Worthwhile Reads: Some Eyebrow Raisers

Marissa Mayer [new CEO of Yahoo] doesn’t particularly care for feminism, on Feministing

And Marissa, it is too bad that feminism has become a negative word. You know what’s also too bad? Your failure to acknowledge that without feminism, you could never have become the CEO of Yahoo.

KANSAS FETUS MEMORIAL TO BE CLASSY, JEW-Y, on Wonkette

Probably all humans should be offended by the “International Pro-Life Memorial and National Life Center” being planned in Wichita, because it ismonstrously tacky, featuring what appears to be the atrium of a mid-90s suburban Radisson glommed onto a brick wall that it is intended to be an “exact replica” of the Western Wall, aka the Wailing Wall, aka the retaining wall to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where Jews go to pray and stick notes between the stones and such. It seems churlish to point out that the actual Western Wall does not, for instance, have a stair-stepped top, like the one in the picture above. Nor does it face a broad lawn dotted by crosses, each representing a million dead fetuses. But, you know, to each their own.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • smrnda

    I have to say, Christians aren’t exactly very *sensitive* when it comes to appropriating Judaism. Nothing like having people go on about how “Judaism” is “the law and legalism” as opposed to grace and forgiveness (since what, do Jews never forgive people or run around stoning each other) or the frequent belief that Judaism is based exclusively on the Old Testament (I mean, there’s the Talmud, Mishnah, Zohar at least.)

    As for feminism, it’s kind of ‘in’ for high profile women to bash feminism, as if it’s just some outrageous ideology that hasn’t done anything for them. Part of it’s probably that there’s an immense benefit given to women who distance themselves from feminism, especially since there’s been such a huge right-wing backlash in the last few years against it, or perhaps that some women have benefited from it so much that they don’t appreciate it, the way that we hardly appreciate things like clean water and not having to work 12 hours a day.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      So much yes to your first paragraph. (Your second one too but the first one is less frequently said…)

      • smrnda

        I had to put in the top one – I’m (well, half) Jewish, and I never think about it at all until I hear a phrase like that pop up and then I just cringe.

        The other one is when some Christians write about Judaism, and of course go into spasms of an exoticism fetish over the most rigid Orthodox beliefs and practices, and then go on to declare that say, Reform Judaism ‘isn’t real Judaism.’ Apparently Jesus came to abolish or replace the old “Law” but here they are, fascinated most by the people who follow the Law to the letter.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        *sigh* Yes, yes, it’s all true. I grew up around a lot of that. (As one of the only Jews in my very-Catholic area, and a REFORM Jew at that!) I’ve often disappointed people by being a normal person and not the exoticized stereotype they had in mind (which they look down on but are fascinated by), and I have on more than one occasion been told that I’m not a REAL Jew because I don’t practice whatever little parts of halachah somebody happens to have heard of (usually kashrut). Which is awesome, because there’s nothing I love more than having non-Jews define what Judaism is for me. What would I ever do without them? lol

        And yeah, there is a habit that I am very uncomfortable with of Christians using Judaism and Jews as the example of the “unenlightened” to contrast with how mindblowingly awesome it is to be Christian and to follow the New Testament and Jesus. And, as you say, they frequently don’t even know that Jewish scripture does not end witht he so-called Old Testament. A LOT of people think that Judaism is just Christianity with the Jesus part taken out. Frankly, I find that a lot of liberal Christians and atheists think this way too. Even if they reject many (or all) aspects of conservative Christianity, most Americans, even totally non-religious ones, have Christianity as their frame of reference and so they have ideas like New Testament=love and peace and kittens and Old Testament=all that is backward. And since they don’t’ know anything else about Judaism, except that it has the Old Testament as part of (or from their perspective, all of) its canon, I have to wonder how this affects the way they see Jews. When people say stuff like that, I wonder what they are thinking about me but I often don’t really want to know and it’s often not appropriate to ask.

        I do wish more people would educate themselves about other religions though and, most of all, recognize that you can’t understand Jewish religion without understanding Jewish culture, because they two have been connected from the beginning. Judaism is an essentially different kind of religion than Christianity. Christianity was designed to be trans-ethnic and trans-cultural because the idea was to bring it many people as possible. Judaism has always been a tribal, ethnic religion. It’s defined by a people, not by a doctrine, which means there’s a lot more variation in belief and practice and it’s ALL Jewish. I think that’s hard for a lot of Americans to understand.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Stop it you guys! I’ve been planning to write a post called “I know nothing about Judaism but I used to think I did” or something along those lines, and you guys are saying it all for me before I can even write the post! The truth is, I thought I knew what Jews believed, how they practiced, etc, but in reality all I knew was what the books now in the Christian Bible say about what Jews believed and how they practiced back then, and even that is seen through a Christian lens. So yes, if asked, I would have said I knew a great deal about Judaism. And then some months back I was staying with a Jewish friend, and she mentioned Adam’s second wife, and it made me realize that the truth is I know essentially nothing about Judaism! I just…used to think I did. :-P

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Okay, okay I’ll shut up! And I will very much look forward to that post, Libby. :-)

      • shuying

        Hahahaha have you written that post yet Libby? That is pretty much a perfect description of the old me as well. “I don’t know anything about Judaism but I used to think I did.”

        Right now I’m kind of in a relationship with a Jewish guy, and I DO find him fascinating, but I’ve had the good sense to keep my mouth shut and not “educate” him about all the things in the Old Testament he doesn’t know about. And yes, I’m just beginning to learn that Judaism is very much inseparable from Jewish culture– and since I know NOTHING about Jewish culture, I need to shut up and listen!

      • Brooke

        I look forward to reading that post too Libby! That is something I have always wondered about.

        As an Atheist Jew who, like most Jews, is pro-choice and pro-gay rights, I often cringe when I hear people use the term “Judeo-Christian values” as an explanation for their bigotry. Take the ‘judeo’ part out of it please! We want no part in it!

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        BROOKE YOU ARE MY BEST FRIEND FOREVER!!! Those are EXACTLY my thoughts. The term “Judeo-Christian” is the bane of my existence. I wanna be like “Leave us Judeos out if this, okay? You don’t know jack shit about us and you don’t even really care.” I don’t even know if they do it as a half-assed nod to some degree of inclusiveness but…just stop. I just had a good rant about this recently with some other Jewish friends. :-)

  • katiesays

    That’s disgusting. No, wait…more than just disgusting…REPULSIVE. Yeah, I’d say that this monstrosity of a “monument” dedicated to the continued ignorance, lack of sexual education, in addition to any empathy, concern, and compassion for the women who were faced with unwanted pregnancies and their societal repercussions. Thank you again, Pro-Life Movement, for making every day just a little worse.

  • Rider

    60 crosses for 60mil dead fetuses in the US since 1973, I don’t even want to know what the unemployment rate would be if we had 60mil (plus any breeding they do) additional people.

  • Carol the Long Winded

    So all the fetuses are Christian? Or would have been? Or is there a belief, like in Islam, that everyone is born Christian? How is this healing going to be effected by a huge mysterious building (what is going on in there? We know they aren’t into educating women, which lessens conception rates, or getting contraception to women…)
    I really don’t see how a multinational organization can be so Christian centric to do what they think it is going to do.


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