Amendment to Sex Discrimination Act 1975

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by johnmartin, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Having, as I do, an interest in politics I found this little snippet whilst perusing Hansard recently. Thought it might be of interest to those bands which appear to have an all male, or all female, membership policy. Apparently this bill has already had its' first reading unopposed through the commons. Your comments are invited.
  2. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Watch out Brighouse! :D

    Although seriously, is it something that is required for sexual equality. Some bands may have a tradition of having an all-male membership, but it looks like that may have to change.

    I can't see why this should affect the band movement too drastically though.
  3. Shame this, there's something very cool and comforting about the knowlege that bands can still get away with this all-male membership machoistic thing.

    I wouldn't want to be the poor lass that goes and breaks the ice in one of the top all male bands. Being the 1st female might open your eyes up a bit. Who knows what they get up to behind closed doors :p :p :p :p
  4. Yeah but even so, they could still keep it all male. They could just turn round and say that the woman wasn't good enough each time one applies and get round it that way surely? Even though everyone would know the real reason-who can prove it?
  5. alks

    alks Member

    "Sections 29A to 29C do not render unlawful any refusal to allow a woman to perform a task whose essential nature calls for a man for
    reasons of authenticity in a dramatic performance or other entertainment."

    Perhpas some bands could argue the case for authenticity?

    Any way, i coudn't imagine going to band with no females around...

  6. midwalesman

    midwalesman Member

    Sexual Equality

    Whilst I agree that sexual equality is an important part of cultural progress not only in music but in general life. There are outstanding female players out there and I appreciate their talents (playing, that is) and understand their ambitions to reach the top of the banding tree (as blokes also aspire). However, since banding I would say is now over 99% mixed gendered, there are other routes that are available to those who wish to aspire to the very best. This obviously means that the remaining male bands will miss out on the increasingly good talent of the opposite sex. So its our tough luck.

    I fail to see the problem with some bands having only a single gender playing staff. By no means do these bands have a set of rules which say that the female gender are not allowed to join. As a member of possibly the less than 1% of bands with a single gender playing staff I sometimes see certain topics about the "Women should be allowed in" types and wonder why do you want to get in. After all there are more bands that have mixed gender and are extremely good bands, so why be so fussy and want to rock the boat. I'm sure in time all bands will mixed gendered, some will no doubt become all female and will have similar perceived prejudice towards male players.

    All in all, if a woman wanted to join an all male band, fully in the knowledge that it's single sex, what would be her motivations ?
    The fact that she'd be the first female in the previously all male domain or notoriety in banding folklore as the first female ? It could also be purely the fact that they wish to get into something that they know they can't or is this far too cynical and that their motivations are concerned with playing in a top band (that can happen now anyway ?)

    I hope that I've balanced this argument out, I am in no way against women joining all male bands. Personally I think it's great playing in mixed gendered bands, but on the opposite side of the scales, I enjoy the single gender environment which is certainly a lot different, especially in its social dynamics and behaviour. I think everyone has the right to play or survive in the mix of people that they choose and should not be forced by government or peer pressure to change their ways because others want to. There are I'm sure all female institutions that many males would aspire to be in, like a co-ordinator for an Ann Summers house party (it might be possible now, havent really checked). If there are female orientated societies, whether in music or anything else, they have an equal right to do what they want, ask who they want and enjoy the company of fellow females, as much as all male societies have these same rights. Whether the single gendered bands will suffer in the long run, time will tell, with the amount of females in the youth banding system it might be in a short time.

    Final words:- I do feel that there is a tiny element of Machoism in playing in a single gendered band. There is the fact that its an unique ensemble of players of the same gender, which sets that ensemble separtate to the 99% of other bands. People not only identify these bands due to their single gender but because (in the Championship section male dominated bands) they have famous names that have been established due to contest success. The way I look at being in an all male band is that it was strange to begin with but it was something that you get used to. Essentially if a social dynamic that has been established for a long time is disrupted, in this topic by gender, it could alter or completely change the relationships within the band, for example between players. I'm not saying that this change in social dynamic would not settle and that the band would again have a good form of social dynamic in time, just through the initial stages of change there would be a lot of change needed from those who's comfortable environment would have been disturbed.

