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Performing Arts

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

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.

Hari Nef

Hari Nef, the first trans woman model to be signed to the prestigious IMG modeling agency, has used her public platform to speak out on issues that affect other transgender people.

Rachel Bloom

Rachel Bloom has combined her passion for musical theater, her gift for comedy, her feminist sensibility, and her roots in Jewish humor to create the award-winning show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Dorit Rabinyan

Dorit Rabinyan was an acclaimed writer even before publishing her controversial novel Borderlife, with its focus on an Israeli-Palestinian romance.

Hidden Figures, Hidden Stories

There is a repeated scene throughout Hidden Figures in which Katherine Goble Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) types her name into the bylines of her reports only to be told that “computers” (most of whom are women) don’t author papers; she must erase her identity from her work. This scene helps explain why the contributions of Johnson and other women were forgotten for so long, but it also says something important about which stories, and whose contributions, we validate as part of our culture.

Jewish Intergalatic Princess

I was five when I saw Star Wars for the first time at my friend Danny’s house. We loved it so much that we spent the next two years playing games where we clambered up on rocks and swung down on tree branches like we were maneuvering through the Death Star together.

Carrie Fisher

While Carrie Fisher was best known for her early film roles, she spent most of her career as a script doctor, shaping characters for others to play.

Ellen Kushner

Ellen Kushner’s revolutionary fantasy novel Swordspoint offered an important early example of a strong, successful gay hero in a committed relationship.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Known as much for her glamorous lifestyle and playful remarks about marriage as for her acting roles, Zsa Zsa Gabor thrived in the spotlight.

The Honest, Outspoken Amy Schumer

In her obscene, outspoken, and controversial ways, Amy Schumer has shaped comedy; and with that, she has shaped society's views on women. Many important subjects get overlooked because people don’t know how to talk about them.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Performing Arts." (Viewed on December 14, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/performing-arts>.

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