Using the Power of Shaming for Good
by Osnat Sharon 9/11/2015
The term “shaming” is integral to the vocabulary of the Facebook and Twitter generation. In this age of smartphones, the Town Square has been replaced by a virtual space in which one’s individual influence is, at all times, a finger click away. Following mostly negative incidents that have publicized the phenomenon of shaming — which has led to severe consequences and even loss of life — it seems web-surfers are slowly finding the way to channel the power they have into positive arenas, such as fighting the injustices with which they are faced.
In Israel, after successful online battles against traffic offenders, racists, and companies that harm small consumers, last week shaming proved its strength against one of the more difficult phenomena our society must deal with: sarvanut get — the refusal to grant a Jewish divorce. A great commotion broke out on Facebook after a post told the story of a man from Gush Etzion who was refusing to grant his wife a divorce, making her an aguna — a woman who is literally “anchored,” chained to her marriage and therefore unable to start a new life.
A few hours after the post was published, the internet overflowed with comments which were mostly against the husband and his family, which had purportedly supported him in his actions. Like joined like; share was heaped upon share in what can only be referred to as a modern interpretation of the power which was, in days of old, reserved only for the couple’s community. Click to read more…