Barber refuses haircut to woman on religious grounds

359 posts / 0 new
Last post
Mr.Tea

Unionist wrote:

Also, check out various religious and ethnic communities in Canada that decry "intermarriage". That is ostensibly religious based, though often conceals an ethnic or racial bias. Children don't follow their parents' "rules" as much as they used to, but that's because society is moving forward. These "rules" still exist, in my own Jewish community.

Yes, they still exist within the spectrum of religious law or community values but are not enforced by government. My rabbi would certainly not perform a marriage between a Jew and non-Jew. That's his right. It's not the right of a government marriage commissioner. Nor would I, as  Jew, marry someone who wasn't a Jew. That's not bigoted. It's not because I hate Christians or Hindus or Muslims or anyone else. Nor would a member of that community who refused to marry me be a bigot motivated by hatred. It's based on our beliefs as to what a marriage is.

jas

Unionist wrote:
 These rules are the hallmark of xenophobia. They are aimed at perpetuating "US" vs. "THE OTHER". They are the very opposite of the democratic ideals of liberty, equality, and solidarity. Progressive people everywhere mock, condemn, and combat them.

Point taken. And I would note that the examples you use are of laws that have since been abolished - for good reasons, reasons that our Charter is founded upon.

Our Charter guarantees the freedom to practise one's religion. We either support that or we don't. If we don't, then we either take religion out of the Charter, or we qualify that right. I don't see any current qualifications that apply to this case. 

Unionist wrote:
I don't want to call it bigotry. I never said it singled out a "particular race" (that's your creative addition). I want to call it xenophobia, discrimination, inequality, injustice, and let me get religious for a moment - evil.

If your example does not single out a particular race, then it is not discrimination, and therefore does not apply to what you want it to apply to.

 

Mr.Tea

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Mr. Tea

Again. Her motivation or how practical it may seem is irrelevant. And if her only motivation is to ensure that someone is complying with the law then she is completely justified in doing that. There is nothing at all discriminatory about it.

Okay, I jsut find it petty and stupid. Of all the things to worry about. She wanted a haircut. They're not hard to find. There are plenty of people who would welcome her business. But instead of just accepting that some people have different values and that living in a multicultural city means not everyone thinks the way that you do and taking the very easy step of going somewhere else, this is now going to drag on for months, take up the commission's time (I assume there are more important "human rights" issues with which they could occupy their time and resources) and likely end up costing this barber thousands of dollars in lawyer fees and likely to produce no satisfactory resolution. I'm not a lawyer. I can't comment authoritatively on the letter of the law. But I wish, as a societ, we could move past nitpicking, stop being so damn litigious, and try to just use some common sense and make an effort to get along with people.

jas

Smith, I am saying that the "clear cut" law that you think applies in this case, is not that clear cut. There is an exception that may validly apply here. So if you could please refrain from declaring that the barber's actions were outside of the law - at least until that has been ruled upon - that would help you catch up to the rest of the discussion.

Mr.Tea

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Tea

Of course it's not hatred.

Another problem with the assumption by some in this thread that modesty equals hatred.

Correct. I'm sure if you asked him why he doesn't touch women outside his family, he'd say it's out of respect, not hatred. But I think there's a lot of underlying bigotry in some of the anger and vitriot directed at this man, assumptions over his motives, etc.

6079_Smith_W

@ Tea

Of course it's not hatred.

Another problem with the assumption by some in this thread that modesty and having personal boundaries equals hatred.

(edit)

cross posted with you.

But it's not petty and stupid, and it's not about her at all. Even if she never walked through the doors they'd still be in breach of the law. It is a mistake to get emotional or pass judgment about people's motives. Someone could call your values - or any of ours  - petty and stupid, but really it is no one's business.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

jas,

So you're suggesting just ending this entire conversation until the tribunal's ruling? I think it might take everyone else a little while to "catch up" with that concept too.

