Sheema Khan is not keen on the idea of “accommodating” requests for exemption from class participation with the Wrong Gender.
In Muslim communities, gender segregation has led to the marginalization of women, as they are shut out of debate, discussion and decision-making. Under the pretext of “religious purity”, women are discouraged from full participation in community development. At some events sponsored by Muslim campus groups, women are relegated to the back of the hall. At such events, men may freely ask questions; women are encouraged to write their questions on paper, so their voices won’t be heard. Some groups even forbid women speakers, or offer the excuse that there are no qualified females to address the audience. As in the UK, there should be greater scrutiny and debate of accommodations made to groups where gender equality is compromised.
Professor Grayson should be commended for taking a principled stand. Allowing such an exemption will open the door to further requests that are contrary to the advances made in gender equality. Just ask Muslim women. We don’t want to go backwards.
But of course the whole idea behind this “accommodation” is that you don’t ask the women, because it’s a man who requested it. You don’t ask the women and you don’t inform them; you just secretly “accommodate” the man’s request.