Links (or Letting Others Do the Thinking)

I heart feminism grafitti

Photo by Jay Morisson

Too many links. Not enough time to comment with the wit and/or intelligence deserved. So, a link round-up. Now known  among more enlightened (ok, smarmy) internets circles as “curating.” Not to be confused with that thing people with degrees do in museums.

What Leads to ‘Burqa Rage’ (The Sisterhood | Forward.com)
Are we doing too much namby-pamby hand-wringing over cultural sensitivities? (Also, I cannot say enough good things about the existence of the Sisterhood blog. Consistently thought-provoking and interesting. Bookmark it.)

More questions to consider: Does Hirsi Ali’s association with controversial figures of the right in The Netherlands… discredit her?…And does this mean that if we feminists condemn the treatment of women in other societies, particularly in the Muslim world, we risk inadvertently allying ourselves with the xenophobic right, whose critique of the treatment of women in Islam forms only a small part of a much wider politics of religious intolerance.

Genderlicious: Looking at ‘Why Misogynists Make Great Informants’ (Bitch Magazine)
But on the flipside, what about that same misogynism in leftist circles? Blogger Thea Lim tackles our reluctance to confront internal problems in leftist movements.

left wing movements are easy to infiltrate because they are uncritical of themselves… women activist heroes like Angela Davis, Assata Shakur and Elaine Brown who either refused to join leftist movements (in this case the Black Panther Party) because of the gender violence that went on within them, or experienced such violence. In addition, I appreciated Morris’ examination of how progressive movements unwillingness to genuinely self-analyze foster both gender violence and “isms” like racism

We Contain Multitudes: Ashkenazi Spaces and Multiethnic Identity (Racialicious)
Amidst the furor over Israel’s conversion bill (ostensibly meant to help Soviet/Russian Jews of questionable heritage more easily convert, it’s spiralled into a lightening rod for tensions between Israel and North American Jewry), this post from a couple years ago is a poignant reminder that identity is not written upon our surfaces. Though I’d add that this is not just a white-Ashkenazi issue, but also applies to more recent Ashkenazi immigrants such as Soviet/Russian Jews, who are equally mystified by the dominant Jewish culture.

All of these are variations on the question no one dares to ask outright: How are you really Jewish? So here is a question I would like to ask White-identified Jews: Why is it that in so many Jewish surroundings—(even) in leftist, queer-positive ones—Jews of multiethnic or non-Ashkenazi heritage remain objects of such unabashed fascination?

Women’s Role in Holocaust May Exceed Old Notions (New York Times)
What drives women to horrific acts? We’ll likely never get a satisfactory answer, but I have to admit, I’m fascinated in much the way I’m fascinated by what makes female suicide bombers tick. My inner curmudgeon is also slightly bemused by the way in which these women upend that tired old “if women ran the world it would be a much better place” argument. Oh, really?

Education should always come secondary to discipline (27b/6)
Just for laughs, but this is probably the smartest thing I’ve read in a while. (You’ll have to read all the way to the bottom. Worth it, I promise.)

I understand the need for conformity. Without a concise set of rules to follow we would probably all have to resort to common sense. Discipline is the key to conformity and it is important that we learn not to question authority at an early age.

© 2017 Lea Zeltserman