Are Misogynists Wimps at Heart?

"The same broadcast featured a religious eight-year-old girl terrified to walk the short distance between her home and school, since she is subject to verbal abuse of ultra-Orthodox men who claim her attire is not sufficiently 'modest'." -- Source.
They must be very macho men to verbally abuse an eight year old girl.  I would like to meet them in person so I could personally congratulate these men on their macho.  I would also like to ask them what they think of Yocheved Horowitz.

Horowitz, you see, is an Orthodox woman who does not buy into the bullshit of these Orthodox men.  And apparently, because she is not a (understandably) frightened eight year old girl, she is sometimes able to shut them up.

Horowitz was on a public bus one day when one of these macho men told her to move to the back of the bus:
"Women to the back," he called out like a conductor. "To the back, to the back." He trembled with anger. A man sitting in the first row whose appearance revealed him to be a Gur Hasid, shushed him, with a finger to his lip. But the shouter paid no attention to him. "Men's area," he continued to shout. "Women to the back."

Now Horowitz turned around and said loudly and clearly: "What do you mean by 'men's area'? A geographical area?" she wondered. "What is mehadrin? Are you talking about an etrog, a lulav?" she queried, referring to two of the principal symbols used during the festival of Sukkot. "Nowhere in rabbinical law does it say that it is forbidden to sit behind a woman, not in the Shulchan Arukh and not in the Yoreh De'ah [two classical compilations of Jewish law]. What is written in the Torah and in rabbinical law is that it is forbidden to humiliate sons and daughters of Israel."

Like a deflated balloon, the man became quiet, and maintained his silence for the rest of the bus ride.
What do you think?  Do you think maybe these macho misogynists are not really so macho unless they outnumber their victims?

I have often wondered what relationship there might be, if any, between a man being a misogynist and a man being a wimp?

(H/T: Hoyden About Town)


  1. It does seem that truly confident people don't need to control or feel superior to others.

  2. I've noticed that too, Donna, so -- strange as it might sound -- I think there might some some relationship between abusive misogynists and, say, men who, perhaps justifiably, lack confidence in themselves. I am not saying it is always true that a misogynist is a wimp, but only that I would like to know whether it is more often true than it is true a non-misogynist is a wimp.

  3. Donna and Paul, I think you hit it on the nose. Misogynists are bullies who feel insecure, and who project that insecurity onto women and girls.

    For the record, the misogyny of those ultra-Orthodox men in Israel disgusts me. These guys have SERIOUS neuroses regarding women and modernity.

  4. Ahab, you felt disgust too? Then we need to form a club. I was so disgusted to hear what those jerks had done to that child, I was hard pressed not to indulge in an uncountable number of vulgarities when describing them.

  5. Paul -- In this case, I'd be happy to use obscenities for you.

    :: clears throat ::

    WHAT THE [censored] IS WRONG WITH YOU [censored] OVER THERE IN ISRAEL!? GROWN MEN BULLYING WOMEN AND GIRLS IS [censored] WRONG! WHAT ARE YOU, [censored] SOCIOPATHS!? On behalf of non-sociopathic humans worldwide, GO TAKE YOUR [censored] AND [really censored]!

    I feel better.

  6. I see that attitude not only with religious extremists, but also in politics. I don't think I'll ever understand how a woman could belong to the republican party. It's not just about the issue of "choice," but it's about a blatant disregard for the rights of women. They throw the term "feminist" around as if it's a dirty word. Rush even coined the term " Feminazi." Most of the elected republicans would love to take us back to the 1950's where women stayed home, cooked , cleaned and didn't have a say in finances or other important decisions.
    The republican party comes across as very anti-female, anti-minority and anti-intellectual. I really think women who remain in a party that doesn't fight to pass laws to ensure they have equal rights; are self loathing with some real authoritarian issues .

  7. Ahab, you made me feel better too! :D

  8. Hi Rainlillie! I'm with you here. I do not understand how a woman -- any informed woman who was at all concerned with her rights as a person and a citizen -- could belong to today's Republican Party.

    I am old enough to recall when there was an active and influential moderate wing of the Party. A wing that even once stood for such things as the Equal Rights Amendment! But -- so far as I can see -- the Party has been increasingly flirting with nothing less than barbarism ever since the days of Reagan.

  9. Looking back in history, it is most interesting to see how the Republicans moved from left to right and the Democrats did the reverse.
    As for Israel's ultra orthodox don't forget that this country's voting system gives them the balance of power and they can topple any government that does not heed them.

  10. I think you're correct on one level, but it is far more sinister in history. I have forgotten the book title, it is about women in medicine. In earlier times, wise healing woman (Wicca actually means "craft of the wise) used herbs to heal sick townsfolk.

    Later, as Western medicine advanced, male doctors saw these women as a threat to their practices. They played on Christian fears, spreading rumors that these female healers were in league with the devil.

    I think that while there is some level of fear, the macho attitude of man-over-nature, man-over-woman, anti birth control is both a sign of immaturity and a need to control from a political and business standpoint.

    And it prevails in the oddest places. Just listen to Richard Dawkins sometime.

  11. I feel shame and anger whenever I read about Jews persecuting in the name of Judaism. In this case, grown men are harassing little girls because of the way they are dressed. In their minds, there is just no parallel with European Christians who harassed their own fathers and grandfathers in their traditional, Haredi garb. Whatever happened to the idea that the Jewish people could be the world's conscience?

    On a lighter note, I still enjoy referring to the Hasidic girls' school that my parents sent me to as "Uterine Tech." I was a polite enough kid, but too questioning. I guess my parents got tired of the school contacting them about me so often and I got sprung after just a few years. Too bad that 8 year old girl's parents can't spring her to a safer route to school each day.

  12. Ahab, I have met a number of men who were raised as Conservative or Reform Jews, if they were raised to be observant at all, who became Orthodox as adults. Now, I need to be careful about drawing parallels between these men and the femophobes in the article. The men I knew had all grown up in Canada and the United States. Still, it seems significant that they became Orthodox after years of failed relationships with women. Either they couldn't find women who were interested in long-term relationships/marriage, or they had been married to women who cheated on them. Each of these men seemed to have quite a chip on his shoulder about the way women had treated him.

  13. rainlillie, I wholeheartedly agree about women and the Republican party. Also, gays and the GOP. Change from within isn't an option for women, gays, people who are honestly open-minded about religion, people who truly care about civil liberties. When politics becomes so polarized, it's because the political difference reflect fundamental differences of opinion about how people are supposed to treat one another. That's why I won't date Republicans or political conservatives. It's not "just politics." It is about whether we treat one another as anything better than garbage that's fallen by the side of the road.

  14. Short answer:
    Long answer:
    Yes, they are.

  15. @ Potsoc: As I understand it, many in Israel are regretting their system gives so much power to the Orthodox. Thank you for that observation!

  16. @ Amalie: I agree misogyny is a much more profound thing than I've discussed here. My own opinion is that it might somehow be rooted in an attempt by males to control females for reproductive purposes.

    Also, I found Dawkins recent behavior both baffling and inexcusable.

  17. @ S.W. Atwell: You would think, wouldn't you, that a people who have been so persecuted -- and continue to be persecuted -- would be adamantly opposed to themselves becoming the persecutor? But apparently, a few Jews are not opposed to it. That baffles me on one level, and reduces me to muttering about the inanity of Homo sapiens on another.


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