In the opening scene of the 1988 Oscar nominated film “Working Girl,” Tess McGill mentions she has speech class that evening. Her friend Cyn responds, “Whaddya need speech class for, ya talk fine!” The question of whether women “talk fine” is not a new conversation. But this summer, women’s language choices and speech patterns have come under serious attack from a surprising source — other women.
In light of the recent spate of Jewish terrorism in Israel, a friend of mine compiled the following list of names: Yisrael Lederman, David Ben Shimol, Haggai Segal, Yona Avrushmi, Raphael Solomon, Ami Popper, Baruch Goldstein, Yigal Amir, Eden Natan Zada,Jack Teitel, Asher Vizgan, Yosef Chaim Ben David, Yishai Shlisel. Some of these names should be familiar, some are relatively unknown, all are Israeli Jews who carried out shocking acts of violence against random Arabs (or in some cases against Jews). And all of them, as it turns out, are men.
A few weeks ago in New York City, Romance Writers of America held their annual conference. The agenda included the RITA awards, the equivalent of the Oscars of the romance writing world, and one of those nominees, for “Best Inspirational Romance” and “Best First Novel,” was a book called “For Such a Time” by Kate Breslin.
(Washington Jewish Week via JTA) — Jennifer Weiner wasn’t funny during our telephone interview, and she never once asked me about my weight. Could the author of a dozen very popular — pardon the phrase — “chick lit” novels not be the embodiment of the characters in her clearly autobiographical work?
An Orthodox day school is not a place many would expect to give young women the skills to become outspoken feminists, but this has been the case in my life. In many ways, my feminism was a reaction to the Orthodox environment around me: my second-grade self, when handed a coloring book on;y featuring pictures of men performing ritual acts (making kiddush, praying, giving tzedakah), colored in long hair and skirts on each character. But my feminism has not only been reactive — a year after my graduation from day school, I am beginning to realize how my education enabled me to become a confident religious Jewish feminist.