Harvard limits gym use for muslim women - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-05-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
The Fly
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 209
Local Time: 07:14 PM
Harvard limits gym use for muslim women

BOSTON — In a test of Harvard's famed open-mindedness, the university has banned men from one of its gyms for a few hours a week to accommodate Muslim women who say it offends their sense of modesty to exercise in front of the opposite sex.

The policy is already unpopular with many on campus, including some women who consider it sexist.

"I think that it's incorrect in a college setting to institute a policy in which half of the campus gets wronged or denied a resource that's supposed to be for everyone," said student Lucy Caldwell, who also wrote a column in The Harvard Crimson newspaper critical of the new hours.

Student Ola Aljawhary, who is Muslim and works out elsewhere on campus but is not one of the women who requested the change, rejected that argument.

"The majority should be willing to compromise," she said. "I think that's just basic courtesy. We must show tolerance and respect for all others."

The trial policy went into effect Feb. 4, about a month after a group of six Muslim women, with the support of the Harvard College Women's Center, asked the university for the special hours, spokesman Robert Mitchell said.

"We get special requests from religious groups all the time and we try to honor them whenever possible," he said, noting that the school has designated spaces for Muslim and Hindu students to pray.

No men are allowed in the gym between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Mondays, and between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Even the staff during those times is all women.

The special hours allow the Muslim women, who adhere to traditional dress codes by covering their hair and most of their skin while in public, to dress more appropriately for exercising, said Susan Marine, director of the women's center.

"It's a pretty big breach of their moral and religious code for a man to see them with their hair uncovered and it's just not possible for them to be in a mixed environment," she said.

When student Kareem Shuman showed up to work out at the gym on Monday morning, he was turned away but didn't mind.

"Knowing it was requested by women of my faith — it's very understandable to me," said Shuman, 21, who figured he'd just come back later for his workout.

Other men find the new hours inconvenient. Nick Wells, a junior who wrote an opinion piece in the Crimson criticizing the policy, suggested setting aside one room for women.

"It's not that I am opposed to the idea of helping people in religious groups or women in general, but I just think Harvard is not being fair to people like me who live (near the gym)," Wells said in an interview.

The policy only applies to one gym, a facility mainly used for intramurals. Because of its location at the edge of campus, it is the university's least used gym, Mitchell said.

The women-only hours are of minimal inconvenience because they are just six out of the 70 hours a week the gym is open, Marine said.

"Harvard has a moral and ethical responsibility to make sure our students can stay healthy," she said.

An Associated Press reporter who went to the gym Monday did not see any Muslim women entering. Efforts to reach some of the women who requested the policy through the Women's Center were unsuccessful.

The policy will be reviewed at the end of the semester, Mitchell said.

Kent Blumenthal, executive director of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, which has 660 member colleges and universities nationwide, said he could not think of any other institution with a similar policy.

"It seems in some ways contrary to the purpose of campus recreational programs, which is all about access," he said.

Harvard's policy is no different from commercial gyms that cater partially or even exclusively to women, said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"The Muslim bashers portray it as the world coming to end, but if women have a couple hours a week to work out in private, I don't see it as a major issue," he said.


Just curious about everyone's opinion regarding this issue.
__________________

__________________
Abomb-baby is offline  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:20 PM   #2
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,697
Local Time: 08:14 PM
Ok, conservatives, I'll allow you to use one of your favorite terms on this one.

This is ridiculous.

Every gym I've belong to had certain "private areas" just find a more modest place to work out in.
__________________

__________________
BVS is online now  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:24 PM   #3
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 03:14 AM
I don't frequent gyms at all, I find them to be odd places. I don't really understand the attraction.

Anyway, this is no big deal in my opinion.

When I saw a sign to Muslim prayer facilities at Heathrow airport a few years ago, my first reaction was I thought it was a bit strange.

But now I think, no big deal.

'Cos really, it isn't. It isn't the death of civilisation as we know it, the 'clash of civilisations' or any other such nonsense.

Now if they were looking for sharia law to be enforced in Harvard, that would be different.
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:26 PM   #4
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 03:14 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Ok, conservatives, I'll allow you to use one of your favorite terms on this one.


IT'S JUST POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD!!!! (wipes foam from mouth)
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:28 PM   #5
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,697
Local Time: 08:14 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
I don't frequent gyms at all, I find them to be odd places. I don't really understand the attraction.

Anyway, this is no big deal in my opinion.

When I saw a sign to Muslim prayer facilities at Heathrow airport a few years ago, my first reaction was I thought it was a bit strange.

