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
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.
“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.
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.