}

Reason #34: “YOU CAN NEVER NEVER NEVER TRUST A BOY”

Boys. Feh ...
See ya! We’re off to an Internet café to download some porn a special shiur on uh… middos. Yeah. That’s it. Middos.

I try to be open-minded and respectful, really I do. Occasionally, I slip into an area that I hope is perceived more of a loving lampoon than an angry tirade–just one of the “laugh or die” symptoms of being single, I think. I especially try to be open-minded to Jewish or religious ways and views which are not my own. (For instance, although I don’t choose to share her lifestyle, I linked to Nice Jewish Girl and could appreciate what she had to say. I thought it was incredibly brave for her to explore her heart’s desire in the context of her religious commitment. Others disagreed with me on the bravery front, but still…) I’d like to be that person who can get along with Jews (and in fact, non-Jews as well) of all religious stripes. It’s all good, and it’s all about love.

But today, I came across this list on FrumTeens.com, a website for religious teenagers to discuss various issues. The list (located in the “Long Skirts and ‘Platonic’ Relationships” forum of the site) is titled “71 Reasons Not to Talk to Boys.” And aside from the appalling spelling (and I mean, appalling), I’m a little frightened. I’m not saying this to ridicule the members of the list, God forbid. I just don’t understand how advocating a complete separation between the sexes until it’s courtship time can be a good thing.

Some examples (spelling and punctuation preserved)…

3) You risk getting caught by, and being thrown out of your school
Maybe because it’s not my community, but I don’t understand how talking to a boy leads to expulsion from school. In my yeshiva high school (which admittedly was co-ed), I was reprimanded for cuffing my friend Mark on the shoulder once (a rabbi saw me, and gave me a “you know you’re not supposed to touch boys” speech). But I never got the feeling that I was in any danger of expulsion.

6) You WILL NOT stay shomer negiyah [not touching the opposite sex], which is also assur [forbidden]-(a yaharog veal yaavor[a sin so grievous that you should be killed rather than transgress it])
Much discussion follows as to the exact origin of the prohibition against opposite-sex discourse, with some people disagreeing as to the character of the sin as yaharog v’al ya’avor.

7) The guy is 100% talking bad about you to his frineds in one way or another
I think this breeds a distrust of all men for all time. How do you go from being paranoid about all boys to trusting one man enough to spend your life with him? And it’s not like girls are never mean to other girls. If you can’t trust boys and you can’t trust girls, who does that leave you with?

9) Every boy is a liar, a pervert, a jerk, and you will eventually find this out
OK. I’ve got no problems with this one. I’m kidding.
I would say we can all be liars, perverts and jerks, boys and girls alike. And this one, like number 7, breeds a mistrust of all men that will undoubtedly follow the girls into their adult and married lives.

26) a guy will prob @#$% %** cus of you,, and thats like one of the wosrt averriois [sins], and im sure we get part of it
I’m guessing that missing word has something to do with self-love/abuse, but to me the concept that girls shouldn’t talk to boys because said boys might go home and think of the girls when they, ahem, you know, is like saying that we should stop producing peanut butter because some people are allergic to it. OK, so it’s not a perfect analogy, but that it falls to girls to prevent adolescent boys from pleasuring themselves? Please. As if they could.

And of course, there’s #34, the one that inspired my post here today:
YOU CAN NEVER NEVER NEVER TRUST A BOY
How many “never”s is that?

I’m with Maidel123, who points out:

While I agree that there are many negative elements of guys and girls talking for no particular reason it is also important not to paint the opposite gender as evil or anything of that sort. Not just because it’s not nice, but because I’m not sure I understand how, for example, a girl would make the change from thinking guys are scum etc. etc. to thinking that THE guy is the one with whom you’ll share so many things-a relationship as a couple, builders of a Jewish home, builders of a Jewish family…so while members of the opposite gender may not be APPROPRIATE they are not inherently CH”V [that’s an abbreviation for chas v’chalilah, which means God forbid] evil.

Much discussion on the boards ensues, from both boys and girls (and I suspect there are some older men and women there too, as the spelling and sentence structure is vastly improved in some of the subsequent responses).

