Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Women’s Association

At university, it wasn’t long before I came across the Student Union Women’s Association. It was operating a clever political scam. The level of funding that student societies received from the university depended on the number of members. The more members, the more funding. The Women’s Association had somehow managed to operate a closed shop. Every female student who enrolled in the university was automatically made a member of the Women’s Association. They would each receive a note telling them so, which almost all of them would ignore. A tiny number of them would choose to involve themselves. If the Women’s Association had only been allowed to count those who actually bothered to join, they would have been a tiny minority fringe group, with far fewer members than any of the sports clubs, or the Real Ale Society. Instead, however, they claimed to represent the interests of about 10,000 students, and so were a powerful political force. The fact that most of those 10,000 students were barely even aware of the Women’s Association’s existence, and never showed the slightest interest in it, was neither here nor there. Which female students was it who chose to involve themselves? Of course, it was dominated by a handful of radical lesbian feminists. They were the ones who were motivated to join, and they, therefore, were the ones who controlled the purse strings. By means of a simple constitutional trick, the closed shop, they managed to wield a completely disproportionate level of political power within the students’ union. No-one dared to challenge their authority, because that would be misogynistic. Why would anyone in their right mind seek to undermine a noble venture like the Women’s Association?

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