Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Hull University and 'Inequality'

Right. So there are people at Hull Uni who want to get rid of the Men's Officer post. They say it's pointless, inequal (?) and old fashioned. They seem to be using faulty logic, from my point of view. And guess what? I'm going to let you know about it.

Some guy on the Facebook Group message board reckons if you have a Men's Officer then you would need a White Person Officer, Able Bodied Officer etc.

Firstly, that's just underlining a friend of mine's 'middle-class-twentysomething-middle-of-the-road-average-white trash' t-shirt idea. The idea of getting rid of this Union post is also reasonably offensive to white, able bodied men as it:

a) Insinuates they're somehow 'normal' and all have life 'easy' compared to the groups who are represented by an officer, and;

b) Could send the message they should have any problems or any perceived problems stemming from their gender aren't very important as they don't have an officer like other groups do.

Now, it may be quite truthful that other groups are more discriminated against, but the concept they need 'more help' is a bit condescending to them and, as mentioned, offensive to the officer-less men, generally sending out a not very sound message, in my opinion.

If it's a point of cost-effectiveness, almost (and by that I mean if there was some way to find out how active the officers had been over a year, how many people had seen them, what campaigns they'd been part of etc.) then I'm sure that'd reveal some telling information. But such an audit wouldn't reveal a post was benign. It could just mean the actual elected officer was rubbish at their jobs.

Everyone has problems, and I half accept the point that a University would need a large amount of officers to cover everyone 'fully'. The ridiculous extreme being an officer for each student, of course.

I've previously pondered the use of an 'Equality Officer' (or perhaps two), who could cover all of these issues without any gender, race of orientation bias. Seems sound to me.

Or would that just be stealing too many people's thunder, I wonder?

No comments: