Rule Change Allows Women-Only Swimming Hours to Continue

From DNAinfo:

The Parks Department will keep the controversial women-only swim hours that cater mostly to Orthodox Jewish women at the Metropolitan Recreation Center’s indoor public pool following a revision of gender discrimination policy by the city Human Rights Commission, they announced Wednesday.

As part of the Parks Department policy going forward, the women-only hours, which are used mostly by Hasidic woman who can’t swim with men for religious reasons, will be reduced to four hours a week in an effort to appease other non-religious swimmers at the pool who’d called for an end to the policy.

“Women-only swimming hours provide an important accommodation to New Yorkers who may feel more secure and comfortable in a single-sex environment,” Parks Department spokesman Sam Biederman, who added that women of all religious affiliations and transgender women are welcome to use the pool during those hours. “NYC Parks is appreciative that the NYC Commission on Human Rights recognizes the need to provide such safe and fair access at public facilities.”

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  • 1. HMMM wrote:

    what if the person coming for a swim during those hours strongly identifies himself as a woman, will he/she be allowed in? like the new TARGET bathrooms law???

    • 2. Grow up. wrote:

      Transgender women are women, so they are welcome and encouraged to swim during those four hours a week also!

      By the way, Target doesn’t have any laws — it’s a store. Target just follows laws that allow for people to urinate without discrimination.

    • 3. Milhouse wrote:

      Unfortunately, in NYC the answer is yes. There is no legal basis for this, but the city administration is pretending that there is, and will enforce it. There’s no telling what a court would say, but given the quality of judges around here they’d probably go along with the pretense. And thus laws change without any legislature having voted on it.

  • 5. eh wrote:

    not a fan.

    I use the pools on a regular basis and I don’t agree with this.

    • 6. Milhouse wrote:

      What don’t you agree with? Are we not members of the public, with the same right to use the pools as anyone else? Do the pools not belong to us as much as to anyone else? Exactly like everyone else with special needs, we are entitled by law to reasonable accommodations so we can use the pool. If the city had not made this accommodation we would have sued and won.

  • 7. Andrea Schonberger wrote:

    So long as the ruling applies to all women equally–non Orthodox Jew, non Jew, het/lgbt, all races/ethnics, one piece/two piece suiters–then I have no major objections but personally I think it’s opening a can of worms.

  • 9. Milhouse wrote:

    It’s not so long since all public pools were segregated by sex as a matter of course, just as locker rooms still are. How can what was the absolute norm then have become unacceptable now?

  • 10. This pool wrote:

    had women only hours since at least the 50s, when
    we went.


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