Feminism

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Carrie Goldberg

By helping victims of “revenge porn” get justice in court, and working to prevent such cases from occurring in the first place, Carrie Goldberg is creating important safeguards for an era in which people live more and more of their personal and professional lives online.

Harriet Pilpel / Carrie Goldberg

Feminist Lawyers

Using the Law to Defend Women’s Privacy

Mary Gendler

Mary Loeb Gendler has helped shape social justice movements in indirect but effective ways, from crafting new rituals for Jewish feminists to helping Tibetan exiles leverage the tools of nonviolent protest.
Rising Voices Fellow Aliza Abusch-Magder

Radical Feminist Idea: Independent Identity

by Aliza Abusch-Magder

Her struggles are relatable, and her story is compelling, giving hope that we too can break free from the patriarchy. By talking about her life with such brutal honesty, Liz Gilbert provides a cautionary tale for women about what happens when we define ourselves by our relationships with men. 

Topics: Feminism, Marriage, Film
Activist Linda Sarsour

Are Feminism and Zionism Incompatible? Read Up On the Debate

by Emily Cataneo

If you spend any time following hot-button feminist issues on Twitter, you've probably seen the recent debates over whether feminism is incompatible with Zionism.

Topics: Feminism
Penelope and the Suitors

Penelope’s Feminist Odyssey

by Isabel Kirsch

Throughout The Odyssey, Penelope, Odysseus' wife, is characterized as constant, virtuous, and patient. She’s seen as the epitome of faithful wifeliness for her refusal to marry a suitor and for her belief that Odysseus will return. Her character is two-dimensional and, for the most part, irrelevant to Odysseus' escapades. 

Topics: Feminism, Fiction, Poetry

Episode 12: A New Era for the ERA

Surveys show that around 90 percent of Americans support an Equal Rights Amendment—and yet, still, the Constitution does not explicitly guarantee equal rights for women. On this month's episode, we explore the history of this amendment, from its roots as a feminist cause in the 1920s, to the failed attempts to pass the amendment in the 1970s, to the renewed efforts to revive the ERA today. We speak to activist and former NOW president Ellie Smeal about how cultural conservatism and anti-feminist activists helped defeat the amendment in the 1970s, and explore whether the fight for the ERA is still vital in today's America.

Pussy Hat New Yorker Cover

Grabbing Back the Pussy: An Interview with Jayna Zweiman on the Pussy Hat Movement

by Emily Cataneo

In less than six months, pink pussy hats have taken over America. If you’ve never seen one, you’ve probably been living under a rock since the election (not that I could blame you). These hats—knitted or crocheted from pink yarn, with two iconic points—are a staple of today’s marches and protests, worn by hundreds of thousands of women to protest a president whose blatant misogyny would be laughable if it weren’t so terrifying.

But where did these hats come from? It turns out that they’re the creation of three Los Angeles women: Jayna Zweiman, Krista Suh, and Kat Coyle. The Jewish Women’s Archive talked to Zweiman to get the story.

Topics: Feminism
Disney's Zootopia

Zootopia: An Empowering, Feminist Tail

by Abigail Fisher

Zootopia actively addresses the struggles associated with being a woman in a modern, though patriarchal, society. Let’s just say, this isn’t your grandmother’s Disney movie (but maybe she would like it). 

Topics: Feminism, Film
Melbourne in the 1920s

Find Me More Like Miss Fisher

by Diana Myers

This show isn’t something you can find on most American TV, or on TV, period. I normally have to unplug my feminist brain when I settle down to consume media. Otherwise there’s just too much to get angry over: the one-dimensional female characters, the unrealistic beauty standards, the male gaze of it all. But when Netflix gently pushed me towards Miss Fisher last year, I found that I didn’t have to be upset all the time. 

