Last post I talked about some of my experiences on my trip to Israel. This post I'd like to address an ethical issue that came up during my trip.
Last Saturday night a friend of mine and her friend came across a group of charedi (ultra-orthodox) Jews dancing and singing about the coming of the messiah. This was occurring on Ben Yehuda street, an area where there is a lot of nighttime activity (there are open cafes and bars and all sorts of out-door events. Very nice atmosphere). Around the charedim were many people watching or chatting. Apparently a fair number of people joined the charedim. Now, here's where things get interesting: the group of people dancing were exclusively male. (Most orthodox Jews don't think men and women should dance together and the charedim really don't like it at all). The two people in question are female and decided to attempt to join in as a "feminist protest". This caused a fair bit of disruption.
Now the ethical question: was their intervention? I initially argued that this was unethical and was close to sexual harassment. The two arguments have heard in the other direction are: 1. The charedim were dancing in a public location. 2. This isn't substantially different behavior from Rosa Parks protesting segregated busing by sitting in the white section of the bus.
So what do people think about this? Ethical or unethical?
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