Sunday, July 30, 2006

Marriage=Credibility

I've been tempted to just wear a bandana to see how differently I'm perceived and treated with the assumption that I am a married "woman" as opposed to a single "girl." It seems that in Brooklyn, certainly, a head-covering to signify your marriage opens up many new worlds for you. People listen when you speak. They value what you have to say. You're one of the guys. You're not a "nebuch" case.

In this case, age really is just a number. Girls who are a year younger than I am and are married have more credibility despite my age and education. I am nearing 21, and am almost a Senior in Brooklyn College. There are 19 year olds who are married, with a year of Touro under their belts who put dollar signs after the number, and they have more credibility than I do. Because of a ring on her finger.

Now on the other side of things, as an unmarried 20 year old, and having discussed this with many others in the same situations, it is clear that we have less credibility than our younger, but married, counterparts. I mean, what do YOU know, it's not like you're married or anything.

Some random memories come to mind when I think of this, but my friends have shared countless stories to denote similar experiences.

1) As you remember, I worked in a frum retail store last summer. These customers treated me like I was 12. I tried to give them ideas for gifts, but I was ignored--politely, but certainly not treated with decency. A married woman walked in, and I might as well have been an ant. Many customers (not all) second-guessed me endlessly and considered me clueless because I am not married. Do they know that I have lots of gift-giving experience? I cook all the time and I know what's good to use? Nope. I am not married, so apparently I might as well be a 16-year-old mother's helper.

2) My bungalow colony. Sure half of you know of which I speak, but too bad. I met a former classmate outside shul. Typical--Lakewood, living off her parents and in-laws, Bug-a-Boo stroller, dressed to kill, all that make-you-wanna-puke stuff. She happens to be nice kid, though. Otherwise, I would have just turned back. So there she was with some other married kids. I approached the group (so much for my self-confidence) and greeted everyone. The other married kids, and NO I DID NOT IMAGINE THIS, looked me up and down, probably glanced at my left hand, and turned away. Yeah. Turned away. Don't mind my whole outfit was the price of one shoe of theirs. It was not the economics here. I don't think so, anyway, but it was the simple fact that there was no sheitel/bandana/shmata thing on my head. Umm, Good Shabbos to you, too, you snot. "Maybe they wanted to give you privacy..." Ya buy that one, I have a bridge to sell you.


So basically, young women, if you'd like to be listened to and acknowledged as a real person, get married. Doesn't matter to whom. You don't even have to be happy. Just get married. And everyone will listen.

52 Comments:

At 7/30/2006 11:18 AM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Believe me, I can relate to what you totally. I have a very close friend in Toronto, who is 23 and single. She goes to the playground Shabbos, with a niece and 19 yr olds expecting their first child talk to her like she is in high school.

On Yom Tov, all her sister-in-laws come and treat her like she is one of their children.

I have a very close friend in Lakewood who got married over 30 and told me that when she was 31, 20 yr old Callas used to ask her where she went to HS and smirk at her.

The flip side is many girls are trapped in miserable marriages, and you still have your freedom to go where you want, when you want. Also, its much better to be single at 25, then Divorced at 20. So hold your head up high, Michelle and dont let them intimidate you.

 
At 7/30/2006 11:28 AM, Blogger wearywife said...

....don't get your hopes up Michelle. You may get a little bit more respect when your married, but you're still a female. Thus, all that happens is that you move up from being a third class citizen to a second class one...

 
At 7/30/2006 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post, and yet very sad.
Its funny how some people look at things in a different light.
I'm a guy,(my age doesn't really matter), but when anyone sees me they think I'm married!! (yup the guys have it so easy!!) and yup they always ask me for advice (not).
But when I go in a store and ask the cashier or waiteress for something- or an idea, I think the unmarried girl will usually tell what she honestly thinks out of her heart, and not some bs comment that sounds more professional.
Also the girls that are 20 or 21 and not married, I don't look at them, as the neb, or the ones who couldn't make it. I look at them as the girls which have some brains, the girls that are able to make a decision in life what THEY WANT not what their parents decided for them when they were still in diapers and didn't have any choice in the matter.

