Yet another Jew refuses to sit next to a woman

August 2, 2015 • 2:13 pm

This is getting to be a regular feature of hyper-orthodox Jewish behavior, and it stinks. (I’ve reported on three similar incidents: here, here, and here).  As the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports, Christine Flynn of Halifax, a chef, was on a Porter Airlines flight when an Orthodox Jew was assigned a seat next to her.  Of course that would lead to cooties, since members of some Orthodox sects aren’t supposed to touch or,  apparently, talk to a member of the opposite sex.

“He came down the aisle, he didn’t actually look at me … or make eye contact. He turned to the gentleman across the aisle and said, ‘Change.'”

Flynn said she was confused at first, wondering why the man was speaking to the other passenger and gesturing toward her. The man didn’t speak to her directly, but Flynn said it’s clear to her that he didn’t want to sit next to her because she’s a woman.

Flynn said she might have been willing to accommodate the man had he spoken to her directly and politely asked her to switch seats. She admits language may have been a factor — saying his English “wasn’t terrific” — but said his refusal to even make eye contact was offensive.

“He could have made a plan, he could have put in a request,” Flynn said in an interview Wednesday on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning. “When someone doesn’t look at you, and when someone doesn’t acknowledge you as person because of your gender, you’re a lot less willing to be accommodating.

The man asked to change seats refused, Then another man refused. A flight attendant came, and asked if the woman would switch seats with a man behind her. The woman rightfully refused. The problem was resolved when the Jewish man was finally seated next to another man. Explaining her refusal, Flynn made the point well:

Flynn says she’s frustrated she was asked to move and upset others on the flight were willing to help the man.

“I have a problem with that. He [the flight attendant] probably, maybe, didn’t realize that asking a woman to move because the fact she had a uterus made the man next to her uncomfortable … I don’t think he even would have put it together that that’s kind of insulting and maybe even discriminatory,” she said.

“If someone had refused to sit next to me because I was gay and maybe they were some kind of old-school religion that doesn’t like gay people no one would have switched with him. It would have been off the table,” she said.

As for the airline, they made a mistake by analogizing the Jew’s request with other requests:

Porter Airlines spokesman Brad Cicero confirmed that the situation occurred but said the flight attendant “did his best to manage the situation as efficiently and reasonably as possible in order to avoid an unnecessary delay.”

Porter does its best to accommodate seating preferences, he said in an email Tuesday.

“Most often, this involves families wanting to sit near each other, or something as simple as a passenger preferring a window seat. Religious preferences are very rarely a factor.”

Seriously, Porter “does its best to accommodate seating preferences? What if a white passenger asked to change seats because he didn’t want to sit next to a black person? Would Porter also try to accommodate that? I seriously doubt it. So why should sexism based on religion differ from other forms of prejudice? As I’ve said before, bigotry in the guise of religious belief is still bigotry.

Over at Canadian Atheist, Diana MacPherson is also incensed, reporting on the episode and adding this, “I’m tired of bad behaviour being accommodated in the name of religion and I’m disappointed when people feel women should acquiesce to make these sexists comfortable.”

We have some flight attendants as readers. Would you people try to accommodate such a request?

159 thoughts on “Yet another Jew refuses to sit next to a woman

  1. From now on, when I fly, I will refuse to sit next to a Republican. I don’t want conservative cooties.

    I will fight for a Republican-free section.

    Oh yeah, ugly people too.

        1. I was going to use the example of a desire to not sit next to a fat person; guess I would’ve gotten shamed for that although I would just be kidding. It was pretty obvious your comment was in a humorous vein.

  2. Question: What if all the seats were occupied by women? Would the Orthodox guy have to get off the plane? Or does his religion just require him to make the attempt not to sit next to a dreaded female?

    (If I was asked, politely, and I didn’t have some reason for not, I’d probably agree in order not to hold things up. But I can’t fault anybody who refuses. And as a passenger, my wrath is reserved for anyone who delays things unnecessarily. If they’re going to make me wait ten minutes, it better be because an engine has fallen off and they’re trying to screw it back on.)


