Reasonable Accommodations Debate, Part II

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milo204

here is a story that might relate from "democracynow.org"

 

Mississippi School Cancels Prom over Lesbian Student

And in Mississippi, a county school board has canceled an upcoming high school prom rather than allowing a lesbian student to bring her partner as her date. Constance McMillen, an eighteen-year-old senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School, has challenged a school policy barring her from bringing her girlfriend and also wearing a tuxedo to her April 2nd prom. In canceling the prom, the school board urged the community to hold a private prom not under its oversight. The American Civil Liberties Union has asked the school board to reverse its decision or face legal action. Upon hearing the news, McMillen said, “The message they are sending is that if they have to let gay people go to prom that they are not going to have one.”

 

note one of the ways they justified this was she was going to wear a tuxedo.  again, if they couldn't make decisions to exclude people on the basis of what is an accepted form of living or dressing, this kind of crap wouldn't happen.  if a gay woman, or a woman in a tux is offensive, too bad it's her choice.  that's what freedom is supposed to be!

RosaL

Slumberjack wrote:

remind wrote:
If I perceive that actions of some women, based upon their mythological beliefs, are going to diminish my continued seeking of our equity rights, there will be a fight on against it Their beliefs DO NOT outweigh my rights.

I understand that you're late to the discussion, so in an attempt to bring you up to date with the topic at hand, it doesn't pertain to your rights, or mine for that matter.

 

Yes it does. And that's a crucial point. 

skdadl

@ 47: I've mentioned FGM at least twice in my comments to this subject. The state clearly has a duty of care to minors, and FGM, like cases of abuse or, by contrast, refusal of blood transfusions and other kinds of basic medical care, seems to me fairly within the control of the state. Adults of any background are free to do anything they like to their genitals, and many do, but FGM as practised on girl children in some societies that we have brutalized and distorted certainly needs to be stopped, and certainly cannot be permitted here. It would, of course, be better if we stopped distorting other people's cultures, but that's a longer-term project.

 

I believe I wrote one or two threads back of the (I think) Somali woman doctor here who, on the one hand, has to work against FGM happening here but, on the other, tries to work with young women who arrive in Canada already changed by the practice, and who only discover when they get here that they are viewed by us as mutilated. (I'm sorry that I still haven't done the research to find her for this discussion, but I know that she works in Toronto, and the CBC know who she is.)

 

Listening to her is very different from listening to a commissar like Jason Kenney. She won't permit FGM either, but she has a profound sense of respect for person and conscience, and she will not diminish anyone's lived reality. Her law is precisely section 2 of the Charter, which, I repeat, applies to all human beans ("everyone"), not just citizens, and whose first substantive is not religion or expression but CONSCIENCE -- ie: your mind.

 

Quite frankly, I find obsession with "religion" among some of those who hate it to be neurotic. Conscience is much bigger than religion -- it does mean culture, and it means personhood, people's confidence that their very existence is respected, before any of the political arguments begin. CONSCIENCE comes first in all the charters and bills and declarations for good reason.

 

 

Slumberjack

skdadl wrote:
Quite frankly, I find obsession with "religion" among some of those who hate it to be neurotic.

What is considered neurotic is entirely what you make of it of course, however it could also be considered as a side effect of the obscene ballet that one must perform in the absence of mythological persuasion, in order to respectfully approach the underlying issue without resorting to scatology.

Slumberjack

RosaL wrote:
 Yes it does. And that's a crucial point. 

You're right.  It makes sense that it would be crucial to everyone peering out of their respective stove pipes.

skdadl

@ 54:  What did I miss? There've been seminars in selective quotation around here?

Slumberjack

skdadl wrote:
@ 54:  What did I miss? There've been seminars in selective quotation around here?

Puzzling isn't it?  Lord knows how the discussion managed to segue into the social ramifications involving ones choice of apparel, but then if that weren't enough, out of the blue neurotic atheism was put forth as a disclaimer.

milo204

"If I perceive that actions of some women, based upon their mythological beliefs, are going to diminish my continued seeking of our equity rights, there will be a fight on against it Their beliefs DO NOT outweigh my rights."

