Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly photo feature in which we sift 116 years of Forward history to find snapshots of women’s lives.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt used the f-word, and he used it about himself… and we couldn’t be prouder.
This hour I tell things in confidence, I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you. — Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”
In high school, I often made off with my mother’s copy of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” The 1998 edition, on whose cover women bore protest signs and status-quo-bashing smiles, made quite a pair with my other adolescent object of study, “To Be a Jew.” (Far from frum, I had something of a Reform inferiority complex). In OBOS’s sexuality section, one woman describes her dream of being trapped, naked, in a room with large windows, her body visible to passersby. To Be a Jew had this to say on the matter of such exposure: “Modesty should be the byword in the behavior of every member of the family.”
Tzipporah, a Modern Orthodox woman living in Manhattan, just couldn’t deal with the way that people misbehaved on the New York subway. She started taking surreptitious camera phone photos of the worst offenders — men who insisted on sprawling out onto multiple seats, even when the train was packed. She began posting the pictures on a Tumblr she created called Move The F**k Over Bro.
Soon, the blog grew and Tzipporah (she requested that the Forward use her first name in order to preserve her privacy) began getting submissions and responses from all over the country and even from places as far away as China and Brazil. But she also started getting tons of hate mail. She granted her first-ever interview to The Sisterhood.
For so long, I took their word for it. Eve — the world’s first woman according to the creation myth of Abrahamic religions — messed up. Her punishment, two-fold.
One, she was kicked out of Eden, sweet Eden, where she spent her days sauntering around naked, no shame in her step. There she led a life of comfort and ease. Absent was hunger, fatigue and ever needing a jacket.