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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 10:44 AM
Original message
SF Chronicle travel section -- no women allowed
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/1...

This is utterly charming. What's for next week -- a resort that excludes Jews? A private hunting club that doesn't allow gays?

letters@sfchronicle.com is the address to express your views
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Mrs. Overall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. If you are traveling and want to stay in a convent--it's the same
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 10:51 AM by paxmusa
rules--no men allowed. It is like the beginning of the article states--to visit these places you are going back a thousand years. Convents and monasteries are exclusively female and male--that's how it works.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I haven't seen many major articles in the Chron about convents
I have no argument with the monks. That's there place to run as they like. What I don't like is encountering an article in my newspaper about why my family and friends might want to travel to a place where I'm not allowed.
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Zensea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Oh please
Your newspaper?
Is "your" newspaper only supposed to write articles about things that directly concern you?
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I paid for the thing
I don't expect the newspaper I pay for to endorse discrimination against me.
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Zensea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. How is this article Endorsing discrimination?
I guess reading it with a thin hypersenstive skin, perhaps, but I really think that's a bit of a stretch.
If you go that route, it can also be said that the article is endorsing discrimination against men.
For example, casual visitors and from the sounds of it, about 99% of the men who might be reading the article as well. Should they complain also?
"That is, if they'll admit you in the first place.
Mount Athos guards its isolation and discourages casual visitors. To be admitted, I had to prepare a letter for the central Pilgrims' Bureau explaining why I wanted to go there. Fortunately, I had a decent reason: After years of legal practice, I was ready for a seriously nonmaterialistic pilgrimage. I was granted one of 10 permits issued each day for non-Orthodox visitors."

Also notice --
"And no one can justly complain about the price: In the tradition of monastic hospitality, each monastery offers two meals and a night's lodging for free, then sends you on your way. You can spend a week at Mount Athos, as I recently did, without spending a dime."

In a sense, it really looks like the monks are letting a few "guests" in per their terms so I am glad to read that at least you don't have a quarrel with the monks.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. Anyone can decide to go on a spiritual quest
You can't decide your sex (or at least, not without extensive surgery).
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #12
28. Endorsing discrimination?
How does the article endorse discrimination?

Do the lingerie ads get under your skin also?

They promote women as sex objects?
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Mrs. Overall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. I must say I agree with you.
There are so many going on in our current world to be angry about and this one just doesn't make me angry at all, and I'm usually a male-bashing feminist!
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. And there are certainly lots of other travel destinations to cover
They couldn't choose someplace else?
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Mrs. Overall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #10
20. I do understand what you are saying, but I think
the travel section is running this story because it is a unique oddity in our current society. I don't see the newspaper as endorsing exclusivity by running an informative article, in the travel section, about a place that really does exist, and really functions in this particular way.

I am assuming by your username that you are a writer. I am also a writer and my husband and I argue all the time about writing residencies that are exclusively female. I live now in the Pacific Northwest, and have applied to Soapstone, in Oregon, and to Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island in WA State. Both of these writing residencies are only open to women, and my husband thinks it is discriminatory. I actually have no problem with it, since I see it as equaling the playing field because the writing/publishing world is so male-oriented.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Convents are significantly poorer
and are most definitely never centers of spiritual power in anybody's religion.

That's the problem, the power/wealth disparity.

It's what makes a men only monastic retreat attractive, the location, the amenities, the sense of importance in the world.

It's even true of Buddhist monasteries.
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Mrs. Overall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Sorry, but I disagree with you.
I'm an ex-nun from an order that's headquartered in the San Francisco area, and we had millions of dollars in assets--a convent, school, and college in Marin county, convents and schools in San Francisco, Napa, Vallejo, Berkeley, and hospitals in Reno and Stockton. You should have seen our portfolio, and this is fairly typical of many American and European women's orders.

I can't speak about Buddhist convents, so perhaps they are significantly poorer.
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Zensea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'm just going to mind my own business
This place has been like this for a thousand years.
What business is it of mine or yours?

The MONASTIC republic.
"Mount Athos is the spiritual center of the Eastern Orthodox world. Visitors need not be Orthodox themselves, but having religious or spiritual purposes in mind will help them get in."
Might as well complain about convents not letting men in.
Despite, as it says in the article --
"The exclusion of women is, naturally, controversial. The European Parliament has endorsed a report containing a paragraph that suggests this is a violation of women's rights. The Greek government has responded that the special status of Mount Athos was recognized in conjunction with the treaty by which Greece joined the European Union in the first place."
I'm still inclined to worry about other things.
Hey, I've got an idea.
Why don't we keep our noses out of the affairs of places that don't look like they're hurting anybody particularly?
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. I'm not complaining about the monastery
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 11:06 AM by wryter2000
I'm complaining about a lead article about a travel destination I can't go to. If they want to have it in the religion section, fine.

Edit for emphasis: I have no problem with the monks doing whatever they want with their property.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #7
22. So...
would your knickers be in such a twist had the article been about someplace MEN weren't allowed?
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. That's what I suggested in the letter I wrote them
I asked them if they'd published articles about places that exclude men and asked them not to publish that, either.
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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
9. Big deal! At least they aren't abusing and raping women..
Great article. Its amazing that places like that still exist.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. I don't have a problem with the monks
But that's kind of a low standard, isn't it? "We don't let them in, but we don't beat and rape them, either."
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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. I guess it is a low standard. Not many places live up to it though.
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 11:36 AM by Webster Green
Can't you just cross that destination off your list, and move on?
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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
13. It was nice that they allowed women and girls as refugees during
the war. Sounds like they really don't want tourists and you have to have a pretty good reason for wanting to go there.

That beauty queen dressing up like a man is hysterical....maybe that would be a fun thing to do...if someone was really determined to see the place.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
14. For the sake of conversation, an excerpt please?
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Excerpt
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 11:29 AM by wryter2000
Clocks here run on Byzantine time, which starts at sunset. Dates are calculated according to the Julian calendar of the Roman Empire, which varies by 13 days from the modern Gregorian calendar you're used to. Some settlements are supplied solely by mule teams, and the flags of Byzantium still fly.

Radio? Television? Newspapers? Paved roads? If they didn't exist in the year 972, you probably won't find them here.

And if you're a woman, you'd better make other plans. Females have been strictly forbidden here for a thousand years. Not even female animals are permitted.


To be fair, at the end, he does mention that their stance has been controversial as far as women's rights are concerned. I don't want them to change their practices, but I don't like the idea of a major newspaper recommending them as a travel destination when a large portion of the readership is excluded because of race/sex/sexual orientation/etc.

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Zensea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. It's the placement of the article that bothers you?
in the travel section instead of another section?
I can respect that.
I wouldn't have thought of it as recommending it even in the travel section, but I can see how it could come across that way.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. Thank you
Yes. It seems to me that a lead article in the travel section is a recommendation. I haven't seen too many articles that conclude, "Whatever you do, stay away from this hell-hole." And honestly, I wouldn't even have noticed the article if the fact that women were excluded hadn't been in the headline.
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KFC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. That part about female animals is too funny
That has got to be a weird place.
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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. I thought so too - are they removed to prevent temptation???EWWWW
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #24
29. Oh, gawd
I hadn't even thought of that. :rofl: Somehow, I doubt it. But maybe they don't want to watch animals having sex with each other.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #15
23. ...
Demographics: the population of the city of San Francisco is more than 51% male; of that 51%, 20% are gay. In that sort of market, an article in the local newspaper about a male-only travel destination is something that WILL be of some interest to some percentage of the newspaper's readership.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
27. You're just trying to manufacture outrage, if you ask me....
I've seen plenty of travel articles about women-only retreats of various sorts. I have no problem with either the men's or women's versions.

Just like the rest of life, there are some things men & women do together, and some they do apart. I fail to see any malevolence in that fact.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. Nothing's an outrage
In fact, I've spent too much time on this already. :) Everyone have a great Sunday.
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