Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 08, 2015 5:31 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:It is also worth pointing out the the Orthodox Jews who do not wish to sit next to a women say that the woman or himself/herself be moved to a different set. Even if there are no empty seats for him to go to, there would be plenty of people on the plane who would trade seats with him. The burden placed on the airlines is not unbearable.


"Because I think it's bearable" is not sufficient reason to place a burden on another.

If it is, I would like to propose an additional 10% tax on all forms of income by this religion, because surely that's bearable.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri May 08, 2015 5:52 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:Never mind that there's all sorts of real data that shows that inherent and systematic sexism can/will/does encourage/reward/force women to be more submissive. So were we to explore the situation and find that women were acting more submissively, it suggests that the system they're living under is sexist. It doesn't mean they're inherently disposed that way.

And never mind that valuing social pragmatism over rulemongery is not inherently a bad thing. Or that if women really were more likely to have an "inherent disposition", acknowledging that trend would also not be sexist. From the start of the thread, we've been sort of circling around JS's "symmetric" talk, but it's still a fundamentally very naive way of defining sexism.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Angua » Fri May 08, 2015 7:24 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:It is also worth pointing out the the Orthodox Jews who do not wish to sit next to a women say that the woman or himself/herself be moved to a different set. Even if there are no empty seats for him to go to, there would be plenty of people on the plane who would trade seats with him. The burden placed on the airlines is not unbearable.


"Because I think it's bearable" is not sufficient reason to place a burden on another.

If it is, I would like to propose an additional 10% tax on all forms of income by this religion, because surely that's bearable.

Given the fact that lots of people choose their seats on planes beforehand (as well as travel in pairs or larger groups) I don't know how many would switch. And planes with 3 seats per cluster would decrease the number of seats he could move to considerably as well.

Also I wonder how many people would refuse to switch even if they could on principle. I certainly would.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Fri May 08, 2015 7:32 pm UTC

I think I'm a little bit confused, why is sitting next to a woman the issue? I thought touching was the problem? Surely if touching is the issue you could just talk to the woman next to you and say something like:
'Hi, because I'm Orthodox Jewish, I'd really appreciate it if you could refrain from touching me unnecessarily, thank you'

Would that solve the problem?
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri May 08, 2015 7:42 pm UTC

See ObsessoMom's link on negiah.

The Wiki wrote:Some Orthodox Jews follow the laws with strict modesty and take measures to avoid accidental contact, such as avoiding sitting next to a member of the opposite sex on a bus, airplane, or other similar seating situation.

Judaism, to my understanding, is not a belief system like Protestant Christianity that holds only the given holy book as an authority and leaves interpretation to the individual. Rabbinical law, meant to protect individuals from breaking God's law, is binding, too.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Angua » Fri May 08, 2015 7:46 pm UTC

Fractal_Tangent wrote:I think I'm a little bit confused, why is sitting next to a woman the issue? I thought touching was the problem? Surely if touching is the issue you could just talk to the woman next to you and say something like:
'Hi, because I'm Orthodox Jewish, I'd really appreciate it if you could refrain from touching me unnecessarily, thank you'

Would that solve the problem?

It's quite hard to sit next to someone on a plane without touching them the entire time.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 08, 2015 7:53 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:It is also worth pointing out the the Orthodox Jews who do not wish to sit next to a women say that the woman or himself/herself be moved to a different set. Even if there are no empty seats for him to go to, there would be plenty of people on the plane who would trade seats with him. The burden placed on the airlines is not unbearable.


"Because I think it's bearable" is not sufficient reason to place a burden on another.

If it is, I would like to propose an additional 10% tax on all forms of income by this religion, because surely that's bearable.

Given the fact that lots of people choose their seats on planes beforehand (as well as travel in pairs or larger groups) I don't know how many would switch. And planes with 3 seats per cluster would decrease the number of seats he could move to considerably as well.

Also I wonder how many people would refuse to switch even if they could on principle. I certainly would.


*shrug* If offending everyone makes them less likely to help you acheive your religious objectives, then that still doesn't make it anyone else's obligation to fix it.

There still hasn't been a good justification of why the burden of complying with this religous law should get punted off on people that are not that religion.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Fri May 08, 2015 8:10 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
Fractal_Tangent wrote:I think I'm a little bit confused, why is sitting next to a woman the issue? I thought touching was the problem? Surely if touching is the issue you could just talk to the woman next to you and say something like:
'Hi, because I'm Orthodox Jewish, I'd really appreciate it if you could refrain from touching me unnecessarily, thank you'

Would that solve the problem?

