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Saturday, March 08, 2008

When "Tolerance" Crosses the Line

Harvard University has banned men from one of its gyms for a few hours each week to "accommodate Muslim women who say it offends their sense of modesty to exercise in front of the opposite sex."

The gym is closed to men from 3-5pm on Mondays and between 8-10am on Tuesday and Thursdays. According to the AP story linked above, even the staff is all women during those hours.

A Muslim woman and student who supports the move said, "The majority should be willing to compromise. I think that's just basic courtesy. We must show tolerance and respect for all others."

You know what offends me? This policy. And to ask for tolerance by discriminating against the entire student body due to the request of six women who practice some of the more rigid pillars of one faith strikes me as the very definition of intolerance.

This isn't PC run amok, this is PC gone mad.

What if those are the only hours someone of another religion can work out? What if that is the closest gym to my house? And should every religion -- or those who practice the most dogmatic beliefs associated with their individual faith - be granted such exclusive - and exclusionary - hours? Then where does it end? Do we start having special hours to cater to some other group at the cafeteria, the library or the Quad?

This is a dangerous slippery slope. And it's not right nor fair.

That isn't anti-Muslim, it's anti-absurd. Opposing this policy isn't bigotry, it's common sense.

People have a right to practice their religion. But when that practice infringes upon my rights and the rights of others, something is very wrong. This is very wrong.

The sad thing about this is that we do have a problem with racism, sexism and a few other "isms" in this country. But asinine policies like this do nothing to help end those struggles or bring us together in our shared humanity. In fact, they do more harm than good.

Every person - no matter their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation or any of the other things that make us unique and this country great - deserves to be treated equally. Yet demanding unequal treatment - that also places an unfair burden on the majority - is the wrong way to further that noble goal. And disguising such demands behind the banner of "tolerance" is shameful.


Judge Rufus Peckham said...

Absolutely correct. Except they aren't discsriminating against the entire student body. 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.

TitleIX said...

funny how upset judge pecker gets regarding the 'slight' against men. where is the outrage regarding gendered differences in employment wages? oh wait, that benefits men--no problem there, my bad.

This issue is an interesting conundrum, since Orthodox Jewish women could request the same 'courtesy'. The business 'Curves' has made it's fortune catering only to women.
And let's not forget the phenomenon of 'adult swim' time at public pools. Age discrimination???

Were Harvard a public university there would be serious legal hoops to run thru. But it isn't.

I dunno on this one. The city of Dearborn has separate PE classes for its young female muslim students....
And Turkey is all riled up about students wearing headscarves on campus.

When one is the majority, it is difficult to understand the needs/perceptions of the minority. However, continuing to emphasize differences instead of similarities just makes things worse.

This is an issue of modesty at it's core. There are still female only dorms and no one bitches about those. Is it wrong to try and accomodate all members of the University community??

Personally, I'd rather work out without men around for oh so many reasons including my own modesty, my own insecurities (yes I do have them), and my interest in not being 'checked out' while I'm working out.....
Just like those gyms where grunting and dropping weights isn't allowed because it bums all the weaklings out....

I totally hear what you are saying on this one Yost and agree somewhat but I'm split on this one....
If you took the "muslim" out of it would it be as much of an affront???

Bigasshammm said...

I think this has a lot to do with the Muslim issue and this country's newfound fear/subservience to all things Muslim. Like T9 said that jewish women could request the same thing but either don't, or maybe they do and just aren't awarded the same privileges. With this stupidity still going on in Iraq and the total panic the country has on "when will they get us again?" It seems as if this country will do anything to appease the Muslim community. Everyone is afraid of being stereotyped anti-Muslim or too quick to label them terrorists and thus seem to possibly be bending the rules at times in regards to their community.

Likewise I have no problem with the banning of men from their "workouts" but I do feel that if they are going to do so then they should be doing this during off business hours. If it has already been established that the gym was available to men and all persons during these times then I think it is wrong for them to suddenly change and ban them. What about the male workers who are not allowed to work at that time and therefore must work other hours to make up their time? Maybe some of them rely on that money as starving (Is it possible to starve at Harvard?) college students.

Summing up I think this is wrong.... but it doesn't surprise me.

Ron said...

[moment of levity]
-Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, 'I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.' Good point there. After all, he was 'The Walrus'. I could be the walrus, I'd still have to bum rides off of people.
[/moment of levity]

Out of Conference said...

Yeah, this is crazy. While I have no problem with working with groups of people that have specific concerns, taking away a univiserty privelidge from half the university's population during the busy period is crazy. It would be like making people that want to park legally have to park in the far lot so that those with german cars could double park in the lot closest to the building. I have no problem allowing folks to double park, if there is room, if there is not a demand on those spots, and if it does not inconvenience the status quo. Same applies to Muslim women wanting the gym to themselves. Fine, but it's from 5-7 am everyday and 10-11pm at night.

Out of Conference said...

my spelling ain't so gud.

John said...


in the song, "Glass Onion," John says "the walrus was paul" and paul was dressed as a walrus on the cover of The Magical Mystery Tour.

Ron said...

John, I know. I always wondered who was correct, Ferris Bueller or John Lennon. I guess the smart money is on John. But it was still a great film.

Out of Conference said...

In some cultures, walruses are hunted for food. So be thankful you weren't the fifth Beatle, otherwise Paul and John may have pointed their fingers at you when the Inuit came calling. It's like Wally Sparks said, "Remember folks, every man has his tale of woe. Unfortunately, in life, there's more woe than tale."

dmosier said...

Chill out. It's not like this is there only gym on campus. There's a Curves gym, woman only, about a block from my house. Should I flip out because I am not allowed in there? Because I have to drive 15 minutes to my gym? No, because they are a privately held business, and they can make their own rules. Much like Harvard is a private university. Write a post and flip out when a public university tries using your tax dollars to do something similar.

This is one of many gyms Harvard has, and its only 6 hrs out of every 70 hrs of operation a week (at that ONE gym). Harvard is being intolerant of because they only allow you access to their facilities 95% of the time they are open? Pssht. Chill. Out.

As a run of the mill white guy myself, I am pretty sick of listening to Angry White Men whose rights are supposedly being trampled because they have to actual practice tolerance of people who believe differently they then do. I would have expected this post from a bucknut fan, but Michigan? Aren't we better than this ignorance?

Stick to college football, and naked people, you aren't so good at politics.

PS. People who attend this gym lose 6 hrs a week, not much different than if the gym decided to open an hour later or close an hour earlier each day of the week. Do you think anyone would care if that happened?

PSS Lets be honest, if this were billed as woman's only hours void of the whole Muslim thing, nobody would bat an eye either. Admit that it's because some muslim woman put the request in that pisses you off.

surrounded in columbus said...

accomodating 6 muslim women's work out issues while in iraq they're training to be suicide bombers to kill american soldiers is something that's likely to strike a lot people wrong, regardless of the underlying merits in a different setting.

putting that off to the side, i'm personally a big fan of gender split activities and institutions. having two daughters, i see how self conscious they can be and appreciate their concerns. i also see how the teenage boy can be effected by the same issues.

if a woman doesn't like working out in front of men, she ought to be able to find a place (curves) where she doesn't have to. same for golf courses, soft ball leagues, book clubs, and a host of other activities where gender differences may make some uncomfortable.

the problem w/ this move by harvard is that it is very half assed. by carving out a "couple hours", the school makes the supposed solution appear petty & discriminatory, solely for the concerns of the 6 muslim women w/ out regard to any concerns of who knows what others. half measures are always more a of a problem than a solution.

why not do something that would address and accomodate everyone? they have to have more than one gym at harvard, don't they? why not make one all men, one all women, and leave the rest co-ed. and if they only have one, build a couple. crissakes. it's harvard.

or why not change the gym schedule dramatically? some hours co-ed, some men only, some women only.

dmosier said...

You've got to be kidding me. I promise i won't post again, but 'surrounded in Columbus' are you serious?

"accomodating 6 muslim women's work out issues while in iraq they're training to be suicide bombers to kill american soldiers..."

DUDE, understand that these woman's connection to suicide bombers in iraq because of their faith in Islam makes about as much sense as me saying your a child molester because you believe in Jesus, and so do a bunch of Priests that have done wrong. Or lest not get into the travesties Christians have perpetrated in this world.

Seriously. Ignorance breeds ignorance.

Joshua said...

I'm working and can't read through this, but look forward to getting in on the debate later.

That having been said, if anyone needs a moment of levity, check out my post about what happens when "Joshua Marries a Buckeye" in the UPDATE thread from a few days ago.

surrounded in columbus said...

that's not what i said. on the other hand, you can't possibly think that their religion has NOTHING to do w/ this new story.

if these 6 women weren't muslim, this wouldn't be the same story at all. if these were six amish girls, the story would get a different reaction in the media.

we like the amish. they're quaint, non violent, and are thought to be generally backward but harmless. they make good jams and over priced furniture. accomodating 6 amish girls would get some rise in the national press over the gender issues.

however, this story has two hooks. it has both the gender issue AND the religious tolerance issue. that can't have escaped you. and the religious tolerance issue is a direct result of the conflict in iraq. unlike the amish, most americans have some relatively negative view of islam or at least some of its practices.

if you can't see that correction, you're dumber than a bag of hammers.

surrounded in columbus said...

sorry, that's "connection".

dmosier said...

