Sunday, November 27, 2011

Modesty is an Olympic sport

As many who have grown up in Orthodox Jewish communities know that folks get hyper competitive over matters of observance--who is more restrictive in matters of Shabbat, kashrut and modesty. The more things you don't do, the more pious you are. It's like a competitive sport for those who don't engage in them a whole lot.

As for the modesty arena of competition--this is the special domain of women, just like candle lighting or childbirth--except less flammable and less bloody.

Below is a pretty funny video depiction of what can result from this sort of hyper-competitive mentality. Don't be put off by the Hebrew--there is very little speaking in the video and you can get the gist without understanding the language.

Nevertheless, I will translate it cause I'm a good person.

At the start, the disembodied male voice says: "Our parasha (Torah portion) concerns itself with the modesty. Maimonides says, 'A woman of valor is one who is careful with modesty.'"

And at the end: "The Rashba disagreed with Maimonides and said that, 'More important than modesty is that the woman appears beautiful in the eyes of her husband.'"

There you have it. In two short lines, the religion's take on woman's physicality: cover it up or look pretty. Different sides of the same misogynistic coin.

(h/t Esther K.)

1 comment:

Kim Murphy said...

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