Gender Roles

Women in the military and the right to get hurt

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World War II brought changes for women on many fronts, including the enlistment of women in the Armed Forces. The establishment of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in May of 1942 was a transformational moment in women's history. Twelve of the original graduating class were Jewish. In the years since then, the number and the importance of women in the military have steadily increased, resulting in a series of "firsts" and accomplishments. The coming of the all-volunteer army in 1973 had a huge impact, and according to the New York Times, women have passed a new milestone in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as they prove themselves not only capable, but indispensible, in combat.

Calling all Gender Outlaws!

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A few months ago, at the Keshet Cabaret, I had the honor of meeting Kate Bornstein, writer, performance artist, and major Jewess with Attitude. I used to teach her book, Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us, in my women's studies classes, and it was always a favorite -- powerful, funny, and transformative.

This is news?

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This is one of the strangest articles I've read in a long time. Apparently, the New York Times thinks it's breaking news that gender studies (a field that has existed for about 30 years now) is actually relevant to society at large! Turns out it matters, and not just to those crazy feminists!

Mars, Venus, and the Jews

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I just came across a fascinating series in Slate, challenging the science of sex differences. (It happens to be written and edited by two brilliant Jewesses - Amanda Schaffer and Emily Bazelon - whom I am privileged to know.) Schaffer and Bazelon take on what they call the new "sex difference evangelists" and offer powerful, data-driven rebuttals to their arguments on sex differences in the brain.

What's in a Name?

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An article in last week’s New York Times Magazine about unisex or “gender-fluid” names caught my interest. I’ve always liked names (and playing with their spellings), and I happen to have one of those gender-fluid names myself.

Katrina at 2

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Two years ago today, Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, causing a massive dislocation of residents of all races and socio-economic levels. It also devastated a Jewish community that had been nearly 250 years in the making.

Jewish “Talent” with a Capital “T”

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The Professional Leaders Project (PLP) has created a new Academic Fellows program for highly selective Jewish “Talent” to pursue degrees in Business or Public Administration in conjunction with Jewish Studies.  The expectation is that fellowship recipients will enter executive-level Jewish communal professional leadership tracks immediately following graduation from the top business or entrepreneurial program of their choice.

What if a Jew Becomes a Jewess?

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A few months ago, I got a call from my mom, a university professor, who had a student she described as “extremely androgynous with a unisex name.” She didn’t know how to address this student using a pronoun and asked me: “What should I do? What should I say?” I didn’t have a good answer.

JTS Welcomes Gays and Lesbians!

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Earlier today, the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) announced its decision to open its doors to gay and lesbian rabbinical and cantorial students, a decision that is effective immediately!

Does Girl Power = "Boy Crisis" ?

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The American Jewish community never fails to worry. We worry about anti-Semitism. We worry about intermarriage. We worry about assimilation. And lately, we’ve been worrying about boys. In response to the steady retreat of boys and young men from Jewish communal life, many of us have declared our community plagued by a “boy crisis.”

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