The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

You Told Us: DNAinfo Readers Weigh In On Women-Only Swiming at Public Pool

By Gwynne Hogan | June 28, 2016 12:13pm
 Readers had a range of opinions about the women-only hours for the Williamsburg rec center.
Readers had a range of opinions about the women-only hours for the Williamsburg rec center.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

You Told Us is a regular feature in which we highlight comments from users in the communities DNAinfo covers.

Last week we wrote about a group of "secular swimmers" who have been using the Metropolitan Recreation Center for decades and are now calling on the city to end female-only swim hours set aside for the neighborhood's Hasidic women.

Their disavowal of the Parks Department policy came several weeks after the city's Human Rights Commission found that the women only hours violated laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender.

The story sparked a fierce and complex debate amongst our readers, some of whom defended the women-only hours, saying it was a time-honored tradition in the neighborhood.

"This pool has been their social outlet long before Williamsburg became what it is today," Facebook user Derina Doorley wrote.

"Gentrification must respect tradition. Nobody's asking a lot. But leave these women with their personal pool time. They have to put up with you too."

Other readers came to the defense of the women-only swim. 

►"Women's hours are open to all women, not just Satmar Hasidim. That means that any woman, such as a nun, a Muslim woman or an atheist woman who is tired of catcalls from men, can swim without being ogled or harassed," wrote Facebook user Sergey Kadinsky. "All city pools should have gender-separate hours along with coed hours."

►"Stop, the pool needs to serve the needs of the community and those women are part of the community. I think the people who protest are just angry about not being part of anything beyond their own selfish selves," wrote Neighborhood Square user mi-fitz. "The gender discrimination was to allow women into the power conversation not to take the spaces we need away from us."

The debate was deeply divided and many thought the city should do away with the  women-only hours immediately.

►"If the Hasidic community desires private swimming time for their women, they should build a pool," wrote Neighborhood Square user larryk. "A perfectly reasonable solution. Anyone can practice any religion they wish, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of other people."

►"They want to live separately from the community at large, and yet they want the community to give them their own time at the pool," wrote Neighborhood Square user Ellcee. "They can't have it both ways. Give to the community & the community will give back."

Another reader begged for compromise.

► "I might agree that swimming in full states of dress should be prevented, but maybe a compromise allowing Hasidic women, many of whom don't own (and frankly wouldn't wear) a bathing suit to swim in a t-shirt and shorts can be offered instead," Facebook user Yaron Blumstein wrote. "We are all just people, why can't we learn to love each other despite our differences."