| Earlier this month, Harvard University made headlines when they banned men from one of their gyms for a few hours a week to accommodate to women. The proposal was introduced by some of the school's Muslim women. Because of religious and cultural reasons, Muslim women cannot exercise comfortably in the presence of men.|
We at The Michigan Journal applaud Harvard's decision, and feel this is beneficial not only to Muslim women, but also women in general. There are plenty of women who just want to go to exercise and not be bombarded with overly-horomonal men showing off their muscles and women who only go to the gym to flaunt their assets.
We feel that the University of Michigan-Dearborn should follow suit and change their gym policy to allow women to exercise in the company of only other women at certain times during the week.
Some might feel that it would be sexist to exclude men, but we feel it's more out of courtesy and respect to allow those who feel uncomfortable the chance to exercise. This move might even increase gym usage among college students.
Fitness USA even offers a similar plan. They offer a co-ed fitness area, plus an area that offers men-only and women-only on alternating days.
To follow Harvard's plan, the gym wouldn't be shut down to men for days; it would only be shut down for a few hours. At Harvard, men are excluded for six out of the 70 hours that they are open. If men can't deal with not being allowed in the gym for a few hours out of the day, then they should work out somewhere else.
If this Dearborn branch of UM feels familiar, this is the same school that installed footbaths for Muslims. They(Muslim student groups, ACLU and school officials) then tried to pass it off as just as a health and safety measure instead of admitting that it was for a religious purpose first. I have no doubt that more segregated female Muslim hours will be allowed here. You already have the sneering arrogance of "too bad, let men work elsewhere" which comes from a sense of entitlement that the school officials have allowed to go unchecked.