On Shidduch Pictures and Inequality
I find it deeply ironic that 55 pages after Rabbi Weissman’s cogent op-ed urging us to stop sharing shidduch resumes with photos, a Jewish Press dating coach reminds us why that won’t ever happen.
Rabbi Weissman’s analysis is spot on: Sharing photos is degrading, and yet another hoop singles have to jump through in order to be part of the “system.” Aside from it being degrading, inequities in photo requirements abound:
The girls are required to have what’s known as a “glamour shot” – a photo taken by a professional after the girl’s face is airbrushed and artfully painted, her hair beaten into submission, and her body showcased in a way that reveals that she’s under the requisite size 4.
Meanwhile, the young men just have to show up for their photo. Their shirt can be half tucked, their photo can be blurry and pixelated, it could have been taken in camp five years ago – somehow it’s all acceptable. Try supplying a cute picture of your daughter from Color War and see how quickly that gets shot down.
When a young lady on The Jewish Press’s Singles page echoed some of Rabbi Weissman’s objections and asked why she should have to supply a photo, she was advised to stop being an outlier and to just put on a pretty dress and smile nicely for the camera.
That’s why the resumes and the photos and the whole rigmarole of dating in the frum world with the “system” will never go away.
Dr. Chani Miller
Highland Park, NJ
Older Single Men Don’t Have Great Choices
In his op-ed two weeks ago, Avi Ciment was hyper-critical of single older men, blaming them for their unmarried status. But he – and many other men who were fortunate to marry happily in their early to mid 20s – overlook a critical detail: namely, that the singles scene men encounter in their 30s is far different than the one they encounter in their 20s.
Many older single men had legitimate reasons to delay getting married earlier, such as wanting to be more established first in their careers. Little did they know that their reward for doing so would be encountering a pool of jaded single women – women who come with baggage such as broken engagements, divorce, mental or emotional problems, etc.
I therefore respectfully suggest that before people criticize older single men, they take into account the “choices” these men are left with.
What Does the Left Really Believe?
In a letter to the editor two weeks ago, Brian Goldenfeld asks what kind of Palestinian state the Biden administration envisions. An equally important question is what kind of America the Biden administration envisions.
I wonder: Do Democrats really believe
* that defunding the police will reduce crime in America?
* that taking arms away from law-abiding citizens will end gun violence?
* that taxing the wealthy class out of existence will eliminate poverty?
* that rioting and burning down inner cities will improve the lives of their residents?
* that politicizing arts, science, the media, sports, and school systems will improve our quality of life?
* that resurrecting the McCarthy witch hunts will reduce tensions in American?
* that politicizing the Supreme Court will produce a better judicial system?
* that intimidation, bullying, and cancel culture will benefit freedom of speech?
* that putting the government in charge of all industry and commerce will improve the economy?
* that one half of the electorate dominating the other half will end divisiveness?
* that labeling America a systemic racist country and fracturing its population by identity politics will produce a stronger, cohesive nation?
* that destroying pharmaceutical companies and putting government in charge of all health programs will improve Americans’ health?
* that all men are created equal in talent and that anyone can be a scientist, inventor, doctor, lawyer, or manager of a major corporation?
Do they really believe fundamentally transforming a free democracy and strong Israel ally into an anti-Israel, socialist/communist authoritarian state will have no adverse consequences?
Highland Park, NJ
Big Tech Is Pernicious
Stephen Moore’s article last week – “Don’t Break Up Big Tech” – makes one wonder if he has a vested interest in the giant tech companies since the arguments he advances are supported neither by facts nor by logic.
He writes: “the gig economy [of Facebook, Google, Twitter, and the like] saved our nation from plunging into a Great Depression over the past three months.” But where’s the evidence for that? Where’s the evidence that the combined commerce of smaller companies would not have matched the economic benefits of the fewer big ones? There’s actually evidence that it might have exceeded them.
In 1984, an antitrust lawsuit caused the breakup of AT&T into smaller companies, giving consumers more choices. It allowed consumers to buy phones from other firms instead of renting from AT&T. It generated a thriving market for selling phones. Prices dropped and quality increased.
The competition resulted in a drop of long-distance charges, and per-minute fees disappeared altogether by 2019. Some of these smaller companies later reunited, yet most of the benefits remained.
That’s just one example of how the breakup of a major conglomerate rebounds to the benefit of consumers and entrepreneurs.
Moore also writes that research “revealed that a majority of conservative activists believe tech companies engage in censorship or display bias against conservatives” – as if these are just the subjective views of “activists.” No, when tech companies remove conservative posts or shut down a president’s account because they dislike their views, the bias is blatantly obvious.
The fact is that big tech companies harm our democracy more than Russia ever could by flooding the Internet with ads. Russian officials can’t stifle views in America that differ from their own. Big tech companies can and do. They must be broken up.