Tuesday, September 15, 2009

tznius bullsh$t

I came across this post over at some new maidel's blog that got my panties in a figurative twist. (oh wait - maybe even a non-literal reference to undergarments is not at all tznius... maybe i'll ask that maidel and get back to you)

She wrote about her sem's 'modesty' course where the girls modeled clothing in class in order to find out whether their outfits met the tznius standards of the morah. Such aidel maidels. What a ruchnius environment. And then she writes about coming back to the shmutzland of the US of A where girls, even BY girls, are wearing - oh the horror of it - kikki rikki shirts under 'shells' (i'm pretty sure that the BY velt is the only one to still call sleeveless tees 'shells').

More thoughts to come.


mother in israel said...

I found your post because the title and link now appear at the end of her original post.
what can I say. It's hard to come back to real life after seminary.

frum single female said...

that fashion show is a bit over the top. good thing the teacher wasnt male.

Jacob Da Jew said...

battle of da maidels. Smack her with that Gucci pump!

MusingMaidel said...

I'm sorry you found my post not to your liking. Honestly, I found your description of it to be even more offensive than anything I would ever have written.

I greatly resent the way you belittled my feelings and my writing. So you don't agree with what I said - deal with it. You don't have to be sarcastic and nasty about it. No one said you had to read it.

Maidel said...

it's before the high holidays, so i should apologize...

i don't have any issues with you or your blog, but rather with the mindset that deems a cardigan too sexy to be tznius.

replace the word 'not tznius' with 'sexy' when you ask your morah whether your clothes are 'ok', and then you have a highly inappropriate scenario going on. but, that basically IS what's going on. The whole thing is just so ridiculous and disturbing.

Not one of the ten commandments deals with clothes - so why does it seem today that this is what being 'frum' is all about. It's the ultimate false worship.

Anonymous said...


You are the epitome of the post-israel year sem high.

You're so full of torah and growing that you have not looked into a mirror and discovered how long your nose has grown. You now look down upon other girls and their style of dress be it less snius or just as snius but not according to what "you think/feel" snius should be.

Welcome to the real world, good luck on finding a besheret.. with any luck you can probably catch a guy whose still on his post-yeshiva high with as long a nose.

Off the Derech said...

Anonymous: you're quite the bitch.

the problem is the system, not the people.

fear from love. said...

Amazing, Musing had to disable the comments.
It is interesting how she now points out the point of her post is towards the conclusion, i.e. that we are our own barometers, whereas at the beginning she makes clear how peer pressure is what she loved abuot sem and the eye opening account of the fashion show for the teacher...
oh well.
And OTD, the people have corrupted the system, it is no longer the system as it was created.
Don't judge Judaism on the Jews.

Off the Derech said...

Fear from love--those are some brilliant points.

>the people have corrupted the system, it is no longer the system as it was created

Agreed. They have begun new religions, such as Reform and Modern Orthodoxy. Things used to be a LOT more fun.

>Don't judge Judaism on the Jews.

Agreed. I prefer to judge Judaism by the Christians.

Eli said...

Off the Derech, your attempt at sarcasm (if I'm reading it corectly; there;s no green font) sucks.

Fear from Love DID make good points. The Torah, as it was given is Judaism. It gets corrupted when people (Jews) use it and change it either to free themselves(as OTD explained Reform, etc.) or to become extra holy (e.g. bulls*** tznius)and obligate themselves to pointless and baseless stringencies (no, a rebbetzin is not a basis).

What Fear From Love meant by "don't judge Judaism on the Jews" is that just because a JEW is misbehaving (e.g. rabbis laundering money and selling organs illegally), or acting holier-than-thou, does not mean you have to condemn Judaism as a whole and write it off as a bad religion. Judaism is OK - it's the people who screw up.

By the way, Fear From Love, I tried submitting a rather scathing comment and New Maidel's blog. It didn't post either. She's a very strict censor. :)

Off the Derech said...

>Judaism is OK - it's the people who screw up.

That's just an overused cliche. You can use it on anything. Watch: Christianity is good, it's the people who screw up. Atheism is good, it's the people who screw up. Terrorism is good, it's the people who screw up. Criminals are good, it's the people who screw up. I mean, what is Judaism if not for Jews? It's a meaningless, pointless, ridiculous statement.

>The Torah, as it was given is Judaism.

Surely as an Orthodox Jew you know our understanding of the Torah is completely dependent on rabbis. Surely you don't think it's like a science book that can be read on its own and is generally provable without any fallacious appeals to authority.

You also fail to understand how either Reform works, or Ultra-Orthodoxy works. But why argue about what they are when you can argue about what they're not?

>a rebbetzin is not a basis

Even disregarding your snark towards women, surely you relaize women have no power in Judaism. Read my lips: every word she says she got directly from her husband. Come to think of it, he's probably a lot *more* strict than she is in these inyanim.

I eagerly await your response, Eli.

Off the Derech said...

I should also mention she specified more than a few times in her post that she was just posting her feelings, it was not halacha, and that she didn't mean to offend anyone.