  3. I’ve made the point here before, but I suppose a reprise calls for a reprise…I’d be all in favor of doing seat swaps, but only if it resulted in an even more frustrating and humiliating outcome for the dipshit. That is, a conspiracy with your seatmates such that, after the dipshit gets the Pyrrhic victory of the initial exchange, the person now seated next to the dipshit turns the tables on the dipshit, refusing to sit next to the unclean dipshit, and swaps seats with a woman (in on the conspiracy, of course) eager to make the dipshit as uncomfortable and humiliated as possible. All in the nicest and friendliest and most pleasant manner, of course.


    1. Here I am trying to figure out level two, where the dipshit ends up between two females. (Female-dipshit-female)
      Kind of harder to pull of but nice to imagine.

  4. Than answer is simple. All he had to do is buy two seats or better yet, a whole row (you know, to protect himself from looking at women and have the space to privately chant “I thank g*d that I was not born a w*man”).

    1. Of course, this is the proper answer. Many musicians — especially cellists — are well aware of the need to buy a second seat rather than risk checking their instrument in the hold. If a starving musician is willing to go to that expense to protect an elaborate wood sculpture, what excuse do the dipshits have for not similarly protecting their even-more-delicate sensibilities?


        1. I’ve forgotten if Jewish wives (ultra or non) have some special dispensation to not be considered female. I think I recall that men and women can’t worship together but that women must sit separately from the men in the synagogue.

          1. I think the issue is not anti-woman, but, rather, even thoughts of sex outside marriage is bad.

            Sitting next to a woman on an airplane is tight enough space to guarantee contact. Such contact, to one who has avoided it all his life, will be all the more stimulating, whether he wishes it to be or not.

            Making eye contact with a woman with whom one is about to share physical contact, even the unintended touching of elbows or shoes, could make the stimulation stronger.

            Women are considered closer to God for actually being the ones to give birth, while men are far more distractable, particularly when it comes to anything sex-related. So, orthodox congregations give men a little extra compensation, bringing them closer to the Torah, and at the same time, give women a little slack, so they can arrive late, or even take a pass, presumably to take care of the children, but men also take care of the children, who pass between men’s and women’s sections freely.

            Women’s voices can also be sources of arousal for men, but particularly when the women are singing, so orthodox women don’t sing where men they’re not married to can hear them. It would be unfair to the men, to get them thinking of… well, women they’re not going to have.

            It took an orthodox man to explain this to me, in Chicago, back in the late ’80s. He and his wife and their children converted from complete hippies, and he was my teacher and attending at Oak Forest Hospital. He treated all patients equally, as patients, and women with this added respect, outside of medical protocol, in acknowledgement of men’s weaknesses.

              1. It’s worth noting that, even if entirely sincere and pure of heart, the inevitable result of the good intentions is unacceptable. There’s every reason to believe that Torquemada, too, was entirely sincere in wishing to save his own victims from eternal damnation, yet that did not excuse his actions. Even if these dipshits really do think they’re doing the greatest possible service to the women they demean and insult, they’re still demeaning and insulting the women — and such behavior is simply unacceptable in modern civil society. Exactly as would be wiping with the left hand rather than use toilet paper, even incorrectly-hung toilet paper….


              2. Yes that’s a good point. Intentions matter but they don’t always matter the most.

                Except with toilet paper though as Ceiling Cat came to me in a dream and told me not to worry about the naysayers.

            1. That’s not all that different from what I’ve heard a Muslim speaker explain – that Islam respects women so much they have to be put on a pedestal and dressed in sacks to protect them from the gaze of vulgar men. Or somesuch crap.


            2. Believe me, my singing would only arouse horror 🙀in men ( or women) of any stripe. I would be happy to sing in the seat directly behind Dipshit™.

            3. Doc, you imply that not buying this “reasoning” makes one anti-Semitic. I protest! Apparently this explanation excused the behavior for you but it does nothing for me. They say ingratiating (for some) things such as “women are closer to God” but their behavior completely contradicts that sentiment. Just because your informant was otherwise a decent guy and a good physician doesn’t mean these ridiculous “teachings” aren’t abominable.

              Disagreeing with religious tenets doesn’t make one a bigot, or we’d all be so.

