Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sexism?

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by Rashna, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion

    Francesca Hogi, 40, had settled into her aisle seat for the flight from New York to London when the man assigned to the adjoining window seat arrived and refused to sit down. He said his religion prevented him from sitting beside a woman who was not his wife. Irritated but eager to get underway, she eventually agreed to move.

    Laura Heywood, 42, had a similar experience while traveling from San Diego to London via New York. She was in a middle seat — her husband had the aisle — when the man with the window seat in the same row asked if the couple would switch positions. Ms Heywood, offended by the notion that her sex made her an unacceptable seatmate, refused.

    "I wasn't rude, but I found the reason to be sexist, so I was direct," she said.

    A growing number of airline passengers, particularly on trips between the United States and Israel, are now sharing stories of conflicts between ultra- Orthodox Jewish men trying to follow their faith and women just hoping to sit down. Several flights from New York to Israel over the last year have been delayed or disrupted over the issue, and with social media spreading outrage and debate, the disputes have spawned a protest initiative, an online petition and a spoof safety video from a Jewish magazine suggesting a full-body safety vest ("Yes, it's kosher!") to protect ultra-Orthodox men from women seated next to them on airplanes.

    Some passengers say they have found the seat-change requests simply surprising or confusing. But in many cases, the issue has exposed and amplified tensions between different strains of Judaism.

    Jeremy Newberger, a 41-year-old documentary filmmaker who witnessed an episode on a Delta flight from New York to Israel, was among several Jewish passengers who were offended.

    "I grew up Conservative, and I'm sympathetic to Orthodox Jews," he said. "But this Hasid came on, looking very uncomfortable, and wouldn't even talk to the woman, and there was five to eight minutes of 'What's going to happen?' before the woman acquiesced and said, 'I'll move.' It felt like he was being a yutz."

    Representatives of the ultra-Orthodox insist that the behavior is anomalous and rare. "I think that the phenomenon is nowhere near as prevalent as some media reports have made it seem," said Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs at Agudath Israel of America, which represents the ultra-Orthodox community.

    Rabbi Shafran noted that despite religious laws that prohibit physical contact between Jewish men and women who are not their wives, many ultra-Orthodox men follow the guidance of an eminent Orthodox scholar, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, who counseled that it was acceptable for a Jewish man to sit next to a woman on a subway or bus so long as there was no intention to seek sexual pleasure from any incidental contact.

    "The haredi men I know," Rabbi Shafran said, using the Hebrew word for the ultra-Orthodox, "have no objection to sitting next to a woman on any flight."

    But multiple travelers, scholars and the airlines themselves say the phenomenon is real. The number of episodes appears to be increasing as ultra-Orthodox communities grow in number and confidence, but also as other passengers, for reasons of comfort as well as politics, push back.

    "It's very common," said Rabbi Yehudah Mirsky, an associate professor of Judaic studies at Brandeis University. "Multiculturalism creates a moral language where a group can say, 'You have to respect my values.'"

    Anat Hoffman, the executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, which has started a campaign urging women not to give up their seats, said, "I have 100 stories."

    And Rabbi Ysoscher Katz, a Modern Orthodox Talmud scholar who grew up in the ultra-Orthodox Satmar sect, said, "When I was still part of that community, and on the more conservative side, I would make every effort I could not to sit next to a woman on the plane, because of a fear that you might touch a woman by accident."

    Airlines, and flight attendants, are often caught in the middle. Morgan Durrant, a Delta Air Lines spokesman, acknowledged the phenomenon, saying: "This is a dynamic of some customers who utilize our service. We're aware of it, and we do what we can to get ahead of it prior to boarding."

    Other airlines had little to say about the situation, other than to agree that a variety of passengers make a variety of requests when traveling, and that carriers try to accommodate them.

    It is not an entirely new issue; some ultra-Orthodox travelers have tried to avoid mixed-sex seating for years. But now the ultra-Orthodox Jewish population is growing rapidly because of high birthrates. Ultra-Orthodox men and their families now make up a larger share of airline travelers to Israel and other locations, and they are exerting their economic influence more often, making their views more widely known in response to what they see as the sexualization of society.

