One bake sale. That’s all it took to stir up enough controversy that even the national news was interested in what happened on the University of Essex campus. The bake sale in question was set up by the University’s feminist society and aimed to raise awareness of the gender pay gap. While men payed £1 for their cupcakes women were charged 82p as women are allegedly paid 82p for every £1 a man makes.
Despite this being a fairly harmless event, some of the university students were outraged by the bake sale. They claim the bake sale violated the 2010 Equality Act and Thus started a ideological micro war between feminists and non-feminists. However, rather than having a pitched battle on campus, the student’s battlefield was social media. The university’s Facebook page for students lit up virtually overnight as feminists defended their decision to charge men more than women and non-feminists used all the “memes” at their disposal.
Come support the Young Women’s Trust fight against pay equality with gendered goods! £1 for men, 82p for Women. Square 3, 12 – 4pm. 💜✊ pic.twitter.com/RkghgCWE2E
— Essex FemSoc (@EssexFemSoc) March 3, 2017
Just to take the sheer level of ridiculousness to the next level, some national newspapers began to report on the event. Most notably the Sun and even Russia Today bizarrely. In order to tackle the issue and put an end to the meme war before it would seemingly kill humor forever, a debate was announce for March 14th to finally let students get stuff of their chests, like marriage counselling, and a panel of the university’s top ideologues was announced. In the red corner, representing feminism, Victoria Gbadebo, President of the debating society, Josef Schumacher, President of the Liberal Democrats, and Urszula Dzudewicz, President of the Human Rights Society. And in the blue corner, representing anti-gender pay gap stance, Jake Painter, UKIP Events Manager, Natasha Brooks, UKIP founder, and Ivan Srbulov, Economic Society Treasurer.
The debate turned in to a real slug fest as arguments were thrown from one side to the other. Supporting the feminist argument Victoria Gbadebo said: “Ignoring the problem is ignoring the issues behind it, we agree it isn’t fair but that’s the whole point, it’s not fair” while Urzula Dzudewicz said: “Women shouldn’t be the only gender caring for children”. Challenging the bake sale, Natasha Brooks said: “The gender pay gap doesn’t exist… not all white men are evil, stop with this rhetoric” and Ivan Srbulov said: “Statistics are important, don’t deny them!”
A vote cast at the end of the debate saw the feminist argument prevail and hopefully this means that we can all go back to being normal humans. This spat seemed to bring out the worst in the fringes of each side with both the militant feminists and the online trolls and while the debate brought up some interesting and relevant points was it worth it.
The Sun’s Article – https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3019131/feminists-group-bake-sale-sparked-a-furious-backlash-after-it-charged-men-more-for-a-cake/
Russia Today’s Article – https://www.rt.com/uk/379759-university-feminist-bake-hate/