In a twist on an old theme, Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, NY, have managed to curb bikers and joggers in their neighborhood because of the mode of undress by newcomer “hipsters.” In response to complaints from the Orthodox Jewish community, the city removed a bike lane in order to dissuade these scantily clad people from passing by Hassidic homes and places of worship.
But the neighborhood interlopers are striking back, with a planned protest today to run and bike nude through the freezing cold area, which is expecting heavy snowfall. In response to the protest, one member of the community rejoined that, while he is uncomfortable with the display of flesh, the issue is one of safety.
Here is yet another clash of cultures, with one group having been in an area for several decades, while more recent intruders are imposing their ways upon them. In this regard, the indignation of the long-term residents is understandable. If we are to complain about other cultures coming into our neighborhood or country and imposing themselves on us, then these individuals in Brooklyn who were there first have the same right. Of course, before them there were likely “Native Americans” in that area, so these latter groups could make the same complaint. And before that…?
Having gotten all the moral relativity out of the way, being a modernist and non-religionist who is not concerned with women’s legs showing, I obviously find some glee in this mischievous teasing of these goofy old fogies with their silly, male-dominated religious cult. What kind of god is offended by the body parts of “his” own creation?
Bicyclists angered by the removal of a cycling lane in Brooklyn are planning a nude protest on Saturday – when heavy snow is predicted in New York….
The activists intend to go topless in front of Hasidic residents who “can’t handle scantily clad women” on wheels, Heather Loop, a bike messenger, told a local newspaper earlier this week.
The newspaper, The Brooklyn Paper, suggested the scantily clad protesters might roll into the neighbourhood at sundown on Saturday – just as families leave synagogue services on the Sabbath.
Cycling advocates claim Mayor Michael Bloomberg erased the bike lane because conservative residents objected to seeing scantily clad riding through the neighbourhood every day.
Members of the Satmar branch of Judaism “don’t want to see women in shorts,” said Baruch Herzfeld, who runs a bike-sharing programme in a community where Jewish women wear modest long skirts and blouses with long sleeves and men heavy coats and hats, even in the hot NY summer….