It is NO BIG DEAL that a Jewish publication got rid of Hillary’s picture

There is much breast-beating amongst the usual suspects about the fact that an Orthodox Jewish newspaper deleted all female images from the Situation Room picture the White House issued after bin Laden’s death.  Hillary was one of those deleted.

The deletion was technically a violation of federal policy, but given the way in which people have been messing with the photo — everything from party hats to superhero outfits — that’s not the issue, is it?  The issue is that the Joos hate women.  Actually, they don’t.  I wouldn’t want to live the life of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman (’cause I’m not a believer at that level), but the religious rules governing them are a manifestation of true respect and not its opposite number.

But here’s the real deal:  a little Jewish newspaper that has no government affiliation can do whatever it wants.  This is not the same as a government, complete with government power, demanding that there can be no images of women in the public sphere.  If Di Tzeitung deletes female images, it does so for two reasons:  (1) principles and (2) knowing its market.  It’s allowed to do that, just the way Hustler is allowed to show way too much of women.

When we should be concerned is when Saudi Arabia deletes women, not just from images, but from society altogether; or when China and India delete women by aborting them.  Those are big issues.  Yet funnily enough, the usual suspects are almost completely silent.  Go figure.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

  1. Danny Lemieux says

    “…or when China and India delete women by aborting them.”

    I would amend that sentence to read, “…or when China and India and Europe and U.S. delete women and anybody else by aborting them.”

  2. Charles Martel says

    Book, I see you got the story from SFGate, the online organ of the San Francisco Chronicle. Anybody with a basic knowledge of Judaism would be able to see that Di Tzeitung had what for it were plausible reasons, even if he doesn’t agree with them (I don’t).

    But the real eye opener is the ignorant, religiously intolerant views of a majority of the commentators on the site. Such as assertions that Judeo-Christian religions are simply systems of male dominance, or the implication that Orthodox Judaism subjugates women against their will. (It would be interesting to see one of them make the same accusation against The Religion of Peace.)

    On a personal note, when I was an editor for a retail jewelry trade magazine, I made friends with a couple of Jewish girls from a rival publication. We’d meet up at shows, dine and carouse together, laugh our butts off, and tell out-of-school stories about our idiot bosses. (We drew an ethical line at spilling any insider stuff about our respective publications.) They were some of the funnest people I ever hooked up with.

    A few years later I learned that one of them had been swept off her feet by an Orthodox Jew, had married him, moved to Brooklyn and was popping out little Orthodox children left and right. (She was up to eight when I last heard.) She still did freelance work for her former employer, and I heard from the grapevine that she was a happy, thriving, still quick and witty joy to be around. If she were ever run into the gloomy, religion-hating Gusses that haunt SFGate, she’d have them sliced and  inside of 15 seconds.

    (Hey, come to think of it, she was like my first SADIE.)

  3. says

    I named those two countries, Danny, because Chinese and Indian women specifically target female fetuses.  American and European women don’t make sex distinctions, being equal opportunity abortioners.

  4. Charles Martel says

    Folks, you need to understand the abortion of female fetuses from a more enlightened point of view: Although a fetus can be female, it is not a woman. It is a potential woman if allowed to live. So, eviscerating a female fetus destroys a potentiality, but not a woman (let alone a human being). Therefore, no liberal woman can be accused of hypocrisy for having her female fetus dismembered.

  5. abc says

    Just to be clear, Bookworm, you don’t buy into the notion that Hustler showing “too much women” is a problem from a social standpoint–i.e., it leads to disrespect for women by objectifying them.  Those buying Hustler have a right to buy and use the magazine in the privacy of their own home, and Flynt Enterprises has a right to supply the market.  Is that what you are saying?

  6. says

    Correct, abc.  Both publications have the right to do what they do, although I wouldn’t buy either.  As the mother of a young girl, I might try to convince people not to buy Hustler, because it demeans women, but I would never sic the government on it.

    Having said that, again as a parent, I think it should be sold in such a way that children can’t get their hands on it.  I had a hard enough time explaining to my children the Cosmo covers stacked by the Safeway checkout stand.

