Things My Teacher Told Me: Crossed Legs are Untznius

This post is by Esther. 
In seminary, we didn’t wear a uniform. Our skirts, however, were still duty length or longer, and not too tight. Besides for the dress code, we were sitting all day, for goodness’ sake, and we needed to be comfortable.
But one day we got a tznius talk from a teacher. She stood at the front of the classroom, in front of the rows of girls sitting at attention in their desks, and spoke to us about how to comport ourselves when the person at the front of the room is a man.
“Rabbi teaches you and sacrifices a little bit of his shemiras eynayim, puts himself in the position of potentially looking at girls every day.”
He had perfected the method of charedi males of looking half off to the side when addressing women or girls directly. But she had a point. He was sitting in front of rows of young women for an hour or two every day.
She went on. “You all realize that, surely. And I understand that you want to be comfortable and you cross your legs. That’s bad enough, that you’re crossing your legs in front of a man. But then some of you bounce your foot, and do you know what that does to a man?”
No, we didn’t. And she didn’t tell us. But we got the point. We were drawing attention to the fact that we had limbs, and that those limbs moved. We weren’t behaving as proper Bais Yaakov girls do. Leg crossing, and definitely foot bouncing, had to stop.
This post is by Esther, who would like you to know that she, for one, has no limbs or anything else untoward, so don’t let your mind go there. 
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Things My Teacher Told Me: Crossed Legs are Untznius

6 thoughts on “Things My Teacher Told Me: Crossed Legs are Untznius

  1. DF3 says:

    Those men need BASIC acculturation so that they’re not shocked by typical social interaction. They don’t need to start partying, taking meth, and watching porn, but they should be able to handle a typical social interaction without freaking out.

    In the real world in which men come in contact with women, men get used to women’s legs being crossed. Looking away from a woman while talking to her is not how people behave in the real world, so why do it in high school?

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    1. Esther Bernstein says:

      Men who don’t look at women or girls in situations like this also tend to not look directly at women in “the real world” either, unless they can tell that the woman they’re talking to will be extremely offended. Besides, many men who do this don’t get to “the real world” as often as you would think is unavoidable. They work, live, shop, etc. entirely in a yeshivish community, and they interact with others outside of the yeshivish community only rarely. (That sounds worse than it did in my head. But really, unless there’s official or government business or something, that requires them to go to an office where they’d come in contact with women, they have everything they need within the yeshivish Jewish community.)

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  2. > That’s bad enough, that you’re crossing your legs in front of a man. But then some of you bounce your foot, and do you know what that does to a man?”

    That is an oddly specific fetish.Or maybe he had a thing for women’s shoes. That’s fairly common.

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    1. Esther Bernstein says:

      I don’t think he actually said anything. I think this female teacher took it upon herself to protect him.

      Like

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