Blog: Don't See the Need for Women-only Swims

Opportunities to educate others might be a good thing.

Every Tuesday and Thursdays from 12:30-2 p.m. the Columbia Swim Center in the Wilde Lake Village Center will have a women-only swim through January. It is a trial period after the urging from some women in the Muslim community.

Some women in the Baltimore Sun article say they don't feel comfortable swimming in front of men and children. Some said they get stared out and are asked questions about burqini, a bathing suit that covers their entire body including a hood for their head.

I don't have any disrespect for the Muslim religion. I just don't see the necessity to have separate swim times for women because of the reasons stated in the article. I am guessing if you asked most women if they felt comfortable in a bathing suit at a pool, they would say no. As women, we often have poor body images. In a bathing suit, where very little is covering our body, we are easily able to scrutinize every inch of our body. I also believe we have been stared at the pool by probably men and women.

And is it really bad to have people ask questions their burqini? I used to do water aerobics at the YMCA in Ellicott City. There were several Muslim women who participated in the class and had several people ask them questions about their burqini. They took the opportunity to answer questions and educate others about their religion. Last night, I was sitting in a healthcare facility waiting room. A teenage girl sat next to a Muslim women. The teenager kindly asked the women if she could ask her a question about her religion. The women answered the question and a brief conversation ensued about difference in religion and cultures. It was something I was glad I had the pleasure of witnessing. Perhaps if more opportunities and conversations like this occurred, we all would have a better understanding of each other's religions and cultures.

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Katlin November 27, 2011 at 04:05 AM
Ohai- Why would I be mortified? Also, I picked up on your previous comment. You seem to think that, other than the Muslim women, only women who are obese or unattractive would want women only swim times....thanks for judging us.
Jen Przydzial November 28, 2011 at 03:47 AM
Karen - You can have an opinion, just like I can have mine. I am a blogger, not a reporter. Therefore, I don't have to be balanced. My blog is about my opinion. Most of my posts are responding to thing that have been in the news. I don't expect everyone to share my opinion. In fact, I am glad when others see things differently than I do. It makes things interesting! And, I will continue to blog here. So, feel free to read my posts or not.
Kelly Cooper December 01, 2011 at 08:46 PM
Here is some additional information on CA's women-only swim time pilot program - http://bit.ly/vlTksx. We hope this helps clear up some questions out there regarding this program. Thank you, Kelly Cooper Columbia Association
BOH June 19, 2012 at 05:18 PM
The trouble is that not enough men are willing to act on men's only gyms. I really prefer not working out in front of any women. It's not that I have a poor body image or anything, but there's a big difference between working out without women around and a co-ed environment. Is it more stressful for women to work out in front of men? I'll take your word for it that it is for some women, but you should take my word for it that it goes the other way as well.
JustABill June 19, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Michael, What you seem to be missing here is the Columbia Association is a private organization not a government organization and therefore not under any restrictions preventing them from making a change to their rules that was perhaps remotely, partly, or solely for religious purposes. Granted CA does sometimes try to impersonate a government organization they are not and will not be one so they can play by the rules they see fit to enact.


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