Keep strong!!! The right one will come for all of us at the right time.

 
At 7/30/2006 1:22 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Oh, yes, I failed to mention that I am fully aware that marriage is a challenge and not all fun and games as some girls imagine. I know that it isn't a problem solver. That's probably why I haven't been too aggressive about shidduchim. Yet.

 
At 7/30/2006 1:39 PM, Blogger JBL the first said...

I bet if you'll tell them you're Michelle, "the Michelle from In my humble jewish opinion". Things will be really different.

 
At 7/30/2006 3:11 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

It is incredibly sad how the feminist movement has completely skipped over this segment of the Orthodox world.

Women are defined solely by virtue of the men they are married to.

This, of course, is only the tip of the iceberg. It starts in the schooling where girls are seen as intellectually inferior and are unable to study anything important, i.e. Gemara. And it is integrated throughout the social consciousness as women cannot be official witnesses for any religious event that requires them, cannot be communal leaders as only male rabbis can do that, and must sit in the back of the shul while the men take care of the religious business that women are just incapable of doing.

There are many more examples.

Don't you see that you are constantly encouraging the very system which you are so upset about?

 
At 7/30/2006 3:41 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Orthoprax--how do i encourage this system?

Also, to add to your point, my mom had a complaint about the shul in the bungalow colony. The bimah was all the way in the front, and my mom was unable to hear the Tefillah and the Kriah. When she complained to the guy in charge (who is about 20 years younger than she) she was met with complete disrespect. "Well, the men use the shul more often, so it's important for their convenience." Considering the nature of the Bun galow Colony, men are only around on weekends. So they daven there 3-4 times a WEEK, whereas women, as he mentioned, only once. But if there is a woman noble enough to actually show up to shul for what it's made for, DAVENING, she should be respected and one should make an effort to help her.

JBL--if I'd say that, I have a feeling it wouldn't be too pretty. lol.

 
At 7/30/2006 4:02 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

Michelle,

"Orthoprax--how do i encourage this system?"

I didn't mean you personally, per se, but all of these women that see marriage as a huge social plateu. And other women who make up really lame excuses for why this discrimination is fair.

Let me ask you this, would you be willing to tell your friends that you follow the p'sak of a woman?

Do you believe that a woman can be a posek (or poseket as the case may be)?

 
At 7/30/2006 4:05 PM, Anonymous Allie said...

Wearywife and Ortho, why do you feel that women are treated as 2nd class citizens in the Othodox world? I think the only women who are treated that way are those that let themselves be treated as such. There may be fewer female professionals in the Orthodox circle, but thats only because so many of us choose to focus on family instead. (I'm not saying there is anything wrong with someone who does both, so please don't jump on this just for argument's sake.)
Michelle makes an interesting point, but it has nothing to do with women being inferior to men, because the people treated her this way are women not men. All I can say to you Michelle, is that I got married at 21 and I have great memories of my single years. Marriage is great, and I am bh very happy, but I would not have given up those years for anything. The single years after high school can be awesome, so just enjoy it and screw everyone else, because you know you're better than them anyway, right? :)

 
At 7/30/2006 4:12 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

Allie,

Women are (more or less) equal in the western democratic world we live in that is America. But that is by virtue of being external to Judaism, not through it.

Can you imagine living in a Jewish state ruled by accepted normative halacha that was ruled solely by men and women couldn't even testify in court? Think about it.

 
At 7/30/2006 4:14 PM, Anonymous Allie said...

I hear what you're saying, and I don't have an answer for that.

 
At 7/30/2006 6:12 PM, Blogger Hai Anav VTzaddik said...

