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.