              1. To understand and/or appreciate is not the same as to excuse, as my other comments should make clear.

                And, to see women as different from men is not necessarily to be misogynistic. After all, there is a difference between etiquette and equality. How many brides marry in a tuxedo, or grooms in a flowing white gown?

                The real world is full of nuances; it is not a strict dichotomy, not black and white, and truth requires honest appreciation of gray zones, especially of those grays are ever to be moderated for good.

                ISIS realizes this, and it moderates them for evil. That is why its propaganda is so effective, particularly among the most naive.

              2. Doc, I really don’t understand why you seem to be characterizing we who are decrying rigid sex-based roles for men and women as unable to recognize nuance and dichotomy; it seems blatantly obvious to me that it’s the “separate but equal” official orthodoxy of the Jews that is the rigid party here.

                Nevertheless I’m going to scroll down and revisit the comment in which you seemed to accuse clubschadenfreude of anti-Semitism–perhaps I read it wrong.

  5. ‘”If someone had refused to sit next to me because I was gay and maybe they were some kind of old-school religion that doesn’t like gay people no one would have switched with him. It would have been off the table,” she said.’

    The old-time religion person would have to first inquire about the others presumptive gayness. Must stress the religioso out to walk the airport concourse (not to mention other public places), wondering who near and around him is gay, and conversely they wondering who walking by them is a phobic Philistine jerk.

  6. Granting that this fringe Jewish extremism isn’t blood-lust terrorism, it is exactly the sort of thing that would improve with appropriate public (i.e., internet) shaming. (Mind you, I did use the word “appropriate”, to avoid the overboard and worse.)

    In painfully disturbing contrast, there were two Jewish terrorist incidents in Israel, recently, and the government is taking action against the Jewish perpetrators. One involved a knife-wielding extremist, fresh out of jail after serving ten years for attempting murder at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade. This time, I think, resulted in 3 injured and one more who died of his injuries. He’ll likely get life in prison, as the death penalty was only carried out twice in the history of the modern state of Israel.

    The second was worse: Apparently, a team of religious Jewish extremists set fire to a house. The parents and children were badly burned, and the infant died. Bibi visited the family in the hospital, where they’d been choppered in for emergency care. He also called Abbas to let his horror over the incident and his plans to capture and legally deal with the perpetrators be known.

    These instances are so rare, they are all the more disturbing, unlike ISIS/Daesh beheadings of Christians, etc.

    1. That is not to say the beheadings aren’t disturbing enough, only that they’re happening so frequently, in so many large numbers, the news is hardly news, anymore. It’s expected of Daesh.

    2. “He’ll likely get life in prison, as the death penalty was only carried out twice in the history of the modern state of Israel.”

      Or what, I wonder, he might consider worse for himself – strap him down and have a voluptuous naked woman hump on him once a day and twice on Saturday.

      1. I’m not sure you’d get a woman to volunteer for that, cos of having standards and all that.

      2. Well, his chances of being so lucky in jail are zero.

        However, this was a gay pride parade he attacked. I don’t know if the stories we hear about jails are true, but wouldn’t it be deliciously ironical if he ended up being some huge hairy gangsta’s beeyatch? (If they have such guys in Israeli jails…)


      3. No, that would be fulfillment of his fantasies. See my comment, below. As a matter of fact, sex on the Sabbath (with one’s spouse, of course) is an added blessing.

    3. “Granting that this fringe Jewish extremism isn’t blood-lust terrorism, it is exactly the sort of thing that would improve with appropriate public (i.e., internet) shaming.”

      You are as naive as Christine Flynn. She is quoted in the Toronto Star:

      “While Flynn said she did not seek public attention, she hopes that this incident will incite further dialogue: ‘Let’s have a conversation with groups that have these issues, and maybe find out a little bit about why.’”

      Furthermore, accommodating “fringe Jewish extremism” or any other extremism leads to the kind of “terrorist incidents” you describe above.

      1. Exactly.

        I’d pull the twit up to the front of the plane, and get on the intercom. “Ladies and Gentleman, this man doesn’t want to sit near a woman. This is because of his religion, that says that women are less than human. This man is flying on a plane that women have helped build and design, that women have helped stock and refuel, that women have made sure his ticket was processed and his bag was placed on the plane. This man was happy to have women do all of this but can’t bear to sit next to a woman. Will anyone give up their seat for this hypocrite?”