 

in what way does her being in the class diminish your ability to seek equity rights?  i think your confusing her mere presence in the class to with forcing something on you/the students.  i agree that someone's beliefs shouldn't translate into action that infringes of anyone's rights, but isn't that a kind of paternalistic attitude that even if their beliefs (and i'm assuming you don't just mean sexist beliefs) conflict with yours they should be banned from public institutions?  To me that leaves the door open to some pretty harsh discrimination at the discretion of a government that often has it all wrong.

i think instead of limiting HER freedom, we'd be better of using ours and trying to change her mind through solidarity and conversation.  

remind remind's picture

Slumberjack wrote:
remind wrote:
If I perceive that actions of some women, based upon their mythological beliefs, are going to diminish my continued seeking of our equity rights, there will be a fight on against it Their beliefs DO NOT outweigh my rights.

I understand that you're late to the discussion, so in an attempt to bring you up to date with the topic at hand, it doesn't pertain to your rights, or mine for that matter.

 

You know slumberjack, i agree with much of what you say, usually, and then you come out with patriarchial crap like this.

 

 

 

 

RosaL

Never mind. I responded to something and on further reflection decided it's the kind of thing you don't respond to.

 

Slumberjack

remind wrote:
You know slumberjack, i agree with much of what you say, usually, and then you come out with patriarchial crap like this. 

On reflection, it was unnecessary and snippy.  I apologize.

mahmud

I do not understand why is it of anyone's business -whether in Afhanistan, Zimbabwe, Canada or Tibet- to tell a woman what she should or should not wear. The argument that a teacher should see the woman's face for pronunciation etc.. is lame. There are indeed women who learned foreign languages without showing their faces. The argument of "safety" that Tarek Fatah (for example) never ceases to raise is flimsy: should I, walking the streets at night have the right to direct a flashlight at every passer-by's face so I can feel "safe"? Should I just keep at home at night because there are people walking by whose faces I cannot see?

I have not hear or red one tenable argument(s) for telling a woman what to wear or not to wear. Until I hear or read one, I remain convinced that sexism or another form of bigotry is driving people to dictate to women what they should or should not wear. 

Unionist

That's odd, mahmud - I believe sexism and bigotry are at the very origin of the covering of women's faces. And the binding of their feet. And their "free individual choice" to eschew birth control and child care and the workforce. And much else besides. How odd that we should land at opposite ends of understanding?!

 

RosaL

Well, my view is that some things harm us all. It's not just about individual choice. Several people (including Unionist) have expressed some version of this view quite articulately above. And whether you agree with it or not, surely it is a tenable argument. 

mahmud

unionist and Rosal,

I may change my mind if given sound arguments. I would really love to read arguments in a clear pecise points.  My brief comment on Rosal argument that some things harm us all: : True, cigarettes, for instance harm us all as a society with a universal health care system. Have we denied medical treatment to cigarette smokers? No we haven't. Have we seen any organized campaign to that end, at least with the same magnitude as this one against the viel? No. To me, behind the anti-viel campaign is the good old attitude of picking on the minority, on the weak, on the "different". 

Unionist

mahmud wrote:
To me, behind the anti-viel campaign is the good old attitude of picking on the minority, on the weak, on the "different". 

When you say the "anti-veil campaign", are you talking about me - Rosa - remind - the Québec government - the PQ - Sarkozy - Mario Dumont - Julius Grey - many Muslim feminists? Some of us, all of us? Does the "anti-veil" issue turn us all into allies of some strange kind?

Could it be possible that different people could have different motives for questioning the hiding of women's faces from men in various contexts?

What if I said, "to me, behind the pro-veil campaign is the good old attitude of picking on the weak, the women" - to parallel your statement. When skdadl, SJ, Catchfire, many others, point out clearly the danger of suppressing the liberty of an individual, or putting the burden of opposing patriarchy on its victims - do you think we don't understand those arguments, sympathize with them, feel conflicted about them? Should I just accuse them of being allies of misogyny!?

Do you think it is possible for progressive people to differ on such difficult issues without connecting them with other, darker forces?

remind remind's picture

unionist wrote:
"to me, behind the pro-veil campaign is the good old attitude of picking on the weak, the women"

 

Before last evening, I would have denied  a pro-veil campaign, and its targeting of girls and women.

 

However, last night changed this, as I was channel surfing, and stopped on a channel to watch 3 teen age girls interact, as 1 was wearing a hijab, and I wanted to see the message.

