Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mad Men

a guest post by @AZIGRA

I have never been diagnosed with any sort of heart related medical condition but I know there is something wrong with me. I wasn't able to self diagnose myself on WebMD as they don't seem to have my condition listed in their extensive database. The first hints that something was wrong was on the occasion of my first visit the YWN coffee room. The more I read the faster my heart beat. As I exited and entered the many topics approved for discussion a sickening nausea engulfed me. Like a heroin addict I kept going back for more; I knew what I was doing to my brain, my soul, my heart, but I couldn't break away. I had to go cold turkey and I am proud to say that I haven't been to any of the charedi news sites in well over a year.

I get my little bites of Charedi insanity from sites like DovBear, who makes them more palatable with his thoughtful commentary. Occasionally a person or two breaks free from the loony bin and comments here, but mostly the conversation is fair, balanced, and sane.

But now I am sad to report that all of my old symptoms have returned. Last week I came across a story on Ynet about the charedi advertising sector in Israel. You can read it here. It's filled with stomach churning insights into the the minds of those who control the charedi media, (ie "...pregnancy is referred to as "the time before giving birth...") but I want to focus on one paragraph in particular.

You've probably never noticed that women don't appear in RW newspapers. I'm sure you've sensed something was odd but were never quite able to put your finger on it. Well this is it: no women, no girls, no female children, no cartoon girls. no sketched of girls. No mention of anything to do with the female sort. Several years ago Mishpacha Mag was lambasted for publishing an article about postpartum depression. As the rabbis of the Talmud may or may not have said, 'Women should have never been created, but now that they have been created let's pretend they weren't'.
"Another issue has to do with censorship. "We encountered a problem with El-Al," Gal says, "we weren't allowed to mention the world 'couple' in Hamodia newspaper, so we replaced the phrase 'a plane ticket for couples' with 'a plane ticket for two.'"
It's very natural that when one sees the word "couple" that they automatically begin to imagine, in vivid detail with techno-color® technology, said couple engaging in full on intercourse. There is no room for foreplay in this fantasized coupling (ha!); there isn't even room for thoughts about getting a good deal on plain tickets for you and your spouse. Only the most depraved and licentious thoughts are to be expected from our charedi brethren. Or is it to be expected from all men?

I'm sure some people would jump to respond that, 'when men walk down the street...blah, blah, blah,' (or maybe better, 'when a goy walks down the street....,') and perhaps they would be right in a way. But would these men or those goyim see the word couple and think of coupling? Would these men see a young girls image in a printed story for children and have pedophilic thoughts? No. The answer is no. Should the Hamodia publish ads for the latest Girls Gone Wild video? Of course not, but the reason why you wouldn't want that ad published in a family newspaper is the same reason why they wont publish a picture of your six year old daughter's Bais Yaacov Chanukka party.

I overheard someone recounting how he brought his daughter to shul one shabbos wearing a summery dress with a hem that ended above the child's knee. The rabbi, a bemedalled guardian of Torah-true Judaism, protested in the name of the Lord asking this father to remove his daughter from the house of God. The father responded, "how about you stop looking at my six year old daughter's legs?"

How about it?

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