Another day, another story about men harassing a woman in public. It was her own fault, of course. She should’ve known better than to try to get on a public bus wearing pants instead of a long skirt as dictated by her superiors, orthodox Jewish men.
Every time Israeli student Iris Yoffe takes the bus to Jerusalem, she has to be ready for abuse from ultra-Orthodox Jews who say she should be kept off because she’s wearing trousers.
Assuming she makes it onto the bus at all — on several occasions groups of Orthodox men have tried to block the door — Yoffe, 24, heads for the “women’s section” at the back of the bus, keeps her head down and tries to ignore the insults.
“I end up feeling helpless and humiliated, like an outsider,” said Yoffe, whose public bus from her home in northern Israel to Jerusalem has separate male and female seating because it runs through an ultra-Orthodox community.
They’ve harassed this young woman and others because, as they’ve bluntly stated, they do not have the ability to control themselves in public. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that they do not appear to have considered the obvious solution to this problem – placing restrictions upon themselves.
All they have to do is make a rule that restricts themselves from public spaces between, say, 6am and 9pm. They could also institute a self-ban when it comes to public transportation. They could also wear the human equivalent of horse blinders and walk in a single file behind the male member with the most self-control.
It should be noted that this isn’t just a Jewish problem, but a problem in all societies and communities that are dominated by the various brands of Yaweh-ism. Here in America we have the “Modesty Plague”, have had it for years and it severely impacts us on many levels.
There’s the common wisdom that if a woman wants to avoid being harassed and/or assaulted she should dress ‘appropriately’, modify her behavior and restrict her movement. Such thoughts/beliefs are based on the idea that men cannot refrain from becoming a threat to women, especially if women do not conform to their standards for women.
Where does it come from? Christians past and present. There are countless articles, books and sermons about “modesty” and they date back to the early years of Christianity. Remember Paul’s rant about Christian women getting all fancy with their hairstyles, clothes and jewelry?
Modern ‘modesty’ peddlers take the “back in the day” route. Apparently, there was a golden age when all women dressed like ladies, not whores. This is, of course, in complete contradiction with the Bible which talks extensively about whores and goes as far as to put a whore at the epicenter of the Christian apocalypse.
For example, here’s how an article from the United Church of God about modesty begins:
Upon traversing America in the 1830s, French author and statesman Alexis de Toqueville attributed the extraordinary prosperity and growing greatness of the nation to “the superiority of their women,” who were protected by “punishing rape by death.” Continuing, he noted that “no other crime is judged with the same inexorable severity by public opinion. There is reason for this: as the Americans think nothing more precious than a woman’s honor.” It was a time of chivalry, honor and modest dress. It was a time when a woman “could walk anywhere alone without fear, so great was men’s respect for their modesty” (Wendy Shalit, A Return to Modesty, Discovering the Lost Virtue, 1999, pages 39-40).
Do you, like I , wonder what these respectable men did to immodest women? I’m going to guess they did exactly what their counterparts do today. They raped them and then said it wouldn’t have happened if she’d just been “modest”.
Of course, immodest women aren’t just immodest, but dishonorable and evil. What do upstanding men of god do to the evil in their midst? Destroy it. How do they identify the evil? It’ll be wearing a short dress, have it’s hair all in their face, it’s face all dolled up with glittering rocks and shiny metal adorning it’s extremities. It’ll also be acting like them, but have a vagina where a penis should be.