certain individuals of both genders, career advancement within the mainstream media comes before the best interests of the Yes movement.  If gender equality means anything, it surely means that women are individuals with the capacity to make free choices and that criticising a specific woman's actions is not synonymous with hating women.

By the same token, it's deeply disingenuous for Shona to imply that only "Yes men" have raked in thousands via crowdfunders for alternative media websites.  CommonSpace is edited by a woman, has many female columnists and reporters, and is generously funded by donations from Yes supporters.  Bella is edited by a man, but its fundraisers have benefitted both male and female writers.  NewsShaft had a mixed gender team when it ran its very successful fundraisers.

What interests me most, though, is this bit:  "There is a glaring double standard here, and women notice it."

Well, I'm a bloke, and I've noticed a glaring double-standard in all this.  Here it is in pictorial form -


That was posted only a few weeks ago by one of the people who argued that the Yes East Kilbride event should have been cancelled if no female panellist could be found to take part, and that it was the responsibility of the male panellists to pull out if the organisers refused to cancel.  So what does she do when faced with an all-female panel?  Does she demand cancellation?  Does she pressurise the panellists to withdraw?  Does she argue that financial inducements should have been offered until at least one man agreed to attend?

Nope, she punches the air in delight.

And, yes, we all know what the excuse is - all-female panels are good because they're a blow against the patriarchy, and all-male panels are bad because they reinforce the patriarchy.  But that's Orwellian doublethink, pure and simple.  It uses ideological blind faith to deligitimise discussion of a blatant contradiction that everyone knows can't be justified in any rational way.

Put it this way - even if you think that positive discrimination is still needed to advance gender equality, there will surely come a point when the goal has been broadly achieved and these double standards can no longer be defended.  At that point, either the celebration of all-female panels will have to be accompanied by the celebration of "manels" - or both all-male and all-female panels will have to be shunned.  Which is it to be?

69 comments:

  1. I don't really agree with you here, James.

    The problem with all-male panels is that politics for so long was an exclusively male space, inherently exclusionary to women (it's less than a hundred years, for instance, since women even had the right to *vote*).

    There are as many Cabinet ministers called David as there are women Cabinet ministers in the Commons. And it was only this very year that the number of women *ever* elected to Parliament outnumbered the number of sitting male MPs.

    I'm not some raving feminist: I'm a man (and quite content to be so). But I recognise the privilege I gain from being a white man in the UK.

    The reason we try to refute men-only panels (and I share your distaste for the "manel" nonsense) is because women suffer institutional and societal discrimination, and we need to make a special effort to overcome that.

    Women-only panels aren't as analogously bad as men-only panels, for the simple reason that men don't suffer discrimination in politics and society. There are many reasons a man might be discriminated against in politics - gay men, Catholics, ethnic minority men all suffer similarly - but men (as a whole) aren't discriminated against or suffer prejudice to the extent women, as a group, do.

    Quite apart from the moral aspect of this, it is also in our own best interests to do so. Ranged against the independence movement is the entire civil service of the British government, every major daily newspaper, both television stations, and the might of the British civil service and the British army.

    It makes no tactical sense to continue the alienation of 50% of the population. Only by genuinely empowering women can we begin to close that gap.

    Feminism as practiced by the radical Left in Scotland is a bastardisation of feminism. Indeed, in some cases, it is used as a tool to induce splits in the independence movement. The best way to combat this is by realising that - as men - we hold an advantage in society, and to work to reduce that advantage by making adjustments in our procedures and policies to make women feel more welcome in the movement.

    It's not just us who have a "woman problem". Politics as a whole has one. But given the massive advantages the Unionists already have over us, I feel that we should not give them another one by excluding women.

    And if you can't find a single woman (there are three billion in the world, three million of whom live in Scotland) to speak at an event, the event - not the women - has a problem.

    My sympathies are with the very decent men who spoke at this event in good faith and have been absolutely traduced by people who sought to use the lack of female representation for their own political gain. But the fault lies with those who ran the event, no matter how good their intentions were.

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    1. "Women-only panels aren't as analogously bad as men-only panels, for the simple reason that men don't suffer discrimination in politics and society."

      That's precisely the ideological blind spot I was referring to. You can have gender equality, or you can have double-standards. You can't have both. I'd prefer to have gender equality, which means our response to all-male and all-female panels should be identical.

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    2. @ Tommy Ball

      The Yes EK group consists of 3 people, with jobs, and the one responding to most of this is female. How many times do they point out for those refusing to take on the facts, they tried very hard to get females, 17 individual females approached.

