Shalom Life | May 26, 2015

Ultra-Orthodox Paper Blurs Faces of Female Israeli Ministers

An editorial practice which has become habit for Orthodox news sites, many people are upset over the blurring of female faces in the new official government photo

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: May 20th, 2015 in News » World

Photo: B'Haderei Haredim cover story

Credit: Screenshot


An attempt at preserving modest, ultra-Orthodox website B'Haderei Haredim has blurred out the faces of female Israeli ministers in an Israeli government photo, which is making headlines in the Israeli press. The site also omitted their first names.

Though, it should be noted that this is a commonplace practice with Orthodox Jewish publications in an attempt to preserve a woman’s modesty and discourage impure thoughts from male readers. In Paris earlier this year, international female leaders were removed from a walk supporting peace and denouncing terrorism in Paris, and Kim Kardashian was even hidden from view in photos taken of her in Jerusalem.

This photo, however, has some people feeling chafed as they blurred out the faces of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, and the Minister for Senior Citizens, Equality, and Gender Equality, Gila Gamliel, but left Minister Regev’s bare legs in full view.

While it was likely an oversight in the newsroom, the photoshop mishap unintentionally suggests that the removal of their faces from the photo has nothing to do with modesty and everything to do with gender equality. Their photo ironically captures everything that modern day feminists fight against: to be seen as people, not as sexual objects or just a pair of pretty legs.

It should also be noted that blurring Gamliel's face comes with some irony. Much like leaving Minister Regev’s legs bare, the blurring of a gender equality minister’s face can’t go unnoticed. Although it’s clear the intentions of B'Haderei Haredim weren’t to offend readers, but rather to preserve their beliefs, this photoshopping mishap only helps to illustrate gender inequality.

Hopefully B'Haderei Haredim will edit the photo online to cover Regev’s legs and show that they covered the women up for the sake of modesty and religious conviction.

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