Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Bans Girls Older Than Five From Riding Bikes As “Provocative”

imgresIn yet another example of how similar extreme groups in Judaism and Islam can be, an ultra-orthodox Jewish leader has reportedly banned girls aged five and older from riding bicycles;claiming it is “immodest” and too “provocative” for men watching girls as young as six on a bicycle.You may recall the outrageous move by the city of New York to remove bike lanes in an area in New York to protect the sensibilities of Hasidic men. Previously, an influential rabbi moved to block women from driving –just as his Islamic counterparts have done in places like Saudi Arabia.

The rabbi in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Nahloat issued the decree to synagogues across the area. He warned that girls over five riding bikes could “cause serious damage to their modesty” and that bicycle seats caused young girls to sit in a way men found “provocative.” Accordingly, the Haredi ruling said: “We inform parents that they are obligated to forbid their daughters from age five and up from acting in this illegitimate way.”

This decision follows objections by ultra-orthodox rabbis to women in Bnei Brak studying in higher education because of the corrupting influence of secular ideas. Other rabbis have sought to block access to the Internet and to declare smartphones to be non-kosher.

images While most of us see a five year old in the picture above, some ultra-Orthodox men apparently see something more like this picture. That seems particularly depressing in terms of the mentality of your supporters that they cannot see a five-year-old girl on a bike without being “provoked.”

36 thoughts on “Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Bans Girls Older Than Five From Riding Bikes As “Provocative”

  1. Karen S – “Well, since I have ridden horses since I was a kid, and since all the girls stay out of trouble at the barn because they spend all their free time with the ponies instead of getting tramp stamps or piercings or hanging out with the wrong crowd, I absolutely think it’s ridiculous for a grown man to get sexually aroused by a 5 year old girl riding a bicycle. It’s healthy exercise.:

    Who is saying that the men are getting aroused? I take it as they don’t want girls riding because they think it will lead to other behaviors that they do not want. Ask yourself this, why would you feel it wrong for say a ten year old girl to walk around talking about sex and dressing provocatively?

    “Now, if he wanted to criticize parents for letting very young girls wear revealing clothing or date before they’re even teenagers, he’d have a point.”

    No, he’d have your point. That is the line you would draw. Theirs is a stricter line. Why is your world view better than theirs?

    “But claiming little girls can’t ride bikes (or horses) because it makes men feel aroused is not normal behavior.”

    No where did he say arousal.

    If more girls rode bikes (or horses) they’d be healthier and have less time on their hands to get into trouble. Sorry, but I disagree with you on this one. Thou shalt not forbid riding!”

    I to do not agree with what the Rabbi is saying, but I have no problem with them setting up their own rules. If you don’t like their rules, don’t join them. But labeling a group because you don’t like their rules when our own society is much worse, shows quite a bit of hypocrisy.

  2. How utilitarian of you Jim. Their country, their rules and all that, I get it. But when people in THIS country actually base their opinions on moral absolutes and more importantly, unalienable rights, then I agree with Karen. Instead of infringing the rights of the child, teach society as a whole to respect the natural rights of EVERYONE; and then DO NOT STOP TEACHING IT! The rest will take care of itself.

  3. The religious females must wear skirts, like most of the rest of the religious women around the planet. If the skirts fly up, or if the prospect of seeing bare legs is possible, the men figure dignity is gone, and the females and families good for nothing. To preserve the females honor, long skirts must always be down at the ankles where they belong.
    Holy crap, I say.
    At least the ultra Orthodox Jews don’t mutilate female genitals or stone them for one of numerous sins. like some others, at least not any more.

  4. These ostensibly “religious” pronouncements dictating gender dress, conduct, and behavior have nothing, of course, to do with religion or spirituality. Rather, these gender codes are solely about one thing — and one thing only: CONTROL.

    These practitioners of the Haredi Orthodox brand of Judaism have found that by exercising such control over the lives of their members, that they are able to grow and expand as a group. Haredi Judaism emerged largely in response to growing Jewish acculturation, secularization, and modernity. Their estimated global population currently numbers 1.3–1.5 million and, due to a virtual absence of interfaith marriage and a high birth rate, their numbers are growing rapidly relative to other Jewish groups.

    Of course, there is also an underlying psychological issue that is the basis for all these gender rules and “regulations” created by the Haredi brand: fear of women. And what better way for those who fear women than to create rules to control them, and have them obedient to the rules established by and for men (according to the Haredi line of “reasoning.” So it’s really a form of marketing, strange as that may sound. And you can’t argue with success, in that this group is growing as members of other forms of Judaism are dwindling.

    The real issue, however, is when the Haredi (or any other of its imitators) seek to force their gender control agenda on others. Fortunately, it appears that at least among the Haredi, such controls are only permissble on their own members.

    For example, Naomi Ragen, an American-born Israeli novelist who is Modern Orthodox and writes about the Orthodox world, has been an outspoken opponent of gender-segregated buses ever since she was threatened verbally on a bus in 2004 when she refused to move to the back with the rest of the women.