      They had a lot of diaries to co ordinate, so do they cancel, if course not! They had very in demand speakers there.

      I think this sorry episode shames the Indy movement, and I agree with every word James has written.

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    3. Hi guys,

      Thanks for engaging with my reply so politely.

      @James: my point is that the response to all-male panels *can't* be equal to all-female panels precisely because women suffer institutional discrimination in their access to politics. I understand that you disagree with that position - which is fair enough - but do you at least see where I'm coming from in terms of positive discrimination?

      @Valerie (I don't think we've spoken online before, so hello :) ): I've said in my post (and on Twitter, repeatedly) that I don't ascribe any malicious or misogynistic intent to the group. I agree that it's been a very unedifying spectacle.

      I have huge admiration for those who give of their time to set these events up, and I think it's a pity they've suffered such over-the-top attacks.

      But, that said, I believe that if we are to win next time, women need to be at the very forefront of our movement. I think, also, that all of the speakers were excellent. I feel dreadful for David Hook, who has been abused by people who contributed nothing to the campaign in 2014. He's a cracking lad, and by all accounts he gave a great presentation.

      But...... I simply don't buy the "no women were available" thing. I don't think it was some sort of male conspiracy, I think it was just a lack of thought. And, as I said, if there isn't a single woman out of three billion who wants to speak at your event, your problem isn't women, it's your event.

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    4. I don't think you can reach the conclusion that the lack of women panellists was a 'lack of thought'. That they asked seventeen women to speak suggests that they were aware of the issue and tried hard to address it. Have any of the women that are shouting them down for this put their hand up and said 'I would have spoken if asked' or 'I'm available to speak for free if Yes groups want me'?

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    5. @ Tommy, shame on you for calling a Yes group liars. 17 is a very specific number, it was stated as soon as the abuse started flying. The person behind the EK Twitter account felt abused enough to have to declare their gender, which I think is disgusting.

      This episode smacks heavily of ego over Indy.

      Yes EK have stated they have another in Feb and have stated they welcome any women coming forward. The other one was plenty notice too.

      However, I think columnist Shona Craven, using the episode to make money, has now suggested paying people. Most Yes groups have the means to provide tea and biscuits as inducement.

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    6. A Scientist writes: So, at what point do all women panels become sexist and unacceptable then and who determines when we reach this point?

      Who determines that the 'Patriarchy' has been finally dismantled? Or in your opinion must this situation pertain for all time because Womin Good, Men Bad?

      I ask in perfect seriousness and to wonder if those questions had ever occurred to you because they bear specifically to the double standards James refers to.

      If you cannot see the problem then I'm afraid that makes you a problem.

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    7. @Tommy

      The organiser actually stated that they approached more than 50 women. Most didn't even respond. The event was cancelled and rescheduled to try to allow them to take part, but the final 17 cancelled.

      As the same group had an all female panel at their previous event, I can completely understand that the (also female) organiser then decided to go ahead with the speakers they had managed to get.

      You rightly make the case that women are inherently disadvantaged in the political sphere, and that men are privileged and in power in our society. The independence movement is fighting those men and that power, too. If the men willing to fight this fight shall no longer be allowed to do so unless equal female representation is ensured we will never get there. NEVER. Because soon no one will pop their head above the parapet and take a chance for fear of being embroiled in this kind of thing.

      I'm with James on this one. Maybe I'm an old-fashioned and obsolete feminist, but for me feminism has always meant fighting for equality. Nothing more, nothing less. Despising men who have the courage to speak publicly on independence just because on that day no female speaker was available is not feminism, it's misandry and I want nothing to do with it.

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    8. It's interesting that Tommy doubts that dozens of women really were approached for this. I assume that's what most people who are complaining about the event must believe. @Tommy: if we were to take EK at their word that they tried hard to get women to participate, then would you agree that their critics are being highly unreasonable?

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  2. I went too a political hustings 1st time during the referendum 2014 , some in audience had very strong political views , left /right yes /no , zero chance of compromise , I left kinda depressed at the end of it

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  3. I think there is a real problem, evident throughout this rammy on twitter, with jumping from this particular event to 'excluding women'. I know of no evidence that the EK organisers excluded women, or did not try to recruit women, or had any history of male-only events. If there were better techniques they could have used to attract female speakers, these could have been recommended to them without the disproportionate accusations of bad faith that have been bandied about on twitter.

