Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Haredi sect has become a center of controversy for its harassment of women and girls and attempts to force women to ride at the backs of buses, segregated from the male passengers.
Now the Israeli fashion magazine BelleMode is striking back with a photo spread in which scantily-clad men and women assume a variety of provocative poses on a bus, mocking both the puritanism of the ultra-Orthodox and their covert sexual fantasies.
As translated by Gawker from the Israeli video of the photo shoot, the female editor explains, “My feeling is, that in the fashion industry, women have a lot of power, they are at the center. We took that power and decided to centralize/funnel it into a fashion production – that’s both inspired and against a woman’s appearance, to bring all the stuff that’s most irritating to us — the bus banishments, silencing of singing – to bring it and make a production that walks a fine line between being very closed and modest to ripped wide open and sexy. As long as it’s being done in good taste and doesn’t harm the woman, I don’t see any problem, that there will be fashion productions. Even if it’s a little sexy – it only attracts and is interesting. When there is a subject like this – it’s worth it to be even more cheeky and provocative.”
Or, as the Gawker writer more pithily paraphrases her remarks, “Pretty sure what she meant to say is, ‘Religious fundamentalists of all types are dickheads, and if they try to dictate to us how to live our lives we are going to mock them as much as possible and do whatever we can to throw it back in their faces.’”
A gallery of photos from the shoot is available here.
This video was uploaded to YouTube by BelleMode Films, January 9, 2012.