If I were still in my yeshiva high school, as constricted as I felt there, I know that this bulletin board/forum would have been way too right-wing for me. I just hope that these girls and boys don’t grow up so scared of each other that it creates marriages that are built on foundations of mistrust and fear.

(Hat tip for the list, even though he may not like what I’ve done with it: Seraphic Secret)

(Cross-posted to JDaters Anonymous)

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.

55 Comments

  1. jess

    5/3/2005 at 4:42 pm

    Euch! Frumteens. I dont respect anything that comes out of that website. Its the biggest chilul hashem ive seen on the web.

    Go read the website and see what s**t this guy is feeding 13yrolds.

    Its soo sad.

    Ive heard alot of people being aginst it. And omg the censorship on that site!!! G-d forbid you would apose the moderators veiw.

    That site is just plain racist! Their disgusting!!

  2. jess

    5/3/2005 at 4:44 pm

    again? 🙁

    Is their censorship here to now!?

  3. jess

    5/3/2005 at 4:45 pm

    Oh so it posts that comment!! The random irrelevant one! *sigh*

    Ok again: Hate frum teens..Chilul hashem…racist..brainwash teenagers..grrr..dont trust

  4. DJ

    5/3/2005 at 5:38 pm

    That site is real old. It has some interesting stuff. It services a small world, mostly Brooklyn.
    I spent some time in Brooklyn, but didn’t like it that much.
    I was in very poor circumstances there, but working hard to better myself. I stayed w/ a friend in some shitty basement room on Ave.M.
    The landlady wanted some cash from me, but I made myself scarce. When I finally left she yelled that I acted against the halacha. Her husband owned a successful store there. That kind of shit.

  5. shtreimel

    5/3/2005 at 5:39 pm

    Ah yes, try and scare the living sh out of Jews to be Jewish. And then they experiment with the fear, and realize their youth workers/rabbis were full of sh. People eat their first Big Mac because of garbage like this.

  6. Skylar

    5/3/2005 at 5:57 pm

    Esther, you went to yeshiva high school like what, over a hundred years ago, right? Okay, let’s say it’s 15 years ago, just for argument’s sake. The world is very different now, and boys, even frum boys, are exposed to so much more shmutz out there in the world. This exposure subliminally affects how they see and treat women.

    There are many psychological and sociological studies indicating that same sex education is more beneficial to the development of girls’ self-esteem and brain utilization. I don’t know how going to school or socializing with boys helps girls’ learn to “trust” boys better. They’d just become jaded much sooner IMHO.

  7. Wine Guy

    5/3/2005 at 6:23 pm

    Hey Esther saw you at Jewlicious@the beach

    I have to agree with you although I do think that a certain level of seperation is important for young frum teens, scaring them into not talking to each other is pretty sick. And what about
    Loshon Hara. If we are going to tell our kids not to speak or associate with with the opposite sex shouldn’t it be because we care about eachother and we want to protect eachother?

  8. Wine Guy

    5/3/2005 at 6:30 pm

    Hey esther saw you at Jewlicious@the beach

    Although I wouldn’t send my kids to Coed school if I had a choice I have to agree that telling our kids to fear and hate eachother is sick and scary not to mention Lashon HaRa. If we are going to tell kids not to associate with eachother it should be becuase we love other Jews and want to protect eachother

  9. T_M

    5/3/2005 at 6:36 pm

    I like the way Wine Guy said “our kids.”

  10. laya

    5/3/2005 at 7:50 pm

    hey Wine Guy! what’s up? I love that you commented as Wine Guy, but which one are you? comment often!

  11. Esther

    5/3/2005 at 8:15 pm

    Hey, Wine Guy! Welcome to the fold! It’s like the Hotel California here, so hope you like the digs! And Laya stole my comment (she does that): I too love that you commented as Wine Guy…

    Skylar, yes, I was in high school in the year 1905. You know, before guys were horndogs. The truth is that this post isn’t about advocating for or railing against co-ed schooling. It’s about demonizing boys and creating a foundation of mistrust and disrespect that will have to be battled at some later junction, hopefully in advance of any marriage, but realistically, probably not.

