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For years, the Hasidic Jews in part of Brooklyn have complained that the new bike lanes in their neighborhood are a major issue, " because of "women passing through here in that dress code. They were very upset about this and some community board meetings have been tense and filled with shouting. This community has also complained about billboards for "Sex and the City."  And advertisements on buses. The standards of decency that apply in secular culture are not strong enough to keep their community from being constantly bombarded by images that they find inappropriate.

Women in skirt on bike showing legs.

For some people, it would be tempting to just make fun of the Hasids and ride around in bathing suits and bikini tops in their neighborhood (which isn't totally "theirs" anyway, lot of people live there besides just Hasidic Jews.) Their request that people follow their dress code when passing through the neighborhood is, of course, absurd. I think most people would agree about that.  Many people if you read comments about this story are deeply indignant about this aspect of the story. Some so much so that they went out on deliberately provocative "scanty clothes rides"  They saw it as a freedom of expression issue, much like the participants in "draw Muhammad day." Needless to say, it only caused the conflict to escalate.

In response many Hasids became passive aggressive about the bike lanes, parking their cars in them, standing in them to block bikers. They also put pressure in the city. As a result the bike lanes were removed in 2009.  If hipsters were not angered before, they were now.  There were more nasty comments on blogs and angry comments at board meetings.

Then, action! Hipsters came under the cover of night and repainted the bike lanes.  And so the saga continues.    At the root of the rift between the communities is not just concerns about the bike lane or pretty legs-- it is fear of the neighborhood changing and of gentrification, I think.

The bike community in NYC has been trying to do outreach, sharing bikes, getting Hasids on bikes. And they found that there are people already in the Hasidic community who care about biking, they became more vocal. Making a bridge. It turned out that some of the people who helped re-stripe the lanes were members of the Hasidic community too. Proving that not all issues are easy, back-and-white or one-sided.

I don't know if it will work or not... but, I want to contrast the hipsters who have managed to get members of the Hasidic community on their side and on bikes, with those who mocked "those funny religious people" and flaunted their social codes of modesty when this issue first broke out.

Lastly, I want to talk about privilege. I'm going to put this in a box becuase I think it is important:

If you, don't often find billboards "immodest" then: Congratulations! You are in the majority of people whose sense of modesty is inline with what our culture chooses to enforce.

So, try to keep in mind that these things are arbitrary. Think of how exposed you would feel if you lived in a place where fewer clothes were the norm, or how stifled you might feel if you had to cover up more.  You could just as easily have been raised so you you would feel naked if your legs were exposed, or "stifled" if you couldn't feel the breeze between your legs. These things are learned and "our way" is not any better or worse than any other. When minority groups find themselves at odds with these norms, while it isn't often practical to accommodate their wishes, we can at least respect them and refrain from mockery or barbarically forcing people in to our idea of what is proper. To be explicit: we need not bike through Hasidic neighborhoods in bikinis, draw the prophet Muhammad over and over, put up a billboard with a lady in a skimpy dress across the street from the Mennonites, order women to strip out of hijab, say "Happy Easter" to a person you know damn well is an atheist who doesn't even like religion etc. etc. you get the idea. It's not hard.

We need to build bridges and mockery isn't a foundation for anything but escalating conflict.

Originally posted to futurebird on Sat May 22, 2010 at 09:40 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  tipped and rec'd for reference to Mennonites ... (6+ / 0-)

      and the bike-friendly diary.

    •  Oddly, I usually find billboards immodest (7+ / 0-)

      But I guess due to my upbringing I figure that's none of my business.  If they were putting them in my apartment, that would be another matter....

      Modesty is in the eye of the beholder, and one should be able to see a completely naked person going down the street and treat them with immaculate politeness as if everything is perfectly normal.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Sat May 22, 2010 at 11:30:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A question: Do we tolerate intolerance? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, Opakapaka, marykk, kyril

      In Holland, you can smoke marijuana and prostitution is legal -- but they impose severe limitations on where you can smoke pot and in which parts of town you can find a prostitute. They allow both, but they have laws to regulate and control. People are going to do it anyway. Why not legalize those things, with regulations?