    I also think insufficient attention has been given to the very real practical fallout from cancelling events like this. It's not just the time and money of the organisers that is wasted, but that of the attendees and speakers. Full-time activists might find it trivial, but lots of the rest of us will have needed to arrange childcare, swap shifts, arrange travel, etc to attend an event like this. If they keep getting cancelled people will stop making that effort for something that likely won't happen - there are only so many favours you can call in. I believe EK had been forced to cancel a previous event. That being the case, out of fairness to attendees & speakers, I think they made the right call to press on with this one.

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  4. It reached the Herald pure and simply because the Herald is anti-Independence and vehemently anti-SNP, and basically a Scottish Office mouthpiece.

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  5. The zealots described exhibit the worst strain of political correctness. Do they have a view on what an independent Scotland might look like e.g. a republic, economic & social policy and international stance? Or is having chat panels correctly balanced between animals, minerals & vegetables regardless of the merits of the arguments that participants advocate their raison d'atre? Their antics are at best a childish distraction and at worst a form of censorship. I am an ardent independentista but I fervently hope that the intolerant views and double standards of the aforementioned do not prevail in any future independent Scotland. If I was a Russian peasant in 1917 and could have foreseen the future I would have no wish the Romanovs with Lenin/Stalin in Russia. Similarly I doubt if Iranian women pre-1979 would have preferred the mad mullahs to the Shah given what happened subsequently under Khomeini and his successors. And the farmyard animals with hindsight would probably have taken their chances with Farmer Jones rather than with the Pigs.

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  6. I think James is 100% right in his argument. As Valerie suggests many of these groups are run on less than a shoestring, by dedicated Yessers, amateurs (int the best sense of that word) who have other lives to lead as well as organising events. They tried and no one came forward.

    Unfortunately, there are the usual suspects who will attach themselves to a movement out of selfish self-interest and act as spoilers when their holier-than-thou "principles" aren't being observed. I think we would do better without some of these people - whether careerists or zealots.

    Iain Macwhirter wrote the other week that he foresees Brexit and the Tories rolling back a lot of the progress that has been made in the field of "rights" over recent decades (which has already happened under Blair and Tories). Divisions created by those who put self-righteousness before Independence will help ensure that we are stuck in a Tory dystopia.

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  7. As a woman active in my local Yes group I resent anyone man, woman or child assuming they know how I feel e.g. "There is a glaring double standard here, and women notice it." If he wants to make a generalisation like this, then at least he could have said, 'some women' and I hasten to add I'm not one of them!

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    1. If you have been active Patsy then you are not being noticed by the majority Unionist community..

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  8. James, nail struck firmly on the head.

    Cancelling Yes events because you can't get any decent Yes speakers to attend is one thing; cancelling because the good speakers have the wrong number/arrangement of limbs/genitalia/sexual orientation/whatever is completely nuts. If the purpose of Yes meetings is to persuade the uncertain then cancelling suggests that the Yes movement doesn't really care about independence. If uncertain women are a key target audience for persuasion & female Yes campaigners think they should be leading the campaign then turn up, speak up & bloody well lead! This man (for example) is happy to be lead anywhere by a capable woman (thank you Nicola).

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  9. This whole sushi had been created and blown out of proportion by a TINY minority of racial zealots.
    They are nothing more than the Peoples Front of Judea.

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    1. If the whole sushi has been created as you say, that seems a bit fishy.

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    2. I think you mean the Judean's Peoples' Front!

      But on a more serious note, this whole stooshie seems to me to be contrived and publicised for no good reason.

      By which I mean; could not this disagreement have been conducted between the parties directly, rather than been publicly aired on social media? What was the purpose of this publicity? Whom does it serve? And why was it continued long after the points had been made and exchanged?

      Now, feel free to call me a tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy bampot, But ...

      The British Establishment have a long and dark history of manipulating well meaning, but foolish groups ("Useful idiots") and in directly interfering with the aims and directions of those groups that they perceive as being a threat to their power and privilege.

      It would be astounding to me if the UK's various "security services" were NOT getting involved in the SNP or any of the many groups that sprang up before and during the Independence referendum campaign. Their 'role' is the preservation of the British state. We already know that Whitehall considered the Independence referendum of such a calamitous situation that "normal" rules of neutrality were cheerfully suspended and they 'fought' for the British state. As did the BBC and 99% of the MSM.

