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Activism

Mind The Gap

I know that with every conversation I have with my friends, I will walk away with a stronger, more nuanced point of view, and hopefully they will too. When engaging in respectful discourse, my ideas become bigger, and my ignorance fades.

Reclaiming “Bossy”: How Sexism Shaped Who I Am

As a child, I was loud and outspoken. I prided myself on my intelligence and eagerness to learn; I truly had killer confidence. I told people I was going to be “the dictator of the world” when I grew up. But as time went on, it became increasingly apparent that the education system didn’t have room for a personality like mine. Well, at least when that personality belonged to a girl.

I Learned it in the Archives: Women’s Rights Activism Runs in Steinem Family

One file of suffrage correspondence held many items on letterhead from the Ohio Women’s Suffrage Association, of which Harriet Taylor Upton was president for many years. The letterhead listed the names of all the officers, and one name in particular caught my attention.

The woman’s name was Pauline Steinem.

Pressing “Post” on Speaking Up

Last winter, I created Girl Speak, an event-based organization built to foster education and action on issues affecting teenage girls as an answer to the calling I’d felt for years. When I first started labeling myself a feminist in middle school, I began searching for a way to become more engaged in social justice work and start making more of an impact on the world.

Let’s Talk about the C-Word

While I can understand why some feminists want to reclaim this word, I personally believe it’s one of the vilest things you can say to or about someone. It’s indicative of our society’s contempt and disgust for the female sex.

Loving Judith

Gentileschi’s rendition of Judith is a self-portrait—allowing her to wield a sword and take revenge, if only in fantasy. Judith Slaying Holofernes was the first piece of feminist art that really moved me. Even now, I get chills when I view it. I thought a lot about Judith this week, after dusting off my menorah and dutifully buying candles and gelt.

My Mom Used To Say...

It was her go-to statement whenever she was cajoling me into doing something she considered a mitzvah, especially when I wasn’t exactly jumping at the opportunity. She would look at me with that, you know, mom look, and say, “Do good things and tell people you’re Jewish.”

Stirred and Spurred to Action

Judaism never seemed to offer anything that stoked my social justice fire. I didn’t hear many calls to action in services; partly because I wasn’t looking, and partly because services felt mundane to me.

Politically Personal: Personally Political

To me, being a feminist means working to achieve equity for all members of society, confronting personal bias, alleviating institutional sexism, and prompting others to do the same. There are so many ways feminism manifests itself in my life, but until freshman English class, I didn’t even think to consider one of the most significant ways that I’m involved in political feminism.

#MeToo and Women's Activist History

JWA and Facing History and Ourselves partner to present this program about the #MeToo movement within the larger context of women's activist history.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Activism." (Viewed on December 18, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/activism>.

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