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January 19, 2017 by

Real Life? Not.

Unreal Happenings by RK001

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January 18, 2017 by

Election-Week Thoughts and Goodbyes

I am a poor lover of the moon/I see it all at once and that’s it/for me and the moon—Leonard Cohen



Leonard Cohen (Nov 10, 2016)

Who thought this news, brutal though it is, would so surprise me at this point—what’s another layer of terrible over the terrible, right? But of course it does. So I’m shocked and shattered yet again. I’d already been moaning his Everybody Knows at the back of my throat, since I grasped what we as a nation had done—what we’d undone—in our most recent election. Since I had to admit that others, so very many others, greeted the same results with glee, and how that baffles me to the marrow of my bones. So I went on humming to distract myself which didn’t really work, an endless loop of everybody’s talking to their pockets, everybody wants a box of chocolates and a long stemmed rose. Then this morning, the NPR report, the perfunctory statement delivered in mournful tones. 

You heard? asks Husband-Steven from his perch on the couch.

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January 17, 2017 by

Lilith Magazine at Women’s March

Photo Credit: Shira Gorelick.

Photo Credit: Shira Gorelick.

Lilith magazine—independent, Jewish & frankly feminist—will be present at the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, co-sponsoring Shabbat activities at the 6th & I Historic Synagogue in Washington the evening before the march and Saturday morning, where participants will gather to march as a Jewish cohort toward the U.S. Capitol.

In honor of this occasion, Lilith will be offering discounted subscriptions at $18 to anyone who participates in a women’s march, in Washington D.C. or in cities around the world. For further information, email info@lilith.org.

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January 16, 2017 by

If He Was a She

Nov. 12, 2016

Donald J. Trump had just been elected President of the United States of America and my brain was in overdrive; a bottomless pit of despair. For the first time that I could remember, sleep eluded me. Harry suggested I try a sleeping pill, and though I resisted at first, in the end, I relented and found myself giving in to a tranquility that wrapped itself around me like a benevolent lover only to be betrayed a few hours later by a fitful and disturbing dream; a dream that moves the calendar back and the clock from evening to early morning.

……………………………………………. 

THE DREAM

Harry, always an early riser, has brought the newspapers in from our front door and they now lay scattered on our dining room table with the news section opened to the editorial page. I sit, sipping my morning coffee resolved to ignore any news and just get on with breakfast. But the headline in front of me is too toxic to ignore. 

EDITORIAL:   May 7, 2016                                                                       A28

                           

A Jezebel Nominee for Highest Office in the Land

We all thought that the race in this year’s Presidential primary campaign could not get any dirtier. Well, it could and it has. Samantha Drew, who first served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and then Attorney General under President Garner before throwing her name into the ring is under pressure to step down from her position as the favored nominee of her party following the release of a video in which Ms. Drew is heard bragging about her predatory sexual exploitations of young men in her employ, including under age adolescents. Her depravity is almost too graphic for print journalism. However, the Editorial Board of this newspaper has determined that, in this case, with so much at stake in our national election, fair and factual reporting eclipses decorum.

In the video we hear Ms. Drew speaking to an associate who is obviously enjoying and encouraging her titillating revelations. Ms. Drew boasts of her power as Attorney General.  “Those young boys on my staff?  There were times I just had to kiss them. I couldn’t help myself. One of them had a 15-year-old brother who was performing in an all male dance recital at his high school. The family invited me to the recital and before the curtain went up, while the kids were dressing for their roles, I just waltzed into their dressing area. Some of those boys were really hot!”  Her associate marvels at this, “And they didn’t say anything?”  “No, of course not. When you’re important you can do anything; even grab their cocks!” Then there is more laughter. 

This from the woman who purports to be the leader and the moral compass of the free world. Given the power of the President, what further lecheries would she be capable of? Ms. Drew’s campaign manager would have us believe this was merely “girl talk.”  We say “no!”

