women behind walls

Tribalism. Religion based societies and cultures and the conformity that arises from the herd instinct. If there is one thing the ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel can agree on its the place of women. Whereas secular parties can be categorized by ideology influencing their behaviour in a somewhat predictable though expedient fashion, the religious groupings under a multitude of political banners are subject to being dominated by their own sense of prevailing ideology backed up by the strong use of of the expedient of custom which, when all the pieces are stitched together, make for a highly sectarian view and shape their own particular ideology which is exclusionary and for the most part centred on fear of an outside world that the internet has brought jarringly, and radically into their lifestyles; a symbiotic relationship with the larger secular world and in particular with the civil society of Zionism in all its variations.

---Bride Hannah Batya Penet takes part in a traditional celebratory dance with her relative while still wearing her veil Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328892/The-bride-25-000-guests-Holding-sash-newlywed-19-waits-relative-perform-Mitzvah-dance-marries-Ultra-Orthodox-Jewish-family.html#ixzz2U4SXQtyd Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

—Bride Hannah Batya Penet takes part in a traditional celebratory dance with her relative while still wearing her veil
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328892/The-bride-25-000-guests-Holding-sash-newlywed-19-waits-relative-perform-Mitzvah-dance-marries-Ultra-Orthodox-Jewish-family.html#ixzz2U4SXQtyd
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Conformity involves a path of least resistance marked by the  individual’s tendency to follow the unspoken rules or behaviours of  a social group to which they derives the basis for their identity and sense of belongingness. How powerful is this pull? In the late 1950’s psychologist Solomon Asch devised an experiment where subjects, students, were tld they were participating in a “vision test.” Unkonwn to the person being tested, the other participants were a confederates, complicit with the professor. In the beginning, the confederates responded correctly to the queries but gradually began providing knowlingly false responses.

Almost three-quarters of the participants in these conformity experiments went along, bent to the tyranny of the majority at least once;  in sum, the results posited that participants conformed to  obvious group lies about one-third of the time.

---Fighting Mad: Ultra-Orthodox Jews are pushing back against efforts to fight gender segregation and harassment. Secular Jews must not allow fundamentalists to hijack Judaism. Read more: http://forward.com/articles/148983/fighting-back-against-fundamentalism/?p=all#ixzz2U4TkWSQb

—Fighting Mad: Ultra-Orthodox Jews are pushing back against efforts to fight gender segregation and harassment. Secular Jews must not allow fundamentalists to hijack Judaism.
Read more: http://forward.com/articles/148983/fighting-back-against-fundamentalism/?p=all#ixzz2U4TkWSQb

Regarding the sexism and misogyny of the ultra-orthodox the question is posed, why not just rebel, creating a sort of insurrection against the tyranny? An analogy is why didn’t the Jews revolt against Hitler? If the women can’t rise up in a comparatively free and democratic society with full rights how could the Jews have risen up under the boot of Nazi cruelty? It is a question of degree, severe degree, but some of the mechanisms bear resemblance to stifling and repressing that occurs in cult-like contexts fueled by indifference and an unwillingness to take risks. An entire haredi culture that developed, in part, as a response to modernism and the enlightenment two hundred plus years ago, is now feeding on itself in a post-secular, post-modern age despite the ramparts and citadels it tries to construct around it. No moat will ever be wide enough or necessarily deep….

(see link at end): … It’s strange that no one ever thought of it before. But now it’s happened: The attorney general has instructed ministers to start taking practical measures against the exclusion of women in the public sphere.

From the outside it seems like a democratic, civilian, secular interest, but those on the inside know – it is a clear haredi interest to stop this radicalization which is eating away at our society.

Not many are very familiar with the face of the phenomenon which carries the terribly whitewashed name “exclusion of women.” In the haredi society, which suffers from this phenomenon the most, they hold their tongue, lower their gaze, keep moving to the back of the bus, and mostly remain silent. A long, resonating silence, which allows the next extremist to set a new, binding standard.