Refusing to serve a customer because she is a woman would seem to be a pretty clear breach of rules against discrimination; maybe the tribunal will find differently. But until they do, I'd say the principle is a valid one.

 

jas

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Refusing to serve a customer because she is a woman would seem to be a pretty clear breach of rules against discrimination; 

If that is what actually happened, I would agree with you.

Unionist

jas wrote:

Our Charter guarantees the freedom to practise one's religion. We either support that or we don't. If we don't, then we either take religion out of the Charter, or we qualify that right. I don't see any current qualifications that apply to this case.

NOTHING in the Charter applies to "this case", namely a barber shop serving the public, as has already been amply demonstrated. But the Charter DOES have a "qualification" that would apply, if the Charter applied at all. I already quoted it above. It's Section 28.

If freedom of religion really implied the possibility of segregation between men and women in lodging or public education or public commerce or provision of services, then I would be lobbying actively to remove such an obscenity from the Charter. Happily, I don't believe it means anything of the sort.

Quote:
If your example does not single out a particular race, then it is not discrimination, and therefore does not apply to what you want it to apply to.

So U.S. anti-miscegenation laws were not discriminatory? Or South African apartheid laws ("separate and equal development")? In South Africa, of course, coloured and Asian and black and white couldn't intermarry. No one was singled out. That's non-discriminatory in your book, is it?

Ok, let's agree to call them "fascist" instead. Either way, set aside the nomenclature, and let's join together to rid our society of any such poison. You'll have my support.

Unionist

Mr.Tea wrote:
My rabbi would certainly not perform a marriage between a Jew and non-Jew. That's his right. It's not the right of a government marriage commissioner. Nor would I, as  Jew, marry someone who wasn't a Jew. That's not bigoted. It's not because I hate Christians or Hindus or Muslims or anyone else. Nor would a member of that community who refused to marry me be a bigot motivated by hatred. It's based on our beliefs as to what a marriage is.

Just for the information of everyone, the Jewish faith (in Montréal, at any rate) has come a long way from ancient ways that Mr.Tea describes as "our beliefs":

[url=http://www.theseniortimes.com/first-female-senior-rabbi-installed-at-tem... female senior rabbi installed at Temple Emanu-el-Beth Sholom[/url]

Yes, it's a two-rabbi couple. And they have two children. The kids have two Jewish mothers... Oy!

 

Goggles Pissano

I have read all these threads, and it baffles my mind how some of the people can portray the barbers as helpless victims and the lady as a perpetrator. While most people are depicting her complaint as trivial and that she can go elsewhere, you fail to see how the barbers are acting trivial by blowing up the significance of a simple little haircut as a violation of the religious beliefs and that the whole refusal to cut her hair is not discrimination but an innocuous and harmless breach of their religious values.

And some of you are referring a HAIRCUT as being CLOSE PERSONAL CONTACT with a member OF THE OPPOSITE SEX?  OMG~! 

It's a HAIRCUT~!

These Muslim barbers say that they can cut the hair of their wives, their daughters, their nieces, their aunts, their grandmothers, but they cannot cut the hair of women in the general public.  What makes the hair of their immediate family so special that they cannot do the same to these other women?  Their women are at home where they belong.

Most Muslim men in their home countries expect their wives to wear burkas or hijabs when they are out in public, and in their native countries, women who want a haircut must be segregated from men in  separate rooms where they are able to remove their head gear without compromising their "modesty". Men do not have to cover their hair in public, but women do.

Muslim women who breach these "modesty" dress codes can find themselves in "modesty" prisons, or publicly stoned to death, or honour killed.

The Shafia girls were killed by their oldest brother, their father, and their mother here in Canada for simply loosening their familly`s strict dress codes, and for associating with people not approved by their family outside the home.

Faith McGregor did not ask the Muslim men to have sex with her.  She simply asked for a haircut.  

I don`t think many of you realize that if she was in a muslim country and walked in to a barber shop without wearing a hijab and asked for a haircut in a `male` arena, she would have been arrested and Sharia law would have decided on her method of punishment.