It's quite hard to sit next to someone on a plane without touching them the entire time.

Point taken. In which case I think the whole thing dissolves down to this: if you're asking me to switch places with someone because of reasons that I don't agree with which imply that I am the problem, I'm going to be more insulted than anything.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Angua » Fri May 08, 2015 8:15 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Angua wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:It is also worth pointing out the the Orthodox Jews who do not wish to sit next to a women say that the woman or himself/herself be moved to a different set. Even if there are no empty seats for him to go to, there would be plenty of people on the plane who would trade seats with him. The burden placed on the airlines is not unbearable.


"Because I think it's bearable" is not sufficient reason to place a burden on another.

If it is, I would like to propose an additional 10% tax on all forms of income by this religion, because surely that's bearable.

Given the fact that lots of people choose their seats on planes beforehand (as well as travel in pairs or larger groups) I don't know how many would switch. And planes with 3 seats per cluster would decrease the number of seats he could move to considerably as well.

Also I wonder how many people would refuse to switch even if they could on principle. I certainly would.


*shrug* If offending everyone makes them less likely to help you acheive your religious objectives, then that still doesn't make it anyone else's obligation to fix it.

There still hasn't been a good justification of why the burden of complying with this religous law should get punted off on people that are not that religion.

I'm pretty sure that we're in agreement.

People get that I was saying that it actually a bigger deal than jewish_scientist seems to think, right?
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 08, 2015 8:19 pm UTC

Fractal_Tangent wrote:
Angua wrote:
Fractal_Tangent wrote:I think I'm a little bit confused, why is sitting next to a woman the issue? I thought touching was the problem? Surely if touching is the issue you could just talk to the woman next to you and say something like:
'Hi, because I'm Orthodox Jewish, I'd really appreciate it if you could refrain from touching me unnecessarily, thank you'

Would that solve the problem?

It's quite hard to sit next to someone on a plane without touching them the entire time.

Point taken. In which case I think the whole thing dissolves down to this: if you're asking me to switch places with someone because of reasons that I don't agree with which imply that I am the problem, I'm going to be more insulted than anything.

I think this boils down to communicating like an adult, which frankly, orthodox men don't seem to be able to do.

If you get on a plane and realize the person you're seated next to violates some personal rule of yours, I think it's more than acceptable to say "My apologies, but my religion does not allow me to sit next to members of the opposite sex, I don't mean to offend you, but I will be seeking to switch seats"

Of course, there are hosts of other issues here too - what if the person you identified as a woman is actually a dude and is offended you'd say as much? What if you identify a good 'ol dude to sit next to, but it's actually a woman? What if you were just honest and admitted that your archaic views are yours and yours alone and your inability to function in the modern world because you hide behind a thin excuse of religiously sanctioned sexism no longer cut it in today's world, but you wanted your cake and to eat it to?

I'm all for 'dressing respectfully' when entering the home/country/neighborhood of another culture. But airplanes are pretty much public spaces, and if you've got a problem with how someone conducts themselves in a public space, frankly, that's your own damn issue and you should endeavor to get the fuck over it.

EDIT: I just remembered a faux pas I committed years ago with an orthodox couple, where he smiled, introduced himself, shook my hand, and then gestured to his wife and introduced her. She smiled and said hello, I extended my hand to shake hers, and she didn't reach for it. Instead, he smiled broader, asked something perfectly friendly and reasonable about what I was studying or something, and smoothly grabbed my hand and shook it again. The whole thing took all of 5s, and aside from me feeling like I should have known better, no one batted an eye or cried foul.

Peoples, for real, if your beliefs prevent you from operating in modern society, it's not the job of modern society to cater to your beliefs.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby ivnja » Fri May 08, 2015 9:34 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I just remembered a faux pas I committed years ago with an orthodox couple, where he smiled, introduced himself, shook my hand, and then gestured to his wife and introduced her. She smiled and said hello, I extended my hand to shake hers, and she didn't reach for it. Instead, he smiled broader, asked something perfectly friendly and reasonable about what I was studying or something, and smoothly grabbed my hand and shook it again. The whole thing took all of 5s, and aside from me feeling like I should have known better, no one batted an eye or cried foul.

