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Gender Roles

Feminist-Fandom

As the Red Sox went along, up and up the ladder to win the World Series, I noticed some posts from my leftist friends living in Boston. They were commenting on the perceived chauvinism of sports fans, mostly drunk men on the Green Line, who had rubbed them the wrong way.

It got me to thinking about my firm feminism ideals and my Sox fandom—are the two things directly contradictory? Is there something about being a sports fan that makes me less of an activist for justice?

Editor's Note: Feminist-Fandom was originally published on Always a Squeaky Wheel on November 27th.

A Woman's Place is at Prayer

Nearly 20 years ago I was living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a haven for observant Conservative Jews. I had my choice of multiple minyanim to attend; even the crowded weekend city streets had an air of the Sabbath, and kosher food abounded.

There were so many Conservative and egalitarian options that I rarely ventured into the neighborhood’s Orthodox community, and I certainly never attended an Orthodox synagogue.

Lean In But Keep Your Balance

Sheryl Sandberg seems to be everywhere these days from the cover of Time Magazine to Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show.” She has raised the question of balance—of how families work together to handle responsibilities—from something at the back of our minds to something we face head on each day.  Agree with Sandberg or not, the question of how we “lean in” without losing our balance, is one we all face.

Rep. Allen West tells Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to "act like a Lady"

Yesterday, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and Jewess with Attitude) reproached Rep. Allen West on his opposition to raising the debt ceiling and his support of the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" vote. 

Planting the seed: Memories of "The Feminine Mystique"

There’s a lot of buzz these days about Stephanie Coontz’s new book A Strong Stirring, an assessment of Betty Friedans’s 1963 manifesto The Feminine Mystique. It’s stirring up some personal memories of my own.

Jewish women: Leaders but not heroes

A sharp piece by Shannon Sarna and Ruthie Warshenbrot takes the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to task for the announcement that all five Jewish Community Heroes finalists are men. They wrote:

More than half of the 2010 Slingshot organizations are headed by women.

More than half of the 2009 Avi Chai Fellows (“the Jewish genius grant”) award winners are women. More than half of the current Joshua Venture Fellows are women.

A Gender-Free Yom Kippur

I wanted to write this post about women and Yom Kippur, as I often have done for other Jewish holidays, on topics such as what roles women should play during the holiday, stories about women associated with the holiday, etc. But I searched, and was kind of surprised that I found nothing in particular to write about.

Mohelot and Brit Milah: Does it matter if a woman wields the knife?

Can a woman perform a bris? Jewish scholars, even the most Orthodox, answer with a tentative “why not?” for there is no halachic (Jewish law) prohibition against mohelot – female mohels. While Jewish law states that it’s preferable for a Jewish male to perform the brit milah (circumcision) if one is present, it is not mandatory. The symbolism of a woman circumcising a man is inherently provocative, touching on questions of spirituality, nurturing mothers, and emasculation. Many men, when polled on the subject, reflexively cross their legs.

As Old as Lilith and Eve: “The Mediator between the Head and Hands is the Heart!”

Last Sunday, after a totaled car and a summarily canceled day-trip to Ipswich, MA, my friend and I decided to make the best of things and not let a little thing like a car accident ruin our day. What better activity than seeing a German Expressionist film about robots, class struggle, and compassion? Alas, while there are many great things one can say about the film, I was angered by the predictably dualistic depiction of women, a theme as old as Lilith and Eve.

Girls in science, sure. But what about engineering?

I got my copy of Ms. Magazine yesterday and in it, and was excited to see an article called “Girls Love Robots, Too,” about a group of girls in San Diego who started their own robotics team and have won honors in national robotics competitions. It talks about how it’s a big thing for girls to have their own team, since men outnumber women in engineering 73 to 27, and emphasizes that the girls are defying the stereotype that only boys like science and math.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Gender Roles." (Viewed on November 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/gender-roles>.

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