Television was easy to deal with, you didn’t need it for work, you could hardly justify it as an educational tool, and there were plenty of folks like me who had bumper stickers that said “kill your television”. The internet is different, it can’t be stopped, I have a feeling that in 100 years it will be treated by the frum community like the Haskallah currentl is, a danger that crept into the frum community under the guise of enlightenment. When something can’t be stopped, it appears that the frum like to focus on something that can be: immodest women. Thank God London now has a modesty hotline to help rid their community of the immodest scourge that has plagued them.
I’m not exactly sure when the Charedi obsession with immodesty started, but it’s only getting worse. It’s the new scapegoat, the death of gedolim, high tuition, shidduch crisis, treife meat scandals, everything can be blamed on a lack of modesty. Ever since the Internet Asifa realized that the internet cannot be stopped, it seems that the focus on scantily clad women and pritzus has become the only way to truly stop the internet from affecting us.
I know that that the signs in Mea Shearim warning tourists to dress properly have been up long before the internet ravished our community with hateful blogs and free porn, but I’m not sure that there were angry protests here in America, tznius asifa’s and modesty hotlines set up in London. It always felt like the madness surrounding so called “immodesty” was contained to those “crazy charedim in Israel”. Is it spreading, or is the internet just responsible for reporting every negative thing that the “crazy charedim” do? Is it merely my imagination that thinks honor killings are around the corner.
If your daughters aren’t dressing properly, calling a hotline, reporting them and having thugs show them what’s up, doesn’t seem to be conducive. I was always taught that modesty starts in the home, I was also taught that one doesn’t rebuke others for they have their own issues. I’m an almighty blogger who sits behind a screen so I can point fingers, but I would never set up a modesty hotline. It’s so big brother, it’s scary that these people can’t just let others be and if it’s such an issue they need to figure out a less hurtful and scary way to do it. We’ve all heard of what these “modesty patrols” and “vaad hatznius” people do. We’ve heard of the abuse, the threats, the violence, and the general lack of respect they have for individuals.
If you have such an issue with modesty, maybe it’s time to take responsibility and figure out why it’s an issue in your community. I just hope they don’t do this in Crown Heights, it would really make Kingston Ave so uninteresting if everyone suddenly started dressing tznius.
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