Male Desire and Women

This stems from the discussion on the Harry Mayles post about the Tznius Beit Din. Elliot Pasik repeated a familiar argument

The child sex abuse problem has exploded in the past few decades, coinciding with the degeneration of moral values. Prior to World War II, when morality was at a higher level, this type and amount of child abuse did not exist.

As I said, if some zealous Jerusalem rabbis want to establish dress standards in a country which not only has a child sex abuse problem, but also a female slavery prostitution problem, let them be. I wish them Hatzlacha.

Elliot Pasik here is typically confusing a problem that wasn’t widely recognized or spoken about with one that doesn’t exist. This is a common mistake in the frum world. The problem certainly existed. There were just fewer outlets for addressing it.

A newspaper editor in 19th century England was actually jailed when he reported on the widespread practice of child prostitution and one of those calling for his imprisonment was none other than beloved pedophile, the Reverend Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carol, author of Alice in Wonderland, whose hobbies including taking naked photos of young girls.

But his bigger mistake is obscenely blaming women for pedophilia.

Pedophilia is directed at children, often sexually immature. Pedophiles prize their ability to control and destroy children’s innocence. Pedophilia is not a desire roused by women which when frustrated turns to children. This is an obscene distortion of the truth.

Finally male desire is not created by women BUT EXPRESSED TOWARD WOMEN. Here lies the fundamental difference which undermines frum tznius. Frum morality treats male desire as deriving from the sight of women. If women dress modestly, male desire is supposed to vanish. This kind of arbitrary view dates back to the Gemara which claimed that a man seeing one woman naked would not lead him to desire other women. The source of desire is supposedly the individual woman. This of course is simply not true as any man who is honest with himself knows.

Male desire is not created by women. Male desire can take many forms and it may be directed toward women, roused by women and expressed toward women but it is not created by them. It exists regardless of how the women are or aren’t dressed. That’s simply a fact. Blaming women for male desire is a slippery slope that leads to a failure to take responsibility for your own actions and desires.

3 thoughts on “Male Desire and Women

  1. Orange County Resident says:

    I frankly would love to be blamed for male desire. 😀

  2. R Moshe Poreski says:

    I have to agree with this evaluation. Orthodox jewish women are capable of taking care of these things by themselves.
    Often I wonder where the eyes of these men are that they see so much.

  3. samuraimohel says:

    Constantly pushing tznius regulations is just a way to continue blaming women for male desire. No amount of tznius chumras will ever be enough because male desire remains.

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