      A big controversy in France is this: What do you do with Muslim women who wear a hijab (head scarf) or burqa (total head covering)? If you outlaw a head covering, what about Jewish men who wear a yarmulke? Isn't covering your head for Jewish men the same as covering your head for Muslim women? Should we make it illegal for Christians to wear a necklace with a cross?

      In the U.S. (back in the 1970s), the Nazis wanted to march in Skokie, IL, where a lot of Jewish people lived (including many survivors of the Holocaust). 40 years ago. The Nazis are intolerant, but should we tolerate them?

      Recently, Rand Paul (Senatorial candidate from KY and asshole) tried to argue that private businesses should be able to choose their customers. Which is an attempt to take us back to the 1950s. Is that OK? Should we throw him in jail?

      ---

      It's a complicated question.

      I'm pretty tolerant and I like free speech -- for example, I think the Nazis should have been allowed to march through Skokie (because they have an equal right to free speech). I'm glad the ACLU took their side.

      On the other hand, I hate intolerance and racism. The question is, should it be outlawed? I don't think so.

      Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

      by Dbug on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:54:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is futile to combat people's emotional (0+ / 0-)

        prejudices with laws.

        One combats thoughts, opinions and speech with more thoughts, opinions and speech.

        Education is the cure for intolerance and prejudice (not just racism, ALL prejudice is the problem), not censorship.

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:26:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nice diary! Glad to see that they've worked it (7+ / 0-)

    out. I would so totally not go bike riding in those shoes however! :)

    "I have ferrets with fins" - African Cichlids. And 3 pooties too! Ren, Stimpy (15 yrs) and Rocky (3 yrs)

    by mrsgoo on Sat May 22, 2010 at 09:44:25 PM PDT

  •  Brave is that makeup. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Sat May 22, 2010 at 09:50:02 PM PDT

  •  why do people (9+ / 0-)

    get so twisted and confrontational about little things?

    It seems that both sides escalated but it's good that there seems to be some comprimising going on now.

    Never heard about this particular conflict.

    •  Some people confuse rights with courtesy. (9+ / 0-)

      We might have the "right" to wear immodest clothing or curse like a sailor, but that doesn't make it okay to wear a crotch-grazing skirt onto an airplane so that fellow passengers (get to / have to) see your panties, or to shout the "f word" repeatedly in front of small children while at a sporting event.

      Similarly, it is okay to wear nothing but a swimsuit at a pool or at a beach (since that's appropriate attire in those settings), but it's not okay to wear nothing but a swimsuit in a restaurant.

      Somewhere between (a) individual rights and (b) the government legislating behavior is (c) compromising a little to avoid disturbing the people around you.

      A Wall Street "bonus" should not be more than what my house is currently worth.

      by bushondrugs on Sat May 22, 2010 at 10:24:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  And you can't legislate manners. (6+ / 0-)

          Although you can teach them.

          It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you. 6 points.

          by Jaime Frontero on Sat May 22, 2010 at 11:06:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't much like the (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            burrow owl, buddabelly, bushondrugs

            vulgarization of our public place. I don't mean that women should be required to "cover up" or that speach should be infringed on, I don't want the frequent curser to be arrested.

            But common sense and polity should prevail.

            •  Who defines vulgar? (6+ / 0-)

              You?  Or me?  How far are you prepared to go?

              Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

              by Demena on Sat May 22, 2010 at 11:41:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Definition of "manners" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                burrow owl, tobendaro

                Manners are behaviors that we chose in order to prevent offending other people.

                For example, being well-mannered by not drinking directly out of the milk carton matters more when other people have to share that milk carton than when one lives alone.

                Manners are voluntary actions to show respect for others.  Manners can be taught by teaching children how to be considerate for the feelings of others.

                So, regarding "who defines vulgar?"  If I want to be well-mannered, then I should learn what is defined as "vulgar" by those around me and then avoid vulgar behavior.