      I am outwith Scotland (working in a former Moscow controlled state) and looking back at my country I see the obvious parallels with state machinery in operation in times past. If we don't keep our eyes on the prize AND think about who is advising certain people to act in certain ways, then the British State will continue to play the YES movement (ably assisted by the MSM/BBC/ITV cabals) like a fiddle.

      We'll only get one more change in my lifetime (I'm already in my 60s) and I want my country free before I die.

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    3. Honestly, the main cause of all the trouble was brought into the conversation by Mhairi Hunter who thought she had something useful to contribute. That escalated quickly, as they say.

      It was a train wreck but I don't think Mhairi Hunter is a fifth columnist.

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  10. I wonder too at what point this diversity thing is going to reach absurdity. Very quickly as you point out James. Do we need someone who is L, an B, an Q, an T and an I (no doubling up there and none of the L, T or I can double as a woman for gender balance concerns).

    Then there's race is anyone BAME suitable to tick that box or if we have someone of Black African heritage must we also have someone who is Asian? and will any Asian person do or must they in the British context be South Asian? Muslim or Hindu?

    Next we will have audience vetting too. Will people have to expose their genitals to prove they are intersex?

    See it rapidly becomes all Home Office Immigration and deeply, nastily horrible.

    Gender balance is not about all equal outcomes it is about equality of opportunity, a lot of women were approached and asked and declined. That should be the end of it. You cannot force women to do things they don't want to just to satisfy an idea of gender balance.

    I was on a jury once and before we retired the Sheriff noted we had a female majority and hoped therefore we would have a female foreperson. Well the women on the jury had other ideas, they viewed it as a dirty job none of them wanted and so they got a man in to do it for them. Yours truly. I was rolled.

    So, some watching would have seen the 'Patriarchy' in action and a white middle class well educated male dominating the female majority instead of a man pressganged into doing something by a load of women.

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  11. Please drop this, James. Boring and going nowhere...

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    1. Not for those interested in equality it isn't! Do you have any insight other than your boredom?

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    2. Hello Vonny, Cat and, or Angela. Remember when you stood by your feminist friend SisterOutrider when she smeared half of Scotland as racists, just because she was a member of your cult? We all do, which is one reason why nobody pays any attention to your deluded rantings anymore.

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    3. Speaking of delusion, do you seriously believe that post could only have been made by one of the three people you mention?

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  12. As a straight white Scots born woman can I just say, well done James for lancing this putrid P.C. boil. I can't stand these folk who say they speak for me as a woman. I can speak for myself thanks very much. They are as annoying as the Woman's page you see in papers. Patronising? Yes.

    So I would say, as a mother, if you are going to insist on an all female panel or a 50/50 panel, that we take their P C absurdity even further and say half of the men and the women must be parents, and we must always have women who have taken part in natural child birth and half who have adopted children, and half must have drivers licences, and half must speak Gaelic, or Doric, and half must watch Corrie and half must watch River City, and half the women either must have had David Cassidy posters in their bedroom when they were 17 and half must have had Donny Osmond posters (but what about Michael Jackson, you racists)? when they were 17, and half must be cat owners and half must be dog owners, and half must love Marmite and half must hate Marmite, and half must support Celtic and half must support rangers, and half must have went to a proddy school and half must have went to a catholic school, and have must have voted Leave and half must have voted Remain, and on and on and on and on and on....

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    1. No proddie schools in Glasgow or East Kilbride.

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    2. GWC2 actually, sweetie, there are no proddie schools anywwhere in Scotland, as these are really state, non-denominational schools. I used the term 'proddie' not because the majority of state achool pupils are 'de facto' 'protestant' but because it fitted with the language flow of the comment. Off you go now.

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    3. Not a very good excuse. If there are no proddie schools then why use the word?
      I believe there may be one proddie school in Scotland. Seem to remember Brian Wilson mentioning it a while back.

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    4. Reference? Links? No? Didn't think so...

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    5. You cleary did not read my comment. I said I seem to recall, you thicko.

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    6. Scottish Gov figures 2013. There are 366 Catholic, 3 Episcopalian and 1 Jewish publicly funded schools.

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  13. I'm with most of the rational comments James. Watching this mess unfold was very unedifying to say the least.

    What started as a criticism quickly escalated into a 'radfem' versus everyone else and the one who made the initial comment thinks she was in the right and is now the hero...godstruth.

    Personally, I have never found the yes organisation or SNP to be agin one or the other and the opportunity for women to speak is available. It's scary to speak in public and many will never do it.