I couldnt agree with you more. I have been saying this and realizing how true it really is for the longest time. Especially the rabbanim thing., It is crazy that you find letter to the editors in the Yused and other frummie newspapers where housewives (and even rebbes) advise people with real life problems (like shalom bayis problems) to "go to a shiur" or "talk to their rabbi." as if that will help! and dont even get me started on the rabbinic add-ons like prolonging Nidda after a woman gives birth and making the time between meat and milk 6 hours. craziness. where do they get off??

 
At 7/30/2006 6:12 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

allie---u go girl!!!

 
At 7/30/2006 8:07 PM, Blogger HanginUp said...

I just happened upon your blog and I must say that I cannot agree with you more.

I got married at 29 and my younger brother and sister got married before me. They also provided my parents with their first THREE grandchildren before I had even met my husband. I am the oldest in a family of six and I was automatically lumped into the "younger" portion of the family for I was unmarried and "could not relate to married life". You can imagine how that must have felt ...

Let me tell you another thing - after getting married "late in life" I suffered the lonely road of infertility which left me out of numerous conversations about parenting etc. Three years later, I B"H have a beautiful little girl - people are not educated on the importance of sensitivity. It should be a requirement in every seminary and kallah class.

Hold your hear up high and ignore those little b*tches. They will get theirs in the world to come - you be strong and Hashem will answer your prayers.

 
At 7/31/2006 5:58 AM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

i respect your point and your opinion
what do lakewood sex objects know?

 
At 7/31/2006 6:02 AM, Anonymous tt said...

Come on Cheer up!!! I'm sure you'll long for your single years after you're married (and not because you won't be happy then too).
A mashgiach once wanted to cheer up an older bachur so he said to him. "If you'll get a bitch, the later the better. If you'll get a great wife, it's worth all the waiting".
Anyhow all the feminine comments here are really out of place and not to the point.

 
At 7/31/2006 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with hanginup that its an issue of sensitivity. The girls who acted that way to you are basically trying to give themselves a high by seemingly stepping on you. First of all, how pathetic is that? Secondly, not being sensitive goes against all of Judaism and basic human morals. Beyond that though, as easy as it is to say, whatever and whenever people say or do things like this to you, try to have the approach that it won't even be as strong as the wind moving a hair on your head. Be confident in yourself that you are doing the right things, trying to do your best and that essentially people are projecting thier emptyness onto you (because what else motivates people to be so cruel and stupid? its doesn't reflect well on them). I am a single guy and let me tell you I have gone through similiar things (so for you feminists out there-this one is equal opportunity). Michelle, you probably wouldn't be shocked as to the things I've been told or what has been done to me. Let me tell you though, some of the most asinine comments have been made to me. They used to hurt but now I just laugh them off because its just so ridiculuous how people act and speak that the only explainations are that either they aren't aware of what they are doing (which means in my opinion they walk around as clowns-which makes me laugh) or they are the ones with the issues (doesn't make me laugh that they have issues but I can be happy that I don't have thier issues).

Marriage is a milestone in life, a very important one at that. Fact is though, as you mentioned, it doesn't fix problems. If these girls act this way to you (for no reason whatsoever) then they have problems, don't let their problems affect you. In fact, the only way it should affect you is by maybe offering them some help. (On second thought, may it should affect you by realizing these aren't people its worth it to be around if this is how they treat you).
I hope this helps. You aren't the only one to go through this.

 
At 7/31/2006 7:10 AM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

tt,

"Anyhow all the feminine comments here are really out of place and not to the point."

I disagree. Why is being married considered such a huge social accomplishment by these women? It's because that's the biggest thing (and the most correct thing) anyone expects of them at that age.

By these women treating it like it's this huge accomplishment that anything else is meaningless in comparison they are perpetuating a social system that most of them would realize is truly unfair if they cared to pay any attention.

You guys are looking at one symptom of this far reaching social illness. There's a big picture out there.