The message was about the attempted rape of one of the girls. The girl in the hijab actually stated to the girl who was almost raped, that what did she expect as her clothing is "suggestive".

 

 so now what i, and other viewers, saw was a teen age girl in a hijab scapegoating men who attack girls and try to rape them and teaching blame the victim to teenagers.

 

this propaganda has absolutely nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with patriarchy trying to control girls and women and scapegoat themselves.

 

Unionist

Remind - just a small editorial correction, your post made it look as if I was saying that, but obviously I was just quoting mahmud.

SparkyOne

mahmud wrote:

I have not hear or red one tenable argument(s) for telling a woman what to wear or not to wear. Until I hear or read one, I remain convinced that sexism or another form of bigotry is driving people to dictate to women what they should or should not wear. 

Quote:
tell a woman what she should or should not wear. The argument that a teacher should see the woman's face for pronunciation etc.. is lame.

You should do some research on the subject before you pass it off as lame and a false argument.

My opinion is that this rule has more to it than a teacher having to see the students face but at the same time it's still a valid and accurate point.

mahmud

unonist, I have deep respect for you, Rosal and all Rabble's free-thinkers.  I have said "organized campaign" and I am very very far from accusing you or Rosal of being part of that organized campaign. The PQ and the PLQ, Tarek Fatah and his organization (the MCC whose members could hold a AGM in a phone booth) come to mind. I will come back to reply to comments on my post.

remind remind's picture

Unionist wrote:
Remind - just a small editorial correction, your post made it look as if I was saying that, but obviously I was just quoting mahmud.

 

Yes, understand that you were responding  back to his comment by rewording it, to indicate the erroneous nature of his words.

 

however wrong his words were, it is my view that yours were not. It seems quite clear there is a movement a foot,  by patriarchy, not Muslim, not Christian, nor any other "religion" specifically, to marginalize women around the world and erase the gains we have made.

 

mahmud

SparkyOne wrote:

mahmud wrote:

I have not hear or red one tenable argument(s) for telling a woman what to wear or not to wear. Until I hear or read one, I remain convinced that sexism or another form of bigotry is driving people to dictate to women what they should or should not wear. 

Quote:
tell a woman what she should or should not wear. The argument that a teacher should see the woman's face for pronunciation etc.. is lame.

You should do some research on the subject before you pass it off as lame and a false argument.

My opinion is that this rule has more to it than a teacher having to see the students face but at the same time it's still a valid and accurate point.

That is your opinion. I know hordes of Egyptian, Kuwaiti, Lybian etc women who wore the viel throughout all their studies of forreign languages and they do speak these languages as good if not better than their respective native speakers. That is, unless you and the Quebec government would like to eradicate any hint of what we call "accent". While "accent" may be troublesome to some people, I have even worse news for them. In the case of Naema Ahmad, the accent had already taken hold and it will take almost a miracle to eradicate it.

But you seem in agreement that in this case, the "phonetics" arguments i bs as the government while kicking the student out of the classroom, suggested that she pursue her course online. 

lagatta

I'm sure they are well aware that it is very diffitult to eradicate a non-native accent in adult students.

However with phonics help her French can be made easily understandable and fluent, essential in the job market (just as it is in an English-speaking, Arabic-speaking or any other society). Ms Ahmad is the person for whom it would be most "troublesome" to have problems working or with other encounters if her pronunciation is not accurate.

Actually, it is not absurd to suggest a non-classroom situation, because speaking into a mike and listening with headphones greatly increases precision. The telephone was first invented to help Bell's hearing-impaired wife communicate. Haven't you encountered language labs that help students hear correct pronunciation, and correct their own errors?

You know "hordes" of women in all those countries who wear the niqab? (I mean the niqab or other face veil, not the hijab) The niqab is not so prevalent in all those countries...

Veiling and other forms of relegation of women are not at all unique to Islam; they were common in many patriarchal societies. And there have been dreadful laws in our own patriarchal society restricting women's dress and movement.

Caissa

Quebec's health insurance board has no obligation to accommodate special requests related to religious or cultural beliefs, the province's human rights commission has ruled.

In three separate opinions issued Tuesday, the commission weighed in on accommodation requests made by people registered in Quebec's health- care system - the Régie de l'assurance-maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2010/03/16/reasonable-accommodation-ramq-health-board.html#ixzz0iMmwYOV3

Unionist

You beat me to the draw, Caissa.

