Is This New Women-Only Ride-Sharing App Illegal?

She Rides is a new service launching in New York on Monday that connects female riders with women drivers. The gender-specific business plan is being scrutinized by those who say it discriminates against men. She Rides' founder argues that her service is not unlike a women-only gym.

She Rides is a new ride-sharing service launching in New York on Monday that connects women riders to female drivers. The company is the brainchild of Sandra Mateo, a mother of two daughters, who holds an opinion shared by many women. If she's going to take a ride with a stranger, she would feel more comfortable if the driver were a woman. With men making up 99% of New York taxi drivers, Mateo wanted to offer a niche alternative to her fellow females.

Mateo compares She Rides to other businesses that specifically cater to women: gyms and some hotels, for example. Others have noted that the service could be in violation of anti-discrimination laws. Sam Estreicher, a law professor at NYU, tells CBS that businesses cannot honor the wishes of customers who request to be served by workers of a certain race, sex, or ethnicity. This line of reasoning is why hypothetical ride-sharing apps like "White Rides" or "Hetero Rides" would be swiftly shut down. It's also why prison guards at women's prisons were integrated during the late 70s.

Mateo's response is that exceptions exist in certain situations. For example, women can request to see a female gynecologist if they're not comfortable with a male doctor. And with a recent spate of stories popping up about female Uber riders being sexually assaulted by their drivers, there appears to be a legitimate concern with regard to women's safety. Whether this pursuit of comfort and security abides by the law remains to be seen. This is one of those particular situations where legitimate cases for both sides are backed by both reason and precedent.

Read more at CBS News & CBS New York

Photo credit: Paul Vasarhelyi / Shutterstock

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less

New alternative to Trump's wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security

A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.

Credit: Purdue University photo/Jorge Castillo Quiñones
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
  • The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
  • It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Keep reading Show less
Image source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
  • A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
  • Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
Keep reading Show less