jewish_scientist didn't seem particularly interested in going into the differences within Orthodoxy - do all Othodox Jews follow the prohibition? The only time I've heard anything about anyone making a fuss about seating, it has been (I think) Haredim men. Are Modern Orthodox distinguishable by dress (I assume folks that I see in "regular" western dress with yarmulkes are likely modern orthodox)?
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri May 08, 2015 9:42 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:See ObsessoMom's link on negiah.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby krogoth » Sat May 09, 2015 4:45 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I just remembered a faux pas I committed years ago with an orthodox couple, where he smiled, introduced himself, shook my hand, and then gestured to his wife and introduced her. She smiled and said hello, I extended my hand to shake hers, and she didn't reach for it. Instead, he smiled broader, asked something perfectly friendly and reasonable about what I was studying or something, and smoothly grabbed my hand and shook it again. The whole thing took all of 5s, and aside from me feeling like I should have known better, no one batted an eye or cried foul.


That awkward moment when you accidentally ask your friends wife to sexually sin with you in front of him.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat May 09, 2015 5:11 pm UTC

Man I do that all the time though
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat May 09, 2015 5:57 pm UTC

And by shook my hand I mean made out with.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby CorruptUser » Sun May 10, 2015 3:41 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:B) Many Orthodox men wear a characteristic suit, have a beard, and cover their heads; Orthodox women wear dresses that most other women would wear. The result is that most people who see an Orthodox man recognize him as a Jew, while people who see an Orthodox woman think that she is just a woman in a nice dress.


Most ultra-orthodox women are easy to spot. You know how Muslim women wear the hijab? Ultra-orthodox women have something similar. Then there's the frumpy dress, ankle length skirt, the dozen kids...


I am going to post one link and completely refute your point. http://www.vogue.com/7696801/orthodox-j ... f-modesty/


Interesting certainly, but far from "completely". She never said what kind of Orthodox; I specially said "Ultra-Orthodox". Given that she's in fashion, it's likely she's Modern Orthodox. The beard and suit and so forth you described? That's "Ultra-Orthodox", which is split into Haredi or Hassidic. The Jews you see with a small plain black yarmulke that's held in place with bobby pins but with nearly any sort of clothes? Modern Orthodox.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby krogoth » Mon May 11, 2015 12:17 am UTC

Angua wrote:
Spoiler:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Angua wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:It is also worth pointing out the the Orthodox Jews who do not wish to sit next to a women say that the woman or himself/herself be moved to a different set. Even if there are no empty seats for him to go to, there would be plenty of people on the plane who would trade seats with him. The burden placed on the airlines is not unbearable.


"Because I think it's bearable" is not sufficient reason to place a burden on another.

If it is, I would like to propose an additional 10% tax on all forms of income by this religion, because surely that's bearable.

Given the fact that lots of people choose their seats on planes beforehand (as well as travel in pairs or larger groups) I don't know how many would switch. And planes with 3 seats per cluster would decrease the number of seats he could move to considerably as well.

Also I wonder how many people would refuse to switch even if they could on principle. I certainly would.


*shrug* If offending everyone makes them less likely to help you acheive your religious objectives, then that still doesn't make it anyone else's obligation to fix it.

There still hasn't been a good justification of why the burden of complying with this religous law should get punted off on people that are not that religion.

I'm pretty sure that we're in agreement.

People get that I was saying that it actually a bigger deal than jewish_scientist seems to think, right?


Spoilered for space, I see that it's clear.
Also any extra costs on some of these business can be quite detrimental(Qantas has had plenty of money issues), and as in the first instance where a plane was delayed a half hour or whatever it was, that's not always a small amount of costs.
I know it's a 'small' issue to resolve in some ways but really once you start making these concessions I'd hate to start the slippery slope argument. Are shops required to provide sufficient space between serving lanes? Think McDonalds lines. Or what about train lines? Those can be very packed.

One thing I would like to ask, since this is at jewish_scientist's request, can I request also, when there are points about it being obvious that there are issues you willing to admit are sexist, at least in the eyes of others, to make clear note of it? I'm not saying you have to change from doing any of these things, or that you are sexist, but just because you know you have to follow some rules doesn't mean you can't disagree with them, even if the excuse is because you mightn't understand them.
I'm trying to word that politely but it may be more confusing that way.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby ucim » Mon May 11, 2015 3:36 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
ucim wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:Can anyone think of a reason why Orthodox women are treated differently than Orthodox men?
Maybe Orthodox men behave differently from Orthodox women. Could it be that Orthodox men are more likely to be demanding, and Orthodox women are more likely to be accommodating?

