Monday, July 30, 2012

Oxford University abolishes gender-distinct academic dress

Following representation/lobbying/harassment on behalf of transgender students by the Oxford University Student Union, as of 3rd August 2012 the University will abolish the centuries-old gender distinction in academic dress.

No more blouses for the ladies; no more shirts with separate collars for the gentlemen. Henceforth, both will wear plain, white shirts with fixed collars (though why all are not being obliged to wear blouses is beyond His Grace. Indeed, is it not decidedly masculinising [and so sexist] to suppress blouses?).

It is not clear what happens to hats. Presumably, by the same gender-neutral logic, no more will male graduands carry a mortarboard while the fairer sex sport soft caps (with strict, manifestly sexist rules on the wearing thereof). And, presumably, the ladies may also now wear white bow ties, and the men dark grey skirts and black stockings. And neither is it clear what becomes of His Grace’s preferred headgear, the Canterbury cap. The new regulations are reported in the University’s Gazette:
(d) Regulations relating to Academic Dress

Explanatory Note

The following changes have been agreed by Council. They remove any reference to gender from the regulations, in response to concerns from Oxford University Student Union that the existing regulations did not serve the interests of transgender students.

Text of Regulations

In the Vice-Chancellor's Regulations 1 of 2002 (made by the Vice-Chancellor on 20 March 2002, as amended on 24 January 2008), delete existing regulation 5 and substitute (new text underlined, deleted text struck through):

'5. All members of the University are required to wear academic dress with subfusc clothing (and candidates who are not members of the University are required to wear formal clothing) when attending any university examination, ie a dark suit with dark socks, or a dark skirt with black stockings or trousers with dark socks and an optional dark coat; black shoes; plain white collared shirt; a black tie or white bow tie.
Men. A dark suit and socks, black shoes, a white bow tie, and plain white shirt and collar.
Women. A dark skirt or trousers, a white blouse, black tie, black stockings and shoes, and, if desired, a dark coat.

Dress for each sex should be such as might be appropriate for formal occasions.

Candidates serving in HM Forces are permitted to wear uniform together with a gown. (The uniform cap is worn in the street and carried when indoors.)'
But how many transgendered students are there at Oxford?

Surely, if there be one (or maybe two), he/she/it/they could have found ways of accommodating the University’s strict dress code with their own particular circumstances without neutering the entire University population?

His Grace is rather peeved (to say the least) by this development, and supports all efforts to erect a new Congregation, whilst remaining within the historic Convocation, for those unable to accept such innovations.


Blogger Rebel Saint said...

All goes to prove that knowledge & wisdom are very distinct. I wonder how many very clever people it took to come to this incredibly foolish decision?

30 July 2012 at 09:40  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

All goes to prove that knowledge & wisdom are very distinct. I wonder how many very clever people it took to come to this incredibly foolish decision?

30 July 2012 at 09:41  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

Just how many transgender students are there at Oxford to justify all this activity?
To my knowledge in my lifetime, I have only ever met one person who has had a sex change, and that is one more than most of my friends of a similar age have met!
We seem to like changing rules to deal with events which are rarely likely to happen when we should be getting on with things that do matter.

30 July 2012 at 09:44  
Blogger Richard Gadsden said...

If you read the actual regulations, the change seems to be merely to allow men to wear female dress and women to wear male dress.

While, yes, male students will now be allowed to wear a skirt if they want to, I doubt that very many will.

The approach taken - to continue to have both male and female dress but just let anyone wear whichever they choose - is far more sensible and respectful of tradition than the alternative of creating a single dress-code and imposing it on everyone.

I suspect that the graduands will be far more likely to be told that they can have either a mortarboard or a soft cap at their discretion, than that either be abolished in favour of the other.

30 July 2012 at 09:58  
Blogger Pétrus said...

I agree with His Grace on this topic. Surely forcing women to wear male attire is sexist and needs to be stamped out?

30 July 2012 at 10:26  
Blogger IanCad said...

Rebel Saint,

What you said was well worth posting twice.

I hope, how I hope, that we will soon see the end of the university system.

Subfusc? YG,

Next time my wife asks me how she looks I'll have to try that.

30 July 2012 at 11:17  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Cross-dressing is the psychological submission into the other gender due to the inferiority they believe for their own.

Why would you change rules to be dictated to by such ill people?

Only cowards, betrayers and traitors would submit to intimidation... for this is the same path into Communism where the individual capitulates into wearing the voice of the collective.

This house of science is dead.

30 July 2012 at 11:27  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I have to say I'm not particularly incensed by this. But it is worth noting, as His Grace does, the shift in our culture for accomodating non-normative practices (what used to be the definition of "tolerance") and abolishing normative practices for the sake of a minority of "aberrant" individuals (what is now called "tolerance"). Which often appears to have a collective effect of valorizing the non-normative while vilifying the normative. All very strange.

30 July 2012 at 11:39  
Blogger Pubcrawler said...

"centuries-old", Your Grace? Really? I am no expert on the happenings in The Other Place, but no more than one, I'd have thought, if that.