None of this is innocuous.  Many of the Muslim religious beliefs have nothing at all to do with religion, but have everything to do with the mysogynistic control of women by men in all facets of their lives. 

These barbers are trying to petpetuate the limited status women have in society, and that the only proper place for women is in the home, certainly not in the public, and certainly not in their barber shop.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Goggles Pissano wrote:

None of this is innocuous.  Many of the Muslim religious beliefs have nothing at all to do with religion, but have everything to do with the mysogynistic control of women by men in all facets of their lives. 

These barbers are trying to petpetuate the limited status women have in society, and that the only proper place for women is in the home, certainly not in the public, and certainly not in their barber shop.  

 

Hmm... I haven't looked at it that way before, but you make a compelling case. Forget all this equal access nonsense. We'd probably be better off burning their shop to the ground and putting them on the first plane out of here, since reform is absolutely out of the question, right?

 

Tehanu

You folks here really need a head-pounding-against-the-wall smiley. 

Anyway. What to my wondering eyes doth a quick babble search reveal? Anti-oppression 101!  Started by Maysie! What a helpful resource for people who seem to be a bit ... confused ... about the difference between refusing service on prohibited grounds of discrimination, and a guy saying "oh, I don't mind if someone doesn't serve me because I'm a man, so it's okay if men don't serve women." Or the dazzling idea that race is a neutral thing in anti-miscegenation laws because they affect white people and black people just the same, dontcha know. Wow.

Babble, really, wow.

Here's the really, really simple formula to remember: "Racism = Prejudice + Power"

Or, let's try substituting a few words:

"Ablism = Prejudice + Power" ... so it's not the same saying as a person with reasonably strong eyesight that I should be able to bring my dog into a restaurant because someone else gets to bring a seeing-eye dog in.

"Homophobia = Prejudice + Power" ... so Jason Kenney saying gay and lesbian people do in fact have the right to marry (as long as it's to the opposite sex) is not the same as saying LGBT folks have the right to marry, oh, the people they love. [And for the record I am opposed to the SSM exemption for religious beliefs, but I know that it was politically expedient, a.k.a. pandering, at the time, since waaaay back in 2006, SSM was still something that some folks had their knickers in a twist about. More than now, anyway.]

"Religious discrimination = Prejudice + Power" ... hence in Canada, which let's face it is a largely Christian country still, we need to be more vigilent in protecting religious minorities with little power than protecting the big Christian denominations, which have plenty of power. [And for the record I am vehemently opposed to the Catholic separate school board system.]

Let's try one more.

"Sexism = Prejudice + Power" ... so when men refuse service to women because they are women, it is not the same as women refusing service to men because they are men. And for the record I'm not terribly in favour of the reverse, either, but I'm not kidding myself about which gender has power in this society. And yet again for the record reinforcing the gender binary can also be extremely harmful for trans folks.

So.

Prohibitions on women and men interacting are NOT neutral or equal or equivalent. That goes for "modesty" in dress code, and that goes for a whole host of other examples like women's gyms or pools not admitting men. Basically that goes for all of the so-clever attempts at equivalency on this thread. That goes for touching as well.

Listen: The people on this thread who are pointing this out are NOT saying dude has to violate his personal religious prohibitions about touching women, and saying that this woman is trying to force him to do so is absurd hyperbole, based on wild and unfounded speculation about her motives and goals.

We're saying that he can abide by his beliefs all he wants.

We're saying that him refusing service based on a prohibited grounds of discrimination is wrong.

And we're saying that if you want to run a business in Canada then it is imcumbant on you to ensure that you are not discriminating based on prohibited grounds. And that if you are, it is incumbant on you to find an acceptable solution to this.

For the umpteenth time, it's not rocket science.

I'd be interested in hearing from people defending this barber shop why they feel so personally invested in doing so.

I know why I'm posting on this thread: I'm not prepared to have my hard-fought right to be treated equally as a woman in this society eroded, regardless of how small the incident may appear to be.

