A middle-aged man dreaming of the day when he can stop begging for scraps and write for a living.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Religious Privilege Rears Its Ugly Head Again

Christians aren't the only one who can be obnoxious about their religious privileges. Once again making the news are ultra-orthodox Jewish men who have been delaying flights between New York and Tel Aviv because they didn't like their seating arrangements.
Many Haredi Jewish communities practice strict gender segregation and refrain from touching people of the opposite gender who are not close family members.

Haredi publications in Israel generally do not print pictures of women and girls. In 2009, the Israeli newspaper Yated Ne'eman famously doctored a photograph of the Israeli cabinet in order to replace two female ministers with images of men.

In the UK, the ultra-Orthadox Jewish community in Stamford Hill, north London, was recently criticised after signs requesting women to walk on a certain side of the street were erected, promoting segregation for a Torah parade.
I think it's time for us to draw a line here. You don't like your seat assignment? Okay, let's see what's available. If nothing is available or you don't like the options, tough titties. Sit down and shut up. If you cause a disruption you're off the plane without reimbursement.

If your religious convictions make it a problem for you to travel on public transport, it's your responsibility to make alternate arrangements. Airlines like Delta allow you to make special seating arrangements, or purchase extra seats if you don't want company. You can charter your own plane or take a boat if you're headed overseas. You can take the bus or a car if not. In any case, it is not anyone else's responsibility to accommodate your bigotry. No one else should be obligated or inconvenienced by the limitations of your religion.

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