        1. Sadly, that’s an example of antisemitic propaganda, based on lack of understanding, replaced with jumping to conclusions.

          Are there misogynists among Jews? Sure, just like there are among other groups, but this isn’t what that’s all about.

            1. As a Jew, born and raised, I am sensitive to noticing antisemitism a little more than the average American. I’ve also been informed on what and why things are done in different parts of Jewish culture. As an adult, I’ve pointed antisemitic comments out to the people who’ve said them, and responses have gone from, “Jeez, you’re right! I never even thought…” to the expected, “I’m not prejudiced!” in front of a circle of peers who, shock on their faces, realized he is and so have they been. That last instance, in particular, came about because I was the targeted Jew.

              1. Most of us here, however, feel exactly the same way when this kind of behavior is exhibited by Christians or Muslims. Sorry… but I don’t see a reason to give Orthodox Jews a pass.

          1. Never mind answering… I just stumbled on other comment you made on this page which explains why you thing this.

            I’m not sure you’re right, however. I’m as likely to be stimulated by sitting next to a woman as any Orthodox Jew or fundamentalist Christian. The inability to handle this, and to wrap it all up in a swirl of “God sez…” nonsense seems to just avoid what is just old fashioned misogyny.

            1. I agree completely. Women are seen as temptresses. They are the naughty Eves, the dirty Jezebels and the rellious Lilliths.

              1. No, they’re the hot mamas who have that next-to-God gift of actually creating life, something to which men can’t even aspire. And emphasis on hot, sexy hot, totally and perhaps unknowingly sexy hot.

                Just ask me. I might even sing for you. 🙂

              2. Oops: Okay, maybe not sing (at least, not in that way) for you, Diana, but you understand. (That is, I go for men. And, once upon a time, I used to sing pretty well.)

              3. No. I can be and act sexy when I want to. And I can be appreciated for my sexiness even when I don’t realize it’s showing. Sexy isn’t bad. Sex isn’t bad.

              4. Who said women were valuable predominantly for their sexuality, here? If that were the case, I should think the action would be to require all women fly naked.

              5. ” . . . the dirty Jezebels . . . .”

                “If ever the devil was born,
                Without a pair of horns
                It was you, Jezebel it was you . . . .

                If ever an angel fell,
                Deceiving me, grieving me
                Leaving me blue,
                Jezebel! It was you!” 😉

              6. They call you Jezebel
                Whenever we walk in
                You’re going straight to hell
                For wanton acts of sin
                They say
                And that I’ll have to pay
                But I need you
                Just this way

                They call you Jezebel
                For what you like to wear
                You’re morally unwell
                They say you’ll never care
                For me
                But what they fail to see
                Is that your games
                Are the key

                Open their eyes to the beauty
                Open their hearts to the fun
                Open their minds to the idea
                That you don’t own someone

                They call you Jezebel
                Whenever men walk by
                They say that they can tell
                The longing in your eyes
                Is real
                And how you really feel
                But they can’t see
                Your appeal

            2. It’s kind of like the difference between how much you love ice cream, if you can eat all you want everyday, vs. if you never get to eat it, just fantasize about it, and when you see pictures depicting how refreshingly cold, deliciously flavored it is, you start drooling. You’re still you, either way.

              1. So is this how you feel about Muslims making women sitting in segregated sections of the University meeting hall?

                Do you feel this way about Christian opposition to equality for gay people?

                Why should we give a pass to Orthodox Jewish gender hangups when we don’t for other religious obnoxiousness?

              2. Not at all. Perhaps you haven’t explained your position well enough since several of us seem to be “putting words in your mouth”.

              3. If I was the only person here who was interpreting you’re comments as I am then you might have a case. But you are either not making yourself clear or you are clear and we’re responding corectly. We’re not all a bunch of dolts here.

                I’m assuming that you just haven’t been clear but you aren’t helping advance the conversation.

              1. No, I am asking a question. You may answer it however you wish. “Are you saying that one is happy not to be a woman and that women are property isn’t misogynistic?” or with actual grammar (boy did I screw that up) “are you saying that claiming to be happy one is not a woman and holding to the idea that women are property are not misogynistic concepts?