G6 said...

I was disappointed that she removed all comments from her post.

What is wrong with hearing other opinions and letting them stand for themselves as long as they are respectful, which I believe they were?

If you don't want controversy of any kind, maybe it's better not to air your controversial feelings in a public forum, but removing gently dissenting comments bothers me on many levels.

Anonymous said...

Off the Derech: Na Uh! yooouur the bitch!

I LoL in RL from your comment.

Sure, blame the system, maybe "down with the government" too?

I have one question for you, answer honestly. How long have you lived according to the 'system' (before you clearly abandoned ship)?

and I don't mean by the 'system' that you know from rote experience growing up. I am talking about the real system that you must study at an age of intellectual competency. The one that is supposed to overwrite your rote childhood experiences.

Off the Derech said...

>maybe "down with the government" too?

If the governement system was corrupt, yes I'd say down with the government. Fortunately, we live in some privileged countries, where the laws are relatively highly moral.

>How long have you lived according to the 'system'

None of your business.

Off the Derech said...

But I was in serious yeshivas for three years after high school. So serious it took me another three years just to get accepted to college.

Anonymous said...

I also wrote something on tznius
some might have seen it, but here

My Post

Anonymous said...

Because of your post, I checked out her site, and thanks to her lil clues was able to figure out her identity! I must say until now I actually liked her, but now I know as we sat in class together she was judging me for wearing a short sleeve top with a long sleeve shell underneath.

Data said...

The young lady's post in question: she can't claim the post wasn't about tznius, or that she didn't mean to offend anyone, when she writes that a style worn by, 99% of frum girls is an attempt to "imitate goyim," and how her "tznius model" has "fallen" by donning said style, and stating that this girl is no longer tzniusdik.

It's like when someone says, "I'm just being honest," or "I don't mean to insult you," and proceed to pick you apart. It doesn't take away the hurt at all, especially unjustified hurt.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised she took down what she called the "nasty" comments. They were thoughtful, insightful maybe, not nasty. It's hard to be challenged, I guess. But when your faith is based on not being challenged (look! I'm not being challenged! I don't see those bad comments), that's unfortunate.

G6 said...

I agree with tesyaa.
I read all the comments before they were taken down and I was actually impressed with how respectful they were - much more respectful than the original judgmental post seemed to be.
I think that somebody who chooses to post such a topics should be open to hearing and even answering if she feels it necessary, dissenting opinions. Blocking them out and falsely calling them "nasty" does not make strengthen your position. On the contrary, it makes your opinion appear too weak to withstand scrutiny in the light of day.

Off the Derech said...

I saw the comments.

They were nasty.

Maidel said...

regarding the comments on musing's blog post - while i have yet to ever delete a comment (sometimes, even when they are less than flattering, although admittedly, most comments are rather complimentary), i can understand musing's pov. it doesn't feel very nice to have to read something 'mean'.
musing's blog is about sharing her views with the world - not about providing a forum for views inconsistent with or in opposition to hers. and so, it makes sense that she would filter comments such as those on her recent post.

Anonymous said...

Maidel: if all she wants to do is share her thoughts, then why would she enable comments at all? Just to receive the positive and block out the negative does not bode well for relationships outside the blogworld.

Sara said...

Here is my 2 cents:

Nobody should attack anyone, or write anything that is personally mean.

It is good that Musing pointed out that we are each our own barometer, that is a very good point andshows that she has an objective viewpoint.

However, belittling a long sleeved shell under a short sleeved shirt, IMHO, is no longer a question of tznius. It is simply a waste of time, energy and money. Her arms are covered, maybe she doesnt want to spend extra $$ on a long sleeved shirt, who pays atention. Remember, we must not make clothing an obsession.

Tzafra said...

As she disabled comments, I'll leave mine here.

a. It's her blog, she can write whatever she wants. Freedom of speech and all that.

b. It (almost) completely, totally, entirely, depends on the shirt over the shell. Specifially, I find that I care the most about the tightness and the neckline a LOT more than the length or style of the sleeves.

c. And it also depends on her intentions in wearing that shirt ;)

d. Not-tzanua (tnius/snius/however you want to spell it) and sexy aren't always the same, but they tend to coincide fairly often and caution should should be excercised.

e. Torah - lo bashamayim hee.

f. Everyone should have the education and strength of mind to decide for themselves what they want to wear instead of asking someone else to critique their wardrobe.

I hope I didn't offend any of you. Shana Tova from the holy land!

William Dwek said...

The next things the ‘rabbis’ will come up with is to tell the woman to wear a CARPET on her head.
Not a sheitel AND a hat, but a Carpet. Or you could go for 5 shaitels on your heads and a rug.

And do you know what the Jewish woman will say to her husband?

‘Yes, husband! I am now wearing a carpet on my head!’

You women must either be extremely thick, or petrified.

Maidel said...


if anything, i think it's the women of a community who create these crazy stringencies. you think a rabbi knows what a kikki rikki is?