Great to see some feminists actually concerned about, you know, women’s issues and rights. It is almost as if some have noticed that the actual threat to the status of women in the world is not from Israel or non-Muslim males. It seems like too much to ask for though. But some do appear to have noticed.
Tyler Anderson, National Post
Toronto’s Valley Park Middle School, which serves a student body that is between 80% and 90% Muslim.
Tasha Kheiriddin, National Post · Jul. 12, 2011 | Last Updated: Jul. 12, 2011 2:01 AM ET
It’s rare that I see a photograph that makes my blood roil in anger. Or that leads me to share the opinions of Toronto Star columnist Heather Mallick. But a picture published in Saturday’s Star managed to do both in one afternoon.
The photo depicts a row of girls sitting in the cafeteria of Valley Park Middle School in Toronto. The row is segregated behind a mass of students who are participating in an Islamic prayer service. The reason the girls in the back are not praying is because -wait for it -they have their periods.
One is tempted to say: Is this the Middle Ages? Have I stumbled into a time warp, where “unclean” women must be prevented from “defiling” other persons? It’s bad enough that the girls at Valley Park have to enter the cafeteria from the back, while the boys enter from the front, but does the entire school have the right to know they are menstruating?
These aren’t college kids, who are adults or on the verge of adulthood, and can make up their own minds about whether they are comfortable with religious practices that relegate women to the back of the bus. These are impressionable young women, Grade 8 students, who are being sent a very clear message: You are second-class citizens compared to the boys in your school, and third-class at certain times of the month.