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Israeli gynaecological conference: no women speakers allowed

Orthodox Jewish leaders in Israel have been quietly handed a victory by Benjamin Netanyahu, where they exclude woman doctors from a conference about a topic that decidedly should not be male domain except by virtue of patriarchy: gynaecology. The conference will discuss the care and medical treatment of issues pertaining to women’s reproductive organs but not a single woman will be presenting.

The conference on “Innovations in Gynecology/Obstetrics and Halacha [Jewish law]” is being held by the Puah Institute this Wednesday in Jerusalem. It will include such topics as “ovary implants,” “how to choose a suitable contraceptive pill” and “intimacy during rocket attacks,” in which there are many qualified female professionals, but none will be permitted to speak, at least not from the podium.

Women are allowed in the audience, in a section separate from men.

Several Israeli human rights groups have protested the men-only nature of the conference. While it is considered a private rather than a public forum, and therefore not subject to Israeli policies against discrimination, Puah receives considerable funding from the Health Ministry, these complainants point out.

Such complaints are unlikely to make much of an impression, however. The Health Minister, to whom they are addressed, is actually the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, owing to another sop to the Ultra-Orthodox.

This is why people so often conflate religion with misogyny. Judaism derives its laws from the Old Testament, the same book Christians and Muslims each decided needed a sequel. The Big-Three religions are predicated on so much anti-woman nonsense that to be “orthodox”, to take your book literally, you have to exclude women from educating men lest it be seen as an affront to the natural order of things as dictated by Yahweh.

You wonder why I’m an atheist? This is in no small part what clued me in that the Catholicism I was brought up in, was total and utter nonsense, because this shit’s in their Bible too. Go ahead, look it up.

Comments

  1. Daniel Waddell says

    Israel is slowly becoming Iran. They call Israel a democracy and it may well be but it is a theocratic democracy. This is what you get without the protection of a secular democracy.

  2. P Smith says

    DW, what do you mean, “Is becoming Iran”?

    Israel has always been like Iran. The jews treat the Palestinians worse than the shia muslims treat the bahais in Iran, and have been seeking an exclusively one religious state for decades.

    .

  3. julian says

    Even if we set aside the absurdity that is their religion, how exactly is the giant hot pink neon sign screaming CONFLICT OF INTEREST not obvious?

    What next… crap. I was going to say ‘Catholic priests debate the curriculum for a high school sex ed course?’ but yeah…

  4. says

    Minor nitpick:

    This is why people so often conflate religion with misogyny.

    We don’t “conflate” religion with misogyny. Religion is inherently misogynistic, as can be plainly seen within the religious texts. From the Judeo-Christian sludge in the Bible, to the Koran, to, well… just LOOK at places like India, where there are a bazillion goddesses, but women are treated like something you’d scrape off your shoe.

    Religion IS misogyny.

  5. says

    Oh, you’re probably right about that, what, maybe .5% of religions that aren’t misogynistic, but 99.5% of the time, if it’s a religion, it will be (in practice, if not in theory) misogynistic.

  6. says

    Stuff like the nonsense that goes on in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) irritates the hell out of me! As a 4th and 5th generation Reform Jewish woman in U.S., I find it ironic that for all the nations that have “vibrant” Jewish communities (i.e. nations that “allow” Jews to live within their borders)there is only one country that Jews DON’T have freedom of religion. And that country is (drum-roll here) ISRAEL! I say that because Israel is in the hands of a bunch of anti-female Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox “cultists”. They only barely accept Reform Judaism as a recognized “branch” or “denomination” of Judaism, despite the fact that it is the fastest-growing of Jewish communities, and in North America, is the largest branch of Judaism. I’ve made it my personal “protest” to send no donations, nor purchase even Hanukkah candles that have been made in Israel! Until they recognize Reform Jews, and our belief that women and men are EQUAL, and that we have Matriarchs (as well as Patriarchs).

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