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Is anyone else watching the new TV show "Unorthodox" on Netflix?

[indiewire.com]

Haven't finished it yet so no spoilers in your replies please, but wow, if that is really what the Ultra-orthodox society is like (I have a feeling it is) then boy, it seems way backward in how they treat women as (as is said in the show at one point) "baby machines". Not quite Handmaid's Tale eff-ed up but it wouldn't be hard to imagine it being that bad.

I guess they also deserve a prize for really sticking to many of the anachronistic Old Testament rules, and ancient Jewish traditions.

And while I realize the Ultra-orthodox communities are small in number, it is still another reason to be glad I was born with the freedom to choose not to have religion - which clearly people in these "cult" like sects are not, regardless of what the First Amendment says. And yes I now there are many other Christian and other religious communities in the US where it is that extreme. They are all effed up IMO.

PS. The TV series is based on the autobiographical story of the same name by Deborah Feldman [en.wikipedia.org] so one assumes is mostly an accurate representation.

Does anyone think that in that type of circumstance - highly restrictive society where the women either know no better or have no choice but to accept it - that an arranged marriage is really just trafficking without a financial payment?

prometheus 7 Apr 5
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17 comments

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0

I finally got around to watching the whole thing yesterday. I enjoyed it immensely.

gearl Level 7 Apr 30, 2020
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I have seen the trailer for it, but nothing more.
I do see some parallels between what I observed in students from a polygamist Mormon group, and comments left here.

The book - A Year of Living Biblically, by AJ Jacobs is a humorous, enlightening look at Jewish/biblical traditions in modern America.

1

I was raised Reform Jewish, the least restrictive form of Judaism. Even so, many ultra-Orthodox and Hasidim wouldn't even consider me Jewish because I've never adhered to any strict rules. And though I've always known about the Hasidim, they would always perplex me. Even in a huge city like New York they remain largely separate and secluded; as a result, much of their life remains hidden. As far as I'm concerned, they're almost like a cult in the way they order and control pretty much any aspect of members' lives. There have been both fiction and non-fiction books, stories, and movies about the people inside, but "Unorthodox" is unique in that it's probably one of very few dramatizations from a Hasidic woman's point of view.

0

In religious groups women are always second class citizens. In a subtle way you know that they are a fraud by the way they unequally treat women as inferiors.

1

I read the book and I've seen the show. It's bloody amazing. Also as someone who has a Jewish background, I must say that I haven't seen a lot of popular media covering this topic. They tend to portray them as very pious and wonderful.

0

I finished watching it this weekend. While it was captivating, if a tad long and perhaps over dramatized for TV (I'd have to read the book to determine how much) I found myself wanting to know more about life in the community, and what happens afterwards in Deborah's life story. I've talked with folks from the ex-Morman and ex-Mulism communities and their stories are quite fascinating - and often profoundly sad. I guess Deborah also wrote a book "Exodus" about that phase of her life so I'll probably check that out: [deborahfeldman.com] (or just wait for Netflix to dramatize that too?)

0

Just watched the first episode.

0

I started it, got bored, moved along to other things. I'll eventually try again. 🙂

You:
Does anyone think that in that type of circumstance - highly restrictive society where the women either know no better or have no choice but to accept it - that an arranged marriage is really just trafficking without a financial payment?

Women in orthodox communities are not deaf, dumb, blind or ignorant. Nor is the orthodox community the only people in modern times, in modern America, to arrange marriages. No, it isn't trafficking. If you want a glimpse of arranged marriages in America, watch the two seasons of "Arranged."

(My ex husband was in an arranged marriage, here in America. Portuguese families. Had nothing to do with religion. And NO, it wasn't trafficking.)

Women in orthodox communities are not deaf, dumb, blind or ignorant.

True, but they are apparently unaware that there are options to not participate, and perhaps even what being "a baby machine" entails. Is consent really consent if you don't realize you don't have to submit to mechanical "marital relations"? What if the woman is gay or asexual? The whole process does smack of being deceitful and the underlying theme of arranged marriages and trafficking (for sex or indentured labor) is that people are basically treated as property with little if any say in the matter.

It's the age old tradition of what to do with those female children that would otherwise just stay at home and be a drag on the family finances - completely ignoring of course that the real problem is women in those societies are engineered to typecast women as not good for anything other than popping out babies and the full-time job of raising a family and running a household. And that's a crying shame IMO.

It seems like it is no coincidence that people in these communities are starved of outside contact, Internet access, even smartphones (if the TV show is faithful of that aspect). At least the Amish have their "rumspringa" where kids are free to go figure out the big bad world and if they want to stay with the insular "good" world they came from - although apparently it usually isn't as lax as depictions in the movies depict.