              2. I suggest you read all my other comments, here. Meanwhile, I’m heading out for some frozen yogurt. May everyone have a cool, sweet, enlightening evening.

              3. I have. You have done all you can to avoid answering my question. If Jews believe in something ignorant and misogynistic, then it is still wrong. They are just as ignorant and idiotic as anyone else.

          2. “This is because of his religion, that says that women are less than human.”

            They–the Orthodox–say that isn’t what it’s all about…but it actually is what it’s all about.

            Many of the claims Orthodox Jews use to make their discrimination against women seem palatable are essentially indistinguishable from the same sort of claims strict Muslims make–women are special, pure, etc. We generally don’t regard calling them out about it as anti-Muslim bigotry, so why should doing the same about Orthodox Judaism be anti-Semitism?

            I certainly grant that you, as a (erstwhile, anyway) Jew, would be far more familiar with anti-Semitism than I am (erstwhile waspy-Protestanty product). My idea of anti-Semitism involves much darker motives, like irrational hate and false characterizations; not denouncing invidious doctrines for the harms that they perpetuate.

            But I always value your input here and don’t want to make too much of this disagreement; I hope I’ve made my POV clear, but I am also sensitive to yours.

            1. Did you confirm, then, that the accusation against me was false? I was neither guilty of name-calling in general, nor calling anyone anti-semitic in particular. I’d like to have that on the record, here. Perhaps you would be so kind as to confirm it?

  7. I’m trying to imagine the reaction if a Gentile, or Muslim, citing religious reasons, refused to sit next to a Jew.

  8. The solution seems simple to me. If you choose to live in the Middle Ages then expect to have to travel by horse.

  9. It should be the responsibility of the ultra-orthodox Jewish man to make arrangements before boarding the plane to facilitate his unusual needs. Since this has happened multiple times in the airline industry, perhaps there should be an industry-wide policy or procedure to deal with it. Such musical chairs delaying departure causes difficulty for more than just the people on that one plane. If the man can’t be responsible enough to make arrangements before boarding, I’d prefer that he be removed from the plane before departure so he can go back to the counter to make the “necessary” arrangements and, then, take the next flight. This one man’s religious oddities should not be accommodated at the expense of a female passenger or the other passengers. Barring his learning how to plan ahead to meet his needs, he should take other forms of transportation, or stay home.

      1. There’s a simple solution to that: charge him the airline’s total in-flight operating rate for the aircraft for that 20 minutes, including fuel and salaries and amortized maintenance and depreciation and all the rest. Off the top of my head, that’d be at least five figures.

        If you really want to be mean, double that figure and distribute that amount equally amongst the passengers; that’d get them on board with it. Wouldn’t be huge; it’d only be equal to 40 minutes of flight time, maybe 5% – 10% of the ticket price. But plenty for most people to go along with the airline’s decision.

        Not coincidentally, that’s also in the same rough price range as the charter of a private business jet — which is exactly where these dipshits belong if they really value their cootie-free travel experience so much.


    1. Since this has happened multiple times in the airline industry, perhaps there should be an industry-wide policy or procedure to deal with it. Such musical chairs delaying departure causes difficulty for more than just the people on that one plane.

      This was a long time ago and my memory is hazy, but when i traveled as a kid with large school groups I remember at least one airline using this policy: everyone sits in their assigned seat for take-off, no exceptions. Then once the ‘fasten seat-belt’ sign turns off, all the kids are allowed to sit with their friends whatever way they want.

      That seems like a reasonable policy to me, as it prevented all the kids delaying the flight with whining about wanting to sit next to Bobby or not wanting to sit next to Sue. Though obviously the orthodox Jews in question would be upset by it.

  10. The answer is very simple, inform the asshole that he either take his assigned seat or get the f*ck off the plane. If he refuses to do either, then call in a couple of sky marshals to remove him by force. Long past time to stop putting up with this kind of crap.

  11. What really incenses me is just about every time I report on this, someone brings up that women are sexist when they ask for females to strip search them instead of men. How are these two things remotely equivalent? Over and over, I’m presented with this ludicrous argument.