Does Jewish culture tend to support such a difference between the sexes?
First question; I cannot think of a reason for this being true.
Second question; No. Interestingly, the fact that the Jewish people were not assimilated millennia ago has been attributed to the strength of the Jewish women. The reason that Moshe taught the Torah to the women before the men was because they can be trusted to keep its laws in a time of distress more than the men.
To the first question: Not being able to think of a reason for something being true is not the same as thinking something isn't true, and that's not the same as something actually not being true. To deorthodoxize it, "Could it be that men are more likely to be demanding, and women are more likely to be accommodating?" This is one of the clichés about the sexes and seems to be supported in Western society, to the point that it's quite notable when reversed. (Out of mercy, I won't point you to tvtropes :) )

To the second question, "in a time of distress" seems to be key here. Religious oppression by conquerors would count, but insisting on kid gloves when flying on an airplane seems rather petty to me, especially since the issue is not one of persecution, but of whether the one holding certain beliefs ought to simply pay for the two adjacent seats (which are already known to have a more than 50:50 chance of being occupied by one of the opposite sex), or whether instead hundreds of innocent people ought to be held for ransom while the airline pays for an entire flight to be delayed in order to accommodate something most nonbelievers regard as childish.

It's fine that you keep your laws. It's not fine that others should keep your laws for you. Or do you consider it religious oppression when others do not keep your laws for you?

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue May 12, 2015 7:49 pm UTC

I have finals this week, so my brain is a little worn out. There are still a couple of things that I can say though.

Izawwlgood wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:But this is a two was street. If a person does not want to have premarital sex, then they should not be treated differently than a person who does want to or has had premarital sex. Because society has accepted this as its model of moral sexuality, they must follow it even if what a person does or does not consent to is the opposite of the most popular public opinion.
Ah yes, the 'ol 'you need to accommodate my rules but I shouldn't have to accommodate yours'.

I am confused. That whole argument is based on the idea that society has promised to treat everyone the same regardless of their beliefs about sexuality (by sexuality I mean male-female interactions in general).

Izawwlgood wrote:And he can get up and move instead of demanding she dress differently or do something differently.

Izawwlgood wrote:Of course not, which is why it's perfectly acceptable for him to ask to trade seats with someone else. Notice it's *not* perfectly acceptable for him to demand the woman move.


This is from my post immediantly before yours:
jewish_scientist wrote:It is also worth pointing out the the Orthodox Jews who do not wish to sit next to a women say that the woman or himself/herself be moved to a different set. Even if there are no empty seats for him to go to, there would be plenty of people on the plane who would trade seats with him. The burden placed on the airlines is not unbearable.


This is from an article about a group of Orthodox men who did not wish to sit next to women:
The Independent wrote:“Although everyone had tickets with seat numbers that they purchased in advance, they asked us to trade seats with them, and even offered to pay money, since they cannot sit next to a woman. It was obvious that the plane won’t take off as long as they’re standing in the aisles,” he [a passenger on the flight] said.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 56899.html

CorruptUser, can you please read this:
jewish_scientist wrote:I started rereading the article and some of the articles it links to, but I had to stop and get this off my chest because every time I see it a internally flip out.

The term 'Ultra-Orthadox' is offensive and possible antisemitic, depending on how you define antisemitism. Quick lesson on Jewish 'fractions'.

Orthodox Jews believe that all the laws that applied to our ancestors apply to us. It is worth pointing out that the vast majority (I would estimate 80-90%) of Jews 100 years ago would fall into this group. Also, people who believe that the laws should be followed, but do not actually follow them, are Orthodox. An example of a person in this group is an assimilated Jew want to become fully observant, but is currently in the middle of the transition. The Chassidic movement was a movement within the Orthodox community. To simplify things to the point of almost being insulting, it was a change in philosophy, not practical action (mostly).

Reform Jews believe that the laws are metaphors that do not have to literally be followed or do not apply to modern Jews. The movement was started by a rabbi who wanted to compromise with the secular world. His idea was that Jews should be 'citizens in the street, and Jews in the home'. This way, Jews would not feel pressured to assimilate while still, technically, keeping the laws of Judaism. When he saw how his movement actually lead to Jews not following the laws and were becoming fully assimilated, he regretted what he did.

