Double Standards

BoSD wants to know if she – er, a young woman with an active online life – has a double standard if she wants a guy who does not.

On the one hand, internet usage is considered more acceptable for the average yeshivish woman than for the average yeshivish man. On the other hand: well, why is that so?

Weigh in here or there.

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9 thoughts on “Double Standards

  1. 1. No, it’s not a double standard. Different expectations apply to different groups of people (including genders). For instance, it is expected that a woman should spend time on her appearance and pay attention to it. It is not expected as much of a man to spend time on beautifying himself; in fact, according to some authorities it is ossur (Rambam forbids a man to pick a gray hair out of his beard, and Tzemach Tzedek forbids shaving as an instance of beged isha).

    2. It is considered to be less appropriate for yeshivish men to use Internet (at all or too much) because there is a arguably stronger obligation of davening and limud Torah on them than on women; therefore, unnecessary Internet usage is more of a bittul Torah for men than for women. I don’t necc. personally agree with that logic (the general concept of limud Torah is as applicable to women as to men; the difference is only specific parts of Torah required to learn — and even there, in our times, some people say women should learn even those parts), but that’s probably the logic.

  2. (I mean, it is a double standard, but in some cases the application of a double standard is justified, whatever the modern leftist proponents of political correctness say.)

  3. Yes, it is a double standard.

    CA: Can you please clafify a woman’s obligation to learn Torah? I am unaware of any such obligation.

  4. If a girl is supposed to gussy herself up and doesn’t, does that mean she isn’t date-worthy?

    The internet is a relatively new invention. It’s not like guys are required to spend every second of every day in front of a sefer; he can take ten minutes to scroll through FB statuses and quickly tap out a blog entry.

    Is this now the new “question” to ask – “Madame Shadchan, is the victim in question active upon the internet, specifically these new-fangled social sites or a blog, where he uses an alias?” I hope not.

    Just go out and find out!

  5. It’s definitely a question people ask… but (at least I’ve been led to believe) it’s usually asked only by those types who would shy away (read: wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole) from facebook, blogs, etc. And indeed I’ve been put on the defensive and gotten into some rather sticky situations when this topic of conversation comes up (usually on an earlier date than I’d have wanted). I would definitely consider it a double standard to find that the girl in question is involved in such things but is aghast that her date would be.

  6. To the anon who said that he/she/it was unaware of there being any obligation to learn Torah:
    I took a moment to look in Hilchos Talmud Torah in Shulchan Aruch Harav. There he discusses the obligation of men to learn Torah but in the footnotes it says to see a different siman regarding the obligation of women to learn Torah.
    It points you to hilchos birchos hashachar. There he writes that a women should say Birchas Hatorah because a women is obligated to learn Torah so that she can practice the Mitzvos relevant to her, and so that she will be able to refrain from transgressing the negative commandments. Further, he says, Birchas Hatorah comes before Parshas Hatamid and women are obligated in prayer as well, and tefilla was instituted in the place of the karbanos after the offering of karbanos ceased. You can go see for yourself, and there are footnotes with all the mekoros etc

  7. CA: Can you please clafify a woman’s obligation to learn Torah? I am unaware of any such obligation.

    A woman is obligated to know all the Halachos that may pertain to her or her family. Plus, she is obligated to learn Tanach. According to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, women in our generation should also learn Gemara.

  8. The Lubavitch women I know aren’t proficient in Gemara. The Rebbe said should, not have an obligation to. Do you have a source for the women’s obligation to learn Tanach? Because regarding halacha, they can consult the Shulchan Aruch, father, or husband. Before Bais Yaakov, women were not educated at all.

  9. Re Princess Lea’s last comment. That is not strictly true, even if not as many received formal education in the strictly religious circles of Eastern Europe.. First of all, girls schools existed before beis yaakov came into being. Sara Schnerir followed models for education she found in Germany along the lines of Rav Hirsch. But that was Germany, which boasted of some frum women with advanced degrees. In Easter Europe, gymnaisa was an option for some. They were not as RW as beis yaakovs are considered today, but some were more religious than others. My grandmother a”H attended gymnasia in Lithuania. She was highly educated and literate. Even girls who did not get to attend schools were not necessarily devoid of education. Some would have been taught at home, and many probably knew practical halacha a lot better than many a beis yaakov graduate today.

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