Sure, the year may be 2011, and the place may be New York City, but women were still being told they had to sit in the back of a bus. The public B110, which is run by the (strangely-named) Private Transportation Corporation under a franchise agreement with the city, has been serving Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn since 1973. And since then, despite how inconceivable it sounds, women and men have been segregated on the bus.

After The New York World printed an expose about a female passenger who was told by Orthodox Jewish men to sit in the back of the B110, Mayor Bloomberg, The New York Times, and other media outlets jumped on the story. It turns out that the buses claimed not to discriminate against female passengers, but there were still signs posted in the front and the back of the buses that said, "when boarding a crowded bus with standing passengers in the front, women should board the back door after paying the driver in the front” and “when the bus is crowded, passengers should stand in their designated areas."

Of the men who insisted that the female passenger move to the back, The New York World reports,

"They were Orthodox Jews with full beards, sidecurls and long black coats, who told her that she was riding a 'private bus' and a 'Jewish bus.' When she asked why she had to move, a man scolded her.

'If God makes a rule, you don’t ask ‘Why make the rule?’' he told Franchy, who rode the bus at the invitation of a New York World reporter. She then moved to the back where the other women were sitting. The driver did not intervene in the incident."

Now, though, after much-needed publicity has been spread, the New York City Department of Transportation sent a letter to the Private Transportation Corporation, telling them to end these practices. And, ostensibly, they are working to do so. Yeah, first-wave feminist movement! Still making unexpected waves in the twenty-first century.

Commentarium (17 Comments)

Oct 28 11 - 5:07pm
Wry Durr

Rosa Parks! Thou shouldst be living at this hour.

Oct 28 11 - 5:54pm
Huh?

Religious people are so fucking retarded.

Oct 29 11 - 4:01pm
MRI

Yes.

Oct 31 11 - 9:47pm
Anon.

No.

Nov 03 11 - 11:48pm
comma

Yes.

Oct 28 11 - 9:06pm
No Guff

I can't help but echo the abject disgust directed at religitards by the prior Commenter.

Religion? Please fuck off.

Oct 28 11 - 10:31pm
Back Seet

How would Rosa Parks feel about this?

Oct 28 11 - 10:51pm
Wossamotta

Religion is collective insanity

Oct 31 11 - 7:24pm
comma

So is wholehearted faith in science that is mostly theory . Science is mainly ideas just waiting to be disproved but by all means, let's accept all of that from "authority" without witnessing it ourselves. Wait, that sound like collective scientific insanity.

Nov 02 11 - 3:24pm
thinkywritey

Yes, I prefer to worship strawmen.

Oct 28 11 - 11:35pm
Yogagirl59

Why don't the men sit at the back and the women at the front?

Oct 29 11 - 11:44am
profrobert

Hey, 18th Century Poland called. It wants its values back.

Oct 29 11 - 4:02pm
MRI

Nice.

Oct 29 11 - 8:34pm
Jinna

Yes. I don't care *what* reason someone feels is appropriate to justify violation of Constitutional rights, it is ILLEGAL.

Oct 31 11 - 7:22pm
comma

No, it isn't. They are doing it voluntarily and won't be arrested if they don't comply. Therefore, it's not illegal or a violation of their rights. They are actually exercising their First Amendment rights to worship and religious expression. Ta-dah!

Oct 31 11 - 9:46pm
Right.

We might think it's weird, but they accept it. And, that's perfectly legal.

Oct 31 11 - 10:24pm
Observer

@Jinna - Assuming no one is being prevented from sitting in the front of the bus, there's no violation of rights, Constitutional or otherwise.