Conservative Jews are compromise between these two. The story goes that a group of Orthodox Jews where convinced to become Reform. At a celebration of one kind or another, shellfish was served. Shellfish is not kosher. When ex-Orthodox Jews made a big deal about this, he Reform Jews said that because the laws do not have to be followed, shellfish can be served without any problems. The offended Jews disagreed and split off to start the Conservative movement. They keep some laws (usually in a water downed form) and not others. I have no idea what their philosophy is.


Copper Bezel wrote:See ObsessoMom's link on negiah.

The Wiki wrote:Some Orthodox Jews follow the laws with strict modesty and take measures to avoid accidental contact, such as avoiding sitting next to a member of the opposite sex on a bus, airplane, or other similar seating situation.

Judaism, to my understanding, is not a belief system like Protestant Christianity that holds only the given holy book as an authority and leaves interpretation to the individual. Rabbinical law, meant to protect individuals from breaking God's law, is binding, too.

Yes, that is right.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue May 12, 2015 8:06 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:“Although everyone had tickets with seat numbers that they purchased in advance, they asked us to trade seats with them, and even offered to pay money, since they cannot sit next to a woman. It was obvious that the plane won’t take off as long as they’re standing in the aisles,” he [a passenger on the flight] said.
And that's fine. In fact, I don't believe I or anyone else said that was problematic.

Notice the onus of accomodation here is on the person who is inconveniencing others, not on someone who is just sitting in their seat?
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Angua » Tue May 12, 2015 8:43 pm UTC

Also, the only reason people were giving up their seats was because they didn't want to be delayed, so basically the Orthodox guys are going 'we aren't letting this plane go until you switch seats with us' and people are giving in because people have places to go.

So, yeah, plenty of people are willing to give up their seats when threatened. Doesn't sound like something we should be encouraging.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby dg61 » Wed May 13, 2015 2:17 am UTC

ivnja wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:I just remembered a faux pas I committed years ago with an orthodox couple, where he smiled, introduced himself, shook my hand, and then gestured to his wife and introduced her. She smiled and said hello, I extended my hand to shake hers, and she didn't reach for it. Instead, he smiled broader, asked something perfectly friendly and reasonable about what I was studying or something, and smoothly grabbed my hand and shook it again. The whole thing took all of 5s, and aside from me feeling like I should have known better, no one batted an eye or cried foul.

jewish_scientist didn't seem particularly interested in going into the differences within Orthodoxy - do all Othodox Jews follow the prohibition? The only time I've heard anything about anyone making a fuss about seating, it has been (I think) Haredim men. Are Modern Orthodox distinguishable by dress (I assume folks that I see in "regular" western dress with yarmulkes are likely modern orthodox)?


Pretty much all Orthodox Jews are some form of shomer negiah but not sitting next to people of the opposite sex on transit is a minority opinion even among Haredim-most rabbis and certainly most MO rabbis consider jostling on transit unavoidable and incidental and therefore not a violation. After all you don't go on flights to touch people, you go on flights and then are crammed next to someone.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed May 13, 2015 2:36 am UTC

jewish_scientist, so the thread can avoid offending you, what term would you use for the grouping of Orthodox Jews who endeavor to live according to stricter, more "Orthodox" principles than the majority of Orthodox Jews?
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby jewish_scientist » Wed May 13, 2015 3:57 am UTC

The best term you can use is 'strictly Orthodox'. However, that term is also inaccurate. I have spent the last 20-30 minutes trying to think of a way to explain this, but I simple cannot. Just... accept that 'strictly Orthodox' is the term we will use because it is the least wrong.

krogoth wrote:I know it's a 'small' issue to resolve in some ways but really once you start making these concessions I'd hate to start the slippery slope argument. Are shops required to provide sufficient space between serving lanes? Think McDonalds lines. Or what about train lines? Those can be very packed.


The slippery slope argument can only apply if there is no significant difference between the beginning and the end of the 'slope'. However, there is a fairly big difference between being on a train and being on an airplane. Even on the worst days, a usual train rides last for minutes, but even small plane rides can be hours long. Therefor, the slippery slope argument cannot be used.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby ucim » Wed May 13, 2015 4:30 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Just... accept that 'strictly Orthodox' is the term we will use because it is the least wrong.
And that, in a nutshell, is the way all language works. Words are approximations; more of the right words in the right order can make a closer approximation, but not without cost. Too many words can get in the way of communication.

jewish_scientist wrote:The slippery slope argument can only apply if there is no significant difference between the beginning and the end of the 'slope'.
Huh? Seems the other way around. The idea of the "slippery slope" is that it's easy to move in one direction, but increasingly harder to move in the other, and you can end up in a position that is not viable by making a series of what seem to be minor adjustments.