Three good decisions - at least going by the one-line summaries provided! I'll look for the full texts and see how much of my mortal coil will be required to do them justice.

By the way, it is quite wrong to describe these three indifferently as "accommodation requests". The jerk who refused to deal with someone who spoke French with an accent was not looking for "accommodation", but rather for the right to discriminate on unlawful grounds.

Likewise with the creep who didn't want to deal with a person wearing a hijab.

The only one of the three which is arguably an "accommodation" request is the request to deal with a female on religious grounds.

The headline as well as the lead para are wrongheaded and show how MSM frenzy gets created:

Quote:
Quebec's health insurance board has no obligation to accommodate special requests related to religious or cultural beliefs, the province's human rights commission has ruled.

I'm quite sure the commission said no such thing.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I would like to see the decision on the third case.  The first two sound like the Board telling idiots complaining about "reverse discrimination" were they can go.  The last one is interesting because it seems to say that women have no choice as to the gender of their doctors.  The actual words are important because I find that outcome to be rather stark and if it was a blanket statement it will inevitably be heading for the court system. 

Personally I really like my doctor and wouldn't trade her for any male doctor.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I'm with Kropotkin on this one... I wonder how the case would have been handled if it had been a middle-aged male theist who wanted a male doctor on the grounds he was worried about ritual pollution as a result of coming into contact with a menstruating woman? Then again, the word obligation was used... so maybe I am just being cranky.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
In the third case, RAMQ asked what it should do when a client wearing a Muslim face covering (burka or niqab) requests service from a female employee.

 

As I understand it, RAMQ are insurers and administrators (like OHIP) not doctors. It doesn't appear that anyone is in danger of having the wrong doctor forced on them, though they may not like their Benefits Representative.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The last one is interesting because it seems to say that women have no choice as to the gender of their doctors.

As Snert said, this has nothing to do with doctors. It is about taking photos for the universal health card that all Quebeckers must use to access medicare. The Commission ruled that there is no right to demand a female clerk for the few seconds required to take the photo.

The last few posts show how urban legends can easily take off, though...

What I find encouraging about the three decisions (subject to seeing the full texts of course) is that they all are based on anti-discrimination principles:

  • no discrimination of the basis of national origin (speaking with an "accent")
  • no discrimination on the basis of wearing a hijab
  • no discrimination on the basis of gender

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So in Quebec every woman must show her face to receive any government services?  That is an interesting view of accommodation.  I really hope they post the decision and someone translates it because without the nuances all we have is the news report and that is not very well written.

Snert Snert's picture

The article didn't actually say that anyone had to uncover their face.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So in Quebec every woman must show her face to receive any government services?  That is an interesting view of accommodation.  I really hope they post the decision and someone translates it because without the nuances all we have is the news report and that is not very well written.

More urban legends...

They have to uncover their face to have their photo taken for their Québec medicare card.

Is that a problem?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So Unionist since you seem to have read the actual decision then please post a link.  Otherwise you don't know what it says anymore than I do.

I hardly ever have a problem with decisions I haven't read. You will note above it was a question about the case not an urban myth.  But go ahead and try to intimidate me because you don't THINK I agree with you. I haven't even stated an opinion but am merely trying to understand what the case says so spare me the urban myth insults okay!!

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I've been starting to get what Unionist is on about but still disagree that it's not an unreasonable accomodation in the 3rd case.  It's a very easy accomodation and that which my company strives to maintain in Ontario regardless of gender, we are accomodating to cultural needs.  They're humans too.  Whatever, I'm getting pissed off.  Treat them how you like.  Hopefully, they'll move here.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Sorry U, I understand I don't fully get this.  I think you folks in Quebec are probably further ahead in womens' rights than here in Ontario.  I'm having trouble with how we deal with these "unique" situations.  You can say just do what we've been doing in Quebec but I just don't see it as that simple.  Sorry for stepping where I don't know where the dog was.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So Unionist since you seem to have read the actual decision then please post a link.  Otherwise you don't know what it says anymore than I do.

I apologize for my tone - I just wanted to warn about the danger of posting about "doctors" and having a mis-impression become reality via Google and other ways that these things spread.

