Feminism

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2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Maya Jodidio Pipetting DNA into a Gel

To Girls Taking Their First STEM Classes

by Caroline Kubzansky and Maya Jodidio
If you’re a female-identifying teen and you attend high school, chances are good that you take, or will take, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) class. Physics, biology, and chemistry are the usual suspects. We’re writing to share some collective wisdom with you from our own high-school experience.
Young and Feminist Cover

Young and Feminist

by Bella Book

Abby Richmond has published four books, written for various publications, donated over $5,000 to nonprofits, and led a grassroots campaign for Hillary Clinton. Oh, and she’s seventeen.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Composite of At The Well Logo and Sarah Waxman

At The Well with Sarah Waxman

by Abby Richmond

Menstruation: A little over half of all bodies do it, have done it, or will one day be doing it, and yet we are encouraged to not be curious about this physical process that literally makes life possible. At The Well (ATW), a Jewish women's wellness nonprofit, is seeking to bridge that artificial (and patriarchally imposed) gap between women, their bodies, and spirituality.

Abigail Pogrebin

Through her writing, Abigail Pogrebin has explored what Jewish identity means in the 21st century.
Women's Equality Day Composite Photo

Three Thought Leaders Reflect on Women’s Equality Day in 2017

by Bella Book

This Women’s Equality Day, we asked three Jewish feminist thought leaders to reflect on this moment in history, to help us better understand where we are, where we need to go, and how we can pick up the mantle, again, from the suffragists and Bella Abzug, and keep marching.

Topics: Feminism
Kesha Praying

The Anthem I Needed

by Emilia Diamant

Amidst all the glitter and alcohol, I knew Kesha was an actual talent. A friend directed me toward an NPR interview in which she talked about her deep love of Bob Dylan, the fact that she does most of her own songwriting, and her deeply artistic spirit. I was smitten.

Topics: Feminism, Music
Bella Abzug at a Women Strike for Peace Protest

#JWAmegaphone: Voices of Power and Protest

by  Judith Rosenbaum

At JWA, we believe that history is not only about the past; it is about the present. The events of the past year have made us more keenly aware than ever that we’re living through history in the making. And not just witnessing it—we are part of it, makers of history with each action we take.

Hannah Karminski

When the Nazi regime dissolved the feminist organization to which Hannah Karminski had devoted her life, she found new ways to serve the German Jewish community by saving children and providing aid for families.
Andy Samberg in NOW t-shirt

What We Need from Jewish Male Feminists

by Bella Book

Hello, Men! I interrupt our regularly scheduled content to bring you an important message: We need to talk. We don’t need to yell, argue, or break any tables, but we do need to talk.

Topics: Feminism
Body Protest

(Reproductive) Justice, You Shall Pursue

by Sara Lebow

Reproductive health includes the right to have children and to access all amenities necessary to care for those children. It means a right to bodily autonomy no matter one’s sexuality, gender, class, or ethnicity.

Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor

A Female Doctor: It's About Time

by Lisa Batya Feld
Over the past decade, some fans (as well as former stars of the show) have commented about the fact that while the infinitely curious and adventurous Doctor can regenerate into any body imaginable, somehow the actors that get chosen for the role have been uniformly white and male. Until now.
Topics: Feminism, Television
White Thin Bridesmaids Stock Photo

Size Matters

by Larisa Klebe

“We only carry sizes 1, 3 and 5. You could try Sears.”

We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s funny because it’s true,” and that certainly applies to this iconic quote from the movie Mean Girls. Even though the average woman in the US is a size 16, many clothing stores and companies have decided that if you’re not thin, you don’t deserve fashion

Topics: Feminism, Marriage
A First-Generation Argentine Woman with her Daughter, 1936

Am I Glad My Mother Didn’t Abort Me?

by Rabbi Leah Berkowitz

I have one rule when it comes to writing opinion pieces: Never read the comments...It was harder to ignore the handwritten letter that arrived at my office.

Marianne Lieberman (Thumbnail)

Being Female, Feminist, and Very Political at 90

by Sara Lebow

Marianne Lieberman is a Holocaust survivor and artist credited with incorporating the first NARAL affiliate in Raleigh in 1977 after undergoing her own illegal abortion in 1949.

