Woman on Porter Airlines Refuses to Switch Seats and Accommodate Sexism in the Name of Religion

Finally, a woman has refused to change seats on an airline to accommodate a sexist, religious request. As CBC reports:

Christine Flynn, 31, said she was buckled in and waiting for Porter Airlines Flight 121 from Newark, N.J. to Toronto to take off early on Monday morning when an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man approached.

The man made no eye contact with Flynn and instead asked men around her to switch seats. The men refused (good on them) and when the flight attendant asked Flynn if she would mind switching she explicitly refused! Flynn explains:

I have a problem with that. He [the flight attendant] probably, maybe, didn’t realize that asking a woman to move because the fact she had a uterus made the man next to her uncomfortable … I don’t think he even would have put it together that that’s kind of insulting and maybe even discriminatory….If someone had refused to sit next to me because I was gay and maybe they were some kind of old-school religion that doesn’t like gay people no one would have switched with him. It would have been off the table.

Good for her and I feel exactly the same way! I’m tired of bad behaviour being accommodated in the name of religion and I’m disappointed when people feel women should acquiesce to make these sexists comfortable.

If you’d like to read about similar incidents, Jerry Coyne has some good posts over at WEIT:

Source: Porter Airlines seat change may have been sparked by religious accommodation, says passenger – Nova Scotia – CBC News

13 thoughts on “Woman on Porter Airlines Refuses to Switch Seats and Accommodate Sexism in the Name of Religion

  1. Good for her!

  2. Listen to the interview below, where the CBC interviewer essentially puts her onto trial and makes her explain herself.

  3. She kicked ass! Listen to the interview in the CBC story. She put the interviewer in his place.

  4. So she was asked if she would switch seats.
    She was offended by the reason, and said no.
    So the flight attendant… asked someone else.
    And someone else obliged.

    Slow news day?

    • The fight for equality is a series of small battles, each victory should be celebrated.

    • No it was not a slow news day. The comments in the news articles are too good to miss:

      From the Star

      “While Flynn said she did not seek public attention, she hopes that this incident will incite further dialogue: ‘Let’s have a conversation with groups that have these issues, and maybe find out a little bit about why.’” http://is.gd/h3JUqc

      Why? I can tell her why; religion is why.

      Then this doubletalk from the NP

      “Eric Caplan, associate professor of Jewish studies at McGill University, said ‘it is hard to define (such) actions as sexist’ because sexism ‘has more to do with prejudice than with obedience to the divine will.’

      But, he added: ‘Of course, it is not clear at all that Judaism requires such strict separation, and it is possible that the religious laws in this area are being applied in a way that reflects human prejudices, including sexism.'” http://is.gd/TMXPB9

      Thank you Professor Caplan!

  5. Oh, I so want one of them to sit next to me. I’ll wait until he gets himself settled in nice and comfy then, lean towards him and say “I used to be a woman” followed by some seductive batting of the eyelashes.

    Joe, perhaps it was posted to satisfy your needy desire to comment?

    • That would be the very definition of sexual harrassment, at least according to many feminists.

      “your needy desire to comment”

      LOL. Yeah, that’s me. I’m a commenting machine.

      I think you’re projecting.

  6. Good on her! And why is is always the woman who is asked to move? It is the man that is causing the problem in these instances, so they are the ones who should be inconvenienced.

    I’m also annoyed at the arrogance that they just turn up expecting that their demands will be accommodated. They should inform the airline in advance that they have special needs, like wanting a vegetarian meal or something. Because of their behaviour, flights get delayed mucking up everybody, and potentially other flights too.

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