Women have been erased from history for millennia. Countless courageous events led by women have gone unwritten or rewritten in the history books. Yet, in the age of feminism in modern times, we assume this doesn’t happen anymore, right?
According to CNN, the uber-Orthodox Jewish publication Di Tzeitung, a Hasidic newspaper based in Brooklyn, New York, whited out Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason, director of counterterrorism from the now iconic “Situation Room Photo” take while President Obama monitored the raid on bin Laden’s compound.
Just like that. Zip. Gone. The two women present no longer exist with a swipe of Photoshop.
Why would they do such a thing?
Apparently, according to Rabbi Jason Miller, a blogger who picked up the story Sunday for The Jewish Week after another blogger wrote about it on Failed Messiah, Di Tzeitung does not include images of women in print “because it could be considered sexually suggestive.”
Not to diss Hillary (I’m admittedly in Team Hillary), but seriously, she’s just not looking super sexy with her furrowed brow and her hand over her mouth as she awaits the outcome of the risky mission. And Ms. Tomason — well, you can barely see her, seated way back behind all the dudes.
Since when were women in politics just doing their job so scandalous?
I’m not a religious scholar, but rumor has it that Hasidic Jewish law mandates that men and women not be pictured in the same photos, since it’s just too darn sexy.
But laws also require truth — and any manipulation of the truth (such as doctor a photo) is patently outlawed.
When faced with the choice between breaking one law or another, clearly manipulating the truth won out over showing powerful (but potentially racy) women, doing their thang in the situation room with dudes.
‘Scuse my French, but WTF?
How is it that women are still at risk of being erased from history? It’s no wonder we as women are fearful about standing up for what we believe, speaking our truth, putting ourselves out there, and being seen for who we really are. After all, we’re still at risk of being erased, even when you’re a women who ran for the Presidency.
Not to be culturally insensitive — and not to ignore the first amendment rights of this newspaper — but how is this still happening in our culture? I’m frankly flabbergasted.
When will we as women be permitted to stand fully in our femininity without fearing that we’ll be censored for being too sexy?
Also appearing in the news this week was an article about SLUT WALK, an international series of protest marches spawned by a Toronto police officer’s comment that women should avoid dressing like “sluts” to avoid getting raped. In these walks, women and men dressed in provocative or revealing outfits marched in protest to “slut-shaming.”
Why is this still happening? Are women really so alluring that men can’t help themselves? Are we really supposed to cut off our feminine power to avoid wreaking havoc for men?
I’m no man-hating feminist. In fact, I love men, and I consider myself a feminista. But when I read stories like these, I feel my blood boil.
I am a woman, and I will not be erased.
I will not be silenced. I will not be censored. I will not go away. I will not downplay my femininity or sensuality just to make someone else more comfortable or keep myself safe from the violence of men. I will stand, not just for myself but for each and every woman out there who wants to be unapologetically who she is.
I am woman. Hear me roar.
What about you? What do you think? Are you outraged? Not surprised? Frustrated? Tell us what you think and let us hear you roar.
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Learn more about Lissa Rankin here.