Saturday, October 21, 2017

Weather It Is (Where The Rain?)

Folks are asking me "when it's going to rain", and that's if they haven't already asked me "where is the rain?"

Well, if your a fish this coming week will develop just the way you want it -- a few jumps above the surface and you'll be able to get a clean fresh water bath.  For us people, though, we'll stay seasonably mild, as a trough of low pressure develops over the eastern Mediterranean. This storm should produce a lot of rain over the sea, as it progresses only slowly eastward, possibly reaching our area very late in the week or early next week.  In fact, it might come soon after we add an additional prayer for rain in our long "Shomei Esre" (18 parts)  daily prayers.  This would be great, as we need to get started early this season to reduce the severe water deficit from last year.

In the meantime, an upper level trough will scoot across our area on Monday which will possibly touch off some tropical showers.  Otherwise, we should stay dry at least until the end of the week.

As a weatherman I have to be careful what I say, as I don't want to rain on someones parade, and then have it turn out to be a beautiful day (or vice versa).  

Nevertheless, I was taken aback by the criticism heaped on Mayim Bialik for daring to write: "I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise...I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy."  She then wrote that in an ideal world, women would be able to dress the way they want with out fear of predatory men, but one shouldn't be naive about the world we live in.

After intense criticism, she then issued an apology stating that: "what you wear and how you behave does not provide any protection against assault... [etc] you are never responsible for being assaulted."

She is technically correct: a gazelle that gets eaten by a lion is never responsible for being eaten. But really, the ones that do not get eaten often exercise greater care or do not put themselves in a position that they are more likely to become a lion's dinner.  Moreover, if a lion has to choose between an obviously tasty, well fed, gazelle and one that is not, it will choose whichever will bring the greater reward.

In all this discussion, what I believe women don't want to hear and really objected to is any suggestion that how they dress might affect how others, including predatory men who see them as someone to be taken advantage of.  After all, Ms. Bialik specifically wrote that nothing excuses predatory behavior, so why the intense criticism?

The facts are this: men and women use their beauty/good looks, attractiveness, and brains to get ahead in this world.  Orthodox Jewish law suggests that both sexes should exercise modesty in public areas for various reasons (e.g., to protect marriages, to emphasize the importance of inner personal characteristics over the physical world, etc).  This message -- that modesty in appearance/public life is a positive, even worthy attribute -- is what the criticism was really about.  It goes against the dogma of feminism that women should know no constraints. 

Lost in the shouting is that it is quite possible that modest behavior may indeed offer some protection from predators.  I don't know, but it is worth discussing.

Barry Lynn

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