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Oct 04 2012

Erasing the women

The Jerusalem bus company Egged has decided to stop carrying any advertising on its buses – not because it dislikes advertising but because of “Haredi violence and vandalism.”

“This matter has something important to say to Israeli society,” says [the religious freedom movement] Yerushalmim CEO Uri Ayalon. “We can’t abandon the capital city.  Today, there are no pictures of men or women in Jerusalem. Tomorrow,  there won’t be any in Tel Aviv. It’s inconceivable.”

“Egged’s  decision is absurd,” says [Rachel] Azaria, the [Jerusalem] councilwoman [and Yerushalmim activist who successfully petitioned Israel's High Court of Justice to stop Egged's and Cnaan's censorship of women's faces and bodies]. “If Egged buses are  vandalized, then instead of going to the police and demanding  enforcement, they’re making men and women invisible. It’s like not  letting the kids go out to recess if there’s a bully in school, instead  of dealing with the bully.”

Disappearing all women is the new normal.

18 comments

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  1. 1
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    “Egged has not given in to the Haredim. This is purely a business decision. Egged’s officials believe that showing images of human beings on buses will cause it intolerable financial damage,”

    Yeah, that’s not giving in to terrorism or anything.

  2. 2
    Pierce R. Butler

    Sounds like these tiny minds want to erase all humans, of all sexes and ages.

  3. 3
    No Light

    @F – Yeah, I read that too:

    “Nooo, we’re not giving in to the Haredim, just letting them completely control our business decisions!

  4. 4
    No Light

    @Pierce – nah, it’s only the female of the species that offends them.

    Stones and dirty diapers thrown at real ones, bricks and petrol bombs (among other things) against depictions on buses.

  5. 5
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Removing all images of humans to avoid being criticized for giving in to sexists. Pathetic.
    The Haredi pressure to remove images of women is generally a problem with public advertisements in Jerusalem. It is most absurd when family-oriented services try to navigate this silliness.
    This is an ad for a Jerusalem clinic. They couldn’t depict an actual Haredi family, because such would contain at least one woman, and instead portrayed what appears to be a same-sex Haredi family, which is something that doesn’t exist since the Haredim are really anti-gay.

  6. 6
    Brigadista

    More “let’s pretend women don’t exist”:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/02/ikea-apologises-removing-women-saudi-arabia-catalogue

  7. 7
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    This is an ad for a Jerusalem clinic. They couldn’t depict an actual Haredi family, because such would contain at least one woman, and instead portrayed what appears to be a same-sex Haredi family, which is something that doesn’t exist since the Haredim are really anti-gay.

    I’m now wondering how a gay rights group could start a public campaign thanking them for the support of marriage equality.
    If assholes’ heads explode from outrage, that will solve some problems for women and LGBT population.

  8. 8
    davidhart

    Curious picture. Only one of them has a proper hat*. It always puzzles me why people whose traditional clothing includes awesome hats like homburgs and shtreimels still have a fondness for that disappointing tried-to-be-a-hat-and-didn’t-quite-manage garment, the yarmulka.

    *No, I don’t count the baseball cap:-)

  9. 9
    Pierce R. Butler

    No Light @ # 4: … it’s only the female of the species that offends them.

    Re-read the OP:

    … there are no pictures of men or women in Jerusalem. … they’re making men and women invisible.

    Has anyone tried telling these people they’re acting like (gasp) Muslims?

  10. 10
    stewart

    Of course, when the birthrate is so skewed, these are the steps that will take place on the way to complete dominance of society.

    Forbidden Snowflake, that was perhaps even more interesting than you realised. The ad was not for a clinic but for a health (insurance) fund. Specifically the one founded by the Histadrut (Labour Federation), traditionally a bastion of secular Socialism. When they have surrendered, there can’t be much left to go.

  11. 11
    Ophelia Benson

    Yikes, Stewart. That’s alarming.

  12. 12
    stewart

    Well, it almost certainly came from advertising aimed at a particular population in a particular area. Here is their homepage (English version), which will help you to breathe more easily:

    http://www.clalit-global.co.il/en/

    Here is the link to their history:

    http://www.clalit-global.co.il/en/_the_story_of_clalit_health_services.html

    Clalit simply means “general” (as in “General Federation of Labour”).

  13. 13
    No Light

    Stewart – the third largest kupat holim (health fund), Meuhedet, sent out leaflets about “The cancer of the place under discussion”.

    Meuhedet has a lot of Haredi subscribers, so they produced the leaflet about breast cancer without ever mentioning breasts, and without advice on how to examine them.

    It’s bad enough that haredim won’t use the word “cancer” (they say “the yene machla” or “that illness” ), but now a company with a number of Haredi subscribers has decided to further muddy the waters by not even saying where it is!

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?ID=249978&R=R1

  14. 14
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Pierce R. Butler: No Light is right. The Haredim are only offended by depictions of women (Haredi-aimed ads depicting men presented in this thread are evidence). But the bus company (which, incidentally, serves the whole country and not just Jerusalem; the ad problem is local to Jerusalem, though) faced criticism, accusations of sexism, and litigation for erasing just the women, so they said “fuck it” and took down all human faces.
    There is no side in this debate that is offended by pictures of men.

  15. 15
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Has anyone tried telling these people they’re acting like (gasp) Muslims?

    Won’t work. The delusion that theocracy would come from the Muslim minority of all places isn’t a common affliction in Israel.

  16. 16
    Forbidden Snowflake

    No Light: there was a similar silly story (with less dangerous implications) recently when the Haredi press tiptoed circles around the word “pig” (which is taboo) when reporting a big car crash involving a wild boar.
    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/09/israelis-killed-in-car-accident-with-non-kosher-animal-which-haredi-paper-refuses-to-name-234.html

  17. 17
    No Light

    I was going to mention that one, FS!

    I read it the other day, and immediately remembered why I don’t usually read FM while I’m eating.

    Personally, I think that the soup made a fine addition to the decor of the living room, but I’ve now been banned from FMing during lunch.

  18. 18
    stewart

    Thanks for those examples. Jeff Barak (who wrote about the breast cancer booklets) is not Haredi and was, indeed, crystal-clear that his own household was among those that had received the booklet. This goes dangerously beyond catering to a minority’s demand. A great illustration, though, of the idea that the more you believe, the less you’re allowed to know.

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