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Sep 24, 2008

The latest Caltravva Bridge problem

The Calatravva Bridge is a bridge that has been trouble since day 1, with the main debate being whether it should ever have been built, considering the high cost.

Regardless of that, the newest issue to arise is one in which residents are complaining that in certain areas near the bridge, one can look up and catch a upskirt view of females above.

The newspaper article is comparing this to the fiasco of the dance troupe at the inaugural party of the bridge a few months ago in which women participants were forced to wear sacks and hats to cover their body shapes. That was a true fiasco, because that is something that should have never happened, and whatever solution was going to be implemented should have been dealt with in advance, not at the last minute.

The truth is though, that this problem has nothing in common with that fiasco. that fiasco was part of the battle of the extreme Haredi against the secular over the atmosphere and style of Jerusalem. This is just a problem. It is not just Haredi women who do not want men looking up their skirts. Any woman who wears a skirt would not want to be exposed like that.

Maybe they compare it because secular women generally wear pants and not skirts. But that is not true - they wear miniskirts, and plenty wear skirts as well (even if only on occassion), and they do not want to have people looking up their skirts.

I remember when the cellphone industry had first started putting cameras into cellphones, there was an issue in Japan, and maybe other places (but I remember reading about Japan). They were forced to change certain standards and abilities because women were complaining that they were catching men on buses and trains taking upskirt pictures of them.

So it is not just Haredi women who have a problem with this, and this should not be portrayed as a fight of the Haredim against the secular.


  1. This is not a modern issue. Men who want to look at a woman will always find a way. They always have, in Japan and every other society, and they have never needed a bridge to do it.

    As always, it comes down to taking personal responsibility. Women for whom modesty is a priority will dress and act accordingly, and men for whom modesty is a priority will do the same.

    Blaming the architectural structure is as ridiculous as blaming a car for crashing itself, instead of the driver who got drunk and got behind the wheel.

  2. true. You are right in a sense that those who want to will always find a way. But in this case, the bridge is constructed in a way that the sides have transparent panels that begin their angle from below. That provides prime viewing possibilities. (you can see a picture on the ynet website in the article linked in the post)

  3. I have to say that one of the first thoughts that went through my mind when I took a bus under the bridge a couple months ago was "Women in skirts, beware".

    It seems to be a very Israeli thing to fail miserably when it comes to resolving issues that when the average person thinks about it, well, the average person would have thought about it months ago. Last minute fiascoes with the worst possible solutions are par for the course with Israel.

  4. "Regardless of that, the newest issue to arise is one in which residents are complaining that in certain areas near the bridge, one can look up and catch a upskirt view of females above."

    Rafi, if you possess a precise map of the best viewing location, it could be a good idea to set up a "duchan" near the place. Count me in if you decide to.

    Oh come on, people, really!

  5. It's actually not a problem yet as there are no pedestrians allowed on the walkway yet.

    I walk under that bridge every day and, to be honest, this thought hasn't even crossed my mind. (And it's not because I'm so "frum" either.)

    My impression is that the glass floor of the walkway is frosted, but I'll double check and report back. (Obviously that's the simple solution if it's not.)

    I imagine that some of the people we'd have to "protect" from this problem are the same guys who live near us in RBS B and can't help but look into our windows at night.

  6. I think the problem would be resolved if there was a shomer at the entrance to the bridge who handed out trousers to women who were inappropriately dressed. ie women who were wearing skirts, in a blatant attempt to corrupt men and reveal their legs.
    It is the women's responsibility to ensure that men will not look at them in an inappropriate manner.
    Those who wish to borrow the 'cape of invisibility' and a hat will be able to request these as well.

  7. OK, so I took a look today. Unfortunately there were no women walking up there. (Just kidding.:)

    The floor of the walkway is opaque. The wall is made of clear glass. I guess it's theoretically possible to position oneself at the point were the bridge rises from the tachana to get an angled view up a short skirt of someone walking near the glass wall.

    I suppose the city could set up special viewing stations to facilitate the process.

    Yet another reason why Jerusalem does not need another Chareidi Mayor.

    Let's move on...

  8. What an opportunity to sell upskirt blockers! Cardbord boxes with 2 holes in the bottom (for womens legs) when they cross the bridge....I'll make a fortune!

  9. There are parts of Jerusalem where every balcony has big wooden boards on the side, lest people in the street be able to see up the skirts of women doing laundry.


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