In a new development in the recent rise of extremist steps taken by certain portions of Israel’s Chareidi sector to enforce guidelines of tzniut (modesty), so-called “modesty glasses” have gone on the market to prevent men from potentially viewing immodestly dressed women in public.
Reports have surfaced that the fervently Orthodox community’s “modesty patrols,” groups of men who monitor public activity in Chareidi neighborhoods and impose measures to enforce strict communal separation between the genders, have begun selling glasses that are equipped with special stickers on the lenses designed to blur the wearer’s vision. The glasses offer clear vision for the person’s immediate vicinity so as not to impair their movement, but they obscure the clarity of anything in the distance. The purpose of the “modesty glasses” is to prevent the men who wear them from improperly gazing at women they may encounter. No figures have yet been provided on how many of these new glasses have been sold.
In the ongoing effort to battle a perceived decrease in societal restraints of open sexual imagery, the Chareidim in Jerusalem and other Israeli communities have instituted strict separation of men and women on buses, as well as on certain sidewalks and in other public spaces in their neighborhoods. Many walls in strictly Orthodox enclaves feature signs advising women to wear closed-necked, long-sleeved blouses and long skirts to conform to absolutist religious standards. In some instances, extremist individuals have verbally and even physically harassed women who were supposedly in violation of the modest dress code.
In an apparent attempt to make the specialized eyewear readily available, the new “modesty glasses” are being sold for the low price of only $6.