Tuesday, January 3, 2012

No Hero

Recently, the internet has been filled with stories of gender discrimination in Israel. The story has been on the treatment of women by hareidi (Jewish) religious men who had enforced rules on gender separation within their neighborhoods.

This is evidently something that has been happening for a few years already in certain parts of Israel and one of the rules imposed was the separation of seats on buses. On buses piling certain routes within some neighborhoods, there are separate seating place for men and women. Men seat in front while women seat at the back of the bus. The internet has been buzzing because an Israeli woman, Tania Rosenblit, refused to follow the rules and insisted on sitting behind the driver at the front of the bus. She got into an argument with a man and the police were even called in.

In most posts on the internet, Ms. Rosenblit has been likened to an “Israeli Rosa Parks,” for standing up to gender segregation. Now Ms. Rosenblit insists she wasn't looking to be a role model when she refused demands to move to the back of the bus. She’s right; she wasn’t looking to be a hero, she was looking for trouble!

Most people on the internet seem to have forgotten one important thing about Ms. Rosenblit. Ms. Rosenblit is a media producer who got on the bus with a camera. She then proceeded to capture the whole “incident” on camera. The whole thing was as manufactured as you can get but Ms. Rosenblit is now a “hero”?

Please people; heroes are people who stand up for what they believe in like the original Rosa Parks. Now maybe Ms. Rosenblit truly believe in the cause (fighting gender discrimination) but from all the reports I read, it seem clear to me that she went on the bus looking to create an incident. She got what she was looking for.

Maybe the whole thing is for the best as it put a spotlight on gender discrimination in Israel but we should NOT put Ms. Rosenblit on the same level as Rosa Parks. Ms. Rosenblit is no hero. She was just doing her job; to produce “news”.

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