No, I haven't read the actual decision, but the various media (other than CBC of course) have enough detail to make it very clear what it was about:

[url=http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/actualites-en-societe/285060/voile-integ... intégral à la RAMQ: pas d’obligation d’accommodement[/url]

Quote:
Les femmes portant le niqab ou la burka n’ont pas à bénéficier d’un quelconque accommodement lorsqu’elles se présentent à la Régie d’assurance-maladie et que leur identité doit être vérifiée. 

C’est ce qu’a statué la Commission des droits de la personnes et de la jeunesse dans un avis très attendu qu’elle a rendu public aujourd’hui.

Dix sur 146 000

En 2009, dix personnes sur 146 000 ont demandé la permission de pouvoir se dévoiler devant un agent de sexe féminin dans le cas où on devait procéder à leur authentification. La Commission estime que le fait de demander à ces femmes de se dévoiler dans un cadre administratif neutre — soit un comptoir de la RAMQ — et ce, durant quelques secondes «ne porte pas atteinte de façon significative à la liberté de religion».

I'm busy and a little tired, but if anyone doesn't get the drift of this (it's what I said in my previous post) or can't find an English media report, let me know and I'll translate a bit later.

ETA: Ok, don't know why I missed it, but [url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Face+must+bared+medicare+card/268948...'s the Gazette report[/url]:

Quote:

A niqab-clad woman must uncover her face to confirm her identity when applying for a Quebec medicare card, the province’s human rights commission says.

And she does not have the right to insist on being served by a woman when doing so, the commission said in an opinion issued Tuesday.

The opinion comes in response to a request by Quebec’s health-insurance board to clarify the issue.

Among 146,000 applications for health-care photo ID in 2008-09, there were just 10 from clients who asked for special accommodations because they wore a face-covering niqab or burqa.

Asking a woman to uncover her face long enough for a clerk to check her identity does not infringe on freedom-of-religion guarantees in the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms because the gesture should only take a few seconds, the commission said.

“It is not a significant infringement of freedom of religion,” said Marc-André Dowd, vice-president of the commission.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

After knowing how men in this country act Unionist and the patriarchal institute that it is, do you feel it is unreasonable for Quebec to accomodate 0.0068(note that's less than 1%) of it's population with female civil servants readily available?

 

They do handstands to speak the language.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I live my life as a male in a very non-male fashion but carry on facades.  I have multi-personas but keep them hidden.  Would they come for me too?  It's all I've known and my identity. 

 

Would you deny this?

Unionist

RevolutionPlease wrote:

After knowing how men in this country act Unionist and the patriarchal institute that it is, do you feel it is unreasonable for Quebec to accomodate 0.0068(note that's less than 1%) of it's population with female civil servants readily available?

I am opposed to any accommodation of anyone who says "I want to deal with one sex and not the other because of my religious beliefs". Equality of men and women trumps that "belief".

If a white person arrived and said, "My deeply held personal beliefs require you to go find me an Aryan clerk to take this photo", I trust they would be reminded where the door was.

Accommodation cannot reinforce prejudice and discrimination. That's what the other two decisions rendered by the Commission underlined (can't ask for someone who speaks unaccented French; can't say, "I don't want to be served by this person wearing a hijab").

If a woman needing medical care of a sensitive or personal nature, or someone to confide in, or someone to report a sexual assault to, or [pick your other examples] needs another woman to help, then yes - yes - always. But someone's religious belief to create a gap between men and women who do not share that religious belief? No - no - never.

Hope my view is clear. And that's the same view I expressed about the classroom situation.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

U, you result to hyperbole.  If everything was just with the genders I could agree 100% but you and I know it isn't.

 

I will just say your politics are obviously different there and I don't want to offend you anymore.  I appreciate your answers, I will take a break in deference to my respect for your answers to which I hold no sway.  Just asking you to ponder it a bit more.  I'm getting your side of it. 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

In fact, don't women need protection from this sort of abuse, what if she's trying to create her own life.  I'd say most here would support a woman trying to get an education and free themselves.  Should I invoke the punishments they might face like their christian sisters who disobey god?

j.m.

Unionist wrote:

If a woman needing medical care of a sensitive or personal nature, or someone to confide in, or someone to report a sexual assault to, or [pick your other examples] needs another woman to help, then yes - yes - always. But someone's religious belief to create a gap between men and women who do not share that religious belief? No - no - never.