    Any how, not wishing to be controversial but I think there should be all women bands in the Championship section. This may undoubtedly draw a bigger amount of banders from the pub and if promoted right could draw more of the general audience if they went for a Calendar Girls approach! :D :lol:

    Only joking, as my motto goes, each to their own!

    There's room for all types of band in the banding world.
  7. Paige

    Paige Member

    i personally cant see the "top" bands such as faireys and brighouse accepting females unless they were particulary desperate which i think is a shame really cos i bet there are alot of females who are already better than some in those bands (not that im bias or owt :shock: ).

    i think this is shown in the fact that these bands still wont let females on the coaches so ive heard - isnt this slightly living in the ice-age?? :shock: :?
  8. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    Just for info: the WI has a very active male membership (my grandad was a member!). Also Ann Summers isn't an institution, it is a company that (obviously) employs men as well as women - Ann Summers parties are for both genders (with the men arriving later than the women :D ).

    When I was at St Andrews I saw gender discrimination within and without the University, the most notable example of this is the Royal and Ancient Golf Club - I wouldn't mind if it was just an all male golf club, but it makes the rules and it sets the standards and women don't get a say (although this is changing). There is a similar case in banding...

    It wouldn't bother me if bands like Brighouse and Faireys were just average bands, but they are not, they are some of the best bands in the country and the compete at the highest level in European competition. They are ambassadors for banding to the outside world and they are public performers. There is absolutely no difference between the sexes when it comes to brass playing, so why should there be bands who give the impression (whether intrinsically or exstrinsically) that there is? These bands are not private clubs that do little to affect the outside world, they set an example to young people and the music loving public alike through their performances. Allowing baseless gender discrimination like this to exist in music is wrong and it tells young players the wrong things.
  9. yorkie19

    yorkie19 Active Member

    At the end of the day, I'm not sure this will provoke in change in the playing membership of all-male bands. Bands could involve women in non-playing capacities and comply with the law.
  10. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Quite so, but they would possibly fall foul of the proposed law should one of the top female players apply for an advertised playing position. If they were rejected or didn't even get to audition and had an impeccable playing record then they could quite feasibly argue a very strong case of discrimination. All it would take is one test case and the whole house of cards would come tumbling down.

    All male bands (or all female) are an historical anachronism grown out of the industrial revolution when most bands were works bands and most of the workers were male. The nice little wives were expected to stay at home and keep house. Unfortunately this is the 21st century and not the 19th. Things change, things move on and progress is made.
  11. midwalesman

    midwalesman Member

    Ambassadors in music

    Thanks for the explanation on the Ann Summers situation, I think my housemates and I will look into the situation in detail. You make very good constructive points, especially that there is no particular reason behind women not being allowed in the top bands which dont have men. I do however believe that a musical ensemble or society of single gender has to have justification for having one set of a particular gender. As a society we like to have freedom of expression and speech and on the whole do not like to be told how to do or spend our hobbies and with whom we should spend it. If a person joins a morris dancing company that doesn't have women (I know they do, just not for this example!) he knows what he's getting into and wants to do a hobby perhaps without a woman being present. It is this blokes decision to attend the morris dancing, if he wanted to go with a partner or in seeking company of the opposite sex then he would choose to go to a mixed session. If a group wants to be a single gendered organisation why can they not remain so ? Surely there are enough bands of the top quality for those women to attend after all the most successful band at the moment is a mixed gendered band. That is their perogative, the single gendered bands have their right to be single gendered whether this is detrimental to their existance or not.

    Looking at this from a purely musical perspective. Barbershop competitions in the "Land of the Free" still have competitions for male only groups and the female competitions are still counted as being slightly inferior because the tradition of the movement was predominantly a male activity. There are other musics, albeit in developing countries, that still have marked borders regarding what instruments women could play and what instruments they can't (this happens especially in the African nations and in certain music socieites in South America for example. Perhaps I have wondered too far from the path on this point so I won't go on.

