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Passenger sues Easyjet after crew asked her to move seat for ultra-Orthodox man refusing to sit next to women

(217 Posts)
stumbledin Sat 29-Aug-20 00:23:36

I cant believe this is still happening. There have been court cases about this for at least the past ten years which have always support women.
www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/easyjet-sue-luton-tel-aviv-discrimination-orthodox-melanie-wolfson-a9693641.html

Earlier cases:
2015 www.nytimes.com/2015/04/10/us/aboard-flights-conflicts-over-seat-assignments-and-religion.html
2017 www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/el-al-israeli-airline-orthodox-jewish-men-women-seats-flights-gender-segregation-a7804716.html
2018 airline says it will no longer accommodate Orthodox Jewish men who refuse to sit next to women
2020 www.dutchnews.nl/news/2020/07/klm-breached-discrimination-law-by-asking-woman-to-move-for-orthodox-jewish-man/

OP’s posts: |
MiladyRenata Sat 29-Aug-20 00:25:35

I would really love to find out what happens when an ultra Orthodox man is sat next to a trans woman....

Terrace58 Sat 29-Aug-20 00:51:15

I’m glad she is doing this. These incidents make me so angry.

JanMeyer Sat 29-Aug-20 04:06:33

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 29-Aug-20 04:11:46

They made filmmaker Kevin Smith buy two seats and book them both when he was too big for one. Why can't orthodox men do that and avoid all of this?

sashh Sat 29-Aug-20 04:34:24

Can you imagine if anyone objected to being seated next to an orthodox Jewish man?

Eastie77 Sat 29-Aug-20 05:51:26

I don't understand why the passenger is suing EasyJet after the latest incident. According to the article, she was asked by two Orthodox men to change seats. She refused. Two female passengers agreed to switch seats with the two men sitting next to her.

What am I missing? I entirely understand her upset at being asked in the first place but what are the grounds for suing EasyJet in the above scenario? People ask other passengers to swap seats on planes all the time. She had the option to say no and did so. EJ did not try to force her to move and the men were not abusive. It seems she is annoyed the two women agreed to switch and the men got their own way. Personally I would not have agreed to move if I didn't want to but I wouldn't feel traumatised at being asked to accommodate someone's request.

I grew up in an Orthodox Jewish area (I am not Jewish). I have been aware since childhood that most men from that community will not sit next next to or engage with a woman who is not their wife. I once asked two Orthodox men in the park to stop smoking next to children's play area where it is banned. They completely ignored me and turned their backs. When a male park services attendant approached them they immediately acknowledged him and put their cigarettes out. Deeply unpleasant and infuriating but these men have every right to live in accordance with their religious beliefs.

And before anyone mentions it..asking not to sit next to a woman in the above situation is not the same as asking not to sit next to someone because of their race.

mellowww Sat 29-Aug-20 06:03:18

I wouldn't feel traumatised at being asked to accommodate someone's request.

It depends what the request is.

And before anyone mentions it..asking not to sit next to a woman in the above situation is not the same as asking not to sit next to someone because of their race.

So discrimination based on the grounds of sex and religion is acceptable, but on race not? I really don't get the grounds for this assertion.

In my opinion, these men should have paid for booked seats and if they are so conditioned not to be able to tolerate the normal conditions of public transport, booked the seat next to them too, to protect their religious convictions.

Or driven. On their own.

sashh Sat 29-Aug-20 06:10:16

They completely ignored me and turned their backs. When a male park services attendant approached them they immediately acknowledged him and put their cigarettes out. Deeply unpleasant and infuriating but these men have every right to live in accordance with their religious beliefs.

And you are OK with that? What if the park attendant had been female?

What if it was something else? An immediate danger to your child? Or someone attacked you and you screamed for help?

CarlottaValdez Sat 29-Aug-20 06:15:10

And before anyone mentions it..asking not to sit next to a woman in the above situation is not the same as asking not to sit next to someone because of their race.

Isn’t it? I suppose we do generally recognise it’s different as we are ok segregating by sex in some circumstances. Still seems quite dodgy ground for the airline and the courts agree.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 29-Aug-20 06:17:00

And before anyone mentions it..asking not to sit next to a woman in the above situation is not the same as asking not to sit next to someone because of their race.

Discrimination based on sex is fine and race isn't? I can't follow that.

You might have the right to wave your arms around but that right ends where my body begins. They can choose not to talk to women but women should not be even slightly, mildly inconvenienced by their choice.

sashh Sat 29-Aug-20 06:21:55

Having read the article it appears this has happened twice to the same woman.

Also someone climbing over the back of a seat to avoid you is fairly humiliating and I can't imagine flight attendants ignoring it on another route.

Also she had paid for a particular seat.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 29-Aug-20 06:40:01

* And before anyone mentions it..asking not to sit next to a woman in the above situation is not the same as asking not to sit next to someone because of their race.
*

It's different in that women being the 'other', men being the default humans is so bloody normalised. The inferior status of women has been written into religious texts and national laws for millennia.