What's your justification?

____

P.S. Catchfire: Kiss

____

Edited to add: Post above mine = sure sounds Islamophobic. See above regarding religious discrimination and power, and until all those hegemonic mainstream Christian churches take the sexist mote out of their eye, they shouldn't feel free to critique Islam for the same thing. And it pisses me off that this incident is a bandwagon for the trolls to jump on (just like a fair bit of the trans rights stuff around women's spaces is a bandwagon for antifeminists to jump on). I know that this may be complicated for out-and-out trolls to grasp, poor things.

Etited to add some more: I'm still wincing every time I see that thread title, it's pretty brutal, but hey, it sure catches the eye.

Goggles Pissano

What I said was certainly not islamophobic.

Goggles Pissano

To Mr. Smith,

I don`t know why you jump to conclusions that I feel they need to leave the country, or that I would even want them to.

I would hope that people in todays day and age would not justify a barber saying that he is not going to cut a black man`s hair because it is personal to him and that his religious values prohibit him from doing so.  I think people could see through his argument quite easily, yet when it comes to women, it is ok for him to say no.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I have (finally) changed the trhead title to something which does not highlight either the religious denomination of the barber, nor the sexual orientation of the woman refused.

@Goggles Pissano: Many of the things you said about Muslims are factually incorrect and based on stereotypes of Islam and its practitioners. Other things you said suggest that Islam has a special monopoly or access to misogyny or violence against women--it doesn't, obviously. That's likely why someone detected some Islamophobic sentiment in your post.

It would be helpful, following the retitling lead, if we could not make this about the barber's Muslim-ness, and instead make it about why he thinks his discrimination (in the neutral sense of the word) is justified, and whether it should be.

Goggles Pissano

To Tehanu,

It is rather presumptuous of you to presume that I am Roman Catholic or belong to one of the mainstream Christian churces, or that I am Christian in the first place.  To help you out a little, I am not.

6079_Smith_W

@ GP

I guess I must have imagined that.

By all means, let's force them to open their doors to everyone, then just to rub it in, treat them like pariahs who believe in a system that sanctions misogyny and murder.

That should have everyone breaking down the doors at their grand re-opening.

 

Goggles Pissano

To Catchfire,

I am quite comfortable with you removing the the specific religion of the barbers, and my writings were not to promote any hatred against Muslims.  I have many friends who are Muslim, and some of them even agree with me on some issues, and if I hurt anybody with my overtly offensive opinions, I am truly sorry.

Scary non Christian is signing off.

Goggles Pissano

To Mr. Smith,

Who said anything about treating them like pariahs...No one needs to treat anyone like a social outcast anytime or anywhere.

kropotkin1951

Thanks for finally changing the title of this thread.  I always thought it was provocative.

The action of this barber was discriminatory full stop.  The next question is whether or not the discriminatory action is a breach of the OHR Code.     The Charter only comes into play if this barber says the Code itself is a breach of his Charter rights.

The Charter itself allows for discriminatory actions as long as politicians will pass the law Not Withstanding the fact that they are discriminatory.  As an aside the Not Withstanding Clause was one  Allan Blakeney's main demands and for him a deal breaker.  He would not back down from the great Scottish democratic tradition that said parliament is the final authority over all laws and no court or King can rule otherwise. 

 

Goggles Pissano

To Catchfire again,

Before I go, No one said that Muslims have a monopoly on mysogyny. Don`t assume things nor read into what I said that simply does not exist.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Why would an individual compel another to do something they're uncomfortable with, simply to prove a point? It seems rather abusive, and certainly provocative.

voice of the damned

autoworker wrote:
Why would an individual compel another to do something they're uncomfortable with, simply to prove a point? It seems rather abusive, and certainly provocative.

So if the owner of a Burger Bang outlet feels uncomfortable serving a black guy, but other Burger Bang franchises in the area will serve him, clearly the black guy is just trying to score a point if he insists that the bigoted owner serve him. He could easily get the same food within a five-minute walk. Is the black guy just being abusive and provocative?

