It seems we have lost any distinction between good and evil, pretty and ugly, and things are determined entirely by the competit
Posted Mar 26 2013 10:16am
It seems we have lost any distinction between good and evil, pretty and ugly, and things are determined entirely by the competitive “Mode” in its worst provincial urban form. We should be honest and admit that the problem exists mainly among female members and girls, rather than among male members and boys. The writer stressed that she was not moralizing and was not sorry that the old days of poverty and patches are over; it is only natural that tastes change and improve in time and the need of decoration, rooted in feminine nature, did not pass over the women of the Kibbutz. She herself is not immune to the “weakness” of vanity, but she feels offended by what she views as extreme forms of vanity. How can long and manicured fingernails fit in the hands of a working woman? How can a female member who grows such nails work with the Kibbutz children? Do we want our children to imitate such a style?
A few female members, continued the writer, wear on Sabbath evenings huge long necklaces. This sort of jewelry is probably worn by women in “high” bourgeois society, so the phenomenon reflects a lack of taste and discloses a longing for a way of life that the Kibbutz initially negated and contradicted. Thankfully makeup, another unneeded accessory, has not yet taken root in the Kibbutz. General public pressure should put and 5 Layers party gown; end to any extreme forms of petit-bourgeois vanity. But in addition to eradicating undesirable forms of dress, more effort should be put in developing a unique dress suitable for Kibbutz ideas and lifestyle. Without such intentional efforts by Kibbutz assembly and institutions, dress will inevitably be dictated by alien urban modes.^” The article was answered two weeks later by another female member. Life flows onward and changes constantly, she wrote, so there is no point in pining for the so-called “beautiful past.” Once the Kibbutz determined even the names of the newly born children, rather tban leaving this private decision to their parents; a female member was 328 Anat Helman almost voted out of her membership because she owned a private pair of stockings. Thankfully, things have changed and today such extremity seems ridiculous and pathetic. When we first moved from a general clothes distribution to marking clothes for each member, some objected to the change as heretic, but now everyone agrees that it was a just and efficient move. Once Kibbutz members had no private clothes; now each one of us is a “private owner” of some clothes and does not regret it. Our clothes are similar to those worn by other workers in Israei, perhaps slightly more modest. What exactly are those “extreme manifestations of vanity” that enraged the former writer? Why should groomed fingernails set a bad example to our children? Isn’t a groomed hand better than one yellow hued from excessive smoking? Necklaces, like color preferences, are a matter of taste and should bother nobody. The writer announced that she will treat any female member not according to what she wears, but according to her personality, and according to the way she performs her work and duties in the Kihhutz. As to the claim that it is only female members who suffer from the weakness of vanity, what about beards and mustaches? Are they too not a matter of fashion? And what about shirts from nylon and silk, checked and striped, suits, white sweaters and cardigans, all which some of our male members wear on Sabbath evenings? Is that not vanity? Perhaps male members are exempt from criticism just because we do not envy them…? We are a free society and pressure should not be used in private issues. None of us wants the Kibbutz to turn into an “army camp” where everyone is dressed exactly the same. Our dress should be comfortable and modest, as befits workers, but its details should not be dictated by the general assembly. Instead of dealing with marginal issues such as dress, we should try to improve internal relations and encourage each member to become more educated.