An ultra-orthodox Jewish newspaper has once again erased women from Israeli history after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posed for a photo with his new cabinet, three of whom are women. This is not the first time such an edit has taken place; earlier this year, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel was erased from the Charlie Hebdo march in Paris and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was deleted from the photo released from the raid on Osama bin Laden by a Brooklyn paper.
The explanation behind this is religious: Jewish law prohibits ogling women who are not your wife. That somehow means non-husbands looking at them at all, under any circumstances, is a sin. That’s why pictures of women aren’t allowed. Women are seen only as sex objects. Even if you were just reading the newspaper and wanted to see Netanyahu with his new cabinet members, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Culture Minister Miri Regev, and Minister for Senior Citizens Gila Gamliel, forget it. You might as well be looking at porn, if you’re an ultra-orthodox Jewish man, that is.
Here’s the sugar-coated version of that explanation from Yomleyom‘s deputy editor, Rabbi Moshe Shafir:
“The Torah upholds the honor of women and their freedom,” he said. “We honor the women specifically because of their special merits and we have reservation from looking upon women as an object.”
So, these women are being honored “specifically” by being deleted from the picture. Because they can’t be at the risk of being seen as objects. They’re being “saved” from being ogled, that’s what’s happening. How chivalrous! What about the men, though? Who are ultra-orthodox Jewish men to assume that women who aren’t the wives of those men aren’t taking an extra second to gaze at those dapper gents?
I can actually answer my own question, so I won’t bore you with more of my ovary-fueled whining. I honor my readership so much that I couldn’t possibly go on. I wouldn’t want you all jerking off to my sexy turn of phrase. That would be so weird.
(Via NBC News)