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Stereotypes

What's a Coastie? -- the latest "JAP" attack

News of the University of Wisconsin's slang term "Coastie" exploded over the weekend with a song called "What's a Coastie" quickly going viral on Youtube.  A "Coastie," as explained in the song, is an out-of-state student who wears East Coast fashion and is a "rich Jewish girl."  The lyrics say:

What’s a coastie?

Black tights all day

That’s a coastie

Starbucks, big shades!

If Lois Griffin is Jewish, who isn't?

Earlier this week, Family Guy aired an episode called "Family Goy" in which Lois (the mother) discovers her Jewish roots.  As a self-proclaimed pop culture critic I feel like I should say something about this but honestly, what's to say?  It's getting a lot of attention, as you might expect when a show known for offensive humor takes on the Jews. But the reality is that this is nothing new.  If anything, it confirms the fact that Jewiness has gone mainstream.

Jewish Women and Reality TV

Talented Jewish women like Gilda Radner, Roseanne Barr, Gertrude Berg, and many others, have made a significant contribution to American culture through television.  But where do Jewish women fit into our nation’s current obsession with reality TV?  As I began to think about it, I was hard-pressed to come up with well-known examples of Jewish women on reality shows.  After reading Jennifer Pozner’s thoughts on the new NBC reality show “More to Love,” I am convinced that the less Jewish women on reality TV, the better.

Stereotypes in the United States

The process of projecting ideas and fantasies is called stereotyping. Scholars have repeatedly demonstrated that stereotypes, in fact, have more to teach about the “stereotyper” than the “stereotyped.” In relations between minorities and majorities, particularly when a dominant group suppresses and limits another, those stereotypes play a crucial role in rationalizing the rights of the powerful over the powerless and in justifying why a group is despised.

Fiction, Popular in the United States

The explosion of writing by American Jewish women in the twentieth century has produced not only serious fiction, poetry, essays, and autobiography but also a range of popular literature geared to pleasure reading and light entertainment. Jewish women authors have experimented with many genres: regional novels, sagas, historical novels, romances, mysteries and crime fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and humor.

The Politics of “Chick”

I’ve often been labeled a word-nerd, an identity that I happily embrace. I enjoy playing with polysyllabic words like mellifluous and synchronicity, and find few things more deliciously delightful than alliteration (this, I discovered, I inherited from my mother whose personal ad in a mid-‘70s edition of the Village Voice included “attractive, alluring, alliterative” as part of her self-description which, as it turns out, charmed the Bronx boy who would become my father). Fortunately, I am in good word-nerd company at JWA.

The New Jewish Mother?

Last Sunday, I called my mother to wish her a happy Mother’s Day, hoping that she would be doing something more enjoyable than grading papers or power-washing the patio. With my mother still on my mind, I picked up a copy of You Never Call! You Never Write! A History of the Jewish Mother, by Joyce Antler. In this new book, which has gotten rave reviews, Antler explores the colorful history of the Jewish mother in American life.

Funny, You Don't *Look* Jewish...

Last week’s New York Times article “Journey from a Chinese Orphanage to a Jewish Rite of Passage” got me thinking more about the complexities of reconciling an adoptive Jewish identity with a non-Jewish biological heritage. The article follows the story of a Chinese girl named Cece adopted by a lesbian couple in the early 1990s when China first opened its doors to international adoption. About three weeks ago, Cece became a Bat Mitvah, one of the first Chinese adoptees of her cohort to do so.

Sarah Silverman: Straddling Funny and Offensive

When Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic, basically a filmed version of Sarah’s comedy act, came out in theaters last year, I didn’t see it. I knew nothing about her brand of comedy, and was hardly willing to commit to being trapped in a theater for two hours. But a bunch of friends recommended it, so I decided to check it out when it came to video.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Stereotypes." (Viewed on September 3, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/stereotypes>.

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