  7. abc says

    So if you believe that Hustler potentially demeans women by putting them in an objectified position and postition instrumental to men’s desires, it makes sense that you would personally object to such photography of women.  I wonder whether you, therefore, could understand concerns about the position that women are placed into in many orthodox communities, whether they be Jewish, Muslim or Amish.  I think that many women in each of these communities might want to be in such a position, but there are other women in each of those cultures that at least appear to be demeaned from the perspective of people outside those communities.  This is very different than generalizing across the entire community.  Do you see the point?

  8. says

    No, abc, I don’t see your point at all.  I was writing about free speech and media freedom, not the relative social status of women in the Orthodox Jewish community or in the Hustler community.  I’m not going to be drawn down that trail or into that discussion.  One of the virtues of this being my blog is that I can talk about what I want, when I want.

  9. abc says

    I understand, but it seems to me that if there is free speech, then those that question the view of women within Orthodox communities, including Jewish ones, should be allowed to state those opinions freely, as you did concerning Hustler.  That isn’t to equate Hustler’s view of women with Orthodox Jewish men, but it is to point out that reasonable people can disagree and still have views that are not tantamount to racial generalizations (e.g., “Joos hate women…”).  It’s your blog, but as you have written, you do seek to be consistent.  I think the issue of women’s status in Orthodox Jewish, Muslim, Amish, Indian or Chinese communities is more complex than what is implied here.  Just my two cents.

  10. says

    abc, another red herring:  The fact that a small publication does not print pictures of women has nothing to do with whether women in Orthodox Jewish communities are allowed to state their opinions freely.  As it happens, they can and do.  The women in Hustler can also speak freely.

    Sadly, women in Saudi Arabia can’t, nor can the former female fetuses, now corpses, in India and China.

    Again, I won’t engage with you on substance, but you need to keep your eye on the ball here.

  11. abc says

    I think you misunderstand.  I am not talking about women talking freely.  Clearly, women in NYC, even in an orthodox Jewish community have more free speech rights than women in Saudi Arabia.  My point was that the dismissal of people who question the view of women in a community that cannot handle the fact that our Secretary of State is a woman is an entirely rational position to take, and they ought to be able to express it without being accused of making racial generalizations, just as you are allowed to draw conclusions about Hustler for similar reasons. 

  12. says

    Zachriel:  I sincerely doubt that any of the Di Tzeitung’s readers were confused.  Keep in mind that they’re writing for a targeted audience that is totally aware of — and approves of — their conventions.  This became an issue only because it spread beyond the paper’s own demographic.  But you know that already.  I understand that your comment is intended to tweak.

  13. Charles Martel says

    Jews are now a race? I’ll be happy to tell the black Falasha Jews of Ethiopia that they are members of the same race as the blue-eyed Ashkenazi Jews of Europe.

    Aside from that bit of hilarity, none of the commentors in the SFGate site was referring to Jews or Christians in a racial manner. They were referring to religion.

    “. . .in a community that cannot handle the fact that our Secretary of State is a woman. . .” red herring. The Orthodox community quite understands that the secretary of state is a woman and is handling it quite well. But that same community has a rule against publishing photos of women. By the logic in that statement, it can’t handle the fact that Rebekkah Morgenstern is an Orthodox Jew, or a lawyer, or a sculptor, because it won’t print her picture.  

    Anyway, Book, welcome to Tendentious/Tedious Land. Now you know how we feel.

  14. SADIE says

    Zach
     
    Do you actually read before you comment.
     
    Di Tzeitung is a newspaper geared for the Jewish Orthodox community. So orthodox that name of the paper is in Yiddish (not Hebrew) which is only used for praying for certain orthodox sects. Anyone buying or reading the paper would, of course, already know and understand this.

  15. says

    They have apologized. 

    Di Tzeitung: We respect all government officials. We even have special prayers for the welfare of our Government and the government leaders.
    In retrospect, we apologize for any misunderstanding that this might have caused. We should not have published the altered picture, and we have conveyed our regrets and apologies to the White House and to the State Department.

    http://ditzeitung.com/statement.html

  16. says

    They shouldn’t have.  They did nothing wrong:  nothing violent, nothing dangerous, nothing that encourages others to violence, and nothing that could be seen as Constitutional violation.  They’re entitled to their beliefs.  We can challenge them (politely), but since they stand by the underlying principle, they should have defended that principle.

