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TOPIC: Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression?

Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 18:02 #1

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There were a lot of threads with this sort of title started on the Unmentionable Place, and they often used to get closed or descend into ranting, as they were either started or soon taken over by angry MRA misogynist types who were very embittered about women. So before we go any further, let's make it abundantly clear that I'm not an MRA or a misogynist or even a man.

However, I do have some issues with feminism that I would like to throw out to the forum as worthy of discussion.

I don't think feminism has ever been about liberating women, because it has never been about celebrating or encouraging what is specific to women or what comes more naturally to them, but rather about turning them into men.

Note it hinges around concentrating on education so women can get a good career, make a lot of money and be independent, as well as go out drinking and sleep around with no consequences. These have always been the preserves of men. Feminism seems to consider women in their natural state to be weak and worthy of contempt, and only has respect for them the more they ape (some of the worst aspects of) male behaviour.

I'm not sure how it has "empowered" women to spend decades in useless education focusing on a having a "fulfilling career" when only a tiny minority of people in the world, male or female, find fulfilment in their paid work and most people find work stressful and draining.

Also encouraging women to sleep around, "experiment with sex", to see no problem in casual sexual relationships or one-night stands, when this goes completely against hard-wired female biology and has left many millions of women with deep psychological and emotional scars (not to mention STDs and unwanted pregnancies).

I know people say "oh, but feminism gave women the vote!!!" - but really, does this matter an iota? So women now have the right to vote for one meaningless puppet over another, great. And it also suggests that all men were always able to vote while women weren't, which wasn't the case at all.

So, feminism - friend or foe, liberator or oppressor?

This short video is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but highlights many important truths about feminism I think:

Last Edit: 29 Jun 2014 18:17 by Timesarrow.
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 18:29 #2

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:D Good video, good thread. A proper reply coming up subsequently, but I found this the other day and thought it summed up feminism quite well :

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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 18:37 #3

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Haha that video is quite spot on, but she gave me a bit of a headache.
What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 19:24 #4

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As a male, it's hard to discuss feminism objectively without the predictable and tiresome slurs being hurled at you, like "misogynist" or "you can't get a girlfriend!" This is unjust, because of one simple and overwhelming fact - it is feminism which is misogynist. Plenty of (most) women are anti-feminist, too, and I will link anyone who is interested to the websites several anti-feminist ladies later on in my post.

There are women in all our lives, and I love and respect them as human beings. They are of equal value and equal worth to males - different, certainly, but no more or less important. Each have their own qualities that are essential to human life. Feminism hates femininity, feminism hates what women were designed to be, and wants women to (as you say) take on the most boorish and loutish behaviour of males.

Feminism is a lie, a cruel hoax, as Henry Makow puts it. Feminism aims to instill in females the idea that their natural state is a "social construct", invented by the patriarchy as a means of keeping women down. This couldn't be further from the truth, women are neurologically-wired to be sensitive, caring, and gentle (not the same as being a doormat), as these traits are desirable for raising children and keeping a home, in the same way that men are, relative to women, more aggressive, instinctive, stubborn and volatile - these are useful traits for hunting and foraging, as well as protecting his family from dangers which is what men are configured to do.

Let's turn it on its head for a moment. Imagine a new movement called "masculinism" came along and proclaimed that the organic state of masculinity is somehow oppressive to men, imposed on them by the evil matriarchy, and that to be free, men must behave like women. It's absurd, and yet this goes along exactly the same lines that feminism does.

Incidentally, which family was instrumental in starting and maintaining the whole feminist movement? Why, those lovely Rockefellers, of course! That's because feminism is a tool to undermine society, part of the wider agenda to break up families, destroy communities and sabotage nations to make them more submissive to the coming global police state. Feminism aims to make women feel that family is oppressive, is wrong, and that they should instead focus on drinking, promiscuous, casual sex and following the latest fashion fads. How vacuous.

This isn't to say that women should be locked in the kitchen, and only allowed out to give birth - far from it. I believe they have every right to pursue their personal ambitions, just like men have the same right. There comes a time in everyone's life though, that they feel (or should feel) their biological urges to settle down and start a family kicking in. These urges are not brainwashing, they are not social constructs, they are biological imperative. Every other species on the planet recognises this and doesn't even question the fact that they need to reproduce - they just do it. Why do some homo sapiens sapiens have trouble with it?

www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/
womenagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/

(And for the record, I am against the men's counterparts of feminism such as the MRAs and MGTOWs, as can be seen by my posts here. I recognise both of them for what they are - insidious plots to wreck nations and Bolshevise the world.)
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 19:31 #5

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Seaic wrote:
Let's turn it on its head for a moment. Imagine a new movement called "masculinism" came along and proclaimed that the organic state of masculinity is somehow oppressive to men, imposed on them by the evil matriarchy, and that to be free, men must behave like women. It's absurd, and yet this goes along exactly the same lines that feminism does.