  12. ck

    5/3/2005 at 8:48 pm

    Oh but boys REALLY are total jerks sometimes. Say what you will about frumteens.com but where there’s smoke, there’s fire…

  13. jessica

    5/3/2005 at 8:50 pm

    i am shomer nagiya myself and have very little contact with the opposite sex (more out of shyness than fear of getting kicked out of school — after all, i go to a community college), but the person who wrote that list was probably around 13 years old and heard all this stuff from one of her strict teachers who she idolizes (isn’t idolatry also a sin?)

  14. Reb Nachum

    5/3/2005 at 10:23 pm

    Oy Gevalt.

    I myself never went to a yeshiva high school so I don’t know, but it seems this kind of thing needs to stop

    I’m all for Jewish day-schools, and all for teching kids to be shomer negiah, but not to associate witht he opposite sex? Perkei Avos be damned, women have some good things to say and teach men, and vice-versa.

    Maybe I’m biased, but I think the best approach to Orthodoxy in general is the way of the baal teshuvah, so one can discover this greatness, and feel comfortable thinking your own thoughts. Maybe the solution for school-age kids is to teach halacha, teach all these tings, but not be oppressive, teach media literacy and sociology along with Talmud and Shulchan Aruch.

  15. Esther

    5/3/2005 at 11:40 pm

    Jessica, shyness is one thing. We all battle that from time to time. It’s the building of an infrastructure of hatred and suspicion among Jews that I can’t abide.

  16. Dina

    5/3/2005 at 11:42 pm

    Reb Nachum,

    Children aren’t adults. I hate when people forget that. Your brain doesn’t fully develop critical thinking until you’re about 20. Does anyone agree that it’s a little selfish of parents to think that they can bombard their kids with all different kinds of views and ideas when they’re too young? Of course, if questions aren’t answered well when a child is young, there’s no reason they should have faith when they’re older, but separating guys and girls until they’re ready to date is just an extreme form of keeping things black and white (and also abusing it, actually).
    To be honest, my sister probably never spoke to a boy she wasn’t related to until she started shidduching and I think she does fine. She doesn’t even get awkward. But yeah, those list items were ridiculous!

  17. lynn

    5/4/2005 at 7:20 am

    So, I shouldn’t have made sure that the frum guy sitting outside South Station by himself on a Friday night an hour before Shabbat was all set? Now that I think about it though, he did do an automatic ring check.

    But really, how far do these rules go? It’s one thing to avoid flirtation, but to ignore someone who may need help? Would the girls think twice about stopping to help a boy who was hurt or in trouble if they were the only person there?

  18. DJ

    5/4/2005 at 7:59 am

    There have been some terrible stories about predators out there.
    Not talking to boys is very extreme. The issue is, does plain talking lead to more?
    In many girls Yeshiva High School, there is a line in the sand
    about going to NCSY or not. At least there, there are councillors
    around I suppose if an adolescent is feeling uncomfortable or anxious, they have someone to go to.
    In my daughters case, her school allows participation in NCSY, altho she has not been interested in going as of yet.
    While I think that it would be good for her to see boys as nice people,
    I am not all that hot and bothered by her decision.

  19. Dina

    5/4/2005 at 8:23 am

    DJ: this list is written for a crowd who would not only NEVER go to an NCSY event, but probably never even heard of NCSY. Which is why–Esther: you (and everyone else) have to realize that these girls WOULD not just be kicked out of school for talking to boys, but get “a reputation.” Why, you ask, is this so extreme? It’s so extreme because in those circles, the boys and girls are kept so far apart that to talk to someone of the opposite sex, you’d need to go somewhere to meet them (a park, perhaps) and the ones you’ll meet are the ones who are deliberately going to talk to girls or boys which means they’re “bums.”
    So you see, unless someone from those very, very frum circles gets in with someone more modern and meets boys that way, the boys they will meet on their own are the kids cutting school, kicked out, or just “bad.”
    It’s all relative.

  20. DJ

    5/4/2005 at 10:50 am

    Right it is a Catch-22. The type of boy she would like, is not
    talking to girls now. He is Shteiging, trying to grow in Torah.

    Why could they not share their love of Torah?

