Ms. Fleksher’s disagreements were spelled out in gentle tones. My response to her is that I basically stand by what I said.
Ms. Keats Jaskoll seemed to be almost insulted by what I said about her and responded with a much harsher tone. Here is what she said:
Harry, I am certainly a feminist in that I believe women should achieve what they can without being told 'no' and should be treated as people. Tzniut is not (only) about dress. Dress is what men have made it into and yes, I'm sick of the unholy practice of men inspecting and judging women's clothing and making them feel like their bodies are vehicles of sin. The movie was incredible and anyone who has seen has the right to judge it. I stand by what I wrote. Shame you choose to focus on one thing and interpret in such a negative way
Here is my response:
Negative? What about my description of your review of the movie Wonder Woman makes you see it as negative? You are a feminist. There is no doubt about that. But I did not say it in a pejorative way. I did not say whether that is negative or positive. Just stated the obvious. However, by the way you put it, you imply that you are not a feminist in other ways? Which ways would that be?
The fact is that the way you describe yourself as a feminist is the way I describe my own identity as a feminist:
I believe women should achieve what they can without being told 'no' and should be treated as people.
That is exactly the way I feel. Where I part company with you is only when it applies to Judaism as understood by the vast majority of the rabbinic leaders of our time. Leaders from across the entire spectrum of Orthodoxy. Including rabbis on the Moetzes of the Agudah, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, the European Rabbinate, the RCA, and OU.
It is only the rabbis of the extreme left – none of whom have anywhere near the credentials of the above-mentioned rabbinic leaders to make such decisions that support applying it to Judaism. You are free to agree with them. And I respect your opinion, even though I profoundly disagree agree with it.
In you review of the movie, you completely ignore the issues raised by Ms. Fleksher as though they do not exist. The only reference you make to it is in a very negative tone:
I'm sick of the unholy practice of men inspecting and judging women's clothing and making them feel like their bodies are vehicles of sin.
What conclusion do you expect readers to take from that? I actually agree with you that women should not be made to feel like their bodies are vehicles of sin. But that doesn’t mean the concerns about modesty issues in matters of clothing aren’t legitimate.
For the record I would personally have no issue with seeing this movie even though the protagonist is clearly violating even the most liberal interpretation of our modesty laws as they apply to clothing. That's because the focus of this movie is on action, special effects and the subliminal message of empowering women. In other words, normal men will not be looking at her in sexual ways. They will be looking at her in much the same way they view a male superhero... as a superhero. Not a sex symbol as Ms. Fleksher suggests it might. The only reason I will not be seeing it is because Wonder Woman is not a character I can identify with - and in any case I have lost interest in superhero movies.
To say I am disappointed with your take on my post would be an understatement. I generally agree with what you write most of the time. But because I point out the inconsistency of telling me you are not a feminist on the one hand and what you said in your article on the other... and the fact that you ignored and even disparaged the Tznius issue - you feel unjustifiably attacked by me.
That said, I still respect you and will continue to read your opinion on these matters when you write about them. You are an intelligent person that writes with conviction about things that have great meaning to to Klal Yisroel. You have added much to the conversation and I'm sure you will continue to do so.