When it comes to sexism and the demonisation of men, many readers may be familiar with the “all men are paedophiles” seating policies operated by airlines such as Quantas and Air New Zealand. Such companies regard all men as such a threat to children that they refuse to seat any unaccompanied child next to an adult male passenger, even forcing men to move seats and confronting the likes of Boris Johnson, even when he was with his own children.
This misandrist attitude to adult men isn’t limited to airlines, and many years ago we noticed similar issues at institutions such as the London Science Museum. This taxpayer-funded organisation runs Science Sleepover Nights featuring hands-on workshops and science shows for children aged 7-11. Whilst the children aren’t subject to any sexism, there was very clear misandry when it comes to whom the museum allows to supervise the groups, with their policy clearly stating the following:
To ensure adequate supervision overnight, your group will need the following number of adults:
Families: at least one adult
Schools and other groups: a minimum of one adult for every six children as follows:
- All girl group: one female adult for every 5-6 children
- All boy group: one female or one male adult for every 5-6 children
- Mixed group: two female adults or one female and one male adult for every 5-9 children.
So, under the science museum rules, female teachers were able to take male or female children to these events, whereas male teachers were only allowed to supervise boys thus putting them at a clear disadvantage in their chosen profession. Worse still, a father wanting to take his daughter and five of her friends to such an event would be completely unable to do so (unless of course all her friends are boys) and such a policy is not only grossly harmful to fathers and male teachers, it’s almost certainly illegal too.
We’ve been aware of this policy at the Science Museum since April 2008 thanks to the Rights of Man Blog and having investigated further it seems other equality minded groups noticed the issue as early as 2007. Needless to say we’ve voiced our concerns in the past regarding such extreme sexism against men and we’ve endeavoured to monitor such policies as much as possible.
Upon recently checking the page outlining the museum’s “all men are paedophiles” policy we noticed it had vanished and all text on the page was entirely gender neutral. However, we did notice disturbing content was still present in the Science Night risk assessment form which read as follows:
- Male adult leaders are only allowed to sleep on the boy’s side and female adults can sleep on either side.
- It is the responsibility of the adult group leaders to have the correct number of female/male adults to ensure that both the boys and girls are suitably supervised.
We contacted the London Science Museum to point out this anomaly and enquired whether they had now finally abandoned their “all men are paedophiles” policy or whether they were merely now attempting to hide it from view?
HEqual can now announce the fantastic news that we received a positive response from the organisation confirming that the sexist policy is no more! and that the museum has removed the outdated text in their risk assessment forms too. In response to our queries about the origins of the policy and reasons for the change, a spokesperson stated they had been inherited from a previous team and that the change had actually occurred in 2013 when gender segregation was also abandoned.
As for why the misandrist policy was abandoned, the Science Museum states its “views on gender equality were the significant reason for changing the arrangements”. This is clearly excellent news, and strongly indicates that the current staff at the organisation are considerably more pleasant and less sexist than their predecessors.
Unfortunately, there still are some slight hints of sexism at the organisation, for example it has a “Brownies only” night which is female only, yet no equivalent STEM event for a boy’s group. That said, much of the fault here lies as much with organisation such as the Brownies and Cubs themselves, with the later now allowing girls to join but the former failing to reciprocate.
A more pressing concern for us at HEqual is a new development of the “all men are paedophiles” policy now spreading to the equivalent “Bedbugs” sleepover events at the London Zoo. In many ways it’s hardly surprising that the moment we manage to eliminate misandry at one institution, it immediately spreads itself to a new venue and the policy is mentioned twice on the Zoo’s website.
It really is little wonder that we as a society have a crisis in recruiting and retaining male teachers at primary school level when famous institutions such as the London Zoo openly suggest such teachers are a threat to their pupils and thus female teachers are by implication far superior. Discrimiantion against fathers by London Zoo is equally conconcering too and their gender hatred make life particualry difficult and for fathers of daughters, even more so if they’re single fathers. Finally, it’s little wonder we so so few convictions of female sex offenders (not to mention such a hughe gender justice gap), when major orgasniations insist on pretending that only men can abuse kids.
Needless to say we’ll be in touch with staff at London Zoo about their sexist policy and how it has been abaonded elsewhere. We strongly encourage readers to do likewise. You can contact them at BedBUGS@zsl.org
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Note: We’ve spotted further outdated mentions of the “all men are paedophiles”policy present in other documents on the Science Museum’s website and we’ve emailed relevant parties who we are confident will swiftly remove such sexist material.
Update: We’ve already noticed one mention fo the sexist policy dissapear from the London Zoo website though a second mention is still present.