Friday, October 8, 2010

Burkhas in Beverly Hills

It's a sunny day here in Southern California and I just saw a woman walking down the street in Beverly Hills covered head to toe in black, the only part of her showing: her eyes. She was even wearing gloves. It was obvious that she was Muslim woman wearing the traditional garb that you see in movies and read about in the news but rarely see yourself.

It gave me a bit of a shock. I couldn't help staring and wondering about the woman underneath all that black cloth. About what makes her choose to wear it - or if she even was the one to make the choice to begin with.

And I couldn't help thinking, "For all that I complain about misogyny in the Orthodox Jewish community, these Muslim women have it so much worse."

It isn't very fashionable in the frum community to sympathize with Muslims and believe me, I have no sympathy for those of them who are evil or are terrorists, but I can't help feeling sorry for their women. They are treated worse than dirt in many (if not all) Muslim countries.

It makes me grateful that I'm a Jew. Yes, there are problems in the frum world with how women are treated and, yes, I do write this blog anonymously for fear of what it could do to my "reputation" in the frum community, but those things seem trivial next to the fears that so many Muslim women live with all their lives.

Now there are some women who need a serious dose of feminism.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Study: Orthodox Women Have More Anxiety

According to a study done at the University of London about Orthodox Jews:

"Quantitatively, severe stress and clinical levels of depression and anxiety were similar among the men and women studied, but women had overall more eventful lives than men, and were more likely to suffer from borderline depression and anxiety..."

Not that this surprises me, but I found it an interesting anecdote nevertheless. Women in the Orthodox community are expected to be mothers and homemakers and, particularly in recent times, also to be breadwinners. Is it any wonder that they're stressed?