Belinda Brown: UCL is a feminist hothouse. Tonight it finally confronts the facts

At UCL this evening we will launch the Gender Equity Network with an inaugural lecture questioning the wisdom of imposing gender equality policies on universities.

UCL’s spiritual founder, Jeremy Bentham, has been described as a pugnacious critic of established political doctrines. He created the concept of utilitarianism with its axiom: “It is the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people that is the measure of right and wrong”. Bentham’s axiom seems the perfect antidote to the ideology of political correctness which appears to measure right and wrong according to the greatest happiness of a small but vocal group  of career women. I believe we have Bentham’s blessings upon us. UCL is a great place for the Gender Equity Network to start.

Academia has been spewing feminist legitimacy for decades - giving the oxygen feminism needs to survive. We  have never been able to question feminist precepts  or explore feminism objectively and be able to go on getting funding for research.

Athena SWAN is the scheme which patrols gender  inequality in academia. Started only a few years ago, it seeks to ensure that funding to universities who are engaged in science-related research is dependent on evidence of active participation in equality schemes.  You could say that the feminist thumb screws are really on.

Supporters of Athena SWAN are interested in ensuring more women have top jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) and arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL). Conspicuously, they are not trying to cajole women into less desirable jobs – such as refuse collection – mostly done by men.

They are only interested in one aspect of gender inequality in education – gender issues relating to staffing in higher education. This is also the only area in the whole of the education system where women appear to be the victims of inequality rather than men.  And even here, below the senior levels, there is no significant gender gap in terms of numbers of academic staff overall. It is only in some subjects, or at senior levels, that men dominate higher education staffing numbers. Even these differences appear to be a result of diminishing numbers of women employed at older ages - ‘the leaky pipeline’ - and in fact those who do reach seniority do so at the same age as men. This suggests that if you stick at the job your chances of making it to the top are equally fair.

Even this 'leaky pipeline' does not appear to be about discrimination but rather about different career and family choices made by women and men.  At the moment all the funding to tackle inequality seems to go into one little corner of the education system where inequality isn’t even about unfairness. Surely this funding could be better spent?

For example boys are falling badly behind girls in school educational attainment with the gap between the percentage of girls attaining A*-C at GCSE and the percentage of boys is persistent and unaddressed. The number of boys taking A levels is smaller than the number of girls by 20 per cent and more girls than boys got good A Levels (defined as grades A*, A or B) namely 11 per cent, 27 per cent or 36 per cent more respectively.

The far more dramatic inequality which we see at these lower levels then feeds into the very worrying gender gap which we have been hearing about in the news. Last year for example the number of girls seeking university places was a third larger than the number of boys who are finally being identified as a ‘disadvantaged group’.

This means that many more women are attaining higher qualifications than men. For example if we look at all science-based subjects, the number of women graduates exceeds that of men at first degree levels by 7 per cent. In all non-science based subjects, the number of women graduates exceeds that of men at first degree level by 58 per cent and by 56 per cent at postgraduate level. Men dominate women in just five subject areas: physical sciences, maths, computer science, engineering and architecture. These five subjects constitute just 17 per cent of the total qualifications awarded at first degree and postgraduate levels combined. Women by contrast dominate emphatically in those subjects which account for 83 per cent of qualifications gained.

All this inequality, which is of far more consequence to generations of young people than the number of female professors doesn’t just go under the radar. It is totally and utterly ignored.

This is just one of the issues which we hope to draw your attention to through our series of lectures. Broadly speaking, we will be asking questions which seem obvious to the lay person but seem taboo in academia, the media and in government. Through developing a new dialogue we aim to promote a common sense consensus on these issues, and bring about the type of fair and equitable reform which will benefit men, women and the children who rely upon them.

We at UCL are apparently “recognised for our radical and critical thinking and its widespread influence”. UCL itself aims to “transform how the world is understood” and is “committed to changing [the world] for the better”.

We, at the Gender Equity Network, share those visions and I hope that UCL appreciates the valuable contribution we have to make.

The inaugural lecture will be given this evening by psychologist Dr John Barry at UCL’s A.V. Hill Lecture Theatre at 6.15. All are welcome to attend.

Belinda Brown

  • Mr_Twister-Morpheus

    Nice one BB, am interested to read your follow up piece after this evening.

  • Feminist_Fighter

    I went and it was a damp squib. Hardly anyone turned up and those of us who did were able to totally dismantle Mr. Barry’s arguments.