Tehanu

[img]http://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/history/6-legacy/images/sit-in.jpg[/...

Quite, VOTD. Abusive and provocative. Gosh darn I feel bad for those people who are uncomfortable!

 

Quote:
Sitting for Justice: Woolworth’s Lunch Counter

On February 1, 1960, four African American college students sat down at a lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, and politely asked for service. Their request was refused. When asked to leave, they remained in their seats. Their passive resistance and peaceful sit-down demand helped ignite a youth-led movement to challenge racial inequality throughout the South.

 

http://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/history/6-legacy/freedom-struggle-2....

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

@Goggles Pissano

This is a discussion board. It means that if we post opinions, we can expect those opinions to be challenged, questions and read as written--not for intention. I was explaining to you, since you asked, why a few posters detected Islamophobic sentiments in your post. I did not call you Islamophobic. No one here did. Certainly no one called you Christian. Someone did point out that until we attack all forms of gender inequality enabled or propogated by religion of all denominations equally, we are engaging in hypocrisy as a society.

I'm sorry if you were offended some babblers challenged the assumptions implicit in your post. I'm sure if you thought about it you'd realize that "Most Muslim men in their home countries" don't, in fact, "expect their wives to wear burqas or hijabs." And if you thought about it some more, you'd probably realize that the men who expect their wives to cover themselves do not outnumber the men in Western countries who expect women to wear mini-skirts in public. And if you thought about it even more, you might not think that the hijab was an essentially evil invention of the infidel, but a multivalent cultural marker with a rich and fractious history with deep investments in the discourses of race, gender, orientalism and imperialism.

Feel free to stick around if you think you can discuss these topics.

milo204

To me the reason why the comparison to womens only gyms is appropriate is because of the reason for the discrimination based on sex.  Women only gyms exist because for some working out is something they prefer not to do around the oppopsite sex.  they get sweaty and smelly, they're in funny positions, they wear funny clothes, they let it all hang out.  they don't want to be in a position to be judged by the opposite sex or have that interfere in their work out.  i can see that

Likewise, for men getting a haircut might feel similar,  your bald spot shows, you look funny, your wearing a cape, it reeks of barbicide, you have dandruff all over.  and they don't want to worry about being judged by the opposite sex.  i can see that too.

likewise consider the context.  It is happening in a society that does not allow gender exclusive business service beyond the odd thing like a gym or barbershop for the reasons stated above. 

it's in this context i don't agree with the complaint, even if in principle i hate discrimination based on sex. 

 

6079_Smith_W

You forgot men's bath houses - not all of which are private clubs (though there are a few co-ed ones).

I expect that is a case in which no one is interested in pushing the point.

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

This has nothing to do with lunch counters or fast food chains. It's about whether one can empathize with some little guy who seems to have had the misfortune of being picked on, as a test case, to further a political agenda. Ironically, he has the support of Ezra Levant, and the populist media. This incident may yet indeed prove to be seminal.

6079_Smith_W

He isn't being asked to do anything that isn't required of any other business.

And if Tea's research is correct he already has the barber at his other location. How is that being picked on?

 

Tehanu

Quote:
Women only gyms exist because for some working out is something they prefer not to do around the oppopsite sex.  they get sweaty and smelly, they're in funny positions, they wear funny clothes, they let it all hang out.  they don't want to be in a position to be judged by the opposite sex or have that interfere in their work out.  i can see that

Well, they exist for other reasons. Which include:

- Women growing up in this society often (almost always) have various levels of body image issues.

- Women are used to being objectified and judged by men for their physical attributes. Constantly and endlessly. Including, and perhaps even more extensively than on the street, at gyms.

- Women whose bodies don't match up to some magical ideal can be very self-conscious about exercising. Women who experience bullying or persecution because of their weight, particularly if they are fat, are likely to be acutely self-conscious, especially as there is further judgement attached to them exercising. 