But now I think, no big deal.

'Cos really, it isn't. It isn't the death of civilisation as we know it, the 'clash of civilisations' or any other such nonsense.

Now if they were looking for sharia law to be enforced in Harvard, that would be different.
Yeah but prayer facilities don't infringe on the times people can fly. They allow everyone to use the airport at the same time. The gym should have gone for a much better compromise.
__________________
BVS is online now  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:33 PM   #6
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 03:14 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Yeah but prayer facilities don't infringe on the times people can fly. They allow everyone to use the airport at the same time. The gym should have gone for a much better compromise.

This is a valid point.

But in a sense, I'd argue that it's inconsistent with other posts you've made with regard to smoking.

For the sake of argument, why shouldn't bars and restaurants allow for smoking sections for their patrons where the management and staff indicate that they have no objection to working in an enviromnent where they may encounter tobacoo smoke?

After all, the % of the population that smoke is considerably higher than the % that practise Islam, in the US and pretty much all other Western countries.
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:38 PM   #7
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,697
Local Time: 08:14 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy



This is a valid point.

But in a sense, I'd argue that it's inconsistent with other posts you've made with regard to smoking.

For the sake of argument, why shouldn't bars and restaurants allow for smoking sections for their patrons where the management and staff indicate that they have no objection to working in an enviromnent where they may encounter tobacoo smoke?

I've always been for smoking sections as long as employees and patrons have a choice
__________________
BVS is online now  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:41 PM   #8
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 03:14 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


I've always been for smoking sections as long as employees and patrons have a choice
Right. Well I may have misunderstood you in that case.

You would therefore disapprove of the legal situation in, for example, Ireland, where if I opened a bar or restaurant, designated smoking and non-smoking sections, obtained written confirmations from all patrons and staff that they did not object to encountering tobacco smoke in the establishment, I'd still be breaking the law, and would be subject to heavy fines and/or having my establishment shut down by officers of the state?
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:45 PM   #9
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,697
Local Time: 08:14 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy


Right. Well I may have misunderstood you in that case.

You would therefore disapprove of the legal situation in, for example, Ireland, where if I opened a bar or restaurant, designated smoking and non-smoking sections, obtained written confirmations from all patrons and staff that they did not object to encountering tobacco smoke in the establishment, I'd still be breaking the law, and would be subject to heavy fines and/or having my establishment shut down by officers of the state?
I'm actually not a fan of full out bans.

I doubt many bars would last if you made patrons sign a contract everytime they enter.

That being said, yes, I don't mind bars and restaurants with true smoking sections(meaning no bleed over and separate HVAC systems) as long as you aren't infringing on anyone's rights to not breathe smoke.
__________________
BVS is online now  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:47 PM   #10
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 03:14 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Every gym I've belong to had certain "private areas" just find a more modest place to work out in.
With duplicates of all available equipment, though? Pool, Nautilus, treadmills etc.?
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:47 PM   #11
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
vaz02's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: manchester
Posts: 7,447
Local Time: 02:14 AM
Oh fuck off, if they dont like it dont go. They are using this lame excuse because like everyone else they feel insecure about excising infront of strangers.
__________________
vaz02 is offline  
Old 03-05-2008, 08:48 PM   #12
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 30,343
Local Time: 09:14 PM
I don't mind this decision.
__________________
phillyfan26 is offline  
Old 03-05-2008, 09:01 PM   #13
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,697
Local Time: 08:14 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by yolland

With duplicates of all available equipment, though? Pool, Nautilus, treadmills etc.?
No, this is true. Not the pool at least, but would Muslim women living this strict to their religion swim in public? I'm just curious, I've never heard either way.

But isn't this why we have Curves? I understand the majority compromising for certain minorities, such as ADA and parking places, etc. But these compromises have never denied a whole part of the majority access to something everyone else has access to.
__________________
BVS is online now  
Old 03-05-2008, 09:09 PM   #14
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:14 PM
I don't see it as a big deal. According to the article the policy applies to only one relatively lightly used gym and it's for a very few hours a week.
__________________
indra is offline  
Old 03-05-2008, 09:15 PM   #15
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Pearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,653
Local Time: 10:14 PM
I don't see a big problem with it. Its only a few hours a week. I could understand why these Muslim women want their privacy and protect their modesty at the same time. You can't workout unless you're in tight clothes, and I could imagine a Muslim woman who was raised in a conservative household would be mortified if a man saw her in tight clothes.
__________________

__________________
Pearl is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com