Ladies, are leering men holding back your swimming? The Greens have an answer

johnboy 9 February 2012 264

The Greens’ Meredith Hunter is kicking off a push for women’s only swimming opportunities in the ACT:

“Providing women’s only swimming would increase the availability of swimming to a number of women and children in our community, both for safety, and for fun.

“Some women and families currently do not use our public pools due to religious reasons, accessibility concerns, or for body image reasons.

“I have raised women’s only swimming with the Chief Minister in recent weeks, and I hope her planned meetings with community advocates will progress this issue.

“There have been some women’s only swimming programs run by community organizations or small community groups on a season by season basis, which rely on the availability of private pools such as the pool at Canberra Girls Grammar or the ACU.

“With work yet to begin on the new Gungahlin Leisure Centre, the Government has a golden opportunity, for instance, to incorporate screening into the design so that a separated pool area can be available for women only sessions.

“Such ad hoc arrangements can be difficult to manage, especially due to the rising costs of insurance, which many small community organisations are not able to meet.

UPDATE 08/02/12 15:25: Andrew Barr has tweeted his disapproval:

The ACT Labor Government will not be supporting the Greens call for a women’s only public swimming pool. Public pools are for everyone.

UPDATE 09/02/12 10:04: A spokeperson for the Greens has sent this in:

The tweet from Andrew Barr yesterday regarding women’s only swimming may have caused his followers and your readers to be misinformed about the issue. No one that we know of has proposed a women’s only pool. The Greens certainly don’t support that. This is about opportunities for women’s only swim sessions. Women’s and Men’s only swim sessions were run in the past at the now closed Kaleen swim centre, and were very popular (about 60 people per session). Investigating a temporary screen for such sessions is being supported by the Royal Life Savers ACT, YWCA as well as the Greens.


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264 Responses to Ladies, are leering men holding back your swimming? The Greens have an answer
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Jethro Jethro 7:07 am 19 Feb 12

shadow boxer said :

fabforty said :

I never thought I would say it ..but… I agree with Jethro.

I wonder how many of you outraged citizens actually use public pools in the first place. Is it really going to ruin your lives to show a bit of tolerance for an hour or so a week (probably in the middle of the day when you are at work anyway) ? Surely there are times when you can’t use some sports grounds or other facilities at certain times because specific sports teams are using them ?

Get a grip people.

How do you know it is an hour or so, like Jethro you are just making stuff up, the sports analogy is equally stupid as anyone can join these sporting teams or at least can share the pool and not be told where to look.

It may make you feel cool to pretend you are more tolerant than others but I would wager the people trying to quietly build the mosque down the road wish the supporters of this would just shut up and but out.

There are two lovely privately run schools in Gungahlin, I am sure they can be hired if the price is right and there really is a demand.

I’m less of a supporter and more of someone who just doesn’t get the 9 pages of outrage on this thread.

agent00 agent00 2:07 am 19 Feb 12

Morgan said :

Oh please, this is a bit silly don’t you think. What would happen if we had men only swimming times? Or if we had swimming times for white people only who don’t want to share the pool with migrants? Or what about swimming only for fit trim people so no one has to see a fat person? Or conversely we ban all fit people from public exercise so as not to make unfit people feel self conscious? Or while we are at why don’t we just ban men from the world. These are the same people who assume I am a sex offender for taking a video of my young nephews learning to swim to send to their grandparents.

A public swimming pool is for all people men, women, children and families to use. I have no problem in booking lanes etc. but this suggestion would see only women rostered on at the women only times and an inconvience to a great many people. Let private interests build their own facilities at a private expense, and the rest of us will learn to share the pool.

So anyone not white is considered a migrant? Come on!

shadow boxer shadow boxer 11:30 pm 18 Feb 12

fabforty said :

I never thought I would say it ..but… I agree with Jethro.

I wonder how many of you outraged citizens actually use public pools in the first place. Is it really going to ruin your lives to show a bit of tolerance for an hour or so a week (probably in the middle of the day when you are at work anyway) ? Surely there are times when you can’t use some sports grounds or other facilities at certain times because specific sports teams are using them ?

Get a grip people.

How do you know it is an hour or so, like Jethro you are just making stuff up, the sports analogy is equally stupid as anyone can join these sporting teams or at least can share the pool and not be told where to look.

It may make you feel cool to pretend you are more tolerant than others but I would wager the people trying to quietly build the mosque down the road wish the supporters of this would just shut up and but out.

There are two lovely privately run schools in Gungahlin, I am sure they can be hired if the price is right and there really is a demand.

fabforty fabforty 8:41 pm 18 Feb 12

I never thought I would say it ..but… I agree with Jethro.

I wonder how many of you outraged citizens actually use public pools in the first place. Is it really going to ruin your lives to show a bit of tolerance for an hour or so a week (probably in the middle of the day when you are at work anyway) ? Surely there are times when you can’t use some sports grounds or other facilities at certain times because specific sports teams are using them ?

Get a grip people.

Jethro Jethro 4:12 pm 18 Feb 12

SnapperJack said :

Jethro said :

Is this rant still going?