Columbus, you can't just make an unqualified assumptions. back up your statements:

"the religious tolerance issue is a direct result of the conflict in iraq."

"most americans have some relatively negative view of islam"

These are your opinions. I mostly disagree with both. You can't just go stating your opinion as fact.

Of course the religion issue has to do with the story making the news, I said that in my prior post. I don't even know where you came off with that, its like you were upset someone pointed out your ignorant comment and made up some argument to get back at them. I fully agree if these girls weren't Muslims this wouldn't be on the news. I also thinks its BS that the dude who writes this often interesting blog, is pissed. Because if you did take the religion thing out, and it was just 6 hrs for some girls, he wouldn't care. He cares because of an underlying prejudice ppl have against Muslims, a prejudice you advance by including these girls with a group of suicide bombers.

To you, I was saying you can't connect some girls who want to work out in private with suicide bombers in iraq. Thats it. Thats all. Thats as you would say, 'dumb as a bag of hammers'.

we'll just chaulk it up to a little bit of me reading your statement wrong, and you doing a poor job of saying what you meant. I hope.

jcloverboi said...

Does the issue change slightly knowing that even though Harvard is a private university, they receive federal funding? Just throwing that out there.

surrounded in columbus said...

"the sun rises in the east" is not an opinion, and i'm not bothering w/ cites to prove it's a fact.

that the american public at large has a negative attitude towards islam or some of its practices, that there is a growing intolerance of muslims or some of their practices, and that our ongoing conflict in iraq is effecting these views, isn't an opinion. it's a fact that's been reported time & again, relentlessly in the mainstream press (and backed by countless polls) for several years. maybe you should read a paper once in a while.

and pointing out that these existing views effect the way a story is percieved by the public isn't "ignorant". maybe you should look up another word. using "ignorant" that way makes you sound like Lindsay Lohan.

on a more important note, josh's "love story" in the other thread is something quite touching, in a "Very Bad Things" ending sorta way. perhaps if you had made your wife a muslim instead of a buckeye, you could get dmos to read it?

dmosier said...

jcloverboi, to me it doesn't. If it were Public Tax Payer Funded U, I would still say whats the big deal.

And while I could be wrong, the federal funds they receive are for research and running community programs, not for running the school and administrative purposes.

jcloverboi said...

you may be right about the money's purpose, dmosier, but the fact is that Harvard still accepts taxpayer money, they have enacted a policy that favors one religion over many others. it's a slippery slope to allow that to happen.

i have a feeling that this will all be rendered moot, however, when a few of the wealthier donors get wind of this policy--the harvard brass surely will change their tune when people threaten not to donate because of it.

Nate said...

Wow this discussion got a little intense for a college football blog.

Out of Conference said...

I would support SiC's opinion that most Americans have a negative opinion of the Islamic religion. Right or wrong, I really think that is the case.

The vast majority of women feel shy when working out in front of men. Did Harvard make women only rules for the gym prior to this? No. The policy was set because of 6 Muslim women. I don't blame the 6 women at all, after all they have a right to request whatever they want and their feelings are not wrong- they are their feelings. I have a problem with the school's admin caving in to a small groups request and taking away a privilege from half the school population to accommodate these 6 girls only because of their religion. I welcome Muslims into society. America is made up a mixture of cultures- that's what makes it great. But I sure as hell don't want one group forcing others to go out of their way to accomodate the one group's religious beliefs.

It's like when I was in 1st grade and it was story time. I was a little late sitting down in front of the teacher and I got behind a tall kid and couldn;t see the teacher. I complained and the teacher explained that he was there first and that I should move to accomodate myself.

dmosier said...

Columbus, you need to read your own comments. You say one thing, I rebuke it, then you come back and your argument is completely different. Here is your latest example:

Your first statement..
"the religious tolerance issue is a direct result of the conflict in iraq."

Your second..
"there is a growing intolerance of muslims or some of their practices, and that our ongoing conflict in iraq is effecting these views"

Those 2 statements are very different. Your second I might agree with, your first wildly incorrect. I would also take the time to point out that the view of muslims has become more positive in recent yrs, its not a "growing intolerance". That 9/11 not iraq was the largest catalyst to intolerance of the Muslim faith. Funny because a Pew poll found 93% of Muslims world wide condemned the attacks of 9/11..compared to a whopping 95% of non muslims that condemned it.

I agree that in the midwest (and parts of the south) intolerance of most things non Christian is very high. I grew up here, but I have also lived on the west coast (San Jose) and east coast (Boston), and been everywhere in between, I can tell you its not that way everywhere. As for you claim to the "American public at large" having a negative view of Islam, thats incorrect. Take this Pew poll taken in 2003, when the anti muslim fervor was at its peak:

- 44 percent say Islam is likely "to encourage violence among its believers."
- 51 percent have positive views of American Muslims

Polls show that Islam is the most negatively viewed religion (major religion)in America. But America at large has an intolerance for Islam? .Psht. The only fact you seem to gotten right was the sun rising in the east. America is larger than the midwest sir, it truly is that whole melting pot thing you have read in your comics.

Anyway, I am ending on a peaceable note. I am assuming (much like you do about every American's opinions) that you are a Blue fan living in Columbus, in which case I say never loose the faith! Back in the day I dated a bucknut, we were the ESPN commercial to a tee, and my days visiting her were not without anguish. I was relentlessly sworn at, told by one I should be shot in the face, told a number of times I should be killed, got shoved at a party once, had my Jeep keyed (michigan plates i take it), and all and all harassed anytime i set foot there. Granted, I always wore a Michigan shirt, and it was usually on O$U's campus, but I feel for you. And seriously, go enjoy the day and get ready for the weekend. Don't comment back and change what you said again and pull some argument out of thin air. There's more t life than winning some argument nobody reads on a message board, theres COLLEGE FOOTBALL! GO BLUE!

Oh and my last note, its a funny sidebar to your comment about how I should read a paper, I work at a paper. The 2nd largest newspaper in the midwest I might add. And now I am out to enjoy this freezing cold, yet sunny, day. Because for some reason nobody really works much at a newspaper on Friday. Its like a ghost town in here.

Out of Conference said...

Joshua - I liked your story in a sick to my stomach feeling like watching "Misery". Maybe she was your #1 fan.

dmosier said...

oh i forgot to put the poll up rebuking your "growing intolerance" claim. Take the poll from before, then compare it the same poll taken 3 yrs later, in 2006

-33 percent say Islam encourages violence against non-Muslims and 54 percent call it a peaceable religion.

Still high negatives, but its shrinking, not growing

Joshua said...

"most americans have some relatively negative view of islam"

This is without a doubt a fact. First, there are WAY too many stupid people out there who believe everything they hear. Example: the "Obama is a Muslim" propoganda. You don't see the Clinton supporters saying "Obama is a magical money fairy" do you? No. Why? Because people tend to like magical money fairies. While fearing all Muslims is ignorant, there are a lot of stupid, self- absorbed people in our country who don't care to take the time and effort to educate themselves. That is a truth. And the majority of those people still equate the Islamic religion with 9/11, not with the nice lady down the street who happens to cover her face out of modesty.

I'm split on the greater issue, but that much I believe in.

Joshua said...


the intelligent conversation around here is what makes it great, whether it be CFB related or not. Well, that and the occasional picture of boobage.


Polls are great, but how many of those people are saying what they think they should as opposed to what they truly believe? just a thought...

Vadatripp said...

I wonder how this would be received if this was a Christian practice instead of a Muslim one and if it involved the exclusion of females instead of males. My guess is that it would be different.

Regardless, I'm with Joshua: I could use the occasional picture of boobage about now.

Johnny said...

i'd like to see more boobage. i'm only jumpin in to say lets drop this, and i can see a bunch of people thinking dmoser was defending islam and going off on him. but dudes, i think he was saying its not overwhelmingly negative like some ppl think. yeah, polls are bs, but i agree that the vast majority or even a slight majority people don't think negatively about muslims. a lot freakin do, for sure. but not most. and thats in my hick town. thats what i took him to say at least.

TitleIX said...

I'm intrigued by this comment of yours, "But I sure as hell don't want one group forcing others to go out of their way to accomodate the one group's religious beliefs."

cuz some could argue that the Christian majority in this country does exactly that....

And, on a sports note, our Women's BB team is taking a beating from Iowa right now at the Big 10 Tourney, alas, after having beaten PSU yesterday....

TitleIX said...

and, I completely agree with SiC's point: redo the entire schedule to accomodate men only/women only/co-ed times at all gyms. don't just place a 'special' stick in the sand and call it good....

"Carve outs" may actually be prohibited under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. it's the whole separate but equal error.

it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Feelin' Blue said...

There are also ignorant Muslims out there, too. I'll get to that. This is an issue that I do not feel that I can work out in just one post as there are just so many facets to this issue.

There is an issue of adapting. I'll use a story as an example. A family friend is a resident at a nearby hospital and he is an orthodox Jew. There is another orthodox Jew there who gets pissed whenever certain accommodations are not made for him, and this really embarrasses our friend. He keeps strict kosher and observes the Sabbath, but he knows that the world doesn't revolve around him and, as a Modern Orthodox Jew, he strives to follow religious laws the best he can while also being an equal and productive member of society.

