I tried to hold out a whole month, out of respect to John C and the voters in his poll, but I just can’t refrain any longer from posting about gender inequality. Like a moth to the flame! I’m back with a vengeance, bringing two appalling examples of the world we women live in. First up, an Orthodox Jewish newspaper photoshopped Hillary Clinton out of the iconic Situation Room photo of the Bin Laden compound raid.
What I find most maddening isn’t the fact that they did it–though that is maddening–but the statement they made in their defense after charges of sexism:
“Our editorial policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board and because of laws of modesty, does not allow for the publishing of photos of women. The readership of the Tzeitung believe that women should be appreciated for who they are and what they do, not for what they look like, and the Jewish laws of modesty are an expression of respect for women, not the opposite.”
Update: Here is another quote with a few groan-inducingly familiar sentiments:
The Jewish religion does not allow for discrimination based on gender, race, etc.
In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status. …. Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.
Next is this very interesting series of news clips and interviews about the debate over whether Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving should be lifted (h/t Joanna Brooks):
What I find most interesting in this clip is the claim that women driving constitutes some kind of slippery slope to make-up and wild Western debauchery. I love the young woman’s rejoinder that if driving is so inexorably linked to immorality, why should men be allowed to drive? It applies just as well to the newspaper photoshopping case–if printing photos of women would cause people to not appreciate them for who they are and what they do, why are we not concerned about people not appreciating photographed men for who they are and what they do?
Let your firestorming commence.