Monday, January 15, 2007

More Feminist Stuff

I am temporrily exhaustified of the philisophical ramblings of the blogosphere. for the moment no paticularly new ideas are being produced and meanwhile I miss the random silliness of my early postings; so in the near future, to those two or three of you who actually read my blog, don't expect anything too heavy. this will be my last vaguely serious post for awhile.

so I've been doing some reading, for this paper that I'm writing, and I have to say something. Jewish women are freakin awesome. I'm sorry but historically? we just rocked the house. to anyone out there looking for educated, intellectual, and independent Jewish female role models, there are quite a few of them. I was particulalrly impressed with what I read of the women in Enlightenment era Germany; supposedly assimilated (a good number of them converted,) almost completely secular, they formed their own little society of the intellectual and cultural elite in a setting where they were still largely unaccepted by the rest of society. These women express beautifully the anguish of a search for identity in a world that either didn't accept them because they were Jewish, because they weren't Jewish, or because they were women. Despite these restrictions, they wrote, published, spoke publicly, and in some cases organized educational programs for women of similar backgrounds and difficulties. in so many ways, I relate to what they were saying - the alienation and the need for liberty to be able to choose for themselves what to do with their intellectual prowess; the railing helplessly against constraints of a society that refused to recognize them for who they were. It seems that somehow the feminist message never changes. The history and language (translated of course) of Rachel Levin Varnhagen touched me particularly. Somehow there's something passionately universal in her words.

Then of course there are the words of Emma Lazarus ( for those of you that don't know, that poem on the green statue from France? written by a little Jewish girl, that's right. well, except she wasn't so little at the time.) she wrote something perfectly fitting to the continual intellectual upheaval of the J-sphere, but I have for the moment lost it, so that will get put on hold.

Of course, there are many notable women throughout the entire history of Judaism, and many of them learned in Torah to the extent where the Rabbeim of the time recognized their halachik decisions, and who might be better role models morally; but I guess it'll always be the anguish of the lost soul that touches me most.

oh, right. I'm a feminist now. I've resisted it long enough, but there comes a point where one has to stop pretending. it came kind of in tandem with the whole wishing I could get smicha thing.


Blogger Miri said...


2:28 PM  

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