When I first read Alana Massey’s recent piece in The Atlantic, “Women Don’t Need to Have Periods,” about period-suppression, I wondered if it was sponsored content for a pharmaceutical company, specifically Bayer, the makers of the Mirena IUD.
The Days of Awe are rich in opportunity for Jewish feminists who see themselves as activists for transformation, both personal and collective. It is striking, even ironic, that on the first day of Rosh Hashana we read the story of a catastrophic feminist failure. Sarah and Hagar are rival wives; one has what the other lacks. Instead of joining forces against a ruling patriarchy, they taunt and abuse one another in a power struggle whose unhealed consequences reverberate to this day.
Growing up in my house was like growing up in enemy territory and you were the only one who was captured. My body and mind were always braced for the next attack, frequently without a warning. It didn’t matter what I did or how I looked, there seemed ￼to be nothing right about me.
When the shofar blows this Rosh Hashanah, which moments will flash before my eyes? As my stomach churns on Yom Kippur, for what will I ask forgiveness? As women across the country continue to face an onslaught of anti-choice rhetoric and restrictions, my role in the struggle for reproductive justice will be heavy on my mind.