    I said this already but women don't like engaging in political talk over a coffee as we would like/hope. During 1st ref. I noticed that it wasn't until the last 3weeks to a month that more women became interested enough to seek out answers to questions important to them...

    This mad clamour to get all female panels would have meant that the group we were part of just couldn't have had any interaction with members of the public. How beneficial would that have been!

    The usual suspects can take a running jump if they think they can sabotage the next indyref with crap like this. It's the public nature of it all that someone rightly said shouldn't have happened.

    Anyway, I now know who I will avoid in future and that is depressing.

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  14. I was at the event in East Kilbride.

    It was excellent; one of the best meetings I've been to since the 2014 referendum. David Hooks was particularly good.

    While driving home, I wondered how long it would take for someone to moan about the gender of the speakers; not long, was the answer.

    The meeting was about the alternative media, so it was not the case that any one of 3 million women could have contributed; the number of suitable speakers is far smaller than that.

    Disappointed as I was by the complaints, and angered that the people making them presumed to speak for me while defining feminism in a way that I suspect excludes me (after nearly 50 years of considering myself a feminist), I am heartened that so many women have called this out as nonsense.

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  15. @ Bibbit Blair and Anonymous: no nonsense and good sense.

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  16. Another good reason to avoid the parade of petty that is Twitter.

    In the ideal Yes panel James you forgot one important demographic: between 2 and 3 of them should be No voters...

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  17. The majority of women i've known in my life, i'm 86, can stand up for themselves fine.

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    1. I hope they made you stand on occasion.

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  18. Its getting silly now. I think we can all guess where this is coming from, once it has reached the britnat rags. A huge attempt at dividing people involved in support for independence. It's to portray the whole of the independence movement (for want of a better word) as petty, dysfunctional and inept. People have fallen for it hook line and sinker by the look of it.

    As a female I have no problem with an all male panel. It's the content that is important, what did they actually talk about do we know? No all we are seeing is arguing about gender!

    'Manel' is an awful term and getting sick of the whole fashion for joining words together which mean absolutely nothing!!

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    1. We British are happy to watch you jocko fascists implode arguing with your own narrow minded agenda. Do carry on chaps and lassies.

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  19. You nat sis are finished and clinging on tae yer piles. Once Brexit happens and Scotland gets powers back from the corrupt mafia EU the Jocks will not give them away.
    You Nat sis have never explained why you want to sell out Scotland to the EU. Any of you fancy giving an explenation?

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  20. Das Papes was in Burma yesterday doing the normal routine as expected from the Vatican... We are innocent we are not tae blame for anything we are christians...We love the Jews. We are tolerant as long as you do not oppose us...Mussolini, Adolf, Franco and Muggerabe were all good men. Tony Blair is a Saint.

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    1. State of this.

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    2. Duty Nat si! 5:39 AM. Get some sleep and a joab.

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    3. Screech, screech, screech...

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  21. There is a certain difference between equality and sameness.

    If we are all equal, it doesn't mean that we should all be treated the same. Treating everybody the same would be like expecting everyone: young and old, disabled or able-bodied, to walk three flights of stairs to get to the talk and discussion.

    I wouldn't go along with a complete ban on all-male panels but there's no real contradiction between pushing for more gender equality and celebrating the occasional all-female panel: even with these panels, I bet if you added up all the speakers at these kinds of events over the past year it would still be quite heavily male-dominated.

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  22. Or to put it another way:

    http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/equality-doesnt-mean-justice.jpg

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  23. So you "wouldn't ban" all-male panels, you would "celebrate" all-female panels, and you think you believe in equality? Er, no. Whatever you're describing, it sure as hell ain't equality.

    By the way, I'm trying very hard not to laugh at the "walking three flights of stairs" analogy, and frankly I'm failing.

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  24. Imagine the precedent is set that these types of panels are to be cancelled unless they have at least one female panelist. Imagine as well that the next panel secures the attendance of a female. Now, without wanting to stir any conspiracy theories, how much pressure do you think that female would come under from Yoons looking to disrupt the event? All they'd need to do is force her to cancel and that's the whole event cancelled.
    People stating this should be the outcome of all male panels are friends to neither women nor the wider yes movement. They are troll enablers at best, or trolls themselves.

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  25. So you see no justification for any kind of positive discrimination in any field then? Regardless of whether you like the analogy, you can't accept a difference between 'equality' and 'sameness'???

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  26. There is no double-standard in arguing against panels solely featuring over-represented groups and in favour of panels solely featuring under-represented groups. No double standard at all. I can't quite believe that that still needs explaining in 2017 to a apparently otherwise intelligent person.