  21. ck

    5/4/2005 at 11:03 am

    My Fave: 57) girls are stupid. we know this. we know guys use us and how gross they are but we ignore it till they do st to us then we get all hysetrical,, dont be stupid

    Whatever. I’m never gonna talk to a boy ever again!

  22. Esther

    5/4/2005 at 11:13 am

    CK’s right. She makes a valid point in #57.

    Still, she’s clearly so young that any of her “opinions” are being forged by her teachers and parents, not because she truly “believes” them.

  23. DJ

    5/4/2005 at 11:37 am

    It would appear that in these Yeshivas, there is a lot of pre-marital full sex going on, so these kids are confused, otoh by what the teachers and their parents say, and otoh, by the reality of many of their classmates using drugs, having sex, etc… so this list is a fence, a reaction, for kids who wish to remain pure and virginal.

  24. ck

    5/4/2005 at 11:51 am

    Oh DJ! You have no idea. It’s gotten to the point now that if you’re in Jerusalem and want to score some E, coke or weed, the easiest thing to do is just stop pretty much any Yeshivah boy, who, if he doesn’t have any to sell you on him, will gladly hook you up with a classmate who does.

    Or so I’m told.

  25. Wine Guy

    5/4/2005 at 12:33 pm

    It’s jonathan the taller one whats up laya, esther

    thats funny I thought my first comment didn’t go up so I wrote it over

  26. ck

    5/4/2005 at 12:37 pm

    Wine Guy and other wine guy are the only two people on earth who have had a conversation with ck about wine without having ck secretly fantasize he was killing them. Welcome to the blog!

  27. Wine Guy

    5/4/2005 at 12:38 pm

    and the wine guys give ck props for the brazen offensive tshirt slogans

    you rock ck

  28. DJ

    5/4/2005 at 1:56 pm

    Ck, Funny. It is a known fact that the so called dropout Yeshivas are awash in dealers. I was told that the boys fly to Amsterdam for a Shabbos, where they can purchase this legally in a so called coffeehouse, or w/ ease, and they smuggle it back, and then resell it.
    I was told the last time I saw this there about 4 years ago the supply into Israel was from Egypt, a locally grown Egyptian weed that was fairly weak.

  29. Jewish Mother

    5/4/2005 at 4:59 pm

    The girls are right. There can’t be too much between girls and boys. You are forgetting something. Girls become women. Boys become men. LATER it will work out. I could wistfully wish both the girls and the boys both knew less, and could afford to know less. This situation is age contextual and not static. Wisdom will come. There is a definite need for a protected context for it to develop in, however. Wisdom does not do well in a howling gale.
    I am seriously old in case you care.

  30. DJ

    5/4/2005 at 5:12 pm

    JM, you aint the oldest here, I am.
    Alot has to do w/ the influence of the TV and Cable, the commericals that kids see.
    A % of girls want to dress slutty. The entire country for the most part does. Little girls not 12 years old, I just saw my neighbor in a very short orange skirt.
    The point is, you cannot control it 100% but the Ortho try to contain it. They have a goal. If it doesn’t work, they cross that bridge when.

  31. Jewish Mother

    5/4/2005 at 5:36 pm

    Yes you are right. So the girls want some shelter from the storm. I can see that. But they can’t be assigned to take care of themselves, like little Lords of the Flies. That is the job of the parents. The kids’ shoulders are not broad enough yet for these burdens. Meaning, both sexes. They are better off with too little contact than too much because it can all be made up later if it is too little. It’s amazing how much the two sexes can injure each other when little. That goes from girl to boy just as much as from boy to girl. The parents are most of it, actually, right?

  32. Shtreimel

    5/4/2005 at 6:32 pm

    post gone?

  33. ck

    5/4/2005 at 7:21 pm

    Yeah. I deleted it accidentally. Sorry!

  34. DJ

    5/4/2005 at 9:20 pm

    Alot depends on their friends also. In the Yeshiva my children go to, it is not ideal but there seems to be enough goodness there to offset parts I don’t like such as using foul language, misbehaving
    outrageously.

