Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Sheitl Store Ban aka Erasing People

This post isn't really about the sheitl store ban. It's about what the sheitl store ban will ultimately lead to if we don't nip it in the bud.

I was trolling around on some of my regular blogs tonight and I found this on Failed Messiah. In a nutshell: in an ad in the North Manchester Circular, a charedi weekly shopper published in England, a bunch of little boys and little girls are modeling Purim costumes. What's wrong with the picture? The litte girls' faces are blurred out. The little boys' faces are not. Click on the image to open an enlarged pdf.

I felt physically ill when I read this. It is simply unbelievable.

  1. If you think that little girls modeling Purim costumes is untznius, don't have little girls modeling Purim costumes.
  2. If you feel the need to blur, blur the body parts that might be untznius. Don't blur the face. Their is nothing, NOTHING about a face that is untznius. If it strikes you as ridiculous to blur body parts, that's because it is.
  3. These are children. CHILDREN. Are little girls now considered an ervah?
  4. You might say that a certain population of men might be aroused by little girls. Would it valid to say that this same group of men might be just as aroused by little boys?
I quoted Dennis Prager before on the importance of not hiding one's face, in the context of why the veil was so degrading to women. It is worth quoting him again:

In the long history of women's inequality, it is difficult to name almost anything more anti-woman, dehumanizing and degrading than the veil. We know people by their face. Without seeing a person's face, we feel that we do not know the person. When we read about someone in the news, whether known for good or ill, we immediately study the person's face. One can have one's entire body covered, and it means nothing in terms of whether we feel we know the person. But cover a person's face, and the person might as well be invisible.

Indeed, the veiled woman is intended to be invisible. That is precisely the goal of the veil.

We cannot do this. This is not Judaism. This is not tznius. This is neuroses. This is crazy, crazy messed up stuff. This has got to go.


A said...

Of course, the faces of little girls, what could be a better example of pritzus than that. Oy.

I guess this goes hand in hand with Hamodia's policy of cutting women's pictures out of the photographs they publish.

Nice Jewish Guy said...

I wonder if anyone has ever sat down with these women, privately adn anonymously, and asked them how they really feel about this practice.

It's all going to eventually implode. It may take years, or decades, but it will.

WebGirl said...

NJG, read Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia. It's an incredible book.

How do they feel? Degraded. Invisible. Less than human.

Is this the way we want Orthodox Jewish women to feel? Because like you said, it's headed in that direction.

A, you're absolutely right. It's actually the next step beyond face erasing. Think about how screwy it is to print the image of the body and blur the image of the face, in the name of tznius. And these are children!