This Is What Happens When You Ban Straight White Men From a Conference on Equality

Source: Unsplash
Source: Unsplash

In a move to maintain productive discussion about the difficulties minorities face daily, the University and Colleges Union in the U.K. has banned straight, white men from its annual equality conference to be held at the University of Greenwich. 

While it might seem a counterintuitive move for a meeting on equality, according to Reuters, the goal is to create a "safe space" in which female, LGBT, disabled and black individuals can talk openly about topics like sexual harassment, racial discrimination and salary inequities. 

"Members felt that it was important that those from different minority groups should be able to meet to discuss the unique hurdles they face together," a spokesperson for the UCU said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Source: Giphy

Able-bodied, straight, white men are rarely confronted with the topics the conference is designed to tackle, which is why a motion raised to allow all UCU members to take part in the summit was denied. The sentiment seems to be that, while inclusivity is a pretty thought, in reality straight white men could commandeer the conversation.

Straight white men unaffected by the UCU's decision are naturally peeved about the ban, one blogger at American Thinker goes so far as to compare those left out of this year's conference to "Jews under Hitler ... singled out and denied their humanity because of all the advantages they are supposed to have." Which, let's face it, straight white men do enjoy a lot of advantages. So that's a bridge or ten too far. 

Commenters on LGBT site PinkNews also took issue with the UCU's ban, pointing out the inherent contradiction in the idea. "Yes, please. Let's teach a lesson about equality and inclusion by actually prohibiting a group from attending," wrote oregonduckbrad, who would appear to be a white male. 

That point makes sense, but then there's also this one: Doesn't feel great being left out of something because of gender, orientation, skin color or physical ability, does it?

Source: Giphy

Read more: Why Is 'White Feminism' Such a Dirty Phrase? A History of Feminism and Exclusion

Read more: PayPal's Panel on Gender Inclusion Didn't Plan to Include Any Women

Read more: The 'Whiteness Project' Is Back, and It's Whiter and More Revealing Than Ever

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Grizzly bear protections in Yellowstone National park are ending

A final ruling by US government officials will strike the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of threatened species after its population increased to 700.

Another day, another off-camera White House press briefing

The move to scale back on-camera press briefings comes amid Trump's increasing unwillingness to interact with the press.

Minneapolis might get a $15 minimum wage, but restaurant workers aren't celebrating

Discord has been brewing in Minneapolis over whether tipped work will be counted toward a $15 minimum wage.

These abysmal new poll numbers for House health care bill don't bode well for Senate version

Only 34% of Republicans approve of the new proposed law.

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.

American Health Care Act by the numbers: What to know about Senate Republicans' secret health plan

After drafting the ACA repeal and replace plan behind closed doors, the AHCA is out — and Senate Republican leaders are hoping to vote on it in a week.

Grizzly bear protections in Yellowstone National park are ending

A final ruling by US government officials will strike the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of threatened species after its population increased to 700.

Another day, another off-camera White House press briefing

The move to scale back on-camera press briefings comes amid Trump's increasing unwillingness to interact with the press.

Minneapolis might get a $15 minimum wage, but restaurant workers aren't celebrating

Discord has been brewing in Minneapolis over whether tipped work will be counted toward a $15 minimum wage.

These abysmal new poll numbers for House health care bill don't bode well for Senate version

Only 34% of Republicans approve of the new proposed law.

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.

American Health Care Act by the numbers: What to know about Senate Republicans' secret health plan

After drafting the ACA repeal and replace plan behind closed doors, the AHCA is out — and Senate Republican leaders are hoping to vote on it in a week.