Jiminy Crickets… it’s a couple of lanes behind a screen for a couple of hours a week.

It’s not like anybody’s being asked to do something severely drastic and unwarranted like give up half a metre of their road space for a bike-lane, or some other such nonsense. It’s a couple of lanes in a swimming pool having a screen across them for a couple of hours a week. It’s a freaking non-issue.

Like, a real non-issue.

It is obvious you never visit swimming pools in Canberra. I go to Tuggers pool every weekday morning when the pool opens at 5:30AM and the Woden Swim Club has three lanes. The Tuggeranong Swim Club has two lanes and the Vikings Club has one lane. The Woden Club demands that their lanes be on one side of the pool and the Tuggers Clubs demand that their lanes be on the other side so that the coach drills directed at the swimmers don’t interfere with each other. The public has a grand total of two lanes in the middle which usually have about 7 or 8 swimmers each. Are you suggesting that curtains be put around each one of these middle lanes? How stupid would that be? And then when the swim clubs leave later in the morning will the curtains all have to be rearranged? The lifeguards would be so preoccupied reconfiguring the curtains they wouldn’t have any time to keep an eye on the swimmers.

Another ignorant comment from someone who knows nothing about the practicalities of the aquatic industry.

So don’t do it at peak times.

And it would seem from your comment that the pools already are being roped off and limited for use by certain groups. How is this different?

keepitup keepitup 2:40 pm 18 Feb 12

SnapperJack said :

Jethro said :

And then when the swim clubs leave later in the morning will the curtains all have to be rearranged? The lifeguards would be so preoccupied reconfiguring the curtains they wouldn’t have any time to keep an eye on the swimmers.

The FEMALE lifeguards. All the males lost their shifts because they might see a woman swimming in a burkha.

I-filed I-filed 1:53 pm 18 Feb 12

Arthur McKenzie said :

Jethro is no ranter, no siree, but I reckon there would be a bit of reading to do if he wanted to tell us it wasn’t a non-issue.

Lawks – a- Mussy! That Jethro has his thawng in a twist no mistake!

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 10:19 am 18 Feb 12

Jethro said :

Is this rant still going?

Jiminy Crickets… it’s a couple of lanes behind a screen for a couple of hours a week.

First they came for the swimming pool lanes,
and I didn’t speak out as I wasn’t a swimmer.
Then they came for the….

SnapperJack SnapperJack 9:23 am 18 Feb 12

Jethro said :

Is this rant still going?

Jiminy Crickets… it’s a couple of lanes behind a screen for a couple of hours a week.

It’s not like anybody’s being asked to do something severely drastic and unwarranted like give up half a metre of their road space for a bike-lane, or some other such nonsense. It’s a couple of lanes in a swimming pool having a screen across them for a couple of hours a week. It’s a freaking non-issue.

Like, a real non-issue.

It is obvious you never visit swimming pools in Canberra. I go to Tuggers pool every weekday morning when the pool opens at 5:30AM and the Woden Swim Club has three lanes. The Tuggeranong Swim Club has two lanes and the Vikings Club has one lane. The Woden Club demands that their lanes be on one side of the pool and the Tuggers Clubs demand that their lanes be on the other side so that the coach drills directed at the swimmers don’t interfere with each other. The public has a grand total of two lanes in the middle which usually have about 7 or 8 swimmers each. Are you suggesting that curtains be put around each one of these middle lanes? How stupid would that be? And then when the swim clubs leave later in the morning will the curtains all have to be rearranged? The lifeguards would be so preoccupied reconfiguring the curtains they wouldn’t have any time to keep an eye on the swimmers.

Another ignorant comment from someone who knows nothing about the practicalities of the aquatic industry.

shadow boxer shadow boxer 7:01 am 18 Feb 12

Lots of people have put up well reasoned arguments on why this is bad policy, indeed there have been some well articulated responses on why it should be supported.

You twisting the facts (a couple of lanes a couple hours a week is wrong) and yelling at people does nothing to move the debate forward.

As this thread shows the policy, while trying to be inclusive, is by its nature divisive and should be abandoned.

Arthur McKenzie Arthur McKenzie 2:18 am 18 Feb 12

Jethro is no ranter, no siree, but I reckon there would be a bit of reading to do if he wanted to tell us it wasn’t a non-issue.

Jethro Jethro 12:13 am 18 Feb 12

Is this rant still going?

Jiminy Crickets… it’s a couple of lanes behind a screen for a couple of hours a week.

It’s not like anybody’s being asked to do something severely drastic and unwarranted like give up half a metre of their road space for a bike-lane, or some other such nonsense. It’s a couple of lanes in a swimming pool having a screen across them for a couple of hours a week. It’s a freaking non-issue.

Like, a real non-issue.

How many of the people having a whinge on here have ever actually been to a public pool wanting to do laps, but simply couldn’t because the pool was so goddamned full that there just wasn’t a lane to spare? I mean the humanity. Having to give up a lane or two once or twice a week. This is an outrage that finds few parallels in history.

