Amongst the many facilities offered by the Socialist Workers’ Party at its annual jamboree, “Marxism 2006”, were two gender segregated prayer rooms: one for men and one for women. Pete Radcliffe, on the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty blog, observes:
A few years ago when gender segregation was enforced at a Birmingham Stop the War meeting, there was somewhat of an outcry. At the time the SWP responded that they had no right to dictate policy on gender integration to Muslim organisations that wanted to oppose the war. A crap argument I know but allowing the SWP to sidestep the argument that they were practicising the segregation of women.
But the prayer rooms at Marxism were organised by whom?
It is clearly too much to expect of the SWP that they challenge the socially crippling demand of repeated prayer throughout the day.
Is it also too much that they challenge the practice that women be allowed to pray in the same room as men. It appears the answer to that is also ‘yes’.
This year’s Alliance for Workers’ Liberty conference will feature a full choral Evensong, followed by the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Sean Matgamna will be the celebrant.
Meanwhile, the Revolutionary Communist Party’s Institute of Ideas will be hosting a Divine Liturgy according to the traditions of the Serbian Orthodox Church, weekly, at the Institute for Contemporary Arts.