For over a week now, astonished reaction has been building to the decision of Universities UK to recommend the segregation of men and women on campuses. The astonishment has been all the greater because, in a characteristic display of 21st century hypocrisy, the representatives of 132 universities and colleges clothed reactionary policies in the language of liberalism.
It could be a denial of the rights of a woman hater – or ‘representative of an ultra-orthodox religious group’, as our finest institutes of higher learning put it – to allow men and women to sit where they please. The Muslim or Orthodox Jew could refuse to speak in such intolerable circumstances. The university would then have infringed his freedom of speech if it did not segregate.