Accessibility is a very current topic, but not all framings of accessibility are alike. Spot the difference:
We must have 50% of young people attending university, to make us viable competitors on the world stage, and set our stamp on world affairs as leading enlightened, dynamic and creative figures in the international community.
Artificial barriers to university cause many problems. People feel discouraged, alienated and disenfranchised. For individuals from many communities, there is a knock-on effect on equality and access to other resources.
Gender balance in academic disciplines
Imagine how great it would be if half of our engineering graduates were women. Our credentials as a gender-equal society would be enhanced immeasurably. Just imagine what diplomatic leverage we would have against ‘our enemies’ (whoever they may be at that particular time, of course), when they see how many of ‘our women’ (sic!) are able to study in these disciplines. The ‘female community’ (sic!)
are, um sorry, is a great asset of of ours,um, mine!
Many women in many disciplines are harassed, mocked and treated with condescension. We are often not taken seriously, and when we are, it is only when our contributions are ‘useful’ enough for the men’s club.
I think it is not difficult to see what the differences are between A. and B.
Which view do you hear more often? (It may not always be a question, of course, of what is said out loud, but what is implied).
Sometimes, in law, where there has been a crime, the question is cui bono? To whose benefit? And perhaps, in relation to the moral crimes of tokenism and patronage, it is also possible to ask: cui bono? In the two examples above, I have provided a sincere and reasonable framing of the matter in question, and an insincere and opportunistic one.
However, perhaps these two examples are rather stark, and easy to identify.
What other examples may exist? Where do the deeper subtleties exist?
However this may be, I hope the foregoing is thought-provoking.
Originally published on Wallace Runnymede.