Ultra-Orthodox Men Have a New Way to Shield Their Precious Eyes From Slutty Slut Sluts

You may have heard stories of the neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY that has a large population of Hasidic Jews.  

Pictures of signs like this have surfaced:

Or, more famously, there was this picture of the White House Situation Room as Osama bin Laden was being taken out:

Apparently Hillary Clinton’s pantsuit was a little too revealing that day… Also you could see her wrist, so it’s understandable why they removed her along with Audrey Thomason (The Director of Counterterrorism?  What the hell was she even doing in that room in the first place?  Back to the kitchen, wench!)

Now, the same community has come up with a new solution for their slut-spotting eyes.  Because us ladies aren’t staying covered the way we’re supposed to, they have invented special glasses that blur their vision:

The ultra-Orthodox community’s unofficial “modesty patrols” are selling glasses with special blur-inducing stickers on their lenses. The glasses provide clear vision for up to a few meters so as not to impede movement, but anything beyond that gets blurry — including women. It’s not known how many have been sold.

For men forced to venture outside their insular communities, hoods and shields that block peripheral vision are also being offered.

So, yes, this is maybe the dumbest thing I have ever ever heard (though writing for this blog I feel like I am saying that every other week). But, hey, it’s better than the alternatives… like throwing rocks and spitting on 8-year-old girls as they walk to school.

Am I thrilled that they find the sight of my elbows so offensive that they have to half-blind themselves lest they accidentally catch a sight of my bare arms?  Of course not, and I think their worldview is not only so so so dumb, but very dangerous.  Still, I guess we should appreciate that these men are taking responsibility for their own crazy instead of trying to make the rest of the world conform, right?

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.

  • Onamission5

    Maybe I should be glad that there is finally something ridiculous that the religious ultra-con men are doing to themselves instead of inflicting it upon girls and women. What I want to know is what happens when, while wearing these glasses, they inevitably collide with a *gasp* female person on the sidewalk? Purging bath? Ritual discarding of the contaminated clothing?

    The silly, it burns.

    • The Other Weirdo

       I don’t even wanna think about it if she’s menstruating when she bumps into the guy. Or even has a package of tampons. Can you imagine?

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Let’s hope that speeding buses are outside the clear vision zone.

    • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

      Let’s not. Disliking people and thinking people are making extremely stupid decisions based on bronze age fairy tales isn’t a reason to hope the people will get hurt or killed. 

      • Randomfactor

         Well, that IS how evolution works, sadly.

        • Ken

          Well, the Shakers did a pretty efficient job all by themselves.  No outside influence needed.  God loved them a lot — to the point of near-extinction..  Nobody wishes these ultra-orthodox ill-will.  They’re going to do everything to themselves.  Blurry vision combined with New York buses and taxis?  It’s all in God’s hands.

          • The Other Weirdo

             Yes, but I thought the Shakers bred themselves out of existence by… well, not breeding. The ultraorthodox don’t have that particular problem.

      • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

        I disagree. I see these people as having a net negative value to humanity. I’d certainly never advocate a deliberate effort to kill them, but if they manage to kill themselves (especially by their own idiocy) I’m not going to apologize for considering that a positive thing.

        It does not conflict with my humanist values in the slightest to recognize that there are people we are simply better off without.

        • http://twitter.com/PerDSmith Per Smith

          Humanist values? You mean like those espoused by the Humanist Manifesto III?

           “We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.”

          “Humanists are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views.”

          Those kinds of humanist values? You know, every atheist is not a humanist. Being a humanist means more than simply not believing in God and having faith in reason and science. It means, among other things, not wishing that other human beings hurt or kill themselves. Cheers.

          • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

            Being a humanist does not require not believing in a god.

            Believing that all humans have inherent worth and dignity is not the same as believing that all humans have equal value to society, nor does it entail believing that every human represents a net positive value to society.

            I did not wish for anybody to be hurt or killed. What I said is that our society would be better off without some people (including these medieval religionists who seek to disenfranchise half the human race). If they die, I will consider that a benefit to society. That view does not make me less a humanist.

            • http://twitter.com/PerDSmith Per Smith

              You quite literally “hoped” for a situation which would inevitably lead to them getting hurt.

              “Let’s hope that speeding buses are outside the clear vision zone. ”

              That is what you said. We can mince words if you like, but most people would understand that to mean that you wish for them to get hurt. Now you say:

              “If they die, I will consider that a benefit to society.”

