Feminism

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Rising Voices Retreat Workshop

Addressing #MeToo with Jewish Teens

by Larisa Klebe

If you work with teens in any number of settings, you know that for many of them, the #MeToo movement is at the forefront of their minds ... Although it’s not our primary role as educators to provide counseling for teens who may be struggling with their own #MeToo experiences, we can play a part in helping them navigate this complex and multi-faceted conversation, and in a Jewish context.

Episode 20: Breaking the Sound Barrier

Why do women’s voices generate more criticism than men’s? Susan Stamberg – the first woman in America to host a nightly national news broadcast – talks with us about voice and gender bias, losing her New York accent, and becoming the sound of NPR. We also hear from Emily Bazelon of Slate’s Political Gabfest about the reception of her voice and owning her sound.

Josie Rosman's Roller Derby Team

Derby Girl

by Josephine Rosman

When I first started playing roller derby (a contact sport played on roller skates) as an 11-year-old, I didn’t know how to skate. I could barely make it one lap around the track in my rental skates. Fast forward to last summer–my team and I made it to the national championships in Colorado. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve come a long way during the past four years—not just as a skater, but as a person. Roller derby has been one of the most empowering forces in my life, and it’s contributed significantly to who I am today.

Topics: Feminism, Athletes
Julia Clardy's Legs

Wearing the Pants, and the Dress as Well

by Julia Clardy

When I showed a girl in my class the prom dress I was thinking about buying, the first thing she asked me was whether or not I was going to shave for prom. Her question wasn’t really that surprising. People often associate body hair with uncleanliness, and they don’t expect it to appear in formal situations. The fact is, people only question me about my body hair when I’m wearing something more traditionally feminine. When I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt people rarely look twice at my legs or armpits, but when I’m wearing a dress, people consistently double-take. When it comes to how other people see me, it seems that my casual clothes and body hair make more sense together than my more feminine clothes and body hair.

The H-Spot Book Cover

More than “Galentine's Day”: Recognizing Female Friendships

by Leah Berkowitz

Recently, a few of my clergywomen friends dropped by a congregational Shabbat dinner, and we spent the latter half of the evening catching up while people finished their meal. Some members of my community didn’t know how to process the presence of these women at my table, and a few expressed resentment that my attention was divided.

Legends Football League Game

1 Down and Yards to Go for the Lingerie Football League

by Natalie Harder

I’d like to think that I’m really good at pretending to know about football. As a self-proclaimed Green Bay Packers fan, I can name about 5 players and can usually tell which team is scoring the touchdown. Needless to say, when I found myself watching a Packers game at a friend’s house with all of her friends (who didn’t know me, but certainly knew football), I felt pretty out of place. I couldn’t offer much to the conversation comparing Packers’ quarterbacks Brett Hundley and Aaron Rodgers, but when the conversation turned to the Legends Football League (LFL), formerly known as the Lingerie League, I had plenty to contribute. 

Topics: Feminism, Athletes
Jaclyn Friedman

Video Interview with Jaclyn Friedman

by  Judith Rosenbaum
An interview with Jacyln Friedman about her book, .
Egyptians Admire Sarai's Beauty

Sarai and the Silence Breakers

by Natalie Harder

Once a month, I meet with about ten other Jewish girls as part of the Rosh Chodesh program. We drink tea, bake cookies, do mindful meditations, and kvetch. Most importantly though, we talk about the impact our female identities have on our daily lives and within Judaism. Earlier this month, over a batch of half-baked brownies, we discussed a Torah portion that rattled the foundation of my identity as a Jewish woman.

Topics: Feminism, Bible
Unscrewed Close-up title image

Unscrewing Ourselves

by Bella Book

Friedman’s book dives into the national narrative of female sexual submissiveness that’s perpetuated by our patriarchal culture. This narrative comes in the form of abstinence-only sex education, widespread toxic masculinity, and a collective reluctance to support women’s sexuality on a social and political level.

Sheryl Sandberg with Option B

Finding Strength From Our Foremothers

by Sheryl Sandberg

Like many Americans, I owe an enormous debt to my ancestors who traveled here in search of a better life. Their courage created my family’s future. And in particular, I feel a special bond to the long line of women, stretching back generations, whose boldness and sacrifices made my life possible. 

Ask Me Another Rubiks Cube

That Time I Apologized for Winning

by Leah Berkowitz

As it turns out, I’m pretty good at word games, and I like to win. Once I figured the pattern of the game, I was able to answer the questions quickly and correctly. I didn’t even have a problem with the buzzer, as I’d feared. Somehow, I also had the mental bandwidth to realize that my behavior made it apparent that I was completely uncomfortable with winning.