No to such sugar coated palliatives and no to her ambitions. For make no mistake about it; Samantha Drew threatens the very sanctity of womanhood which holds that fair gender to the highest human standards. Ms. Drew in no way befits the scriptural injunction of a woman of valor.   

The world awaits the words of President Garner who will be holding a press conference at noon today. Ms. Drew’s husband, Mr. Hadley Garrison Drew, who served as Ambassador to France under President Moore and who is now Chief Advisor to the Open World Foundation, which financially supports civil society groups around the world, is also expected to make a public statement this evening regarding this turn of events. Their two children, Sarah and Alexander are studying abroad. Ms. Drew, aided by her record of public service devoted mainly to underserved children and families, the family’s long established connections to the country’s political and financial power brokers and the know-how of her well oiled campaign strategists, has managed to survive other questionable aspects of her past; namely; Mr. Drew’s past marital infidelities, the infamous Blackwater scandal and her too cozy relationship with corporate America. But these new disclosures add a dimension of indecency that cannot be overlooked.

The good people of this country will not abide a sexual predator as President. The nation, indeed, the world is convulsed in outcries of censure. Protesters are spilling out into the streets of every city and hamlet; from east to west and north to south. Never before, in modern campaign history has there been such an outpouring of public condemnation. The high moral ground has even eclipsed party loyalty.  

We join politicians from both sides of the aisle, spokespersons from the “alt-right,” libertarians, socialists; people of faith and non-believers alike including; ironically (but as yet unconfirmed) His Eminence, Charles Cardinal Murphy of the Archdiocese of Ms. Drew’s home state in demanding that Ms. Drew step down and allow the three other well qualified nominees of her party to get on with the business of campaigning without the taint of immorality hanging in the background.

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Nov. 13, 2016

The next morning I awaken from my dream into the real world and a real nightmare. A sexual predator actually is President Elect of the United States.



Ms. Jaroslaw, a retired clinical social worker, mother of four and grandmother of 10, battled over her 81+ years for civil rights, a woman’s right to choose and gender equality. Her memories and lessons learned from the “old” Bronx strengthen her resolve to keep fighting in the days ahead.

 


The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Lilith Magazine.

 

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January 13, 2017 by

This Groundbreaking Lawyer-Turned-Novelist Has Just Published a New Series

The name Linda Fairstein looms large in both legal and cultural circles, in particular for her groundbreaking work as a prosecutor of sex crimes in New York City. After graduating with honors from Vassar College and the University of Virginia School of Law, she joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in 1972 as an Assistant D.A. She was promoted to the head of the sex crimes unit in 1976, where was a pioneer in both the perception and the prosecution of rape. Fairstein, who left the District Attorney’s office in 2002, mined her extensive legal background to write a series of crime novels featuring Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper (begun in 1996 and still going strong), as well as the 1993 nonfiction book Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape in which she examines society’s sexual attitudes, reflects on myths about sexual violence, and traces the evolution of rape laws.   

Now the lawyer-turned-novelist has channeled her considerable talents in yet another direction, with the introduction of Devlin Quick, a 12-year-old protagonist who seems equal parts legendary girl sleuth Nancy Drew and the kind of bright, inquiring girl Fairstein must herself have been. 

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January 12, 2017 by

Only a Nurse

pianoFor reasons unknown to me, Lake Erie College decided to give me an honorary doctorate in humane letters. When the dean first called, I thought it was a hoax. Then he called again. I told my three-year-old, and she said that I couldn’t be a doctor, only a nurse. Years of speechifying and legal fights, and my toddler had summed up the global state of womanhood in three words. Already a year earlier my son had asked me if people thought his conductor-father was more important than I was, given how they applauded everything he did. That was during a long sabbatical I took to care for my kids, when I mutated from globetrotting concert pianist to carpool driver.

Children speak the truth: a medical doctor is a man more often than not, and the workingman has a higher social status than the stay-at-home mom. That said, a mother who bakes cookies is more nurturing than one who is celebrated on stage.

