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March 06, 2008

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The Hon. Rufus Peckham

You bet Harvard messed up. And they're hearing about it, too. They have singled out men, because it is acceptable, it is politically correct to do so.

Enlightened Westerners properly decry the widespread mistreatment of women in the Islamic world. It is, therefore, astounding that the University is asking its student population to be respectful of Islamic women’s, frankly, medieval notions about men, especially when such notions deprive students of access to a University resource based solely on gender. Would a fair-minded person sense a double standard here? The question scarcely survives its statement.

Denying individuals equal access to a University resource based on the gender or race into which they were born cannot be justified by invoking terms such as “balancing interests” or de minimis harm. Harvard is heading down a slippery slope when it seeks to validate any form of gender discrimination in order to accommodate one cultural interest or another.

But as I say, hey, it's just men, so what the hell? THAT's the problem.

bandit

Does it really matter? Inside the ivory tower all this criticism is only reflective of the vulgarity of the great unwashed who'll never be allowed in anyhow.

Teresa

I think it would serve Harvard right if others went after them now for religious accommodations. They now have a great case to get all manner of concessions and wouldn't it be so fun to watch!

jackhammer

I think it is good to debate whether secular values or gender-neutral policies should prevail at contemporary universities. Universities need to be careful when deciding to violate these core principles. Harvard certainly should be more transparent and open about how they make these decisions. But the people who are outraged tend to be selective, and they act as though they have no alternatives.

1) The Muslims are receiving almost all of the hostility, but there are some feminists at Harvard who wanted women only hours. Again it is a whopping six hours per week out of seventy hours of gym hours. That particular gym often has periods in which there are very few users, particularly during peak class hours.

2) The Q-Rac is a fine place, but it is probably not one of the major athletic facilities at Harvard. It has basketball and volleyball courts and a modest gym for lifting weights.

Again, we can debate whether this female-only provision for six hours a week is a proper policy at a secular institution.

But the shrieking whiners who act as though they cannot work out conveniently fail to mention that they can easily go to Hemenway Gym at Harvard Law School (a 5-7 minute walk from the Quad) or to the Mac (a 10 minute walk). In fact, if the enemies of this policy jog to the gym, they can be at these larger facilities in 3-5 minutes assuming they leave from the Quad. They can also grab a regular shuttle bus if they are too lazy to walk the distance to the other gyms. Admittedly, the Q-Rac is a 1-2 minute walk for the suffering males who live in the Quad dorms. The men are so, so oppressed. Feminism has so trampled my rights that I am now going to start drinking six packs of beer and stuffing myself with Domino's Pizza because I have to walk for a few extra minutes to get to another gym for six hours per week.

Where is the similar outcry when Jews request and receive special kosher ovens and facilities in the dining halls of Harvard? If they did not receive this special privilege, there might be additional table space for a keg stand where we could enjoy micro-brewed beers with our Harvard dinners. It is so unfair.... blah.... blah..... Similar to the gym example, however, I can still eat non-kosher food at another part of the dining hall. Yes, one can also go to another gym at the same time at Harvard. In the case of the Jewish push for kosher alternatives, journalists did not write the story as if Gentile Harvard were being denied their right to pork-laden cuisine. Here is a Harvard Hillel statement on special meal privileges for Jewish students at Harvard, an accommodation uncontroversial to Miss Kelly and the mocking critics of Muslim females:

http://www.hillel.harvard.edu/pages.asp?catid=86&page_id=207
All Hillel meals are free to undergraduates on the meal plan.
The Hillel dining hall is not your only option for kosher dining at Harvard. Every Harvard dining hall has a Kosher Korner, which includes frozen meals, cold cuts, cheeses, tuna fish, etc, as well as a kosher microwave and toaster oven. Furthermore, much of the food in the dining halls is certified kosher, including many breakfast cereals, an extensive salad bar, bagels, many breads, fresh fruit, and beverages. Hillel also provides bag lunches for pickup in Loker Commons at the Fly-By area….

miss kelly

Jackhammer, you quoted it yourself: "All Hillel meals are free to undergraduates on the meal plan." ANYBODY can go there. No one is prevented from going there and eating the food, which is the case with the gym. Your analogy doesn't work.

Kosher food is also halal, so it benefits observant Muslims as well as observant Jews. Fancy that!

I'm opposed to segregation of the sexes, and I'm opposed to caving into Islamists. No university should bow down to the requests of six women. It was a ludicrous thing to do. More demands are sure to follow.

Feminists who want women-only times too? Might these be the same women who oppose the men-only policy of the Augusta Hills golf course? Men-only is discriminatory, but women-only is just fine? These ladies need to get over their delicate, precious selves.

Miss Julie

Kelly don't you have anything else to do in your life. Get yourself life and get off from the internet. Ignorant nothing but attacking Islam and Muslims. Shame on you. Kosher and Halal food are complete different.

miss kelly

Julie, thank you for your comment. Muslims slaughter their meat in a way that is very similar to Kosher food, and it is generally agreed that Kosher food is acceptable for Muslims to eat.

I would rather blog about other things (and I do as time allows), but these are the issues we confront in Massachusetts right now. These are also the issues played out around the world, due to the resurgence of fundamentalist Islam. There's a bit of a civil war going on in the Muslim world, in case you haven't noticed, and it's spilled over to the rest of the world.

Did you leave a similar comment over at Ali Eteraz for his strong criticism of Harvard's women-only gym times?

Miss Julie

Kelly,

You don't represent Massachusetts or Bostonians. O'Please don't teach me what is Halal or Kosher. Reveal your identity and if you have guts put your image on your blog. Stop teaching hate against Islam.

It is fantastic have womens' only Gym night. For all women. Go Harvard.

About Etraz, non practising with a Muslim name. Who cares about his openion.

miss kelly

Miss Julie of Bristol, England, thanks for your comment. Very edgy!

Teresa

Miss Kelly - you have a troll! *grin* Good for you. Feed and water her and she can keep the poorly spelled and ungrammatical vitrol flowing. I'd stick with Kosher - just to see how much extra venom she can spout. ;-)

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