 
At 7/31/2006 8:29 AM, Blogger Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

It is incredibly sad how the feminist movement has completely skipped over this segment of the Orthodox world.

It's got nothing to do with feminism. What Michelle described happens just as often with guys. You can be a snot-nosed 21 year old in shul, but if you've got a tallis on, then you're one of the guys. But if you're 25 and single, no one gives you the time of day.

 
At 7/31/2006 10:12 AM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

"Don't mind my whole outfit was the price of one shoe of theirs. It was not the economics here. I don't think so, anyway, but it was the simple fact that there was no sheitel/bandana/shmata thing on my head"

Why would you want to even associate with those, they are out of your "league"
Also married people talk about "married" things like babies and husbands why would you want to associate with them?
Yes, there is definitely a preception that you automatically become mature when you get married, thats why there are so many divorces
Just start telling them about all the freedom you have and all the places you go etc. that they cant do anymore.... that'll shut them up....

 
At 7/31/2006 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I haven't posted in a loooong time but I really HAVE been reading your blog.
After having been married for 2 months (and living in Flatbush)I have not experienced this at all while in public--Except now I've gotten more shidduchim calls about my friends as a "married friend" reference. I don't really perceive myself as being more mature or sophisticated than most of my 20 year-old classmates and the answers I give to shadchanim about my friends are exactly the same as I did a few months ago--I don't know why NOW I'm more credible in that area.
We'll just all have to remember that there will always be some Japs who are immature and insensitive no matter how old they are and how many children they have.
--MS

 
At 7/31/2006 11:42 AM, Blogger XVI (R) - NY said...

Its more of the same, like by anything else the UO world seems to get its hands on. I think the first thing that needs analysis is why we marry in the first place. From a torah perspective.

First, theres the procreatice commandment. Gotta have kids so you gotta be married so as not to violate those issurim that having kids with unmarried people can entail.

Also, its important to the jewish fmily unit. Community is very important to jewish life. Its the primary reason behind things like keeping kosher and davening with a minyan. We try to keep a jewish community alive and seperate out of non-jewish communities to keep the jewish line in continuation. The family is thus very imprtant to this and marriage is an important part of a traditional family view.

Then theres the whole hirhurim factor. Theres a Gemarah that talks about males being married by 18 so as not to be influenced by the avodah zara / evil inclinations. If we could all be mareried by 14 we could shoot arrows in the devils eyes.

The point is, that when we combine these things together, we get a notion of marriage that becomes fairly important to religious judaism. As important as being part of a good shul and sending your kids to good schools. It along those lines. Obviously because its so much more pervasive in your life its clearly even more important than that. But from a torah perspective that pretty much all it seems to be. A good thing to do. You wanna have kids, get married. Its NOT however, our reason for existence.

It has gotten to the point where if a female is 20 or a male is 22 and they are not yet married, the community becomes concerned (talkative). The importance of marriage has become the utmost driving force for many jewish people in their late teens and early to mid twenties. Many people base their career choices, their five year plans and their summer jobs around the expectation of meeting someone and getting married wthin the next six months. Marriage (or is it just getting married?) has become the central focus of existence for many jews and its been causing problems. Now... Im not gonna get into trhe shidduch issue. Evereyone has their wag-of-the-finger or tip-of-the-hat torward that system and its not the point. Im not gonna get into the issue of underage weddings where the guy, or the gal, or both are no way nearly financially able, or mature enough to care for, provide for, or create another human being. I just wanna vent about societal pressures.

Its gotten so rediculous, that people will accept date prospects from complete strangers with zero information about a girl/guy. Its gotten so ludicrous, that when a guy wants to pursue an interest as a career that may not pay as much as... oh, I dunno... being a lawyer might, that he is looked at as strange. Its gotten so flabbergasting, that girls come home from seminary, never having had an actual job, responsibility or experience of life, already in love... just not knowing to who. Yet.