BingPot99 Sat 29-Aug-20 06:43:50

Being asked to move seats because, for example, "I would like to sit next to my friend" is entirely different to being asked to move because someone refuses to sit next to a woman. You are being asked to inconvenience yourself and move out of a seat you have specifically chosen (maybe you are unwell and need to get up frequently or dislike being next to the window) because of a characteristic which is a fundamental part of yourself, which you cannot change. Yes, it is clearly not the most upsetting example of discrimination, but it clearly is discrimination when she would not have been asked to move if she were a man. EasyJet should not have asked her to move for this reason and suing them is the only way to make that point on a large scale and be effective enough to change company policy on this and other airlines to maybe stop it happening again.

timeisnotaline Sat 29-Aug-20 06:57:32

And before anyone mentions it..asking not to sit next to a woman in the above situation is not the same as asking not to sit next to someone because of their race.

It's different in that women being the 'other', men being the default humans is so bloody normalised. The inferior status of women has been written into religious texts and national laws for millennia.

Huh?! How are women special compared to race in that regard? How many books and extremely well documented Incidents are there establishing that people of non white races have been regarded as barely human, basically animals? The entire global slave trade for centuries for a small, barely noticeable example, completely understand might have slipped your mind confused

EvaHoffman Sat 29-Aug-20 07:24:41

I think if a man asks to move because he doesn't want to sit next to a woman then the MAN should be the one to move. It's his problem and he should be the one inconvenienced.

It adds insult to injury to expect the person discriminated against to change seats.

Eastie77 Sat 29-Aug-20 07:55:48

As a Black woman I stand by my opinion: a man who doesn't want to sit next to me because of his religious beliefs (which I personally disagree with) is not the same as someone asking me move because they do not wish to sit next to a black person.

If you are White and in the privileged position of not having someone say, "I am not sitting next to that Black bitch" to you on a train (my experience years ago) you may struggle to understand that. This is the reason many Black women do not engage with Feminist movements. I can't be bothered to try and explain any more. It's just exhausting.

@sashh I wasn't 'ok' with the behaviour. Did you read the bit where I wrote it was very unpleasant? What do you think I should I done? Tried to force these men to engage with me? Shouted in their faces?

This woman was not inconvenienced in any way or humiliated. She was not the victim of discrimination from the airline. She was asked if she would mind moving and she said she didn't want to. Two other women chose to accommodate the men's request.

If she had been forced to move, harassed, intimidated then I would understand her suing the airline. None of those things happened.

StealthPolarBear Sat 29-Aug-20 07:58:57

A pp makes and interesting point, what if she had been a man? What if she'd asserted her gender was male? It would then have been literal violence for them to refuse to validate that.

jcurve Sat 29-Aug-20 07:59:48

I read the article and felt strongly that this wasn’t an overreaction by the lady. It wasn’t a one off incident, it happened over a couple of flights, and it was after Israel’s national carrier had been prohibited by the courts to ask women to move to cater to ultra orthodox men. So EasyJet were skating on thin ice.

I live quite close to the ultra orthodox community in London and whilst I respect their right to live their lives according to their religion, they’re in no way exempt to the laws that govern all of us (schooling, planning, discrimination etc).

PermanentTemporary Sat 29-Aug-20 08:01:08

From a legal point of view she has every right to sue and I hope she wins. I wonder why airlines haven't come up with some kind of solution to this but suppose they risk putting in some kind of institutional sexism or religious discrimination which would be worse.

Palavah Sat 29-Aug-20 08:02:36

Why is it the womeb who are asked to move?

Why arent the men booking 2 seats, or asking to be moved?

GaraMedouar Sat 29-Aug-20 08:07:12

I agree they should buy all three seats if they don’t want to sit next to a woman. But yes , next time she should say she self-id’s as a man every Tuesday and therefore they should be quite accepting.

MandosHatHair Sat 29-Aug-20 08:08:39

This woman was not inconvenienced in any way or humiliated. She was not the victim of discrimination from the airline. She wasaskedif she would mind moving and she said she didn't want to. Two other women chose to accommodate the men's request

Why didn't the airline ask the man to move? Why should she have to give up her seat because of the prejudice of another man?
I also disagree with you, sexisim is as bad as racisim. I have been groped my numerous men during my life, I have had a man try to lock me in his house and assault me. While drunk my boss admitted to paying me and the other women in my team less than the males so we 'could save up for our maternity leave'. I could go on. Why should white women have to put up and shut up about these things?

MandosHatHair Sat 29-Aug-20 08:09:40

Please excuse the typos

DidoLamenting Sat 29-Aug-20 08:10:46

And before anyone mentions it..asking not to sit next to a woman in the above situation isnot the sameas asking not to sit next to someone because of their race

Eh? It's exactly the same. Sex and race are both protected characteristics in law when it comes to things like provision of goods and services.

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