Monday, June 02, 2008

Orthodox Jews and Sexuality

This is just crazy:
So, now we've come to the point where if you dare to compliment your date on how nice she looks, if you even think to acknowledge and appreciate the effort that she puts into looking nice, if you have even a single thought as to her physical appearence, you must be a "sick, one-track-minded pervert."

That paragraph brought back memories! Since I left Orthodoxy, I've hardly heard the word "pervert," but back in high school, it was thrown around all the time. To me, it describes a pedophile, or perhaps one of those people that gets turned on by wearing diapers. To some of my peers, it meant being attracted to girls. (Not that, God-forbid, being attracted to boys was okay!) Say that a girl is hot, and you're a pervert.

I wrote in the comments:
So much religious "morality" can be summed up in the idea that a man who notices a woman's appearance is a "pervert."

And a woman replied:
I don't think a guy is a pervert for commenting on a girl's looks, but it is not always appropriate. One guy I dated told me on our second or third date that he thought I was pretty and it distracted him. I thought it was totally inappropriate and that was one factor in our break-up. His comment made me VERY uncomfortable. I didn't like him enough or felt close to him to accept that comment.

A guy can say "cool outfit" etc. but should hesitate before he says something more personal.

What's there to even say about that?

15 comments:

CyberKitten said...

JA quoted: One guy I dated told me on our second or third date that he thought I was pretty and it distracted him. I thought it was totally inappropriate and that was one factor in our break-up.

Now *that's* weird!

The Chief said...

By us the guy hardly looks at the girl. Our boys marry blindfolded!

abandoning eden said...

I've definitely not gone on a second date with someone who made me feel uncomfortable with personal remarks. But it's not because I'm crazy or religious...it's because I wasn't into them in the first place, and them saying that stuff (that would be cool if I liked them) just creeped me out. And by being creeped out, I knew I wasn't into the guy, because when I am into a guy, personal compliments won't creep me out.

tikunolam said...

Wow, so backwards. Now religion is perscribing to pretend that you are not a human being with a sexuality? Geez, things get weirder and weirder now don't they. I understand modesty and waiting to make a personal comment, but to let someone know they find the other attractive, I would think that if it is said appropriately - it should move things further a long. Aren't we hoping that an attraction grows between two people who are dating? Isn't this best communicated while dating so there is an honest dialogue while the relationship is building?

G said...

After reading manny of the comments on ser&ez and the original post by wolfishmusings I can't help but wonder what the real issue is.

Is the problem so much about the boy recognizing the beauty/femininity in the young lady or the young lady recognizing it in herself?

CyberKitten said...

I find the implication quite bizarre - that young men are not expected to find young women sexually attracive - and vice versa. Such things are as natural as breathing....

Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Will all of you knock it off? People like being complimented by people they like. People don't like being complimented by people they don't like, or are uncomfortable with. If a girl is on a "shidduch date" with a guy, and the girl doesn't particularly care for him, she's going to be turned off by him commenting on her looks.

Jewish Atheist said...

LWY:

Being turned off is different from thinking something is "totally inappropriate" and feeling "VERY uncomfortable."

I do agree that if she liked him, it probably wouldn't have been a problem.

Ezzie said...

Being turned off is different from thinking something is "totally inappropriate" and feeling "VERY uncomfortable."

!? Think about that. If a creep walks over to a girl in a bar and makes a comment, and she's not interested, you don't think she'd find the comments "inappropriate" and that it "made her uncomfortable"?! Isn't every sexual harassment suit about a situation where someone said/did something "inappropriate" that made the person "uncomfortable"? And that could be something as simple as a boss walking over to an employee and feeling their temperature when they weren't so comfortable with being touched. (Just using a case I heard this week.)

Jewish Atheist said...

Ezzie:

We're talking about a second or third date, not a random creep or a boss. The compliment was, "You are pretty and that distracts me." Obviously out of line in most office settings, but on a second or third date?!

jewish philosopher said...

I wait for girls to compliment me.

hesh said...

And hence they have a so called "shidduch crisis"

Anonymous said...

Did you wear makeup on the date? Did you wear high heel shoes? Both are worn to look attractive. It seems you'll be a typical wife. You'll want your husband to do something and then when he does it you'll find a reason to criticize him for it.

Someone complimented you. You poor baby. Grow up.

Half Sigma said...

From now on, I'm only going to date Christian girls.

Anonymous said...

No one seems to have commented on what to me is the oddest thing here - why would he say that her being pretty 'distracts' him on a date? I'd understand if they were working together on a project, but what does he think he's supposed to be accomplishing that she's distracting him from?