If there''s little difference between the ends, then the "slippery slope" is irrelevant.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby BattleMoose » Wed May 13, 2015 6:03 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
krogoth wrote:I know it's a 'small' issue to resolve in some ways but really once you start making these concessions I'd hate to start the slippery slope argument. Are shops required to provide sufficient space between serving lanes? Think McDonalds lines. Or what about train lines? Those can be very packed.


The slippery slope argument can only apply if there is no significant difference between the beginning and the end of the 'slope'. However, there is a fairly big difference between being on a train and being on an airplane. Even on the worst days, a usual train rides last for minutes, but even small plane rides can be hours long. Therefore, the slippery slope argument cannot be used.


I have been on some pretty packed trains and busses. I would fail on a daily basis if my goal was to avoid touching women. There is just no way I could live my life with that requirement within the society I live. How would you or could you even address this situation? This is a real thing, you cannot just hand wave it way...

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed May 13, 2015 9:36 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:However, there is a fairly big difference between being on a train and being on an airplane. Even on the worst days, a usual train rides last for minutes, but even small plane rides can be hours long.

I don't think this is a feasible argument for a lot of reasons - I think there are some flawed premises at work here. But it doesn't hang together even if I accept them. For people who live in areas that have public transportation available, compare their average number of hours in a year spent on trains or buses vs. their average number of hours spent flying. If exposure time increases risk, then the buses and trains are the real offender here.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby jewish_scientist » Wed May 13, 2015 2:07 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:Just... accept that 'strictly Orthodox' is the term we will use because it is the least wrong.
And that, in a nutshell, is the way all language works. Words are approximations; more of the right words in the right order can make a closer approximation, but not without cost. Too many words can get in the way of communication.

If only you had said this before I took my English exam.

ucim wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:The slippery slope argument can only apply if there is no significant difference between the beginning and the end of the 'slope'.
Huh? Seems the other way around. The idea of the "slippery slope" is that it's easy to move in one direction, but increasingly harder to move in the other, and you can end up in a position that is not viable by making a series of what seem to be minor adjustments.

If there''s little difference between the ends, then the "slippery slope" is irrelevant.

That is very interesting. I never thought about the 'slippery slope' argument in terms of difficulty to change. I thought about it like this:

A is under debate. B is agreed to be bad. If we accept A, then a series of minor changes, any one of which is reasonable, can lead us to accepting B. Therefor, we cannot accept A.

Copper Bezel wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:However, there is a fairly big difference between being on a train and being on an airplane. Even on the worst days, a usual train rides last for minutes, but even small plane rides can be hours long.

I don't think this is a feasible argument for a lot of reasons - I think there are some flawed premises at work here. But it doesn't hang together even if I accept them. For people who live in areas that have public transportation available, compare their average number of hours in a year spent on trains or buses vs. their average number of hours spent flying. If exposure time increases risk, then the buses and trains are the real offender here.


A person may spend more time on a train than on an airplane per year, but that is not the average you should look at. Its the average length of every event that is important. Sure, you may spend days on a subway per year, but each individual ride is only about 30 minutes long. In comparison, the average flight is at least an hour.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Wed May 13, 2015 2:12 pm UTC

Just as a thing, I want to know where you're getting your data from about trains vs planes. A lot of train journeys in the UK are well over an hour long and during rush hour they can be packed.

Edit: Also, is it just a question of duration? Does the uncleanliness build up or something? Because if you're a rush hour commuter on the tube and your destination is 20 minutes away, there's a good chance that 5 days a week you're going to be touching a lady for 40 minutes a day (going to and from work). So over the course of the year, you're touching ladies for ~173 hours. You might take a plane journey once in that year which might be 5 hours (and let's assume it's a return) so out of that year you're sitting next to (maybe not even touching) a woman for 10 hours.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 13, 2015 2:45 pm UTC

When I was living in Chicago, I took the train 45-50m, and then a 10m or so bus ride, twice a day.

If every day I was getting on the train there was someone who was doing [thing I didn't like], you better believe the train would be a bigger problem for me than flying, which I was doing maybe once every 6-8 weeks.