The point is that religion belongs at home. Yes, making a kitchen kosher is a bit more costly than creating separate women's swim time. As many people of all religions do in America, a person can use principles of religion as guidelines for his or her conduct in public life e.g. being an honest businessman, giving charity, etc., but 1) it is morally wrong to force others to make sacrifices in order to meet your religious needs and 2) as a religious American you find ways to follow your faith without asking for those sacrifices from others. I mean, Jews have been doing this for decades. In the early 20th century, there were Jews who had to find news jobs every week because they wouldn't work on Saturday; others worked on the Sabbath.

That said, there are non-Muslim fitness centers out there for women only. I know that many religious Jewish women use them as do other women who do not feel comfortable around men when they exercise. Religious Muslim women can join one of those gyms or start their own.

Remdog said...

I agree entirely with the post. Harvard's move discriminates on the basis of religion and gender.

Is Harvard going to honor the specific requests of every cult/religion now? No. So it's discriminatory. What about Wiccans? What about any other cult some loonie decides to create?

How can Harvard justify limiting the rights of half the student body based on gender? Last I heard, men and women paid the same tuition. Maybe Harvard should give men a discount to rectify the situation - of course the appropriate discount would be impossible to determine. Maybe Harvard should have made a gender neutral move by giving men exclusive use of the gym as well for the same number of hours (and same time of day). Until the inequity is rectified, Harvard could be threatened with lawsuits demanding such a move.

Unfortunately, for an institution (like most universities today) which routinely discriminates on the basis of political ideology, race and gender, this is business as usual.

As an aside, title IX's comments on gender pay inequity are totally misinformed (and irrelevant to the discussion). I would suggest reading up on the issue - I believe there's a well-researched book titled "Why Men Earn More." Men and women make different choices which account for differences in pay.

Feelin' Blue said...

Just a clarification: I am not assuming that all Americans follow a religion. By all means, if someone is atheist then that is his prerogative.

I don't really want to bring up personal politics, but I also want to mention that these principles determine my stance on abortion as pro-choice. It is a very touchy subject, but my feeling is that the moment when life begins is subjective. If one feels that it begins at conception, then that person should just not get an abortion. Don't get me wrong; IIRC there are premature babies that are born at a point earlier than the one at which some babies are aborted.

I mean, some people might think that male masturbating might be killing life. Should that be made a crime? Okay, weak argument, but you get the idea. It's fine if you disagree with me; just don't drive trucks around Michigan Stadium on gameday with pictures of aborted fetuses.

Feelin' Blue said...

Remdawg!! One of the best baseball commentators in the country.

Remdog said...

Remdawg!! One of the best baseball commentators in the country.

Wow, didn't know that.

Remdog's actually been a nickname of mine for awhile.

By the way, I agree wholeheartdly with the sentiment "religion belongs at home."

Sundawg said...

Living in South Florida, if this story doesn't relate to anything happening on the island 90 miles south of Key West, no one will care

Sundawg said...

Living in South Florida, if this story doesn't relate to anything happening on the island 90 miles south of Key West, no one will care

Joshua said...

Ah Remdog. You'd probably be safer right now if you changed your name to Jim Carty. but thank you- the notion of the coming verbal onslaught in which you play the part of tOSU and T9 plays the part of Florida makes me giddy.

Jim said...

Meh, doesn't seem like such a big deal. It's only a couple of hours and, as others have pointed out, there are likely other gyms that aren't too far away (Harvard's a pretty small campus). Should these women have to skip working out (at a gym their ample tuition pays for), or suffer extreme social/emotional anxiety, just so I can workout wherever I want, whenever I want? It's just a few hours. You have to know how to pick your battles.

And I really can't give much credence to the slippery slope argument. Slippery slopes are routinely invoked to decry any unwelcomed deviation from the status quo. While not universally fallacious, they are way too often a lame fall-back. You have to do better than that.

RE: feeling blue's comments about keeping religion at home...people's religions are part of their identity, it just doesn't work that way. We're a country founded on religious freedom. That doesn't mean "don't ask, don't tell," it means accepting people for who they are. Within reason, of course, and this occasion hardly seems unreasonable.

If you want to take issue with it being just 6 women, I can almost see that, but perhaps there would be more Muslim women on campus if the atmosphere was more obviously welcoming. And, although it's likely many women will "benefit" from the proposed change, making large-scale changes to the gym schedule in some sort of even-steven gesture also seems unreasonable for such an initially small demonstrated "need." That's why it doesn't necessarily feel like a "carve out" to me. They have a small "need" so they made a small change.

TitleIX said...

remy remy remy....
"religion belongs at home" huh?
kinda like the barefoot pregnant women who have made "choices" about their place in our free market economy????

Sorry to disappoint joshua but countering this brilliance doesn't warrant much of my effort.

here's a bit of data for you remy from that venerable source wikipedia...
"So, for example, in 2004 the median income of full-time year round (FTYR) male workers was $40,798, compared to $31,223 for FTYR female workers (DeNavas-Walt et al, 2005). 31,223 divided by 40,798 is .765, so the gender earnings gap in 2004 was .765. This is often expressed as a percentage: e.g., "in 2004, women's wages were 76.5% of men's wages," or "in 2004, women earned 23.5% less than men earned."

so while women make "choices" regarding what majors to pursue in college, those "choices" are generally based on gender-norms as dictated by society thereby limiting women to 'choices' with lower pay structures. Can anyone say TEACHERS??? NURSING??? PEDIATRICIANS??? SIDELINE REPORTERS???

and, believe it or not remy not everyone goes to college. If one considers the difference in pay for manufacturing jobs, the disparity still exists for the same work performed....
In a UN report, Japanese women earned 60% of their male counterparts in manufacturing. Denmark 87%, Germany 74%, and the UK 79%......

I'll just go back to being irrelevant and ill-informed now.

surrounded in columbus said...

so, i read & reread dmos' comments.

since he works at a newspaper, he must be right.

that means: american's are actually tolerant of islam and all its practices.

americans have a positive view of islam and all its practices.

and that views of islam have no real impact on people reading the story of this accommodation for 6 women.

the last conclusion is a particularly ironic since my original intent had been to suggest that the issue of gender separate gyms should be considered as a gender issue, w/ out regard to the underlying basis for the request of a single gender facility.

i had mistakenly thought that a story about accommodating 6 muslim women would evoke two separate reactions- one about accommodating 6 women, and one about accommodating muslim practices.

silly me. apparently, though we still have issues w/ gender, we have over come our prejudice towards other religions.

as Forrest said: that's good. one less thing to worry about.

Joshua said...

"Sorry to disappoint joshua but countering this brilliance doesn't warrant much of my effort.

Damn you Remy, you went over the invisible Way-Too-Stupid Line and ruined my fun. I'd really appreciate it if next time you can be 10-15% less idiotic.

A notably welcome side effect of this would be your ability to wear a t-shirt that says "REMY- Now with 10-15% less idiocy!

Feelin' Blue said...

If there are so many more, then why can't they just start their own gym? They're Harvard students; don't tell me that they don't have the resources. (Then again, have you seen Harvard tuition??)

I never said anything about giving up religious identity. And accepting people for whom they are? Is that really what the Founding Fathers had in mind? It had more to do with religious persecution. There is a world of difference between having your house of worship burned down by state-sponsored religious crusaders and and not feeling comfortable at a gym because you belong to a more radical strain of religion that won't allow you to be in an arbitrarily inappropriate state of undress.

I have two main points:
1) A person can practice his religion as long as it doesn't interfere with others' lives
2) Religious freedom does not mean that you just have things handed to you. Sure, attitudes in the early 20th century were hostile to "swarthy", Catholic, and Jewish immigrants, but these people by and large dealt with challenges instead of having the system work for them. This whole thing about getting a gym to fit their religious needs makes the girls sound spoiled.

Feelin' Blue said...

*state of undress in front of men

jcloverboi said...


freedoms only go so far. there's a reason i can't go into your house without your permission, shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater, lie under oath, or stone people whose religious views differ from my own--there are consequences for all of those actions, ranging from an ass-kicking from you to imprisonment to extreme physical harm(perhaps brought about by the aforementioned ass-kicking).

The point is, just because we are free to say and believe what we want,it doesn't mean we are free from the consequences.


tongue firmly planted in cheek on that last post, I assume?

harry hasselhoff said...

Go back to Russia, Title IX

TitleIX said...

LOL at the idiocy shirt

bet you didn't even work up a sweat on that one!

TitleIX said...

I'm sorry, Hassler, couldn't understand your muttering thru that hamburger you are snarfing....

Go back to Russia???
Hmmm, is that a reference to my Jewish heritage? or do you mean to suggest I'm a communist??? or have you mistaken me for a foreigner?

or are you just unable to produce any coherent comment in response to my eloquence????????

Jim said...

Without getting into a protracted debate...

FB: It's fair to strive for, but unreasonable to expect in a society as diverse as the United States that we can all live lives without interfering or impacting each other...whether that's concerning religion or otherwise. We make reasonable comprimises everyday to peacefully coexist. Perhaps you and I just disagree about whether this compromise is reasonable.

