Your Community

Readers cheer York professor for refusing 'no women' request

Categories: Canada, Community readers were, for the most part, supportive of a York University professor who refused a student's request to be excluded from group work with women, and criticized the school's administration for backing the student

"Good for Prof. Paul Grayson, and shame on YorkU's Centre for Human Rights and the Dean's Office. It could indeed just as easily have been a female student who wanted to avoid male students or one race avoiding another. Too crazy. The most interesting point was that the student was OK with Grayson's refusal," said Three Senseworth.

"My late wife was refused admittance to a government funded Vancouver trade school to upgrade her drafting skills. Because she was a woman. When I complained on her behalf, I was told this straight up and loud and clear. 'We don't take women in this course.' I just couldn't believe it. Professor Grayson is right. Let's not go back," said wontquit.

"York made a poor and unreasoned decision on this issue. A publicly funded, secular university need to be clear on their stand on these kinds of matters so that everyone's needs are met," said Kit's Kat

"This sounds to me like the university is trying to cover themselves and not really analyze the implications of accommodating the student's request. I applaud the prof for taking a stand and I agree, if we allow this type of behavior, where do we draw the line?" said jacs14.  

"In my personal opinion, this goes beyond reasonable accomodation. In a public educational institution group work is a bone fide requirement. That is how we work in Canada. Nobody forces anyone to attend any university or class, that is a choice," said EarlyBird.

"As an alumnus of York, I am appalled to think the University administration did not back the professor from the beginning on this issue. If you live in Canada and go to school here you are living under Canadian law and that law states that men and women, gay and straight, Christians or Jews or Muslims and all the other religions are equal. Period," said BrianMiddleton.  

"As a female student at York, I support Professor Grayson's decision, and cannot help but wonder if the administration would demand that he support a student request not to associate with blacks, Jews or infidels if the request was made on religious grounds," said hearmeroar

"It's about time we as a society grew up a little more and moved away from dark ages superstitions embodied by religion. Religious rights do have a place in our society. People should be allowed to believe whatever they wish. But their right to put those beliefs into action should always be subordinate to our primary Human Rights," said OrdinaryPapal.  

But a few people in our comments went against the grain and defended the student's right to religious accommodation. 

"This student is not requesting that females be forbidden to go to university- this is not a women's rights issue. No one is denying females the right to do anything. Instead, this young man is simply requesting that he not be forced to deal with females as a religious right," said Doctor R.  

"I think the York University is right in approving the request. The real democracy is where the minority rights are protected, and in this case, the student was a minority and had no other choice than accepting the professor's decision and move on to complete the course whereas the university had a choice to make accommodations and women students had the choice to work with other men," said flamesinwater.  

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this story and for following our reporting on

Tags: Canada, Community, Community Reaction, Education, Toronto

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.