"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Modesty Glasses

Facebook reminded me that three years ago, I shared this article. I have thought of it and mentioned it many times since then.  I'm glad to reread it today.  Personal responsibility for the win!

"If you step into the extremist ultra-Orthodox mindset for a moment, there is indeed a problem - haredi men must move around in the world to a certain extent - if only to travel to and from yeshiva and run their errands. But in this wider world there are women. Let’s accept the premise that any glimpse of any woman awakens base instincts that they have absolutely no control over. It’s an absurd premise, but I’ll accept it for the sake of argument.


Until now, most of the ‘solutions’ to this quandary have women giving up their freedom and their comfort, requiring them to cover their bodies and hide themselves, to stay out of the public realm, to avoid stepping on the public stage, in order to keep the men away from temptation.


In this context, the glasses, in fact, represent a refreshing change of approach. They limit and hampering the freedom of the men, not the women. They make clear that if the sight of women bother them, it is their responsibility to limit their sight, not force women to get out of their line of vision.

Glasses that disrupt these mens’ eyesight and ability to move around in the world is actually an excellent answer to their troubles, and also spares women the insult of having men cover their eyes when they approach, let alone being spit at or being called a ‘whore.’ In fact, the blurrier the glasses are, all the better, making it easier for women to walk in front of them in the most immodest of attire and yet not disturb their holiness. Hoods and shields that block their peripheral vision further? Even better. Why not a black hood pulled over their head entirely - a sort of a male burka? Or earphones that distort voices so that women can speak freely without awakening their base urges? Of course, many of these innovations may carry the unfortunate side effects of men walking into walls or oncoming traffic. But if they choose to adopt them, that is the price they will just have to pay, presumably a small price for the great benefit of living in a permanently female-free zone.


I say that we embrace and endorse these types of solutions - those that cover up and segregate men, not women. If haredi men have issues with a life that includes seeing and interacting with half of humanity, it is indeed a problem. It is their problem. Let them deal with it. Let them find solutions that limit their comfort and movement, their own ability to function freely in the world. Because women should not be asked to give up their own. "


Karen said...

Great post and article!

Susanne said...

Thank you! Nice to see you, and hope you are doing well. :)

Haitham Al-Sheeshany said...

Thanks for the article link, a good read!