Harvard Islamic Society's Islamic Knowledge Committee officer Ola Aljawhary, a junior, said the women-only hours are being tested on a trial basis. The special gym hours will be analyzed over Spring Break to determine if they will continue, she said.
Aljawhary said that she does not believe that the women-only gym hours discriminate against men.
"These hours are necessary because there is a segment of the Harvard female population that is not found in gyms not because they don't want to work out, but because for them working out in a co-ed gym is uncomfortable, awkward or problematic in some way," she said.
Will we never stop giving in to Muslim demands? Gender integration in places like the gym is a part of Western Civilization's acceptence of gender equality. It's a good thing, damnit, something that makes us better than the Muslim world where they keep women wrapped up in "modest" attire, lest men be driven into a sexual frenzy at the sight of an exposed ankle. Our culture is better than theirs -- that's why we make the airplanes that they have to hijack. And it's worth fighting for, inch by inch if we must.
Maybe working out in a co-ed gym is "uncomfortable, awkward, or problematic" for some Harvard students. But that can be a useful part of getting an education, or adopting a new culture. If these women are so "modest" that they can't don a pair of sweatpants (no rules says that have to wear leotards) and work out, well maybe they ought to move to Saudi Arabia.
Where they will be more "comfortable."