And I'll have to say I don't get your other point...that the Mulsim women have to "earn" their accomadation? They should have to protest, stage sit-ins, or go to court to earn their modest reward? Seems like they saw an issue, asked for a remedy, and got one. Doesn't seem fair to take it out on them because Harvard decided to be reasonable about it.

cloverboi: Let's leave the straw men on the Yellowbrick Road. These are very silly examples. Where you and I disagree is merely in degree. I don't see a few hours set aside on the gym schedule as the equivalent of stoning, perjury, or yelling "movie" in a crowded firehouse. I would guess that you don't either.

Again, you've got to pick your battles. I don't like that I can't buy alcohol before noon on Sunday, especially when there's a good football lineup. I think it's a stupid, antiquated law designed to force someone else's morality on me. But is this where I draw a line in the sand? Do I *really* need that beer so badly? It's inconvenient, but I know the law and it shouldn't really be that hard for me to plan around it. If you cry "wolf!" about this and every other instance where situations deviate from a perfectly fair society, then you eventually just become part of the background noise and eaisly ignored.

Out of Conference said...

T9 - regarding Christians forcing their views on others. - I would tend to agree that to a non-Christian, it could seem threatening, but it is the status quo. A departure from that would impact more people than staying the ship.
What would John Stuart Mill say about that? A train heading for an intersection. You're in charge of the switch, do you let it mow down a million people or a few?

Out of Conference said...

Oh, and I agree that some boobs here would be nice (even embraces by a shirtless Tom Brady for Catie and T9)

Out of Conference said...

embraces = embraced

TitleIX said...

oh no, OOC. I'd leave the switch be--greater good and all that.
but, I might also try to figure out a way moving forward how to avoid that problem in the future.

My point really was that even though the vast majority of Americans (who are Christian) don't forcibly or purposely impose their beliefs on people it's still there de facto.
I find that when someone points it out, it can rankle a bit, since I'm pointing out that what many people consider the norm and therefore dear to one's identity isn't really universally shared. It's kinda like when I first realized that all guys weren't circumcised...big wakeup call, cuz in my world everyone gets the snip at 8 days of age.

But my comments weren't about throwing the baby out with the bathwater on this one.

I think that if it had been anything other than Muslim women making this request it wouldn't have garnered so much attention and angst.
And, I wonder about the intent of these women as some could propose that they "played a religion card" (to use some heinous vernacular) to get the change they desired.

I wonder, moving forward, if this change doesn't also produce some useful, yet unintended consequences? Will many women at Harvard, not just muslim, avail themselves of the opportunity to workout in an all female environment???? I'm betting that these new hours will generate a whole lot more traffic than just the 6 women who originally requested the change....

However, from a 20,000 ft. educational view, this is a great lesson for all students on campus as it provides an opportunity for advocacy, policy change, cross-positional dialogue etc etc.
Having been involved in just such a 'movement' as a graduate student to adjust library hours here on campus, I recall my righteous justification for my efforts.
The reality???

No one used the library when we got the administration to keep it open....and it went back to normal hours.

These women better be work-out fiends! or their efforts will have gone for naught. :-)

Bigasshammm said...

I make 32% of what my wife makes. Should I be ashamed?
Does that make me the woman of our relationship?
If so perhaps I will change faith so I may workout at this secluded gym I heard about today. Sure it's a little drive for me but I think it's worth it.
Seriously though you can bet some law students there are picking this apart right now to get their name out there.

Jim said...

What would John Stuart Hill say? He'd probably explain that "harm" does not equal "inconvenience," then we'd all share a good laugh at the equation of gym schedules and railway disasters.

Seriously people, with these analogies...

Joshua said...

You should always buy your Sunday beer on Saturday. After all, you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning. Or at least that's what I've been told. Me- I just wait until Happy Hour. It's the reason I get up every afternoon.

TitleIX said...

oh jimmies gonna LOVE my circumcision analogy! tee hee

and hambone: unless you birthed cutie pie hamlet, your wife still gets credit for womanhood.
and you, sir, get big props for marrying rich! :-)

dabearbus said...

[Lighten up before reading people!]

I find it kind of funny that a University that has coed restrooms in the dormitories has this kind of issue. Are there specified bathroom hours in the dorm for these women as well? Just asking.

[Remain lightened up]

Yost, I’m with you. This is a little ridiculous. Let’s put this argument another way:

My religion believes homosexuality to be immoral. Therefore, I don’t think I should be in an environment like a locker room with a homosexual. The University gym is the only place I can go to exercise, so I’m going to petition the University to make sure that there are designated hours (3 times a week) where homosexuals aren’t allowed in the locker room so that my religious views are respected. Also, no way are you sneaking any of those homosexuals on staff. I want an all-straight staff on hand to assist me should I need it.

Seriously, how ridiculous does that sound? But it’s the same thing in principle. The real difference between the Harvard case and the example above is that my example is less politically correct than accommodating what society deems to be a legitimate religious belief/practice. Harvard’s responsibility is to accommodate all students in an equal manner. Nothing about this is remotely equal. If these women want to work out in a all-woman environment that’s not the responsibility of Harvard to provide, unless they are already catering similarly to another group of people. That’s the deal. Someone needs to tell these girls that Harvard’s gym isn’t Burger King, and they can’t always have it their way. Yost is dead on as to why they weren’t told this in the first place (I would expect someone from a place like Harvard could do it, but maybe with a little more tact).

Someone brought up Curves and their all-female focus. Get real. This is a private business marketing to women vs. a University (albeit a private one) specifically excluding men at given hours. You’re telling me Curves wouldn’t have a discrimination lawsuit on their hands if they refused membership to a man? Hooters was sued a few years ago for not allowing a man to apply for a food service position (as ridiculous as that is). If that can happen, wouldn’t Curves have the same problem? I know a few lawyers who would be licking their chops for that opportunity…

That same person brought up income disparity in the workplace. No one said this was fair. So where did that comment come from? What? Yost didn’t complain about that on his COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND SPORTS BLOG and you’re all upset? Tell you what. I think Yost wrote a well informed post on Comcast, the internet, and choice enabled by free markets. Check that one out and then go choose CNN.com if that’s what you’d prefer to read about. Slinky! Snorkel! Investment fraud! See, I can throw out random stuff too!

[Ok, misinterpret my examples, denounce me as a bigot for bringing them up, and berate me mercilessly.]

PUBoiler78 said...

Are there like 15 student gyms at Michigan or something?

At Purdue, we have one that's free to the student body. There's other gyms in the area, but you have to pay. So I find the whole argument that there's gyms out there for them to go to kinda pointless as (and I'm assuming here based on my experiences) the Harvard gym is the only one they can go to for free.

I don't feel strongly on either side of this, but lean towards this being not that big of a deal. I've enjoyed reading the debate though.

dabearbus said...

There are 3. NCRB on North Campus, CCRB on Central Campus and the IM Building South of Campus.

This wouldn't be an issue for anything but convenience at Michigan (i.e. some people live closer to the one that has these designated hours and are opposed to walking further or taking the bus to another gym). That said, I think having one gym only heightens Yost's point that this is inherently discriminatory unless similar hours are offered to any group seeking them.

Joshua said...

"I make 32% of what my wife makes. Should I be ashamed?
Does that make me the woman of our relationship?"

I can't answer this for you, but maybe you can answer something for me. I frequently hear this situation referred to as the woman "wearing the pants" in that relationship. Is this something you should warn us single guys about? I mean, when you get married do they present you with a single pair of pants to share? If so do they have a special name, like Marital Trousers or The Breeches of the Holy Union?

I'm truly curious about this, as I'm searching for a soulmate, and if we're gonna be sharing one pair of pants maybe I should start introducing myslef while pantless. At least that way she'll know what she's getting herself into.

Out of Conference said...

"Now, H.I., just who wears the pants in this marriage?"

As for "if it were Christian girls asking for no-men time at the gym...", who's to say they haven't. What's your guess if 6 Baptist girls from the South walked into Harvard's admin office and asked for a few hours a week for no-men time at the gym? I see 6 girls getting sat down and explained that Harvard is about diversity, about everyone being one big happy family, yadda, yadda, yadda.

And Jim, the exact analogy from Philosophy 101 when we were studying John Stuart Mill was the train with a choice to hit either Dorothy and Toto or a group of the world's smartest scientists. The discussion was which choice had the most units of utility, or utils, and whether that should always be the determination of a decision.

Remdog said...

TitleIX wrote:

remy remy remy....
"religion belongs at home" huh?
kinda like the barefoot pregnant women who have made "choices" about their place in our free market economy????

That's right. In other words, "don't force your delusions on other people."

Women do have "choices" - arguably more than men. Whether it comes to birth control, fighting on the frontlines or whether to have a career or stay at home, women generally have MORE choices than men today. Period.

here's a bit of data for you remy from that venerable source wikipedia...
"So, for example, in 2004 the median income of full-time year round (FTYR) male workers was $40,798, compared to $31,223 for FTYR female workers (DeNavas-Walt et al, 2005). 31,223 divided by 40,798 is .765, so the gender earnings gap in 2004 was .765. This is often expressed as a percentage: e.g., "in 2004, women's wages were 76.5% of men's wages," or "in 2004, women earned 23.5% less than men earned."