              That literally flies in the face of the idea of “each person as having inherent worth and dignity.” If you do not understand this then I’m not sure what I can do to help you get a clearer view. You are correct that one can be a religious humanist, but what a humanist cannot be, according to how 99% of humanists define their worldview, is someone who is for the extinction of certain individuals based on the idea that said extinction means a net benefit to humanity. You may wish to consider how your fellow humanists approach the topic before identifying with them. Cheers.

              • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                I think you placed far too much weight on what most would see as basically a snarky response to an absurd story.

                As far as what constitutes reasonable humanism, we’ll just have to disagree on that. The suggestion (which I see in your final sentence) that any single set of beliefs, or any one philosophy, can define humanism or humanists flies in the face of what the word even means, if you ask me. Humanism demands that we all derive our own ethos. An imposed one would make it no different than a religion, and no better.

                • http://twitter.com/PerDSmith Per Smith

                  “Humanism demands that we derive our own ethos.”

                  Except only certain derivations will be related to each other in any meaningful way. Protecting the sanctity of all human life is pretty fundamental to humanism. Saying that some people’s dying is beneficial is to humanism like saying that Jesus Christ isn’t the son of God to Christianity. You can say it if you want, but are you still a Christian if you do? Hardly. As to this:

                  “I think you placed far too much weight on what most would see as basically a snarky response to an absurd story.”

                  If that’s all it was fine, but it wasn’t. You decided to defend your snarky response and to c;aim it was perfectly in line with humanist ethics. It clearly is not, and I think it is well worth pointing out how and why that is. I hope the next time someone else is there to do the same. Cheers.

  • The Other Weirdo

    As an atheistic Jew, I’m embarrassed for my own people, sometimes. This is one of those times. The poo-flinging in Israel and forcing women to the back of the bus in New York were two more. It’s men who never learnt how to deal with themselves. I feel sorry for the inbred lack of self-control.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      Well, keep in mind that these ultraorthodox nutjobs are about as representative of Judaism as the Westboro Baptists are of Christianity. Every group has its fringe elements.

      • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

        Unfortunately, the ratio isn’t that extreme as the WBC example. There are a lot more charedim than there are WBC memberss, and their a lot fewer Jews than there are Christians. 

  • BrianUtterback

    This is how it should be. Anyone is free to decide what they wish to protect themselves from seeing. No one else is required to change anything to grant them the ability. Averting, shading or blurring your own eyes beats forcing anyone else to cover themselves any day.

    • Conspirator

      Yep, according to cultures like this one it’s the men’s weaknesses that require women to cover themselves.  So why not “fix” the problem on the men’s side?  

      These same cultures with weak men who can’t control themselves when they see a woman, thus making the women vulnerable to attack unless protected by a male family member, should also address that problem in their men by putting chastity devices on them when they hit puberty.  Give the key to the mother, and when he gets married she gives it to the bride.  The women shouldn’t have to be protected nor covered up since they are not the ones with the problem.

      • http://www.facebook.com/alison.a.kruse Alison A. Kruse

         …One way to ‘fix’ males who get outlandishly horny just gazing upon an unknown female’s skin/parts is to REMOVE just ONE of the offending glands producing too much testosterone–the ultimate cause of this behavior.  They can still reproduce with just one testicle and it will no doubt quell their passion.  Shots exists to do the same without surgery.  For rapists, I propose they have BOTH removed, lest they pass their faulty genetics on.  The large testicles in human males are, if scientists are correct, a by-product of competition by other males to fertilize females who are promiscuous (see chimpanzee studies).  While some groups of humans still display these habits (study the habits of welfare mothers with many children all with different fathers), the evolutionary reason for this conflicts with modern ‘civilized’ society, in general, making the extra-large testes not a requirement for human populations to continue.

    • Isilzha

      And when the glasses don’t work where will the backlash fall?  It certainly won’t be the men blaming themselves!  Nope, they’re going to blame the women who refuse to remove themselves from the public sphere. 

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    like throwing rocks and spitting on 8-year-old girls

    Let’s not forget the human feces.

  • Michael

    Where can I get some? I temporarily live in a neighborhood I have no desire to see in detail.

    • Pascale Laviolette

      HAHAHA…

  • Stev84

    Of course extremist Muslims and Christians are exactly the same. Fundamentalist Christians are huge about “modesty” and ridiculous dress codes. The only difference is that they haven’t taken over entire neighborhoods yet, so it stays within their families and churches.

    • Tainda

      No, fundamentalist christians are taking over the whole country.  At least it seems that way to me. 