    As it is, I think they were apologizing only for editing a photo that wasn’t supposed to be edited — although, as I pointed out in my post, that hasn’t stopped anybody else.

  17. SADIE says

    This snip preceded the ‘selected’ paragraph #20.

    Because we wanted to honor the President and our armed forces for the historic significance of the moment, we opted to publish the photo, but without the women included, as is our long standing editorial policy. As a fact, Secretary of State Clinton WAS mentioned prominently in the main write-up of the Situation Room, right after President Obama.

  18. Michael Adams says

    As the Hammer said, you’d want to use the plural “you” in addressing Zach’s.  Having lived in Texas, you have to know that that is spelled Y-‘A-L-L. ;)

  19. Mike Devx says

    I agree that it is not a big deal.  I think it is EXECRABLE, however.  It’s not a big deal primarily because they’re nothing more than a fringe group.

    They deleted women from a picture.  These women were NOT of their religion and NOT of their community.  And they deleted them from the picture.  That is wrong.  Very very wrong.

    It would not be wrong to delete such pictures of women who belong to their religiion and community.  It *is* wrong to do so to others who are not believers.

    It is exactly the same kind of behavior that Muslims deliver to their women and to non-believing women.  If that is a big deal, then this would be a big deal as well, except that they are so small and non-violent towards the rest of us that they are not a threat; and that is why this is no big deal.

    But the nature of what they did is nasty.

  20. SADIE says

    They deleted women from a picture.  These women were NOT of their religion and NOT of their community.  And they deleted them from the picture.  That is wrong.  Very very wrong.
     
     
    Incorrect. The woman/women would be deleted in an any case scenario. In this sect of Orthodox, men and women do not sit together.. I am not going to go into a long explanation. Just accept one women sitting between two males is a no-no or one male sitting between two women is not acceptable.

  21. says

    Sorry Book and others; but I will disagree with you on this one; strongly.

    It is a big deal that an American newspaper felt the need to “erase” the Sec of State from an official white house photo because of her gender. It is just wrong.

    The red herring is that you are comparing the complaints against an American newspaper with what Saudis and other do.  The two are not the same. 

    The red herring is that you are comparing a porn magazine to a newspaper.  The two are not the same.

    The red herring is that you are comparing clearly photoshopped photos for fun to a newspaper that erases women from the picture because of the intolerant beliefs. The two are not the same.

    And don’t tell me that their beliefs are not intolerant – they most certainly are.  As an goy (one of the UNchosen people) living in the New York Area I deal with their intolerance all the time along the Jersey shore.  As just one small example; try riding a bicycle past “their” neighborhood (on public streets that my taxes pay for!) on a Saturday and watch the stones fly (Is that the non-violent behaviour that you talk about?) – because their beliefs are that one shouldn’t do work (such as ride a bicycle) on the “Sabbath.”  But it is okay to physically harm someone who has different beliefs!?  Effing wack-jobs!

    If they want to believe that women should not be sitting next to men then they are free to believe that (no matter how stupid I think it is).  But, that they are so intolerant that they feel that their readers should not see the picture as it was intended to be seen, then why publish the picture at all? (That is a rhetorical question) Why claim it is for modesty reasons?  That sounds like horsehockey to me; not unlike why some claim women should be cover from head to toe horsehockey.

    Sorry for the snarkiness, Book, but I think that you are projecting onto this what you perceive to be anti-Jewishness when it isn’t anti-Jewishness at all; it is wrong for a newspaper (I don’t care how large or small their readership is) to change facts simply because it doesn’t “fit their beliefs.”

    It is just. plain. wrong.

    (rant over)

  22. says

    The red herring is that you are comparing clearly photoshopped photos for fun to a newspaper that erases women from the picture because of the intolerant beliefs. The two are not the same.

    You come from a Liberal community of values culturally speaking, so that makes sense for you. That has nothing to do with right or wrong however.

  23. says

    And don’t tell me that their beliefs are not intolerant – they most certainly are.

    Their beliefs have nothing to do with it. Just like my having a ton of guns and munitions has nothing to do with you.

    There is no logical connection because the US Constitution allows people to mind their own business and not intercede using government power, into the affairs of others.