                That is the whole point of manners!  We can choose to avoid offending others, even though we have the right to offend.

                A Wall Street "bonus" should not be more than what my house is currently worth.

                by bushondrugs on Sun May 23, 2010 at 12:50:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not sure I agree. (4+ / 0-)

                  Manners are behaviors that we chose in order to prevent offending other people.

                  For example, being well-mannered by not drinking directly out of the milk carton matters more when other people have to share that milk carton than when one lives alone.

                  No, this is not manners it is simple hygiene and just as important in either case.

                  Manners are voluntary actions to show respect for others.  Manners can be taught by teaching children how to be considerate for the feelings of others.

                  Assuming that can be taught.

                  So, regarding "who defines vulgar?"  If I want to be well-mannered, then I should learn what is defined as "vulgar" by those around me and then avoid vulgar behavior.

                  That is the whole point of manners!  We can choose to avoid offending others, even though we have the right to offend.

                  A definite no and out of line.  If for example a known muslim or due is serving at the sandwich bar I am still going to ask for a bacon sandwich and ask for the bacon to be crisp.  That is not bad manners.  What would be bad manners is to make a showing that I was requesting something their religion forbids.

                  And I don't care if he is offended.  If I give up my right to a bacon sandwich then eventually they will be not available.  This is the same problem with a chemist refusing to fill a prescription for birth control or to sell Trojans (I think that is what you call them and find the name amusing considering the Trojan Horse).  It his/her bad manners declining to sell what is my right to purchase.  End result is that if you tolerate it then the service will, over time, become unavailable.

                  Exercise your rights or lose them.  Exercising your rights is never bad manners.  If it becomes so then the law is in the wrong and warrants adjusting.

                  Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

                  by Demena on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:24:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  You will have to learn them first. (6+ / 0-)

            It is not polite to think that your sense of manners should override mine.

            The very fact that you state that I or anyone else should be taught manners you have crossed the line and demonstrated both that you have no manners and no culture.

            How are you going to "teach" manners when you clearly have none?  You cannot do it from a high horse.

            You can demonstrate your manners.  Anything further is impolite as you are maintaining a holier than thou attitude.

            Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

            by Demena on Sat May 22, 2010 at 11:40:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're a mite touchy. (4+ / 0-)

              My comment was clearly a general observation only - and in context, more of an agreement with your last paragraph (to which mariachi mama Replied) than an argument.

              Override yours?

              State that you should be taught manners?

              Holy God...

              It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you. 6 points.

              by Jaime Frontero on Sat May 22, 2010 at 11:55:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I might be a tad touchy, (4+ / 0-)

                In a bit of pain right now but I think that is reflecting more on how I express things rather than what I express.

                So how then, do you propose to teach manners?

                To me there is only one legitimate way and that is to demonstrate those manners by your own behaviour.

                Which I would class as 'living' not 'teaching'.  As Ghandi said (paraphrasing)  Be the change you wish to see in this world.

                Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

                by Demena on Sun May 23, 2010 at 12:07:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, of course one teaches manners... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Demena, prettygirlxoxoxo

                  ...by example.

                  To children.  And it was my own adventures as a single parent to my daughter that was brought to my memory and to the surface in my comment.

                  My point here being that I may not entirely agree with the relative values you ascribe to 'living' versus 'teaching'.  I taught myself alot, as a parent - but it didn't become a part of me for quite awhile.  So I was sort of forcing myself to go to class, not 'living'.

                  Turned out pretty good though...

                  But forcing rudimentary social skills - by fear of retribution, or of embarrassment - is a different matter.  It ain't real.  It doesn't become a part of folks.  The only time I ever saw legislation work was when I was a kid in NYC - and the city (this was the late 50's) went on an absolute tear about spitting in the subway stations.  It actually sort of worked.

                  We all have hope for the next generation, always.

                  I'm sorry you're feeling poorly.