Judging by most the young males I see on the street these days, i think someone already has! :wissl: :)
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 19:33 #6

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Feminism is a non issue to any real man because all the best girls out there are not feminist.

There will always be plenty of good women for a guy that has something worthwhile going for him.

I laugh at feminist..... :larf:
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 19:37 #7

Seaic wrote:
As a male, it's hard to discuss feminism objectively without the predictable and tiresome slurs being hurled at you, like "misogynist" or "you can't get a girlfriend!" This is unjust, because of one simple and overwhelming fact - it is feminism which is misogynist. Plenty of (most) women are anti-feminist, too, and I will link anyone who is interested to the websites several anti-feminist ladies later on in my post.

Phew, I thought I had the market cornered on being called that :larf:

Got anything on Pathological liars, or psychopaths :umm: :cool2:
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 19:39 #8

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son_of_parrot wrote:
Seaic wrote:
Let's turn it on its head for a moment. Imagine a new movement called "masculinism" came along and proclaimed that the organic state of masculinity is somehow oppressive to men, imposed on them by the evil matriarchy, and that to be free, men must behave like women. It's absurd, and yet this goes along exactly the same lines that feminism does.

Judging by most the young males I see on the street these days, i think someone already has! :wissl: :)

Well, a movement did come along telling males very similar things to what feminism told females - that they should concentrate on having sex with no commitment, marriage and children were a bore, they should lead hedonistic, selfish lives focused only on transient pleasure etc etc.

This movement was not attempting to turn them into women, but into homosexuals, as homosexuals have sex but not children or marriage - and typically change partners frequently and are fixated with physical appearances.

Makow has explained very well how in this sense "all porn is gay":

www.henrymakow.com/001421.html

Forget about what you normally think of gay or straight (same-sex , opposite sex attraction etc.) Think of heterosexuality as monogamous and dedicated to rearing children; homosexuality as promiscuous and concerned with sex for its own sake.

Heterosexuality involves bonding permanently with a member of the opposite sex for love and usually procreation. It is participating in the natural life cycle, in the intrinsic meaning of life. Personal and societal health depend on heterosexuality.

Homosexuality is a form of arrested development caused by an inability to form a heterosexual bond. As a result, homosexuals compensate using sex as a surrogate for love.

In these terms, society has become more homosexual because, due to social engineering (i.e. the "sexual revolution," feminism) many heterosexuals now fail to permanently bond. Normally, happily married heterosexuals can put sex in perspective and move on to more important things.

Last Edit: 29 Jun 2014 19:42 by Timesarrow.
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 19:50 #9

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Timesarrow wrote:

Well, a movement did come along telling males very similar things to what feminism told females - that they should concentrate on having sex with no commitment, marriage and children were a bore, they should lead hedonistic, selfish lives focused only on transient pleasure etc etc.

This movement was not attempting to turn them into women, but into homosexuals, as homosexuals have sex but not children or marriage - and typically change partners frequently and are fixated with physical appearances.

I know alot of my friends who live hedonistic lives having sex with alot of girls and have multiple kids.

None of them turned into homosexuals so i can't take this comment serious.
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 19:53 #10

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.......... wrote:
Timesarrow wrote:

Well, a movement did come along telling males very similar things to what feminism told females - that they should concentrate on having sex with no commitment, marriage and children were a bore, they should lead hedonistic, selfish lives focused only on transient pleasure etc etc.

This movement was not attempting to turn them into women, but into homosexuals, as homosexuals have sex but not children or marriage - and typically change partners frequently and are fixated with physical appearances.

I know alot of my friends who live hedonistic lives having sex with alot of girls and have multiple kids.

None of them turned into homosexuals so i can't take this comment serious.

Read the embedded quote. "Homosexuality" is not only defined by being attracted to the same sex. It is also defined as "failure to form a permanent bond with a member of the opposite sex"

So from that definition, your friends are homosexual.

Heterosexuals permanently bond to each other and raise their children within that bond. They don't just father them and then leg it to have sex with someone else.
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 19:58 #11

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Timesarrow wrote:
.......... wrote:
Timesarrow wrote:

Well, a movement did come along telling males very similar things to what feminism told females - that they should concentrate on having sex with no commitment, marriage and children were a bore, they should lead hedonistic, selfish lives focused only on transient pleasure etc etc.

