Today seems to be shaping up as “Readers Weigh In Day,” for I want to post the content of two emails sent to me by readers, emails that I thought might be of more general interest. This one, and one I’ll post later, are reproduced with permission.
I’ve posted several times (and had one guest post) about the bigotry shown by ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who refuse to sit next to women on planes (see here, here, and here, for instance). In some cases the airlines try to be “accommodating,” with flight attendants asking passengers if they wouldn’t move to accommodate these requests.
My readers, especially women, continue to be upset by both the religiously-based misogyny of the Jews as well as the desire of airlines to accommodate these requests. One woman emailed me with a strongly-felt objection to this “accommodationism,” pointing out, correctly, that while this biogtry is tolerated out of respect for religion, it wouldn’t be if it wasn’t connected with religion:
of respect for religion, it wouldn’t be if it wasn’t connected with religion:
As an example of how society ignores bigotry against women, imagine the same scenario on a plane if a white-supremacist religious wingnut said it was against his religion to sit next to someone who had dark skin. Would the airline personnel ask the black passenger if he would kindly move to another seat? Of course not, because the request would be seen for its true nature—pure bigotry combined with abject ignorance.Airline personel who ask a woman to move in order to allow a fundamentalist bat-shit crazy mad-hatter to exercise his fear of the female sex should consider what it is they are doing. The airline should be sued for discrimination against women and against THEIR freedom of religion.If the bastards are fearful of sitting next to a woman, let them buy three tickets for themselves so they can be certain their seat is empty.
I have to say that I agree. Bigotry in the guise of religious belief is still bigotry, as we’ve learned with all the recent “religious freedom restoration acts.” If a flight attendant wouldn’t accommodate a racist passenger, why would he or she accommodate a sexist one? Or is sexism somehow sanctified if it’s based on faith?
Curiously, Andrzej just posted a relevant video on his Facebook page: