Sheeeeeesh. When did things get so serious around here? I thought I'd throw up a small warm-fuzzy for everyone to say, "WE'RE BACK!" Happy 2011-2012 season, everyone.
This lovely little story comes to us from Howard County, Maryland. The Columbia Association has announced a blocked-off time for "Women Only Swimming." The need for this comes from Howard County's growing Muslim population and the fact that many Muslim women felt uncomfortable swimming in a co-ed situation but they very much wanted to swim. The Columbia Association felt that not only Muslim women had a need for a "women's only" swim time but other women might also feel more comfortable swimming at these times for other personal reasons. The reserved times are scheduled during "slower" parts of the day.
New York City Parks and Recreation also has "women only" swim times at the Metropolitan Recreation Center and some universities are also implementing a blocked-off time for women only. At George Washington, some complained citing concerns over the program "infringing on other's civil liberties."
Personally, I think this is nice. It brings a population to the pool that would otherwise be excluded. I have always found the swimming community to be especially inclusive and this is yet another example. There will be arguments against this, I'm sure. I just like how the swimming community opens itself up to people from all walks of life. Water is universal. So throw on those "burqinis" ladies and get in the pool!!