  35. jsirpicco

    5/4/2005 at 10:36 pm

    Jsirpicco says, GRRRRRRRR! to all the people out there looking to take the “issue” and make it a “cause.” That’s my “issue,” see?
    Okay, so yes, hormones and teenages and temptation and sex yes yes yes it’s out there. But EVERYONE (yes, shtreimel and you, too, Esther, and you, too Grand Muffti, EVERYRONE) knows that given the choice – and there is a choice, duh, eventually, given the choice it’s better to be chaste.

    I like that, given the choice, it’s better to be chaste.

    Okay, so kids can’t always manage it – or adults, either – that’s whyideally, we should marry young and channel all that potential kedusha….and if you can’t marry young, then marry asap (Esther…..yes, ASAP – in shape, batting eyes, the whole deal – HAH! And jobs and responsiblities for you, GM….)

    The point being…duh, we were born with a yetzer horah. We live in the land of the yetzer horah in a world of yetzer horah. At least recognize it as your enemy and not your buddy…

    And, finally, for now…it’s so sad and distressing to hear all the rumors (which, I know, are probably based in fact) about yeshiva kids gone criminal. Makes jsirpicco want to go out and hurt someone, scream on the streets of Brooklyn – MY GOD, GET A CLUE YOU WEIRDOS! DON’T YOU KNOW THE WORLD IS WATCHING YOU??????

    To paraphrase: Jsirpicco Weeps.

  36. shtreimel

    5/4/2005 at 11:09 pm

    “MY GOD, GET A CLUE YOU WEIRDOS! DON’T YOU KNOW THE WORLD IS WATCHING YOU??????”

    The world’s not watching jsirpicco (I used to believe this when I lived in Montreal. Then I move to Vancouver, and it’s like: “What’s a Jew?” I guess we tell ourselves this myth so we feel extra special.

    Also, you’re screaming again.

  37. jsirpicco

    5/4/2005 at 11:25 pm

    screaming warning’s just got old. re jews in brooklyn sometimes being criminals – okay I correct that…other JEWS are watching….my thing is – if you’re gonna be ‘frei” then just do away with all the trappings of the uniform…why do they walk around with the shirts, the kippahs, the sideburns, the clothes…just go secular and be done with it…that’s what bugs me…why do they have to advertise: I’m an off the derech guy?

    Just get a job at 7-11, wear jeans watch tv and be cheerfully miserable and looking for answers like old shtriemel esther and gm! (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

  38. DJ

    5/5/2005 at 7:16 am

    Good point Serpicco. They may have difficulty finding a group of peers in the outside world. One of the good things about being in a certain group is that you have instant comraderie. They would miss that in the outside world. Plus, for some, they are torn between wanting to go back to the old frum ways. Many of them do return. Maybe they don’t want to burn their bridges. I will tell you that I did make the full break when I was that age, but I found alot more loneliness than I had as a frum kid.

  39. Jewish Mother

    5/5/2005 at 12:28 pm

    I used to say to a kid, “Your enemies have mothers, too”. I meant, mothers who are bugging them too, and not letting them do this, and not letting them do that, just the way I am doing to you. The other kids were saying, “I am so free, why are you a such a dopey little slave to your parents and their silly rules”. I was countering that.

  40. Esther

    5/6/2005 at 4:34 pm

    I just wanted to share this comment, which came in to the cross-post atJDaters Anonymous. It’s from a Modern Orthodox man…

    1. Regarding #9, not all guys are liars and jerks. we are, however, all perverts. Not that I’m proud of that, but it is a fact.

    2. Regarding #26, teenage boys will do that while thinking of girls who talk to them, girls who don’t talk to them, mothers of girls who talk to them and don’t talk to them, sisters of girls who talk to them and don’t talk to them, great aunts of girls who talk to them and don’t talk to them, family pets of girls who talk to them and don’t talk to them, not to mention the old favorites of movie stars, news anchors (esp weather ladies), teachers, etc. It might have somthing to do with the first point I made. In short, it’s going to happen and there’s not a whole lot that teenage girls can do to stop it .

  41. T_M

    5/6/2005 at 4:47 pm

    Esther, you have perverts posting on your site. Jus’ sayin’.

