Rewind

The Week in Women: kosher boudoirs, ISIS brides, and forbidden robot romance

Masayoshi Son, president of SoftBank, introduces humanoid robot 'Pepper' to the press in Tokyo in 2014. (TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

Valentine’s Day may be a ways off, but love is in the air. Well, sort of. The past week has seen some pretty unusual iterations of romance, from ISIS marriages to unintentionally seductive robots. So without further ado, let’s take a look back.

According to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) in London, ISIS is waging a coordinated social media campaign that targets Western women with promises of “romance,” and “utopia-building.” Within three months of arrival, women who join the Islamic militant group are expected to marry a fighter and start producing children. An ISD study indicated that 30 percent of new inductees became widows within their first year of marriage, and that they were expected to remarry within three months. So if you’re a single woman with dreams of brutal violence and premature widowhood, word on the street has it that ISIS is offering up a boon of eligible bachelors.

Two female tech entrepreneurs are getting ready to launch Peeple, an app that allows users to rate living humans with 1- to 5-star reviews. Peeple will let you rate anyone you know — from your accountant to your romantic flings — and it won’t be possible to delete any negative or biased reviews. The founders have claimed that they hope to spread “love and positivity” with their new product, though it seems more likely that they are creating a digital version of the Mean Girls burn book.

So-called “boudoir photo shoots”—in which a woman poses in saucy outfits for the benefit of her significant other—are a growing trend in certain Orthodox Jewish communities. The New York Post reported that a photography studio called Folie Boudoir brings in a bulk of its bookings (35 percent, in fact) from married Hasidic women, who are normally covered head to toe in public. The trend has been given a stamp of approval by New York Rabbi Elie Weinstock, who said “Judaism recognizes that passion is important in marriage.” So yes, boudoir shoots are both sexy and kosher.

Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank, which sells a cute lil’ humanoid robot named Pepper, has issued a warning to its customers: please, for the love of God, do not try to have sex with the ‘bot. It’s not entirely clear why SoftBank felt compelled to urge consumers to refrain from performing “any sexual act” or “other indecent behavior” with the product, because Pepper lacks anything resembling sexual organs. But hey: where there’s a will, there’s a way.

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