Nor is the orthodox community the only people in modern times, in modern America, to arrange marriages.

I'm definitely aware of that - I have some friends who had arranged marriages although they are all from families that originated outside of the US, usually raised by first generation parents who just kept up the practice for their children.

Having finished watching the show I'm wondering how much the "replacing the six million lost" line is used to guilt trip women into having lots of children? I know in the Evangelical communities there is the "quiverfull" movement to turn women into baby machines and spawn massive families to be coerced into like minded evangelicals, but I guess they just use the bible as their source of justification. Ignoring the fact that the world population has probably increased a thousand fold since the bible was written and that large families are no longer necessary, sustainable, or morally justifiable - just like prohibitions on mixing cotton and linen or eating pork.

0

I watched it. Lots of correlation with things I've seen in religion although I've never seen anything that extreme. It was totally believable to me.

3

I watched it . A part of it is about the period . This wasn't all that different , than how all women were treated in the 1960 time frame . While the rest of us didn't have to have all our hair shaved off when we married , and we had a say in whom we married , much of the rest of it was the same . In this time period , we had no real sex education . The hyman , came as a nasty surprise . While part A goes into part B , was explained , there was no mention of fore play . If there was any complaint , it was her fault , and she had to deal with it , with no , "training ."

0

Watched the whole thing at once on Netflix. I enjoyed it. But if everyone would just be open enough to new to them ideas and other points of view I think it would help everyone. So many are stuck in religion and I just see them all as restrictive and accusing "others" of what they are themselves are guilty of.

0

My daughter and I watched it and enjoyed it. as a side note arranged marriages are a financial arrangement between families.

2

I thought it was great. It showed how restrictive and sexist the Hasids are. The refusal of them, along with other religious groups, to conform with social distancing is partly responsible for some of the horrendous Covid-19 numbers in NJ (Lakewood) I do highly recommend Unorthodox. Entertaining and insightful.

My wife had to go on a business trip to Palestine and flew back from Tel-Aviv. After boarding a Hasidic Jew came to sit and saw her and demanded she move because he couldn't possibly sit next to a woman. She refused to move out of principle and he had to be reseated elsewhere.

The scene at the wedding where all the men and women are separate with a screen between them... WTF? I know Muslims pray separately in a mosque but are they as bad as this at other times?

1

I watched the entire thing. Liked it, but am familiar with this sort of thing. Don't understand this statement: I guess they also deserve a prize for really sticking to many of the anachronistic Old Testament rules, and ancient Jewish traditions. Really? Why?Look at the havoc it wreaks on the women and the Old Testament was written by 2000 year old sheep herders;hardly paragons of knowledge and morality. Remember, their beloved Moses was a mass murderer and mass rapist. IMO, ultra orthodox anyone revel in mass delusion and stupendous stupidity like the evangelicals who think Trump was sent by Jesus and is doing a good job as they sicken and die from the coronavirus.

I might be wrong on this but I thought he was referring to the movie when stating " I guess they also deserve a prize for really sticking to many of the anachronistic Old Testament rules and ancient Jewish traditions". I do agree any superstitious group Christian, Jewish or Muslim has remnants of the dark ages.

Well I was being somewhat sarcastic there - no one deserves a prize for that crap in this day and age - but compared to typical hypocritical bible bashers in the US who cherry pick it for telling people how to live their lives and then mix the cotton and the linen, work and play on the sabbath etc. etc.... well at least this sect is being consistent with their faith and books even if we find its execution morally repugnant.

2

I really liked it and I found it got better the further I went. I am not going to spoil anything but episode 4 was very powerful. There is also a short film about the making of the series that is also very interesting. There are not too many films/tv series in Yiddish, English, German and Hebrew. Many of the actors are native Yiddish speakers but I was surprised to see how experienced they are. My major litmus for shows in general is how much I care about the characters and I found myself caring a great deal about several of the characters.

1

I have not watched it but I can identify. My opinion is that we have these type communities and others like Mormonism extremes that people claim we should avoid and yet, our population at large wants us all to be religious and "founded on religion" but it simply is not true. My religious friend now goes to a Baptist church where I'm sure he does not fall on the floor and flop around speaking in tongues but yet he thinks he is "right." He agrees with me on Evangelicals but that is where he came from. His opinions still have that typical Evangelical bias in almost every area. Religious evolution is often very slow and the current American regime wants to stop it and highjack religion to use against us. The new "cult" wants us to believe freedom of religion is why we came here and stop or prevent anything involving women or religious freedom.

1

I watched it last weekend and thought it was great. I believe it is quite accurate in its depiction of that community and their unusual traditions.(Unusual is the nicest way I can think of describing them.)

dkp93 Level 8 Apr 5, 2020
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