Sunday, July 12, 2020

Rischa Daraiisa-28- Disembodied voices-Why are the Women invisible in all the frum media/Where are the realistic options for school openings in the fall?

Rabbis Bechhofer and Kivelevitz fulminate against the policy that the frum magazines have of not featuring any photos of women in their publications.

The pair praise the uplifting carefully constructed content that is regularly published,including recent inspiring profiles of Rabbis Hillel Goldberg and Aryeh Zev Ginzberg, yet are confounded by the editorial policies that do not allow images of females above the age of five to appear.

These are the words of Doctor Leslie Ginsparg Klein(Ph.D. from New York University), the Academic Dean of Women’s Institute of Torah Seminary/Maalot Baltimore, an Orthodox Jewish college for women.

" the absence of images of modest women, the only images of women that boys and girls see are those of the secular media, which are oftentimes inappropriate by Orthodox standards. From an educational perspective, boys and girls need positive images to counteract the negative images they absorb from the media, and girls need modest role models to emulate. However, there are none. Instead, there is a policy that hypersexualizes women and girls, suggesting that even their faces are obscene. Instead of absorbing the messages of images of couples and families that reflect a normal, frum, healthy lifestyle, our children read books and see advertisements that show Shabbat tables with no mothers or sisters. This reality is damaging the spiritual health of the community and making it significantly harder to properly teach the concept of a healthy tznuis and body image to girls and boys. Additionally, erasing women contributes to the mistaken perception that women in Orthodoxy are second class citizens who should not be seen and are excluded from the public sphere. It leads to feelings of disenfranchisement in frum women and girls.

Kivelevitz and Bechhofer also discuss the options for schooling in the upcoming months in ways that align with other forward thinking on the subject.

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