  24. says

    That sounds like horsehockey to me; not unlike why some claim women should be cover from head to toe horsehockey.

    It’s rather ironic that you go around calling other people bigoted or intolerant, given your own behavior. You do understand the irony here, yes.

  25. says

    it is wrong for a newspaper (I don’t care how large or small their readership is) to change facts simply because it doesn’t “fit their beliefs.”

    Freedom of conscience is protected by the US Constitution. If you don’t like it, either forfeit your oaths and become an enemy insurgent against the nation, or go into politics. 

    They don’t need your authority or sanction to believe whatever it is they believe.

    It is not wrong at all for newspapers to manipulate data. They do it all the time. When has that ever not been the case. Did you think the Founding Fathers didn’t own newspapers and slant things their way. Of course they did it, because it was perfectly legitimate because it was tolerant.

  26. Mike Devx says

    Me: And they deleted them from the picture.  That is wrong.  Very very wrong.

    Sadie: Incorrect.

    I stand by my statement.  I believe the newspaper may have decided that they agree with me.
    I don’t mean to say they should have left the women in the picture, either.  The best choice would have been to simply not publish the photo at all.

    A religion must NEVER force its beliefs upon non-believers.  That’s the huge problem with Islam that most of us have.  That, and the fact that (radical jihadist) Islam forces its beliefs upon the rest of us in violent and ruthless ways.  This orthodox Jewish group doesn’t do *that* – but in erasing non-believing women from pictures I believe they definitely crossed an important line.  

    It raises a similar question: Suppose the leaders of this community had to join a conference or meeting outside of their community, and that meeting was completely non-sectarian and women were in attendance, what would happen?  They would have absolutely NO RIGHT of any sort whatsoever to attempt to bar the women from the meeting, of course…  So what would happen?

    The constraints a religion imposes upon those who VOLUNTARILY JOIN that religious community are sacrosanct and must be followed.  Equally important is the fact that those constraints do not apply to the rest of us who do NOT join.

    Finally, I’ll address a side debate that may likely arise: Someone may claim that we do always pass laws governing everyone, and those laws are based on religious convictions, making my argument invalid.  The key difference is that those laws are *based* on religious principles, *informed* by them, so to speak.  The laws are not the institution of theocratic policy.  Our Constitution itself, by the quotes of the Founders, was itself *based on* and *informed by* religious principles.  That doesn’t make us a theocracy.  And our laws that are based on religious principles are not theocratic laws; whether informed by religious principle or not, they are strictly in conformance with the law of the land itself, and that’s the important distinction.

  27. Mike Devx says

    I’ll add that the most evil aspect of Islam – and one that is unique to Islam – is that those who leave the religion are to be put to death.  Pure evil.  

    An individual who has lost his or her faith actually ought to feel *compelled* by their own moral or ethical standards to leave the religion, or to at least not participate in its holy activities themselves.  Islam turns that on its head and forces everyone who has ever called themselves a Muslim to continue to pretend to be believers even when they are not.

    That relates to this (overblown) controversy in that the standards and practices of a religious community apply to the individuals within that community, and do not apply to those who are not.  There is no more important right for an individual in a free society than that of choosing to join, OR TO LEAVE, a religious community.

  28. abc says

    Buckley’s book “Thank you for Smoking” pokes fun at well-meaning liberals who seek to delete cigarettes from classic flims.  And conservatives attacked attempts to Photoshop an Asian-American and African American face on two of three fireman emerging from the rubble at Ground Zero in an iconic photo.  These are similar examples of hiding the truth to preserve ideas that must stand on their own.  It is puzzling to see a conservative defend similar actions that appear to be differentiated merely because the group involved and said conservative share a religious background.  Clearly, there must be more to justify this…

  29. says

    I don’t agree with what the publishers believe, but I still think that the main point is that they’re entitled to their beliefs as long as they’re not imposing them on others.  That being the case, the fact that, as Charles says, they physically attack people in their neighborhood for having the wrong clothes is unacceptable (not to mention that it’s illegal, and should subject them to arrest).

    I guess I rank free speech, even offensive speech on one side (that would include editing photos), and actual violence, incitement to violence, or government imposed censorship, on the other side.  The one is part of a free, pluralist nation; the other is a dangerous journey to totalitarianism.