Now, Im not saying people shouldnt get married. I think it is a wonderful thing to find someone that you believe you can spend the rest of eternty with. I think its wonderful to be with someone that you completely trust with every facet of your life and who you want to raise children with. I think its a beautiful thing to perform the mitzvah of P'ru U'revu and I reccomend starting even before marriage. I do not, however, think its wonderful to demand that someone find this person as goal in life. Love should be discovered, not thrust upon us. It should not be demanded that we find true love before 25, or 30, or maybe even ever if thats how the cards land. Its rediculous.

And, as Michelle has said, wever made it somuch the pinnacle of our existenece that anyone who hasnt reached that point isnt "in" and anyone who has, almost automatically is.

enough already.

( http://ketchupandicecream.blogspot.com/2006/03/judaism-is-religion-of-food.html )

 
At 7/31/2006 3:21 PM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

CWY,

"It's got nothing to do with feminism. What Michelle described happens just as often with guys. You can be a snot-nosed 21 year old in shul, but if you've got a tallis on, then you're one of the guys. But if you're 25 and single, no one gives you the time of day."

Perhaps you are right. This type of thing does affect both sexes, but I still think that women get it worse than men.

Married guys are far more likely to continue hanging out with their older single friends without any reservations than are married women. I'm constantly hearing this type of thing from girls but I hardly ever hear it from the guys.

It's also a fact that the community tends to go ape much more quickly over a aging single girl than an aging single boy. From some high schools getting married is nothing short of an obsession with young girls. You just don't see that same dynamic with boys.

 
At 7/31/2006 4:21 PM, Blogger HanginUp said...

There is definitely more pressure on the girls - I mean, did you hear about the Brandeis graduate who committed suicide last week because she was 25 years old, unmarried and had just broken up with her boy friend (it was in all the local papers)? It is time for the frum community to STOP putting so much pressure on the singles and for them to BEGIN helping instead of talking about them behind their backs!!

 
At 8/01/2006 7:02 AM, Blogger Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Orthoprax-

Oh sure, there's definitly more pressure on the girls. But the Michelle's point was that, in the Frum world, you're nothing till you get married. It's true, and it doesn't matter what sex you are.

 
At 8/01/2006 10:58 AM, Anonymous Rachel said...

You don't know me (obviously), but as I read your blog I feel like we are close :) so please take my advice: no matter how frum one is, BAD MARRIAGES HAPPEN. We Jews think we are not at risk of bad homelives, but that is NOT TRUE. SO, please know that you are doing the right thing by living your life and actually waiting to marry the right person for you! Be happy with you and ignore their stares/comments...

 
At 8/01/2006 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the many comments that in the frum world marriage is the ultimate. That a girl at the age of 23 gets 'talked' about.
However, I don't think that single girls are treated like 2nd class. Obviously, you wouldn't invite single girls to a parenting class even if they're 30 but a 19 year old mother you would.
Additionally, to the anonymous who wrote about pple valuing her opinion in regards to shidduchim more bec she's married. I've seen that too but I've come to think that its bec they think single girls might be 'jealous' of their single friends or might be more prone to say bad things or the opposite way around. but married girl she is already married so it makes no difference to her...
just my 2 cents

 
At 8/01/2006 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While this problem is much more acutely felt with girls in the "flatbush" community I can tell you that guys have to deal with the same issues. Almost all of my friends (all 21 or younger) that are married/engaged did it to move up and are the kind of people that always wanted to "be a somebody" in the twisted social system that is our community.

Somehow they think that they'll transform overnight from being an insignificant Junior or Senior at Touro College to being a valued contributor to the kehilla.

The bigger problem is that nothing people do while single is attributed it's own value, everything is viewed in the context of how it will look to the shidduch market. College isn't viewed as the intellectual pursuit it should be or even the life experience it is. Career choices are limited to what a shadchan wants to here (god forbid if a guy doesn't want to be a MD, lawyer, CPA).