And (to be irritatingly pedantic) surely it is the rules about subfusc that are being changed, not academical dress?

30 July 2012 at 11:49  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Joan de Ark was burned as a witch for dressing as a man

If this decision prevents the burning of heroins who fight with honour for nationalist causes I am all for it

30 July 2012 at 12:14  
Blogger Simon said...

I wondered how long it would be before you picked up on this story, Your Grace.

A point to clear up, on the issue of hats: presumably both men and women will be allowed to choose between the mortar board and the soft cap, whereas currently only women have a choice, men having to wear/carry the mortar board. However, hardly any women presently choose the felt cap anyway so nothing will really change there.

Of course, men (by which I mean "cismales") will now turn up in black ribbons instead of a white bow tie for a laugh, or because they think that "bow ties are uncomfortable", or just to make a point, and the Proctors will have no power to stop them. I predict that more cisgender people will pull such a stunt than there are transgender in the whole student body of the university...

But you have really missed the most worrying story here, Your Grace. The tactics used by people who support this rule change were/are to insist that anyone who disagrees with them is a hateful bigot whose sole aim is to make the lives of transgender people a misery. There is no such thing, we are told, as a person who carefully and sensitively considers the issues in question then comes down on the opposite side from the LGBTQ Officer's opinions. It is, in short, Cranmer's Law in action, and is a sinister view of the future for all of us who are not part of the angry, sexually-unorthodox(can I call them that?)-supporting, oppressive left.

30 July 2012 at 12:22  
Blogger The Judicious Hooker said...

When I graduated, I had to hire my mortarboard from the Women's University Assocation as it was not customary at that time for men to wear the academic cap.

I decided that there could be no capping without a cap. Technically, I suppose I was cross-dressing - above the neck at least...

30 July 2012 at 13:38  
Blogger Theo said...

"The woman shall not wear that which pertains to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all that do so are an abomination to the Lord your God."
Deut 22:5 (AMP)

30 July 2012 at 15:19  
Blogger David B said...

Is there anything in the code about tattoos or clothes if different materials woven together?

David B

30 July 2012 at 15:41  
Blogger Theo said...

David B

"Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap."
Gal 6:7 (AMP)

30 July 2012 at 16:07  
Blogger John Norman said...

If such a rule had been introduced forty or so years ago, I'm pretty sure that I and many of my fellow undergraduates would have thought it an absolute hoot to turn up to the examination schools dressed in skirts.

30 July 2012 at 16:48  
Blogger Kinderling said...

If males and females were made to wear exactly the same clothes. like the Swedish Olympic Team, then cross-dressers would have no sexual frisson and therefore be forced to leave the LGBTQ.

The cure was never the desire, but the desire the cure.

30 July 2012 at 16:48  
Blogger gentlemind said...

Whenever anybody endeavours to change sex, they embark on an enterprise than can only ever result in failure. Sex physically exists - male and female. It cannot be changed. The right to change sex is the right to do the physically impossible. The cost of granting the impossible is that we must take something away from everybody - physical truth. In the case of changing sex, if one male has the right to be a female, then all males lose the right to have their physically real maleness recognised in law. Redefining marriage works the same way. The cost of allowing two women the right to the impossible (founding a family) is that everybody loses the right to have their physically real parental status recognised in law. The cost is, of course, the desired outcome.

30 July 2012 at 17:15  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ah yes, Your Grace, a few more of nature’s troubled freaks telling us how it should be.

Bah !

30 July 2012 at 18:24  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

More evidence that society in common with fish ( apparently ) rot from the top.

I prefer the rotten fruit tree analogy.

A corrupted seed planted within an East End public housing estate, may grow into the odd annoying weed or two. However corrupted seed planted within our top university's soon enough produce poisoned fruit in all of our shopping baskets.

The reasons for this kind of thing are many, among the foremost of which is the establishments desire to deduce the population of mainly reasonably intelligent middle-class white people.

Encouraging our brightest young people to become anything other then loving wives, husbands, and parents of more then two likewise minded children combined with all of the other government policies designed to make real parenthood all but financially and socially impossible, is all part of The Plan.

30 July 2012 at 18:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One fondly thinks back and wonders what the British Union of Fascists would have made of this. You see, odd examples, by getting society to dance to your tune, you make decent types question exactly where society is headed and whether we can do something about it before it’s too late (...from OUR point of view, certainly not yours...)...

30 July 2012 at 18:38  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

It's not those at the top who bother me, it is those underneath who listen to them and do their bidding

30 July 2012 at 21:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Discontent in the ranks, don’t you know. You can’t legislate to make people accept transgender. Individuals do, out out of pity mainly, or not at all. The rest of us are getting somewhat tired as to what we can or can’t do, think or wear.

Right, that said, bring on the dancing girls...

30 July 2012 at 21:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Hardly 21st century clothing anyway.

And why does one have to wear fancy dress for an examination anyway?

Will it be the end of civilsation as we know it if students are permitted to wear what they choose? I mean, the costume is a tad dorkish, wouldn't you say?