This movement was not attempting to turn them into women, but into homosexuals, as homosexuals have sex but not children or marriage - and typically change partners frequently and are fixated with physical appearances.

I know alot of my friends who live hedonistic lives having sex with alot of girls and have multiple kids.

None of them turned into homosexuals so i can't take this comment serious.

Read the embedded quote. "Homosexuality" is not only defined by being attracted to the same sex. It is also defined as "failure to form a permanent bond with a member of the opposite sex"

So from that definition, your friends are homosexual.

Heterosexuals permanently bond to each other and raise their children within that bond. They don't just father them and then leg it to have sex with someone else.

I cant agree with this because i know plenty of great fathers who have sex with alot of girls.
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 20:02 #12

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.......... wrote:
Timesarrow wrote:
.......... wrote:
Timesarrow wrote:

Well, a movement did come along telling males very similar things to what feminism told females - that they should concentrate on having sex with no commitment, marriage and children were a bore, they should lead hedonistic, selfish lives focused only on transient pleasure etc etc.

This movement was not attempting to turn them into women, but into homosexuals, as homosexuals have sex but not children or marriage - and typically change partners frequently and are fixated with physical appearances.

I know alot of my friends who live hedonistic lives having sex with alot of girls and have multiple kids.

None of them turned into homosexuals so i can't take this comment serious.

Read the embedded quote. "Homosexuality" is not only defined by being attracted to the same sex. It is also defined as "failure to form a permanent bond with a member of the opposite sex"

So from that definition, your friends are homosexual.

Heterosexuals permanently bond to each other and raise their children within that bond. They don't just father them and then leg it to have sex with someone else.

I cant agree with this because i know plenty of great fathers who have sex with alot of girls.

No such thing. A fundamental part of being a good parent is having a strong, monogamous relationship with your child's other parent and creating and sustaining a stable, intact, two-parent family home for them to grow up in.

Parents who are unfairly cast out of the family unit against their wishes can do their best to be a good parent and many do an admirable job given the circumstances. However, failing to provide your children with a stable, intact home disqualifies someone from being able to be a "great parent".

And anyone who has sex with a lot of people is no sort of role model for any child, or for anyone else for that matter.
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 21:42 #13

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Feminism was originally a government ploy to get more tax payers into the system and enslave the other half of the population, before feminism the family unit could survive quite happily on one wage, now that is impossible and both parents have to work to keep the family unit afloat.

What women wished for became a curse, now they have to work, even if they don't want to.

Hook line and sinker springs to mind.
It was always going to happen!!

:)

Ragnarok = Druid 2 !! :)
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 21:46 #14

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wolfy wrote:
Feminism was originally a government ploy to get more tax payers into the system and enslave the other half of the population, before feminism the family unit could survive quite happily on one wage, now that is impossible and both parents have to work to keep the family unit afloat.

What women wished for became a curse, now they have to work, even if they don't want to.

Hook line and sinker springs to mind.

It also takes children away from the family unit for longer, be it more time in the education system or with child carers.
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 21:50 #15

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son_of_parrot wrote:
wolfy wrote:
Feminism was originally a government ploy to get more tax payers into the system and enslave the other half of the population, before feminism the family unit could survive quite happily on one wage, now that is impossible and both parents have to work to keep the family unit afloat.

What women wished for became a curse, now they have to work, even if they don't want to.

Hook line and sinker springs to mind.

It also takes children away from the family unit for longer, be it more time in the education system or with child carers.

Exactly, all part of the agenda to break down the family unit.
It was always going to happen!!

:)

Ragnarok = Druid 2 !! :)
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 29 Jun 2014 22:08 #16

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wolfy wrote:
son_of_parrot wrote:
wolfy wrote:
Feminism was originally a government ploy to get more tax payers into the system and enslave the other half of the population, before feminism the family unit could survive quite happily on one wage, now that is impossible and both parents have to work to keep the family unit afloat.

What women wished for became a curse, now they have to work, even if they don't want to.

Hook line and sinker springs to mind.

It also takes children away from the family unit for longer, be it more time in the education system or with child carers.

Exactly, all part of the agenda to break down the family unit.

Exactly, the longer you keep children away from their family unit the more time you have to implement social agenda's on an impressionable child.

School's In the UK are on about having children in school for 12 hour's a day! :O
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 18 Oct 2014 07:11 #17

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rodin wrote:
PFIZIPFEI wrote:
If you don't want to respond publicly, just send me a pm, Dots.

.

You know your problem?

You demand too much. Try asking nicely. Of course the hurt is real. Of course you go looking for answers. But you have to keep a cool head...