Respectfully Jewish_scientist, I think you're making a lot of claims and suppositions about the world that are not universal.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby dg61 » Wed May 13, 2015 3:43 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:The best term you can use is 'strictly Orthodox'. However, that term is also inaccurate. I have spent the last 20-30 minutes trying to think of a way to explain this, but I simple cannot. Just... accept that 'strictly Orthodox' is the term we will use because it is the least wrong.

krogoth wrote:I know it's a 'small' issue to resolve in some ways but really once you start making these concessions I'd hate to start the slippery slope argument. Are shops required to provide sufficient space between serving lanes? Think McDonalds lines. Or what about train lines? Those can be very packed.


The slippery slope argument can only apply if there is no significant difference between the beginning and the end of the 'slope'. However, there is a fairly big difference between being on a train and being on an airplane. Even on the worst days, a usual train rides last for minutes, but even small plane rides can be hours long. Therefor, the slippery slope argument cannot be used.


What's wrong with MO-->centrist Orthodox--->Haredi? Is the term a problem or are we trying to draw distinctions on the order of Agudath Israel v.s. Edah HaChareis?

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby jewish_scientist » Wed May 13, 2015 4:07 pm UTC

To Fractal_Tangent, Izawwlgood and anyone else who read my last post, I apologize. I live in a suburb of Boston. The train rides into and out of Boston are about 30 minutes for me. The shortest commercial flight I could think of was the flight from Boston to New York, which is about 1 hour. I assumed that the same would be for most people. After reading your posts, I looked up some of the times and realized I was wrong. I am sorry.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 13, 2015 4:17 pm UTC

No problem. I also live in a suburb of Boston! My shoulder surgeon is at Mass General, which is maybe a 10m walk from North Station. The trip from where I am to North Station is about 35m.

The commuter rail, for all it's flaws, is rarely particularly crowded (At least the Fitchberg line) - I think I've had to stand once, and had I walked a few cars down I'd have been able to find a seat. It's definitely not how most public transit operates. For example, when I was living in Chicago, I'd get on the red line at the Fullerton stop, and be squished in full cars until about Chicago or Grand (4 stops?) at which point the train basically emptied and I could sit.

Surely you've been in a packed subway car? Can you imagine stepping into a crowded car and demanding all the women move away from you?
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby krogoth » Wed May 13, 2015 11:33 pm UTC

I'd hate to take some trains
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0A9-oUoMug

I think it would be easier to bump into people on a train than during the time sitting next to someone on a plane.
a train has more rush during loading/unloading- and it occurs more often.
plane seats are separated with hand rails.
If a person needs to move from the seat while on a plane, it's not uncommon to ask the person in the other seat to stand up.
I don't think I'd have an issue avoiding touching people on a plane.

I've been on a few international flight's and they have more spaced seating than shorter flights, where you don't always get to book a seat. But if it's such a short flight there is usually the alternative of driving even if it takes several times longer and costs more. That's just the burden you carry I guess.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu May 14, 2015 12:21 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:A person may spend more time on a train than on an airplane per year, but that is not the average you should look at. Its the average length of every event that is important. Sure, you may spend days on a subway per year, but each individual ride is only about 30 minutes long. In comparison, the average flight is at least an hour.

I feel like I'm missing something fundamental here about the prohibition itself or about the prohibition as applied to buses or trains or planes. If the purpose was only to avoid contact, then activities that risk contact would be the ones to avoid. If it was equally difficult to avoid contact on planes and buses (evidence would suggest that the latter is more difficult, but this is irrelevant now) and the chance of contact was therefore a more or less random distribution, then six fifteen-minute bus rides would be identical in risk to an hour-and-a-half plane trip. I don't understand why the duration of the event "per ride" would matter.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby krogoth » Thu May 14, 2015 4:00 am UTC

I'm going to assume the imply is that it's longer duration to the exposure that is the danger. The longer you have to think about it, the easier it is to commit the thought crime.

I would say anything over 'spontaneous accidental contact that ends instantly' would be a danger in this case were the party isn't used to contact with the other gender.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby BattleMoose » Thu May 14, 2015 5:37 am UTC

There must be some level of female contact that is acceptable. Because as it has been made clear to us, short bus and train trips are acceptable and contact will happen there, so there is some level of accidental contact that is acceptable. But for longer journeys female contact is not acceptable. Clearly its not the actual contact or risk of contact that is the issue, if it were, train trips would be unacceptable. With the risk of contact on some train trips being unity.