It's all part of a larger movement to get people to conform and create a mindless homogeneous society. While one is single they are threatening, because they're individualistic and can pursue whatever they please. It's not until they settle down and get married that they can be accepted into society because now they have the same interests as everybody else; making a living, driving a luxury car, dressing the kids in fancy clothing, taking nice vacations, and eventually becoming a macher in various shuls and yeshivas (or for the girls it's pta and chinese auctions) etc.

Now that their wants and needs in life parallel those of society at large, they become an actual person and their opinion begins to mean something.

 
At 8/01/2006 3:33 PM, Anonymous megapixel said...

michelle, i wasnt single for very long, so i never noticed all this, but from the married side of things, i def. do not look down on unmarrieds. by the way you describe the women in your bung. colony, they seemed not terribly intelligent - living off dad, etc. so maybe that is why they treated you weirdly. nothing to do with your marital status. dont fall into a trap of being overly sensitive about it. sort of like if you give a black person a stare because they are dressed funny, they get insulted and think that you are looking down on them cuz they are black.

 
At 8/02/2006 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Flatbush, this is the way that the majority of the frum community perceives unmarried women. Granted, I know a few married girls who have stayed the same way as they were prior to marraige but I know a great deal of girls who show their true self once the ring is on their finger, that all they care about is the social status of marraige and not much else. Take for example, I'm 20, not married and on my way to law school [not exactly the common path for a girl in brooklyn] I was recently at a vort where, because it was summertime, the only other friends of this girl who were there,were the ones who were married [all the single ones were in camp, bungalow etc.] Being the only single girl there, I had no choice but to talk to these girls or leave, so I stood with them and joined the conversation. All of these girls are in college, mostly Touro, but the topic of conversation revolved primarily on "My husband and I... My husband... The apartment... The baby..." all while tugging their sheitels and flashing their rings and rubbing their pregnent bellies. Finally one girl who hadn't seen me in awhile asked what was going on in my life [really shocking for me that someone had the courtesy to ask], and when I responded everyone's response was "You're going to law school - that's so brave of you, I could never do that!"
I don't resent that I'm single at 20 - the right one hasn't come along yet, however the biggest problem about these girls is that they don't believe that there can be anything important in life that doesn't revolve around being married, and therefore a single woman's social status degrades because to them, anything major that you do in you life as a single girl is not held up to their standard of being married.

 
At 8/02/2006 8:01 AM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

Michelle, where do divorced girls fit in this?
are they part of the "club" or worse off?

 
At 8/02/2006 10:13 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

People whose respect is worth having don't look at the wedding ring or sheitel. Pirkei Avos says "Don't look at the bottle, look at what's in it."

 
At 8/03/2006 12:12 PM, Blogger skepticbentorah said...

I definately feel your pain. As a 22 year old single guy i go through the same crap. In shul if you dont wear a tallis over your head you are looked at as a second class species. But again looking at all those narrow minded unhappily married young couples should give you some hope. Would you wanna be in their shoes? no. so who could give a darn about the looks they give you. they can all go to hell. something else i recently realised ; How come most of the frum bloggers claim to be married? Is it to try to stop their readers from hitting on them? I dont think so. Most of them sound quite sexualy frustrated (if you know what I mean). I think its because married life isn't neccesarily so cool that it gives you a sense of meaning in life that you wouldn't have to blog your heart out to complete strangers. I mean if your so settled and self confident you would realy need a stupid blog like most of these "married" , "settled" people have.
btw i enjoy reading your blog a lot. Keep it up till you're happily married.

 
At 8/03/2006 4:17 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

I know this is true and I feel bad that it is painful. Being married can be a sort of 'club'. I must admit I haven't felt it to the extent that you write about and that I read in the comments section and I got married at almost 22. I suppose I didnt care very much if other people wouldnt take me seriously, it was their loss. And you know it was their loss for not listening to your ideas! Remember, happiness all depends on your point of view. If you let it get to you then it will get to you. It is their issue, not yours. Youre above it!

