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Letters / Leave Up Helly Aa as it is

I have been reading with a lot of interest the current debate surrounding the Lerwick Up Helly Aa.

As a woman who has never felt that her gender was a disadvantage to anything, who works in a predominantly male industry – agriculture – I am disgusted at the sexism and bias that is being displayed regarding this issue.

If a group of women decided to run a women’s only event (as they do in many guises women in business/agriculture/Crofting/engineering) no one bats an eyelid.

Yet if men want to do this, they are sexist, patriarchal and discriminating.

I for one am offended by the supposed need for women only events but that is the choice of the women who choose to take part in them. So why can’t men have Up Helly Aa?

I tell you why; because we live in an age where everyone feels they have a right to remove the rights of others. If the organisers of Up Helly Aa choose to stick with tradition, then fantastic and well done them. There are many women out there who support them.

Where are men’s rights these days? They are being diminished day by day.

I know plenty men who are afraid to even speak to someone in a social setting for fear of being seen as a predator. Or won’t stop to help a lone driver who has broken down with their vehicle for fear of attack.

Since when was it ok to make any human being feel this way? In this and many other areas the majority are being punished for the actions of the minority.

It’s time we all started acting like decent human beings and stopped creating division by shouting that your rights as a certain segment of society are of greater importance than the next person. We are all human. We all have the same human rights.

Let’s stop playing the victim by whichever card you hold and start standing up to create a fairer more accepting community.

If you aren’t happy with the way someone does something, then go do it better yourself. Don’t belittle them or destroy their efforts. There are no new ideas just new ways to execute them.

Leave Up Helly Aa as it is. If you don’t like how they do it – go, see what you can do yourself!

Karin McGivern
Lerwick

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