Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Women's Rosh Chodesh Events

So the other night, I went to one of these women's rosh chodesh events at the Friendly Neighborhood Chabad House. The theme was "The Beauty of the Woman" and the events featured a) fondue b) a dvar torah about how Esther teaches the value of tzniut since she saved the Jewish people in a quiet, behind-the-scenes way, 3) A talk about make-up tips and 4) a talk about parenting tips.
Sigh. Just sigh.
I mean, not that it wasn't fun. It was very fun. And it was entertaining, and in some odd ways informative. And there was chocolate. Much chocolate. And it was nice to hang out with other Jewish women and it was also nice to...fade back into a Jewish, heimish environment for a bit.
But still. I mean, look, I have nothing against females. Some of my best friends are female, including myself. (Have I ever mentioned that sometimes I have a wicked desire to get a t-shirt that reads "Yes, I'm female. So is your mother" and wear it around Me'ah She'arim? Not that I would...but the image is so much fun. But I digress.) But...just because one is female doesn't mean they have to be quite so stereotypically girly.
That was an unfair statement. Why shouldn't they be girly? They are, after all, girls, and trying to pretend that they're too cool and modern to be girly is pretty pathetic. It sounds, in fact, like feminism, and I am vehemently opposed to feminism. (Not the whole "let women have jobs!" feminism. The "we're just like men, only better!" feminism. It smacks of inferiority, denial, ingratitude, and stupidity.)
And, deep down, I also have vague traces of girliness and this is not something of which I am ashamed. G-d chose to create me female, a fact for which I am profoundly grateful, and there's no reason for me to go about dissing it.
But...make-up tips? I just don't see guys having Rosh Chodesh events and discussing sports tips or something. I mean, they do talk sports, almost incessantly if my little brother is any indication, but to have a Rosh Chodesh event organized around it? For some reason, the whole thing feels to me like the speeches that we used to have in high school about how, really, women are just as good as men. And it drove me crazy, not because I thought that they didn't believe it, but because I knew that they would never go to Yeshivot and give them speeches about how, really, they were just as good as women. Only different.
But then again...some girls really enjoyed the speeches. Perhaps it was something they needed to hear. It's just that it gave me a feeling of...considering male to be the default setting. Like, everyone is human, and some people are human and female, as well. And so they get to have special speeches about the special things about them!
And I know that is not necessarily a fair analysis of the attitude they had, and I know that this is not a particularly coherent post, but, then again, my feelings on the subject are not particularly coherent, so there you go. Something about this continues to rub me the wrong way, mentally.
On the other hand....there was chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

1 comment:

Richard said...

Sounds a lot like Tuesday's civ discussion...
It's perhaps startling to discover that if there is a "default setting," then it is female; for without certain hormonal triggers in utero, even a biological male (XY genes) will develop as a female physically.
And I feel that your analysis is quite apt.