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More gender segregation demands in Williamsburg


Eponine
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I found this on the blog of a woman who left the Satmars. Her blog is super interesting and she has a book coming out in early 2012. She often posts pictures and such from her old neighborhood and I thought FJ might find this post interesting (not broken because she's not fundie and given that she advertises her book there I don't think she'd be unhappy with extra traffic):

 

http://deborahfeldman.tumblr.com/post/1 ... en-to-step

 

 

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Oh my god, another sign telling women to step aside for men, taped to a lamppost on a Williamsburg street corner. I can’t read the entire text, but here is the gist of it, translated for you:

 

Precious, honored Jewish daughter. Be careful to preserve your title. A Jewish daughter behaves modestly on the street.

 

* When a man approaches her, or when she encounters a man, SHE MOVES HERSELF ASIDE.

 

* She does not speak loudly in the street or in the shops.

 

Obviously this is only meant for the Hasidic community there, since it's written in Hebrew, but how much of a "problem" must this be if there are many signs like this popping up on street corners?

Edited by OnceUponATime
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This is a perfect example of why elevating a woman to a pedestal isn't respectful to her. Girls and women are "precious and honored", but as soon as they step out of line they have a long way to fall. This sign says explicitly what other patriarchs only imply, that you'll lose your title if misbehave. That's why worshiping women or saying that you're not sexist because you think women are so wonderful and delicate is not as good as it seems. It's always conditional. I'd rather just be an average, non-precious person but have that status no matter how much I conform to feminine standards.

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This is a perfect example of why elevating a woman to a pedestal isn't respectful to her. Girls and women are "precious and honored", but as soon as they step out of line they have a long way to fall. This sign says explicitly what other patriarchs only imply, that you'll lose your title if misbehave. That's why worshiping women or saying that you're not sexist because you think women are so wonderful and delicate is not as good as it seems. It's always conditional. I'd rather just be an average, non-precious person but have that status no matter how much I conform to feminine standards.

+1.

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Bananacat, I agree and that is why I can't stand when Orthodox bloggers (like Out of the Ortho Box) defend these practices by saying that women are so valued. Better to not value them so much but treat them fairly.

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This is a perfect example of why elevating a woman to a pedestal isn't respectful to her. Girls and women are "precious and honored", but as soon as they step out of line they have a long way to fall. This sign says explicitly what other patriarchs only imply, that you'll lose your title if misbehave. That's why worshiping women or saying that you're not sexist because you think women are so wonderful and delicate is not as good as it seems. It's always conditional. I'd rather just be an average, non-precious person but have that status no matter how much I conform to feminine standards.

Agreed.

And let's not forget that the Taliban claims their laws are in place out of respect for women. Yes, it's extreme, but it exemplifies why such an attitude is so harmful.

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Bananacat, I agree and that is why I can't stand when Orthodox bloggers (like Out of the Ortho Box) defend these practices by saying that women are so valued. Better to not value them so much but treat them fairly.

The one time I visited an Orthodox shul, I didn't feel valued being separated by my husband on the sparsely populated woman's side, I felt devalued and subjugated. :| The friend I was with tried to explain that "women are more holy" which struck me as really irritating as I'd heard a line like that before growing up Catholic.

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Out of the Ortho Box isn't from this sect. The "step aside" folks on Satmar Hasidim, who are considered strict/extreme even by other Hasidim. Out of the Ortho Box is Yeshivish.

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I know Out of the Ortho Box is yeshivish, but she has defended those practices and said that they're respectful of women, have great intentions, etc. Her Facebook and Twitter are open, and she sometimes posts more controversial things in those places rather than on her blog.

Here's a post from her other blog where she defends the chareidi practice of not publishing women's pictures in newspapers:

jfxramblings.blogspot.com/2011/05/wheres-hillary.html

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Ugh. The thing with Ruchi is that I generally like her writing style - she's pretty open and has a sense of humour - but sometimes the apologetics just rub me the wrong way.

I get that some groups don't print pictures of women, ever, and that this is part of their general guidelines and not something that they do specifically to be obnoxious and that they do not judge the hotness of every single photo.

At the same time...there is a very real issue when you alter history to exclude women. If it doesn't automatically occur to people that this is a problem because they are just focused on the modestly question, then that too is a problem.

I can understand that Ruchi may have felt that the avalanche of comments made were attacking HER community and values as well, and that may explain why she's defensive. At the same time, though, she's resorting to some really bad arguments. Calling Hillary Clinton a victim of western morality? Really? If anything, Bill was a product of Christian morality, and had developed a sort of split personality where he believed that X was right, but still did Y. That problem exists in the Orthodox Jewish world as well.

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Ruchi is usually very tactful and respectful of others, but she has to be since she works in kiruv. I think her views and explanations are a bit to the right even of some yeshivish communities. It definitely sounds like she and her husband moved toward the chareidi end of things when they lived in Israel, although she was raised in a more moderate yeshivish family.

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