I know the data. Exhuastive research shows that the disparity is ENTIRELY accounted for by choices that women FREELY make.

so while women make "choices" regarding what majors to pursue in college, those "choices" are generally based on gender-norms as dictated by society thereby limiting women to 'choices' with lower pay structures. Can anyone say TEACHERS??? NURSING??? PEDIATRICIANS??? SIDELINE REPORTERS???

Come on. The best you can come up with is "gender norms." There are basic biological differences between men and women that drive some career decisions. I don't dispute that - BUT that's life. In addition, women tend to take certain jobs that may be less dangerous or less physically demanding - possibly due to physical differences. Again, that's just the way it is. Any attempt to social engineer away the impact of these difference is unwise and will lead to greater problems. Bottom line - women may be influenced somewhat by societal expectations ("gender norms") but nobody forces them to make career decisions based on "gender norms."

and, believe it or not remy not everyone goes to college. If one considers the difference in pay for manufacturing jobs, the disparity still exists for the same work performed....
In a UN report, Japanese women earned 60% of their male counterparts in manufacturing. Denmark 87%, Germany 74%, and the UK 79%......

Again. The data show that the difference in pay is accounted for by choices women make - length of commute, time off from, the physical demands of the job. As for international data, I think its best to stick to the US. In other countries, most notably the Middle East, there may be serious limitations on women's rights.

I'll just go back to being irrelevant and ill-informed now.

Since the discussion was originally about gender discrimination in university gym access, I do see this discussion as off-topic and not relevant.

I understand your "outrage" but it comes from looking at raw data without looking at all the factors that determine the data.

Again, you might want to pick up the book.

We may have to agree to disagree.

I just think (from a libertarian point of view) that men and women should be free to make decisions/choices even if it doesn't yield equal pay.

Remdog said...

Joshua wrote:

Damn you Remy, you went over the invisible Way-Too-Stupid Line and ruined my fun. I'd really appreciate it if next time you can be 10-15% less idiotic.

A notably welcome side effect of this would be your ability to wear a t-shirt that says "REMY- Now with 10-15% less idiocy!

I fail to see the idiocy in stating facts.

See my last comments for some libertarian wisdom.

By the way, it's REMDOG or REMDAWG but not REMY.

Bigasshammm said...

Joshua my boy they are called "Nuptial Knickers" and they look a little like a cross between Skids and those tights that Kobe Bryant wore last year playing basketball. Really though my advice to you, the same I give all my friends, "Dude don't do it." I never explain any further than that as it is not needed and you'll find out yourself. :)

T9 I married rich for the time being but that is only because I am in part time limbo at my job waiting for the big nod for full time where I will once again be the bread winner. Stupid union contracts and there rules. Now had I gone into management years ago I'd probably be full time now and making more than I could imagine. Ah stupidity!

Jim said...

OOC: Ah, wrong principle. That actually makes much more sense.

whetstonebuck said...

"What would John Stuart Mill say about that? A train heading for an intersection. You're in charge of the switch, do you let it mow down a million people or a few?"

Depends. Are the million people wearing keffiyehs?

Joshua said...

Nuptial Knickers. I believe I've been out-sillyed for once. That term will now enter my ever-expanding vocabulary, and I cannot wait to use it in an effort to get into someone's knickers. Never underestimate the use of complete and utter silliness when it comes to the pursuit for the holy grail. Trust me on this, I once parlayed my love for Oatmeal Raisin cookies into an invitation to go hot tubbing at the Ritz Carlton with 11 lingerie and swimsuit models. Good times.

Joshua said...

Remdog, Remdawg, Remi-tiki-taffy, Remi-didi-ding-dong:

I fail to see the truthiness in your statements, but would be remiss if I didn't wholeheartedly apologize for offending your Remtastic sensibilities. Really.

arachesostufo said...

tolleranza zero.

dizzle said...

As far as I'm concerned the islamic religion is the cause of 9/11 and the war in Iraq. The very same as the Jewish religion is the cause of the Holocaust. Without religion the world would be a much more peaceful place. The government should start promoting Atheism to end any current and future wars.

Aside from that I think this is blatant sexism under the title of tolerance as yost said. If these womwn are so stupid as to think they are not equal to men then maybe they should have they're rights revoked.

Michigan Jack said...

As a Muslim, i feel like it is the responsibility of these women to find a way to accomodate their desires into the fabric of the mainstream community. Nothing annoys me more than to hear someone complain about how "Islamopohbic" someone is because they don't get an extra hour of lunch to "go to prayer". To be fair, however, I think there must be a certain effort a pluralistic society must make to accomodate all peoples. To appeal only to the majority concentrate those who follow the ruling ideology - killing the diversity of thought that makes America great.

Joshua said...

M Jack,
That is one of the most succinct, logical and wise comments I have ever read. Kudos to you sir.

Mikoyan said...

Hmmm, it's funny, when our women go over to an Islamic country they don't expect to be able to wander around without wearing the headscarves or burqas or whatever because they'll get stoned (and not in the good way). So why is it when they come over here, we're supposed to bend over backwards to accomodate them?

What's even funnier is the PC reaction to this. If this were a Christian Bible study group, they'd be told to go pound salt and the PC folks would applaud that decision. No cries of tolerance there.

And yes, there is talk of this sort of accomodation at public institutions. Doesn't UM-Dearborn want to put footbaths up?

Phil said...

To all who think its no big deal to segregate the gym for a few hours per week I would like to ask: is it OK to convert a student lounge into a Muslim prayer room and limit usage of it by others; or is it OK to install a Muslim foot bath in a public restroom and limit access to that facility; is it OK to allow Muslim cashiers to refuse to ring up alcohol purchases; and is it OK to allow Muslim cab drivers to refuse to transport luggage with that duty-free bottle of vodka you purchased on the way home? All of these are happing now. Is there no limit to Muslim intrusion into your rights to access public facilities or services?

It is interesting to read the writings of the PC poisoned mind. In them, there is always a justification for defending the obvious wrong being committed; usually its all Chimpy BushHitler's fault because we're in Iraq.

The most mind-bending part is the lefty-bot rote defense of all things Islamic. Here you see the "progressives", "feminists", etc. siding with a culture that allows or even promotes medieval practices regarding the treatment of women and gays ... genital mutilation of young girls in Africa, stoning to death of rape victims in Pakistan, public execution of gay men in Iran, no rights to education for women in Afghanistan, no freedom drink a latte at the coffee shop with a male co-worker for women in Saudi Arabia. This is reality in Islamic culture today. It was the reality 10 centuries ago.

But it's all justifiable because Bush went into Iraq (with the full consent of Congress) ...

Joshua said...


So why is it when they come over here, we're supposed to bend over backwards to accomodate (sic) them?

Ever think that maybe they were born here? If not than you should.

Tom C said...

Wow! Now that I've seen the heavy hitters come out and do battle, all I can say is.....yawn!
MMMMHMMMMHMMM I love this bar!

TitleIX said...

yeah interesting how this discussion has become a clash of the trolls

and since we are dissing religions + marriage---joshua if you become a mormon you actually WILL have to wear matrimonial knickers. I kid you not.....

Tom C said...

What I find most interesting is that there is a bit of troll in all of us. Some hide it better then others and some don't even try. I for one know that I'm a biggot about some things. Not proud of it and working on it but know I'll never fix all of it. It's part of what makes me Me.
As for this debate about the Gym, I see no problem with seprate time but not for a religous reason. As for Islam, I have only daughters. I have no use for it or its teachings.

carl tabb said...

Who, exactly, are the "trolls", T9? Anybody that's not in the 6-8 people of the "shoulda been best community" of the blogger awards?
I found it quite enjoyable to see a very smart person in Remdawg take your femi-Nazi rhetoric and knock it out of the park. I also found it refreshing that he wasn't at all intimidated by your shrill "women rule and men are always wrong" responses. Remdawg took your argument and knocked it into the bleachers. Phil then took it and threw it over the wall into the parking lot. They said what I think better than I ever could.
Spouting impressive words and hiding behind one of the biggest PC pitfalls -feminism - doesn't make you right. A lot of your posts are intelligent but too often it seems you resort to "I'm a woman and that makes me right so how dare you disagree"?
I'm sure you'll come roaring back with some witty and well-written reply and your "best community" brethren will warn me of how it's gonna get ugly. Your vocabulary is impressive but it doesn't take a UM degree to see common sense. That's all fine and good. You have your opinion and I have mine. I may not be as eloquent stating it but it doesn't me a sexist or any less right or more wrong.
By the way, a good community doesn't really involve the same people of the same thinking stroking each other post after post and calling anybody not in the "big six" (or whatever) trolls. I'm sure I'll be "da braylonized" now but that's fine. I'll now go back to my regular routine of reading and not posting.

TitleIX said...

hi carl! good to see you buddy. It's been a while since you've made some comments. glad to see you contribute.

troll = a new name on this board who when clicked upon is clearly a 'new' member to blogger and/or hiding behind a pseudonym. or, someone who hasn't ever participated in the discussions here and then all of a sudden shows up

you carl, are no troll.

TitleIX said...

and I'm lost here a bit.
are we upset because it's Muslims that are dictating the hours in the gym
or are we upset because it's women dictating hours in the gym?

cuz from the very git-go I said that this was an interesting conundrum and that I wasn't really sure where I fall on the issue. And I said "I totally hear where you are coming from on this one Yost" And I posited that the core of the issue was modesty not really muslims.

call me all the names you'd like gentlemen. Fling all the invectives at me you can think of. I particularly like the Russia-Nazi-feminist-liberalbot categorization. Precious. Truly.