If—

BY RUDYARD KIPLING

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175772

But then... you can't become a man, absent some jewish sex change surgeon... and even then you can't, because



Consider the differences between men & women... real, or are the Jews right?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_feminists

edit

and not answering when someone puts time and effort into responding to points you have made is simply bad form, end of....






Orangeaid wrote:
My view is that feminism is a retaliatory attack by women in the Jewish left (and supported and funded by men of the Jewish left) in the battle by liberal Jews against orthodox Jewish misogyny.

The misogyny is culturally ingrained and really really bad ... tho the western jew media never covers it yet masks feminism as a battle against the white male oppressor. Goys have been roped in and smeared by an internal Jewish battle.

The goy smear has then be used to start the destruction of European society and the family as commenced by Jewish communist thinkers on Frankfurt 100 years ago.

blogs.timesofisrael.com/opening-up-about-open-orthodox-misogyny/





rodin wrote:
The point I was making is that their is a fundaMENTAL difference between men and women, something deeply understood in the happiest marriages. It's when this is not accepted problems start. These days, even among the enlightened, it is generally not accepted. Of course there are exceptions, but those prove the rule.

Thus we get Marxist bullshit excuses like

Cultural stereotypes making girls 'too nervous' to stick with maths and physics
Britain has created a generation of girls who are nervous about maths and science because of cultural ideas about gender, the education minister claims.
Writing in today's Daily Telegraph, Elizabeth Truss said there is a damaging preconception in society that careers based on both subjects are better suited to boys, while girls go off and do something else.
She claimed this in turn is knocking confidence and creating an anxiety among even high performers, with only a fifth of girls who get an A* at Physics GCSE going on to do the subject at A level, compared with half of boys.
Ms Truss said: "You can see it in the chemistry sets marketed as boy's toys or as parents saying to our daughters 'on[sic], I'm useless at maths' as if that won't discourage them.
"Or perhaps the Top Gear Formula 1 feature where boys are engineers and technicians - and girls, hostesses and press oficers[sic]."

www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10504090/Cultural-stereotypes-making-girls-too-nervous-to-stick-with-maths-and-physics.html

You have to wonder if Ms Truss :hahano: wrote rather than spoke...

I tell you something, Pfiz, your English is always perfect!

So let's do a little update on your performance, Pfiz, on this forum. From the beginning, you took the hardline view on Jewish corruption, and it is implied, from the "all along" part in the title, that this was met with initial resistance from the thread starter, who has now yielded to your view. (As you know, i was banned from DIF for being similarly forthright). However, you must have been extremely popular on the forum generally, because your karma was riding in the +200's. Since then you have not altered your position on the subject as far as I can see.

Then a new subject was introduced...

to be continued....





PFIZIPFEI wrote:
Alain Soral on Feminism



The Origin of Modern Feminism




I think the original sense of the terms "Feminism" and "Misogynism", just like e.g. "Homosexuality" were distorted and abused by the ruling few to evoke upside-down associations and to induce emotionally highly charged images in the heads of the slaves.

Thus we need to get straight what we are talking about exactly before starting to discuss:

- the subject in the original sense of the term
- or the newspeak catchwords abused to cover up the system agenda.


This deliberately created confusion is the reason why these topics ALWAYS end in fights on ALL forums.
Let's not fall into this trap and do it better here!

.
"The truth must be repeated over and over again,
because error is repeatedly preached among us, not
only by individuals, but by the masses. In periodicals
and cyclopaedias, in schools and universities; every-
where, in fact, error prevails, and is quite easy in the
feeling that it has a decided majority on its side."

~ J. W. v. Goethe

Johannes Lang "The Hollow World Theory" Blog
My Zone by PFIZIPFEI
Last Edit: 18 Oct 2014 08:32 by PFIZIPFEI.
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 18 Oct 2014 07:54 #18

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This article is well worth a read. It gives an insight into the extreme misogyny that is ingrained in Orthodox Jewish culture. I was aware that religious jews were misogynistic in that women were segregated from men in the synagogue and forced to sit at the back ... but the extent of treating women as second class citizens in relation to faith is really very shocking.
Opening up about Open Orthodox misogyny
JONAH RANK March 31, 2014, 6:02 am 139

What I am about to describe is a personal story, and some microscopic insights into the liberal Jewish religious world. I am about to describe Jews who get a lot of press, even though their population is few. But, what else is new in Jewish history?

A Personal Story

When I was soon to graduate college, I knew I wanted to be a rabbi. I found myself vacillating between two rabbinical schools: the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT).

