The Forward has an article on the battle over Mehadrin buses in Israel this week. In it, one of the women who favor segregation made the following statement (emphasis mine):
“I see Haredi women who sit at the back as being the Israeli Rosa Parks,” said writer Shira Leibowitz Schmidt, one of the leading proponents of segregation. “We see it as a stand against the deterioration of standards in the public arena, and view the chance to sit at the back without men gazing at us as a form of empowerment.”
Um..... words just fail me on this one. If you want to argue that the Mehadrin system has it's merits, then by all means go ahead and do so. If you want to say it makes you feel more comfortable to sit in an area with no men, then say so. If you think the plan has merits and should include every bus line, then, please, make your arguments. But to compare yourself to Rosa Parks is simply mind-blowingly ignorant. You realize that she refused to sit in the back, right? She fought for the right to sit anywhere on the bus she darned well pleased. In her case, it was about race, but I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that had it been gender, her reaction would have been the same.
Oh, and one last point...
Men can still gaze at you. Sitting in the back of the bus doesn't solve that problem. All they have to do is turn around.
Hat tip: Pravda Ne'eman