December dilemmas, gay marriage, breast cancer cults, and more

It has been a really interesting week in the world of Jewish women.  Take a look at these important stories!

  • The Senate passes the Women's Health Amendment, that will require health insurance companies to offer free mammograms and other preventative services to women.  [NYTimes] A small victory, since this should combat the "womanhood is a pre-existing condition" mentality, but we are still unsure whether this will include coverage for birth control.  [Feministing]

  • In another devastating setback, the New York Senate voted down a gay marriage bill. [NYTimes]  The Jewish community was reportedly split on the issue, as the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America praised the outcome, while the Reform Jewish Voice of New York State was disheartened. [JTA] Yet, several Jewish senators voted for the bill and explicitly tied their support to their experiences as Jews. Liz Krueger, Jewish New York Senator and champion of women's issues, gave a beautiful speech in support of gay marriage. (You might also enjoy watching Senator Diane Savino's amazing speech.)
  • Remember all that buzz about women's unhappiness and whether the women's movement was to blame?  Well, "The Happiness Trap" is what that conversation looks like on the cover of Elle magazine. [Jezebel]

  • Barbara Ehrenreich, a breast cancer survivor, asks, "has feminism been replaced by the pink-ribbon breast cancer cult?"  In a controversial op-ed, Ehrenreich lambasts "pink ribbon culture" and argues that the reaction to the new mammography recommendations shows that women are ignoring science in the name of our rights. [Salon]  Jezebel blogger Anna North offers some additional commentary. [Jezebel]

  • Is "thin-heritance" a Jewish issue? We talked about this a little while ago.  In a buzz-worthy article, one mother opens up about how she passed her dieting obsession down to her daughter. [Daily Mail]  Elissa Straus weighs in at the [Sisterhood]

  • On the arrest of Nofrat Frenkel at the Wailing Wall, Elana Sztokman writes:
  • The fact that a woman was arrested for wearing a tallit at the kotel should give us all pause. We should be ashamed that a woman can be so humiliated for her ritual practice, horrified that this takes place in the State of Israel in the very spot where the shechina is supposed to rest,and absolutely aghast that it is the Jewish police in the Jewish state making tallit-wearing a crime. Read the rest at her [blog]
  • Anna Sokolow, pioneer of modern dance and JWA Woman of Valor, is featured in a wonderful tribute. [Forward]

  • In Australia, some boys undergo compulsory feminism programs.  [HeraldSun] After reading this piece by Amelia McDonald-Perry, I think that sounds like a good idea.

  • Rebecca Sirbu warns that Jewish communal organizations ignore female leaders at their own peril. [JTA]

  • Elana Sztokman posts a great piece by Chana Pinchasi about the role of women in Jewish funeral rituals. [Blog]

  • How do you negotiate Christmas craziness?  Renee Ghert-Zand discusses the "December Dilemma" [Truth, Praise & Help] and the Minnesota Mameleh has "the talk" with her children about Santa [TCJewfolk]

  • And for some brilliant satire, check out this video from The Onion, putting into sharp focus the incredible misogyny happening at the animal rights group, PETA.

  • Advocacy Group Decries PETA's Inhumane Treatment Of Women
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How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "December dilemmas, gay marriage, breast cancer cults, and more." 4 December 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 20, 2019) <>.

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