Dan - I'd guess not -- the point is to avoid 'immodest' situations with the opposite sex, whether you're a man or woman. In practice however Muslim women are usually afforded these separate accommodations.
I think that would go over even less well than this has on campus.<br><br>
Plus, Muslim men are more likely (by sheer numbers of men who frequent college gyms, I'm guessing) to be in the gym when there are no women present. A woman is much more likely to share the gym with the opposite sex without these separate hours.
I guess to me, its just an odd thing to take on. How many female Muslim students are at Harvard? My guess is that they took into account that many women, regardless of faith, prefer to workout without men present when they made this decision. I think its only fair that men receive the same consideration, but given that there will undoubtedly be less demand for it, I don't see it coming to pass.<br><br>
I'm ok with this, I guess, I think my general, "WTF?" reaction had more to do with the fact that I just can't fathom the belief than an aversion to the decision.
I have mixed feelings. As a non-muslim woman I personally am not a big fan of using the weights at the gym when the big guys are in there so I would likely enjoy this kind of accomadation myself. However, it isnt really fair to the men and there are lots of women only gyms around one can pay to join so its not like these women cannot workout...they just cant do it for free on campus. Therefore, I suppose I am against it...
I think it's reasonable. It's only a few hours a week.<br>
It allows a group of woman who otherwise might be encumbered and unable to workout to exercise, and can be nice for some women who are just intimidated. (I sure remember what it was like to have to put up with guys hitting on you while you're trying to workout, though that wasn't a university gym-- I'm sure it happens there too)
I lifeguarded at a pool that had a large Orthodox Jew population and had women only hours in the pool and no one thought too much of it. I think more than just Muslim women can benefit from women's only gym hours. I know in the past, before i was a superstar running machine, i chose gyms that had seperate women only rooms.
I am against this. The United States is supposed to be a melting pot, not a mosaic. It's one of the things that makes the US special and makes it arguably the greatest country in the world.<br><br>
At any rate- Harvard should be encouraging assimilation into the melting pot- not permitting and thereby condoning segregation.<br>
That's my opinion.
But for the students on campus this is a free gym for everyone to use. Why should the women be forced to pay in order to workout?<br><br>
I don't think that they are forcing their beliefs on anyone by asking for this accomodation. Accomodations are made at the school for other religious aspects of life in order help everyone practice their faith.
When all is said and done, Harvard, as a private organization, has the right to enact this policy. It would be different if this was a public school.<br><br>
However there comes a point in which your participation in your culture of choice begins to border on imposing that culture on others and I think this is bordering on that. Once you reserve time and space for a specific group, you're then affording more status to that group than the rest of the population, <i>especially</i> when that population segment is such a miniscule minority.<br><br>
Additionally, it doesn't have to be an all or nothing solution. Would it be a bit more uncomfortable to work out fully covered? Possibly. Would it be impossible? No, of course not. A while back there was an article about a Muslim HS student who ran track fully covered. I see many women at the Y where I work out wearing full sweatsuits. When you're in such a staggering minority, it's your obligation to make the concessions to the majority.