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15 November 2008 @ 01:03 am
Today there was a Hillel-wide Friday night dinner. I usually have dinner on Fridays with Kesher, the Reform group, and I probably wouldn't have gone at all this week, because I knew it would just be a bunch of people who didn't know me and probably didn't care to know me, but some people I knew were involved in planning it so I felt kind of obligated to go. And really, it wasn't bad...I managed to sit near the right sort of people and had some philosophical discussions about whether we will ever know everything and whether the physical is all of reality. XD

But Judaism's rampant sexism still managed to take me by surprise. It shouldn't have; I know it's there. I see it every day in the two girls in my English class who never wear pants or show their elbows. But I guess all my time at Hillel is spent in a little bubble of Kesher and Gayava (the LGBT group) and PJA (Progressive Jewish Alliance) and Shalhevet (the dance group, which is made up mostly of more observant people than me, but is also mostly girls), so I don't usually experience it directly.

So I was sitting at the table, waiting for dinner to start, and a guy came up and asked the guy sitting next to me his name, and then whether he'd like to lead the kiddush. When he said no, I automatically starting thinking about whether I wanted to. But then I realized he wasn't going to ask me--that his wording had been that he couldn't find a guy to do it. I didn't even want to do it, but I just kind of sat there, looking around the room, wondering whether anyone else felt a little insulted that half the population was not even a possibility.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
ssempaissempai on November 17th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)

Sexism is a frustration that we're going to face in all aspects of life. :/ But here, in Judaism, you can be progressive. Maybe not in all factions of the religion -- but the fact that PMOI, a progressive Islamist group (albeit originally militant) where the majority of generals are female -- this gives me hope. We're allowed to be progressive. We can still be proud (we will definitely be proud). You're a smart femme :P
Syomimashou on November 17th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)

And yeah, luckily there are plenty of places in Judaism that are not sexist. When I go to services on Fridays, I go to the Reform ones, where services are led by women and often a guy does the candle-lighting (traditionally a woman's role).