When a recent online exposé revealed that women on a city-franchised bus were required to sit in the back, those who seemed to be least outraged were the women who actually ride the bus and live in the two heavily Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhoods it connects.
“It never bothered me,” said Rachel Freier, a lawyer from Boro Park who rides another segregated bus to Manhattan from her summer home in the Orthodox enclave of Kiryas Joel. “It is not that I feel I am being segregated. As a woman, it is my own sphere of privacy.”
“What is special about this isn’t the segregation of sexes, but the segregation in the public domain,” said Samuel Heilman, a sociologist at Queens College who has written extensively on the ultra-Orthodox.
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