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  27. The only 'group' who was at, or spoke at, this event were 'people who wanted to speak at or attend an event about alternative media and its impact'.

    Wasn't remotely interested myself, but it's apparent that a good number were. If they didn't like what was on offer, then there would have been no attendees and then the YesEK group might have had to reflect on why that was.

    But, as it is, the complainers are (in my view, which is only an opinion like all the countless others offered on this) wishing that things were a certain way, rather than how they actually are. In simple terms, they wish that the audience was minded not to attend and hear opinions on the alternative media because hearing them from female voices was more important than any other consideration. To the attendees, whom the event was put on for let's not forget, this turned out not to be so important to them that they didn't want to attend. And that, by the way, is their prerogative. It's their time, and up to them how they spend it.

    As to suggestions that 'such events should be called off in these circumstances', these are nothing short of advocating censorship. Sorry, but it's true. In this line of argument, there are 'correct' voices to put forward opinion and no-one should be allowed to hear from anything but those voices. Who's to say who the best speakers would have been? No doubt some attendees came away saying 'it would have been nice if Mr/Ms X would have speaking, a lot of time for him/her'. But at the end of the day, the people there were happy and entertained, and that's all that should have mattered to anyone.

    Lastly, heard quite a few times an argument that (paraphrasing) 'women should be made to speak if they won't do it voluntarily'. Excuse my language, but feck me. How in the hell is that feminist? Effectively saying 'it's my job to limit your freedom to make choices' or 'only by making so as I, a woman, tell you what to do instead of man doing it can you really be free'! When men try to pull this sort of thing (and we hear about it), they are rightly castigated as misogynists.

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  28. Insightful article James, hits the Niall right on the head ha ha geddit.

    The almost unbelievable idiocy of these feminazis, after it having been made clear that great effort was made to get female speakers at the event but none were interested, is highly indicative of their juvenile obsession with gender. Someone - obviously a woman - needs to have a word in their collective shell-like and tell them to grow up.

    These holier than thou types couldn't care less about Scottish independence, all they care about is attention and attempting to justify their own prejudices.

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  29. It is actually unusual for women not to bump their gums as it is in their genetic code.
    However it may be the case they have given up the struggle against their English oppressors and EK has a good large shopping centre.

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  30. James, I laughed at the twat comment about UKIP and St Andrews Day. Perhaps Berlusconi would be more representative.

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  31. Is there any pro-indy alternative media run by women? Perhaps the panel was perfectly representative of the gender of pro-indy alternative media people.

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  32. I suppose that Bella Caledonia is one of the more right-on pro-indy bit of alternative media (not that there is much of a field for comparison - it appears to be mostly some Scottish Socialist Party people and a ranting golf-club bigot). Today, apparently 14/14 articles by men in Bella C. So the problem isn't just Yes E Kilbride.

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  33. So seventeen woman were asked to take part and not one could/would? Next time that happens put out seventeen empty chairs! (Or however many it takes.) It may or may not encourage more participation, but if not then any hecklers can be invited to come up fill one of them.

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    1. I think women should feel comfortable appearing on a platform. Quite why they abnegated this particular platform is inexplicable to me.

      They were invited. They didn't return the invitation.

      Why, exactly?

      The refusniks have to provide their own explanation.

      I doubt it will be very convincing.v

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    2. Maybe the women have got wise and turned their backs on the narrowback nat si English haters.
      Looks like we are on our way out of the fascist EU nat si bhoys. Your move chaps
      The ROI has totally prostrated herself to the German Frog alliance. Such a shame after all the killing and torture they did for independence.

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    3. Theresa is about to hand over £50 billion to the German Frog alliance. You don't even know you're being played.

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    4. Are you in on the negotiations knobend? At least you admit there is a German Frog alliance the Frogs being the junior partner.
      Macron is now wanting a military alliance presence in Libya to stop the people smuggling.
      The French, Germans, British and Italians with USA help got rid of Gaddafi and thus the problem.
      Macron is currently planning massive cuts and privatisation in Frogland.
      He is a super capitalist that will make Maggie look cool!

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  34. Britain gives the EU around 18 billion per year. So after meeting our supposed obligations that will be 48 billion. After that we give them f all. Preferably we should crash out and give them f all and tell the Irish Republicans tae fuck aff and go crawl tae Herman.

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    1. But that isn't what's going to happen. You're going to pay up and like it. :D

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