And like other commenters said... but I say more detailed... I am sure you wont rush into a marriage based on the fact that you want to get some respect in life. Not to look down on women or men unhappily married either... we all have our pekel in life....

 
At 8/03/2006 7:26 PM, Blogger debka_notion said...

You know, it does seem that there's some relevant social perceptions that no matter what age, you refer to "single girls" but mostly to "married women". The language you use is both derived from this perception and reinforces it. Maybe if you try and think of yourself and your peers as single women rather than single girls, there will be some slow social change?

 
At 8/04/2006 9:39 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Debka--interesting that you mention the whole girl vs. woman thing. I was gonnna write a whole separate post about it. Ya think it's worth it?

 
At 8/05/2006 11:33 PM, Blogger debka_notion said...

Sure- why wouldn't it be worth it? It's an interesting thing to think about: and it's something I've noticed in more general society too, albeit for (I think) different reasons.

 
At 8/06/2006 9:58 PM, Blogger Lost said...

Michelle,

I have little respect for the married girls I know. Girls, not women, and stress on "who I know"

Sure, they act like they're smarter, too busy for e/t and anything, and they know everything.

Truth, they're 20, 21 years old, blowing their parents money on 2 dozen hats and incredibly expensive wigs and Brendas, they sit on their laurels and do nothing constructive with their time except for making supper.

I do feel like there is an elitist clique of the married girls. But are they better, smarter? Are they anymore experienced than you or I? Hell no. And I think they deserve to be treated for what they are. Money sapping selfish brats.

Oh, Michelle! (I commented)
;)
-me

 
At 8/07/2006 8:06 PM, Anonymous Yossi Izrael said...

"Negative Anonymous Commentors are Gutless Babies."

Really?
How old are you and what is your real name?

 
At 8/08/2006 12:04 PM, Blogger Lakewood Venter said...

Everyone will listen...except your husband of course. lol

Good post!

 
At 8/08/2006 4:21 PM, Blogger Kiara.O.Ketina said...

Great post,keep it up

 
At 8/09/2006 9:32 AM, Blogger Scraps said...

So cynical...and yet, so true. At least in that segment of frum society. And people wonder why I hate Brooklyn....

 
At 8/09/2006 2:00 PM, Blogger JBL the first said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8/09/2006 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop with the female comments now. Jewish males and females are exactly the same (except for a small difference)

 
At 8/09/2006 7:09 PM, Anonymous Yossi Izrael said...

"jbl the first":

If your comments were directed at me, I realy don't understand you;
first you go on defending anonymity -which is a huge stpidity, IMHO- but then your blogs calls to end these "shtissim"?!?!?!?

I'd say, if you can't sign your name to something, don't say it. I am frum, through and through, black hat & all, kids in school and all that, yet I speak my mind. So far no one tried to schecht me or to kick my kids out of school.

Change will not come from random shouts in a dark theater. Come out of the closet, the majority agrees with you. Those who set the policy of brutality and intimidation are a minority of frail minded failures who hide behind their pseudo-frumkeit and manipulate rabbonim.

You have to have the guts to come out with what bothers you, and put your own name to it. A pen name doesn't mean beans. And if you're unable to say it respectfully, then don't say it, or say it and suffer the consequences. And for those who are so disgrunted with the system that they hate anything and everything, the door is open, and they can leave anytime. It's a big world. There's room in Teaneck as well as in downtown San Francisco. I know perfectly frum people who don't even wear a yarmulka, while a good portion of hassidim are bona-fide goyim, through and through. You can't keep your grudges forever, and the blogoshphere alone won't give you a solution.
Get out of the closet, and don't just bitch about the problems - fix them! If you won't, no one will.

 
At 8/11/2006 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know who Michelle is - I know who her mother is - I know the colony she speaks of and the guy who runs the shul -

Michelle is not one who comes to shul - she wouldnt know about the guy who runs it or his dedication to the place from a hole in the wall. Im sure foro publicities purpose she would claim otherwise.

