Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Are women the blacks of Orthodox Judaism?

Yesterday, LADYKAYE posted [link] on raising Orthodox daughters. A few hours later, we received this parody. The point, I think, is clear.

Take this recent conversation with my 8 year-old, for example. I don't remember why, but we were discussing Funtown, and I was explaining what Funtown is and what a person does at an amusment park. A light of recognition went on in her eyes as she suddenly remembered the neighbors young son -- younger than she is now -- had visited Funtown last summer. "Oh, like Benjy did last summer! I saw him wearing a Funtown T-shirt!" So I answered her, "Yes, last summer Benjy went to Funtown"

I don't know why I didn't see it coming. My daughter asked immediately, "Next summer can we go to Funtown?"

I hesitated for a long moment in which various discourses on the precise meaning of "seprate but equal", and my personal opinions regarding the precise meaning of Plessy v. Furgeson exploded through my head.). Also in my head, louder than any of these things, was the following: "I am not going to say one thing to my daughter that will in any way, shape, or form send her the message, subliminally or otherwise, that she is in any way at all inferior to a white boy. Nothing. Not one bit. Regardless of what might happen next."

So I finally babbled out an answer that was probably more lame than any apologetic explanation of Plessy v. Furgeson, and my answer was as follows: "Actually, we probably could go to a black amusment park, but for some reason Funtown in particular is for white kids only."

And for some reason - God's grace, most likely - she was quiet and asked nothing further.

But she will. Of course she will. And I don't know how many more lame answers she'll accept.

More soon

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