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War, What Is It Good For? Policing Female Bodies, Apparently

Girls encouraged to wear modest clothing for peace; women barred entry to bomb shelter in Israel. Read More

By / July 17, 2014

War, what is it good for? Policing female bodies, apparently.

COLlive.com reports that women in the Chabad enclave of Crown Heights, New York are organizing a tznius (modesty) contest for girls “in the merit of the safety of Israel.”

Beginning July 20, Project EDEN (which stands for “Eat Ice Cream and Defend Eretz Yisroel Now”) will encourage day camp attendees between the ages of 3 and 12 to wear modest clothing that keeps “necklines, elbows, knees and feet covered at all times.” The clothing compliant will then receive cards they can trade in for “great prize incentives,” like ice-cream and raffle entries. Why? Well, the Lubavitcher Rebbe saw a direct correlation between modesty and God’s protection, so… encouraging pre-pubescent girls to cover themselves up in the peak of summer seems like the natural next step towards a ceasefire, no? Because as we all know, there’s a causal relationship between the collarbones of 4-year-old girls and Hamas’ weapons cache.

Meanwhile, female visitors to the rabbinate in Ashdod, Israel, were initially blocked from entering the building’s bomb shelter on modesty grounds. MK Stav Shaffir told The Forward that her staffer observed a sign on the door that read “For men only.” Turns out the women’s shelter “was just a regular room, with windows and plaster walls and no indications of protection from rocket attacks.” SO NOT A SHELTER AT ALL, THEN. Writes Elana Sztokman:

In response to women’s exclusion from the bomb shelter in the Ashdod rabbinate, MK Stav Shaffir filed an urgent complaint with the Religious Affairs Ministry, demanding to put an immediate halt to the segregation. “The idea that women seeking shelter from a rocket barrage are met with a closed door is untenable,” she told Yediot Ahronot. “Discrimination against women is unacceptable under any circumstances, but when this discrimination prevents women from protecting themselves, it’s not only unacceptable but also dangerous.” Apparently the administration of the rabbinic courts was unaware of the exclusion, and responded to Shaffir’s query with embarrassment. “It was a local initiative of an employee acting without formal authority,” they responded. “The rabbinical court views such attempts at gender segregation in a very severe light and will take serious actions against those involved.”

Just keep those elbows covered, ladies.