Monday, December 16, 2013

What I'd hate about being an Orthodox Jewish woman

The short list of things I'd hate about being an Orthodox Jewish women includes the following:

  • Synagogue architecture that prevents me from seeing and hearing the services.
  • Lectures for "ladies" that are all about inspiration and "my special role", rather than, you know, a sugya.
  • Being de-facto banned from synagogue and yeshiva boards. 
  • This idea that my mere presence is a toxic distraction that must be addressed with back-of-the-bus treatment, which includes being forced to sit in the actual back of the actual bus, as well as stuff like separate synagogue and catering hall entrances. 
  • Being called a "lady" as if it was 1910.
  • Rabbis who ask the men to learn and the women to say tehillim as a zechus for sick people. 
Note, please, that none of this involves a protest against halacha. What I oppose is the misogynistic culture that sprouted up contingently. Also note that I've been told by self-aware women that they let all of this slide because the stakes are so low. The world is a big place and they can do as they please out in the real world, and the ruckus they'd have to raise in order to fix this isn't worth the fuss. Their call. 

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