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Link Roundup - Teen dating violence, Rabbis blaming gays, and more

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  • Jewish education takes on a new flavor at the Jewish Food Education Network. [eJewishPhilanthropy]
  • Dan Friedman reviews Off and Running -- the story of an African American girl adopted by Jewish lesbian parents -- in the Forward.

Fetishizing ourselves

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Recently, the infamous Heeb magazine began a feature on their blog called "Gratuitous Jewess," in which they feature photos of a scantily-clad Jewish woman, and then readers comment about whether or not they would "hit that."  Last week there was outrage over the Details piece heralding this very same "Jewess fetish," but apparently the objectification of Jewish women from within the Tribe goes relatively unchallenged.

Fetishizing the Jewess

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From "The rise of the hot Jewish girl" in Details magazine.

Jewish women are hot right now. According to an article in the men’s magazine Details, “Jewish women have become the ethnic fetish du jour.”  And in true men’s magazine fashion, Christopher Noxon revels in the opportunity to eroticize and exoticize Jewish women; using dehumanizing terms like “cultural mutt” and “JILF,” meaning “Jew I’d like to…” -- you get the idea. 

This article does little more than call attention to the misogynistic trend it then goes on to abuse for shock value, and Irin Carmon does a great job of breaking it down at Jezebel.  Yet the use of the word “Jewess” in the article was particularly troubling for me, as a Jewesses with Attitude blogger.  Given the continued derogatory use of the word “Jewess,” can the term ever really be reclaimed?  And how do Jewish women feel about being the object of a sexual fetish?

Androgyny: progressive or exclusionary?

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Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

The New York Times recently identified androgyny as the "it" fashion trend.  It seemed to begin with "skinny jeans" -- skin-tight pants quickly adopted by fashion-forward men and women.  Unisex hoodies, coats, footwear, t-shirts, and hairstyles were soon to follow.  While women dressing in masculine clothing is old hat (the tomboy), the idea of heterosexual men dressing in feminine clothing is new, edgy, and raising eyebrows as well as questions about traditional gender norms.  

JOFA tackles "tznius"

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The current issue of the JOFA Journal offers a smorgasbord of thoughtful articles about clothing in Orthodoxy, aka “tznius“.

President Carol Kaufman Newman writes about how different today’s Orthodoxy is compared to when she was growing up and freely wore cheerleader outfits. “I would be less than honest if I did not confess that all this covering up gives me pause.”

What is Jewish hair?

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Photo: "Great Jewish Hair" by Sashinka-uk

The buzz about Good Hair, Chris Rock's new documentary about Black hair, has got me thinking about "Jewish hair": what it is, what it means, and where I -- a straight-haired woman -- fit into this curious piece of Jewish identity. 

Guilt, Health, and the Jewish body - Link Roundup Oct. 20, 2009

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  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month: "Where you can put your pink ribbons," by Tamar Fox. [MyJewishLearning
  • Marjorie Ingall and Debra Nussbaum Cohen discuss breastfeeding, and the Jewish guilt that comes with failure. [Tablet] [The Sisterhood]
  • A "healthy" American appetite for Israeli food is growing. [JTA]
  • Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags -- HBO's new documentary about the rise and fall of the garment industry and its role in the American Jewish experience. (Don't forget its significance in labor history and women's history!) [Heeb] [Forward

Fat Talk

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October is host to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Love Your Body Day (Oct. 21st), and now Fat Talk Free Week. Beginning Oct. 19th, Fat Talk Free Week challenges us to stop "Fat Talk", defined as "all of the statements made in everyday conversation that reinforce the thin ideal and contribute to women's dissatisfaction with their bodies.

Save the ta-tas?

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T-shirt available from CafePress.com.

"Boobs, boobies, titties, and ta-tas."  These are not the words of a giggling 6 year-old, but the words of the nationwide Breast Cancer awareness campaign.  They are illustrated by the t-shirt to the right, and a variety of other oh-so-tasteful designs. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and this year, campaigns have ditched the emotional appeals to save the lives of the women in your life in favor of misogynistic slogans like, "Save the titties!" and "Save Second Base!"

 

Wolf, Chesler Weigh In on the Hijab — and Each Other

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Naomi Wolf — the feminist Jewish author of the bestselling landmark book, “The Beauty Myth,” which brazenly exposes how the multi-billion dollar beauty industry manipulates women’s entire sense of self — is gorgeous. For two decades now, the brilliant and outspoken Wolf has decried cosmetics, plastic-surgery and hair removal businesses while appearing, let’s just say, well made-up.

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