Hope my view is clear. And that's the same view I expressed about the classroom situation.

And what if those cultural beliefs (note: move away from religious belief because gender differences are not always produced by religion) dictated that a woman did not ask a strange man for help - especially one that didn't speak her language - on the account he might expect much more in return, despite the service being public and paid for by the government?

Can you articulate this as being a radically different case than the one presented?

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
  Accommodation cannot reinforce prejudice and discrimination. That's what the other two decisions rendered by the Commission underlined (can't ask for someone who speaks unaccented French; can't say, "I don't want to be served by this person wearing a hijab").  If a woman needing medical care of a sensitive or personal nature, or someone to confide in, or someone to report a sexual assault to, or [pick your other examples] needs another woman to help, then yes - yes - always. But someone's religious belief to create a gap between men and women who do not share that religious belief? No - no - never.  Hope my view is clear. And that's the same view I expressed about the classroom situation. 

If we consider religious belief as not only an assault on reason, but as a cradle to grave system of institutionalized conditioning where fear of other genders, other cultures, or just simply other differences is internalized from a very young age, to my mind the blame can only be carried so far, if at all, onto the victims.

In the case of Aryan preferences, I believe we can agree that those sort of leanings are somewhat different from gender preferences and the niqab. One stems from hatred of others based on the concept of racial superiority, while the other might be described as being influenced by the patriarchy that has instilled shame and distrust of oneself, to the point where a head to toe covering somehow empowers one to interact with other human beings so long as other conditions are met.

There's nothing wrong with shifting the focus to identify the root cause, or common denominator of oppressions which affect all communities, and as you know, religion is only one useful tool among many.

Unionist

j.m. wrote:

 

And what if those cultural beliefs (note: move away from religious belief because gender differences are not always produced by religion) dictated that a woman did not ask a strange man for help - especially one that didn't speak her language - on the account he might expect much more in return, despite the service being public and paid for by the government?

 

We should rearrange our society on gender lines because someone has a "cultural belief" that you can't deal with strange men?

No, j.m., never. And your question lies at the very heart of the matter. Someone may have a well-founded "cultural belief" that you don't deal with a stranger of another ethnic group, or a caucasian, or a non-caucasian, or (to take the example I gave in another thread) with any Gentile.

Never can we "accommodate" such beliefs. We just explain patiently to people that that doesn't work here.

Slumberjack wrote:
If we consider religious belief as not only an assault on reason, but as a cradle to grave system of institutionalized conditioning where fear of other genders, other cultures, or just simply other differences is internalized from a very young age, to my mind the blame can only be carried so far, if at all, onto the victims.

No, SJ, this has nothing to do with reviling someone's religious belief, which we have no say over. It has to do with not rearranging our society along racist or gender or classist lines - repudiating victories we have won - in order to allow someone to act upon some belief.

They are free to believe what they want - just don't (for example) call the Montréal police and ask them to send only a male officer because you're not allowed to deal with strange women. That was one of the "scandals" Mario Dumont and the MSM pointed to - that the Mtl police department had a policy of not sending female officers when they received calls from Hassidic Jewish callers or neighbourhoods. In fact, various Hassidic spokespersons protested loudly that they had never sought such a policy. That's how urban legends and mass frenzy spread (at least, that was what the fascists hoped for).

 

skdadl

Unionist, you are coming (to me) dangerously close to suggesting that some groups -- women, eg -- are not vulnerable in particular ways. In fact we do make public accommodations to groups of people on those grounds. Public money goes to, eg, crisis shelters for women and children and to rape-crisis centres -- isn't that true in Quebec too? (Men's groups sometimes argue that there should be matching shelters for men, to which feminists have answered that they should take the political and practical route that women did in starting up those centres on their own, but that's another debate.)

 

In fact, the Charter lists specific grounds on which discrimination may not occur precisely because groups of people have in the past been discriminated against merely because of their membership in those groups. You seem to be saying that that means, ah, well, that's all over now -- women are equal to men, so we don't have to worry about it any more ... but if that were true, the Charter wouldn't have to go on warning against discrimination on grounds of sex. And of course, if that were true, women would agree with you, which I suspect most wouldn't. I certainly don't.

 

Women are equal to men in Canada? Unionist, I mean, c'mon ...

