Some background: Ultra-Orthodox Israelis are pushing bus lines to institute gender segregation, so that men won’t have to look at women when riding with them. (This is a pretty common perversion of Jewish law; the separation of the sexes often translates into keeping women silent and out of sight. For example, women are prohibited from singing out loud at the holiest site in Judaism.) But, see, it’s not sexist – it’s empowering:
It also has sparked a row over who may lay claim to the legacy of Rosa Parks, the African-American civil rights activist who famously refused to obey an Alabama bus driver’s order to give her seat to a white passenger. Opponents of segregation say the mantle is theirs. But enthusiasts for segregation have begun to argue that by making their way to the back of the bus, they are actually Parks’s heirs.
“I see Haredi women who sit at the back as being the Israeli Rosa Parks,” said writer Shira Leibowitz Schmidt, one of the leading proponents of segregation. “We see it as a stand against the deterioration of standards in the public arena, and view the chance to sit at the back without men gazing at us as a form of empowerment.”
Watch, as I defeat this faulty logic in but two sentences! Fighting against segregation means that you’re in favor of personal freedom, which is what Rosa Parks wanted. Fighting for segregation means that you’re against personal freedom, which is the opposite of what Rosa Parks wanted.
If you’re trying to limit women’s freedom of movement and self-determination, YOU ARE NOT THE NEXT ROSA PARKS.
See also the Bintel Blog’s take on the matter.