Boys Wear Skirts in Uniform Protest

A school in Exeter who has the school uniform rule that male pupils must wear trousers and female pupils can wear trousers or tartan skirts has been on the receiving end of a protest by about 30 male students who turned up to school wearing skirts.

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A mum of a male students at the school, Claire Reeves, said she’d asked the school about her son being able to wear shorts, but had not got anywhere.

“I feel extremely proud of them all for standing up for their rights. People are always talking about equal right for males and females and school uniform shouldn’t be any different”, she said.

The pupils from ISCA Academy in Exeter had asked permission to change their uniform and allow shorts because of the hot weather. One of the boys who took part in the protest said: “We’re not allowed to wear shorts, and I’m not sitting in trousers all day, it’s a bit hot.” The boys who are protesting are hoping that another 100 or so male students will join in the protest and wear skirts on Friday too.

Battle of the Sexes

Today in most tennis tournaments, women earn 20% less than men. Equal pay is regularly opposed by male players and people in the tennis industry, most recently by a former US tennis centre CEO Raymond Moore, who said female tennis players “ride on the coattails of the men,” and Novak Djokovic, who said men deserve higher prize money because their matches are more popular.

In 1973, Billie Jean King the women’s tennis number 1 took on Bobby Riggs a former men’s number 1 and won. Her victory changed women’s tennis considerably. Forty years later there might not be complete equality but without Billie Jean King’s tennis match called the Battle of the Sexes, things might be a whole lot worse.

battle of the sexes

A new film out this year called Battle of the Sexes will help younger tennis fans and the wider public understand how important that tennis match in 1973 was. Starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell the trailer has just been released and people are saying it might end up being an Oscar contender.

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There are so many different ways of protesting or trying to bring about change.

To protest (verb) – express an objection to what someone has said or done

If you decide to go out and protest then you can consider: signage, shouting, sit-ins, petitions, silence, marches, boycotts, putting your body in the way, mock awards, vigils, silliness, singing, praying or flash mobs. There are hundreds of other ideas on non-violent protest and sometimes you can do something specific to the cause you are protesting about.

This is what has recently happened in the Netherlands, where men are showing their support for gay men being able to hold hands and openly express their relationships. Over the weekend in the Dutch city of Arnhem there was a vicious assault of two gay men.  Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes suffered four missing teeth and a severed lip, whereas Jasper Vernes-Sewratan was left with injured ribs. Jasper said they usually hide their relationship, but had decided to hold hands as they walked home after a night out. Dutch politicians as well as celebrities are joining with other Dutch men to show their solidarity to the gay men who were attacked – by holding hands.

Alexander-Pechtold-Wouter-Koolmees

The politician Alexander Pechtold attended a meeting at The Hague with Wooter Koulmees a financial specialist.

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Gay Cake Case Rumbles On

In 2015 Ashers Bakery in Northern Ireland was found guilty of discriminating against a gay couple due to their sexual orientation and then at a recent appeal hearing they were once again found to be breaking Equality laws. Well now the case has been referred to the supreme court in London to be re-heard.

So this case goes on and on. The BBC give a run down of the whole story and explain how the bakery has been supported financially by a Christian institution.

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Pope Francis says women will never be priests in the Catholic church

Woman kisses pope's hand as he arrives to celebrate private Mass at Church of the Gesu in Rome

When be questioned by a Swedish journalist Pope Francis explained : “Saint Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands, this stands,” Francis said in his initial response, referring to a 1994 document stating that women could never join the priesthood. The pope went on to say women did “many other things better than men”, emphasising what has been called the “feminine dimension of the church”. This won’t appease feminist catholics or simply those who favour more gender equality.

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Sacked for being male and white

BBC presenter Bob Holmes who’d appeared on Radio 4’s the Now Show for 18 years has complained that he was sacked because he was male and white.

“Should I, as a white man (through no fault of my own), be fired from my job because I am a white man?” he asks. “Arguably, yes. You may well think I’m crap on The Now Show, and that’s fine, but to be told it’s because I’m the wrong sex and colour? I’m just not sure that’s helpful to anyone’s cause. If we are now openly giving jobs to people based on the colour of their skin, surely that is only emphasising just the kind of social division that the equality that I was brought up to embrace strives to eliminate?” he writes.

“So what if – and I know this is radical – but what if everything and every job in all walks of life was open to everyone equally, and we all just agree that everyone’s the same, by which I mean – you know – ‘human’?”

The BBC are not completely agreeing with his version of events.  A BBC spokesman said: “While the government’s new charter for the BBC does set us diversity targets, we always hire presenters on merit. We’d like to thank Jon Holmes for his contribution but our comedy shows are constantly evolving and it was simply time to create opportunities for new regulars when The Now Show returns this autumn. Jon’s contract was lapsed and wasn’t renewed and this was a creative not a diversity decision.”

Should some areas of public life such as the media, the police, the NHS and education, have positive discrimination where racial groups or genders which are not fairly represented with an open employment policy, can get a leg up and extra support to succeed in getting a job? Or should it be completely equal chances for all?