 

 

remind remind's picture

Quote:
We should rearrange our society on gender lines because someone has a "cultural belief" that you can't deal with strange men?No...never

 

Agree with you completely unionist.

 

Would it be tolerated if someone said their religious/cultural beliefs ensured they could not have a homosexual serve them in public and that they had every right to demand service from someone who wasn't?

 

No...never

 

That is why marriage commissioners who tried that schtick were told correctly they could not.

 

 

Ghislaine

Thank you so much unionist for your well-articulated posts on this issue.

No where has anyone said that men and women are equal now in our society. But denying measures of equality on the basis of religious or cultural accomodation will not help matters at all.

The case does not involve doctors, it involves civil servant staff.  Does anyone honestly believe that a man should refuse to be served by a female civil servant on such a mundane issue due to their religion (or vice versa)? This does not cover gender-specific instances - ie patting down/ strip searching at airports, having a female doctor (when possible) for sensitive things or a female employee at women's shelters. Those are completely different situations. We are talking about having a health card photo taken. And yes, a photo of your face for government ID cards is required in our society. If you are pulled over by a police officer by either gender you may have to show your face as well to confirm it matches the photo on your liscence. This is not unreasonable.

None of this implies on the PRIVATE right to practice religion. A woman should have the right to wear a full hijab - where it does not infringe on other's rights. I completely abhor attempts in France to regulate dress. We also have the right to call it a patriarchal institution.

Unionist

skdadl wrote:

Unionist, you are coming (to me) dangerously close to suggesting that some groups -- women, eg -- are not vulnerable in particular ways. In fact we do make public accommodations to groups of people on those grounds. Public money goes to, eg, crisis shelters for women and children and to rape-crisis centres -- isn't that true in Quebec too? (Men's groups sometimes argue that there should be matching shelters for men, to which feminists have answered that they should take the political and practical route that women did in starting up those centres on their own, but that's another debate.)

 

In fact, the Charter lists specific grounds on which discrimination may not occur precisely because groups of people have in the past been discriminated against merely because of their membership in those groups. You seem to be saying that that means, ah, well, that's all over now -- women are equal to men, so we don't have to worry about it any more ... but if that were true, the Charter wouldn't have to go on warning against discrimination on grounds of sex. And of course, if that were true, women would agree with you, which I suspect most wouldn't. I certainly don't.

 

Women are equal to men in Canada? Unionist, I mean, c'mon ...

 

 

If that's what you took from all my posts defending women's rights, then I guess we're talking past each other and I'm really sorry about that. Sometimes one doesn't rehash years of posts in defence of feminism and equality and women's rights when dealing with a particular issue. The regulars here know where I stand on those questions, but you may not have been in all those discussions obviously, so I'll take your comments in that context.

Let me just say one thing in reply: Not only are women not equal to men in our society, but it is the oldest form of subjugation known to humanity and I'm convinced it will be the very last to fall, and I've said so here over and over again. But if someone comes along and says we should march BACKWARDS in that struggle because of some religious or cultural belief!!?? Our society must resoundingly answer NEVER - just as we must resoundingly answer NEVER to those who would spread our supposedly "more civilized" superior White Christian Western values to the "inferior" peoples by force of arms or economic pressure or trade policies or missionaries or NGOs or nauseating condescending lectures... Their societies are their sovereign business - and ours is our heavy responsibility.

ETA: Thank you so much, remind and Ghislaine. For a change, I muzzled myself and let the women speak first. Innocent I promise to keep working on that...

Slumberjack

I have to say Unionist, that your last post was rife with contradictions, which were maintained to the very end.

remind remind's picture

Well unionist,  the truth is on extended thought that such a thing could NOT be accomodated under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, nor Canadian equity laws.

 

Just as i stated as with the case of the marriage commissioners who felt because of their religious beliefs they should not have to marry a same sex couple. And we could add the not wanting to rent  halls to SSM couples too, because of religious beliefs".

A precedent like this on public accomodation of "religion/culture" when pertaining to publically paid services, and even really privately owned business, come to think of it, cannot be made, as it would extend out, and out, and out. The Jack Van Impes of this world would challenge each and every instance of similar type.

 

We would have JVI et al going into public places and demanding that they not be served by a women, a POC, or someone in a hijab/niqjab, and have every right to be bigots, all because "their religion" says they can.

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