Possibly the segregation laws in Mississippi circa 1950, but that’s about it. I mean, these Gungahlin swimmers facing the possible loss of a swimming lane or two a few times a week are experiencing the modern day equivalent of Rosa Parkes being kicked off the bus for refusing to stand for a white person. The outrage you must feel for this egregious assault on equality. The idea that women should have a swimming lane screened of a few times a week. Those goddamned fascists in government abusing their power in such a way. The spit is literally foaming at my mouth as I ponder this outrageous injustice.

Women having screened of lanes. It’s a slippery slope. Who know how they will assault our liberties next.

Based on all the fuming going on in this thread I’m going to assume that the entire population of Gungahlin is at the pool during every hour of the week, so that the possibility of screening off a lane or two is simply impossible. It’s the only explanation for the foaming mouths having a whinge on this thread.

Seriously, this thread may stand as the single-most extreme example of Canberra whinging and knicker-twisting I have seen in my 5 years in this town.

Arthur McKenzie Arthur McKenzie 10:24 pm 17 Feb 12

Dilandach said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

regardless of the size of our muslim community we should not do it. Just the same as we should not tie ouselves in knots trying to not offend catholics, scientologists or disciples of Odin.

I’m sure that Thor can hold his own.

Orbiting Teapot followers can hold there own too. Their women are always suitably attired in tea cosies anyway. What’s wrong with these people. Maybe they’re just looking for an excuse to burn down a few buildings and have a few riots and killings after the cartoons emerge.

Arthur McKenzie Arthur McKenzie 10:04 pm 17 Feb 12

dtc said :

B Johnson said :

… but being prevented from accessing 1% of the pool time available in Canberra is hardly going to change anyone’s life.

A sound argument. So why not scrap the centre altogether? Alternatively, if having the ludicrous segregation has minimal effect on anyone then scrap it!

Arthur McKenzie Arthur McKenzie 8:47 pm 17 Feb 12

What about a couple of sessions every Friday at the mosque for non-muslims, atheists and pig farmers?

GeneralMonash GeneralMonash 1:52 pm 16 Feb 12

harvyk1 said :

Diggety said :

Anyway, johnboy asked the rioters:

“Ladies, are leering men holding back your swimming?

I counted one ‘yes’ reply… The CT isn’t hearing much agreement either.

That is of no surprise. In general we are an inclusive society, who usually doesn’t mind people doing whatever they like, provided they don’t infringe on our own rights. Excluding 50% of the population from using a resource because someones beliefs prohibits them from using the resource at the same time as someone else does not fall into this inclusive society guidelines.

so no swimming sessions at all I take it? There should also be no dedicated lanes? It’s not that i support this action, just i think this argument is kinda stretching it. What could definitly be said is that this is a secular state and so its money should not be wasted on peoples beliefs, unless being embarassed started a wave of spontaneous self-combustion.

Also the whole ‘these people aren’t paying for it’ argument is also week as I *think* swimming sessions cost money.

You could definitly say that it excludes people from swimming sessions, thats for sure.

NoImRight NoImRight 9:54 am 14 Feb 12

#245 and #247 pretty well sum up the reality of this. Thanks 🙂

geni_lou geni_lou 9:02 am 14 Feb 12

What I really like is when people use women’s equality as a reason to achieve exactly the opposite.

I’m not sure if you understand exactly what you’re doing. But you’re f***ing for virginty.

pink little birdie pink little birdie 2:50 pm 13 Feb 12

you know Tuggeranong pool has a curtain screen which they drop when ever a sporting group is using the deep end of the 50m pool. I assume the screens would be similar just going accross the whole building not just the width of the 50m pool.

Though here they are talking about a screen on the family pool which would be difficult to implement in the first place and if it is going accross say half the family pool wouldn’t it be subject to damage from swimmers?

if it’s in the pool children are going to play on it…

dtc dtc 2:35 pm 13 Feb 12

B Johnson said :

If people want privacy in swimming pools, then they can spend their own money building those pools. If the people of a religion want private swimming for religious reasons, then their own religious communities can spend the money to build their pools. However, a public pool is built by the taxpayers of the community as a whole and is, therefore, open to the whole of the public. And while I don’t like the sight of men in speedos either, it’s their choice. I’m also of the opinion that most women who wear bikinis haven’t got the figures for it, but, that’s also their choice. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it.

Exactly. If women choose to breastfeed rather than bottle feed, then they should pay for their own lactation nurse. And if men chose to play rugby instead of sitting at home, then they should pay for their own oval. And if children chose to read rather than watch TV, then they should buy their own damn books, I’m sick of my taxpayer’s dollar going to the libraries. And if you chose to join the army, pay for your own gun. I am happy not to have a defence force.

Seriously. Every dollar spent by the govt is probably 90c that is of little to no benefit to you and is to provide a service or build something that you cannot access. Your real argument is that you dont agree with the reason why people want this built. You are just tarting it up as a lack of equity issue, but being prevented from accessing 1% of the pool time available in Canberra is hardly going to change anyone’s life.

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