Dat­ing pro­files

The Walrus - - LETTERS -

I found Hadiya Roderique’s la­men­ta­tions on the un­fair­ness of on­line dat­ing (“Dat­ing While Black,” March) quite self-serv­ing. In her own words, she has set her dat­ing­pro­file set­tings to fil­ter out any men who are not “of at least ‘av­er­age’ at­trac­tive­ness.” It both­ered me that, in her mind, dis­crim­i­nat­ing on the ba­sis of looks is okay, but dis­crim­i­nat­ing on the ba­sis of colour is not. Stephen Jen­vey

Dun­das, ON

I en­joyed Roderique’s ar­ti­cle on the tra­vails of on­line dat­ing, but she took the easy road in us­ing “white Hadiya” as her foil. How might “fat Hadiya” or “high-school dropout Hadiya” have fared on Okcu­pid? She could have gone all-in and made a pro­file for “fat, male, high-school dropout Hadiya.” I can only imag­ine the sense of un­fair­ness— and the bit­ter­ness to­ward reg­u­lar Hadiya— that character might have felt.

David Creel­man

Toronto, ON

“Dat­ing While Black” is in­ter­est­ing, but it does not con­sider the fact that, es­pe­cially when dat­ing, we are hard­wired to look for some­body like our­selves. This could put a black woman at a dis­ad­van­tage in a mostly white dat­ing ser­vice. Only once ev­ery­one un­der­stands that we can have more in com­mon than skin colour will it stop be­ing an is­sue.

Elis­a­beth Ecker

Toronto, ON and marginal­iza­tion of women—in which the Ha­sidic life­style seems to be rooted.

In Rosen’s ar­ti­cle, Leila Marshy, a Pales­tini­anCana­dian who vol­un­teers with the Ha­sidic com­mu­nity, com­pares this cul­tural seg­re­ga­tion to the in­su­lar na­ture of Que­bec pol­i­tics. But the par­al­lel be­tween Ha­sidic and Québé­cois cul­tures and his­to­ries is du­bi­ous. Although Que­bec is dis­tinct in some re­spects from the rest of Canada, it main­tains the na­tional stan­dard of ba­sic hu­man and civil rights. When it comes to the Ha­sidim, who seem not to af­ford women equal rights, it should be easy to un­der­stand Que­bec’s con­cerns. Doris Wrench Eisler

St. Al­bert, AB

Rosen of­fers an in­sight­ful and per­sonal glimpse into the Ha­sidic life­style. Much of what he de­scribes—tra­di­tions, cloth­ing, gen­der roles—is rel­a­tively be­nign, even if out of place in twenty-first cen­tury Que­bec. How­ever, the story of Yo­hanan Lowen, who is su­ing Que­bec for the in­ad­e­quate ed­u­ca­tion he re­ceived at his Ha­sidic school, high­lights what can hap­pen when sec­u­lar au­thor­i­ties al­low so-called re­li­gious en­deav­ours to run amok.

The no­tion that any ed­u­ca­tion could be so re­stricted that the ba­sics of lan­guages, math­e­mat­ics, civics, and sci­ences are ab­sent should send a shiver through­out so­ci­ety. How can Lowen con­trib­ute to and par­take in the con­tem­po­rary world, hav­ing been de­prived of the most ba­sic of skills?

Yes, all rec­og­nized re­li­gions must be al­lowed to pros­per and flour­ish. But our lead­ers would not tol­er­ate un­der­age mar­riage, child labour, or phys­i­cal tor­ture if prac­tised by any re­li­gious group. Sim­i­larly, we can­not deny ado­les­cents the right to a ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion that would al­low for choice within an ex­pand­ing world.

Jon Bradley

Hamil­ton, ON

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