    • Isilzha

      No, they just take over public schools!  There’s a public high school in NY (Stuyvesant) that made it a violation of the dress code policy for GIRLS to bare their shoulders.  Then there’s that charter school in TX that’s forcing girls to take pregnancy tests and expelling those who refuse.  Why bother with just a neighborhood when you can oppress girls of entire school districts!

  • http://twitter.com/MikeSynonymous Michael Wharton

    This is like reverse Shari’ah law, making men blinker themselves rather than women cover themselves. I believe culturally, the will power not to stare at women’s exposed skin is preferable to disabling either gender with paraphernalia of any kind. I am especially troubled about the localised censorship of the news to a culture within such an important part of one of the most influential cities in America.

  • http://cranialhyperossification.blogspot.in/ GDad

     Don’t you have the right to bare arms?

    • CelticWhisper

       *rimshot*

      He’ll be here all week, folks.  Try the lobster, it’s great.  Oh, and tip your provocatively-dressed waitress.

    • amycas

      No, it’s the right to bear arms. Every person has the right to hang bear arms in their living room or household. How could that right possibly be misconstrued?

    • Kameron Byrd

      I prefer the right to arm bears.

  • http://twitter.com/TortugaSkeptic A secret red slider

    This story goes so well with this story: (http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/06/topless_bowery.php ), like a lovely little news ‘mash-up’

  • Metaphid

    Perhaps they’ll accidentally wander into traffic while wearing the “de-slutting” glasses and Darwinian selection will take its course. 

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    How remarkably appropriate. To deliberately blur their vision.  Their outlook mentally is already deliberately blurry, foggy and fuzzy, so just make it optically blurry, foggy and fuzzy too. They can keep filling in what they don’t see with their blurry, foggy and fuzzy imagination.

    …Which makes me wonder if this will have the same effect as trying to not think about donkeys. Have things all around you that constantly remind you to not think about donkeys. You know, those four-legged, gray, furry, long-faced, long-eared, hee-hawing, kinda cute donkeys… NO! Don’t think about them! 

    So they’ll have something on their eyes that constantly reminds them to not think about women.  You know, those fascinating, beautiful, feminine, graceful, soft, curvaceous… NO! Don’t think about them!

    Will we now start hearing reports of blurry-bespecticaled Hasidic men stepping off the curb in front of oncoming cars, or talking to their own reflection in a store window?

    • Onamission5

      Between the entitled “slutty slut sluts” and your donkey comment, I had a much needed belly laugh.  Thank you.

      • amycas

         We slutty slut sluts sure are entitled. :-) I knew what you meant, but I thought that wording was funny.

        • Onamission5

          Hah! The punny ocurred to me right after I posted. Yes, I am entitled, dammit!

  • Marco Conti

    I think this is a bizarre, but almost perfect solution. I don’t care what they do to their eyes or what they wear as long as they don;t try to impose their dress code and beliefs on public property.

    I have an idea for them: how about reverse lasik surgery?
    Perfect vision? Impure thoughts?
    A snip of the laser and now everything is blurred to you.

    • Ibis3

       I was going to suggest full-on blindness, but permanently blurred vision works too.

  • Gus Snarp

    Yeah, idiotic as this is, I love that for once the onus is being put on the men to deal with whatever urges to sin they can’t seem to control rather than the women for just existing. It honestly sounds like a brilliant satire rather than reality. This is the kind of solution you propose when criticizing the idiocy of their requirements for women’s clothing, and they come up with it themselves. It will be interesting to see just how popular this is when it impedes the men themselves, rather than giving them license to shame and abuse women.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1452846937 Matthew Fahey

       Just a heads up islam requires modesty of BOTH genders, it is simply that as a male dominated culture in the middle east it has become only women following it.

      • amycas

         What are men supposed to do in the name of modesty? Are they also supposed to cover themselves (including their faces) from head to toe? What requirements are put on the men that they seem to not be following?

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    I encourage women to wear shorts and tanktops in the summer. Not only is it sensible, it has the delightful side effect of allowing me to appreciate the feminine form.

    No no, don’t thank me. I’m just generous that way.

  • Audrey Rose

    Well this post begs the question, what about breasts? Women are still required to cover their chests while men are not. If we all agree that “men’s urges” are not a valid excuse to say, force women to cover up elbows or feet why then do we insist on forcing women to hide their breasts from view?

    • Tainda

      In NY women can go topless and I think a few other states too

    • amycas

       I’ve thought this many times. Breasts are not always seen as sexual in other cultures. There are many cultures that see breasts as what parents use to feed their infants, so breast feeding in public (without covering) is normal and nobody cares. It’s simply our culture that has turned breasts into a sexual body part on part with actual genitalia. Thank you for bringing this up.