                  It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you. 6 points.

                  by Jaime Frontero on Sun May 23, 2010 at 12:27:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  No, I don't think so. (12+ / 0-)

          It is submitting to oppression.

          Those who pay the danegeld never get rid of the dane.  If it is your right and you want to do it then do so.  Any compromise threatens you rights.

          I had a partner once that each time I compromised used it a the starting point for the next battle.  No compromise, no agreement was ever honoured.  It was just regarded that I had conceded the ground in between.

          So, not I am not going to put a t-shit on to ride through a hassidic area anymore than they are going to shave those ugly beards because I don't like them.  Because if I do then sooner or later I will not be allowed to do so.

          Rights unexercised are eliminated.

          Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

          by Demena on Sat May 22, 2010 at 11:35:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but... (11+ / 0-)

        ... as I understand it, the bike lanes were originally closed not in response to women in bikinis on bikes, but women in bike-appropriate clothing on bikes.

        When someone tries to restrict your movement based on (non-legally backed) standards of "modesty", do you say, "Oh, so sorry, didn't realize," and swath yourself in wool, or do you push it even further the other way, because you have a goddamn right to go where you please, dressed how you please, and any concession to being forced to do otherwise is oppression, and if inflicted on women, is gender-based oppression?

        "Well-behaved women rarely make history."  Women didn't get ANY of the rights they currently have by behaving as others considered appropriate.  Women will not keep their rights by letting others enforce "appropriate" behavior, "modesty", or "courtesy".

        My comments may not be used for any purpose without explicit permission.

        by cai on Sun May 23, 2010 at 12:32:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Isn't it interesting how we don't see the same (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          foaming at the mouth rhetoric here, in response to people saying that Hassids have no right to tell people what to wear even within Hassidic naighborhoods, vs my diary where strident hysterics, comparing me to Nazis, lynchers and those who pain swastikas on synagogues, insist that ALL human beings, EVERYWHERE on the planet, under ANY circumstance, should not EVER draw anything that could be construed as a depiction of Mohammad, because it might offend some Muslim, somewhere.

          Double standards run amok, no better proof than right here.

          Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

          by RandomActsOfReason on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:34:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Some people confuse beliefs with mandates (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        And think they have the right to mandate their beliefs on all other people, everywhere.

        It is the difference between being appropriately covered in a Muslim country, and being told that Americans should no longer wear bikinis, because it might offend someone.

        Or, the difference between not parading pictures of Mohammad in front of a Mosque at prayer hour, and the right of a political cartoonist in a free country to depict whatever historical figure they wish to depict in order to participate in the democratic tradition of artistic political speech.

        Some people confuse the two, I know.

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:30:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  When confused about cultural norms, as (6+ / 0-)

    you well discussed:

    Think of how exposed you would feel if you lived in a place where fewer clothes were the norm, or how stifled you might feel if you had to cover up more.  You could just as easily have been raised so you you would feel naked if your legs were exposed, or "stifled" if you couldn't feel the breeze between your legs. These things are learned and "our way" is not any better or worse than any other.

    Whenever people struggle to understand other people's culture, I suggest a dose of Ongka's Big Moka.

    Some jacket... some hat.

    Overwhelm your adversaries with kindness.

    That said, sometimes cultural relativism be damned. I'm speaking of burkahs, and clitorectomies, and refusing to teach girls, just to name a few misogynistic, cultural, ass-sucking behaviors.  

    It's not a campaign anymore, Mr. Obama.

    by huntergeo on Sat May 22, 2010 at 10:05:56 PM PDT

    •  So, you believe your limits and boundaries (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, huntergeo

      should be adopted by everyone.

      What if my limit is not burkas, but being told that I may not draw Mohammad?

      Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

      by RandomActsOfReason on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:35:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You seem to have vastly mistaken my (0+ / 0-)

        cultural openness for cultural superiority and the expectation that I would place a premium on my mores.  

        Rec'ed for what I would also name as a religious / cultural failing: Damning people for making a likeness of an historical figure.

