The other day I wrote about the Orthodox Hasidic Jewish newspaper Der Tzitung Photoshopping Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason out of the famous ‘Situation Room’ photo. The concern was that the alteration of the photo to meet their “laws of modesty” stepped all over the White House rules of usage and the fundamental rights of the individuals in the photo to … well, exist.
Today there is a large apology and clarification from Der Tzitung at the Gothamist, but you can read a relevant chunk here:
Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board. Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.
But just as that happened we get news of,this time from the weekly ‘De Voch’:
De Voch means “The Week.” It is a glossy magazine made up primarily of pictures, and it is published by and largely for ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, New York:
While my level of disgust remains high, should we perhaps be happier that at least De Voch did such a hack job that it is clear that stuff was altered? Or can we continue to feel that if a paper has a policy of no photos of women for their own religious reasons, they use images with no women? The White House made plenty of male-only images available, yet in what seems a blatant attempt to simultaneously capitalize on the famous photo (out of greed) while also keeping women ‘out of the picture’ (for whatever reason) … the result is the appearance that they DO in fact “denigrate women”.