Over the past few years there is a weirder than usual phenomenon that’s been developing in some Israeli Haredi circles. It’s the case of the “Taliban women.”
This is a group of women, not more than a few hundred, who cover up every inch of themselves from head to toe. It’s basically a Jewish burqa, only less Muslim looking. Tellingly, the practice is mostly found among newly-religious women. The trend gained infamy when one prominent “Taliban woman” was convicted of horribly abusing her children and gained the moniker “Taliban Mother.”
Now some Haredi rabbis have had enough. I find it difficult to believe, but for reasons of their own, they’ve started to come out against it. There have been reports in the press that these women, in addition to raising their children in twisted and violent ways, are also denying certain pleasures to their husbands. This inability to control these women might explain why some rabbis are suddenly so concerned with this.
At this time it involves so few women that it can hardly be a cause for panic. But it is interesting to note that it is a practice that is encouraged solely by women and that it is associated with child abuse. What internalized self-hatred could lead to something like this? It would take a team of psychologists working on them full time to untwist it all.