  30. says

    They would have absolutely NO RIGHT of any sort whatsoever to attempt to bar the women from the meeting, of course…  So what would happen? Hypotheticals are not real situations. It’s meaningless to focus on the fantasy when the reality is already in front of our eyes.

    The only thing people need be concerned with is what is going on now. And only incidentally in relating to them directly.

  31. says

    I stumbled in late to this argument. I admit I was surprised there was not more condemnation here of the airbrushing per se, just in the name of journalistic honesty. I would think journalistic honesty is an objective standard that should be upheld as a touchstone in all such cases. If they didn’t publish such photos, that would’ve been more honorable than airbrushing this one. I also feel surprise, Book, because if you had noticed an Arab or Muslim publication doing this, I think you would’ve held it up as a (true) example typifying and signifying so many negatives about the way they perceive and treat women–whereas in this case you say it’s no big deal because the perpetrators are Jewish and marginalized. To me it does feel like you are applying a double standard.
     
    What if we had a female President? What photos would that newspaper run then? Certainly they marginalize themselves (and make themselves look ridiculous) by their own actions, which is their perfect right. Who cares what they do? But I have the right to think and say that they are ridiculous for doing so, and I’m surprised you don’t. I don’t see how it honors women to treat their very images like radioactive waste. Why does this subset of people agree that women should be invisible in the public sphere, and why is that not a big deal in the philosophical sense that we usually discuss here?

  32. says

    Zabrina – late, perhaps; but very well said.

    I suspect that one of the reasons for removing Hillary from this “historic” photo was also that they don’t want to give “their” women any ideas about women doing anything but what “God made women to do” – that is what really goes against their medieval (Yes, I AM name-calling) beliefs.

    P.S.  If they truly believe that removing these women from the photo was for “modesty” reasons than the thought of Hillary as a “temptress” is something that we need to tell Bill.  OMG, the thought of all those 17th century-dressed men oogling Hillary’s image is way too – yuck!

  33. says

    I still haven’t heard why people think this is their business to get into. So “I don’t like it” is a reason why they are wrong and you are right. Well, that’s a fine and upstanding definition of ethics and epistemology.

  34. says

    These women were NOT of their religion and NOT of their community.  And they deleted them from the picture.  That is wrong.  Very very wrong.
    It would not be wrong to delete such pictures of women who belong to their religiion and community.  It *is* wrong to do so to others who are not believers.

    What I’m seeing here from Charles, A through Z, is intolerance of the very existence of other belief systems. Just because you people don’t get it, doesn’t mean you should try to wipe it out.

    It Does Not Matter whether you get deleted from a picture or not. Since when the hell has that ever mattered under Constitutional protections, that said you had a right to be in a damn picture someone else is publishing? You don’t own your damn picture. And politicians certainly don’t own pictures sold to newspapers. It’s called the law, not personal prejudice that says you don’t like it so it can’t be so.

    This unrealistic idea that because other people are living different lifestyles that this somehow “impinges” upon your whatever X, Y, Z, called morality is erroneous and arrogant to boot.

    You don’t like it? Then get the hell away from their business and their life. What’s stopping ya, Mike? What’s stopping ya, Charles. You two wouldn’t even have known what the hell has been happening if you didn’t read this story. So how’s it impacting your life. It’s not. You’re choosing to make it have an impact, none of you have any victim class to claim as a justification to interrupting other people’s self-chosen lifestyles. None Whatsoever.

    It’s wrong because it’s not your lifestyle? What kind of bigoted, arrogant posturing is that? You want to talk about things being “wrong” because they are “different” you better the hell get a better argument than “just because I say so”.

    A through Z has that kind of stuff because they are intolerant members of Leftist ideology. What is your two’s excuse?

    photo was also that they don’t want to give “their” women any ideas about women doing anything but what “God made women to do” – that is what really goes against their medieval (Yes, I AM name-calling) beliefs.

    You of all people have no right to judge other belief systems as intolerant given this craptastic excuse of bigoted self-righteousness, Charles. You think you can excuse your rude and busy body behavior by justifying it as “right”, eh. You think you can do whatever the hell you want to other people just because you think they shouldn’t live the way they want to, eh. Who do you think you are, God. Nobody needs your authorization to live. Nobody needs your consent to act on their conscience.

