Us and Them

In case you missed this little item in the news yesterday….

Mass. – Harvard University has moved to make Muslim women more comfortable in the gym by instituting women-only access times six hours a week to accommodate religious customs that make it difficult for some students to work out in the presence of men.
Men have not been allowed to enter the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center during certain times since Jan. 28, after members of the Harvard Islamic Society and the Harvard Women’s Center petitioned the university for a more comfortable environment for women.
Harvard Islamic Society’s Islamic Knowledge Committee officer Ola Aljawhary, a junior, said the women-only hours are being tested on a trial basis. The special gym hours will be analyzed over Spring Break to determine if they will continue, she said.
Aljawhary said that she does not believe that the women-only gym hours discriminate against men.
“These hours are necessary because there is a segment of the Harvard female population that is not found in gyms not because they don’t want to work out, but because for them working out in a co-ed gym is uncomfortable, awkward or problematic in some way,” she said.
Though the policy was in part initiated by the school’s Islamic group, Aljawhary said women-only hours are not a case of “minority rights trumping majority preference” and said women of different faiths have showed interest in the hours.
“We live together in one community, it only makes sense for everyone to compromise slightly in order for everyone to live happily,” she said. “This matter is simple: Can’t we just display basic decency and show tolerance and inclusion for people not a part of the mainstream majority?”
Harvard junior Nick Wells said he believes the women-only hours are inconvenient for the residents that live near the facility and discriminate against men.
“It is unfair to impose a stringent policy that inhibits [students] from using their own facility in order to further a useless policy that doesn’t have any real effect,” he said.

Ever since 9/11, and for some long before that, the issue of immigration and “non-Americans” has certainly had it’s share of attention, on TV, on the ‘net, at the office water cooler, email…you name it.  All of it contributing to (or possibly as a result of) the divisive language emanating from our leadership.  Now while it would be fun to lay all this at the feet of the current White House Goober, that’s a tad unfair.

The bottom line is that common sense has been deep-sixed by political correctness.  Special interests have trumped democracy.  The minority rules – and let me make clear that by ‘minority’ I DO NOT MEAN RACE – I am referring to numerical value.  To put it in Trek-Geek terms, the needs of the one now outweigh the needs of the many.

I don’t espouse a total laissez-faire agenda -people want to come to the States, let them come as long as they comply to existing immigration rules and become Americans, accept English as a primary (not exclusive) language and become part of the melting pot, not an exclusive little adjunct sect off to the side that just happens to live in Ogden, Utah. (I’m not picking on Utah, it’s just the first place that came to mind).

Here illegally?  CYA! So long. Adios. Yer outta here. Period.

I received an email today that was basically a rant about being white and being tired of being treated as a second class citizen.  While the irony in that is as subtle as a fart in church, I do understand where the frustration is coming from.  However sitting back and whining 1) accomplishes nothing and 2) takes the whiners down to the level of all whiners.  My response is that if you don’t like what you see, take some personal responsibility (GASP) and change it.

Oh, and one last thought,  for the situation at Harvard I wonder why no well known defender of injustice has stood up for the guys being restricted…say Rev. Al Sharpton?


Filed under america, common sense, culture, immigration

10 responses to “Us and Them

  1. ok, for whatever it’s worth here’s my two cents on the specific situation at harvard. i am betting that like most other universities every full time student has to pay some sort of activites fee which entitles them to then use whatever facilities exist on campus. now i don’t share the same requirements for modesty that muslim women do but i grew up in PA dutch country where there was a minority population of conservative mennonites. Ok, that isn’t the same as muslims, not as stringent, but there are some similarities in that each of those minority groups have a more conservative view on how men and women relate to each other based on faith practices. i don’t know how many muslim women attend harvard but i am betting it’s a noticeable minority more than half a dozen or so. i don’t find it unreasonable that students who are paying fees for usage of facilities would like to be able to use those facilities in a manner that doesn’t make them feel like they are violating tenets of their faith where modesty is concerned. i do think the university setting makes it a little bit different than if it were a commercial gym given that the students likely are not able to opt out of facilities fees.

  2. oh and yes, grinder is an acceptable term for hoagies which have been grilled or heated in the oven 😉

  3. Very interesting. When I used to go to our University’s gym, I would see a few Muslim women with head scarves using the treadmills. These particular women didn’t seem to care about the men in the gym.

  4. Dang! I’d go to a women-only gym.. I have to say it. I feel uncomfortable with all my wobbly bits out ina gym full of men. I would if I went to the gym. But, perhaps if I did that, I wouldn’t wobble in all the wrong places so much.. 😉

    You get women-only nights at clubs, etc, and nobody seems to mind that. I think this is more a male-female issue than a religion issue, but generally, I do agree that PCness goes WAY too far!! I have mixed feelings about that one.
    I think it depends why they want a women-only, there are right and wrong reasons.

  5. jwcooper3

    Lime: Yes, but, knowing that the gym was co-ed, prior to applying and accepting at this particular school, by reference agrees to existing conditions. If working out is THAT important to everyday campus life, wouldn’t you want to know what you were getting into prior to getting there? I would be more in favor of splitting the gym in half with a movable wall so that the two sexes can be segregated but still provide access to all…

    Chandira: I have nothing against women-only anything…or men-only anything…or alien-life-form anything….as long as it’s not at someone else’s expense…and if I may add my own two cents…I don’t have any issue whatsoever with wobbly bits.

  6. Oh, please, Harvard, spare us the righteous political correctness. Enlightened Westerners rant without compunction about the Islamic world’s backward treatment of women. Yet Harvard expects its male population to be respectful of Islamic women’s medieval notions about men? Would a fair-minded person sense a double standard here? The question scarcely survives its statement.

    It is unfathomable why parents of young Harvard men who are paying staggering tuition would allow their sons to be treated as second class citizens. News flash to Harvard: the young men you are banning are the customer.

    If a small group of Catholic men sought, in good faith, to ban women from the gym for similar periods of time because their skimpy outfits had become near occasions of sin for them, we all know damn well what Harvard’s response would be. Why is this different? We all know why. The “protected class” is the right sex and the right religion.

  7. Well, it’s great that they want to continue with their culture but then they have to see things differently. You move to a different country 1/2 a world away and want them to cater. Hmmmm…I am sorry but my grandparents and father came from Germany. Not know a SINGLE word of English, learned it, worked, built their own home. My Grandmother worked doing something until she died at 88. My belief was taught to me by her. When you move to a new country, you follow their rules. If you don’t like it…go back to where you came from. Yes it may be harsh but that’s just me. You come here knowing that men and women are mixed together for whatever reason. Accept it or move on.

    AND…COOPER!!!! I am crying crocodile tears over here….:o(

  8. Snowelf

    What a lot of ruckuss… it’s unbelievable the state we have gotten ourselves into.
    I just don’t see a problem with letting anyone visit, come in to the US if they want to do it legally. But for the rest, I agree. do it right, or not at all.


  9. That’s one of the biggest crocks of crap I’ve heard in a long time. That’s all I’ve got to say about that. My Nanny however would say if you can’t stand the heat… 😉

  10. ok, you make a good point about splitting the gym with a dividing wall.

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