        But if you support the idea of an insular group in New York on limiting what other people wear in public that's acceptable in general American society, I'll be happy to enter a heated discussion about that.  

        It's not a campaign anymore, Mr. Obama.

        by huntergeo on Sun May 23, 2010 at 08:19:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There's a much more recent article... (10+ / 0-)

    about this conflict here, if anyone wants more. And obviously it's not just hipsters who need/use the bike lanes.

  •  Hah (10+ / 0-)

    There's a great picture in this diary. My attention span was going to expire but...I managed to read it. Ok.

    I agree that both:

    1. Religious people expecting others to follow their dress code is absurd
    1. Intentionally pissing off religious people just to piss them off is also absurd
  •  Sometimes it's necessary (9+ / 0-)

    to push things to the edge and even beyond.  But that's the minority of the time.  Most of the time it's a good and harmless idea to accommodate the basic feelings and sensitivities of others.  When you do, you may even find that in that hour when you must push past the boundaries, those whom you have earlier respected will recognize the virtue of your stand even if it is uncomfortable for them.

    We who have been nothing shall be all. This is the final struggle. ~E. Pottier

    by ActivistGuy on Sat May 22, 2010 at 10:16:32 PM PDT

    •  Sure, sometimes that can work (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, futurebird, yaque

      Often, it seems to simply lead towards stupid wars, unfortunately.

      I seek fairness and if others won't attempt to be fair, then downplay or mocking can commence (within reason) - give them a mirror to consider.  Anything but a true war, if that can be avoided.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Sat May 22, 2010 at 10:22:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Big Problem! (9+ / 0-)

      If by wearing clothes at all I have already conceded part of my position can I be asked to go further?

      If I wear nothing but a thong in public and only wear that thong because I wish to be accommodating I have already compromised.

      I'm already wearing an uncomfortable and unhealthy piece of dental floss up my arse just to please religious loonies.

      The only legitimate position you can take is "The Principle of Infliction".  Which in essence means that the default or normal state IS the compromise.  If you are making noise I have the right to have you turn it down or off (because that is the natural state), I do not have the right to demand you turn the volume up.  If you go naked in your home or garden and I don't want to see, then curtains are my problem not yours.

      Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

      by Demena on Sat May 22, 2010 at 11:10:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  On a publicly funded throughway, (24+ / 0-)

    a member of the public is entitled to wear as many or few clothes as the law permits.

    You can throw me out of your house for wearing purple, if that's how you roll.  That's a matter of taste and tradition.  

    On the public street, there is only the law.  Wearing a bikini is legal.  Blocking traffic isn't.

    Does this sig line make me look fat? __________ Songs at da web site!

    by Crashing Vor on Sat May 22, 2010 at 10:22:44 PM PDT

    •  i'm with ya (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor

      CV but it is still good to be courteous. and it's a good bet as well that bike lane or no, the bikers are running red lights and violating right of way laws in crosswalks and on sidewalks, just like everywhere else in the city. i know cos i am one of 'em. the funny thing about that stretch of bedford is, there really isn't a need for a bike lane there in the first place.

      •  The problem with "courtesy" is it often turns (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, flatd

        into self-censorship - and, then, it graduates into self-righteous attempts to censor everyone else by imposing one's standards of "courtesy", which may have begun as a response to an unreasonable demand (like, no one in the world may ever draw a picture of Mohammad for any reason, ever) to begin with.

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:40:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you're right (0+ / 0-)

          but courtesy is based in the effort to think of others and how your behavior affects them. attempting to be compassionate and thoughtful doesn't have to manifest as self censorship. though as you say it can and does. dangit.

  •  All religions aside, you just renewed my absolute (2+ / 0-)

    appreciation for bicycles designed with mininum shock absorbsion offered throughout.

    Thank you.  ;-)

    " It's shocking what Republicans will do to avoid being the 2012 presidential nominee."

    by jwinIL14 on Sat May 22, 2010 at 10:23:30 PM PDT

  •  Yeah, people like me. (8+ / 0-)

    For some people, it would be tempting to just make fun of the Hasids and ride around in bathing suits and bikini tops in their neighborhood

    Yeah.  People like me.  

