Gender

“There have always been troubling issues of gender politics amongst OTD people”

There have always been troubling issues of gender politics amongst OTD people.

OTD men face their own challenges when they leave the ultra-Orthodox community. While OTD women often struggle to shake off the impulse to avoid upsetting men and serve them at all costs, OTD men struggle to shake off the image of women as either trifling or terrifying sexual objects. It can be difficult for OTD men to understand that a woman’s expression of sexual freedom is not an invitation to sex. It can be even more difficult when that woman is OTD. Her fashion, attitudes, and personality, a mix of religious and secular, may cross wires for the man who can see both, causing him to read her not as an average secular woman but as the most wanton of religious women, on the prowl for sexual adventure.

Of course, many OTD men are nothing like this: they have learned how to treat women with dignity. But too many OTD men are.

Leah Vincent, “Ex-Orthodox Women Must Learn To Say No. Ex-Orthodox Men Must Learn To Listen”, Forward (18 September 2017) [http://forward.com/opinion/382861/ex-orthodox-women-must-learn-to-say-no-ex-orthodox-men-must-learn-to-listen/]