    So, I looked up “is it sexist when women ask females to strip search them instead of males?” I didn’t see any opinions on this but what I did see were many allegations of bad behaviour toward woman, by men, when they were being strip searched. This is why women ask that other women strip search them. It’s not because they think men are inferior or have cooties but they feel afraid of what might happen.

          1. How should I know? I guess it’s for the same reasons men tend to rape and sexually assault women more than the other way around.

            1. And I think that impulse is exactly what the very orthodox Jewish men are trying to tone down, even when their impulses might, on an individual basis, never reach such extremes.

              1. And it’s sexist. If women are too much to bear, stay home and as someone suggested above, travel by horse. Probably a male horse.

              2. Geldings make the best riding horses, apparently.

                Stallions are dangerous in the presence of menstruating women, iirc (from Poul Anderson’s “Thud and Blunder”).


              3. The situation is utterly dis-analogous. An officer of the government like a TSA agent or police officer is given power to invade your privacy at the point of a gun. It is perfectly reasonable for the government and the population to implement measures that will prevent documented patterns of abuse of that power. If male guards searching female citizens regularly leads to abuse, the government has an obligation to prevent that because the government was the one who put you in that situation in the first place.

                The orthodox man on the plane has no legal or government power over his seatmate. The government did not put him there. So there is no government obligation to prevent abuse of the “sitting next to someone” position; its all on him, his responsibility. He cannot demand or appeal to the government to prevent himself from molesting his seatmate any more than I can demand that the government relocate a rich passenger next to me because I might be tempted to steal their jewelry. My self-control is all on me; nobody owes me that accommodation. And its likewise his sellf-control is all on him.

            2. It may be different when there is a power differential the other way, say custodial care of teens.
              There are lots of reports of sexual assault of varying type by women to males.

              1. Advertisers and propagandists know that their audiences don’t register the humanity associated with hundreds or thousands of similar cases of a tragedy or other evil, but do register strong emotions when offered a single illustrative case.

                By that standard, each anecdotal case of female-sexually-abusing-male leaves such an impression on each of us exposed to it that we intuitively begin to equate it with all the many, many male-sexually-abusing female cases.

              2. I can’t believe you could read my reply. I swear it looked good when I typed it. I really should bring glasses with me.

    1. I think it’s an idiotic comparison too.

      I must admit, if (as a male) I _had_ to be strip searched, I think I’d prefer a woman to do it too. I don’t know why, exactly, possibly I’d find a woman less threatening. (Of course with my luck it would turn out to be a 300-pound female gorilla* who hates men).
      On the whole I’d just as soon not, thanks.

      *I know I’m insulting gorillas.


    2. I think you’re right that men are more likely to abuse women that they’re strip-searching, so having women do it is good policy. (I base that belief on stereotypes though, not evidence.)

      But I don’t believe that’s the main reason women don’t want guys to do it. There seems to be a very strong aversion among women in the US to having random men see them naked. As far as I’ve seen, in cases where male police have strip-searched women and the women have complained loudly enough to make the news, the complaint has always centered around the sheer indecency of a man seeing them naked, not fear of abuse.

      If a woman peeked in the men’s locker room at the gym, I think very few men would be offended. But if a man peeked in the women’s locker room, horrors!

      I don’t think this is sexism, though. Not all gender-based preferences are sexism… A lot of people just throw “sexist”, “racist”, etc. around without really considering the meanings of the words.

    3. I’m flabbergasted at the thought that anybody is ever strip-searched save under the most extreme of circumstances — basically limited to the doesn’t-ever-actually-happen-in-reality ticking time bomb scenarios and, perhaps, admission to the most secure of prison facilities for the most hardened of criminals. And, whenever such a procedure is carried out, it should be performed by a licensed and practicing proctologist or gynecologist.

      For all practical purposes, there really isn’t any justification for anything so invasive, especially considering that a standard abdominal medical X-Ray would more than suffice — and, again, the procedure should be performed by a licensed and practicing radiologist using standard medical equipment. And, obviously, such should only ever be carried out in extreme circumstances upon execution of a legal warrant. Even then, most people subjected to such should also be given the option of “waiting it out,” so to speak.

