photo: Marthijn Uittenbogaard
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Segregation of the sexes

© 8 January 2018 Marthijn Uittenbogaard

In the Muslim world, women and men are separated in society. They are not allowed to go together to a football (soccer) match. If a man and a woman go to a cinema, they often have to use different entrance doors: one for the men and one for the women. And different areas to sit: one for the men, one for the women. When Muslim women want to swim, there are absolutely no men allowed in or around the swimming pool. When a young child is over seven or so years of age the separation begins. A girl must wear a scarf in public so that her hair is no longer visible. In The Netherlands, swimming pools had swimming hours only for Muslim women. This way they also could swim and they could lift their isolation somewhat. It was seen as progressive. Many people criticized this. And I myself am also against this segregation in state financed institutions.

But how are we (the non-Muslims) doing? Did we not separated the sexes ourselves? In Christian countries it was the same as in many Muslim countries nowadays. But that was then, we changed. We did, but only a little. When it comes to gym and swim lessons in schools, then we still separate the sexes. Not in the swimming pool but in the dressing rooms. Also, when you must wear work clothes, because you have a job were people have to wear an uniform, or an overall, then again: women and men have a different dressing room. The sexes are still separated. The same goes for our toilet rooms (bathrooms).

But that is because otherwise men will look in a sexy way to a (half) naked female. So what? It's the same argument used for wearing the headscarf. And what about homosexuals? Must a gay man go to the girls' bathroom and to the women's dressing room? And a lesbian woman to the men's room and to the men's dressing room? And what about a bisexual? Alone in a small dressing room? I believe that when we stop separating the sexes, then the uneasiness will not be there. Only in the beginning, due to the fact that we are used to this separation in our society.

The ones blaming the Muslims the hardest because of their segregation of the sexes, and because of the gay hatred in Muslim countries, usually use these arguments because they just want to hate other groups and need a scape goat. People voting for right wing political parties are the most homophobic and when you say the dressing and bath rooms must not be separated they declare you insane.

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"Wees eerlijk en laat zien wie je bent."
"Kinderen moeten veel meer zeggenschap krijgen."
"Alle zedenwetten moeten weg."
"Pedohaat heeft niets met seks te maken."
"We gaan verkeerd met seksualiteit om."
"Hoe zinniger wat je zegt, hoe bozer men wordt."
"Zonder pedofilie zou de wereld veel armer zijn."