. VocalReferences jpg 250x250_1 . . Buy School Clothing Square New

Oct 25, 2011

Is Gender-Segregation An Indication of Disrespect To Women?

I read an interesting editorial in the Yated Ne'eman today. They are rarely interesting, and at best they are occasionally worth reading for entertainment value alone to see who they are in the mood to attack. This one was not really that interesting either, but a specific point the writer made was interesting.

The column was attacking the people who opened a case with the Supreme Court against the gender-segregation on the streets of Mea She'arim over Sukkot in the area where the main Simchat Beit Ha'Shoeva's are concentrated. Of course it could not just criticize the attack and deal with the issue, but had to lower itself to talking about how these people come in the names of equality, respect and morality but they themselves live completely immoral lives and are bad people, etc.

Regardless of that,  it made an interesting point. The writer was saying that this segregation is done there because of the tens of thousands of people flocking down the narrow streets, and it needs to be done so as to avoid inappropriate contact. I am against gender-segregation in public areas, but I understand their point of the necessity in this specific situation.

He went on to prove, with another incident that happened over Sukkos that they hadn't had a chance to write about because they were on vacation, the respect the frum world has for women, and that segregation is not about disrespect. he pointed out that Rebbetzin Kanievsky passed away on Sukkos with little notice and her funeral drew tens of thousands of people, men mostly, who came to pay their respects and accompany her. If religion, if men, had total disrespect for women, and that is what the segregation is all about, why would the men show such respect and accord such honor to a woman?

Interesting point.

12 comments:

  1. They were coming to honor her husband

    ReplyDelete
  2. one could also say it isnt a big deal when people honor someone famous and popular. it isnt a sign of respect to anyone but that one specific person. And therefore it says nothing about whether or not women in general are respected or not.

    I still thought it was an interesting point that the writer made.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rafi -

    I do not know what the set-up was at the funeral for Rebbetzin Kanievsky z"l, and I ask this in all sincerity:
    While it was nice to see so many men come to honor her, I am sure there were plenty of women who did so also - where were they put in relation to the men?

    The measure of how a society respects its women is not measured in their attitude toward women after their death, but indeed, in the attitude towards women while they are very much still alive.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The problem is that it always ends up that the women are the one moved away or inconvenienced. That's pretty much a sure sign that it's not separate but equal.

    I agree that Chareidi society has warm feelings for their wives and mothers and daughters. No one is (or should be) questioning that. But that's not the same thing as true respect or not discriminating. In fact the very idea that I could reasonably say "Chareidi society" and really men "the men" indicates this; this is what the writer means by "the frum world." The men.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 1) They were there to honour her husband.
    2) "Inappropriate" is a loaded word. It is inappropriate for me to reach out and touch a woman. Is it inappropriate to accidently brush against her as I'm walking down a crowded street without any intention of making physical contact?
    3) Look at the pattern - women have to sit on the back of the bus. Women cannot speak in public. Women cannot drive. Women must dress in increasingly restrictive fashions. Women are photoshopped out of photos even when in appropriate attire. And why? So men won't be tempted. Women are being turned from human objects into walking porno posters and being seen as nothing more than that. That's disrespectful no matter what spin the Yated wants to put on it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What is needed is a Rosa Parkstein to bring about desegragation on buses.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "If religion, if men, had total disrespect for women, and that is what the segregation is all about, why would the men show such respect and accord such honor to a woman?"

    Not sure where you're getting the word "total" from. You can not have "total disrespect" for women, yet treat them discriminatorally, and still honor them when when they die.

    More importantly, you'll really honor the ones who, not only kowtow to your disrespectful ways, but even act as a role model in glorifying them!

    ReplyDelete
  8. If the men were more polite, and would watch we're they're going, they wouldn't bump into women.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The issue doesn't even need to be about respect for women or not.

    If you hold an event in the public square utilizing public space you must conform to the rules of public use.

    If you want a gender segregated event go rent a stadium and build a sukkah in the field and set up separate entrances and seating.

    You can honor and respect your way of life without infringing upon the public.

    ReplyDelete
  10. S. - "I agree that Chareidi society has warm feelings... But that's not the same thing as true respect or not discriminating." - Exactly. There is a difference. The first, although loving, has patronizing overtones. I always think of the "bina yetera" compliment as condescending, as in don't do me any favors, I seek equality - intellectually, spiritually, emotionally etc. - not a pat on the head.

    Mr. Ironheart - "..So men won't be tempted. Women are being turned from human objects into walking porno posters and being seen as nothing more than that. That's disrespectful" - Perfect. And from there emanate all the fear, sense of being threatened and distrust.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My quip on gender-separated buses:

    To seperate is one's own perogative. However, if they really wish to honor women, they should be honored by being seated in the front of the bus. To be sent to the back shows its nothing about honoring women and more about mysogony.

    In society, it is the men with the power, and showing how they wield their power over a weaker sector demonstrates their true intentions.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "they were coming to honor her husband" - I disagree.
    Our family once went to receive a bracha and an eitza from the Rebetzin. There was a room of women and teens waiting their turn. At the entrance there were several bachurim and a man that kept peeking in - I thought they were looking for a way in to see the Rav - but eventually it became apparent that they were waiting for the Rebbetzin. It seems she was giving those Bachurim practical shidduch advice - and they were waiting for their turn to speak to her.
    It seems (that at least some) men respected her as well.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...