Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Media and Chassidic Women


Chaya writes:  When you slam Orthodox Jews because you think you're defending or somehow liberating the women of our communities, you're actually doing us a huge disservice.

Hi. I'm Chaya, and I am a Chassidic Jewish woman. I am also a media professional with a degree in Women's Studies from a large, very liberal university (magna cum laude, baby!).

In the past few days, I've been reading the backlash against "the asifa," a recent mass meeting of religious Jewish men meant to draw a few boundaries around Internet use in our homes (meaning religious Jewish homes; not your house).

Whenever religious Jews make a stink about some cultural issue, the media moves in on it with a bizarre kind of vengeance. Like yesterday, Katie J.M. Baker published an article on Jezebel about the event, in which she actually compared Jewish men to ants!

See: "While men in traditional Orthodox garb filed into Citi Field as steadily as a never-ending line of ants approaching an anthill…" Um, where have I seen Jews compared to insects before? Oh, wait, WWII. 

12 comments:

  1. Sorry, but I object to the implication that because "Chaya" has a secular education and qualification, she's somehow more worthy, when in fact in Chassidic circles, this is not regarded a measure of worthiness at all.

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    1. True, but perhaps she's making this point specifically because of the attitude in the media that chassidic women are somehow deficient in intelligence as their lives appear to be ''subservient'' and they are continually having children - ie. they are baby-makers and nothing else. We know the reality, but sometimes it needs to be set out in ways that the general media understands.

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    2. Sorry, I don't understand you. If a frum, chassidishe woman wants to be a stay-at-home Mom, and devote herself to her family, and go to shiurim as regularly as she can for Torah-based intellectual food, then she's "deficient in intelligence"? Only collegegoers can be clever? On the contrary, the preferred lifestyle for a Jewish woman is what I described; being a career woman should be a second choice, done only out of genuine necessity. I hope I'm misunderstanding you.

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    3. That is the media's point of view, not mine. I was explaining why I thought the author mentioned her degree - to impress the media, not us.

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  2. This is anon101. I heard today a shiur by Rabbi Pinchas Winston who says that we are the generation of the desert in a gigul since we are the last generation before Moshiach. This is why the eruv Rav are so profound. We always had evil Jews but I am personally seeing more of them. How about you? His shiur can be found at: http://www.yousendit.com/download/QlVqS3hXRSszS3BEZU1UQw

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  3. Everyday we see the value of a secular education. Who are the people running the American govt? Who's making the decisions in Israel? Who brainwash the kids in college? They all got a great secular education and a certificate saying so. But ask any group of college kids and the majority of them think cheating is okay. They'll also tell you Israel is an apartheid state and the IDF kills Aarab kids for fun. Take a look at the world. It's not so much the uneducated who are destroying our world. I assume all the men on Wall Street have higher degrees. Why I bet George Soros has a couple of them. Who cares what the media thinks. Every degenerate and thief has a degree..This is no reflection on Chaya. Only the secular world and their measuring sticks.

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  4. This article should not have been posted. It contains dirty language.

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    1. What law does that violate?

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    2. Thou shalt not link to dodgy websites.

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  5. I think its fair for your audience to read this http://finkorswim.com/2012/05/22/dear-chaya/

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    1. eli, thanks for the link, you provide some great points.

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  6. Actually, according to Rashi, such a thing did happen before. When the evil Spies who toured Israel before the Jews in the desert were supposed to enter, returned with a slanderous report, they claimed that they looked like grasshoppers (according to the literal meaning of the word in the Torah) in the eyes of the giants living there. Rashi notes that the Spies heard these giants saying to each other "There are ants in the vineyards who appear to look like men". There is a different version of the word in Rashi to be grasshoppers rather than ants, but regardless of the exact word, the deeper meaning here is that there will always be those who will look down at us Jews, but we shouldn't let ourselves be intimidated by them, but rather continue to have full faith in Hashem in doing what is right.

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