Parade of Suffragists, July 4, 1910

The Five Jewish Disruptive Patriots You Should Know

by Emily Cataneo

Let’s be honest: the Fourth of July is a fun holiday, what with the hamburgers, the watermelons, the fireworks, and the summer camps, but I’m guessing that many of us are not super enthused about celebrating the land of the free and the home of the brave this year, given the current garbage fire of American politics and the dark truths that said garbage fire has revealed about the priorities and mores of our nation.

JWA UK Logo

The Other JWA

by Emily Cataneo

JWA made a startling discovery recently: we have a doppelgänger. Okay, that’s not quite accurate. Perhaps it would be better to say that our URL, jwa.org, has a near-doppelgänger: jwa.org.uk. Who was this mysterious British JWA, we wondered?

Glow, a Netflix Original Series (2017-)

Wrestling with Women's Relationships in GLOW

by Sara Lebow

The women who stumble into the wrestling show, filled with as much hope, desperation, and monotony as Ruth, do not simply to take over men’s parts, but redefine their own.

Buffy Season Six

Buffy Saw the Meninists Coming

by Emily Cataneo

Where once Buffy and Co. had fought fast-talking vampires and demonic mayors, suddenly, in season six, they were grappling with problems like paying bills, depression, and the mundanity of everyday life. The Big Bad that season wasn't even supernatural: it was three nerdy dudes who whined about their alleged victimhood at the hands of badass Buffy.

Topics: Feminism, Television
Gal Gadot cropped

Can Wonder Woman Come Fix Our World Now, Please?

by Emily Cataneo

At the onset of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, protagonist Diana Prince has spent her millennia-long life on Themyscira, an idyllic Mediterranean colony of Amazonian women where she grows up learning badass warrior skills from wise matriarchs. The plot kicks off when an American pilot crash-lands off the island’s coast. He tells Diana, played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot, about a cataclysmic war raging back in the world of men, instigated by the bad guys. Who are the bad guys? she asks. He explains succinctly: the Germans.

Topics: Feminism, Film
"Nostalgia" from Anita Steckel's Giant Woman series

These Jewish Women Think You Should Masturbate

by Bella Book

May is both Jewish American Heritage Month and National Masturbation Month, which is a great convergence, because Jewish women have played an integral role in advocating for and destigmatizing female masturbation throughout American history. May earned this lesser-known title in 1995 as a way to protest the firing of the first black Surgeon General, Jocelyn Elders. When asked about masturbation at the United Nation World Aids Day in 1994, Dr. Elders responded, “I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.” Dr. Elders was quickly fired.

Topics: Feminism
Who Needs Feminism?

Where Have All the Good Men Gone?

by Emily Cataneo

Men! Hello there, men! You nice guys, you soft bois, you f**k boys; you manarchists, you tech bros, you entrepreneurs; you politicians, you beta males, you alpha males. Are you listening? I have a question for you: Where are you?

Topics: Feminism
Stephanie Ives

Sometimes Your Mom’s Friends are Your Friends Too

by Abigail Fisher

Stephanie grew up going to a single-sex Orthodox day school and later went to Stern College for Women, a partner with Yeshiva College. But knowing her today, you’d never be able to tell. Since then Stephanie has exploded into a Jewish feminist badass, and yet a lot remains the same. 

Arlene Fickler

Different Stories, Same Meaning

by Diana Myers

A longtime fixture in the Philadelphia Jewish community, Arlene has been president of our synagogue for the past four years, overseeing numerous changes in shul clergy, staff, and financial circumstances. She’s everywhere all the time, attending board meetings, giving announcements from the bima, schmoozing with congregants at services. 

Rising Voices Fellow Lili Klayman and Family

A Woman And Her Journey To Better A Community

by Lili Klayman

My grandmother Elaine Fallon was born in 1938 and grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. Social activism has played a major role throughout her life, even though her involvement started later than one would expect. Since her introduction to feminism and activism, Elaine has been a key figure in voicing the importance of education throughout her community. 

Rising Voices Fellow, Madisen Siegel '16-'17 at January Retreat

Being Fearlessly Feminist

by Bella Book

Radical things happen when women come together. Whether it’s to plan a strike, march for the right to vote, or use their networks to spread information about birth control, when women come together, the establishment trembles. As Bella Abzug reminds us, “the establishment is made up of little men, very frightened.” If history is any indication, women who are brave enough to speak out can create an earthquake of social change, shattering any delusions little men may have about women and women’s equality.

Topics: Feminism
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