Liberation Finally Arrives in the UK

The UK Department of Communities and Local Government is looking to take on discriminatory golf clubs, among other injustices, in a new Single Equality Act, as proposed in a consultation document released yesterday. The ultimate aim is to simplify some of the UK's 40-odd years of discrimination laws, but the current proposal seems a little off the mark: among its priorities are such (it claims) "common-sense" measures as abolishing inequalities in golf clubs and legally guaranteeing a woman's right to breastfeed in all (public and private) child-friendly venues.

Such legislation is apparently necessary because, as The Guardian reports,

Rosie Dodds of the National Childbirth Trust said: "13% of women in England and 16% in Wales have been asked to stop or made to feel uncomfortable when breastfeeding in a public place."

Private, single-sex organizations would, however, be excluded from the law:

Private clubs and associations - we do not favour preventing people setting up clubs which have membership targeted at one sex or group.

But we believe that people being treated as second class citizens when a club is open to all is not acceptable. For example, there are still golf clubs which restrict the times their female members can have access to club facilities or play during the day or bar them from being part of the running of the club.

This all-or-nothing measure would, of course, directly discourage membership reform among the most traditional private organizations. After all, why grant excluded groups partial membership at all when they would be legally obliged to demand full rights and privileges?

Sterling logic from the British government.

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  • ||

    Last time I was arrested for breast feeding in public, they told my girlfriend I wasn't her child and told me I wasn't her baby.

    But she calls me Baby all the time, I said.
    When they asked me if I called her momma,
    I didn't answer.

    Seriously, I'd like to see breast feeding. I remember today my first side of it 50 years+ ago, can see where the mother's breast had freckles, how it quivered and shook as she moved to reach. I can close my eyes and see where she was, her dress, her weary look. She was a friend's mother. It was nothing to her, but a lot to me. I won't say it was bad or good, but a powerful scene and I'm glad that still, a woman's breast has an instant effect on my body. It was and is a tender, intimate moment, maybe it being a private moment had to do with the affect. I wouldn't want to take that away. Now you know more than you wanted to know, but maybe the impression will do something to you.

  • ||

    Oh yeah, that was good for me too. I don't smoke, but right now I need a cigarette.

  • ||

    Societies that get themselves worked up about diversity to get these laws passed would probably be much more diverse without such laws.

    But we believe that people being treated as second class citizens when a club is open to all is not acceptable

    Sickening. We believe X, therefore we get to use a gun to tell you to do Y. I don't know why people think this kind of 'philosophy' is unselfish: it's narcissistic in the extreme.

  • Paul||

    we do not favour preventing people setting up clubs which have membership targeted at one sex or group.

    Right, like say, oh, I dunno, a golf club which allows whites only, or maybe only protestants?

  • ||

    If partial members must be granted full privileges, the logical response is to cancel all partial memberships. I doubt that this is the intended result.

  • tijjer||

    A few months ago I was inside a Starbucks and in the corner I saw an Arab lady, wearing a long dress and a headscarf but with her boob hanging out feeding her baby.

    Now in no way was I offended but I remarked to my girl (who is Afghan, and who agreed) that while. . .ok, she's technically obeying the letter of the law to cover up, doesn't having her big ol' boobie on display kind of violate the spirit of the law?

    I'm for any type of law that makes stuff like this happen more often.

  • ed||

    Breastfeeding in a Starbucks.
    I'm sure there's a latte joke in there somewhere...

  • LarryA||

    So are they calling this the "give them an inch and they can take a mile" law?

    Rosie Dodds of the National Childbirth Trust said: "13% of women in England and 16% in Wales have been asked to stop or made to feel uncomfortable when breastfeeding in a public place."

    As opposed to all the women the National Childbirth Trust has asked to stop or made feel uncomfortable while bottle feeding.

  • ||

    I wonder what will happen to the Womens Institute or the Mothers Union.

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