  42. ck

    5/6/2005 at 5:02 pm

    Yeah. What the hell was that guy talking about? I for one have no clue. Yup. No clue at all.

  43. Esther

    5/6/2005 at 6:03 pm

    Right. No clue. 😉 Shabbat shalom…

  44. miriam

    7/10/2005 at 4:42 pm

    can someone give me some examples of why frumteens is soo (sic) bad? i went to the site and it looked pretty benign.

  45. esther

    7/10/2005 at 8:56 pm

    Miriam, I’m not saying the site has no redeeming value, mostly because that’s the only page I really perused. But I still don’t think it’s to anyone’s advantage to cultivate a culture of fear between boys-who-will-be-men and girls-who-will-be-women.

  46. Pingback: Jewlicious » Let’s Talk About Sex

  47. frumbutnotbitter

    8/18/2005 at 6:03 pm

    Halacha is halacha and you can try to cut it one hundred different ways to make it look like there is nothing wrong with it but there is it is assur but that doesint make you a bad jew god still loves you no matter what and he understands that we fall down sometimes and make mistakes he only wants from us to stand up and try to do the right thing

  48. danny

    11/15/2005 at 3:37 pm

    I don’t c anything bad in touching the other gender. If you where raised in that way, you don’t think about sex when you touch them. When I touch girls to shake hands only, I just shake hands and then finish. I don’t @#$% %** cos of them.
    But if you were raised, where boys and girls always were seperated, you probably would think that its something speciel. I mean frum boys must think girls are alians from space. Girls are human beeings like boys.
    – just a thought from a jewish boy interested in orthodox judaism.
    Why do you think it is so wrong?

  49. Sandy

    4/18/2006 at 12:33 pm

    You’re all very very confused!…frumteens is a GREAT site…but only for a specific level!…if you’re not frum…why do you go into that site?!?!?!But once you’re frum, it’s really awesome…

  50. sarah

    8/30/2006 at 10:42 am

    i agree with sandy if you arent fum dnt go onto these sights im a frum teen and personaly its helped me so much….thanx frum teens

  51. Pingback: Jewlicious » NEVER NEVER Talk to…

  52. FrumTeensRocks

    11/23/2006 at 1:52 pm

    I couldn’t help but notice various comments on loshon hora. Funny, cuz seems to me that thi site is loshon hora. Frumteens is geared for bais yakov girls who YES will get expelled when seen hugging or kissing a boy. ( i know 3) I suggest you look into shomer nagia and its deeper reasons as opposed to “you can’t trust boys”.

  53. Bubbie Sorrie

    1/6/2007 at 3:09 pm

    This question is as serious as a heart attack. My son has recently become shomer negiya. He has stopped hugging his sisters. He has stopped hugging his BUBBIES and aunts. Needless to say they are heartbroken and I am the one who gets the flack. We are a very warm family where not hugging is noticed and questioned. His Bubbies are both in failing health and they both adore him. All they want is a hug and maybe a kiss on the cheek before they die–from all their grandchildren. My son will not comply. He used to hug and kiss them freely. This is why they don’t understand. I am planning to ask the Rosh Yeshiva to talk to him. Any other suggestions? Thank you so much.

  54. isaaco

    6/13/2007 at 10:11 am

    im jsut a regular guy from the outside world and i would love to know how old is the publisher of the post, to me it seems like she’s a 12 years old , theses teens are trying to behave and they trying to help each other with stupid or smart things , doesnt matter the fact is , they are trying .AND ALL WHAT YOU DOING IS DISSING PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY TRYING.hiding urself by putting down others….im 20 and i am wilder then you and even me i can see that…

  55. fordagood

    2/21/2008 at 9:49 am

    I can’t understand why you would lash out and put down a website that helps out the people that it is for. It is for only a specific group and why can’t they be respected?
    Have you looked into the other topics on the website, how these young teens are trying to be better people and withhold themselves from doing things teens outside their community won’t think twice about not doing!
    Their trying to connect to G-D in their own way! Why put them down! It is their place and just for them.However, you or anyone is invited to ask in a respectful way what they want and need. Go ahead and try it out. They are only there to help and for good.

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