General Discussion

Sexism in a Muslim Restaurant ?


General Discussion 9

Sexism in a Muslim Restaurant ?

e.d. | Jun 26, 2002 01:03 PM

Recently I and two friends (one male, one female) went to a new Somali restaurant and had some good food. In general we were graciously welcomed, well treated, and served good food. But as we rose to leave I went and used the men's room (no toilet paper, just a pitcher with water in it next to the toilet). Anyway, when Chris, my female friend, tried to use the women's room, they told her they had lost the key and she would have to use the men's. At the time, we assumed that this was just a screw-up, as the place had only been open about a week. But thinking about it, I am wondering if this was a deliberate insult. After all, Chris was wearing shorts and did not have her head covered, so perhaps she didn't meet Somali standards for femininity. Or perhaps they really don't have a key because no Somali woman would be allowed to go out to eat (and in fact, Chris was the only female customer, all the Somalis in the restaurant being male).

Am I being paranoid? Has anyone else ever had an experience like this?

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