Thursday, February 15, 2007

Haredi Rage, or If I Were a Bitch, Man

Daidle deedle daidle Daidle daidle deedle daidle dum

Okay, no more "Fiddler" jokes. We are dealing with "Taliban-like Jewish fundamentalism" here.

What-what? If you didn't hear the story on NPR on Jerusalem's Rosa Parks fights "Modesty Patrols" then go there and listen to/read the story. Now.

The haredi are an ultra-orthodox section of Judaism. A lawsuit has recently been filed with Israel's highest court on behalf of women who have been harassed and abused for not moving to the back of the bus. Naomi Reagan was one such woman who triumphantly retorted "Look, you show me in the code of jewish law, where it's written that I'm not allowed to sit in this seat, and I will move. Until then, get out of my face." Other women have not been so lucky, some succumbing to the harassment some being violently beaten. The story is worth every minute of your time.

So WTF Award goes to the haredi for this round, although it could easily be generalized to most organized religion.

While I was outraged at devout Jews beating women, I was not surprised. A quote near the end was the most telling and the source of today's tangent: These enforcements "help men focus on their family and their wife, and avoid distractions."

Rabbis Ban Skirts, Blouses
Pic from Failed Messiah

That's right, it comes back to the majority of the world continuing to embrace an antiquated, phallocentric worldview. And it's guys like the rabbis pictured above, Ted Haggard, Bill Donahue, Osama bin Laden, and the Pope who all contribute to this attitude: Women must be controlled because men can't control themselves and cannot take responsibility for lack of control.

  • Taliban rule in Afghanistan banned women from schooling, forced them to wear a burqa, and often beat them in public for the smallest infractions

  • Haredi rabbis burned see-through stockings, rioted to kill a gay pride rally, and are considering passing a law to end female education at the high school level.

  • Pope John Paul II declared that Catholic women could never be priests, and since it was "founded on the written word of God," was an infallible judgment.

It's part of every religion, every controlling culture (see female genital mutilation). Burn the books, beat the women, and instill the fear of God.

It's how men and power and religion and control all work together. Now if we could only show that government is somehow related...

Haredi Youth Kickin it
Kickin' it Haredi Stylez (not gay...?)
Photo from here.
Hip Jewish smiley shirt here.

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