JTS and Conservative Judaism

JTS is home to Conservative Judaism: a bastion of (somewhat) traditional Jewish life, where women are included in all aspects of ritual life. At JTS, women are ordained as rabbis, women are invested as cantors, and women serve as heads of our institutions (and so do men).

Conservative Jews—as an overall demographic—have a less constant, or certainly outwardly less vocal, relationship with exclusively Jewish expressions than Orthodox Jews. As one example, a Conservative Jew might pray weekly (once on Shabbat), rather than 3 times a day. On the books, the ideal Conservative Jew would probably pray 3 times a day, just like an Orthodox Jewish man. After all, that is the way that the Jewish tradition understands the role of prayer in Jewish life.

So, why would the Conservative Jew not pray 3 times a day?

Conservative Jews and Conservative Judaism

Conservative Judaism and the Conservative Jewish people are two separate things.

Conservative Judaism is a philosophy, and a way of life. Conservative Judaism is rooted in a German tradition of historical criticism and intellectual honesty. Occasional doses of liberal politics have prodded Conservative rabbis towards rereading traditional sources of halakhah (Jewish law), ruling new inclusive decisions for its laypeople: permitting women full participation in religious life, permitting a kohen to marry a woman who has previously been divorced, permitting gay Jews to become rabbis and cantors, and more.

Conservative Jewish people alone are not Conservative Judaism itself. Conservative Judaism is a philosophy, and Conservative Jews are people. Just as all religions have a disparity between its leaders and its followers, Conservative Judaism is no exception. Its rabbis and cantors and educators have, for the most part, been in touch with the philosophy of Conservative Judaism. Its laypeople have been overall less religiously engaged.

Despite their different religious lifestyles, many lay Conservative Jews have felt comfortable around their leaders. A Conservative synagogue typically is a place where a Jew who does not rest on Shabbat can feel comfortable attending services, without being judged for not observing Shabbat in the way the religion dictates. In fact, in most Conservative synagogues, most Conservative Jews currently do not observe Shabbat or keep kosher in the way that the ideals of Conservative Jewish philosophy would articulate. But some do. Some are “growing” in their observance. Some are “waning.” Conservative synagogues are a home and a safe space for checking in with Jewish identity and Jewish practice.

Wherever you fall in the spectrum of observance, Conservative communities are there to support you.

The Lonely Man of Observant Conservative Judaism

I had grown up in the Conservative Jewish world. I was in the minority of Conservative Jews who prayed three times a day, kept kosher, and observed a Shabbat full of “Don’ts” (“Don’t sew,” “Don’t cut,” “Don’t write,” “Don’t light fires,” “Don’t play music,” etc.). I had at some point convinced myself that, the more joy I can bring to my Jewish practice, the more attractive I could make Jewish practice look to those who were not observant. If I could do that—I told myself—then I could get more Conservative Jews on my team (the team of observant Conservative Jews).

After several years in college working in a subset of the Conservative Jewish community, I found myself unconvinced. No matter how joyous or welcoming I could be, Conservative Jewish practice was still… Jewish. It was still religion. For Jews who grew up without Shabbat or kosher food restrictions, this whole observant life could be overwhelming. It’s nice to have a happy role model, but what good does that do? Yes, progress was being made, but it was slower than I wanted.

I was distraught.

The way I saw it in the moment: My team was losing. I needed to switch teams.

Meanwhile In Riverdale

Not long before I began college, Rabbi Avi Weiss, a controversial rabbi in the Modern Orthodox community called for the founding of an “open” kind of Orthodoxy. This open Orthodoxy would be welcoming of people who are not Orthodox (or not yet Orthodox), and this open Orthodoxy would be forward-thinking about the communal roles of those who had been marginalized in the Orthodox world.

Rabbi Weiss was no stranger to controversy. He was an expert in Orthodox Jewish political theater—between having been arrested, and having arranged many protests both through and far away from his synagogue in Riverdale, NY.

In addition to his unusual politico-theatrics, Rabbi Weiss even authored a relatively permissive book on the role of women in halakhah. Regardless of his own showmanship, the consequences of his book on women were grave. Once a community’s women begin to participate in Jewish rituals in varying degrees, a community’s “Orthodoxy” is questioned. Avi Weiss’ Orthodoxy became suspect.

YCT and Open Orthodoxy

With not more than a small following of Orthodox Jews still willing to acknowledge Avi Weiss as “Orthodox,” Avi Weiss founded YCT and, with it, Open Orthodoxy.

A little over a month ago, the Modern Orthodox (i.e., somewhat centrist, but still relatively liberal) Yeshiva University (YU) came down on students who participate in partnership minyans—prayer spaces where women are allowed to lead prayers that are not obligatory, so men recite all the prayers that are actually obligatory. YU’s probation signaled Modern Orthodoxy hardening its opposition to women’s leadership in prayer life.

