Modesty Bus

// April 24th, 2007 // Blog

I see that Muslims are not the only ones with segregation issues:

Israel's 'modesty' buses draw fire

I have to say, the example of the Israeli woman refusing to sit at the back of bus, immediately drew a parallel, in my mind, with the story of Rosa Parks:

“I wasn't trying to start a revolution, all I wanted to do was get home… I said to him look, if you bring me a code of Jewish law and show me where it's written that I have to sit at the back of the bus I'll move. And he tried to gain support from the rest of the passengers and I underwent a half-hour of pure hell – abuse, humiliation, threats, even physical intimidation.

I'm not sure where i stand when it comes to such examples of gender segregation. Segregating bus services seems a little too much, and proves unworkable for traveling families. Perhaps they should run separate buses for men and women, in addition to 'mixed' buses (immodesty buses)? I also think it is quite another thing to enforce this system on a majority who don't seem to want it.

I wonder, what do they do in Saudi? During the Hajj, i remember traveling by bus with my parents, between Mina and Makkah, but i don't recall any such issue with segregation. Then again, i imagine that the authorities relax the system at that time of year, due to the sheer number of passengers.

From the point of view of safety, i like the idea of women-only public transport. For example, women-only carriages on late-night trains, with a member of staff on board for added security.

However, from the point of view of segregating the sexes, it seems like a step too far, though there may be some need for it: I have witnessed several incidents of 'flirting' between random passengers, during my travels. And wouldn't it be great not to have to be subjected to all those annoyingly smug couples, making out in the corner?

But until someone can come up with a convenient solution, that actually has the backing of the public, this whole matter will remain somewhat of a farce.

In the mean time, i shall just have to keep a waster pistol handy, to keep the young lovers in check. Boy, will i be popular! *grins*

2 Responses to “Modesty Bus”

  1. Editor says:

    A couple of years ago, a Japan railway system introduced women-only carriages as a step to curb molestations during rush hour. Great idea really.

    I personally would like not to have to be seated next to a man on public transport so if there were some implemented guideline for seats, I’d appreciate it. But I find it rather ironic if it’s enforced in such a way that it pushes women to the back, or to the extent of even disallowing family members to be seated together. Sounds whimsical more than religious.

    I’d imagine Muslims to be generally courteous enough to mind the Islamic etiquette without needing super strict rules. So in an ideal world, a brother would gladly give up his double seat on a bus so a sister could sit by herself instead of next to him. But that doesn’t happen, eh. He’s had a tiring day at work, he wants to sit too!

    To give Muslims credit though, at least they do often respect the space of the opposite gender. Ahem.

  2. iMuslim says:

    Wow – your comment was caught in my spam folder for some reason! Sorry, ’bout that. :)

    He’s had a tiring day at work, he wants to sit too!
    Yeah – some cocky brother might start to lecture the sister about being on the bus (i.e., outside the house), in the first place! ;)

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