She is very aware of the fact that there were smachot in Shul this year which cause noise - had she been there from the start of davening she would know you can hear a pin drop. She doesnt tell you the reality that the shul is a 6000sf area which in reality makes for a beautiful tfila when full as it often is.

Or....she might try to wake up a few minutes earlier and come to the 7:30 service that has only 40 ppl - but how can one get up when they're always on the computer?

You guys are fed scraps of info thru her eyes which have limited insight into her surroundings yet on a blank screen she writes on, are fodder for the masses.
It seems she has a chip on her shoulder and issues which she needs to get over.
On the other hand she does have over 28,000 hits - what does that say about this medium?

As I see it her blogs discuss/complain about the standards and norms the community has. But you guys would be amazed that she in fact is not what you read.

 
At 8/12/2006 7:25 PM, Blogger FrumellasGoneWild said...

Oy -that's so depressing. I think that semgirl says it right! You might garner more respect when you're married but you'll still never inspire the amount of respect you would if you were a single young man, forget a married one!

 
At 8/13/2006 8:52 AM, Anonymous Arbiter said...

Anonymous 8/11--

Ad hominem attacks are sickening. Michelle can write whatever she wants.
That is what a blog is for. Why should Michelle express your opinion instead of her own? There are many sides to every story, and I don't think Michelle is alone in her experience. Obviously she doesn't "fit in" with the crowd to which you refer, but in my mind that is a good thing. I hope Michelle will ultimately have the sense to extricate herself.

As for the shul issue. Clearly you are male, because I have also been to the shul in question and it is an absolutely impossible situation for women. You feel as if you are davening in another room. I actually had a shaila while I was there as to whether or not it is permissible to answer kedusha. It doesn't help that the majority of women there have more interest in showcasing their designer clothing than davening. Whether or not somebody works hard to run a shul has zero bearing on this issue.

 
At 8/13/2006 9:20 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Anon who "knows" me.

Yes, I believe that anonymous commentors are gutless babies. Yes. You are no better than I, since you won't even leave initials. As for my 28,000 hits--hows about you try starting a blog about your "community" that I resent. Let's see how far you get. How many people will agree that the #1 goal in life to look good, and answer my blog without IDing your sorry self. If you really thought that badly of my blog, then you wouldn't bother taking the time to answer it, would you now?

People are entitled to believe whatever they'd like. So go ahead. I'd love to see your blog.

I don't go to shul. You're right. Do I daven at home? Yes. Every Shabbos. Besides, when did I mention the noise in the shul?

I also know the man who runs the shul, and I respect him. He is nice, and his wife actually gives me time of day. I have no complaints with him.

 
At 8/13/2006 9:41 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

arbiter: Thank you for coming to my defense

 
At 8/30/2006 9:37 AM, Blogger RBR said...

I have been in a mini blog retiremnet and you have forced me out. I felt so strongly about your post i decided to post a post on it my self

 
At 4/13/2008 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is quite awhile after the time of the original post but since I just recently discovered your blog and am slowly reading my way through old posts, I did want to make a comment on this one.

I've had more than just a few similar encounters to those you've described (I'm single and 30); some have been bad because they are dripping with pity for you while others are catty and spiteful (no other way to describe it). For the first category I try to tell myself that the people are well meaning but have no clue. For the second category I have come to the realization that those girls/women have tough situations going on in their lives (not necessarily a bad marriage) and are feeling very burdened; they see you as single person, free with no responsibilities and tons of disposable income (which is not necessarily the case, but since they got married very young they assume single life is still like the life they led at 18 or 19 prior to getting married) and it makes them resentful and this is their warped way of venting their frustration. So I chalk it up to ignorance, either way.

It doesn't necessarily make the insult easier to swallow but it makes it worse to dwell on it.

 

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