    That would still be true even if you were right about their religious beliefs. Since you neither comprehend it nor take an effort to tolerate its existence, your beliefs about them are erroneous to begin with.

    People who don’t give a damn whether Orthodox Jews live or die, don’t get the right to decide what they can or cannot, what they should or should not, do. For example, the federal government doesn’t give a damn about you or your family. That’s why when they make decisions about your life, they will screw it up and not fix it. Because they don’t care. You are just something in the way for the power of the feds. Yet you think you can act the same way towards other beliefs and cultures simply because, what, you think you are entitled to this, Charles. You really think so huh?

    Local communities who actually care about what is going on, because it affects, are the ones invested with the power to decide. You, a total stranger and a hostile one at that, have no rights whatsoever. You have no entitlements. You have no say because you have no standing and no reason for any of them to believe your “good intentions”. Because you have none towards a culture you despise.

    You think that’s just something that applies to the Federal Government? Think again.

    Charles, you want to slander other people, go ahead. Don’t get on a high horse lecturing them about how they are bigoted and medieval, however. That’s called being too preposterous for your own good.

    The people here who don’t live the lives of Orthodox Jews, don’t have the knowledge required to judge their life. The people who not only are ignorant of Orthodox Jews but also don’t like their lifestyle, definitely don’t get a say. It’s called a conflict of interests. You don’t have the best interests of the humans there, so whenever your “opinion” is given weight on matters of policy and action, it results in harm not good being done.

    You do not get a say in what other people choose to do with their lives because you are opinionated, arrogant, and too full of yourself to know better. That is the condensed version.

    If you want to be called a member of a community and wish to offer your view on how to better that community, you do not bring your hostile intentions into the public sphere by talking trash about other people’s motivations and emotions which you are unable to know. It is precisely because you aren’t part of the Orthodox Jews, it is precisely because their lifestyle and social sphere impacts upon you NOT IN THE LEAST that you can afford to be so rude and condescending to their self-chosen lifestyles.

    Nobody would ever be so openly condescending of their own community’s values. Not because they agree with them all the time, but simply because they fear retribution and social punishment for acting against the community’s harmony or interests.

    So if people think it is okay to trash and attack other people’s values, just because they are different, go ahead and be honest about it. And when their actions harm you not in the least, at least be upfront about the real reason why you want to interfere with their actions. The real reason isn’t because it is right. The real reason is just because “you felt like it”.

  35. says

    As an goy (one of theUNchosen people) living in the New York Area I deal with their intolerance all the time along the Jersey shore.

    You got a problem with Jews throwing stones at you? Man up and do something about it personally. It’s not like you don’t know who did it, right.

    Attacking other Jews on a newspaper you don’t even know about, makes what kind of sense?

    Even Jews are different than other Jews. They’re like people in this sense. New Yorkians. Californians. Southerners. They’re not all the same.  

    The fact that you got a personal prejudice here invalidates the totality of your beliefs. Neither I, a neutral party, nor the Orthodox Jews would ever trust you to adjudicate a matter concerning them fairly or according to the law. Because you just love getting your own prejudices involved.

    Regardless, the newspaper isn’t attacking anything, nor stealing anybody’s money, nor using other people’s photos that they shouldn’t. I might as well bring Leftist Jewish votes for Obama, it would just be as irrelevant as bringing up New York Sabbath youth Jews throwing … well, what did they do, exactly, Charles. You remember right. Don’t you remember what they did that you classify as violent? What was it.

  36. Mike Devx says

    Ymar #43: I still haven’t heard why people think this is their business to get into.

    Because this is a particular example that exposes a philosophical position.  Its nature is precisely the same as that of demanding that all women be hidden within a burkha.   You, Ymar, in many posts have yourself discussed how other cultures treat women, and you  have definite opinions yourself on such treatment.  Then in 43 and 44, you deride us for commenting on “lifestyle decisions”.

    > The fact that you got a personal prejudice here invalidates the totality of your beliefs.

    I have a problem with them too.  He’s riding a bicycle down a public sidewalk, and they’re throwing stones at him?  And you demand that he either A. confront all of them himself and take care of the problem himself or, B. shut the hell up.

    Hmmm.

Leave a Reply