    It's just athletic clothing, and it's a free country.  As long as the words "Suck it, Jew boy!" aren't tightly stretched in spandex around a biker's ass, these people need to leave the bikers' clothing alone.  

    Bikers are annoying for plenty of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with their clothing.  

    Some of you, imagine life in communities where there are no biking lanes.  Said bikers are really endearing when you're running 5 minutes late and they're pedaling at 5 mph.

  •  Modesty (12+ / 0-)

    is a personal virtue. It's about you - how you dress, how you present yourself to the world. Other people's behaviour has nothing whatsoever to do with your modesty.

    Ordering women to strip off their hijab is out of line. But ordering them to put it on is also out of line. As an atheist, I would be out of line to take offense at an innocuous holiday greeting. We each have the right to keep our particular religious and cultural practices, but we do not have the right to demand that everyone around us do the same. It is simply not OK, in this country, to demand that we not have to listen to or look at people with different cultural standards of dress/expression.

    The bikini-biking hipsters were right in this instance. The Hasidim and their appeasers are wrong. Even if it seems like this particular conflict is being resolved, the underlying lack of respect for other people/cultures remains.

    Every horror committed by man begins with the lie that some man is not a man. - Jyrinx

    by kyril on Sat May 22, 2010 at 11:23:57 PM PDT

  •  Isn't this a double standard? (13+ / 0-)

    OK, so people shouldn't ride a bike in a bikini in neighborhoods where some people object to it. But if we applied that same standard, then shouldn't we tell people that they shouldn't wear a hijab in a neighborhood where some people object to it?

    Why is one legitimate, and the other is not? As you say, it's all arbitrary. I'm not suggesting that people be forbidden to wear the hijab or be placed under pressure not to wear it. It just looks like a double standard.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Sat May 22, 2010 at 11:26:19 PM PDT

  •  Some so much so that they went out on deliberate (0+ / 0-)

    "scanty clothes rides."

    You mean like this?  

    Oh, f--- it.  I'm with the Jews on this one.  

  •  It's not about modesty. (13+ / 0-)

    It's about the right of women to move freely through society, without catering to religious strictures they do not share.

    Women who bike through a neighborhood in tank tops and bike shorts aren't just enacting some arbitrary standard of dress, though of course it's culturally informed.  They're dressing appropriately for the activity they're doing and for the elements.  

    Just the fact that women can wear clothing that is practical -- that doesn't restrict their movement, their sight, their mobility, their breath... is revolutionary from a century ago.  It's human freedom they are not willing to give up.

    The rights of women -- not "hipsters", women -- to move freely through a free society can and must trump the right of any religious sect to control what their eyes see.  "Your immodesty offends me, therefore you must change what you wear/how you move/where you go"... these are the "religious" reasons that have and do continue to confine and oppress women in countless ways.

    I am not insensible to the issues of gentrification and cultural cohesion.  But women have a right to move freely, and if the Hasidic men do not like it, they may avert their eyes.  

    If Hasidic women wish to take on the responsibility of keeping their bodies from men's sight, that is their choice, and their culture.  But women in general cannot and should not be forced to shoulder the burden of men's religious responsibilities.  Everywhere and every time they are, it ends badly for women.

    My comments may not be used for any purpose without explicit permission.

    by cai on Sun May 23, 2010 at 12:20:22 AM PDT

  •  Send in the BOOB QUAKE (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, esquimaux, kyril, yaque

    That is right dozens or hundreds of women with bursting boobs even topless because that is legal in NYC. Have them ride around and move the neighborhood out of the dark ages. This is NYC not Tehran or Saudi Arabia. We are not a theocracy, and the religious must practice tolerance if they wish to live in a urban center. They can run off like the FDL or David Koresh if they want more autonomy from the secular world.

