Gender segregation

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A high proportion of human societies have chosen some form of gender segregation and it is one of the biggest criticisms westerners often level at non-western societies. In recent years there is evidence that western civilisation may be adopting increased gender segregation.

A lot of gender segregation in western countries is being driven by feminists who state that they often feel threatened by men, sometimes merely by their presence.[1] Women continue to form many women-only organisations in western countries (such as gyms).[2] Other segregated areas include women-only hotel floors[3][4] with a prediction of women-only hotels soon. This is a growing trend.[5] Women only restaurants are becoming common too.[6]

There is even a Lesbian-only cemetery in Germany.[7] The city of Hamilton New Zealand plans to ban men from a public swimming pool during certain times, creating women-only swimming sessions.[8] US universities have female only education sessions[9]

China, Kuwait, Malaysia, Indonesia, Austria, Italy, Germany and South Korea now have women-only parking spaces in shopping centres and malls.[10][11]

There are women-only bus seats in Switzerland.[12]

There are women-only train carriages in Malaysia.[13]

An insurance company in the UK has seriously suggested road lanes exclusively for female drivers.[14]

New York City has a women-only taxi service.[15] Although they have apparently had trouble finding sufficient female drivers. A similar service has been proposed for Melbourne, Australia[16], and is in use elsewhere.[17]

There are women-only police stations in Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, Peru and India.[18]

Jessica Valenti, a well known feminist blogger, has explicitly proposed gender segregation on public transport.[19]

This raises the interesting question about whether it was women who drove segregation in other societies. This would be interesting considering that gender segregation in non-western countries today is often claimed as principally disadvantaging women.

Feminists assert that men dominate in conversations with women[20] and interrupt women more than women interrupt men in conversation.[21] This notion is in dispute but if it is believed by women to be true then it may follow that women would prefer to talk to other women than men, which would further support the notion that women may naturally wish to increase gender segregation.

It may be reasonable for a society to permit gender segregation, but it must be on just and equal terms. Thus a society should permit both men-only and women-only organisations only if they are available on equal terms. A society should allow both or it should allow neither. Currently women in the west continue to enjoy uninterrupted access to women-only spaces and organisations while men are today largely prohibited from having men-only spaces and organisations.