- As you've acknowledged, people can feel vulnerable when exercising. Women who have been sexually or physically assaulted may feel particularly vulnerable. Among other things, I've been around men who are exercising (if I go to a gym it's co-ed) and there's a lot of almost sexualized grunting and panting which could easily be triggering.

- And yes, there are women who won't exercise around men because of religious reasons! See my above post about Prejudice + Power. Let's add in privilege.

Yes, dear babblers, again we have to justify and explain why it's not equal or equivalent to compare the treatment of women to the treatment of men.

___

Anyway, as I said above, I'm not an unqualified advocate of women-only spaces although I'm a strong advocate for them under specific circumstances (related to safety and/or political action). Gyms are borderline for me personally, but certainly not for all women, and I respect that.

[I'm sad that my epic Profound Pontification on anti-oppression got derailed, oh well!]

I'd prefer gyms that had a specific mandate of being supportive of a range of individuals, including trans people, people with disabilities, people who'd been assaulted, etc. Basically with a mandate to provide a safe space for folks who've been marginalized to exercise.

 

ETA:

Quote:
This has nothing to do with lunch counters or fast food chains. It's about whether one can empathize with some little guy who seems to have had the misfortune of being picked on, as a test case, to further a political agenda.

Well, lunch counters and the desegregation thereof was related to racial discrimination. Women are not discriminated against? Fighting discrimination is furthering a political agenda? Interesting to hear this on a progressive discussion board.

Quote:
Ironically, he has the support of Ezra Levant

Perhaps that tells us something.

Unionist

Tehanu wrote:

 

Yes, dear babblers, again we have to justify and explain why it's not equal or equivalent to compare the treatment of women to the treatment of men.

Great to have your voice here, Tehanu!

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

This is sure to provoke discussion in various constituencies throughout Ontario. I wonder what the candidates will say about it, when they're put on the spot?

Mr.Tea

Unionist wrote:

Just for the information of everyone, the Jewish faith (in Montréal, at any rate) has come a long way from ancient ways that Mr.Tea describes as "our beliefs":

If having a Jewish family and remaining a part of the Jewish community are not important to you, that's certainly your own perogative and I won't try to dissuade you. You're free to live you're own life as you see fit (Baruch Hashem). But don't try to persuade others that marrying out and having a non-Jewish marriage is in any way consistent with "our beliefs" (that you have, evidently, long ago abandoned).

6079_Smith_W

The odd thing is, this isn't even an issue of progressive social change. This is something that is already the law of the land. It's about as middle-of-the-road as it gets.

(edit)

And Tea,

Please let's not start that. It's like Christians (and more than a few anti-religious types) who assume that there is only one monolithic christianity and they are the final word on what it is and is not. We all know it is a little bit more multi-faceted than that./

 

 

 

Mr.Tea

Goggles Pissano wrote:

These Muslim barbers say that they can cut the hair of their wives, their daughters, their nieces, their aunts, their grandmothers, but they cannot cut the hair of women in the general public.  What makes the hair of their immediate family so special that they cannot do the same to these other women?  

I put my penis into my wife's vagina but I don't put my penis into the vagina of any other woman. What makes the vagina of my wife "so special" that I can't do the same to other women? Well, she's my wife. We're family. I love her to death. I have standards. I don't have sex with anyone else. Not because I "hate women", but because I love and repect my wife. Now, personally, I don't think that a haircut is as intimate as sex (my barber and I are certainly not on that level). But, evidently, some Muslims feel that a haircut is too intimate and personal to perform on someone of the opposite sex, unrelated to them. Not my values. Maybe not your values. But they're his values. Who are you to say that your values (or mine) are better than his?

