Street Harassment, Seat Harassment and Women’s Bodies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet’s conduct a thought experiment. A far right wing Christian preacher claims a direct revelation from God, and it goes something like this: Jews are the chosen people. So chosen, so holy, the group from whose midst Christ emerged, that they cannot be touched.


So, says the preacher to his congregation, if you find yourself next to a Jew on a train or an airplane, you should ask to change seats immediately. Get up, stand in the aisle, change seats. Ask nicely, of course! Really, it’s not discrimination, they assure the rest of us. It’s personal religious practice. And Jews, if you get this request from a sect member, just try to be cool about it, okay? Let’s not reinforce the reputation that we Jews are pushy and difficult and always angry about anti-Semitism. It’s not an insult from these folks, it’s an honor.

I doubt my fellow Jews would heed calls to “tolerate” this treatment, and the embedded insults, in the name of religious freedom?

3 comments on “Street Harassment, Seat Harassment and Women’s Bodies

  1. A Dunlop on

    and, dare I say it, instead of expecting a woman to accommodate someone else’s/views/religion, move themselves!

  2. Ancamna on

    In addition, the problem is that the men ask the women to move, rather than the men asking to move themselves. Instead of men giving themselves extra work and possible discomfort for their own religious beliefs, they are asking women to give extra work and discomfort for their beliefs. If it’s a religious belief for the man, the man should be the one who needs to accommodate, not the woman. But again, that’s part of patriarchy, that women are the ones who are moveable, who are property, who should be discomfited, and not men. Your suggestion at the end would turn around and put the burden back on the men where it belongs.

  3. Lilithrogers on

    Yeah, okay it’s the man who should move but if he can’t or won’t–who wants to sit ceamped up next to a jerk the whole ten hour flight? And have you seen the Youtube of the white woman who finds herself seated next to a black woman and complains about it to the stewardess and the stewardess says “Oh, sorry about that. I’ll be right back with a new seat assignment and comes back and says to the black woman, “Come with me to first class, ma’am. No one should have to sit next to someone like that.” Love it.

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