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Pop Culture

We're Grateful For... Having Come A Long Way, Baby

As we approach this year's Thanksgiving, I asked some of the JWA staff members how far they've come—personally or politically, culturally or collectively—and how that's inspired a sense of gratitude. Here is a sampling from Etta King, Michelle Cash, Stephen Benson, and Ellen Rothman.

Frozen and Feminism on Screen

When my family wanted to go see Frozen, Disney’s newest animated feature, over Thanksgiving weekend, I went along only grudgingly. Judging from the trailers and the product placement I had seen around my local drugstores, all I could tell about Frozen was that it would involve a princess and a wisecracking snowman cavorting across a wintry landscape. Nothing too memorable or extraordinary, I figured.

Happily, I was wrong.

Pop Culture Role Models: From Miley to Sara

Lately social media has been flooded with articles and images regarding the many indiscretions of female pop icons. While this is not a new phenomenon, more and more articles and videos offer harsh criticism of every aspect of these women’s characters. Miley Cyrus, for example, has been known to appear in a variety of venues only half dressed. Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan have become infamous for their rapidly changing hair colors and frequent arrests. Christina Aguilera, despite her immense success as a singer and position as a judge on The Voice, receives criticism for her fluctuating weight.

Meet “Bulletproof Stockings” and “Yiddish Princess”

Today we feature female American Jewish musicians who aren’t softly crooning classic Hebrew folk songs, traditional prayers, or even hava nagila. They are not belting out Broadway tunes or love songs à la Barbra Streisand or Bette Midler. These women are rocking out to their own beat.

The Culture of Chill: A Dialogue

This piece was originally posted on the Ma’yan blog.

A few weeks ago, Natalie Bergner and I (John Foley), both in our final weeks as summer interns at Ma’yan, were having a casual conversation about the implications of the word "chill." That discussion evolved into a larger one about politics, sexism and the dynamics of feminism in youth culture. What follows is a conversation in which we examine "chill culture.” While it was difficult to come to a consensus on the word and its implications, we hope that our dialogue will spark others to come to their own conclusions about how the word is and should be used. 

Show your cape, Julie Taymor!

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to scale tall buildings better than Spiderman, it’s . . .

Julie Taymor! The brilliant! The invincible! 

Joan Rivers: a woman filled with hate or humanity?

Joan Rivers: a woman of chutzpadik and chilarity. We either love her, or hate her. She’s either the talk of the town, or fades into red carpet oblivion . . . only to be resurrected again.

Happy Birthday, Gilda: She wants us to laugh...and live!

Gilda Radner Saves Lives." Nobody would have gotten as big a laugh out of that line as Gilda herself.

Toward an inclusive celebration of Jewish motherhood

What does it mean to be a Jewish mother?

Jewish women and marijuana: Yay or nay?

If you listen closely, you may hear people wishing one another a "Happy 4/20" today. Why?

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Pop Culture." (Viewed on July 30, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/culture>.

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