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Lerwick Up Helly Aa


peeriebryan
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Female squad members in Lerwick Up Helly Aa (2022 poll)  

26 members have voted

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

    • Yes
      11
    • No
      15
  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
      15
    • No
      11
  3. 3. The current ‘male only’ squad member demographic of Lerwick Up Helly-Aa is….

    • Sexist
      8
    • Traditional
      18


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I'm a bit lost here. How would a Jarls wife/sister etc be any different to any other member of the Jarl Squad?

As someone who has taken part in my fair share of Jarl Squads, they are just a group of friends and family invited by the Jarl to join them for the event. I can't see how any law could apply to who is or isn't asked.

The line quoted previously - "it is the duty of each Guizer to conduct himself at all times in accordance with the “Spirit of Up-Helly-Aa” with goodwill and strict adherence to accepted customs."

If that is the nearest to a mention gender gets, the committee can make this whole mess go away by simply clarifying/stating that there is nothing to prevent a female being asked in a squad so long as they follow the above. "Himself" when describing a person has long lost it's gender meaning in legal documents and it is readily accepted that "himself" may be a woman in the role.

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So, who has the ability to decide upon and change the 'rules' of the Lerwick UHA Guizers Association? As presumably changing its member status from 'gendered' to 'ungendered' would appease the protestors at least, just not so sure about anyone else.........

Does the Lerwick UHA Guizers Association have any other 'rules' besides the gender one, does the Association exist permanently, or only between squad registration night and UHA night?

I'll stop now before I stir too any pots.

 

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21 minutes ago, Ghostrider said:

So, who has the ability to decide upon and change the 'rules' of the Lerwick UHA Guizers Association?

The Committee decides everything. It will usually put non-trivial matters to a mass meeting vote, but strictly it does not have to.

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26 minutes ago, EM said:

The Committee decides everything. It will usually put non-trivial matters to a mass meeting vote, but strictly it does not have to.

......and they're usually wise enough to put it to a mass meeting if its likely to make waves. Which going from gendered to ungendered almost certainly would.

Which brings me back to my earlier point, that nobody on the Committee is going to back the change unless they already know it has significant support within the ranks, and the only way that's going to happen is if the women already involved with UHA in whatever capacity decide in any number they want in on everything............far, far too many divorces otherwise.

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Unless there is any other relevant wording, it seems pretty clear that what actually needs to happen is for a squad to invite a female into the fold.

Then it is up to the committee to either accept that this is in "the spirit of Up Helly Aa", or otherwise.

Again, the thing I can't understand is why the silence. It really isn't hard to put it to rest, either say there is nothing stopping female squad members and it has just been traditional that squads are male, or say actually there is a male only rule and that's that.

With the exception of SMUHA due to it's recent formation, I think it is accurate that initially all Up Helly Aa's had male only Jarl Squads initially, and, similar to stag do's etc, over time it has just become normal for females to join in. It certainly isn't some form of revolution.

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On 17/02/2022 at 08:35, Evil Inky said:

If this is your idea of bullying, you've led a very sheltered life.

You have no idea what kind of life I have lived and this is an example of bullying. I have my own opinions as do you but I wasn't rude or obnoxious towards you. 

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On 16/02/2022 at 22:27, Muckle Oxters said:

And dunna forget da hosts and hostesses! Efter da last torch has been fired intae da galley, it's dem dat run da show - da rest o wis are joost dir guests!

As I'm sure ony overexcited guizer whaa his been reprimanded by a hostess can testify, dey're no da put-upon subservient serving wenches some folk wid lik tae portray dem as! I wance got datn a stonesin for wirkin dirt dat I wis nearly greetin ;-) 

Absolutely!!! Who runs the show hosts and hostesses. A group of people who give 100% and throw the best party! Ultimately I think they should have a say in this whole ugly debate. If they didn't want the change squads wouldn't be invited to the halls, the halls couldn't work at half capacity and close. 

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4 hours ago, Spinner72 said:

Unless there is any other relevant wording, it seems pretty clear that what actually needs to happen is for a squad to invite a female into the fold.

Then it is up to the committee to either accept that this is in "the spirit of Up Helly Aa", or otherwise.

Again, the thing I can't understand is why the silence. It really isn't hard to put it to rest, either say there is nothing stopping female squad members and it has just been traditional that squads are male, or say actually there is a male only rule and that's that.

With the exception of SMUHA due to it's recent formation, I think it is accurate that initially all Up Helly Aa's had male only Jarl Squads initially, and, similar to stag do's etc, over time it has just become normal for females to join in. It certainly isn't some form of revolution.

I really can;t work out if you are being serious here or just trying a wind up. If you are serious I just don't know what to say. I mean "It really isn't hard to put it to rest" ?  I would suggest that is an extremely naive opinion.

Also, your mention of "wording" makes me groan.  I have stressed that one of the fundamental aspects of UHA;s governance is that it does not allow its rules to be gamed in exactly the way you are trying to do. 

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1 hour ago, Bluemire said:

Absolutely!!! Who runs the show hosts and hostesses. A group of people who give 100% and throw the best party! Ultimately I think they should have a say in this whole ugly debate. If they didn't want the change squads wouldn't be invited to the halls, the halls couldn't work at half capacity and close. 

