Feminism

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Belda Lindenbaum, 1938 - 2015

It was her determination to keep one foot firmly in traditional Judaism and the other in feminist ideals of inclusion that made her a model for so many of us.

Rising Voices Fellow Gabrielle Cantor in Color Guard (Cropped)

Evolution Revolution

by Gabrielle Cantor

I am a member of the Marching Band and Color Guard at my high school. One challenge that we face as a group year after year is designing our costumes. The easy part is making the design fit with the show’s theme. The harder part is designing something to wear that everyone is happy with. 

Thrift Store Purchases

Feminism: Lab Science Or Liberation?

by Delaney Hoffman

For the young woman, a thrift store serves as the proverbial laboratory of feminism. The reactants: bits and pieces of people left behind in coat pockets and skirt pleats (the people, hopefully, being solely metaphorical). The product: a newly formed sense of self, or the ability to form said sense of self. 

Photoshop Logo

Photoshop: A Tool For Body-Shaming

by Maya Franks

There is not a single part of American culture that infuriates me more then the over-editing of the female body. It’s untrue, unfair, and unjust. You and I should not have to feel badly about what we see in the mirror. It’s not fair, but it’s not going away unless people try to do something about it. 

New York Fashion Week Models

The Art Of Self-Expression

by Ariela Basson

I have always been what some may call a “fashionista.” I have loved fashion since I was a very little girl. Whether it be my all-pink clothing phase, my mortifying obsession with layering neon Sugar Lips tank tops, my love for high side ponytails, or my obnoxiously bright and sparkly Limited-Too wardrobe, I have always used fashion to mirror my inner self. 

Annie Nathan Meyer / Katie Orenstein

Editorial Advocates

Writing Toward Equality

Joani Blank / Alexandra Fine & Janet Lieberman

Feminist Sex Toy Inventors

Closing the Pleasure Gap

Rising Voices Fellow Caroline Kubzansky as a Child

The Elements Of Style

by Caroline Kubzansky

Every single morning, I wake up, shake the fog out of my head, and consider what I am going to wear. Almost every day, my outfit is some version of Doc Martens (or, “Docs”) boots, a white button up shirt, and jeans. I somewhat intentionally do not dress like most of the other girls in my grade. I don’t care about looking similar to them, but I do care about my appearance. 

Starhawk

The bestselling author of multiple books on Neopaganism, feminism, and peaceful political advocacy, Starhawk helped shape the resurgence of Goddess worship in the West.

Pam Grossman

By curating stock photos of women in settings from construction sites to the boardroom, Pam Grossman has helped Getty Images change the perception of women in the media.

Joani Blank

Sex-positive activist Joani Blank created one of the first woman-friendly sex stores in America, Good Vibrations, as well as sex toys like the Butterfly vibrator.
Shaving Razor

Feminists Can't Shave

by Sarah Groustra

The This is What a Feminist Looks Like campaign has inspired discussion and change around the world. The message behind it is that people of all shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities and genders can believe in gender equality. 

"Cruel Culture" by Malcolm Evans

All Dress Is Feminist, No Dress Is Feminist

by Elisabeth Eigerman

Recently I found myself bombarded by a series of conflicting articles, all telling women how they should dress. Strangely, for articles that seek to police women’s behavior, each one claims that its dress prescription is the only way women can be respected from a feminist perspective. 

Clothing Hangers on a Rack

The Catwalk Or The Cafeteria?

by Eliana Gayle-Schneider

Imagine it’s the first week of September. In New York City that means two things: school is starting, and midtown Manhattan is filling up with fashionistas and papparazzi; it’s Fashion Week. 

Women Getting Hair Done circa 1960

Does Doing My Hair Make Me A Bad Feminist?

by Hani Fish-Bieler

Around the time of my bat mitzvah (the Jewish coming of age ceremony), I started to straighten my hair every Shabbat. Each Friday afternoon, I would rush home from school to make it into the shower with enough time to do my hair before the sun set. Although it was stressful at times, it became something I really enjoyed doing. 

Topics: Feminism
Noam Green as a Child

On Gender Expression, Elementary School Fashion Rebellion, And Ill-Fitted Polo Shirts

by Noam Green

It is a general truism that in a society which prioritizes one’s physical appearance over one’s personality, dressing outside of the established norm is often a form of social self-ruin. It is also a general truism that the delicate ecosystem of Jewish private school isn’t the place most conducive to experimentation with gender expression through clothing. 

Caroline Kubzansky Holding "Fearless" Sign

Dear Midge Decter

by Caroline Kubzansky

You know the saying: keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Were we to meet, we wouldn’t be enemies exactly, but I doubt that we’d be friends either. While you and I are both female Jewish writers, the similarity stops there. 

Nehama Leibowitz

We Should All Be Feminists

by Hani Fish-Bieler

Nehama Leibowitz, one of the greatest Torah scholars of the twentieth century, was often described as a paradoxical woman. She was a pious Jew, and a liberal. She was fiercely intelligent, and nonetheless humble. She was a Torah scholar and teacher of thousands, and she was a woman.

Topics: Feminism, Bible
Emma Goldman with Noam Green

My Friend Crush on Emma Goldman

by Noam Green

There is a certain type of girl our parents always told us to stay away from when we were younger; she was often described as bad news, or as bound to corrupt our innocent souls. Always getting herself into trouble, she's the type of girl who the adults detest and the kids idolize.

SlutWalk Sign, 2015

Blaming Victims

by Rana Bickel

I have an insane amount of respect for Susan Brownmiller. Trailblazer is truly the word to describe this journalist who became a civil rights and feminist activist. Her book, Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, legitimately changed the public outlook on rape. 

Topics: Feminism, Protests

Amy Schumer

On her award-winning sketch comedy show, Amy Schumer has used humor to call attention to feminist issues from ageism against women in Hollywood to the pervasiveness of rape culture.
Fifty Shades of Grey Books

Anti-Pornography Values Are Patriarchal

by Elisabeth Eigerman

Andrea Dworkin was one of the greatest feminist minds of the 20th century, and a huge influence on second wave feminism, the dominant feminist ideology of the 1960s and 70s.  Second wave feminism held that sex work and sexual entertainment were harmful and degrading to women, and should be abolished. 

Madame Alexander Doll Cropped

Barbies Are For Boys Too

by Abby Richmond

Beatrice Alexander was a Jewish entrepreneur in the early 20th century. She was raised in New York’s Lower East Side in extreme poverty, but eventually became the founder of the widely successful Alexander Doll Company. 

Helene Aylon's Self Portrait, 2004

Artists For A Cause

by Ariela Basson

While my Jewish views are different from Helène’s, she and I have similar artistic views. Just like Helène, I think art can be utilized as a powerful weapon to fight various forms of oppression and injustice. I believe that art ought to be used more often in the everlasting fight for gender equality. 

Topics: Feminism, Art
Bella Abzug on the cover of "Life Magazine," June 9, 1972

Why Don’t I Know More About Bella Abzug?

by Tara Metal

Among the many treats in Gloria Steinem’s new memoir My Life on the Road are the bevy of stories starring women who appear on jwa.org: Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Gerda Lerner, Betty Friedan, and even Emma Goldman earned mentions. But as I read Steinem’s book, one name made more appearances than the rest: Bella Abzug.

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