      The cost to society in tolerating contraband smuggled in such a manner is negligible compared to the cost of having so many of our citizens sexually assaulted by the State in the current manner.

      Of course, that the contraband so often targeted is drugs that the State again has no business outlawing just adds insult to injury….


      1. Yes I agree and it is so shocking that these searches seem to be carried out much more regularly for many more reasons. To me, it is a way to terrorize citizens.

        1. That is, of course, the prime motivation behind pretty much all these security measures. I’m sure there’re those who think they’re actually accomplishing something, but there’re far too many who have no excuse for knowing better who also stand to gain vastly from totalitarianism….


      2. That’s’ what I was thinking.
        Where are all these strip searches happening?
        If there is to be a strip search it should only be for the most extreme cases and if cavities are involved, then by a medically trained person.
        And to ensure common decency and to ensure that there was no sexual component a person of the same sex (or by choice) should be guaranteed.

    4. I’ve just read your own (Canadian) post and I agree it’s infuriating when people accommodate this type of thing.

      One problem, though, is that it’s easy to accommodate first and seethe afterwards. Presented with confidence, a perfectly ludicrous and presumptuous, but unexpected request (“Would you mind holding my ocelot’s leash while I get some ice cream?”) is bound to find someone who will simply say yes, and then spend the next half-hour wondering what possessed them to do so.

      I’ve never been put to the test on this issue, but I can see myself swapping seats and only then regretting it unless I steel myself against the possibility in advance (which I now have).

      1. I think most people just want to help out and someone asking to switch seats falls into that category. There are few people who say no to switching seats to accomodate a family, etc. (Aside, airlines have given away my seats without asking and that I find really rude and makes me seethe for the whole flight, especially when they have broken up me and my traveling companion, not realizing we were traveling together).

        I can imagine that a lot of people would also just want to get going with the flight and if there was a delay because someone wouldn’t switch seats, that would make the person being asked to switch seats feel that it was all their fault (even though it wasn’t at all).

        1. Seat switching is complicated by how airlines now charge differently depending on seating. I usually pay an extra fee in order to get a bit more leg room or perhaps to get a bit closer to the door if I have a connection to catch. Being asked to give that up becomes an economic as well as mechanical inconvenience.

          1. Yep, I paid more for an up front seat. It has extra leg room and the with an isle seat I could peer into the cockpit for a while, which is an interest.
            They did ask me to move, as the passenger list changed and they redid weight calculations.
            I didn’t move and the jet didn’t crash.

  12. I find the idea of segregated seating abhorrent. I’m surprised, though, that news reports are only (as far as I can tell) about Ultra Orthodox Jews–and men to boot. Surely there are devout Christians and Muslims of both sexes who do this? Why is it only Jews make the news?

    1. Maybe it’s only orthodox Jews that do it. (Oh, and a few Hindu priests as we learnt a while back).

      As far as I know, Xtians (though some may consider women inferior) generally don’t consider them too unclean to sit next to.

      And Muslims probably think the standard sack is enough in strict Muslim countries, while outside those regions they’re happy to get out of the official dress as quickly as they can.

      If there is evidence to the contrary maybe someone can quote it.


  13. A good article about the prevalence of many many incidents like this is in the New York Times of this April

    If the fear is of accidentally touching a woman, they could always travel in a protective plastic bag, as this Jewish fellow did. (includes picture)

    1. AFAIR that orthodox chap in the plastic bag wasn’t complainig about the proximity of women. He belonged to a sect that wasn’t allowed to go near cemeteries because reasons. This includes flying directly over cemeteries. But apparently if you cover yourself completely with a plastic bag the evil emanations from the cemetery occupants can’t hurt you. AIR there was some question as to whether the bag had to be completely sealed or not. Seems to me if you didn’t tie it off to make it airtight it wouldn’t work. But what do I know about such religious concerns?

      1. It seems to me being inside a sealed plastic bag for any length of time has worse consequences than contact cooties could ever be.

        1. Though I understand there are some people who use partial self asphyxiation as a form or erotic stimulation – weird though that seems. Whilst I firmly believe that people are entitled to achieve sexual satisfaction in any way they choose that does not involve coercion of another person, I’d say this is not an advisable way to get your rocks off since it carries substantial risk of getting it wrong and ending up in the mortuary.

