Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Why do Jewish women work so hard?

Interesting excerpt from imamother coming up after my snooty introductory comment.

As you'll see this woman complains, quite compellingly, that it sucks to be an orthodox Jewish woman. You're responsible for cooking and child raising while your husband gets to recharge spiritually at shul and shiurim. The typical excuse/explanation for this state of affairs is that woman do their spiritual recharging via all that cooking and child raising, but I think all but the worst-suffering Stockholm syndrome victims understand that this excuse was invented by men for the purpose of making women feel satisfied with their "tafkid" (See how much holier child raising and cooking sounds when you call it a tafkid?)

I expect many women will denounce the author of the excerpt for being a gender traitor while men denounce me for cluing women in to the scam.

Anyway, here it is.
"I'm a BT. And I became frum leading that life. Davening in shul (twice!) a day sometimes, the freedom to go tho shiurim, beautiful meals from amazing families that didn't inform me what kind of intense work went in to it all....I worked hard all week and really enjoyed the change of pace on shabbos. Now I watch my kids all week...and watch them some more on shabbos. And all those seudahs I enjoyed when I was becoming frum are now prepared by me. The lifestyle that roped me in is not what I have now. And my husband is never around during the week to help with any preparations and he just wants his time in shul on shabbos. But I guess it all just makes me a bit angry....the life that he had when he first because frum is still his life. Nothing's really changed in how he gets to enjoy yomtov and shabbos. But for me, it's very very different. And it's been like that since the beginning of parenthood. The first year we got invited out here and there and we had no kids, I was working it was different.
If anything, shabbos and yuntif is li[k]e an intensified version of what I do during the week without all the crazy school droppoff/pickup times. More "childcare", more cooking, etc but without the spiritual stuff that I enjoyed years ago. 
I don't feel connected to Yiddeshkeit through my kids and my house. I just don't no matter how hard I try to see it life that. This is nothing new. I just don't understand how women are supposed to enjoy all this if we have such demands in the home. 
I know when my kids are grown I'll miss all this but it's been a long time away from shul - over a decade. And it's really negatively impacted me religiously."
There are many issues happening here - her own personal marital interactions/communication or lack thereof, the expectation that Jewish women should find holiness in household/childrearing chores, the bait and switch of the kiruv movement that leads women to believe they will be entering a life of intellectual and spiritual growth through shul/shiurim/community involvement/as an invited guest to meals - when the reality is that women are often the behind the scenes staff making sure these events happen for men and single women to enjoy and participate in.

Imamother is a community of frum Jewish women, where you can come to relax, socialize, debate, receive support, ask questions and much more.

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