The tznius blame game
I’m not exactly sure where the idea that dressing tznius would somehow help men achieve this mythical non-objectivity status. I’m fairly certian, that despite the tznius rhetoric, frum women dressing tzniusly has not exactly elevated their status in the frum community. They still can’t do many things men can do and aren’t exactly treated with respect in many cases. You see, once a women dresses as tzniusly as possible, the leaders start making up other laws about what is tznius and not tznius, it’s a never ending game of repression in the name of God and helping men not be such pigs. I would argue that this “war on immodesty” makes men more piggish in their ways, because now they have the weapon of tznius to use against any woman they deem to making them fail, because we all know that men can’t do it on their own.
While I was off frolicking in the woods, everyone’s favorite BT Blogger Pop Chossid, wrote a post on the subject of tznius. It was straight out of kiruv 101, which basically says that in order to convince someone that something is true you need to add a little self depracation (or some hardcore Kelm-esque mussar) and convince those you are rebuking that you are wrong in your ways and the only way to change is for them to help you. Now Elad probably didn’t know about what kind of can of worms he was opening, but the tznius rhetoric has gotten way out of hand and women are always to blame. What his article tries to do is shift the blame to men, but still requiring the women to belittle themselves because we men are pigs and can’t control ourselves. I’m not sure when looking at beautiful women became a crime, but in my book we are just admiring the beauty of Hashems creations.
I haven’t really seen the hatred directed at the article, but I’m sure it ticked a lot of people off and for good reason. To give Elad credit, he does live in Crown Heights which is home to the most attractive frum women in the world and it’s tough to stay focused on Moshiach when there’s ass everywhere. Not only are there beautiful women everywhere, but they dress scantily by frum standards (these standards state that as long as your covered and not wearing pants, you are guaranteed a spot in heaven, most people hold that it’s better to wear a miniskirt than loose pants). The tznius issue in CH is an interesting one, because chabad is known as such elitist folks when it comes to their traditions and not to uphold the basic tznius of the rest of frum society is a bit shocking.
The truth is that telling women to cover up is not a solution, because they won’t be wearing bags (yet) and you will still look at them, maybe before asking women to help you in your quest you can do everything in your power to help yourself. I would request that you move out of Crown Heights or even New York for that matter, every time I come to New York I am shocked at the lack of modesty by everyone. Maybe you could move somewhere where the women are up to your standards of modesty, before you jump on the Yated/Matzav/Charedi bandwagon of tznius blame.
P.S. as far as I’m concerned the only reason so many folks visit Crown Heights in the first place is to get a glimpse of their women folk and if they actually started to cover up you would see the amount of folks visiting and living there dwindle. Think about it, there isn’t much talk from the chabad leaders about it, because they know this truth.
The only post I’ve seen as a response to this was from Fink and his post basically talks about modern day tznius as a social miztvah between people, rather between individuals and God.
Find more tznius rhetoric on 4torah.com