Topics: Feminism

Enid Shapiro, 1925 - 2017

Enid Shapiro lived tikkun olam. She was an early feminist, a devoted Jew, an unceasing learner, and she made a difference in countless people’s lives through her devotion to repair the world and her commitment to kindness and care that came from a place of profound integrity.

"Judith Slaying Holofernes" by Artemisia Gentileschi, circa 1614-20 (cropped).

A Feminist Hanukkah

by Abby Richmond

Hanukkah is eight days long—a perfect amount of time to express your feminist values! I’ve compiled a list of Jewish, feminist-themed activities for Hanukkah—one for each day of the holiday. To be clear: these activities should be part of your life for the rest of the year, too! But sometimes it’s easy to fall behind, so without further ado, here is your recommended feminist Jewish agenda for this holiday.

Topics: Feminism, Hanukkah
Gloria Steinem and Linda Stein, Suited Up (cropped)

Diving into the Wreck with Linda Stein

by Bella Book

Imagine my surprise when I encountered the equivalent of an androgynous rubber suit embodied in the sculpture of artist/activist Linda Stein. Unlike Rich’s suit, which is confined to the page, Stein’s art is tangible. In fact, some of these sculptures are wearable.

Rising Voices Fellow Emma Mair with her Cousin Izzy

A Letter to My Little Cousin

by Emma Mair

In the past year a lot has changed in the world that we live in, and all of these changes–many scary–have inspired me to try my hardest to tell you the truth about the reality that girls once lived in, and the reality we live in today.

"Free To Be You And Me" Album Cover by Marlo Thomas

45 Years of Free to Be You and Me

by Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr

When he was three, my son, Jacob, asked for Baby All Gone for Hanukkah. And I couldn't have been prouder.

Blame it on “Free to Be You & Me.” Like many of my generation, that album belonged to the soundtrack of my formative years. Teaching about gender equality in an informal and natural way, the songs and vignettes were snappy, clever, and extremely memorable.

Topics: Feminism, Music
Gloria Greenfield Cropped

Lights, Camera, Social Change!

by Natalie Harder

Everyone has that movie. The movie you’ve seen a million times and every time you watch it you’re slightly horrified with yourself because you quoted the entire thing and sang some of the background music. But that isn’t what horrifies me most about Spy Kids now. What currently horrifies me the most is that its executive producer, Harvey Weinstein, has been accused by over 30 people of being a sexual predator. 

Eve Ensler

The Eve Ensler Monologue

by Josephine Rosman

I’ve always believed in the power of words. I’ve learned the most from engaging with individuals’ stories, and the best way I know how to influence others is through my writing. I believe that using words as a way to push for social change is profoundly meaningful, and Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, is a perfect example of this phenomenon.

Topics: Feminism, Theater
Golda Meir, March 1, 1973

Badass Bubbee

by Rachel Harris

She’s a confusing character in the feminist narrative. A pioneer in her field, yet so disappointingly anti-feminist. How do you label her? Should she be viewed as a hero, a villain, an accidental role model? The life and career of Goldie Myerson, or Golda Meir as she’s more commonly known, begs these questions.

Glitter Pad

My Menstruation, Myself

by Bella Book

We at JWA decided to have an informal group chat about menstruation, our bodies, and sex. There was chocolate, honesty, and lots of laughter. Although we represent different ages and family backgrounds, we found plenty in common around this very normal (and under-discussed) topic.

Topics: Feminism
Cropped Rokhl Holzer

Feminists For Halloween

by Emily Cataneo

These days, “witch” is no longer just the epithet you hurl at, say, an older female candidate for president; the fed-up feminist sector of our popular culture is proudly claiming it for its own.

Mitali Holding a Femininjas Sign (cropped)

To Men Questioning #MeToo

by Rabbi Sarah Mulhern

I want you to see how freaking brave these folks are for coming forward, and I want you to realize that we're doing it *for your sake*, to help *you* see the magnitude of this problem. We are already plenty aware.

Betsy Devos, Offical Portrait

Betsy Devos and the Stacked Deck

by Emily Cataneo

Maybe the Obama-era policies needed improvement. But DeVos’ new policy is built on the lie that men’s and women’s lived experiences and testimony are seen as equal in the eyes of society.

Ellen Umansky

Through both her scholarship, Ellen Umansky has reshaped our understanding of the influence women have had on centuries of Jewish practice.
Susan Goodman Headshot

Acting Our Age with Susan Goodman

by Abby Richmond

While her life’s work is a testament to her commitment to helping people grow older with dignity, respect, and independence, Susan Goodman’s latest project is remarkable in both its scope and specificity. Currently, in order to be interviewed on Susan’s blog Acting Our Age, you must be a woman 85 or older.

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