    The issues on airplanes echo controversies over efforts to separate men and women on buses and streets, as well as to remove women from some news photographs.

    "The ultra-Orthodox have increasingly seen gender separation as a kind of litmus test of Orthodoxy — it wasn't always that way, but it has become that way," said Samuel Heilman, a professor of sociology at Queens College. "There is an ongoing culture war between these people and the rest of the modern world, and because the modern world has increasingly sought to become gender neutral, that has added to the desire to say, 'We're not like that.'"

    Some passengers are sympathetic. Hamilton Morris, a 27-year-old journalist from Brooklyn, said he agreed to give up his seat on a US Airways flight from Los Angeles to Newark via Chicago because it seemed like the considerate thing to do.

    "There was a Hasidic Jew sitting across the aisle, between two women, and a stewardess approached me and quietly asked if I would be willing to exchange seats because the Hasidic Jew was uncomfortable sitting between two women," he said. "I was fine with that. Everyone was trying to be accommodating because on airplanes everyone is anxious about offending anyone for religious reasons."

    And yet Ms. Heywood, a paralegal from Chula Vista, Calif., said she declined to give up her seat for reasons of both politics and seat preference — her husband finds flying less stressful in aisle seats. "I wasn't going to put his comfort for no good reason above my husband's," she said.

    Other passengers, like Andrew Roffe, a 31-year-old writer based in Los Angeles, said he and a friend wound up debating the ethics of the situation after Mr.

    Roffe described his experience on a United Airlines flight to Chicago. When they started to board, he said, an ultra-Orthodox man stood in the aisle,

    refusing to move and delaying the departure for 15 to 20 minutes until another passenger volunteered to switch seats.

    "My buddy who is Orthodox was saying this is a traditional thing — he doesn't want to be tempted when his wife wasn't there. And I said, 'Are you kidding?' This was just some woman flying to work or home and minding her own business."
     
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  3. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    @ mad indian and others

    Is this sexism? And is a woman's refusal to change her seat feminism? Is it condonable because a man refuses to sit next to a woman because of religious reasons but when a woman has an issue sitting next to a man it becomes female lib!
     
  4. jus

    jus Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    Cute video,I liked it but if any boy tried it.... Pervert,sexual harassment etc :rofl:

    HTML:
    
    
     
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  5. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    She did say she hopes she wouldn't get punched. But some man finally went ahead didn't he? Remember the rakhi sawant milkha singh controversy?
    This is an experiment, however men shouldn't try this with anybody, man or woman.:rofl:


     
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  6. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    i will not mind any ladies sit next to me. specially paki ladies:p:p:p
     
  7. jus

    jus Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    u know and she know girl won't be punched unlike boys .... this is called sexism

    lol actually sick society made man a pervert actually women r born perverts...... men get sexual plesure by only one act/organ unlike women (oh boy ...nuff sexual knowledge :p)
     
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  8. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    You forgot rape:rofl:
     
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  9. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    Ok, I will bite. Now consider a scenerio where an orthodox woman is to be seated and the only twos seat available are next to men. And so she wants to sit next to a woman and asks the man to get up and move next to a man so she would not be forced to sit next to a man. Is that sexism against men? Because I see that shit all the time in TN. Seriously, this is the problem with Feminists/Feminism , painting all the problems under the sun as a war on women/sexism against women?:rolleyes:
     
  10. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    Hahahaha, good you stopped the sex ed. class:rofl:



     
  11. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    If one goes by the reasoning behind it, the religious reason given here is, so they don't "accidentally" touch a woman. Now the difference between men and women is that 99%men don't mind such accidents, however women do. I have many a times noted that when travelling alone they will allot seats to women traveling alone together or they might keep the seat in the middle empty if a single man and woman are seated next to each other (this is in flights). I have experienced this a lot in domestic air travel. Most times this matter is nipped in the bud by the airlines itself, but this story is rather peculiar where men refuse to sit next to women. If this were to happen on a very large scale it would be disturbing. Gender separation and sexism look like two sides of the same coin. Feminism might just be its unintended side.


