I am amazed at the breadth of information in this article. This blog not even going to try to resolve halachic issues. Bear in mind, I’m a mere girl, remember. Therefore, this is strictly my emotions and feelings on the matter. I think it’s totally absurd. You need to exercise some common sense. If you repress girls to that degree they either go one way or the other. They either start to like like girls ( I witnessed a fair amount of lesb. behavior in Eretz Yisrael). Predominately by very innocent, naïve girls that weren’t even aware that, that’s what they were doing. On the other hand, like me, they start to like boys, (I mean really like boys!!).
This isn’t an attempt to justify it, but my emotional stability depends on enjoying relationships with boys. Firstly, I have lousy shidduchim, and very hot boyfriends, who unfortunately are clearly not good husband/father material.. Secondly, too many of my married friends have serious Shalom Bayis problems because they never quite learned how to relate to boys and married the first or second one they dated, usually at their parent’s behest.. It can take years to work the kinks out in such a relationship. Very often, this leads to one of several possible scenarios.
They either end up very inhibited in their marriage, causing much grief and frustration to their husband. This causes some of the men to unfortunately, go on to relieve that frustration with other inappropriate partners. On the other hand, many overly repressed girls end up committing very severe aveiros after marriage, R”L. We won’t discuss that here, though because B”H I have very little exposure to it. However, check MargaritaGirl , Streiml, and various Yahoo groups (which I am not necessarily endorsing).
Obviously, this is a rationalization, but I have tremendous emotional cravings for comforting conversations, hugs, caresses, etc. , and I have no desire to take all the antidepressant medications for the emotional and psychological issues described by ShomerNegia on her blog.
Nothing makes me happier or cheers me up more, especially after a traumatic experience in school or a very depressing shidduch breakup than going for a drive with a casual boyfriend to Seaside or the Point. We drink ice-cream sodas, talk, vent , and just hang out. After that, the world is an infinitely, nicer better place.
In fact, this past Shabbos, I was in Monsey. My friend, lets call her Chana Esther (obviously not her real name), told me about another secluded place she goes to off Carlton Rd, to French-kiss with her boyfriend. She is a very sweet, happy girl, who is nice to everyone. She is always ready to do a chesed and never speaks Loshon Hora. Contrast this, to many girls in my Seminary that are very tense and uptight. You know for sure they never, ever have anything to do with boys at all, because they all have that pinched look on their face. Some are downright mean; others have very vicious mouths.
Therefore, in synopsis, to answer Ben’s questions, here goes. 1) & 2) I would say that I think it definitely is a teenager parroting what she was taught at an indoctrination center (excuse me, Seminary). She may of crossed the line and decided to do tshuva and write this, but I’m not sure. 3) Obviously, who am I to comment on whether this is halachically correct. Ask your LOR. 5) It doesn’t seem like she has the capability to believe what she is writing. My impression is that she is just ‘programmed to respond in this matter’. If it is sincere. all the more blessing to her.
As for 6) , I would say that my schools were all very intense and overly focused on this matter at the expense of ‘bain odom l’chaveiro’ and ‘darchecha darchei noam’. And, in my home, lets just say that if my father could, he would make me wear a sweatshirt, on the street, stores, and anywhere that men are present, that says “Warning, I am a living breathing Porkchop, maintain a safe distance”. But, I still love him dearly despite that.
Finally, I don’t feel it is healthy or natural for men to live or work in estrogen-challenged environments. Let me give two examples. I was at a dinner for my brother’s yeshiva a few weeks ago. On the men’s side of the mechitza, there were plates of food debris piled up almost high enough so that you cant see across the table, soda bottles and cigarette butts strewn all over. Many of the men were wearing very expensive suits and ties, with their 200$ Borsalino hats, and eating with their hands. On the women’s side, everyone was eating the Waldorf salad and extravagant fruit platters so gracefully, Emily Post would be proud. Talk about a ‘Tale of Two Cities’
Over Yomtov, I ate one or two meals by my aunt. On one side of the table Shimmy was spitting into a soup bowl, and Fido (I mean Avrommy) practically had his face in the plate. Meanwhile, Leah and Brocha sit and eat with such poise and soie de vivre, you can hear the violins playing in the background. Clearly, the boys need the civilizing influence of girls in their life.
That’s my take. Looking forward to feedback, positive or negative.