Why We Need A Women's Room
I did try genuinely hard to come up with a deft and moving explanation for why women at UNE need a space that’s only for women. I really did. I tried to craft a response that would offend nobody while striking just the right chord with everyone who has weighed in on the subject. It wasn’t until the eleventh hour (I actually mean the eleventh hour, it’s currently 10:22 and I’m still agonising) that I realised that would not be possible. What you’re going to get instead is pretty much exactly what you need- a clear cut, no nonsense guide to female only spaces and why we need them. 1. Women who wear the Niquab can eat while they’re on campus. This doesn’t really require more explanation. If it does, Google is your friend. This is a pretty basic request and shouldn’t be subject to questioning.
2. Women with young children need somewhere to breastfeed. If your response to this is “I don’t care if a woman breastfeeds in the cafe/courtyard/library!” it is not about you. It is cold as charity at this time of year, too.
3. Some of us are self conscious. We don’t like being looked at, we don’t like being objectified. If you feel the need to say “I don’t objectify women” then congratulations, you missed the point. The next one comes in about forty five minutes.
4. As above, but if you’re one of the people who drive up and down Elm Avenue hooting at women walking between up top and the colleges, you should go somewhere quiet and contemplate your actions.
5. Universities have been the domain of men for hundreds of years. If we need a space to get together and share the experiences we’ve had as women in tertiary education, we deserve one.
6. If it would benefit the male student body to have a space exclusively for men, then more power to you. Campaign. Fundraise. Discuss. Plan, work, and make decisions. We support you.