---In fact, the whole of human evolution and history can be seen as the playing out of strategies by which men tried to control uteruses. The myriad kinship and marriage rules of traditional societies have attempted to regularize this control, and in most such cultures the best protection women had against men was to rely on other men—fathers and brothers—whose interests might be more aligned with theirs. But fathers and brothers too have their interests and try to use their daughters or sisters to their own advantage, by essentially trading them for alliances or aid.---click image for source...

—In fact, the whole of human evolution and history can be seen as the playing out of strategies by which men tried to control uteruses. The myriad kinship and marriage rules of traditional societies have attempted to regularize this control, and in most such cultures the best protection women had against men was to rely on other men—fathers and brothers—whose interests might be more aligned with theirs. But fathers and brothers too have their interests and try to use their daughters or sisters to their own advantage, by essentially trading them for alliances or aid.—click image for source…

The exclusion of women phenomena are a direct continuation of a major problem spreading in the sector – the “modesty madness.” The value of modesty has turned into Judaism itself, a

hen you want to make someone modest, you must conceal them, exclude them, suppress them.

While in Saudi Arabia women are rising to protest against the driving ban imposed on them, in the democratic Holy Land the voice of haredi women is barely heard. And when it is heard, it is usually in mock statements of pride from martyrs, who enjoy every moment in the company of the glass ceiling allotted to them, in an apparent show of force against the Women of the Wall or in deep self-conviction that the spitting they were subject to is blessed rain….

Yes, I know, haredi women will be the first to respond and say how happy and protected they feel and that all these phenomena are meant to glorify them and maintain their innocence. They refuse to admit that they are just as humiliated as an exposed woman in an advertisement. They are an object that must be concealed.

But the underground streams in the haredi society generate a different kind of discourse, which is said underground in phone calls from unidentified numbers, in quiet underground meetings. For years, I was also subject to intensive brainwashing, in which we were told that our place is clear and we must accept it happily and lovingly.

Such brainwashing is sophisticated, poisonous and destructive, it is quiet, elegant and lacks any expressions of physical violence, just like that note. But it fixates the status of haredi women in that same narrow room designated for them, lacking any influence on significant decisions, completely excluded from the public sphere, humiliated, belittled and silenced. They have even been revoked of the most basic democratic right – as haredi parties forbid women to be elected on their behalf.

The phenomenon of radicalization when it comes to modesty is new, and it appears that the haredi society doesn’t really know how to deal with it. Girls dressed in shawls, women in veils, kosher buses, men spraying bleach on women and destroying their clothes. These are things which did not exist in the past, and it is getting worse and worse.

---Michael Landy's brilliant exhibition of auto-destructive mechanical models of saints opened at the National Gallery last night. My favourite is Saint Michael with his scaly legs.---

—Michael Landy’s brilliant exhibition of auto-destructive mechanical models of saints opened at the National Gallery last night. —

The haredi sector itself is suffering the most, despite all the opposing statements you’ll hear from its members. This is definitely a matter for the legislator and State to eradicate this phenomenon. There is no one else who will do it….Read More:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4382643,00.html

At the conclusion of the  Asch experiments, participants, not surprisingly  were asked why they had followed  the rest of the group. By and large, the students said while they obviously knew the rest of the group was wrong, it was the lesser of two evils and they did not want to chance ridicule or marginalization to the point where some of the participants implied they made themselves believe that other members of the group were giving correct responses. Asch drew the conclusion that conformity is held together by a strong need to fit in and something of an inferiority complex in which they believe other people are more knowledgeable and intelligent.

Finally, in the face of such overwhelming mores against diversity, there is a factor of narcissism at work, or more precisely the narcissism of small differences whereby guilt and fear are used to keep the flock together and induce the desired behaviour, all of which saps the necessary energy and courage required to combat the injustice. All that is left is an inarticulated anger, a rage, all festering under the abuse, betrayal,conditional love and lack of compassion that ostensibly is the complete opposite of what lies at the core in the essence of the Torah.

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