     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    I know of a Hasidic Atheist who would love to have women on both sides of his seat, preferably young.

    I will advice him to demand men move out and only young women be on either side of him.

    How ridiculous can people get?

    When in public transport one must not demand rights as if it were their own aircraft/ transport.

    Next, they will ask that they will not be flown by any pilot but of their religion and of their denomination.
     
  13. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    True, but you know when it comes to "religion" everything is allowed.

     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    I think all this PC stuff is getting to be a pain as it is being overdone.

    That Hasidic Jew should have travelled El Al and done his dance and drama there.

    If I were the pilot, I would have just unloaded him.

    In Bangldesh Biman, I have seen them praying in the aisle.

    Can other object to that?

    It is a Muslim airline and they can do anything they like as per their religious law.

    Further, can you demand non halal meat on a Muslim airline or for that matter in any airline.

    Jet airline, supposedly an Indian airline, serves halal meat.

    Has anyone complained?

    I travelled on the budget Jet subsidiary from Ahmedabad to Kolkata via Delhi. It was the most cramped flight in my life. An oversized Marwari was next to me. He 'overflowed' on to my seat and his fat thighs was practically over my leg. I was so numbed at the end of this long flight that I could not even get up and the stewardess came and helped me off the seat since at the end of the journey I was the sole one still sitting even as the aircraft emptied. She was sympathetic, but she said that is how it goes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  15. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    Same with women who dont want sitting next to men - they dont want the men to "accidently" touch them

    Exactly why I call out your double standards. When women have problem sitting next to men, it is no biggie, but when men have problem sitting next to women, it is sexism. Yeah right:rolleyes:

    It happens in a large scale with women in TN buses. No one gives a shit and no man cries war on men or sexism against men like you are doing now. And seriously, if the feminist hysteria and war on women narrative is continues to exist, then this problem will become even more acute in the future as more men will find it toxic to sit next to women, who might accuse them of sexual assault and what not.

    Not really, feminism is about war on sexes and playing the victim card, like how you are portraying a simple religious issue as sexism, all the while knowing the same happens in India in the reverse
     
  16. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    What about women who dont want to sit next to men in buses? Will you unload them too?
     
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  17. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    I think you are mixing up issues. The women complained in US about sexism because there people sit next to each other randomly. So, in that situation it is sexism.

    Now coming to TN, if a male does not want to sit next to a woman. No one will give a damn and no woman would complain!
     
  18. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    On a recent flight, a man asked me to exchange seats with him, coz he wanted to sit near his son (who looked like he was 10.)

    I moved. Should I be whining?

    I moved coz I thought there wasn't anything to lose.

    If the femiinst doesn't want to move, then don't.

    But whatever you do don't whine later. Thanks.
     
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  19. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    Err no I am not. I am just pointing out how our orthodox beliefs affects us. Women in TN not sitting next to men is the same as Orthodox jews not wanting to sit next to Women. Please point out how they are different and how one is sexist and the other is not?
     
  20. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    Exactly what I thought. The thing is, the feminist had the right to sit her ass on the seat. But she has no right to whine
     
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  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Aboard flights, conflicts over seat assignments and religion - Sex

    The bus conductor is not an airline pilot. He does not enjoy the privilege that the Commander has of unloading passengers. Therefore, the comparison is null.

    The woman can stand.

    And if the man is a gentleman, he would get up and give his seat, as normally what people do when ladies are seen standing, whether they want or not want to seat next to men.

    In Bengal, we have always had 'Ladies Seats' and nowadays, it is 'Senior Citizens and Ladies' seats. it is applicable to both public and private buses such a minibuses and so on.

    I would, ofcourse, not know what is the degree of courtesy that is extended in the town/ city where you or others stay.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015

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