bargainjewess

Posts Tagged ‘Women’

The Power of Women

In Advice, Politics, Women on December 31, 2008 at 9:00 pm

It is a consistently amazing phenomenon to me the power that we as women hold. We as mothers, wives, sisters, caregivers, are endlessly compassionate. Women around the world are the voice of reason the voice of kindness. Many of us can remember the cool touch of our mother’s hand on our hot foreheads, or the calming balm of embrace of a friend or sister in difficult times. With the situation in Israel escalating Jews the world over are engaging in vigils to say tehillim-psalms for the safety of the Israeli soldiers and Israel.

Today in my office we had such a service. One employee an-Israeli transplant-spoke of the call she received from her brother for him to say goodbye. His unit was being deployed to Gaza and he would be out of contact for three weeks. He did not know if he would return home. I looked around the room. It was mostly filled with women; women whose eyes, were swimming with tears. Who silently cried as the tehillim was read responsively. I suddenly realized that if only we, as women banded together we might be able to change the world. For thousands of years women have been trying to keep men from sinning. In the bible when the Jews are all set and ready to make the golden calf- they run to their wives demanding their jewelry. The wives refuse. In their honor they were given as a holiday Rosh Chodesh- or the festival of the New moon which takes place once a month.

In more recent times women are assuming power in countries stained by slaughter and tragedy. In Rwanda a country who saw a genocide that killed 1 million people. Women now nearly half the seats of the lower parliament and more than 50% of small businesses are owned by women. Chile a vehemently patriarchal society has recently elected Michele Bachelet, a single mother who is a self-describer agnostic in a very Christian country. After having many leaders who turned a blind eye to the suffering of many of its people, the people spoke and chose a woman.

Standing in that room today made me realize that we as women have the power of change. We have all heard the stories of Jewish women and Arab women forming friendships. Deep down all of us aspire to peace, to love, to harmony, to live a life rich and full. I call on Israeli women, on Palestinian women, and all women to join together and end this fighting. It is in our power to do so. We as women just need to stand together and remember we are fighting the same fight for good to win and evil to be vanquished.

May we see peace in our days; may we see the safety of Israel, its citizens, the IDF, and all innocent women and children who are used as pawns in the games men play.

Palin Appeal- The Power of Femininity

In Politics, Women on September 17, 2008 at 3:10 pm

It’s an interesting thing. John Mccain announces his running mate, Sarah  Palin and gains in edge in the polls. It got me thinking, what is it about Sarah Palin that has conservative Republican women-who normally would not want to see a woman with small children in the White House- cheering her on? Even further not only are women cheering her on but they are emulating her. Trying to look like her and copy her fresh, wearable, style.

I think there are two things that appeal to the women backing Sarah Palin that makes them go so far as to support a candidate whose views differ from theirs.

  • Sarah Palin is the every mom. She has 5 kids, she has normal struggles. A pregnant teenage daughter, a child with down syndrome…while these might be the extreme of normal we all know people with similar albeit different situations and can therefore relate. She also seems to be supermom but doesn’t come off as intimidating. She doesn’t discuss her struggles to balance work and kids, she just does it. That’s part of her appeal. That we see her as this very normal woman who has very normal responsibilities. She seems like a woman who can commiserate, a friend even, and because she is a working class woman she appeals to women of the working class everywhere. Women can see themselves in her. In a woman like Hilary Clinton with her Ivy league education and her desire to act like one of the boys, downplaying her femininity worked as a strike against her. Many women did not identify with her. This leads to my next point.
  • Sarah Palin is likable because she is a woman. I don’t mean that in the literal sense we all know she’s a woman. But she is a feminine woman. A woman who has style and isn’t afraid to wear red peep-toe pumps with a 3+ inch heel. If you notice something Palin is always in a skirt always coiffed and groomed. Not too stylish and pretty for other women to put off, but stylish and pretty enough that women identify with her and her struggle as a woman to be a woman while working in the same world as the boys. Other women have downplayed their femininity, in attempts to blend and to show male voters that they are just as qualified as the boys. Sarah Palin is doing the opposite she is using her credentials as a woman and a mother to say that she is just as qualified if not more so than any man. That women do not have to compromise their femininity in order to get the big jobs and titles. That is a powerful message to women everywhere.
  • Many women love the movie Legally Blonde. Elle Woods a beauty queen sorority type, puts her mind to becoming an attorney and get’s into Harvard, graduating at the top of her class. She smacks down sexual advances offered as a way to climb her way up the corporate ladder, outdoes the boy who dumped her and looks glamorous throughout. Looking at Sarah Palin many can say that she is a real life Elle Woods. A former beauty queen who exemplifies the edict that women can be stylish and attractive and still do anything. Whenever the media makes a comment she deems sexist she decries it, and although we don’t know of any boys who dumped her, it seems that the boys are just trying to keep up with her.

Sarah Palin has in many ways created a new playing field. One that uses feminine wiles and actual femininity to gain approval and solidarity. It seems that it just might be working. For me none of this is a quantifier or qualifier of voting for Mccain-Palin but I can certainly say that I admire the woman; she’s smarter than many of her critics seem to think.

For More Info check out the following Links:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122116644864624975.html?mod=googlenews_ws

For perspective: http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB122143727571134335.html

http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/98651/’sarah_palin_feminism’_more_like_sarah_palin_sexism/

PS: I love how the term Rovian has become part of our collective colloquial speech to indicate anyone who lies…as if no one lied before Karl Rove.

Here’s to great political Debate.

Bargain Jewess.