Religious entitlement

The sense of entitlement to special treatment that the highly religious have is a worldwide phenomenon. In Israel, ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) men are used to being given preferential treatment is many areas of life and have demanded that they should never have to sit next to women on planes because, well … who the hell knows, it is apparently somewhere in the 2,000-year old religious texts they study all the time and we know what a stickler their god is for following all the rules.

The Israeli national airline El Al would, in case of such a conflict where a Haredi man complained about being assigned a seat next to a woman, ask the woman to move. Frequently other passengers would try to pressure women to comply. This infuriated an 82-year old woman who, with the aid of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), sued the airline and won, with the court ruling that “under absolutely no circumstances can a crew member ask a passenger to move from their designated seat because the adjacent passenger doesn’t want to sit next to them due to their gender”.

But apparently this kind of thing continues to happen because women are not aware that they have the right to refuse. In order to create more awareness people of women’s right to refuse to move, IRAC tried to place ads that said “Ladies, please take your seat … and keep it!” in Israel’s airports but the authorities refused to allow the ads because “we steer clear of any advertising that is political or divisive”.

So IRAC has put out a video ad that, while humorous, makes a serious point.

UPDATE: It is, of course, not only religious groups that have ridiculous rules about where women are allowed to be. Sumo wrestling seems to be similarly afflicted.


  1. busterggi says

    Why women follow the Abrahamic religions when they teach that women are chattel is beyond me.

  2. jrkrideau says

    I wonder if Mike Pence could bring himself to sit beside a woman on an airplane ?

    @ 1 busterggi
    Brainwashing in early life? Think of it as the original version of “grooming” perhaps?

  3. embraceyourinnercrone says

    The incident at the Sumo bout where the women were ordered out of the ring was also religious entitlement:

    “The 66-year-old mayor of Maizuru city, Ryozo Tatami, collapsed on the dohyo sumo ring in Kyoto on Wednesday. The ring is traditionally regarded as a sacred place in the ancient sport and purified with rituals by shinto priests before sumo bouts.
    Women are banned from participating in sumo tournaments or ceremonies, as well as touching or stepping on to the ring, because it is seen as defiling its purity.” Salt was thrown into the ring to repurify it after the women left, according to local reports.(Cuz we’re UNCLEAN apparently)

    Also: Fusae Ohta, the female governor of Osaka from 2000 to 2008, was forced to present the governor’s prize to the champion of the annual Osaka tournament on a walkway next to the ring. The JSA rejected her repeated requests to be allowed to enter the ring, claiming it would dishonour sumo’s ancient traditions.

    This shit needs to die yesterday.

  4. embraceyourinnercrone says

    @busterggi -- Perhaps because in many cultures (including in so called modern Western nations) going against your parents, family and community’s traditions and religion can mean the total loss of your place in that community and sometimes can mean being bodily thrown out of the house. You may lose contact with your siblings or grandparents as well as your parents. For some people leaving their religion means losing a lot more. In some places in the United States leaving your religion can get you bullied at home, at school and at work.

  5. grasshopper says

    “We don’t sell pork. It might offend someone.”
    “We don’t sell contraceptives. It might offend someone.”
    “We don’t provide reproductive health services. It might offend someone.”
    “We don’t trade on Sundays. Or Saturdays. It might offend someone.”
    “We don’t bake cakes for gays, who offend my god.”
    Imagine living in that small town. It would make you want to move out.
    Which is probably the plan.

  6. jrkrideau says

    We don’t trade on Sundays. Or Saturdays. It might offend someone.”
    I am already offended. You trade on Friday!

  7. grasshopper says

    My fault. I fear I’ll never learn. I should have anticipated your wonts. Friday is right out. But is it OK if I trade on a Thursday?

  8. fentex says

    In that video he says there’s no such thing as a great flight. What is it with the rest of the world? I’ve had wonderful flights (to Tahiti on Air Tahiti, the Maldives via Emirates etc and the food (as well as on Air New Zealand) is nice.

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