Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Equal Opportunities

Lecture Theatre

tiered seats of excruciating discomfort
each patinated bench with a brass ink well
primrose walls and white plasterwork
black iron wall radiators
smoky glass pendant lamp

the man at the lectern
describes the manifold ways
in which discrimination should be avoided
in a dry, monotonous voice

it delights me to think
that this same lecture theatre was built
for the sole use of young women
who were educated here
but were unable to graduate
and returned to a world where
only men could vote

what would they think of this
equal opportunity legislation?

Students - 1891

9 comments:

Columbia Lily said...

what a great post. I love this. And that top picture is incredibly evocative...is it yours?

anne bebbington said...

Things have come such a long way although I fear the journey is still ongoing

Anonymous said...

looks like Mill Lane lecture room to me - could be anywhere though I suppose

JuliaB said...

How Ironic! Perhaps it was because of some of those women, that the world is so different today. x

peppermintpatcher said...

We should think thoughts of appreciation for those women.

As for them. I'm sure they'd think, "About bloody time!"

Mary said...

They would think, I suspect, that discussing ways in which discrimination should be avoided , should be delivered in so much more than dry, monotonous tones... and by a woman!

Rhiannon said...

It still amazes me to think of those first women who went to university - how they would be happy/sad/suprised/dismayed if they saw what their great granddaughters do today (Miss Student 2009 anyone? hows that for a giant step backwards...)

x

The Coffee Lady said...

haven't they repainted the walls since 1891?

Limecat said...

I have fond memories of it as MrCat was working there when we met, but to me it will always look like a giant wedding cake.