Sunday, May 15, 2011

How to Respect Men

I found this image at Feministe. The image above is in response to the image below, originally printed in the Brooklyn Yiddish-language newspaper, Der Tzeitung. They photoshopped Hillary Clinton - our Secretary of State, the person with the most power in that room - out of the photograph of the situation room, receiving news about Bin Laden´s death. They later printed an explanation (which some called an apology, but I would not) in which they wrote:

In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status. Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board. Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.

Treating women differently than men in this way is disrespect. Treating images of women - all women - as immodest, while the images of men are not considered immodest is disparaging to women, even if the newspaper claims that is not the intention. Feminism is merely the idea that women are human too.

So, I love the response. Photoshop out all the men. It is respectful to men, to treat them with modesty, by erasing them from reality.

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