Photographic Indecency?

Siegelmania

By Stanley Siegelman

Published May 09, 2008, issue of May 16, 2008.
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NEWS ITEM: Hamodia, an English-language newspaper geared toward an ultra-Orthodox readership, refuses to print photos of women. The editors contend that doing so would violate Jewish laws governing modesty.


“Thou shalt not show the female form!”
For uptight Jews, this is the norm.
“No pics of women are allowed,”
Asserts this anti-Playboy crowd.
To reproduce a pretty face
Is tantamount to sheer disgrace.
A smile, a frown, a scowl, a squint?
The female face ain’t fit to print!

Please tell us why it’s such a shame
To print the photo of a dame.
Would macho readers be inflamed
And thereby rendered guilty, shamed?
Would it be wrong — or maybe right —
The photo of a trans-ves-tite?
(Is “she” a “he,” is “he” a “she”?
A vexing ambiguity!)
Hillary, Golda, Bhutto, too —
Their faces should be kept from view?
(It’s vital, too, reporting news,
To Shia with Sunni not confuse!)

Let’s clarify those arcane rules:
Do they pertain to “animules”?
A pic of Lassie is a sin,
But not a shot of Rin Tin Tin?
Don’t dare their photographs to switch,
‘Cause one depicts a brazen bitch!

A ship’s referred to as a “she”:
Would showing ships breach modesty?
Just who devised this fearsome stricture,
Keeping femmes out of the picture?
Those zealous censors are inclined
To banish half of humankind!
Effacement is a brutal act,
It’s anti-human, that’s a fact!


“Tsayg nisht dem kerper fun a froy,
“Dos iz a groyse kharpe, oy!
“Farbotn iz a bild fun min!”
(Dos meynt, a photo feminin.)
Azoy derklern konservatorn
Mit oyfrikhtikeyt durkh ale yorn.
Fotografye fun di froyen
Iz bay zey a hoypt bizoyen.
Fun vanet kumt aza diktat?
Der klal iz efsher misbegot?
Zey hobn moyre aza bild
Vet makhn mener kimat vild!
Trans-ves-tayt photo? vayz es nisht!
Di leyeners veln zayn tsemisht!
A bild fun Hillary? s’iz treyf!
A bild fun Golda? neyn (play safe!)
Azoy shrayen di kanoim:
“S’iz a shande far di goyim!”
A vaybl’s ponim muz zayn hidden!
Oygn? Shtern? Bakn? alts forbidden!
Es iz gantz klor: folg nor dem klal!
Farmayd di pastke seksuel!

Freg yetst a frage fun Bezdin:
A khaye vos iz feminin
Meg in a bild opdrukn zayn?
(Dos iz a frage asinine!)
Der kelev, Lassie, oy oys-shlis,
Zi iz a klafte mit fir fis!
Der ander kelev, Rin Tin Tin?
Arayntsulozn! (vayl maskulin!).
A shif vos iz derkent az “zi”
Iz problematish — zi’z a she!
Hamodia, du host groys zeal,
Nor efsher just a bit tsufil?


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