“We’re proud of your success, Mom, but can’t you postpone your career until we’re eighteen?”

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January 11, 2017 by

Keep Your Breasts Behind Locked Doors!

Exterior of Mamava freestanding pod for “privacy for pumping or breastfeeding.”  It locks from inside, with a space larger than an airplane lavatory. Photo credit: Amy Stone.

Exterior of Mamava freestanding pod for “privacy for pumping or breastfeeding.” It locks from inside, with a space larger than an airplane lavatory. Photo credit: Amy Stone.

En route from the illy coffee concession to the Virgin America boarding gates at Newark Airport, I spied the pod. With my cascading fears of a new administration’s erosion of women’s freedoms, I felt alarm. Will women feel pressured into never breastfeeding their babies publicly? Are breasts only for grabbing in public by men newly freed from restraint by a power-tripping president-to-be? 

My bias in favor of female visibility and freedom is obvious. But I am not beyond fine-tuning. What about women from traditional backgrounds—Orthodox Jewish women, traditional Muslim women—might they welcome a privacy pod? Maybe I should slow down my rush to judgment, be a bit more sisterly.

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January 10, 2017 by

The Transformative Work of JFREJ’s Jews of Color Caucus

Seven members of the Jews of Color Caucus were arrested on a sit-in, blocking traffic in front of the NYPD 6th Precinct in the West Village to mark  the culmination of the Jews4BlackLives month of action. As the Jewish community in NYC approached Tisha b’Av, JFREJ — led by the Jews of Color Caucus — along with hundreds of neighbors and advocacy groups, held an action and vigil in support of Black Lives Matter to demand an end to police violence against People of Color and the passage of the Right To Know Act in the New York City Council. Photo credit: Erik McGregor.

Photo credit: Erik McGregor.

“I identify as a Black, multi-race, Jewish woman of color,” 31-year-old social worker-teacher-activist Shoshana Brown says by way of introduction.  Now active in the Jews of Color Caucus of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice [JFREJ], Bronx-born Brown has many questions about how best to oppose racism and white supremacy. Indeed, Brown’s queries address strategic and tactical concerns that are important for all progressive social justice efforts—religious and secular, Jewish and non—as we enter the uncharted terrain of Trumplandia.

Brown spoke to Lilith reporter Eleanor J. Bader about the Caucus’ ongoing work in late December.

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January 9, 2017 by

A Daughter’s Farewell

1971 

It was the first seder night and for me, the 36th year I’d celebrated it at my parents’ table. And this year, it was truly a celebratory time. My father, Joe had just been discharged from the hospital following a week of unexplained neurological “events”; blinding headaches, episodic confusion and finally a fall following a momentary loss of consciousness. Now, we gathered—content that all that was behind us.

There were only eight of us around the table; Mom, Dad, Manny (my brother), Harry and me, and our three young children. So unlike years past when a crowded dining room table hosted aunts, uncles and cousins in addition to our immediate family. Tonight we sat at the kitchen table. The dining room table which, when not in use, folded into a lovely console remained unopened in my parents’ foyer; an omen of what lay ahead.

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January 6, 2017 by

The Mainstream Misogyny of the Nice Jewish Boy

Often, he’s mentioned with a wink, a smile, and a tongue planted firmly in cheek. But almost as often, he’s discussed with seriousness. He comes up when the niece is planning to marry a Protestant, a Catholic (worse), a Muslim (god-forbid!), or any other manner of goyish brute. He is everything a parent would want for their daughter. He is, of course, straight.

Thoughtful, studious, sensitive, successful, and a caring provider, he is the opposite of threatening. He will always be there with a funny joke, an understanding glance, and the utmost respect for his parents and yours. He is made of better stock than the gentile suitors, and it shows. He is the man, the myth, the legend: the Nice Jewish Boy.

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