News Media Keeping MumThe traditional news media are maintaining a discreet silence, for the most part, about Harvard's radical experiment of
- Denying men their girl watching privileges while women exercise
- While allowing women to blatantly exhibit modest behavior
Bloggers Defending the Status QuoBlogs and op-ed are another story. A few of the headlines show that this blatant disregard for the right of young men to mix it up with half-clothed women isn't going unnoticed.
- "Harvard Caves To Six Female Muslim Students"
Hub Politics (March 2, 2008)
- "Sharia Law is Busting Out All Over"
Yid with a Lid (March 3, 2008) (Don't blame me: That's the name of the blog.)
- "Harvard and Segregation"
Lamplighter blog (March 2, 2008)
- "In Response to Muslim Demands, Harvard's Gym Now Has Women-Only Hours"
Western Standard (March 2, 2008)
- "Harvard Launches Separate But Equal Workout Hours So Muslim Women Can Keep Their 'Modesty' "
Mere Rhetoric (March 2, 2008)
- "Harvard to kowtow to Muslim women"
City-Data Forum > General Forums > Politics and Other Controversies (March 2, 2008)
(In case this post disappears as the page evolves, I'll quote the comment here: "Seriously. When will this stuff end? I have heard about creeping sharia, but this is getting ridiculous. It needs to stop NOW!!"
- "Islamists win segregation of women at Harvard"
Christian Action Network (no clear date)
The Fate of a Culture Hangs in the BalanceA common theme seems to be emerging here:
- "Harvard Caves"
- "Sharia Law"
- "Muslim Demands"
- "Separate But Equal"
- "Islamists" and "Segregation" (again)
The people who are so upset about this outbreak of modesty have a great deal to be concerned about. Harvard's accommodation of women who do not share the western cultural value that women are just like men, and should bounce their way through workouts in the company of men, is a flagrant violation of a politically correct standard which has stood for decades.
If this sort of defiance of the ideals which Gloria Steinem worked so hard to hammer into American culture spreads, who knows where it may end?
- Men may be forced to use separate locker rooms
(I lost track: did the unisex locker room ever get accepted?)
- Women may get the peculiar idea that they aren't just like men, except for the ability to bear children
- Worse, women may rebel against the standards of display which have enjoyed societal support since the days of the burning bra and the topless bathing suit
Personally, I can't say that I'm sorry.
Rights, Reason, and the Real WorldOne of the reasons I have respect for traditional Middle Eastern culture, and other 'less advanced' groups around the world, is that, for all their faults, they recognize that women aren't men, and that men aren't women.
Somewhere around Woodstock, American culture lost track of that fact.
It's only in the last decade or so in the west, that detailed studies of the human brain, and genetic studies, have forced an occasional and grudging acknowledgment that women can, on average, be distinguished from men. I knew that all along, but then I'm one of those people who developed an avid and enduring interest in women around the age of thirteen.
The War on Terror is, to a great extent, a conflict between two cultures.
On the one hand, there's western civilization, which places a great deal of importance on individual freedom. On the other, there's a segment of the Islamic world which doesn't seem to be able to tolerate anyone who doesn't do things exactly as their imams say they should.
I don't think there are many non-Muslim Americans who seriously doubt that some elements of traditional Islamic culture are going to have to be re-evaluated by Muslims.
I also think that western civilization must take a long, hard, and unemotional look at what is really important to personal freedom, what isn't, and what simply has no connection with the real world.
I wrote about Harvard and jiggling gymnasts earlier, in "Harvard Decision Threatens Collegiate Tradition: Girl Watching" (March 3, 2008).
Related posts, on Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror.