It’s only Tu Beshevat, but the marketing for Purim is ratcheting up with advertisements for Purim costumes everywhere.
A week or two ago, Hadassah Margolese, mother of 8-year-old Naama of Beit Shemesh fame, opened a haredi weekly distributed for free in her building’s mailboxes. She was shocked to find an ad for Purim costumes, with the faces of the girls blurred out:
Margolese posted the scanned ad to the Red Pirate chain’s Facebook page. A message posted by Red Pirate claimed that they had no knowledge of the altered ad, which was commissioned by an agency. The original ad with the girls’ faces appeared in several local publications. The chain apologized, saying that they would not agree to their ads appearing in newspapers that do not publish pictures of women.
The uproar over this incident had barely died down when the women’s organization WIZO protested a “pornographic” advertising supplement. According to the Jerusalem Post:
The catalogue was distributed for free last weekend in national newspapers and is readily available in toy stores and shopping malls throughout the country.
It features 23 colorful pages of costumes for babies, young children and teenagers and seven pages of adult costumes. Of the adult costumes, the majority display various professions, animals or television characters and almost all include fishnet stockings, microscopic skirts and revealing tops.
One of the costumes, described in the catalogue as a “sexy cat,” includes a bondage mask and whip, while the “sexy policewoman” includes a latex bodice and handcuffs.
Some people say that one leads to the other and that haredi extremism is a backlash against the sexy way that women dress. Others believe that both extreme approaches demean women and turn them into sex objects.
Readers, what do you think?