    Removing a bike lane because the riders are showing legs in 2010 is some backwards bullshit we should not stand for.

    •  yeah.. (0+ / 0-)

      to reinforce patriarchy? kinda like fighting fire with fire by using womens bodies as objects...

      I will vote, but always with a caution that voting is not crucial, and organizing is the important thing.

      by General Choomin on Sun May 23, 2010 at 04:11:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting that you aren't going berzerk here (0+ / 0-)

        like you did in the Everybody Draw Mohammad Day.

        You aren't calling people "fucking assholes", or taunting them to tell Holocaust jokes, or accusing them of being like cross burners or swastika spray-painters.

        And this isn't a case of Hassids trying to impose their rules on EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, in ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, like the foaming rants in the other diary about how awful and "Hitlerian" it is for me to ever draw a picture of Mohammad - it's just in their little shtetl...

        Talk about double standards...

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:45:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sense of modesty. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, yaque

    Having grown up in a small mid-western town, there was no doubt that I would experience a culture shock when I moved to Berlin, Germany. I was amazed to see how much nudity was allowed on advertisements. And while visiting a public beach where the nudist were supposed to stay on the other side of the fence, I discovered that the rule wasn't enforced. And nobody did anything or said anything to anyone who desired to completely undress.

    As with the biking. In Berlin, where the land is very flat, biking is a primary mode of transportation. People use bikes to get to work. My Grandmother-in-law rode her bike into her nineties. People have baskets on their bikes which they use to bring groceries home. And yes, the ladies were skirts when they ride bikes. They are using gowing to fast to catch a glimpse, but it hard not to notice.

    Dear President Obama, You must do the right thing; even if it is the most difficult. Investigate George W. Bush for war crimes!

    by DerAmi on Sun May 23, 2010 at 02:13:33 AM PDT

  •  Not my fault you have a dirty mind. (5+ / 0-)

    It's up to the individual to control their thoughts (if need be). Not up to others to go out of their way to avoid leading you into temptation. It's like saying "We must abolish banks because all that money makes me think of stealing."

  •  great diary (0+ / 0-)

    much better then those "draw mohammed day" diaries.

    I will vote, but always with a caution that voting is not crucial, and organizing is the important thing.

    by General Choomin on Sun May 23, 2010 at 04:12:10 AM PDT

    •  Explain why (0+ / 0-)

      In this case, it is Hassids who want to impose their traditions within their own neighborhood, in one part of one city, one day a week.

      In the other case, it is Muslims wanting to impose their traditions on all human beings,*everywhere*, all the time, under any circumstances.

      Why aren't BOTH of these cases of unacceptable, hubristic religious repression and cultural imperialism? Why aren't BOTH of these cases where one group presumes the right to tell others how to behave?

      And why is the Hassid's behavior unacceptable and worthy of changing, while the Muslim demands are not only acceptable, but strongly supported by you and so many others in that diary?

      Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

      by RandomActsOfReason on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:49:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The reason this country is filled with perverts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, tobendaro, kyril

    and deviants is our stifling views on the human body ingrained in our children.  A comment above mentions not going to France or Italy and their 'explicit' billboards.  Their views on sex and the human body are healthy and sane and their children are raised with a much healthier attitude without shame or indignation at the sight of the naked body.  They laugh at our moral code and they should.  

    "These are people of the land. The common clay of the new west. You know.....morons!" -The Waco Kid

    by fedorko on Sun May 23, 2010 at 05:39:22 AM PDT

  •  A vote for mockery (5+ / 0-)

    I think mockery is the appropriate response to stupid people throwing their weight around. So, apparently, do John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. So did George Carlin. So did Abbie Hoffman.

    Why is there only one Nate Silver in this world?

    by mswaine on Sun May 23, 2010 at 06:53:22 AM PDT

  •  Interesting set of examples at the end there (0+ / 0-)

    we need not bike through Hasidic neighborhoods in bikinis, draw the prophet Muhammad over and over, put up a billboard with a lady in a skimpy dress across the street from the Mennonites, order women to strip out of hijab, say "Happy Easter" to a person you know damn well is an atheist who doesn't even like religion etc. etc. you get the idea.

