Gender in Tech, Women of the Wall and Airplane Seat-Switching

In my recap of The Salon last month I left off on a cliffhanger, so for those of you who have been waiting with bated breath…Our co-host, Rachel Sklar, gave birth right before Passover to a beautiful baby girl! Both mom and baby are doing well – so well, in fact, that they both made it to The Jewish Channel’s studio for this month’s taping of The Salon!

Speaking of which, this was a particularly meaty episode, with a panel of particularly sharp women: extremely astute ACLU attorney Ariela Migdal, who specializes in women’s rights cases; the fabulous new Executive Director of The Jewish Women’s Archive, Judith Rosenbaum; and angel investor Joanne Wilson, who blogs at GothamGal.com and who I’ve been bugging to come on the show for over a year – I’m so glad we finally managed to schedule this extremely busy and awesomely badass woman!

This was the last episode we’ll be taping before a summer hiatus, and there’s plenty for you to mull over while you sit on the beach sipping daiquiris (which is what I jealously imagine other people do on their summer vacations).

Here are my favorite quotes from this month’s episode:

“Feminism isn’t about changing the world for women, it’s about changing the world” -Judith Rosenbaum on men supporting Women of the Wall in reading from a full-sized Torah for the first time.

“It’s the same thing in every industry and to think otherwise is fooling yourself” - Joanne Wilson on gender discrimination in the Tech world and Ellen Pao’s lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

“I’ve been that family many times, coming on with the kids – sometimes I want them to sit next to my small child instead of me!” - Ariela Migdal, joking about whether asking a random airline passenger to switch seats to be near family members is similar to ultra-Orthodox men asking women to switch seats for reasons of “modesty.”

And this exchange between Jane Eisner and Rachel Sklar:

Jane: So before we launch into our conversation I think we all have to applaud Rachel Sklar, whose baby is just three weeks old, and she looks fabulous.

Rachel: Well, I had some help from our makeup department…

Jane: No, I was talking about the baby, Rachel.

(Hmm, that sounds snarkier written down than it was in actuality — you’ll have to watch the show and see for yourself.)

Joking aside, probably the most provocative part of the conversation was about the rise — or perceived rise — of anti-Semitism on college campuses. In the below clip, amid a discussion about the links between anti-Semitic harassment and sexual harassment on college campuses, Jane wonders if the Jewish community has been making too much of an oft-cited which found that 54% of Jewish college students have experienced or witnessed some form of anti-Semitism. It opens an interesting debate about whether numbers matter or if just the perception of increased anti-Semitism is cause enough for concern.

What do you think? Continue the discussion in the comments, and watch the full episode of The Salon on The Jewish Channel on cable!

Gender in Tech, Women of the Wall and Airplane Seat-Switching

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