The world is absurd. The world is romantic. The world is corrupt. The world is beautiful. Which of these ideas, or which amalgamation is most serving to you in the life you want to lead? That’s the question.
There are those pioneers who are out to change the world—think Betty Friedan, whose book The Feminine Mystique, 50 years after its publication, continues to spark conversation and debate about women’s roles.
Equal pay for equal work—an all-too familiar demand. Last week the Forwardpublished its annual survey of salaries in Jewish organizations, and yesterday the New York Times published a piece by Jessica Bennett calling on women to ramp up their negotiating skills.
I love guerilla feminism. And I love that this group of feminists from Baltimore used online guerilla feminism to critique Victoria's Secret and promote consent. And I’m not the only one who loves this stuff! I love the celebration of consent. I love the celebration of bodies. I love the way in which the campaign directly connects the concept of consent to our bodies—by putting it on underwear—showing that to touch my body, you need my consent.
Tell someone a story, and you don’t know what will happen next.
Last summer I was lucky to study at the Jewish Women’s Archive’s Institute for Educators. We spent five intense days learning the Living the Legacy curriculum with top scholars in social activism, Jewish feminism and history. In the coming months, I will be using Living the Legacy to teach a series of social justice workshops to teens in western Massachusetts.
But something else happened because of what I learned at the Jewish Women’s Archive.
At the NOW (National Organization for Women) conference I attended in June, playwright Eve Ensler delivered the keynote speech. Ensler, who is featured in JWA’s online exhibitJewish Women and the Feminist Revolution, was a riveting speaker whose passionate words truly rallied me to action. I’ve been hoping to see one of her plays ever since. Luckily, her newest show Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World, is now playing Off-Broadway, and I was able to get tickets!
Like all large groups of people, American Jews are complex and irreducible despite some aspects of shared culture. Recently, the Jewish Women’s Archive made an interesting choice to focus a new curriculum on Jewish involvement in the labor and civil rights movements — without cheerleading or focusing solely on women’s involvement — thereby shining a probing light on that very complexity.