    One of these things is not like the other - can you spot the one?

    Biking through Hasidic neighborhoods, putting a sexy billboard up across the street from Mennonites, oordering women to strip out of hijab, saying "happy Easter" to a known atheist - All these are aggressive acts of intruding upon either a community's or an individual's private space. They are "in your face" actions, which the Hasids, the Mennonites, the women, the atheists are unable to avoid, because they were brought TO THEM.

    In conrast, "drawing the prophet Mohammad over and over" does not specify location, does not specify bringing such a drawing into the face of a Muslim or posting a billboard of it across from a Mosque. It doesn't specify what, when, where or by whom.

    It is simply a blanket application of a religious taboo of a subset of a single religion upon ALL human beings EVERYWHERE.

    It would be as if you said that riding a bike ANYWHERE on the Sabbath - even in downtown Portland, or New Delhi India, or Teheran - is a provocation of Hasids and should not be done; as if it were impermissible to say "Happy Easter" to ANYONE, ANYWHERE, even in the Vatican, for fear it might offend an atheist. (I don't know why you stuck the physically violent "stripping of the hijab" in there except to trigger unrelated emotional responses from people).

    By the way, the gratuitous "over and over" is not occurring. It was one fucking day. But, that is beside the point, you just stuck that in there uniquely for that one point to make it more dramatic.

    My drawing Mohammad to my hearts content is not concern of any Muslim, anywhere, nor is the drawing of Mohammad by a political cartoonist in a free country, nor the sketching of Mohammad by an artist in a free country, nor the depiction of a costume suit in an animated cartoon that the other characters think is inhabited by Mohammad, but turns out not to have Mohammad inside at all.

    Just as no Hasid has the right to shut down all bike traffic in Manhattan (and, having lived in Jerusalem for many years, that is exactly what they try to do, only the try to stop all vehicles in the city by throwing stones and burning piles of garbage in the streets), no Muslim has the right to tell me or my children or anyone else in a free country what to draw, what to eat, what to wear or what to watch.

    As if you said that putting up a billboard with a skimpily-dress lady ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD should be avoided, lest it offend Mennonites; As if

    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

    by RandomActsOfReason on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:24:57 PM PDT

    •  Biking through a neighborhood... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      ... is most certainly NOT an "aggressive act of intruding upon... a community's... private space."

      This is a public street, not a gated neighborhood.  This is New York City, not a private religious compound.  

      People don't bike through Hasidic neighborhoods to be jerks (or at least, not initially).  They biked through because it was on their way to where they were going, or because they actually lived in the Hasidic neighborhood, and bikes are their transportation.  

      No amount of historical presence in a neighborhood gives the Hasidim or any other group the right to restrict the movement of non-members on public streets.  I repeat, public streets.

      My comments may not be used for any purpose without explicit permission.

      by cai on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:40:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point, and I did have one (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cai

        was to point out the hypocrisy in the diarist's list of examples.

        Of course, the blinding hypocrisy of the responses in this diary vs the other one is undeniable.

        People here are saying things like "mockery is good, mock and mock and mock", and, at best, getting a mild "YMMV" in response.

        In the other diary, despite repeated statements that no intent to mock was present, and despite the fact that there was, in fact no mockery in the diary or in the drawing, off the chart foaming feces was flung around, with charges that people standing up for free expression were like those who burn crosses on lawns, lynch Negroes, paint swastikas on synagogues, enable the KKK, and cooperate with the "murder of hundreds of thousands of Muslims".

        Notice any difference?

        (BTW, I agree 100% about public streets and public rights in the US of A. I was making a point that, even if you conceded that point to the "courtesy over free speech" folks, there is no way that argument holds water or is comparable in any way in the case of "don't draw Mohammad, anywhere, ever, anybody")

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun May 23, 2010 at 02:13:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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