But we know that the issue is on plane trips. Plane trips are longer and you could be place next to the same female for a long duration. This is the distinction between a train journey, being next to the same female for a long time. Or repetitively touching the same female. Or having naughty thoughts about the same female that you happen to be located next to.

I am sure that there is some mathematical expression that takes into account duration of "next to ness", risk of contact, and actual contacts that makes one form of public transport acceptable while others are not. I am also sure that this expression is clearly detailed in the Torah but it is too complicated for us to understand.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu May 14, 2015 6:05 am UTC

Probably. Wikipedia's entry on negiah from earlier on only mentions the two in conjunction, that some strictly Orthodox sects avoid adjacent seats on buses and planes, but I'm sure JS has a very logical argument for why all the groups big enough for the Wikipedia page to bother mentioning, including those that don't and those that do have restrictions about public transit as a whole, are wrong, and so wrong as to not be worth bothering to mention in this thread.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby mosc » Thu May 14, 2015 3:12 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:The short answer; I am a Chabad Lubavitch ba'al teshuva.

Well that should have explained everything to everyone right there.

You're from a sect of Judaism, my religion, which is not mainstream and opposes many commonly held Jewish values let alone modern secular opinions on equality and tolerance. Your sect is deeply sexist on more levels than are being discussed on this thread. The article you reference was overly kind, not anti-semetic. Honestly, I am not sure you really are what you say. The Labavitch men I've met will not talk to women or join the modern world lest risk exposure to the sight of a woman. Are you assuming all people replying to your posts are men? Interactions like this with the gentile world are rare.

Your history of Jewish "factions" is very flawed. Reformed Judaism dates back to the 1850s and today there are more non-orthodox jews in this world than orthodox ones. Chabad Lubavitch is an even smaller minority within orthodox Judaism sometimes described as a messianic cult. The term "Haredi" gets thrown around, I'm not sure if you associate with that any more than to ultra-orthodox. To me Haredi is synonymous with ultra-orthodox and also synonymous with culturally regressive bigotry through rejection of secular existence.

We can talk about sitting in gender separated areas if you want but it's not really the main sexist issue. Separate can be equal if you're really careful about it (which is virtually impossible). That said when you attest beliefs like religious services are run by only by men and the sound of a women singing is slanderous I think the modern world would have larger complaints than seating.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby dg61 » Thu May 14, 2015 6:17 pm UTC

mosc wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:The short answer; I am a Chabad Lubavitch ba'al teshuva.

Well that should have explained everything to everyone right there.

You're from a sect of Judaism, my religion, which is not mainstream and opposes many commonly held Jewish values let alone modern secular opinions on equality and tolerance. Your sect is deeply sexist on more levels than are being discussed on this thread. The article you reference was overly kind, not anti-semetic. Honestly, I am not sure you really are what you say. The Labavitch men I've met will not talk to women or join the modern world lest risk exposure to the sight of a woman. Are you assuming all people replying to your posts are men? Interactions like this with the gentile world are rare.


This seems odd-Chabad Lubavitch hasidim as far as I know tend to be very active in outreach efforts to less-religious Jew(and engaging with the modern world to a degree as a result) and are generally less isolated/more willing to talk to women than other Hasidic and Haredi groups. Of course there may be a sampling bias of "the ones I come into contact with are more wiling to engage with the outside world in the first place" but certainly they don't have the kind of isolating pressures that e.g. Satmars do.

RE: Jewish factions, I'd say that reform dates back to the 1850s but arises out of earlier post-Enlightenment tendencies, Conservative and Modern Orthodoxy/its ancestors arise in the later 19th century and early 20th as a reaction against Reform(one attempting to seek a "middle way" between Reform and Orthodox, the other attempting to combine full observance with living in the modern world), and what we call Haredim arising in the very late 19th and early 20th century in reaction to Modern Orthodoxy. So in some ways all the extant Jewish factions formed as some kind of reaction to the Haskalah(Jewish Enlightenment) either from the left, the right, or the center.

EDIT: Also, my understanding is that it's not unusual for baalei teshuva to have more ties to the secular world than most "born frum" types both through their families and through pre-religious social circles. This can extend to having a larger internet presence. So a Chabad Lubavitch baal teshuva having a internet presence is unusual but not improbable or implausible.


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