Friday, February 28, 2014

I skinned this off of the Gothamist- It's a video about how Hasidic Jews in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, USA abuse immigrant Hispanic women who are seeking day labor. This is not to say that all Hasidics will be abusive or that only Jews are. It's a story of life in New York for the poorest and hardest working of us.

The Gothamist is a mouthpiece for an to the wave of whites, Asians and other non African, non - indigenous  people who are flooding into the city and pricing the working and middle classes out of town and it is not usual that they involve themselves with social justice issues striking so close to home as four blocks from Ground Zero Hipster Brooklyn.

The Satmar Hasidim are an insular group impossible to penetrate.  Holding to their own codes, their own laws and their isolation induces distorted views of the outside world. For an example of this isolation, just the other day an Hasidic woman hailed me on Bedford Avenue near the BQE to ask me why she observes so many empty taxis headed North along Bedford Avenue. "Is there a taxi depot there?" she asked. Apparently she has never experienced or thought about her taxi calling, always on the move Hipster neighbors. Just saying.....(This is where my skim of the Gothamist begins):

The video homes in on the corner of Division Street and Marcy Avenue, where women congregate to wait for jobs cleaning homes and offices of Hasidic Jews who live in the area. Culture clashes are all but inevitable—according to Vocativ's report, the women are not allowed in a Hasidic home when they're menstruating (the video does not go into how that is proven), nor can they bring, say, a ham sandwich for lunch. They're often short-changed, with one woman saying she was promised $12.50 an hour, but only given $10.

Many women also have chilling tales of sexual abuse—in one instance, a worker was filmed by a man and his friend as she cleaned, with the men ordering her to "bend over." Another said her employer demanded she leave the bathroom door open while she used it, and still another said she was asked to give her client a massage, a demand she had resigned to go through with—until he made his way to his bed. Terrified, the worker fled.
"This is not allowed in the community," Bosque said. "But there are specific individuals who think that because these are women on the street, 'OK, I'm going to give them some money and they will allow me to touch them.'"
Women might not report these instances of sexual harassment or mistreatment because of their legal statuses, said Community Organizer Yadira Sanchez: "Many of the women of the corner may not know that they have issues that they need to fight for."