This is a request to reconsider printing advertisements that intentionally exclude women in their photographs. In the May 25 edition of The Jewish Link, an advertisement (Elizabeth’s Yeshiva Be’er Yitzchak’s 24th annual dinner, page 42) announced the dinner honorees for a New Jersey yeshiva. This advertisement featured the honorees, comprising three couples. However, to my dismay, only the men’s pictures were included, while their wives’ images were notably absent.
The organization Chochmat Nashim has extensively addressed this issue, elucidating the negative effects that the exclusion of women’s images from public platforms can have. Among these are potential losses in business revenue in the case of advertisements, as well as the inadvertent reinforcement of unhealthy societal messages.
These messages can contribute to the objectification of women, implying to young boys—and indeed girls—that women are mere objects of sexual attraction.
Additionally, it sends a disturbing message to women, suggesting that despite adhering to halachot for tzniut guidelines, their mere presence is problematic.
This trend, rather a recent “fad” in some right-wing communities, distorts halacha and feeds into a form of extremism. Regrettably, this extremism has pushed some women to leave the Orthodox community. As Chochmat Nashim so aptly puts it, “When women are not seen and their voices are not heard, their needs are not met, damaging women in our community.”
In light of these potential implications, I kindly urge The Jewish Link to reconsider its policy on this matter. Specifically, I am asking you to reflect on whether it is acceptable to publish advertisements that purposefully exclude women’s images.Mindy Warshawsky