Okay, here’s a new take.
In Hasidic New York.
It seems that the Hasidic neighborhood of New York is upset by the way women dress in their neighborhood. So, here’s a sign that recently appeared on one of the stores there.
No Low Cut Neckline
ALLOWED IN THIS STORE
And here’s the story.
Here’s how the story starts:
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish business owners are lashing out at customers at dozens of stores in Williamsburg, trying to ban sleeveless tops and plunging necklines from their aisles. It’s only the latest example of the Hasidic community trying to enforce their strict religious laws for everyone who lives near their New York enclave.
“No Shorts, No Barefoot, No Sleeveless, No Low Cut Neckline Allowed in the Store,” declare the English/Spanish signs that appear in stores throughout the Hasidic section of the hipster haven. The retailers do not just serve Jews — they include stores for hardware, clothes and electronics.
It is ticking a lot of people off. Of course, they are not annoyed by the “No Barefoot” part of the sign (or even by the poor grammar!). No, they are concerned about the Hasidic trying to enforce their moral code upon their customers.
From the story:
“Religious freedom is one thing, but we do not have the right to enforce our beliefs on someone else,” charged Bob Kim, 39, comfy in tight jeans and a T-shirt.
“Why should they be able to say that on their signs? It’s not OK,” added Hana Dagostin, 32, wearing a sleeveless top.
“People should be able to wear what . . . makes them comfortable,” said Fabian Vega, 34, also wearing shorts and a T-shirt.
The thing is, as far as I can tell, the barefoot restriction has nothing to do with the sort of modesty that the Hasidim are concerned about. After all, feet were extensively exposed in biblical times. It’s just there because, well, everybody knows that bare feet just don’t belong in stores. Right??????
Yet we never see such indignation about NSNSNS signs. “Why should they be able to say that on their signs? It’s not OK.”
Well, why not? Why can’t we wear what makes us comfortable, even if it means no shoes?
What we hear as barefooters is that every business ought to be able to make whatever restrictions they want to. On the other hand, if a business wants to open itself up to customers, why should they have the right to restrict their customers based upon their prejudices or quirks?
It’s an age-old battle. I just find it interesting that, in this situation, so many people come out against the store-owners, while when it comes to barefooters, with what is really the same issue (without much in the way of religious overtones), it is perfectly okay to discriminate.
My own personal thoughts are, silliness is silliness; unreasonable adherence to myth is simply unreasonable adherence to myth. If these folks want the business of the public at large (whether barefoot or sleeveless), then they ought to put up with the public at large. If they want ridiculous restrictions, then they should cater only to their own sect, and organize as private clubs.
And that applies also to those who restrict the barefooted.