Sexism at Golf’s Open Championship

HAVRE DE GRACE, MD - JUNE 06: Lorena Ochoa (ME...

HAVRE DE GRACE, MD – JUNE 06: Lorena Ochoa (MEX) during practice before 2007 LPGA Championship held at Bulle Rock Golf Course, on June 6, 2007 in Havre de Grace, Maryland. (Photo by Keith Allison) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week Alex Salmond and Maria Miller, among others, have announced that they will boycott golf’s Open Championship because of Muirfield’s continued men-only membership policy. Despite the fact that occupational segregation is currently a ministerial gender equality priority in Scotland its golf clubs lag behind in the equality stakes. Muirfield is not the only men-only club to hold the Open but it has become a lightening rod for the debate about sexism in sport. There has been condemnation from within the sport as well as outside it amid concerns for the potential damage golf’s image. Laura Davies, among the most successful British female golfer in recent years has said it’s time Muirfield joined the 21st century. Continue reading

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On Ender’s Game and the Russian Olympics: Boycotts and Free Speech

Cover of "Ender's Game (Ender Quartet)"

Cover of Ender’s Game (Ender Quartet)

This week there are two quite different things people want to boycott: Ender’s Game and the Russian winter Olympics. The reasons that they want to boycott them however are essentially the same – by supporting them, you are giving money to bigots and homophobes. Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning same-sex affection following on the heals of his terrible treatment of Pussy Riot and Orson Scott Card sits on the board of NOM and is actively involved in similarly distasteful activities including calls for homosexuality to be made illegal. Continue reading

Embracing Geek Diversity

Geek Squad logo

Geek Squad logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At London Film and Comic Con last weekend something stood out to me. It wasn’t following Nymphadora Tonks off the tube at Earl’s Court. It wasn’t the seemingly endless array of geek paraphernalia. It wasn’t even people dressed in full 4th Doctor regalia despite the blistering heat. Those things are all the bread and butter of every geek convention I’ve ever been too.

The thing that struck me was the huge variety of people there. I may have cursed the couple with a pushchair but, despite taking up too much room in a space full to bursting, they were indicative of a much larger trend that has been creeping up on those of us who have been going to cons for some time now. Nothing however was a better example of geek mainstreaming than a man who excitedly informed me of his plans to open a geek nightclub. Continue reading