Carry on.

Bigasshammm said...

Keeping with the religious debate but moving away from angry Muslim bashing I ask this question....

Since the nation has taken it upon itself to basically try to ban God from everything from sporting events, paper currency, national pledges, and Knicker Nuptial ceremonies, why is it that in Nascar (suddenly the countries biggest sport aside from football) is it ok to have a local Clergyman recite prayer before each race. I've seen some stupid people complain about some stupid things when regarding religion and yet year after year goes by and I never see or hear anyone complain about the prayer in Nascar.
I just don't get it.


PS: For those of you who were trapped in the big penis shaped cloud of terror this weekend join me in saying Fuck snow! I'm sick of it.
Pardon my English since I don't think f-ck is a French word.

Bigasshammm said...

This just in...

Head on over to ESPN.com and vote in the "greatest rivalry in sports poll." Sadly To$u vs MI is second place to Red Sox Yankees but maybe we can ketchup.

Bigasshammm said...



stupid WVU

TitleIX said...

On it, Ham, thanks. More snow means higher lake levels....that's the only pony I can find in this pile of snow shit!

Anybody else watch the UCLA v. Cal men's b-ball game????
Borseth's little tired sure fired up UCLA and their offensive rebounding---particularly in the last few minutes of the game.

I smell March Madness coming....

word verification? nanok

TitleIX said...

*tired = tirade

carl tabb said...

Agreed with the lake levels.
Snow is fun for the first 2 or 3 storms of the year, then it's kinda "meh" turning into "knock it off, already"!
My main gripe isn't muslim or women, it's a very small minority possibly interferring with the majority. I guess I would politely tell the women to find a time when there's little to no men around.
My company has a fitness room in the building that a lot of people use at all times of the day - employees and friends/family of employees. My family owns the company so I could conceivably work the availability hours to fit my schedule. I'm 20 pounds overweight and I'd love to run the treadmill to get back in the sleek jungle cat shape I used to be in. I'd rather not have anybody around when I work out because my battered ego prefers that. I can't seem to find a convenient time where there's no one around so I suffer in silence because what right do I have to limit someone else's access? I could probably legally do it but that's just not how I get down. That's all my problem is with this situation.

Out of Conference said...

I once got hoodwinked by three goats trying to cross my bridge to go eat sweet green grass on the other side, does that make me a troll?

Mikoyan said...

I will be perfectly honest, I have a problem with them being Muslims and asking for this. Every year, we have lawsuits because certain groups either want to or display a manger on public property (I'm of the opinion they can do that at their church), we've had lawsuits because groups wanted to have Bible Studies in a school library (As an independent activity, I don't have a problem with this as long as they aren't being disruptive), we've had lawsuits over non-denominational (but Christian) prayers before events (This is crossing a line for me, but I understand why they do it). All in the name of tolerance. Yet these people don't have a problem with Muslims imposing their laws on something. If it's good for the Goose, it should be good for the Gander.

And yes, I realize those folks may have been born here but I suspect if they were, they aren't as strict as the people who come from the Middle East. IF they are going to say there is a separation of Church and State, then that should mean it applies to any religion. Although I realize this is a bid mucky because Harvard is a private university.

carl tabb said...

Well played, mikoyan.
Here's a question: why is it that when someone mentions Islam most people get the vision of a freak with a backpack full of C-4 sprinting into a Walmart and when someone mentions Muslim you get the vision of Kareem Abdul Jabaar sweating his balls off in a cockpit with Peter Graves asking Billy if he's ever seen a grown man naked? Just curious, but aren't they the same thing? I'm not too proud to say that if there's a difference between the Walmart guy and Kareem I don't know it.

carl tabb said...

bigasshammmmmmmmmmm, nice pic. I don't know how many that makes for you but enjoy it while it lasts. I've got a boy at 4 and a girl at 2with a boy on the way. Adopting them out is still an option (not really - how can you live without those little bundles of heck?!)
Being merely a NASCAR Fantasy guy who doesn't pay attention to the races any farther than the last two laps if I can remember to tune in - and pick Jeff Gordan or Jimmie Johnson, I do read enough about it that it is a very privately run organization. Tradition and Southern whatchamacallit pretty much dominate the way NASCAR does things. NASCAR is very much the epiotome of a family run orginization and the way they see it is if you don't like it you can go piss up a rope. That's how they get away with the invocation. I'm sure you knew that but I wanted to qualify my position on the matter.

Joshua said...

"....and your "best community" brethren will warn me of how it's gonna get ugly."

I'm assuming this is pointed at me as I tend to be the one who makes those comments. For the record, I never said I agree with T9 and would not stick up for her if I disagreed. I just look forward to the verbal head explosions we get on occasion.

There is a small community of regular posters here, but all my inclusion in that means to me is that I have less of a life than you do. Well, at least that I have a job that allows me regular access, and as an aspiring writer I spend a lot of my free time in front of the computer as well.

One thing I love about this site is the intellectual interaction by the commenters. This is obviously a contentious topic and important to a lot of people, so new names are bound to pop up- I just hope we see more of them.

I'm still not sure where I stand on the issue at large, I think M Jack's commenter's illustrated the competing thoughts many of us probably have. I do, however, think that a religious observation and your feeling uncomfortable are on two entirely different plains.

Joshua said...

Oh, and congrats on the little one on the way- i hadn't read that far.

Ham, I refuse to believe in a God who'd make everyone turn left. I believe in a right to choose which way you'll turn.

That last second shot- from behind the basket(??!!!!) craziness. And me as a Mormon? I'd drink to that. ;)

carl tabb said...

You are a study in observation, Joshua. You nailed the whole "pointed at you" thing on the head regarding my maybe-too-harsh shot at T9. I actually respect the hell out of her.
If you read my reply to the hammmmmmm you'll no doubt see that you have much more of a life than I. (Although what the hell are you doing here at midnight?!)I really look forward to seeing your crazy-ass drivel on this board-the Princess Bride quote(s) remind me of better days. Plus, you're hilarious. The only thing is that politics can piss off someone like religion never could. That's why I came out of the rare poster to suddenly 3+ tonight zone. And, to tell you the truth, I did kinda look forward to T9's response to the first Remdawg post, as well. For different reasons though, just 'cause there's nothing like a little on-line sparring.
You are exactly right with the intellectual mettle of this group. They (we?) make Mgoblog and Hailvictors look like pre-schoolers. Yes, I'm a grizzled veteran of the former sackcarr.com-turned-hailvictors.com group.
MJack was right on. There is such a fine line between religous intolerence and tolerence. If we bend over backward for Muslims, why can't there be prayer in schools?

jcloverboi said...

how many posts does it take to lose "troll" status? I was initially drawn to this blog because of the Cowherd plagiarism story (that Wonderlic test still makes me chortle), but I've continued to read for the humor and only recently signed up for an account to begin posting. Please bear in mind that UGA is my alma mater and Penn St. is what i was raised on--i have no reason to come back here from a purely pro-UM standpoint, but the intelligent dialogue (particularly on this subject), insightful football analysis, anti-OSU sentiment, downright hilarious off-topic posts, and (with apologies to T9 and Catie) hot chicks for no other reason that they're hot. It's a winning combo that leaves me wanting more. i sincerely hope this doesn't make me a troll, but if so i guess i'll polish my oversized club and find some lost/disoriented schoolchildren to feast upon should they happen upon my bridge.

TitleIX said...


so personally, I have no qualms with someone offering up a prayer for saftety before those guys get into a car and hurtle around a track at 200 miles an hour.
Seems like necessary gear to me---safety belt? check, helmet? check, 5-point harness? check, protection from G-d? check!?

To me, religion is like a bunch of different languages all trying to get to the same place.

whetstonebuck said...

"I'm not too proud to say that if there's a difference between the Walmart guy and Kareem I don't know it."

Education: the universal fix-all.

Kareem's education consisted of a B.A. in History. He minored in moral integrity under John Wooden.

The Walmart guy's education was in a school that offered a major in hate and a minor in suicide bombing. Of course the prof never actually experienced suicide bombing. Those that can...do. Those that can't...hold on to their entrails.

Tom C said...

gkfjnduOOC "hoodwinked" If that makes you a troll then you're not a very good one.
jcloverboi... The troll tag is removed after two, count em two posts to this board. Unless T9 says no, then it's three. ;)

Out of Conference said...

Some not so PC levity (SFW except for language)


Tom C said...

Hmmm I wondered where that word verification thing went! It's in front of OOC.

Shorty the Beachcomber said...

A few things I've learned from living in the Middle East for your knowledge:

1. Living here is like going back in time. The technology is more relevant to today, but overall the feeling in the more heavliy non-westernized parts is one of feudal times... aka the middle ages.

2. People here can be nice, but that does not mean you should trust anyone just the same. The people who get visas rejected to come to the USA are the same ones at the protests in town chanting, "Death to America" and making throat slash signals at you. The next week they're back to request another entry visa. Lack of proper education here breeds their ignorance.

3. While some people can be friendly and you feel would be great Americans (especially compared to the lack of effort to assimilate by the current illegals) others (the conservative muslim movements here) still preach the destruction of the west.