Indeed so.  They do in fact already have enormous say in the way the festival is run.  Their feedback afterwards is also always given the highest priority.

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I think if things do not change then it will continue to be an albatross round the neck of the committee, which will only continue to rot and fester. Legal advice which obviously has been sought?,  could well be proven wrong or overturned if it is seen to be discriminatory. Even the law evolves. Surely better to try and keep control under the committee's terms rather than be forced to change at some future date.

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23 minutes ago, Rasmie said:

Legal advice which obviously has been sought?,  could well be proven wrong or overturned if it is seen to be discriminatory. Even the law evolves.

This is the kind of vague and baseless arm waving which continually crops up. I believe it does nothing to help reduce the bitterness.

It is actually saying nothing different to "Oh you never know what might happen in the future." It doesn't cite any particular clause in the current legislation, or point to anything which might be considered to contravene the law.

If anyone can highlight any aspect of the act where interpretation is not perfectly clear, and we are not fully adhering to, please let me know.

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3 hours ago, EM said:

I really can;t work out if you are being serious here or just trying a wind up. If you are serious I just don't know what to say. I mean "It really isn't hard to put it to rest" ?  I would suggest that is an extremely naive opinion.

Also, your mention of "wording" makes me groan.  I have stressed that one of the fundamental aspects of UHA;s governance is that it does not allow its rules to be gamed in exactly the way you are trying to do. 

I am not on a wind up, far from it. It is such an incredibly simple question, as it stands, is there any reason a female can't join a squad? The "wording" or whatever is totally irrelevant, it is a clear and simple yes and no question.

So far nobody from the committee has stated yes or no, and it is just assumed there is a rule against it yet nobody as yet has been able to say there is.

That is all they have to do and the matter is indeed put to rest, as it could have been a long time ago.

The fact is, despite some bizarre ideas to the contrary, if lasses had the option to join as fiddle box carriers right now, the bad publicity would vanish, and it would be barely noticed.

Not so much looking to the future, but recognising the present - what happens of a member of a squad, Jarl Squad or indeed the Jarl, undergoes gender reassignment in the lead up to thier year?

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6 hours ago, Spinner72 said:

The fact is, despite some bizarre ideas to the contrary, if lasses had the option to join as fiddle box carriers right now, the bad publicity would vanish, and it would be barely noticed.

You think that is a fact?

It most certainly is not a fact, it is your opinion. Opinions are very different to facts and as I said earlier, this whole situation is not going to improve when people get facts and opinions mixed up.

I would also say I do not share your opinion.

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The issue, I suspect is going to rot and fester, whatever the Committee do, or don't do, and I don't believe allowing female fiddle box carriers, or female any other roles is going to help. Quite the contrary in fact, as there's a good possibility that if having done so, the argy bargy will just move on to be every year getting random female(s) shouting, 'Well, I tried to join a squad, and they wouldn't let me and I believe it was coz I'm a woman......' Rather than it being the far more likely reason, that that's not how squads generally work accepting a new member. Or, if an all female squad is formed and tries to register, but fails, it'll be because they were women. Rather than it being that there were other squads on a waiting list ahead of them.

The problem, as I see it with those who are protesting at the moment at least, is that, or so I am led to believe, it is being 'led' quite ironically by a white knighting male Scalloway resident who seems to be on some crusade of personal martyrdom by self-appointing himself as unofficial spokesperson for whatever 'rights' cause takes his fancy at any one given time, and a significant percentage of the remainder do not participate in UHA in any capacity, and have no intentions in participating in any capacity even if the gender issue was resolved in their favour. They are just lending their support to 'right a wrong' as they see it.

In all probability the Committee has kept silent as they do not believe they owe those who are making the noise any kind of explanation for anything. The LK UHA is very much a 'them and us' thing. If you're in, you're in, and the Committee has obligations to those who are in, but don't owe those who aren't in one damn thing.

As long as UHA is operating legally no amount of pressure from folk who are not involved with it in any way is going make a blind bit of difference to how its run, as the only thing on the line is how (un)favourably the general public views UHA, and that is a long way down the list of priorities compared to having the kind of event those who are participating want to have.

There seems to be this notion that if the Committee or the SIC or somebody 'ordered' UHA to allow female guziers that it would just 'happen'. At best I think that's highly naive.

Would an existing squad member really want their significant other/daughter/mother whatever in their squad, and would the significant others of all the rest of the male squad members be happy that a female was in their man's squad. Some might, but for the most part it would just be trouble and strife. That is the reality of it though, as the only realistic way in to UHA for a long time has been to join an existing squad, and to do that you need to be known to and vouched for by at least some existing members.

If/when the time is right UHA will go genderless seamlessly and without fuss, as it will be happening because its what those in UHA wants to happen and/or believe needs to happen.

Meantime if those protesting are truly sincere, maybe instead of pointless stunts risking pneumonia by camping out of the Town Hall steps for a day wearing a face that looked like somebody who'd just realised their ass was frozen solid to an iceberg, join a squad, or join the hist/hostesses and educate those who are in a position to effect change why 'they're doing it wrong' just now, be educated in why they believe 'you don't know what you're talking about, and show some commitment to helping make the event a success rather than just jumping up and down waving 'Down with this kind of thing' placards.

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