          1. Look on the positive side, at least the mortuary doesn’t have to supply a body bag.

            (Sorry ’bout that…)


  14. I would volunteer to sit next to him, and when we’re all settled, I’d offer to shake hands with him, and then politely inform him that I’m actually a woman dressed as a man, pleased to meet you.

    1. Or perhaps a man dressed as a woman, and when the religioso questions the situation, prove it in a most meaningful way.

  15. I wonder if this sort of religious behavior has a positive feedback loop in isolated communities? They take ideas that might not be so bad, like stay faithful to your wife, and turn it into a competition to see who can be the most holy? Equilibrium is reached when any increase in such behavior would produce such high negative marginal utility in other areas of life to make it impractical.

  16. How about airlines say: when you buy an assigned seat, that is your seat, regardless of who may be seated next to you. If you agree, welcome aboard. If not, we understand you have a choice of airlines.

  17. Change?

    The psychological processes going on when this orthodox Jew is sitting next to a women must be bordering on creepy.
    Would he be sitting there contemplating rape, having anal sex, what! Maybe he is fighting to keep his hands off her knee or plain lusting and trying to keep an erection under control.
    How do you not learn to live with the other gender, keeping a normal casual relationship with a female stranger, the other 50% of people on this earth, it’s just a bollocks of a religious practice.
    Perhaps even more bazaar, is he actually gay and this is how he gets his jollies sitting next to strange men and thinking ‘impure thoughts’ Who would know? Oh christ, now I’m thinking he’s right, maybe only mature men should be sitting next to these types.

  18. I’m glad I realized in high school how delusional religions are and never looked back. Clue for guys who can’t sit next to women: buy two seats or find another way to get there. And quit expecting the rest of the world to accommodate your delusions.

  19. The REAL reason, of course, is the notion (that may be as much cultural as it is religion-based) that women are evil Jezebels, always ready to “tempt” men to do “wrong”. This labeling of over half the human race as inherently “bad” is, besides being batshit crazy, is a loathsome, fear-based excuse to control women’s lives and to bolster feelings of male superiority.

  20. Reblogged this on dyke writer and commented:
    We can defeat religion with an all female menstruating army and I am just saying – WWII women saved bacon fat for bombs – I can see women being willing to offer used hygiene products for a carpet bombing…. dear mens get over yourselves you are not purer or better.

  21. Porter Airlines, as should all airline companies, should have a policy of removing vexatious people from the airplane. This man should have been shown the door.

    1. Your right, come to think of it. There are far more orthodox ways to travel – such as on the back of an ass (male ass of course).

  22. As a former, flight attendant, I would have done what I could to insure PEACE and an ON-TIME DEPARTURE. What can I say, I’m a pacifist. However, I have never seen such chaos as that created by orthodox Jews, especially on long intercontinental flights where an entire family is flying together. That said, I have many friends who are cultural Jews, who enrich my life immeasurably. And then there are a class of Jews who seem hell bent on making me and others pay for the Holocaust, despite my utmost sympathy and horror of that part of history. For them I have little patience.

  23. Bottom Line:

    This guy is free to practice his religion as he wishes.

    He is not free to expect me, or anyone else, to practice it with him.

    This goes for anyone. Period.

  24. An option for Flynn would be to say to the attendant,”I’ll change seats, so long as it is an immediate upgrade to 1st Class.”

  25. Sorry of this is a repeat of above. The simple answer is no one moves and the person in question either sits in his assigned seat or disembarks the aircraft. “Problem” solved.

  26. Then another man refused. A flight attendant came, and asked if the woman would switch seats with a man behind her. The woman rightfully refused.

    SOP should be to downgrade (without refund) the passenger requesting the change or upgrade the passenger who is to be dispaced (charging the the passenger requesting the change, always).
    To quote a hooker in a TV programme last night (cleaning up after a “foodie” customer), “you have the right to behave obnoxiously, but I have the right to charge you for putting up with your obnoxiousness”.
    Moderately surprised that Porter haven’t got such a policy already. They seemed to be one of the more switched-on companies when I was working in Canada a few years ago. Still, companies change.

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