Unionist

Mr.Tea wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Just for the information of everyone, the Jewish faith (in Montréal, at any rate) has come a long way from ancient ways that Mr.Tea describes as "our beliefs":

If having a Jewish family and remaining a part of the Jewish community are not important to you, that's certainly your own perogative and I won't try to dissuade you. You're free to live you're own life as you see fit (Baruch Hashem). But don't try to persuade others that marrying out and having a non-Jewish marriage is in any way consistent with "our beliefs" (that you have, evidently, long ago abandoned).

HAHA, poor Mr.Tea, visibly upset at the photo of two married lesbian rabbis, one of whom now presides over a major Montréal congregation! And the other is a Christian convert to Judaism!! What the hell is this world coming to, eh?

Try the Catholic Church, Tea. They still understand where a woman's place is. We Jews have moved on and ain't never looking back. Thank Allah Jews never had a Pope to tell us what was right and what was wrong.

Oh, and by the way, my Judaism is better than your Judaism - because it embraces all of humanity. Difficult concept, but don't stop trying. You'll get it eventually.

 

Tehanu

Mr. Tea, this feels like shouting down a well.

Let's try something else. Jewish people experience discrimination, right? What if a Jewish man went into that barber shop wearing a yamulke, and the barber said, "I'm sorry, sir, my religion forbids me to touch Jewish people's hair, I'll need you to go somewhere else." That good with you? Think anyone's feelings might be hurt in this case? Think anyone might feel this was, oh, wrong?

autoworker autoworker's picture

Jim Crow does not apply here. Those who insist that it does, trivialize those who struggle daily with oppression. Sometimes, it's simply someone with a chip on their shoulder looking for a bone to pick.

Unionist

autoworker wrote:
Sometimes, it's simply someone with a chip on their shoulder looking for a bone to pick.

That's anatomically unsound.

Oh, and even people with bones to pick are entitled to be treated like human beings.

 

6079_Smith_W

autoworker wrote:

Jim Crow does not apply here. Those who insist that it does, trivialize those who struggle daily with oppression.

Okay, that one made me gasp. I'm just going to sit back and wait for it.

 

onlinediscountanvils

autoworker wrote:
Jim Crow does not apply here. Those who insist that it does, trivialize those who struggle daily with oppression. Sometimes, it's simply someone with a chip on their shoulder looking for a bone to pick.

Sex discrimination is oppression. As I asked Bacchus; do you have personal insight into this woman's motivations? If not, maybe you should drop the wild speculation and check your privilege.

Mr.Tea

milo204 wrote:

To me the reason why the comparison to womens only gyms is appropriate is because of the reason for the discrimination based on sex.  Women only gyms exist because for some working out is something they prefer not to do around the oppopsite sex.  they get sweaty and smelly, they're in funny positions, they wear funny clothes, they let it all hang out.  they don't want to be in a position to be judged by the opposite sex or have that interfere in their work out.  i can see that

Interesting point, Milo.

I remember when I was a student at the University of Toronto. A group of Muslim women students asked that certain hours at the gym and swimming pool be set aside for women's only hours (I'm not sure if there would also be men's only hours). It wasn't a lot of hours. It wasn't peak usage hours. Just a few hours a week of women's only gym and pool hours for some women whose faith didn't allow them to be in bathing suits or workout attire among members of the opposite sex. There was quite a backlash. Now, quite a few non-Muslim women also liked the idea of women's-only hours (again, a few hours a week at non-peak times). It wasn't a religious requirement. They would jsut prefer that sort of situation and not have to worry about men checking them out, they'd feel more comfortable, etc. They got a much better reception than the Muslim women got. I wonder how much of it was based on reflexive anti-Muslim bigotry. Just as I wonder how much of the vitriol directed at this barber is the result of anti-Muslim bigotry (just look at the originally posted article in Xtra if you want to see some hatred). Now, UofT, unlike this barber shop, is a public institution, funded b government money. Maybe the law says that they'd be prohibited from "discriminatory" gym hours (men and women both paid student fees that went towards the gym). Some people made a big deal about it. Wouldn't it just be better to try to get along? I'm sure most of the men complaining weren't doing so becasue they really thought they'd miss out on using the gym or pool.  It was just a chance to "take a stand" against those uppity minorities with their unusual ways.