    Ragen later was among the plaintiffs in a lawsuit by the Israel Religious Action Center, the advocacy arm of the Jewish Reform movement, against the Israeli Transportation Ministry and bus companies that operate segregated bus lines. The lawsuit, heard by the Israeli Supreme Court, resulted in a ruling that such buses are illegal but that voluntary segregation could not be banned. Since the ruling, signs must be posted on buses stating that it is illegal to force anyone to move from their seat.

    So, to sum up, gender controls have nothing to do with religion or spirituality. Rather, they are about control and the propagation of the particular “religious” brand that seeks to assert those controls over its members (and others, if they can be persuaded to go along with the program). It’s up to the secular, humanistic world to ensure that groups seeking to impose such rules and controls over nonmembers are not permitted to do so.

  5. Jim22:

    “Who is saying that the men are getting aroused?” I got that impression from “it is “immodest” and too “provocative” for men watching girls as young as six on a bicycle,” in Professor Turley’s article above. Unless I misunderstood, the complaint is that it is provocative behavior.

    I do understand your point about communities setting up their own rules. I’ve remarked before that I’ve known some Amish, as well as people with the full range of beliefs. I object to his opinion, not his right to voice it, or their right to live how they want to. As someone who believes in equal rights for women, anytime a group tries to control women and girls, it’s going to bother me. As long as they have the right to leave as adults, then they have the right to live how they want to without actually harming anyone.

    His particular remark that little girls on bikes is provocative, which I took to mean sexually provocative, is absurd. Or perhaps an indicator of a deeper problem.

  6. So, to sum up, gender controls have nothing to do with religion or spirituality. Rather, they are about control and the propagation of the particular “religious” brand that seeks to assert those controls over its members (and others, if they can be persuaded to go along with the program). It’s up to the secular, humanistic world to ensure that groups seeking to impose such rules and controls over nonmembers are not permitted to do so.
    ———————————
    Wow…!!!
    Ralph, is that you?
    I knew there was more to you than just rabid hatred, you made a lot of sense there. Wish we would see that Ralph more often🙂

  7. What a nice way to sum up and over simplify religion. It’s all about power. Good grief really? Or could it be that they know what works for keeping a society/culture/community functioning in a healthy way. Ralph and Isaac are most likely more than happy to have our govt. force us to a set of rules, taxes or redistribution that they agree with and have no issue with this “religious” power. It takes very little thinking to just attribute religious rules as just power over its members. It takes a lot more thinking to try to understand the reasons behind those rules.

    But hey, we have high school girls having sex in the school bathrooms and shows glamorizing teenage pregnancy for profit.

    Again, I will ask since everyone dodged the question, why would you feel it wrong for say a ten year old girl to walk around talking about sex and dressing provocatively? Do you just want power and control over girls?

    • “Again, I will ask since everyone dodged the question, why would you feel it wrong for say a ten year old girl to walk around talking about sex and dressing provocatively? Do you just want power and control over girls?”
      ————————-
      Worthwhile question, Jim.

  8. Jim22:

    “Again, I will ask since everyone dodged the question, why would you feel it wrong for say a ten year old girl to walk around talking about sex and dressing provocatively? Do you just want power and control over girls?” Because she is not mature enough to handle a sexual relationship, because she doesn’t understand yet that no one will respect her if she does not respect herself, and because she is a minor.

    That is an entirely separate issue from saying that a 5 year old riding a bicycle is sexually provocative.

    • Girls of ten and under are married off around the world. They mature much earlier than they used to. I don’t believe that girls of that age should be subjected to the advances of anybody, in this case dirty old men, but they should know about sex and contraception in 2016.
      What one considers provocative and one doesn’t differs greatly, and in this case, perhaps in the same neighborhood. If she has the ability to move to a different one, her history could be invisible, and she can’t be shamed by her past deeds, which could have been forced upon her.
      And as a girl, she’ll find that few respect her: virgin, saint, or whatever.
      I’d urge you to try coming into the 21st century, or perhaps even the 20th, and if you’re old timey orthodox, the 18th.
      My mother told me that in 12th grade hygene class in the 1920’s two girls fainted when told about the birds and bees.

  9. Karen – “That is an entirely separate issue from saying that a 5 year old riding a bicycle is sexually provocative.”

    Says you. That is your perspective. Another culture may think differently. To me, what you wrote is no different than what the Rabbi is saying. If he believes his goal is to protect the innocent from going down a path that is undesirable, why does that make him a pedophile?

    • Nope, because he finds 5 year old girls riding a bike potentially sexually provocative to some.
      Just as many before him found girls riding horses potentially sexually provocative to some.
      The issue is not that he is stirred by the sight of a 5 year old riding a bike, it is that he views that others might be stirred by it, and in order to protect the girl from those unwanted stirrings, he would rather over-protect here than under-protect her…same thing that characterizes every single cultural and/or religious orthodoxy that ever graced the earth, including the Amish, the Mormon, and every variant of ultra-orthodoxy in Judaism, Christianity, hinduism and Islam….and that is an obvious remnant of a tribal mentality that viewed women and girls as the weak link in and into their society.

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