4. DYK? The riots in Tehran and Islamabad in '79 were started when the local radio broadcast that the U.S. had blown up the Holy Mosque in Mecca. At least one American died and no rioters were prosecuted, while one (Ahmenijad) is now the leader of Iran.

5. The women would like an education in a lot of parts of the middle east and are so trained in others to serve only the men in their families that they don't even know they are being persecuted. They are so fundamentally trained to not care about or think for themselves.

6. The men in this religion/region are so mistrusting of one another that inbreeding is still a major problem (My cook's wife was his first cousin... she just passed away... and birth defects are very real). The men like to control their women, and run their clans like a tribe and keep it "all in the family."

7. It's true that in a lot of places including Iraq that women are generally regarded as baby factories and the men are for pleasure. Most of the signal traffic intercepted in the beginning stages of the Iraq war was male on male phone sex between Iraqi officers.

8. There are no homosexuals. If you produce children with a wife then you are straight no matter what. The following is a true account between a State Dept employee and his interpreter in Iraq, (interpreter) "You know how I know [that guy] is gay?"
(American) "How?"
(int) "Because I F*ed him in the a$$ last night."
You are not gay if you pitch, only if you catch.

9. While I have been in many places in the middle east it is one of our allies that disturbes me the most... Saudi. In Saudi you cannot congregate in public in groups larger than three. You cannot talk to or look at the opposite sex in public unless they are a relative. You cannot even eat in the same section in a restaurant. Women can't drive. They treat foreigners who are not white like absolute dog Sh!t. Almost every law there is made with a conservative zeal towards the religion so as to protect the ruling family's power base by isolating the masses from themselves. They still have public squares for chopping off hands and public beheadings. The population/people are either quietly against the laws or just plain hippocrites as millions cross over to Bahrain, U.A.E. and other countries to get drunk, high and participate in sexual debauchery. You couldn't pay me to go to Saudi again.

10. The middle east has promise, but to break their own greater paranoia (of us) and to have them release themselves of these great injustices to their own people we cannot win any war with weapons or force... it must be done with encouragement, support, and school books. Their attitudes and behaviors are medieval in nature to a large extent due to widespread illiteracy and the lies told to the masses by the conservative religious figures who wish to keep things, miserably, the way they are.

11. No matter what you think you know I quote Plato, "Don't tell me what you know, tell me where you've been." I've both studied a culture and now gone out and lived it, and I tell you what, a textbook has nothing on and cannot teach you a million truths about the real thing. Islam is supposed to be peaceful and tolerant but widespread illiteracy and ignorance has severely crippled it's own self. Any poll or news topic on Islam is almost always garnered from a densely populated and therefore likely a more tolerant area. There are many more rural regions without a mainstream voice that advocate extreme violence and suppression. But there is still goodness here... and hope.

katherine said...

Whoever said women who don't wear headscarves overseas in the Middle East get stoned is highly misinformed. Flat out. I don't know where you get this stuff from, but as an Arab Christian who often visits my parents' home country in Jordan, I have never been ridiculed or abused or even so much as looked down upon by anyone.

Though, the poster above me is correct about some portions of the middle east (namingly Saudi and Persian lands to the north) and some sects of Islam, make no assumption that all women who wear headscarves/practice modesty are only wearing them b/c they are forced to. That's just false. Not to mention, the majority of Arab Muslims in America come from Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Syria (as opposed to the more conservitive areas that Shorty explained such as S.A., Yemen, Afghanistan, and Iran/Persia). As an irrelevant aside, the majority of Muslims residing in America are South Asian, African American, not Middle Eastern.

You all talk about how Islamic women are treated poorly and have no freedom, but that is also untrue for a great majority of the Muslim women I know. Here, in America, women are often treated like sex objects...yet because Muslim women choose to cover their bodies, they are perceived as "less free" than modern American women of other faiths. I don't know about you, but wearing a bikini at the beach and having guys sort of "rape" you with their eyes sounds like a different type of oppression. Personally, I don't mind it, that's just our culture and I'm used to it, but it doesn't mean we're less oppressed. It's just a different type of "oppression."

However, it's terribly one-sided to believe Muslim women are oppressed just because they dress and act modestly. The fact that they aren't openly lusted after by men who aren't their husbands b/c of skant clothing is a form of empowerment that many American women do not enjoy. The notion of freedom is highly relative in this case.

Many of you have used the term "medieval" with regards to the way Muslims act, but if Jews and Christians, namingly women of these faiths, acted more according to the Torah/Bible, we'd see a lot more modesty in our culture. In fact, many "Christian" and "Jewish" women act more in line with the Torah/Bible's descriptions of heathens than devout Christians/Jews. But that's another story.

Some of you keep bringing up the fact that "well what if it was Christian Man that wanted a separate time, huh???", but as T9 said, it's already that way in de facto. The majority gets to practice in the way that they want to, but parts of the minority cannot and are forced to conform. Just because the majority is in-line with it, doesn't mean it isn't oppressive to those who cannot train in mainstream conditions. Modesty is not medieval. I don't think it's too much to ask for a few hours in one gym that it is all women. Eventually, if no other women but these 6 women show up on a regular basis, then sure, close it down b/c that would be unfair to simply close it off for 6 women. But to simply request it and try it out, there's nothing wrong with that.

People who complain about how if a member of the majority asked for this, they'd be laughed at or considered a racist or bigot. Fact of the matter is, I can't even think of how many un-earned privledges members of the majority are given. Down to the color of the bandaids offered at the drugstore that match your skin color, people who live in the majority rarely have to ask for anything...it's given, because in a democracy, the majority gets the main say simply because they're they majority. I'm not saying this is wrong by any means. However, for a minority group to at least request a privledge, is not wrong in the least. This is especially the case if it isn't a pressing issue.

Joshua said...

Oh don't worry Carl, I feed my inner idiot with the kids over at MGoblog quite frequently.

You're question about me being home at midnight on a Saturday cracked me up- it's not ALWAYS models and oatmeal raisin cookies around here. Although if you find a way to have models bake me oatmeal raisin cookies I think we could put this whole "religion" silliness to bed and start building statues of you right now.

As for what I was doing home and on the computer that late, let's just say some nice people at Bodog decided to pay my next 3 months of internet and cell phone service.

The voice of reason from a Buckeye. I still can't get used to it. It's like a stoner expounding on the evils of eating an entire bag of Doritos in one sitting.

Joshua said...

Wow. Sometimes the level of intelligence in this place astounds me. In a good way.

Well, myself aside of course- I'm always astounded by me. :)

Joshua said...

And that after using the incorrect version of "your". Completely astounding that.

katherine said...

"The most mind-bending part is the lefty-bot rote defense of all things Islamic. Here you see the "progressives", "feminists", etc. siding with a culture that allows or even promotes medieval practices regarding the treatment of women and gays ... genital mutilation of young girls in Africa, stoning to death of rape victims in Pakistan, public execution of gay men in Iran, no rights to education for women in Afghanistan, no freedom drink a latte at the coffee shop with a male co-worker for women in Saudi Arabia. This is reality in Islamic culture today. It was the reality 10 centuries ago."

Uh...wrong? You say Islamic culture like it's some sort of concrete monolith. This is a reality not in Islamic culture, but in certain nations' culture. Muslims in America are not forced to act according, yet overseas in some nations such as S.A., this is LAW. Not Islamic law, but government law and the misinterpretation of religion. You cite genital mutilation in Africa as your example...which leads me to believe you know nothing of Islam and their beliefs on this topic...as Shi'ite Muslims outwardly ban it. A very small sect of Muslims practice female genital mutilation, as well as small sects of extreme Christians and Jews, and they're all in Africa (coincidence?). You continue on with your diatribe saying (insert heinous act against humanity) happened in (insert offending country here). The countries, not the religion, dictated the hateful actions. So no, "progressives" and "feminists" are not siding with a religion that says it's okay to do those things, because the religion does not endorse those actions, those governments do. Don't get the two confused.

"So why is it when they come over here, we're supposed to bend over backwards to accomodate them?

Who is bending over backwards??? A few hours out of a day in one gym is bending over backwards? They asked for it, it wasn't just given to them as an un-earned privledge like the members of the majority are automatically given. African Americans asked for equal education in schools that the White schools were already getting. They asked (to put it lightly), and they got it. They federal government had to pay to accomodate their requests, did they not? What's the difference here? These ladies are paying tuition too, therefore they have, at the very least, right to ask for a setting that allows for modesty as they train. That's it...no bending over backwards.

Robert said...

Jihad on Yost!

TitleIX said...

Go katherine, adding a multitude of facets to this impressive discussion

goat7ed said...

/threadjack to Shorty...Thanks for being on the pointy end, Shorty. It can't be said enough. Stay safe.
/back to your regularly scheduled cfb discussion

Out of Conference said...

Katherine - A mighty fine poster here named Jim, called me out on my shitty analogies. So now I feel like I know a bad one when I see it- and your African American analogy about equal rights compared to the 6 Islamic women that want the gym ONLY to women for certain hours of the day is a pretty shitty one. As far as I can recall, blacks wanted (and certainly deserved) equal rights and to end segregation. They were thus granted the right to attend the same schools at the same hours as whites. Segregating the gym between women and men to accomodate a request by 6 Islamic women is not the same as a discriminated race deserving equal rights that whites received.
It is a not a bad policy to have women's hours, men's hours, and co-ed hours, but the way this came about smells fishy. I would bet good money that these women were not the very first to ask for women's only hours.