      • Conspirator

        I’m not sure it’s necessarily a cultural thing.  I recall seeing a show on Discovery back in the day on human sexuality that discussed human breasts.  Humans are one of the only mammal with protruding breasts.  Only about 1/3 of the average breast is used for producing milk, the rest is just fat.  The fact is they are largely decorative, and the idea put forth in this show I saw is that the breasts are meant to remind men of butts, because back when we ran around on all fours and did it doggie style all the time that was the part of the body we were visually attracted too.  

        I wish I could remember the name of the show.  The host was British and I believe an anthropologist.  It covered many subjects relating to sexuality and why humans behave the way they do.  

        Not that I’m saying I feel we need rules dictating how women should dress. Just that breasts aren’t there just for feeding infants.  

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Uh… no, no, breasts most definitely ARE an erogenous zone, and definitely a sexual body part.

      • EivindKjorstad

         I don’t fully agree with that. Sure it’s entirely normal for example here (Norway) to see women breastfeeding say sitting on a park-bench, in a bus or in a cafeteria, but it doesn’t follow that the breast is not considered sexual. It sure is, it’s just that there’s less panic about exposing something sexual, and a recognition that body-parts can and do serve more than one function.

        Similarily, you’ll see both men and women changing into or out of bathing-clothes on public beaches while making no effort to hide their genitalia from view, this is ignored and accepted, but *not* because a penis or a vagina is not considered a sexual body-part.

        It’s more like, “these body parts can be used for sex, they aren’t being used for that purpose at the moment, what’s the big deal?”

  • amycas

    At least now they’re finally demanding those men (with their uncontrollable sex drives*) to do something instead of trying to impede the freedom of women’s movement and dress. 

    *this is, of course, snark

  • Aaron Scoggin

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that someone from our side would go down there and sell those kinds of things. Men taking it upon themselves to do nearly anything in those lifestyles is unheard of.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

    I am reminded of the Grags from Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld. Orthodox Dwarves (the fantasy fiction kind) who believe the surface is an illusion, so travel hooded when above ground so as to not be tricked.

  • http://stevebowen58.blogspot.co.uk/ Steve Bowen

    Well well! Finally, religious activity one can approve of. Blindfolds next? We can but hope….

    • Brad

       Blindfolds? Don’t worry, they’ve got that covered; if only metaphorically…

  • Octoberfurst

     I agree with other people here that are glad they are putting the burden on themselves instead of the women around them. Still I find their obsession with not seeing any female flesh–whether it be bare arms or legs– to be completely silly. What is it with the uber-religious anyway? Whether it is fundie Christianity, Islam or Judaism they are fanatical about “modesty”–especially for women.  It’s as if seeing an exposed wrist or ankle on a woman will turn them into horny panting dogs. I don’t get it. I really don’t. 

    • Exalted in solitude

      If you were constantly shielded your whole life from seeing any female flesh (as I was), along with being told how sinful it is to look at it,  then ever a forearm can turn you on.

      • Troy Truchon

        See your situation is what we don’t hear anything about. For the majority of the male population who are not rapist, murdering, rampaging animals… what on earth is the psychological ramifications of spending their whole lives convincing them that they are? 

      • Stev84

        During Victorian times, women showing some ankle was very scandalous. Interestingly, emphasizing the breasts and cleavage was ok

  • Baby_Raptor

    So what happens when someone employing these glasses gets hit by a vehicle they couldn’t see?

    Is the driver gonna be sued for damages under some sort of religious freedom claim?

  • mcbender

    Interestingly, I assumed this article was satire at first: “here’s a tongue-in-cheek way of suggesting these people’s attitudes are ridiculous – let’s encourage them to make goggles that will hide the wimminz and ruin their eyesight in the process!”

    Poe’s Law strikes again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Łukasz-Jezierski/791365757 Łukasz Jezierski

    I like the idea of the glasses. If seeing women troubles them – it is their problem, so they solve it damaging their vision and they don’t have to throw stones at women or anything.

  • NickDB

    I just….. have no words. This is the type of thing I would
    have suggested in jest and it the religious go ahead and do it?

    Just had an idea. Setup a website offering religious solutions to modern
    day problems. Such as (mentioned below) a male chastity belt, how to handle
    poisonous snakes to get closer to jeebus, how to avoid anything stemming from
    evil science, avoid contact with menstruating women and so forth. Let’s use
    their religious paranoia against them.


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