Hasidic business owners in Williamsburg, no longer content with telling women to not dress so scandalously, are enacting full-on dress codes for their establishments. Shorts, sleeveless tops, low necklines, and bare feet will keep you from getting service, as the signage some Orthodox storefronts have posted states. It’s the latest salvo in a long brewing culture war between the Orthodox community and Williamsburg’s hip and sexy gentry.
“We’re not concerned about the way women dress in Manhattan — but we are concerned with bringing 42nd Street to this neighborhood,” said Mark Halpern, an Orthodox resident.
One wonders how long it has been since Mr. Halpern has strolled down 42nd Street.
Williamsburg’s non-Hasidic residents aren’t having any of it, of course, calling the policy “Un-American.” However, city lawyer Gabriel Taussig says the dress code signage is perfectly legal, “provided they don’t impermissibly discriminate based upon gender, religion or some other protected class.”
But that’s missing the point. You Williamsburgers need to stop trying to seduce the Orthodox community. They’re trying to run businesses, not brothels.
(Photo: Euan Slorach/Flickr)