This has left YCT’s Open Orthodoxy as the last holdout of American Orthodoxy willing to condone partnership minyans.

This would not be problematic if YCT’s Open Orthodoxy were independent of the Orthodox world.

Free To Make Someone Else’s Decisions

Rabbi Avi Weiss, who recently argued that rabbis should be free to make their own decisions about Jewish law, condemned Rabbi Darren Kleinberg in 2008 for sitting on a conversion court facilitated by a Conservative woman rabbi. After all, an Orthodox rabbi should not be presiding over a Conservative conversion, nor acknowledging a woman as a member of a religious court. Had Rabbi Weiss followed his own thinking regarding the necessity of every rabbi to act according to one’s own interpretation of Jewish law, then Rabbi Kleinberg could have expanded the limits of Open Orthodoxy to be accepting of women in religious courts, or accepting of Conservative conversions. (For the record: one friend of mine, who converted through a Conservative rabbi, was not permitted to start his studies at YCT until he converted again through an Orthodox conversion.)

Although Rabbi Weiss ordained Sara Hurwitz in 2009, he only gave her the title Rabba (“female rabbi”) in 2010. Agudath Israel and the Rabbinical Council of America both criticized Weiss for doing something that is prohibited in Orthodox circles: ordaining a female rabbi. Weiss, who has argued that rabbis should be free to make their own decisions about Jewish law, apologized and said that he would never again bestow the title of “Rabba” on women. Rabba Sara Hurwitz, since 2009, has run her own institution for ordaining women with the title “Maharat” (a Hebrew acronym for “female Jewish legal, spiritual Torah teacher”), the bewildering title she was given when she was first ordained.

The YCT boys get to be rabbis with suspect Orthodox ordination, and the women get to be something completely unheard of: a maha-what?

The Visit

I visited YCT, seeking a rabbinical school that would—rather than give me the tools to work with less observant gender-equal communities more observant—give me the tools to make more observant communities of misogynistic Jews less misogynistic. I wouldn’t dare use the m-word (“misogynistic”) at the time. After all, it’s just ritual life. Then again, if synagogue is the public sphere, then a womanless synagogue is a public sphere from which women are erased.

Apparently at the time, I didn’t care.

Not too long into a day of visiting YCT, I met boys who grew up Reform, Conservative, and secular. I do not recall meeting anyone who mentioned growing up Orthodox, but I do recall the director of their Beit Midrash program telling me that I am probably not Orthodox enough for the school—even if I could (at the time) tolerate separate seating for men and women, or use an Orthodox prayer book to thank God for not making me a woman. But my tolerance was not enough. The school had a policy that none of their students may pray in a space where men and women sit together. Mixed sitting would not be Orthodox enough.

(A few years later, by the way, that same rabbi who told me I was not Orthodox enough went to B’nai Jeshurun’s Simchat Torah celebrations with gender-mixed seating and musical instruments that are prohibited on festivals in Orthodox law. He no longer was teaching at YCT. Perhaps he too was not Orthodox enough.)

Not Orthodox Enough

The day I visited YCT, I followed around a student who grew up Conservative and had been teaching at a Conservative synagogue. Not long afterwards, he dropped out of YCT. I found this out when I saw him leading services at a Conservative synagogue.

Being “Orthodox enough” is hardly defined by having a certain theological bend. It is hardly associated with a nuanced approach to eating kosher food. It is hardly associated with a sort of moral integrity, or a commitment to a certain degree of Jewish knowledge, or a certain Shabbat observance. Being “Orthodox enough” is about how much women can be a part of Jewish life.

If your women are rabbis, you are not Orthodox enough. If your women are fulfilling some obligatory commandment on behalf of men, you are not Orthodox enough. If you are a woman who wants to be a recognized Jewish leader on par with a rabbi, you are not Orthodox enough.

So when Rabbi Weiss articulates that a rabbi has the right to make one’s own decisions, I suppose it’s just a fluke that he felt the need to apologize for making Sara Hurwitz a “Rabba.” If he were consistently as brave as he has advocated, Open Orthodox leaders maybe would have the courage to expand the circle of Orthodoxy and make a space for women. Instead, it is a cowardly spurned denomination that just isn’t Orthodox enough.

“Open Orthodox” and “Orthodox enough” ultimately become synonymous with “accepting that women are not people who should make a difference in Jewish ritual life.”

