What we interpret as frum behavior is in actual fact simply rude. Isn't it time for someone to point out that the emperor has no clothes? To admit that we have extended frumkeit and boundaries between men and women (motivated by proper and worthy goals) to the point of absurdity and downright boorishness? In the past, similar episodes, which we mistake for normal in the frum world, have occurred when I am with non-Jewish friends or classmates. This is the very definition of a chilul Hashem.
Rav Moshe Chaim Luzatto, in his Mesilat Yesharim, writes the following:
...there are some additions to Saintliness which, if a man will perform them in public, will cause men to laugh at and ridicule him, rendering them sinners and liable to punishment because of him. Because he can forgo these actions, their not being absolutely required, the Saint would certainly do better to leave them than to do them...In fine, what is essential in respect to mitzvoth must be performed in the face of all mockery, and what is not essential and provokes laughter and ridicule should not be performed.
We see, then, that one who would be a true Saint must weigh all of his deeds in relation to their results and in relation to all of the circumstances surrounding their performance - time, social environment, situation and place. And if he finds that not doing will go farther towards sanctifying the Name of Heaven and giving pleasure to God than doing, he must refrain from doing.
Rav Yissocher Frand relates the following story:
I would like to pasken a Halacha. Every visibly religious Jew today has the status of a Talmid Chochom vis a vis the Rambam's third category of Chilul HaShem. The people with whom you come into contact - be it in the supermarkets or the gas station attendants, wherever it may be - each of them looks at you as a 'Rabbi', a 'Torah Scholar', a 'Great Individual'. Today every religious Jew may be mistaken as a 'Rabbi' in the eyes of the public.
The gemara in Yoma (86a) explains the the mitzvah of "v'ahavta es Hashem Elokechah" actually means that God's name should be loved through you and your actions:
'If someone studies Torah and Mishna, and attends on the disciples of the wise, is honest in business, and speaks pleasantly to persons, what do people then say concerning him? "Happy is the father who taught him Torah! Happy is the teacher who taught him Torah! Woe to people who have not studied the Torah! For this man has studied the Torah: look how fine are his ways, how righteous are his deeds! Of him does Scripture say: 'He said to me: "You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified'" (Isaiah 49.3). But if someone studies Scripture and Mishna, attends on the disciples of the wise, but is dishonest in business, and discourteous in his relations with people, what do people say about him? "Woe to him who studied the Torah! Woe to his father who taught him Torah! Woe to his teacher who taught him Torah! This man studied the Torah: look, how corrupt are his deeds, how ugly are his ways…"
My fervent hope is that this piece will cause just one of my readers to think for him or herself and be more conscious of how his or her actions may be perceived by others, restoring Torah to it's rightful position of derachehah darchei noam v'chol nesivosehah shalom.