    • DollarPound

      Can you give us a description of how you dismantled his arguments?

    • William Gruff

      Feminist_Figment wrote:

      ‘ … it was a damp squib. Hardly anyone turned up … ‘

      Evidence please. I want sources with specific examples. OK?

      ‘ … those of us who did were able to totally dismantle Mr. Barry’s arguments.

      Very doubtful. You’re much more likely to have run about shrieking and setting off the fire alarms.

  • Feminist_Fighter

    100 years ago, women weren’t even allowed to go to university.

    Excuse me if I don’t give a f*** about the suffering of white males whose privilege is at last under threat.

    • Dave

      Actually, you’re wrong. It was 137 years ago. That’s almost 5 generations.

      Naturally I must be to blame for all this, even though it pertains to a situation 87 years before I was born. But before we we punish the current generation of males for this oversight, can we punish the current generation of Germans and Japanese for WWII? It seems just as logical as the drivel you’re spouting.

    • DollarPound

      Why are you so racist?

    • Little Black Censored

      Judging by your language and your use of bold type, I imagine you are the usual Fabian person?

      • William Gruff

        Spot on. It’s definitely Kate Day, our resident Mrs Mad and nutjob feminist. She’s a basement dwelling smelly cat lady, the con side of care in the community; a great source of fun who presumably comes here to indulge her sense of martyrdom.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        She is indeed. Not surprising to see her around halloween either. Who needs ghouls and ghosts to represent evil when we have feminist extremists?

    • JustSomeChap

      What a vile racist you are.

    • Groan

      As were the overwhelming majority of men.

  • AJ

    The argument that the suffering or discrimination against a group is justified because of something their ancestors or forbears did is totally amoral. We all must have ancestors who lied, cheated, stole and even murdered the principle if generally applied would allow us all to do anything to anyone.

    Women today in education are advantaged with respect to men. Does this mean in the future that we should discriminate freely against women with a clear conscience?

    Men and women should be treated equally which at the moment would mean a return to exam based evaluation to remove gender bias and a redistribution of focus and funding away from women towards men.

    • Feminist_Fighter

      “Women today in education are advantaged with respect to men”

      Evidence please. I want sources with specific examples. OK?

      • dave

        I see Feminist Future has morphed into Feminist Fighter. Does that mean you have tacitly accepted that feminism isn’t the future?

        • disqus_QL05BqU79X

          At least her alliteration is consistent. At some point in 2016 she’ll run out of F-adjectives and be forced by default to log on and comment as Feminist_Fart_Features. Bless.

      • DollarPound

        I could mention grants for women in STEM or the general gender imbalance at universities. But there is no point in providing any such evidence. Your mind is closed.

        What would persuade you to change your mind?

        If you can’t answer that question, then you have not made any effort to critically assess what you think. You have simply sought out that part of the evidence that supports what you already think, and ignored anything that contradicts it.

      • William Gruff

        Feminist_Figment wrote:

        Evidence please. I want sources with specific examples. OK?

        Kate’s back. I thought she’d be back sooner or later, and with the same old reaction when confronted with an argument or opinion with which she disagrees: ‘Evidence please!’

        The article this comment stream follows is concerned with the almost universally acknowledged advantage of girls and young women in the present English education system. Only an idiot or a child would petulantly demand evidence from a commenter agreeing with the authoress’s position.

        If you want ‘evidence’ demand it from Belinda Brown, or read something more enlightening and up to date than The Bunty

  • david hyatt

    tonight was a breath of fresh air in defence ofrational thought fairness and objectivity

  • david hyatt

    freedom of thought is too precious to be left to the assaults of the fanatics the misandrists and bookburners…..the poisonous myth of sexism is as spurious as the 3rd reichs myth of a “jewish question”.. …there is no sexism…..there is no jewish question

  • Dave

    It’s difficult to make such direct comparisons.

    As has been said before, because women when given more freedom actually show MORE gender differentiation in their education and career choices relative to men, then we can expect and indeed do see more women taking “nurturing” subjects leading to nurturing careers like nursing, teaching, medicine, psychotherapy, physiotherapy etc. Conversely men continue to focus on those subjects requiring a high degree of logical analysis.

