The Invisible Woman

“I am an invisible man. No, I am not a trace or a special effect. I have at least a physical referent. I have bone and flesh and sinew and gristle. I have angers and passions… I am invisible, then, not because of some accident of biology, some genetic mishap, but because of a peculiar disposition of the eyes of the people who look at me.

I would often bump up against people who, surprised at being bumped and jostled by an invisible man, would cry out and shove me. I cannot blame them, when you think you know where someone stands, of course you get angry when they turn out

to be somewhere else and you trip over them as you go about your business.”

The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

“EDITORIAL CLARIFICATION: From our first day of publication, Mispacha following the ruling of Gedolei Yisrael, has implemented a policy of not publishing the pictures of women even if there are no breaches of tznius associated with the picture. We are sensitive to the feelings of readers who wish to avoid looking at pictures of women in all circumstances. We feel it is appropriate to honor their wish so that they too can enjoy Mispacha magazine without lowering their level of observance.”

Mispacha Magazine

Sensitive. Feelings. Gedolim. What a great mix of modern SensitivtySpeak (TM) and FrumFallback (TM). Of course there’s no need to be sensitive to half the Jewish people who may not want to be turned into invisible people just because some readers don’t want to look at them or remember that they exist. They don’t matter. As usual only the InsaneChumra (TM) crowd does. Everyone else must accommodate their insanity.

It’s not about Tznius. It’s about the existence of women, period. It doesn’t matter how she’s dressed. Her crime is being a woman. And woman = sin. There’s nothing a woman can do to escape that, her very presence apparently causes sin, in those oversensitive souls. Once upon a time people like that would have gained a reputation for holiness by never leaving the house. Today they want to leave the house, and expect everyone else to stay home or stay out of their way.

This same warped thinking brings us separate sidewalks and shopping hours. Because if you can cut a woman out of a photo, why not cut her out of real life too?

And so we get the Invisible Woman, you’re not supposed to see her, but she’s there anyway. After all someone has to go out and work while the sensitive souls learn in Kollel and someone’s family has to pay for the house and buy the watch and the Tallit with the silver atarah. Someone has to raise the kids until the boys are old enough to spend all their time in Yeshiva and the girls can be put on the fast track to being married off to underwrite another Kollel family. She has to do all this and be invisible too.

“I am invisible, then, not because of some accident of biology, some genetic mishap, but because of a peculiar disposition of the eyes of the people who look at me.”

It’s a truly sad state of affairs when the Charedi world not only has to treat half  its population like crap but demands that they be invisible too. Because just their walking down the street or standing in a kitchen inspires sin.

These pretzels are making me thirsty. This woman is making me sinful. I’m not the one doing it. This photo of Laura Bush is. Funny that the Aseret HaDibrot only mentions married women, but coveting goes on anyone’s property. If we followed that reasoning, a picture of someone else’s house should be assur in a magazine, not that of an unmarried woman or a 10 year old girl. But we don’t follow the Aseret HaDibrot, we follow the rulings of Gedolei Yisrael, whichever of them rule something or supposedly rule it, or are intimidated by Kanoyim into ruling it.

So bring on the Lifestyles of the Machers and Rebbes, but don’t you dare show a woman in your paper.

Anyone who really can’t look at a picture of a woman should be consistent enough never to leave the house or go anywhere where he might encounter women. He either has a massive Yetzer Hara or is a Chassid Soteh. Or both. But if you’re going to drive into Manhattan, and then claim that your frumkeit prevents you from being able to tolerate women in a magazine, you’re full of crap.

“I would often bump up against people who, surprised at being bumped and jostled by an invisible man, would cry out and shove me. I cannot blame them, when you think you know where someone stands, of course you get angry when they turn out

to be somewhere else and you trip over them as you go about your business.”

It really is a sad state of affairs when women are reduced to reading something like The Moon’s Lost Light which makes the controversial claim that yes, G-d made women stupid, but since Moshiach is coming soon, they might just be getting smart enough to open a Gemara if they really want to.

Fantastic. You know that Ve’Ahavta Le’Reacha thing, it doesn’t apply to women. How about Hillel’s rule? Nope, doesn’t either.

But for a moment imagine if a non-Jewish magazine published that Mispacha photo, but instead of cutting out Laura Bush, they cut out the two Rabbis, and explained that some of their readers prefer not to look at pictures of Jews, and they want everyone to be able to enjoy their magazine.

What would that be? Right. Anti-Semitism. How does that apply to the current situation? Look up Hillel, maybe he can explain it to you.

Women are not sin incarnate. Men are not animals. If we can all agree on that, maybe we can start treating each other like human beings for a change, instead of photoshopping the First Lady out of the White House’s Kosher Kitchen while dressing in black and heading to certain private apartments in Manhattan to satisfy your yetzer hara. It’s just a thought, but who knows what could come from it.

Peace, out.