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Lerwick Up Helly Aa - sexist or traditional?


Female squad members in Lerwick Up Helly Aa  

105 members have voted

  1. 1. In principle, should women be allowed to participate in Lerwick Up Helly-Aa as squad members?

    • Yes
      54
    • No
      51
  2. 2. Is logistics (already high numbers of guizers, waiting lists for squads etc) a valid reason not to allow women to participate in Lerwick Up Helly-Aa as squad members?

    • Yes
      50
    • No
      55
  3. 3. The current ‘male only’ squad member demographic of Lerwick Up Helly-Aa is….

    • Sexist
      42
    • Traditional
      63


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I would totally defend a squad's rights to invite in anyone the wish, i.e they should not have anyone forced on them.

 

However there should, in principal, be no reason for anyone being excluded because of gender. 

 

The Up Helly A' organisers' would need to address is i.e. that there is no such exclusion clause, because all it s doing is creating a cause which people will take up whether they have any interest in going out or not.

 

I suspect many of  complainers might not be as keen as they think, if they ever have to do the full stint. So many first-timers think they can just go home when they're tired. lol

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^ AFAIK thats pretty much a matter between the person wanting to join, the existing members of the squad they want to join, and the leader of that squad. The UHA Committee, last I was aware anyway, ha

Imagine you're organising a stag do. You're the best man and you're all flying to Amsterdam. The groom is a pretty popular guy, but he's only wanting 22 pals to come away with him (for whatever reason

I think the whole thing is being overthought. Legal or not, unless there is a change then at some point in the future it will attract a lot of negative attention and may well come to a highly publicis

I totally agree with your first two paragraphs Wheelsup but I reckon any women interested in being in a squad have most likely been going to UHA, maybe for years already. I realise being a guest at one hall & performing at numerous halls through the night as a guizer or musician are different things but it is for the squad leaders to make it clear to all that falling by the wayside is not tolerated. Women do night shift jobs too so I'm sure they will cope! If they find being in a squad is not for them then they can give up their place to one of the many in the waiting list, no harm done.

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Personally I see no logical reason why women are not allowed in UHA squads. Having said that this sexist

is a little one sided. Those seeking equality fought for the right of girls to join the boy scouts.

They achieved their aim, however boys are not allowed to join the girl guides unless they identify as female.

Some girls it seems find the scouts more interesting, maybe boys might find the guides just as

interesting...

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The longer this debate goes on the more I'm becoming convinced that those shouting loudest for women to be guizers either have no real understanding of how UHA works, or are undertaking it as a personal point scoring exercise.

 

If any woman who really wants to be in a squad isn't in a position to know existing squad members well enough that she can effectively 'work on them' to get her in, she has no chance of getting in to that squad regardless whether she's female, male, or identifies as any one of the ever increasing list of pseudo-genders inbetween.

 

You have to have been 'one of the gang' elsewhere in life for a while too, before you're extended UHA 'privileges'. Whether that be as a relative, schoolmate, neighbour, workmate, whatever....

 

Just turning up at a participants meeting someplace and asking to take part won't work, as that's not how it works. You need to 'network' your way in to your place.....

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^ Very true. But I'm persuaded that if any rule 'banning' anyone exists, going about getting it changed is going to have to come from the inside, not the outside, to have any real chance of success.

 

There has to be in to the thousands of women out there who have connections to the UHA fraternity in some form, you'd think if anyone was interested enough to want to become a guizer, it would be people from within that group, who are also the only women in a position to both directly pressurise or influence a rule change within that fraternity, and have any chance whatsoever of being accepted in to any squad as a guizer.

 

Its a closed circle, unless you're 'one of them', neither UHA Committee nor any guizer is going to give a damn what anyone else thinks, or whatever they may do.

 

If UHA does have a rule that contravenes Sexual Discrimination statute, I have no doubt they will amend that on paper, but in practice unless the push for female guizers comes from within the current UHA female fraternity, nothing those females outside the fraternity may say or do will get females in, and that has nothing to do with gender. Unless an individual knows who to sweet talk and do whatever is necessary to get backing from someone or somewhere within the fraternity, they have no chance of gaining admittance, regardless whether they be man woman or alien.

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It didn't start to well as the BBC person had to be corrected by one of the lasses very early on.  Researched ?   Anyway, I listened to the first 9 minutes and gave up..  Life's to short.

 

I just think that (UHA) "it is what it is"  and that anyone who feels "hurt", "outraged", "neglected" or that the exclusion of women and girls is "harmfull" to them just needs to get a life and move on.  Go and do something else instead !

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As a non-toonie, who had to jump through hoops, to get in - in the seventies, I am well aware that it is a unique festival, being a group of private parties, co-ordinated and refined over generations. What came across to me was that, the present public assault on it, has probably only served to entrench the current position, making further evolution difficult. If it had remained in the school, then I could have seen the junior UHA evolving first,  but now that's lost too.

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The Lerwick UHA is an annual  festival with long standing traditions and while I care not who participates male or female I cannot see why tradition has to change to suit the "moans" of a few females who may or may not even be able to lift a torch far less carry it for the duration of the parade.  :ponders:

 

Somethings are best left alone, if it ain't broke don't fix it and IMHO it is working fine so why change it .

 

Some of our female politicians come to mind past and present and see the state of the country as a result  :rofl:

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The sad thing about this whole debate is how personal and embittered it's now becoming. Last time I looked on Facebook there were 600 odd comments on the latest Shetland News article on it, many of them (on both sides) of the mud-slinging variety.

 

I'm just not sure what the continuing debate is actually going to achieve. Even if 90% of folk voted to allow women in a properly-conducted referendum, what obligation would the UHA committee have to take that on board? None.

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