Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sexist Shidduchim

I was a accused of being sexist a few weeks ago.

It happened when I was talking to someone about the shidduch (Orthodox Jewish system of matchmaking) system and mentioned that I believed that it was the job of the man to pursue the woman. The man I was speaking to immediately accused me of being sexist against men by suggesting that the man should do the difficult part.

It took me slightly by surprise, probably because I'm not accustomed to hearing people speak about sexism against men, but I automatically answered, "Of course it's not sexist! The Torah (Bible) says that the man should pursue the woman, the Torah is written by G-d, and G-d isn't sexist; so obviously, it's not sexist."

It's the truth. The Talmud teaches that a man is supposed to search for his soulmate, "as a person seeks an object that he has lost." (Kiddushin 2b; Niddah, 31b) Frankly, it makes perfect sense to me. After all, the mitzvah (G-d's commandment) of marriage is for men. Men are the ones who are obligated to get married, according to the Torah; not women. So why should the woman pursue the man if he's the one who's required to get married?

In the Orthodox community today, it's the absolute opposite. Theory has it that there are more Orthodox single women than Orthodox single men, which means that women need to "fight" to get a good guy. Ultimately, that means that women need to work hard to find a match whereas the men can sit back and wait to be pursued by the girls.

And they do. I can't tell you how many stories I've heard from girlfriends about guys who will date a girl and just automatically "throw her away" because he knows that there are plenty of other girls who want to go out with him. Random dating is not how the shidduch system was ever meant to work. The system is based on the idea that men and women only date for marriage and dating numerous girls carelessly just because they're available doesn't really fit the bill of, "dating for marriage."

Yet it happens time after time that girls - wonderful, sweet, pretty girls - get passed up for another girl because the guy can say, "Well, she was fine, but there might be something better out there..." And Orthodox girls keep taking it - being treated by guys as objects in a store that are picked up, examined, and then abandoned, - because they want to get married and are willing to do what it takes to make that happen, even if it means being treated like trash over and over again.

It has to stop. Single women in the Orthodox community need to start putting their collective feet down and demand that the men stop this silliness; if the men want to get married, then they need to start taking dating seriously.


  1. considering that the guys you are refering to are most likely between the ages of 21 and 25 no kidding they're treating you this way, they're still babies. guys in the frum community are too young and immature to be dating.


  2. Too young to be dating or too young to be in a relationship?

    In any case, it's not just the guys who have this attitude. It's the whole community, which means that it's a community problem. Don't you think that if the community had more respect for women that these guys would as well?

  3. since for our purposes the point of dating is to create a relationship and than marriage, most people in community are way too young and immature.

    I'm not completely sure who it is that you're dating, are u dating guys straight out of yeshiva or ones who have worked for a while? also another thing is that dating is the first social interaction that many frum guys have with females (of course that also depends on the community), so such a situation does take a certain amount of adjusting to. this is especially true in cases where such interactions and relationships were vehemently discouraged up until relatively recently in the guys life. anyhow my point is that dating in the frum community attempts to create a completely unnatural relationship in a setting that often neither party is properly prepared for, thus all sorts of issues arise.

    like with most things theres the party line in which people claim certain things, and then there is what actually happens. in the frum community of course kavod habriyos is stressed, but heck that sure doesn't mean that people will keep to it if they can get away with it.

    and in terms of having respect for still kinda surprised that your a conservative republican.


  4. Lots of Orthodox Jewish men can go for months, or even years, without dating.

    Girls are NOT running after them. These men include: baalei teshuvah, gerim, Sephardim, divorced men, short men, poor and bald men, older men, etc.

  5. Girls aren't SUPPOSED to run after them. It's the job of the man to pursue the woman. It's not even considered tznius for a woman to pursue a man.