Are lists of "hot" Jewish women kosher?
This week on the Sisterhood, Naomi Zeveloff wrote:
'Hot Jews' and the Peril of Ethnic Fetishism
‘Tis the season for year-end lists, and the pop culture web site Complex.com has come out with one that places them squarely in skeez territory: the 50 hottest Jewish women, a catalog of actresses, porn stars, and models with Semitic heritage.
“As a flame dancing atop a candle gives off heat, so do many of the Jewish women who’ve made their mark on pop culture over the years,” reads the web site. “No matter your faith or creed, after reading this list you’ll agree that the sexy ladies of the Tribe of Judah play second fiddler on the roof to none.”
Bad puns aside, there’s something very unsavory about the compilation, in that it’s the most recent instance of what seems to be a growing media fixation on Jewish women.
In response, Elissa Strauss wrote:
In Defense of the 'Hot Jewish Women' List
In her post on Complex.com’s year-end list of the 50 hottest Jewish women, Naomi Zeveloff warns against the persistent lust-ridden fascination with Jewish women.
Me, on the other hand — well, I am still kind of digging it.
Are men’s magazines crude and often misogynistic? Yep. Are ethnic fetishes, as Zeveloff point out, incredibly reductive? Of course. But still, I see a silver lining here.
Instead of Jewish women, broadly speaking, adapting to notions of what is hot — blond, demure, coquettish — men, as represented by these mainstream publications, have adapted to us — brunette, opinionated, funny. And I am well-aware that I am speaking in stereotypes here, but considering how much we still trade in stereotypes I believe it is sometimes worthwhile to consider how they function and evolve instead of just outright rejecting them.
Where do you stand?
Related: Fetishizing the Jewess
How to cite this page
Berkenwald, Leah. "Are lists of "hot" Jewish women kosher?." 29 December 2011. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on October 2, 2022) <https://jwa.org/blog/are-lists-of-hot-jewish-women-kosher>.