A play centre (that’s a center to us, y’all) in the United Kingdom is the subject of much talk lately – but not because of the radical ball pits or epic monkey bars. Kids Go Wild, in Birmingham, England, is making headlines because it has banned men entirely from the facility – even fathers of the children inside.
“Ladies and children only – no boys over 9 allowed” reads one of their signs. Similarly, their partially-done website touts Kids Go Wild as “what you’ve all been waiting for, the UK’s first ladies and children’s only soft play centre!”
The site continues: “A safe, stimulating and fun environment for children and a relaxing place for you!”
Just not you, dad.
But wait, there’s a great excuse for making the facility man-free: managers at Kids Go Wild, which opened last month, say they’re catering to the “predominately Asian community.” A manager contacted by the Birmingham Mail also added that “it’s not that men are an issue – ladies are more comfortable around women.”
In the community, dads are outraged. One Muslim father of three told the Birmingham Mail that though it’s normal for Muslim men and women to be separate at religious events and social functions, but this play center fell under neither of those specifications. Another father said it would have been smarter for Kids Go Wild to offer areas specific to men and women. A commenter on The Daily Mail‘s coverage suggested different days for men and women-only access.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is taking a look at the facility’s case, and will decide whether it’s subject to England’s Equality Act. “The Equality Act does allow for some services to be just for women or men-only,” says a spokesperson for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, “but this is the exception not the norm and must pass a strict test to be justifiable. We will look into why Kids Go Wild is a women-only service.”
In related fake news, Procter & Gamble has made a bid to buy Kids Go Wild, saying “this sort of play center is exactly what we tried to achieve with the Olympics!”