While I can understand your point of view, as a student of law, you, above everyone should understand the need for equality.
You are young and are perhaps distanced from the struggles of Canadian women to gain equal status in our country. Religion was the foundation of the subjugation of women in our country’s history.
McGill is a public university and as a public university it must represent Canadian rights and freedoms for all. This does include you. You have the right to exercise without someone ogling you and if someone is making you uncomfortable by inappropriate gestures or words, then you have the right to seek the assistance of the gym administration.
If exercising in the company of the male gender is contrary to your religious beliefs, then I’m sorry but that is on you. It is not up to a public university to conform to the dogma/theories of a particular religion. The university must be above this and stand for equality. Equality does not mean you are entitled to segregated gym time or area.
Religious choice and restrictions are personal and have no place in the public domain.
Let us, as an example, examine the lives of Canadians who leave this country for temporary work abroad; Saudi is an excellent example. As a Canadian woman, in that country, I would be obligated to abide by Saudi law. This means I would have to relinquish my Canadian rights to those of my host country. I would have to accept this.
Canada is a country of freedom for all of us – men as well as women. You do have your freedom; if you are uncomfortable in the gym, you have the freedom to go elsewhere. You do not have the right to dictate the operation of this public facility based on your personal choice of how you interpret your religion.
We narrowly escaped a xenophobic bill of law by the Parti Quebecois, whereby you would lose your right to wear a hijab which does not intrude on the rights of anyone else. It was a horrific bill. By insisting that a public facility conforms to your personal interpretation of your religion, you have managed to bolster any future attempt to table this bill.
Ms. Allalou, you must learn and understand the fine line between freedom and personal choice. Personal choice cannot be used to control actions within the rule of law. Canadian law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender; you are proposing just that – discrimination.
Do not use your religious choice to justify the action. You are wrong in this. Very, very wrong.