|Posted on November 7, 2012 at 9:25 PM|
By Gary Konecky
Recently, I attended a Jewish religious class on the Laws of Family Purity. Greatly simplifying, these laws primarily center around a woman's menstrual cycle and when sexual relations between a husband and wife are prohibited as a result of the woman’s cycle.
Please note that the subject of these laws is something that only women experience. The class was made up of men and women including a man easily in his late 70s. It is true the man was knowledgeable about Jewish religious law. That said, the man dominated the class and cut off the rabbi teaching the class several times. Furthermore, when a man very respectfully asked the women a question about what women experience as part of the menstrual cycle, this man cut off the women who were answering the question, and gave his answer.
All of this raises several issues. It does not matter to me how knowledgeable this man is, nor his age. What does matter is this man's public display of a his lack of maturity. To me, one of the signs of maturity is showing respect to others. In this case, that would mean respecting the teacher, or in this case not challenging the rabbi and attempting to run the class, which is what this man did.
Then there is the issue of speaking of things about which you know, and keeping quiet about things that you know nothing about. Women, not men, live with and experience the menstrual cycle. When the women were asked about it, this man answered. How dare this man, a man with no first hand knowledge or experience, presume to answer a question put to the women about something only they can experience. It takes a shocking level ofchutzpah to have the presumption to speak on behalf of others. It takes extraordinary poor judgment to talk about something of which one has no experience, especially when others with that experience and who are far more qualified are present and able to answer.
Sadly, this man is not alone in this immature behavior. For months now, their have been news reports about male politicians discussing women being raped and becoming pregnant as a result. These men, all Republicans and all trying to appeal to the same group of christian fundamentalist voters that routinely engage in gay bashing (be it verbal or violent), have all tried to justify not allowing legal access to abortion for rape victims as such access will conflict with their religious dogma. First off, who are these people to impose their religious beliefs (with the force of law) on those who have different religious beliefs? The last time I checked, such behavior violated the US constitution and was therefore a violation of their oath of office. What kind of religious people are these that break the word they swore to G-d , for that oath was sworn to G-d with a hand on their bible when they took office? Outside of being a political expedient, does that bible, which they claim to be the word of G-d mean anything to them? Who are these men (to the best of my knowledge, none of whom are doctors) to decide what medical care is appropriate for a rape victim? Who are these men to presume to speak about rape and pregnancy when they will never experience the trauma of becoming pregnant as a result of rape? On the other hand, I might be in error here, as perhaps immature is the wrong word. Perhaps, arrogant, power hungry, bigoted, and misogynistic are better adjectives.
While the man in that class was immature, and one would have hoped he would have behaved better, whatever he said affected no one but the handful of people in that room at that time. That cannot be said for the male politicians who are hell bent on imposing their ignorant religious dogma on others with the force of law.
Source for the above rape chart: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/24/1149395/-GOP-Rape-Advisory-Chart-h-t-to-connecticutie. This chart is posted here with the permission of it's creator.
Categories: Current Events (and people in the news)