As far as band-aid colors, wtf? That's pretty rich. I just got a Honda Odyssey last summer. It's called, "Slate Green", but I swear it's silver. This is some of that Area 51 discrimination bullshit isn't it?!? I knew it. Those silver fucking martian men are keeping an earthling down. When's the next tinfoil hat meeting so I can go and learn what else I'm being kicked in the nuts over.

TitleIX said...

i'm an Elmo kinda band-aid girl myself but now I wonder why AREN'T there any chocolate hued band-aids???
things that make you go HMMMM.

all you marketing majors get on it!!!!!!

TitleIX said...

ah poopy
I'm I gonna get in trouble for saying 'chocolate'?????

TitleIX said...

oh, and while we are being xenophobes--what was with the LOS Spurs jerseys and the LOS Suns jerseys????

no really.

Feelin' Blue said...


The only practice of female circumcision in the Jewish world that has ever happened has been in some Ethiopian circles. This might take place because their strain of Judaism is quite removed from traditional rabbinic Judaism. (Because of historical changes in the falasha's religion, their physical location, and the fact that they were virtually unknown to European and Middle Eastern Jewry for most of history, it was pretty much impossible for them to be notified of rabbinical rulings. Their status as Jews has been a controversial issue that I won't discuss more of.) Those Ethiopians that do practice it have abandoned the practice after arriving in Israel. Don't project problems in Islam on other religions. Theo Van Gogh was murdered by extremists who obviously felt that female circumcision was an Islamic issue.

But I digress. Yes, religious customs are sometimes influenced by local cultures. Some attitudes in certain Islamic circles come from local tribal mentalities e.g. Pakistan or the ME. I know it sounds like I am simplifying things a bit but I am tired and I can't type much more on this. I acknowledge that it is a very complex issue.

And another thing: don't compare the blacks' struggle in the 60s to gain equality and just be able to drink from the same fountain as whites to attempts by a few religious girls to get separate gym time. This goes for both Jim and Katherine. I never equated any other religion's attempt to adapt to America with any struggle for freedom. There is a huge difference between fighting for political freedom and finding away to balance national and religious identities. I mean, one is a personal struggle and the other concerns human rights. Being shown preference and being given separate gym time is hardly a human rights victory, so stop insulting those who have actually had to suffer for basic human rights.

Feelin' Blue said...

Grammatical errors abound, but you all get the idea. I am tired.

jcloverboi said...

tom c,

in that case it's three--i don't want to incur T9's wrath.

Sgt. Wolverine said...

Ah, but there is diversity in bandages now:


katherine said...

I think I may have been misunderstood on the African American comparison...my point was to explain the fact that if someone wants something and advocates for it, it's not wrong to ask if it is a certain type of oppression. The norm was having unequal schooling, but they sought to change the norm, as it wasn't very accomodating. Again, the ladies pay tuition there too, they at least request things that they want. Until there's proof that other women asked for separate times, I choose not to believe so.

There was a time where men and women did not train in the same areas. There still exists a time in which men and women do not dorm together and do not have co-ed bathrooms. There isn't that much of a difference here, as much of the clothing worn to train is not considered that much different from certain underware. I really do think the issue is the fact that they are Muslim. Who cares about what lead them to want separate times for women, fact is, in theory, it's not a bad idea. Just admit it, the Muslim thing bothers you. Like T9 and I have stated, if more women don't utilize this time along with the Muslim women, I'm sure it will not last long. If it does, then you have a real issue to discuss.

As far as Theo Van Gogh is concerned, you must've not seen "Submission," because it did not even speak of female genital mutilation. It talked about a husband beating his wife and how the men in Islam can do no wrong, and women rarely can do right. It was mostly about domestic violence and oppression of women in conservative Islamic culture, but he depicted Islam as a whole as a savage religion in his film. It also depicted a woman basically dennouncing God and his power. If you are a religious person, that's going to strike a major nerve.

Some of you throw around "Islamic extremist" like it's the norm in the religion. There's a reason why it's called "extreme" and not "moderate." Creating that film (which again, depicts Muslim extremism yet acts as though it is characteristic of the entire religion), and calling Muslims "goat f***ers" doesn't exactly get you liked around Islamic circles. Those extremists you mention, (you know, the Muslims who do extreme things), were clearly pissed off about it. Anyway, murder is never justified. However, it is unfair to speak for the religion (especially when referring to 6 female Muslim Harvard students) when talking about the murder of Theo van Gogh. Especially b/c it did not even mention female circumcision.

As for basic human rights...what exactly are those? Life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness? If that is the case, they certainly were fighting for basic human rights to train in an area that was modestly approved for a couple hours a day. Well, these ladies pursued "happiness" (which in this case was to train in a modest environment), and they got it. Basically, there's no slippery slope, that's about as straw-man as you can get.

This isn't a large issue other than the fact that their modest lifestyle is attributed to their religion. That's all there is to it. For me, it matters not why they choose to be modest, but if they want to use their right as tuition paying students to request hours in which they can train in one gym w/o the presence of males, then I don't see the big deal w/ that one.

Vadatripp said...

Uh, can I get that boobies pic now, Yost? Thanks!

Feelin' Blue said...

You're right about Submission. I forgot that it wasn't about female circumcision. I actually have seen it. It was provocative, but that is no excuse to brutally murder someone. Even so, Hirsi Ali received numerous death threats for speaking out on issues about women in Islam. One filmmaker named Soraya Mire does address female circumcision and has received death threats.

Back to the main issue. I agree about the modesty thing, too, and I understand that Muslims attach high importance to it. That is fine. As someone who is quite familiar with Jewish law, I do not see the issue of modesty as foreign to me. But even if they were Jewish girls requesting separate gym hours, I would still groan. As my first post or so indicates, I would feel embarrassed that they would inconvenience others for their own personal beliefs. And you can play the female safety card as much as you like, but this is about personal preference. Had there been (God forbid) a real cause for concern about women's safety at gyms, then I would be all for it, but not on religious grounds. The whole thing just seems excessive, as if it is based on one conservative interpretation of Islamic law used as reason for creating inconveniences for others.

Feelin' Blue said...

Not about the women:

And WTF? I speak of an incident involving extremists and I am referring to the whole religion? People need to chill out. It is like it is un-PC to speak about anything bad committed by Muslims. It's like if I say something about the Crusades, then I must be calling all Christians murderous religious zealots. Or referring to the JDL is like suggesting that all Jews hold the same ideas.

I am no General Prothero; I am not disgusted by Islam. It uplifts and inspires about a billion people. And while clearly in the minority, extremists have had impact on events worldwide. Also troubling is the large minority that sympathizes with extreme views. See Britain for an example. There are tons of Muslims that have existed peacefully. Hell, one Jewish school in Britain is 1/4 Muslim or something like that. Still, there are Muslim extremist groups operating openly in Britain that would be illegal in other countries. This is a minority, but it is large enough to have its own mosques. This is when PC goes too far. The Brits are so afraid of insulting the Muslim population because of this small group.

And no, I am not suggesting any "solution" or such, and I am not some fearmongerer; I am just talking about how it is.

surrounded in columbus said...

boy. am i ever glad i was wrong about this topic and it didn't turn out to be about american views of islam instead of a gender issue.

Mikoyan said...

You know it's funny, a man put a crucifix in a jar of urine, he's able to walk free. Another person covers a picture of Mary with elephant dung and he's able to walk free. Saturday Night Live and various other comedy shows are constantly poking fun at Christians and they are walking free. Both South Park and Family Guy have shown images of God and Jesus and they walk free. There are several books and movies that portray Christianity in a less than flattering light and no death threats on them.

Salman Rushdie writes a book that some Muslims considered blasphemus and he still can't come out without a bodyguard. That Van Gogh guys does the same thing and he's dead. Then there were the Danish cartoons and we had all sorts of rioting and burning of embassies. But I suppose we can treat those as the acts of extremists, right? Never mind that there aren't many that criticize those actions. But I suppose in the willy nilly PC world, that's all okay because they are opressed.

unbelievable said...


"so while women make "choices" regarding what majors to pursue in college, those "choices" are generally based on gender-norms as dictated by society thereby limiting women to 'choices' with lower pay structures. Can anyone say TEACHERS??? NURSING??? PEDIATRICIANS??? SIDELINE REPORTERS???"

see, this is your problem...while men in college are busy taking math and science courses, you were clearly taking women's study courses and are now repeating their rubbish. and you wonder why men make more ON AVERAGE!

My point is that any women, who wants to, can receive the same education and high paying job as a man. Society can't force you to become a nurse, etc. In modern society there are many examples of successful women in all fields. Maybe, on avaerage, women (and men) have a tendency to pursue different interests -- what a shocker!

I will say this, in the past there WAS widespread discrimination against women in the workplace. Even today most CEOs are men, etc. As society moves forward, these things will be adjusted as more women compete in the workplace. (how many years ago did most CEO's start building their careers? -- probably in the 70s/80s, a time where women were still very much discriminated against)

*by the way, I'm talking about the US here. I don't know about other countries, their histories and cultures, and it isn't relevent to this discussion*