The YCT Boys

If it weren’t for the less- than-40% of YCT’s students who grow up Orthodox, the more-than-60% of theretofore-not-Orthodox Jews who attend YCT could barely support the notion that there’s something truly Orthodox about YCT’s student population. Then again, YCT would not even have an “Orthodox enough” standard to live up to. Their school would be able to permit its students to do as Rabbi Weiss has argued for: making decisions about what is right in their own eyes. Instead Rabbi Weiss, who is hardly Orthodox enough, is concerned with making YCT’s boys Orthodox enough.

If I were a single male without many serious prospects of having children (as I was when I considered YCT some years back), I too could sit awkwardly on the denominational fences, unsure of the necessity of women’s empowerment. And that’s called “male privilege.”

Believing that I would not have helped perpetuate a cycle of vicious emotional violence against women by joining up with a religious outlook that unnecessarily excludes women would have been delusional. And more than that, it would have been unholy.

YCT has a track record of recruiting undecided young men into a liberal form of Orthodoxy that is not recognized in the Orthodox world. In doing so, YCT wins over Jews at the perfect moment of apathy—when they do not care about women. These Jews have not yet realized the ramifications of excluding women from Jewish ritual. The men of YCT are undoubtedly unaware of the damage it causes to women to be told that they cannot be equal to their male counterparts. If these men in fact are aware of the damage, then they are plain old misogynists.

The Misogyny of Orthodoxy

To tell a woman that she is ritually insignificant is a way of delegitimizing women. To delegitimize a woman is misogynistic—hateful of women. Because Orthodoxy by definition (the way it is seen by Open Orthodoxy) delegitimizes women every time she is denied a religious privilege, Orthodoxy is a misogynistic system.

I cannot blame YCT boys who have not yet taken in how Open Orthodoxy inherently marginalizes women. But I do blame any Open Orthodox leader who is telling Open Orthodox students that Open Orthodoxy is no more misogynistic than any other kind of Judaism. And I do blame YCT for luring boys into a misogynistic rabbinate by offering something that no American liberal rabbinical school can offer: free tuition and a living stipend.

Open Orthodoxy is a welcoming space for women, only if compared to other forms of Orthodoxy. But Open Orthodox rabbis know better. If they want to read halakhic approaches to the inclusion of women, they can read the writings of Rabbis David Fine, David Golinkin, Susan Grossman, Joel Roth, Mayer Rabinowitz, Michael Rosenberg, Phillip Sigal, Ethan Tucker, and others. One would be hard-pressed to find an unsound halakhic argument in their responsa advocating for egalitarian Jewish practice.

The path to emancipating women in Jewish ritual and leadership life has already been treaded. Open Orthodoxy’s refusal to accept that perfectly logical Jewish legal writings permitting women to function as equals with men is not because of Orthodoxy’s marriage to Halakhah. Halakhah permits women to be fully functional members of Jewish ritual communities. The only excuse at this point is misogyny.

Stuck

I don’t want to be stuck.

Open Orthodoxy might be open to conversations about change, but Open Orthodoxy has yet to prove to me that it is open to enacting meaningful, welcoming change that can transform the Jewish world. Words that don’t lead to action are mere chatter. I want to see the Jewish world change. I have been impressed by the way I have seen observant egalitarian communities grow gradually over the years and progressively rethink Jewish life in a halakhic framework—and this has not come out of YCT.

As a senior in college reflecting on YCT, seeing myself there just seemed impossible. I couldn’t see myself becoming Orthodox just so that I could be Orthodox enough. And I couldn’t see myself pretending to be Orthodox enough.

I knew that I had to go to JTS. I couldn’t lie about the God in whom I believe—the God who sees misogyny as a chillul hashem—a disgrace to God. My God is gender-blind. The God who says that a partition between men and women is kosher is the same God who says that there are no trans* people in the universe. To me, that God is just a hurtful fiction.

If the God of YCT is a God who renders women ritually insignificant, then the religion of YCT—the religion of all Orthodoxy—is a God of hate. The God in whom I believe welcomes and honors people of all genders as people made in God’s image. My God is a God of love.

YCT is stuck in a misogynistic model that they are too cowardly to escape. All they need to do to get out of the cycle is to speak up for themselves, to make the perfectly halakhic decision that women may act as equals alongside men—that gender does not matter. But they won’t.

In a world that so desperately needs change, YCT is too scared of making change happen.

Taking Advice

Advice for anyone considering YCT as their rabbinical school (or Yeshivat Maharat as their semi-rabbinical school): Take Rabbi Weiss’ advice, and seek a rabbinate where you get to make your own decisions. Since Open Orthodoxy will not permit that, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

I made the decision that I want a rabbinate where I can stand up for my beliefs. I selected JTS for this purpose.