 

Tehanu

Quote:
Jim Crow does not apply here. Those who insist that it does, trivialize those who struggle daily with oppression. Sometimes, it's simply someone with a chip on their shoulder looking for a bone to pick.

I said way upthread that I didn't think this was the most earth-shattering example of discrimination against women. But do you seriously think women don't struggle daily with oppression?

And should we not, we who call ourselves progressives, should we not stand firm against discrimination and oppression?

I also said wow, babble. Wow again.

It's really depressing to see how many people can so easily dismiss discrimination against women. Trivialize, eh? Fuck.

 

By the way, Mr. Tea, maybe you're ignoring my posts now but I spent some time upthread carefully explaining some of the reasons for women's-only gyms.

 

Also by the way, the "Validation Error" message? Annoying. But it lets me keep adding to posts.

Mr.Tea

Tehanu wrote:

Mr. Tea, this feels like shouting down a well.

Let's try something else. Jewish people experience discrimination, right? What if a Jewish man went into that barber shop wearing a yamulke, and the barber said, "I'm sorry, sir, my religion forbids me to touch Jewish people's hair, I'll need you to go somewhere else." That good with you? Think anyone's feelings might be hurt in this case? Think anyone might feel this was, oh, wrong?

I've always personally taken the position that I prefer bigots to be out in the open and proud of their bigotry. If I walked into a bar and was told "We don't serve Jews", I'd be happy to take my money to somewhere that I'm welcome and would encourage my friends not to give their money to a bigot either. It certainly seems preferable than to give my business to someone who puts on a polite veneer towards my face but hates me behind my back.

At the same time, I think it's important to look at motivation. I think there's a big difference between hateful malice on the one hand and sincere religious belief on the other. So, if I were getting married and approached a Muslim imam to perform my wedding and he refused to do so, I wouldn't assume it's because he "hates Jews" but because his religion forbids him from doing so and it's nothing against me personally

Unionist

Separate hours - what a fraudulent comparison. "Equality" does not mean frog-marching men and women into unisex locker rooms and toilets, or forcing them to swim and exercise in each other's faces. There's no law or moral principle saying that males and females must be the same.

This is about telling Muslims, or women, or disabled people, that they can't get the same services as everyone else. Try dealing with that.

Of course, you understand all that, don't you? It's very convenient for you to paint the defenders of gender equality as Islamophobic. Keep trying, as you have since the very first post. Who knows? Like the Israeli regime in Gaza, maybe just one more massacre will win the debate once and for all.

 

Mr.Tea

Unionist wrote:

Try the Catholic Church, Tea. They still understand where a woman's place is. We Jews have moved on and ain't never looking back. Thank Allah Jews never had a Pope to tell us what was right and what was wrong.

Yep, you've "moved on" right away from the Jewish community. Mazel tov. It's your perogative. But don't try to claim that "your" Judaism" is better than the normative Judaism which has sustained us through thousands of years through all sorts of tragedy and challenge, to remain strong and intact. If you don't wish to be a part of it, again, good for you. But pity for your children who may one day wish to be and find out that your own selfish choices squandered their own birthright.

autoworker autoworker's picture

I can't see anything progressive about bullying a hapless barber.

6079_Smith_W

I'm probably asking an ignorant question, but hasn't Judaism (the various strains thereof) changed just a bit in the last 2,500 years.... or for that matter, the last 400 years?

Mr.Tea

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I'm probably asking an ignorant question, but hasn't Judaism (the various strains thereof) changed just a bit in the last 2,500 years.... or for that matter, the last 400 years?

Yep, quite a bit. But, then, there are superficial changes and then there are deviations from what actually constitutes normative Judaism.

ETA: If you're interested, these are the 13 principles that have traditionally been understood to comprise the essence of the Jewish faith. http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/332555/jewish/Maimonides-1...

Pages