Ikea follows up their dhimmitude with kowtowing to Haredi beliefs in censorship of women's imagery
The IKEA furniture and homewares store has issued a special version of its catalogue for the ultra-Orthodox sector, featuring challah boards, cupboards with black and white clothes and, most notable, no women.Anybody who supports such censorious approaches and/or blandly tolerates the same is leading a socialist lifestyle, especially if they're not working or serving in the military, and just living on welfare. Even if Haredis aren't known for the kind of evil that Islamofascists are, this is still very egregious and only appeases the really bad apples like Satmar tribalists. This is supposed to be consumer furniture advertising, not a synagogue, and what they're doing is basically politicizing their business conduct.
The absence of women from haredi newspapers, websites, and other forms of media has become a well known and now almost unremarkable phenomenon, while catalogues in haredi cities and neighborhoods have also been scrubbed clean of any images of women in recent years.
But this week, residents of haredi communities found a haredi version of the new IKEA catalogue in their mail boxes, featuring book cases full of volumes of the Talmud and Bible, display cases featuring Shabbat candlesticks, tables set for the Sabbath meal, and closets filled with white shirts and black suits, the standard haredi garb.
This special sectoral catalogue also includes pictures of haredi men and boys with long curly peot, or side-locks, black velvet yarmulkes and tzitzit, studying religious texts, and posing in various scenes of familial life.
Unlike the standard IKEA catalogue however, no daughters, sisters or mothers accompany those fathers and sons.
IKEA said in response to the story that “in response to requests we received, we decided to launch a catalogue that allows the religious and haredi community to enjoy looking at the products and solutions that IKEA offers, and to do so in accordance with their lifestyles.”
Personally, I'd rather not buy anything from Ikea because they're not all that different today than they were at the time Kamprad originally founded them, and their whole approach to marketing practically demonstrates what's wrong with them overall - they're jelly-spined and will do anything for money.
Update: USA Today says they've gotten some condemnation for their kowtowing:
Ikea’s retail manager for Israel, Shuky Koblenz, expressed regret over the women-less publication.If that means they're going to respect their "right" to be sexist, they're not apologizing at all. And I don't want to buy products from a company founded by a man as repellent as Kamprad is anyway.
“We realize that people are upset about this and that the publication does not live up to what IKEA stands for and we apologize for this,” he said in a statement sent to RNS. “We will make sure that future publications will reflect what IKEA stands for and at the same time show respect for Haredi community.”