I chose an education that is teaching me to find my values, and to challenge them, as I listen for them in the chorus of Judaism’s many voices—from its Biblical foundations, to its Midrashic retellings; from the Talmudic debates on law, to the responsa of contemporary halakhic decisors; from critical philosophers to mystical kabbalists; from the prose and poems of Jewish writers, to the narratives of Jewish historians. When I encounter Jews and Judaisms of bygone eras—when I bring my entire being into the Jewish tradition—I am not listening for the single voice of a monolithic Orthodoxy (“Orthodox,” coming from the Greek words for “right opinion”); I am listening to the polyphonic symphony of Jewish history. My standard is not whether I am Orthodox enough. My standard is whether I am Jewish enough.

I know that some people—myself included—have been sold by YCT’s free tuition, its living stipends, and its commitment to a particular form of traditional Talmud study (a form of Talmud study offered for a similar cost at egalitarian Yeshivah environments such as Nishma, the Conservative Yeshiva, SVARA, or Mechon Hadar—and YCT students are aware of this, for many of them are alumni of these institutions which ask that their students spread Torah to the egalitarian world).

I could never again consider YCT. I believe that neither Torah nor money should ever come at the expense of the spiritual lives of 50% of my community. Nothing is worth the cost of degrading even one human life. (Doesn’t the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 107a, tell us that degrading others guarantees us no place in the world to come? Doesn’t Bava Metzi’a 58b tell us that degrading a single person makes us akin to a murderer?)

Deciding between Open Orthodoxy and an egalitarian Judaism is not a choice between two equally righteous forms of Judaism. It is a choice between misogyny and equality; emotional murder, or being present; baseless hatred versus thoughtful love.

When I was deciding between JTS and YCT, I did not know what I know now about Orthodoxy’s systemic misogyny. I sincerely believe that most prospective YCT students don’t, and I hope that they don’t make the same sinful choice I almost made.

A Judaism for the 21st Century

Whatever liberal form of Judaism I seek will undoubtedly take its shape in a community of Jews with varying observances: folks with fewer Shabbat rituals, others with more Shabbat rituals; people with fewer kosher food restrictions, some with more food restrictions; and so on. My job as a rabbi will not be to watch a static community stay “Orthodox enough.” My job as a rabbi will be to facilitate moving social, educational, and spiritual programs and rituals through which Jews grow into and deepen their different Jewish journeys. My job will be to honor the dignity of where everyone is coming from, where everyone wants to go, and where everyone stands now.

If that’s not the work that a rabbi is supposed to do in the 21st century, then I don’t know what is. The future of a liberal egalitarian Judaism excites me.

I’m not Orthodox enough, and I am proud of it.
blogs.timesofisrael.com/opening-up-about-open-orthodox-misogyny/
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 18 Oct 2014 10:57 #19

  • Frothy
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Feminist wrote
I want equality, though on top of that, I want those special little treatments that are executed by gentlemen for ladies
In other words feminism is a slide rule attribute to society, and they use their rights as a feminist to decide when and when not, the rules of feminism need apply.

This makes them feminists within the cloudy boundaries of feminism, and outwith the cloudy boundaries of feminism they shall be the judge to when the boundaries do and do not apply.

Women are a bit like Israeli Zionists, they use matters of their historical suppression/oppression as a platform to justify their over ambitious self advocacy, demands and needs, whilst requiring thier neighbours to say 'yes dear, anything you say dear'
:D
Once a hyena always a hyena.
Last Edit: 18 Oct 2014 10:59 by Frothy.
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Feminism - Empowerment or Oppression? 18 Oct 2014 12:50 #20

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Blue_Tackler wrote:
Feminist wrote
I want equality, though on top of that, I want those special little treatments that are executed by gentlemen for ladies
In other words feminism is a slide rule attribute to society, and they use their rights as a feminist to decide when and when not, the rules of feminism need apply.

This makes them feminists within the cloudy boundaries of feminism, and outwith the cloudy boundaries of feminism they shall be the judge to when the boundaries do and do not apply.

Women are a bit like Israeli Zionists, they use matters of their imagined suppression/oppression as a platform to justify their over ambitious self advocacy, demands and needs, whilst requiring thier neighbours to say 'yes dear, anything you say dear'
:D

There, fixed it 4 ya, apart from the spelling....
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The media isn't there to cover the news
It's there to cover the news up

All establishment lies pass through three stages
First, they are accepted as being self evident
Second, they are exposed by diligent research
Third, they are enforced

"Communism is the bloodiest, most difficult and the most terrible way from capitalism to capitalism" from Under the Sign of the Scorpion by Juri Lina
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