Now the diversity warriors have taken Cambridge, too
There is a unique sense of sanctuary in being around other biological women
When I got to Cambridge, I was ready for some serious man-action. School had not come up trumps in this regard – bluntly put, nobody ever fancied me. (The upside was that I could focus on my A-levels.) Anyway, college was the key setting for the new kind of life I planned on taking up – lots of partying, posh frock opportunities and the benefits of mixed housing. It didn’t disappoint.
How I used to pity the girls over in Newnham and New Hall (anow called Murray Edwards). They seemed so desperate to get out. They were often the rowdiest, and had the most active drinking societies (single-sex college clubs that would organise formal dinner “swaps” with opposite sex societies at different colleges).
But since university, I’ve come to appreciate all-women settings, from gym changing rooms to certain social and professional environments. There is a unique sense of sanctuary in being around other women – and by that I mean biological women. It can be curiously relaxing.
So I was rather sorry to learn that the all-women Murray Edwards College at Cambridge has bent to pressure from diversity warriors to admit anyone who identifies as female. The tiny part of the world that remains closed to biological men is unique and special. It may be off-trend, but I agree with Germaine Greer that men who identify as women are not automatically women. After all, womanhood is a deeply biological designation, a fact that we’ve had to pay for bitterly over the millennia.
I have no problem at all with men who identify as women or vice versa. But I’m not sure that a woman’s college based only on “identification” as a woman can retain that sanctuarylike feeling.