    As for the Ambassadorial influence that bands such as B+R, Fairies and Grimethorpe have. I always thought that the music and the standard at which it was played was the main objectives of contesting in a native country or abroad. People cannot punish the bands mentioned above because they are simply one gendered, isn't that a form of reverse discrimination ? If an all male band plays well and wins the European, thats a bad image for banding in this country ? I don't agree. Having played in the European and won on one occasion I met a lot of people who I still keep in contact with and they didnt have a problem with the matter. As for the all male image. Well, why do boy bands like Boyzone and Westlife tour ? Surely they aren't good ambassadors for music because they only have male singers ? The Spice Girls were all women, yet, were they not good ambassadors ? If being PC then they should have been mixed bands. So what is the difference between Boyzone etc and all male brass bands ? Except the obvious things like 15 million screaming girl fans and a load more money and a form of music which is (sadly) more popular. Ambassadors should be groups or players that excell not only on their instruments but perform as part of a highly successful team, irrespective of gender, race or background.

    It's sad that this is, in my view, is still being discussed. If the influence of single gender bands were that great why does there seem to me, more females coming through the ranks of players than men ? Women also play football now at various levels of expertise, surely they took the role model of the greatest or most popular sport in this country which is all male, i.e football. They have obviously been inspired to play football even with a predominantly male activity, so I can't see how male only bands can, in this day and age, put off women from playing in the top bands ?

    Surely this is an issue which should now be put on the back burner or forgotten and more important issues such as the music and a distinct lack of organisation throughout the whole movement be discussed.

    Many thanks
  12. hoppiebari

    hoppiebari Member

    Sex discrimination act

    Could the same apply to same sex pop bands - could this be the end for Westlife!
  13. Well Worth It

    Well Worth It Active Member

    PLEASE GOD, YES!!!!!
    Hang on though Stevie, that would spell the end for Destiny's Child, Atomic Kitten, Girls Aloud and promote *beeped* artists like SClub and Steps.
    Be careful of what you wish.

    Edit: oops - the bleeper missed that one! (dyl)
    Such is the extent of my vocab :wink:
  14. midwalesman

    midwalesman Member

    Atomic Kitten

    Well if Atomic Kitten and the girl bands split up, there will be more vids of them in individual mode! More raunchy videos...wahay!

    More Xtina Aguilera types, doing their Dirrty stuff!
  15. asteria

    asteria Member

    It'd be a brave (or foolish!) woman who tried to enforce this law if it came into effect! Trying to win your way into an all-male club to use their snooker table is one thing, but forcing your way into a band and then trying to work as part of a team on the concert/contest stage when you're not wanted there is another!

    Any volunteers? No, i thought not....
  16. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Are we assuming that bands such as Brighouse and Fairies don't want female players amongst their ranks? Or are we assuming they are just conforming to tradition ... if it was the latter I could understand the "1st woman" having a much easier time joining the band.
  17. Paige

    Paige Member

    i'd assume they didnt want them there.

    i'd be the first women wouldnt have a problem with it, if they did it would just show how shallow they were. equal oppertunities an' all that - no chance, how many top bands are there that women can that i can think of. that men can join....endless list! equal oppertunities..yer rite!
  18. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    I can only think of three bands that have no women in. Grimey, Faireys and Brighouse. No others off the top of my head :roll: I don't agree with not including women by the way. If all bands excluded women, think of the great players we'd be missing out on? Plus, a look at many youth bands would tell you the future of banding is getting more and more balanced in terms of gender.
  19. Paige

    Paige Member

    thats three bands that women cant join though how many are there that men cant join....
  20. Borfeo

    Borfeo Member

    Does anybody know of any women that have actually applied for a position at Brighouse or Faireys? I think perhaps it's the all male reputations of these bands that stop females from applying for positions within them. I would find it hard to believe that there is a written rule in their constitution saying that females are not welcome in the band, or maybe the bandhalls don't have a ladies toilet :oops:

    At the end of the day, I don't think there's anything particularly discriminating about these bands, how many ppl have complained about this situation over the years? How many hard done by women are there that were snubbed by these bands? Not many I'd wager!

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