You know, I've been a little busy lately... but I'm never too busy to speak out for the rights of Jewish women.
Unfortunately, it seems that once again God fearing Jewish women are facing one of their greatest opponents- namely, themselves.
I recently recieved a link to this post
, by Dina Mensc
h, much of which you can read below. While I'm certain it was written with only the best of intentions this sort of rhetoric really gets under my skin - it's the sort of grating feeling that is only comparable to that which my knuckles experience while making potato latkes the old fashioned way.
The article begins with an introduction about how difficult it is for a secular woman to embrace a frum lifestyle and that this feat is only possible because women are so "spiritual."
I'd get into that but frankly the whole explanation of women as spiritual creatures who need fewer mitzvos is so amorphous and undiscernable to me that I don't even know what she is talking about. Have at in the comments if you wish.
OK let's get to the meat and potatoes:
First Dina talks about the new roles an independant modern woman must accept:When these assertive, accomplished women arrive at a Torah class or yeshiva/seminary, it is nearly impossible at first for them to wrap their minds around the notions of “making your husband your king,” “men’s role is public, women’s role is private,” and the importance of dressing with tznius (modesty) so that (among other reasons) men’s minds are not distracted. They often have little if any understanding or appreciation of the fundamental differences between men and women, of their differing wants, needs and basic personalities, and they certainly don’t appreciate the different goals for each as outlined in the Torah. As my rebbitzen used to say in response to accusations by parents of brainwashing, “these girls need their brains washed a little!”
Hello! That was disturbing.
"Make your husband your king." I think that's the second thing any person interested in kiruv should say to a woman- the first of course being "Want some kugel?" (kidding, kidding)
Come on now, I'm all for husbands and wives respecting each other but I'm not going in for any of this subserviant wife business. Yes, men and women are different does that mean that women are INFERIOR? I think not.
And while we're on the subject of differences:
Yes it's truly amazing that with all the studies of the human psychology, relationships, sexuality, gender role etc... only Orthodox Judaism has uncovered the great truth that men and women are not the same! (gasp)
Oh and yay for brainwashing... That rebbitzen of yours SURE is a clever one.
OK let's hear some more from Dina:
The second major challenge comes upon marriage. A woman by that point has likely changed both her first and last names. She is likely wearing a wig or scarf, and a skirt down to her ankles. She looks…different. If she is fortunate enough to become pregnant right away, she is probably experiencing weakness, nausea and emotional rollercoaster rides.
Rabbenu shel ailum! (as my father would say)
Holy Crap! (as my brother would say)
Is this woman talking about orthodoxy or some kind of freaky cult?
A woman who was just interested in a little Godliness or spirituality has suddenly become a complete stranger to herself!
Dressed up, married off, knocked up, and re-identified. Sounds like some kind of scary movie starring Sharon Stone with what's sure to be a very unsatisfying ending. Being frum doesn't mean being a CLONE. There is room in the frum world for all kinds of people. Nothing breaks my heart more than when a clever, intelligent, articulate, fun, woman forfits her very essence in the name of becoming frum. DON'T DO IT!
Serve Hashem and be yourself, it can be done. I promise you.
If you have a sense of humor stay funny- if you are smart don't try to hide it. The Jewish world needs strong, smart, women with personalities not a bunch of Stepford Wives in matching sheitels.[I have not even addressed the challenges for women who are single or not being able to conceive, while living a frum life.]
Yeah well thank God for that.
Who knows how bad you'd make these poor pitful unmarried, unpregnant women feel.
Don't worry girls! You can oppress yourself while you look for a man to rule over you!The answer is not simple, but I believe it lies in women needing to learn a long time to internalize Torah hashkafa and to understand the realities of her future and to strengthen herself internally for it. It is no small task to raise a family in the Jewish way, yet frequently women are just not prepared for it emotionally, especially if they still carry feminist impulses and resentments. Those who have learned the longest, especially in Eretz Yisroel, in a seminary or series of classes which discusses these issues head-on, make the smoothest and happiest transitions.
OK so here I agree with Dina (a little, maybe.)
What I WANT her to mean here is that women should take plenty of time to learn and study so that they can have a broader and deeper understanding of Torah before they go jumping in head first. It's more likely however, that she feels that more brainwashing is needed to rid a modern woman of her evil feminist impulses so that by the time she marries she is a limp rag ready for molding by her lord and master (her husband, not god- although they may be difficult to distinguish by that point.)