Can I attend a MicDrop event?
I have been encouraged by a close friend to attend a seminar called MicDrop. I have done a bit of research and there seems to be some questionable Halachic and Hashkafic issues with it, although I am not sure if they are truly real issues.
I hear that people reveal publicly, private information about themselves and their relationships with others. I am assuming some information can possibly fall under the category of Lashon Harah. Also, there can be issues of breaches of Tznius with these revelations.
I am not sure if they mention names of people who they are upset at. However, if I attend, I would possibly be privy to hearing private information about others who are not part of the group. They might also be discussing their personal marital relationships.
If it is kosher, I think it could possibly be beneficial for me. Would it be OK for me to go there?
Hearing Lashon Hara is permissible when it is L’toeles, if it’s beneficial to protect someone. Assuming, arguendo, that this case would be considered L’toeles, we would need to prove that it is necessary to have all the people listening in, in order to achieve this goal. If the same goal can be realized with even one person missing in the audience, there is no justification for breaching the severe prohibition of Lashon Hara, to hear negative information or implied negative information about other people.
Then, we need to consider whether the speakers are actually sticking to the other Halachic conditions of L’toeles. These are:
1. They know for a fact this is the case.
2. They ensure not to exaggerate.
3. Their intention is only to benefit those in need of the Toeles, not to malign.
4. If the benefit can be achieved in any other way, or without sharing the particulars, then this must be done.
It is hard to believe that this approach, of sharing the information in a public setting, is the ONLY way where the desired benefit can be achieved. Never mind, many are altogether critical of this approach as being unscientific, as it has not been proven to be effective from a professional point of view, or perhaps it is even counterproductive. As an aside, this seems very “un-Jewish” that sharing Lashon Hara in front of a group would be therapeutic for an individual.
There are also issues of modesty. The general Torah approach is not to expose oneself in public by sharing personal issues that are often better kept under wraps. For example: Some think it’s best to talk about one’s guilt feeling, but the Torah says we should not publicize our shortcomings, if they are matters of Bein Adam Lamakom.
All the more so when it comes to women, who are always encouraged to act in a extra dignified manner, beyond the general expectation to act B’chavodik, a dignity which is best expressed “Pnimah”, inwardly, within our own conscience and not shared outwardly. We are encouraged not to stand in the limelight, and to run away from public attention. The issue of Tznius is further compromised when the audience votes on the speeches, which causes each speaker to wish to outdo the other by sharing something more personal, intense or traumatic. (This can also have bearing on the point mentioned earlier, the so-called effectiveness of this approach.)
This is aside from the issue of women speaking in front of men Bichlal, and especially about matters of a personal nature. Such behavior creates a breakdown of social barriers, barriers which are there for a reason and are required to be in place specifically between men and women. The euphoric feeling which the speaker feels when he or she sheds layers of himself or herself, serves further to breakdown the barriers, often resulting in further un-Tznius interaction. No need to elaborate further on this, as a word to the wise is sufficient.
בדיני לשה״ר – ראה פת״ש כלל קנו. חפץ חיים לשה״ר כלל ט, ב.
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