There’s a problem we’ve posted about before regarding male ultra-Orthodox Jews causing a stir on airplanes because they refuse to sit next to women. They believe you’re not allowed to touch any woman who’s not your wife… even if it’s incidental and not-even-close-to-sexual in nature.
In the latest incident, 31-year-old Christine Flynn refused to accommodate the unreasonable request:
“He came down the aisle, he didn’t actually look at me … or make eye contact. He turned to the gentleman across the aisle and said, ‘Change.'”
Finally, she said, a flight attendant approached and asked if there was a problem.
“I said, ‘This man is refusing to sit next to me because I am a woman.’ At that point, another man behind … offered to switch with me and the airline attendant said, ‘Would you be willing to move? and I said, ‘Absolutely not. This is ridiculous,'” she said. “I was without words.”
Flynn added she might have been willing to move if the man was a little more polite with his request, but the dickishness on top of the misogyny? No thank you.
She wasn’t done yet:
“I’d like an apology,” Flynn said. “There really should be a policy around this. If people are going to get on flights and demand that they sit next to someone of the same sex, there should be an area where they can go. I should not have to move because someone has a problem with my uterus.“
You know, there’s a straightforward solution to this: If ultra-Orthodox Jews refuse to sit next to women, they can just buy two seats. Problem solved.
(Unless you’re an interfaith activist who thinks we should accommodate faith-based nonsense like this, in which case *you* can sit next to them.)
Good for Flynn for speaking out against this bullshit. She did nothing wrong. I have no problem with the flight attendants asking people to move (their job is to keep everyone happy, so of course they’re going to try to deal with this problem quickly), but there shouldn’t be any backlash against women who say no to switching seats just because some religious person can’t handle sitting to them.