November 09, 2006

Why, MCA?

From The Globe and Mail: Gym, Jews don't see eye to eye

(You’ll have to register to read the full story.)
MONTREAL -- It has turned into a clash between skin and Scripture -- and it's pitting a group of spandex-wearing fitness buffs in Montreal against an Orthodox sect of observant Jews.

Last spring, a local YMCA in Montreal installed four frosted windows in one of its exercise rooms to accommodate a neighbouring Hasidic synagogue and religious school. Its devout members complained that their teenaged boys were being distracted by the exposed flesh of women doing their Pilates, aerobics and other activities.

But now the windows have opened up a rift over whether the institution went too far to accommodate a minority. Some Y members have circulated a petition demanding the opaque windows be removed . . .

"It's like getting us to wear a veil. Since we represent temptation, we're being asked to hide," Renée Lavaillante, who started the petition, said yesterday. "We shouldn't have to hide in order to exercise in Quebec. We're a secular state, and shouldn't hide ourselves for religious reasons."
After a moment of thoughtful silence, Ms Lavaillante added, “LOOK AT MY TITS, JEWBOY!”

My God, don’t these exhibitionist wonks have anything better to do with their time than harass the local Jewish community? The synagogue paid for the new windows in full, so it’s not like they’re actually imposing anything on anyone— the Y members can continue to do exactly the same exercise, in exactly the same place, wearing exactly the same skimpy outfits that they always have. The only difference is that now children can’t ogle them! Tell me why this is a bad thing? If it were just a normal school at which parents had complained about their children being exposed to scantily clad women during recess, would anybody be comparing it to the freakin’ hijab? (I mean, sure, that would never happen, because it’s Quebec and porn is practically part of the curriculum, but still.)
As [Serge St-André, director of the YMCA branch] discussed the issue inside the weight room, a Y member walked up to say he objected to the windows.

"We can't let ourselves be imposed upon by extremist religious groups,” [said] Outremont resident Robert Dolbec.
Extremist religious groups?! Are you retarded?! There’s a difference between extremism and orthodoxy; for instance, you are not an orthodox dipshit, you are an extreme dipshit.

I mean, look, I’m all for secular society, but this isn’t secularism; it’s pointless insensitivity, of the cartoon Mohammed variety. Don’t make light of people’s religious beliefs and then hide behind some twisted piffle about defending liberal society. You’re just being irritatingly self-righteous and gratuitously offensive. Did you know that this entire community sends its children to the Laurentians for three months out of the year so that they won’t be exposed to all the flesh bouncing around Montreal all summer? And you feel put out by some frosted windows? Learn some tolerance and shut the hell up.

I don't rant enough anymore.

3 comments:

Mariana said...

Well ranted, Andrew!

I may just be stealing "LOOK AT MY TITS JEWBOY" for a tagline.

I hope you're still enjoying the life you chose over being here in Boston with me. Which is to say, how are things?

dustin said...

Why didn't the synagogue just pay to have their own windows frosted?? That's my question.

"There’s a difference between extremism and orthodoxy" you say, but I disagree. Most orthodox people have extreme views that do not fit the mainstream.

"Learn some tolerance and shut the hell up." could just as easily be directed at the jews in this case.

I do agree that “LOOK AT MY TITS, JEWBOY!” is a great line.

Andrew said...

Dustin: They did have their own windows frosted. The problem was, the exercise room looked out over the playground (and, for the record, was installed after the school was already there).

Also, extremism: "Extreme or fanatical religious views, esp. those that lead to advocating or engaging in extreme action"; orthodoxy: "the quality of conforming to traditionally accepted practices". I would take issue with your statement that most orthodox people have extreme views. For sure many have views that do not fit the mainstream, but that doesn't make them extreme— just different.

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Mariana: Things are good. Feel free to steal my line, particularly for use on a t-shirt.

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Dustin and Mariana: I'm glad you liked it. I initially wrote "LOOK AT MY TITS, KIKE!", but I thought that was asking for too much trouble.

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