Suffer In Silence

don't suffer alone….

Local council

UK Public swimming pools run by the council have women-only swimming pool sessions. They are able to avoid the attention of the sexual discrimination act by claiming that this is to avoid embarrassment. In addition letters of complaint to the pool managers usually get a reply that there are pregnant women, or women from ethnic minorities, who may be embarrassed in a mixed swimming session. The first point is that during these sessions male life-guards are still employed. Secondly that there is little evidence at least in Cambridge pools of pregnant or Asian women especially using the pool during these sessions. The third point is that when in the pool the only thing that can be seen is someone’s head so that the effort may be better spent in providing screens by the pool-side for women to enter and leave the pool and special women-only swimming lanes. The fourth point is that barring men is an apartheid measure.
If women are able to make the case that they are the victims (victimhood) and that men are the abusers (male-bashing) then what follows is that women are disadvantaged and therefore need special support (entitlement). For example Cambridge City Community Welfare and Development Plan 1995 says:

“Disadvantaged groups include the unemployed and low paid, ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities, lone parents and pensioners, those living in overcrowded conditions and lacking amenities”.
We can therefore expect priority spending on women and lone parent groups, and this is indeed the case. In addition because women are ‘victims’ they are then entitled to women-only swimming pool sessions, women-only car parking, and women-only library sessions and these already exist is various cities in the UK. We can compare the spending on men-only and women-only groups in Cambridge UK using 1992 and 1996 annual grant figures:
Women /Lone parents (read mothers) 1992 1996

  • Women’s Resource Centre (training and other) 176K 0.25M/year(estxx)
  • Women’s refuge centre (choices??xx) 60K (estxx) xx
  • Choices (Incest counselling) 26.9K 5040
  • Rape crisis centre 500 1146
  • Corona House (Women’s hostel) xx xx
  • Women’s aid 20.9K xx
  • Lesbian line 960 xx
  • Women and homelessness 14K xx
  • Gingerbread (lone parent i.e. mother) 1000 12.9K
  • Black women’s support group – 19250
  • Women-only swimming pool sessions xx 575K(Parks)+498K(abbey)
  • Social services dept (xx women’s groups) 1.0M
  • Social services/Health cmte (xx women’s groups) 2.5M


Cambridge Friend (Gay men) xx xx

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