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Misogyny in Religion

Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 16:59 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Over my many years of blogging, I have mentioned the anti-feminist or outright anti-woman characteristics of Islam and, to a lesser degree, more traditional denominations of Christianity. What I don’t remember mentioning is that characteristic in Hasidic (very orthodox) Judaism, but that was before I read this story on the Huffington Post:

A Brooklyn-based Hasidic newspaper removed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and another woman from the now-iconic photo of the Obama national security team watching the raid that killed Osama bin Laden from the White House Situation Room.

[ . . . ]

“In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status,” the statement [issued by Der Tzitung] said in part. “… Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.”

Go to the link to see the original and altered pictures.

I’m so sick of this “modesty” crap and the contention that it isn’t meant to demean women. Of course that’s what it’s meant for. How is publishing photos of women any less modest than publishing photos of men, especially when the amount of skin showing is the same? The answer is it isn’t, unless you think there is something wrong with women compared to men. Elsewhere in the HuffPo article, the reason given for the policy is that photos of women could be “sexually suggestive,” which is another crock. The only way that photo, or most news photos of women, could be considered sexually suggestive is if the person looking at it is sexually obsessed. Is that the case with Hasidic men, that they can’t be expected to control their hormonal urges? Are they admitting that men are no better than animals with no impulse control? That attitude is dangerously close to the Muslim view of women that has imprisoned women under niqabs, hijabs, and burqas on the grounds that the mere sight of female skin or hair would render men unable to control themselves. Bullsh!t. Or, to be more deliberately offensive, pig sh!t.

I suggest to the Neanderthals at Der Tzitung learn to exercise a little Godly self-control and take responsibility for themselves. If they can’t behave appropriately at the sight of a female, then the solution is to cover their eyes and stop blaming their weakness on women.

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