Daily Archives: September 7, 2009

Meme……

I was tagged by Chaviva in a meme, so here is my submission. I don’t do a lot of memes, but Chaviva asked me, how could I say no??
The rules are:

  1. Open the fourth file where you store your photos.
  2. Pick the fourth photo.
  3. Explain the photo.
  4. Pass challenge onto four other bloggers.

My Photo.

momo chumash party 006

I had taken a pic of my Shabbat table to send to someone…can’t remember who now. Don’t you want to be a guest at my shabbat table?

I tag Shorty, Chanief , the very funny Benji and Yonit.

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Was that woman really me?

I am cleaning up some more clutter, and I came across a book of handwritten poetry that I wrote years ago. I took a few minutes to sit down and read through it. I have to say much of it is amazingly written – so moving. I went through a rough time a number of years back (read here) and much of this poetry was written during this bleak time. Scary stuff.

I sit here and I weep for the person that I was. The poetry speaks of a woman suffering so much, hurting so much, so deep inside herself. Here is an excerpt :

“Who is this being
Miserable and trapped
Grumpy and confused
Energy totally sapped?
I feel as if my life
Has spun out of control
I’m pressing the brakes
The car continues to roll
My voice is screaming
But no one can hear
What is it that I want?
What is it that I fear?
Do I take refuge in the pain and neglect
Does it give me a purpose
One I may regret?”

I find it hard to believe that I was that woman. Today I love my life. I live my life in a positive way. I look forward to every day that I spend with my kids and my husband and my friends. I lost so much time being that woman, the one who hated herself, who hated her life. The woman who felt she was no good as a mother, as a friend, as a wife.

I am horrifed that I let things get to the point that breathing was practically a chore. I am sad that it took so much pain and sorrow for me to wake up to reality and DO something to get myself back on track. But I did. With G-d’s help and the community around me, I picked myself up off the floor and dusted myself off and worked damn hard to put that period behind me and become a better person.

I will keep this poetry as a reminder of where I was and how hard I have to pushed to get out of there. I will keep it to keep me humble, to remind me that I am far from perfect. Mostly I will keep it as a remembrance to those who never sought help until it was too late for them.

Thank you G-d for giving me the tools to get my life back on track, and for filling me with joy and wonder every day as I take stock of my kids, my husband and my communities. Every day that I have with them is a blessing in its own right.

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My Feminism

Wikipedia describes Feminism as

“a political discourse aimed at equal rights and legal protection for women. It involves various movements, political and sociological theories, and philosophies, all concerned with issues of gender difference; that advocate equality for women; and that campaign for women’s rights and interests.”

I am a proud feminist. But I have learned that to say this makes some people think that I grow my armpit hair and hate men. That’s a big fat NO on both counts. I believe that women are capable of anything they put their minds too – in my mind being a feminist is about being pro-woman, not anti-man.

It doesn’t mean that I am out on the stump advocating for equal rights for women. I am not an activist by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe that makes me a quiet feminist, but I am one all the same. If throughout history men had been subjugated, I would be a staunch masculinist too. Seriously folks, we are all people, we all deserve the same rights and freedoms as each other. Why does the word feminist have such a negative connotation to some people??

Gloria Steinem once said “a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle”. I don’t happen to follow her philosophy.  I need a man, not to make me whole, but to add fullness to my life that would not otherwise be there. I was happy before I met the KoD – I didn’t need him to make me happy. My happiness comes from within me. If I cannot find happiness within myself, how can I expect someone else to provide it?? He enhances my happiness – but it is not dependent on him. He adds so much more meaning to my life, his partnership is something I will cherish forever. In my opinion to say we don’t need men is to deny our own humanity.

You can be a feminist and still wear a bra, you can be male and be a feminist even, you don’t have to wear birkenstocks – the definition evolves along with the world. Our foremothers fought for equal rights, voting rights etc – we don’t have to fight for that anymore. Indeed, we almost take it for granted that we can do all those things that were fought for years ago. Feminism today is about encouraging women to be all they can be, to not give up, that the world is our oyster. As far as I am concerned man-bashing has no part in today’s feminism.

I posed this question on Twitter and Facebook  “in two sentences – what does being a feminist mean to you” and got back some awesome and interesting responses.

“My worth does not lie in my reproductive organs”

“I choose”

“Femme, female. Ism a belief. Feminism is a belief in women”

“In society women need to be treated equally and with respect. Judaism has to figure out how to do that without violating God’s laws. (Third sentence? Neither is easy.)”

“Men are. Still in charge.”

“Feminism means freedom to be whatever sort of women you wish with no expectations and no strings attached”

“Woman says wants to make kiddush fri night, hamotzei lechem, and feels need to carry sefer torah simchas torah. Plus the other usual nonsense.’

What does feminism mean to you? and for my Jewish commenters, what does it mean to you to be a feminist in a Jewish world?

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