Topics: Feminism, Television
Fearless Girl Statue on Wall Street

Let's Not Forget the Real Fearless Girls

by Emily Cataneo

At best, the statue is a bland, banal monument to the kind of white feminism that deifies the needs of upper and middle-class women who harbor corporate ambitions. At worst, it's an advertisement, the kind of commodified feminism that gives the whole movement a bad name and erases its working-class origins.

Topics: Feminism

Linda Stein

In crafting sculptures that incorporate concepts of weaponry, armor, and the female form, Linda Stein has found new ways to consider issues of power, violence, and protection.
Sonia Pressman Fuentes and Phyllis Chesler

The Lawyers and Researchers of Second-Wave Feminism

by Emily Cataneo

This Women’s History Month, the Jewish Women’s Archive is celebrating the thousands of Jewish women who have participated in activism and resistance in the United States.

Topics: Feminism

Jennifer Weiner

Fiction writer Jennifer Weiner made headlines when she challenged book critics for dismissing books by women as “chick lit” but reviewing and honoring books by men on the same topics.

Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit’s experiences of sexism became the inspiration for both her 2014 book Men Explain Things to Me and the popular term “mansplaining.”
Kim Kardashian West

We Should All Be Feminists

by Isabel Kirsch

Although I knew I was a feminist long before I had the words to describe it, I try not to judge women who don't feel the same way. However, I take issue with Kardashian West's declaration because we seem to share similar views on women's rights, yet she shies away from the “feminist” label. 

Catharine MacKinnon

Let’s Talk About Sex: When Feminism Goes Too Far

by Tess Kelly

It was on Tumblr that I first encountered the idea that all sexual activity is oppressive to women. It was phrased more like, “PIV (penis in vagina) IS RAPE!” but the main point seemed to be that women can’t be independent or free if they engage in sex with men. 

Topics: Feminism
Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham and the White (Feminist) Elephant in the Room

by Katy Ronkin

A “white feminist” is a feminist who doesn’t acknowledge that the life experiences of white people are different from those of people of color, and therefore doesn’t practice what is called “intersectional feminism.” Dunham doesn’t acknowledge the fact that even though she’s part of an oppressed group as a woman, she still benefits from white privilege, and that isn’t inconsequential.

Topics: Feminism, Television

Episode 11: Still Marching

The day after Trump’s inauguration, millions of people around the world took to the streets in protest. March along with us in this episode! We'll meet participants in the Women's March on Washington, and go back to where it all began—the first women’s march in Washington, on the eve of President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration in 1913, before women even had the right to vote. Plus, two very special daughters make their Can We Talk? debut.

"The only hope is shoulder to shoulder" Women's March sign

All The Mornings After

by Lisa Batya Feld

The march had originally anticipated 25,000 participants, and by Friday, more than 105,000 had registered. Most people there, like me, had not, so the crowd was mind-bogglingly huge.

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Katy Ronkin at her Bat Mitzvah

Niddah v. Ronkin: How I was able to Reclaim the Mikveh

by Katy Ronkin

It’s so disheartening to me that our religious text calls something as natural as a woman’s period, “impure.” A period is nothing to be ashamed of, and this text only adds to the stigma surrounding them. 

Gloria Allred

Gloria Rachel Allred has devoted her legal career to fighting for women’s equality, handling high-profile cases of sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, and hate crimes.
Miriam Holding a Timbrel

The Forgotten Sister: Miriam

by Madisen Siegel

Miriam is one of many strong women described in the Jewish texts, and is far too often forgotten when we retell our stories. Two stories stand out to me in illustrating that Miriam is a truly wise and courageous woman: when Miriam saves her brother Moses in his youth, and when she leads the Jewish people in celebration after they successfully cross the Red Sea to safety. 

Topics: Feminism, Passover, Bible

Rebecca Traister

In her book All the Single Ladies, Rebecca Traister investigates why so many women are choosing to remain single, and the impact single women can have on society.

Eugenie Foa

Eugénie Foa, the first professional Jewish woman writer, described Jewish culture in sympathetic terms to a broader audience.
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