Fox News reports (yes, Fox News!):
In response to a request by female Muslim students, Harvard University has created women-only workout hours at one of its campus gyms. The decision has angered some students at the Ivy League university.
I am, admittedly, somewhat hard pressed to give a shit either way. Obviously the right wing lunatics will go crazy about this – and they certainly have a bit of a point. After all, Harvard’s supposed to be one of the world’s best universities and you could probably expect the students there to have some amount of brains. Or maybe not. Anyway – as I’ve said, I don’t really care either way about this. What’s definitely stupid is how they’ve gone about doing this – read the article and the complaint voiced by some student in there (the women really don’t profit from the hours). All of this, though, isn’t why I’m writing this. What I want to talk about is the following:
Harvard has made many accommodations for students’ religious needs, Mitchell said. Those include prayer areas for Hindu and Muslim students as well as the rescheduling of exams to accommodate religious holidays.
Now this does annoy me. Or at least it certainly would if I were a student at Harvard University (which I’m obviously not (yet?)). Why am I talking about this? Because there are certain groups that are trying to do the same at my university. I have a Jewish friend (well, she’s not really a practicing Jew but never mind) and I asked her once why she hadn’t joined the Jewish Club/Association/… (I don’t really remember what they call themselves) and this was the reason she gave me – they’re trying to pull the same shit.
Now, I’m not a huge fan of being a dick for the sake of being a dick (unless I’m either drunk or it’s really funny) – but this isn’t about religious tolerance. This is about certain religious groups being difficult. You’re in a country where the main religion isn’t your religion – so you had better adapt to how stuff works there and don’t you dare expect everyone else to change how stuff is done just to accommodate you. I obviously don’t know the details of the Harvard case so I can only hope that they don’t change the exam dates for EVERYONE and seeing how Harvard is fairly large – it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an acceptable solution. But again – that’s not what this is about. In my case, it’s pretty hard to get out of an exam – so I would be fairly annoyed if other students got out for some bullshit reason (i.e. religious holiday). I can understand that you don’t really want to take an exam on your version of Christmas – but stop whining already and suck it up. Again, you’re a guest and you probably contribute a lot but don’t be difficult. Really, you’re only making stuff worse for yourselves by pissing off the masses with stuff like this that’s really not worth fighting over.