    As universities have been allowed to expand they have had to look for a new market to suck in yet more cash. All the men that wanted to go to uni were already going, so they started focussing on girls instead. However, they didn’t do so by pushing girls to going into valuable courses like medicine or STEM – those courses are either expensive or of no interest to girls (although god knows the government are now trying to push the poor girls like hell into those engineering subjects). So instead they gave the girls (going right down to those of very average ability) the kinds of subjects they would be attracted too – media studies for instance.

    Question is – will they ever pay back their loans? The student loan company was saying that 40% of students would not pay back their loans – meaning 40% of students will leave uni without getting a job better than Joe Average after 3 years or more of study, and then the taxpayer will pick up the tab. That seems overly fair to the young women of average abilities and very unfair to the taxpayer.

    • William Gruff

      The total cost of female education, including defaulted student loans, needs to be ascertained and compared to that of men. A comparison could then be made of the nett tax paid by male and female graduates over a working lifetime to see what the tax payers’ return on investment is. And we’ll have none of Mad Mez’s gynocentric nonsense about the ‘sacrifices’ women make to have children.

  • Paul

    Sounds great.

    Slightly off topic. I’ve always had a problem with “It is the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people that is the measure of right and wrong”. Happiness is not objectively measurable and it doesn’t explain how you resolve a conflict between the overall level of happiness and the number of people. e.g. is it better to have one person with a happiness level of 149 and 49 people with a happiness level of -1 for an overall level of 100, or 50 people with a happiness level of 1 for an overall level of 50?

    The SJW formulation would be “No one can be happier than me”, or “I’m not happy so no one can be happy”, or “I’m unhappier than you so give me stuff”.

    • TJB

      Your final paragraph is so true I may steal it for use elsewhere if you don’t mind. It will most likely be deployed in comment threads or tweets where I wish to mock SJWs.

      • Paul

        Feel free. I’m sure there are far more witty ones that are possible.

    • William Gruff

      I agree with you. The problem with Bentham’s dictum is that it can be interpreted as justifying the oppression of minorities, even large minorities, or specific groups, if doing so can be shown to create the ‘greatest happiness of the greatest number of people’. Advocates of ‘democracy’ have a similar problem.

      I also agree with TJB regarding your final paragraph.

  • Mez

    Boys have always been later maturing than girls, generally more interested in sport and less interested in literature, there is nothing ‘new’ about this knowledge. In my opinion the change in the exam system has meant that girls with equivalent intelligence to boys (but without the hormone boost which reduces stress in exam taking) have benefitted from the pre-exam system, whereas boys seem to have lost the hormonal/less stress advantage they had from a pure exam based system.
    What is needed is a system which is fair to both, rather than a system which gives an unfair advantage to either, and in that regard what is needed is an educational focus which recognises that the needs of later maturing boys can be different to girls, ie a system of ‘pupil mobile streaming’ in schools, more male teachers, and more single sex schools.
    The increasing nos of girls choosing to go to University doesn’t suggest that only a ‘minority’ are interested in their future, (further education is more than a career, it provides a level of dependence which can be drawn on at any stage in our lives, as you are doing Belinda), more like a majority, which is a good thing.
    From the tax payers point of view, the nos of places at University any funding assistance ought to be correlated in some form to the likely volume of job vacancies available in that field/subject area afterwards. So no restriction on what’s available, only what is offered in state funding, which would support jobs in areas which have vacancies and needs boys like, science, engineering and IT. (Govt policy seems to be moving away from funding further ed anyway, more about offering tax breaks to employers who are offer their own training programs).

    • William Gruff

      Mad Mez, the Gynocentric Gynocrate wrote:

      >the usual gynocentric trash<

      You need a new script Mez, one that doesn't simply regurgitate the same obsolete and long discredited misandrous nonsense about the supposed preferences of boys. You should also stop repeating the usual feminist excuses for the failure of girls to perform as well as boys in exams that effectively reproduce the stresses of real life.

      As for girls maturing earlier than boys, I have long believed that to be true only because the threshold of maturity is so much lower than for boys. Girls get there first because they haven't as far to go, and they get a lot more encouragement than boys.

      No human system is ever going to be fair to everyone, nor should it be. Life isn't fair but you and your ilk cannot understand or accept the fact.

      The rest of your nonsense can, as usual, be ignored.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    I see Feminist_Future / Fabian_Solution / Kate has a new name and icon. same old style though

  • Groan

    Very pleased to see this debate opening up. Of course the other important issues are the gender patterned nature of ” special needs” “behavioural disorders” and exclusions. Clealy the education system is not working as well as it should for it’s boys.