30 July 2012 at 23:06  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Bring back the codpiece I say

30 July 2012 at 23:25  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Or the figleaf.

31 July 2012 at 01:37  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Atlas said ...

" ... is all part of The Plan."

Here we go ....

31 July 2012 at 01:41  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace said: Surely [...] he/she/it/they could have found ways [...] without neutering the entire University population? "Neutering" is the operative notion, so this is an acute perception.

To control a population, governing puppets must destroy its sense of identity. To destroy the population completely, however, might be desirable. That is also known as genocide.

What approach to genocide is more subtle than "neutering"? Furthermore, add "neutering" to abortion, euthanasia, ssm, and abolition of Judaeo-Christian moral codes --- Why! Kill at your Will, and Robert's your aunt!!

Genocide accomplished in subfusc style ... and all repositories of learning can be deconstructed.

On this possibility, methinks that several of us might not disagree with Atlas.

31 July 2012 at 04:11  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

I'm sure the NHS will find an extra few beds for you all.

31 July 2012 at 08:53  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Way of the Dodo - Common sense and Oxford traditions make uneasy bedfellows. Heaven forfend that students facing around 30 hours of life-defining exams in a weekly period should not have to worry about tying a white bow tie in the morning (clip-ons being beyond the pale for most) or should be able to wear comfy clothing of their own choice duriing this ordeal. I remember one chap being told that if he returned for his afternoon exam without having changed into darker socks than those he was currently wearing, he would be barred from sitting it (this being in 2005, mind, not 1935).

That said, whilst the dress rules constitute an acute localised smarting sensation in the fundament, they are surprisingly popular. For example, there is no written rule that one has to wear a carnation buttonhole during exams, but pretty much everyone goes to the effort of doing so, because it's a tradition, and if we didn't like tradition we wouldn't have bothered applying to Britain's oldest University (much older than that nasty modern place up in the Fens).

Of all the things to get worked up about, a tweak to gender restrictions in the dress rules is less
Ikely to get Oxford students' pulses racing than moving the kebab van a few feet further from the college gate.

As long as they don't tit about with tradition too much....

31 July 2012 at 09:30  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

What a frightfully petit bourgeois place Oxford must be.

There are certain colleges of the University of Durham where no one would ever have batted an eyelid if gentlemen had worn skirts and blouses under their academic tat.

Indeed, everyone might even be more distressed, or at least surprised, if several of them did not.

31 July 2012 at 15:16  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"I'm sure the NHS will find an extra few beds for you all."

As you are on the run from a high security detention hospital that means at least one is available ...until you are caught. Was the strait jacket manducktory or compliments of the coup?!


Do let me know if you want old Ernst to explain a tautology to you?


Nearly wet me pants with laughter when His Grace was complaining on Twitter about sock puppets, as it had old Ernst imagining old 'Holely' socks on ya hand with a large tache or beard or even a lush long blonde syrup and sun glasses on the blessed foot garment.
This blog has become like an old sock drawer..*Chortles* Spot the two that match?! *Huge guffaws*

As Nick Frisbee might say..IT A PUPPET!

31 July 2012 at 19:05  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Blowfly, so name these supposed sock puppets. I'm sure we'll all interested. And then ask nurse to increase your medication.

31 July 2012 at 19:23  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


He won't reply to my direct question, way too cowardly, but Blowfeld has said ...

"Ernst imagining old 'Holely' socks on ya hand with a large tache or beard or even a lush long blonde syrup and sun glasses on the blessed foot garment."

The operative word in this accusation being "imagining". Still, thought you should know.

Albert is resting and I'm not sure but think the third fantasy relates to cressida.

Our aged Inspector Piroutte certainly sees me as multi talented - intelligence, reason, theological robuteness, wit, insight and humour. A diverse skill set all combined with distinct identity styles. I should be nominated for an award of some sort!

I should take all this as a great compliment to The Dude.

1 August 2012 at 00:59  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

certainly sees me as multi talented - intelligence, reason, theological robuteness, wit, insight and humour. A diverse skill set all combined with distinct identity styles. I should be nominated for an award of some sort!

Multi-farious (having many parts of great variety) the word Ernst had in mind. Your explanation is you merely patting yourself on your backs over 'imagined' attributes 'you' associate with yourself.*snigger*

Ever the self publicist?! ;-)


Ernsty has never doubted your cleverness my bird, only it's meands of manifestation here.

1 August 2012 at 09:36  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

According to your 'theory' Inpector Blowfy Piroutte not only am I able to mimic multifarious writing styles and adopt a variety of personas, I am also capable of being in different parts of the country and the world at the same time.


1 August 2012 at 21:25  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The ubiquitous bird chirped

"I am also capable of being in different parts of the country and the world at the same time."

Really think Ernsty is deep in a crater near Bali somewhere in the South Pacific, coz he says so?.



Never heard of a virtual private network provider(VPN) ?? ;O)

2 August 2012 at 09:49  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


Goodness me you are a busy little Inspector Piroutte!

I have never heard of VPN - can anyone get one? Because a blogger across the seas broadly agrees with Catholicism this is evidence of what exactly?

2 August 2012 at 22:43  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older