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Tell Us! What Is a Jewish Feminist Object?

jewfemobjectsMaybe it’s lurking in your basement—or your subconscious. A baby carrier with tzitzit? Your IUD? Your Tia Malka’s cooking spoon? Tefillin Barbie? The pants you wore to your bat mitzvah? 

From the totally transgressive to the completely obvious, we want them all, in the full range of our identities—ethnic, racial, cultural, sexual, geographic, religious, tragical, comical.

Don’t hold back! Baby Jewish feminists need your wisdom. Send nominations to 40objects@Lilith.org with your name and the why behind the object(s). We’re standing by to select 40 for Lilith’s fall issue—kicking off the magazine’s 40th anniversary year.

For some samples of ​Lilith writing on objects and material culture​ (stuff we’ve loved in the past)​, see these articles:

The Samovar
She’s never had a cup of zavarka-infused tea from it, because this samovar — a treasured heirloom from Odessa — now serves only the best, long-evening inflected, artisanal stories. 

How Museums Invent Us
Your great-aunt’s soup pot in a museum? Priceless artifacts in your attic? Introducing the new wave of feminist curators, who’ve fought to have shoes, cookbooks and miscellaneous tchochkes-cum-folk art included in the exhibited history of the Jews.

Flesh and Blood
The author inherited her father’s meat grinder, a reminder, literally, of flesh and blood. Now it sits on its side, an unused object of beauty, in her own kitchen, where she realizes that Jews think about meat more than most people.

About Those Canaanite Shoes That Have Been In Your Closet For 2,000 Years
Walking the narrative of Zionism.

The Once and Future Womantasch
What is a hamantasch? A sacred vulva filled with black seeds.

An Ode to Plastic Bags
“I’ve used mine as boot liners, shower caps, packing protectors, gloves for picking up gross things, doggie-bags for saving food, guarantors of a dry place to sit on a wet day, and as rain gear.”

My Coach Bag
“The bag came home with me on the subway. I did not feel quite worthy of it, so I left it shrouded in its nest of tissue for several days, allowing myself only occasional, reverent peeks.”
 
Wearing My Jewish Star
When Seventh Avenue puts crucifixes on runway models, and catechism beads and crosses become a fashion statement, what does it mean for a Jewish woman to wear a Star of David around her neck?
 
Should a Jewish Girl Wear a Dirndl? (And Other Questions About Jews and Tracht)
In Germany and Austria, traditional German peasant dresses, like the dirndl — once forbidden for Jews to wear — have made a comeback. Is it okay when even the author’s daughters are wearing them?
 
Vilna Vegetarianism, 1938
Fania Lewando’s Yiddish cookbook and the restaurant that nourished an era’s Yiddish writers.
 
Rose Gold
Restoring the jewelry from her mother’s last day.
 
How Do Women Define the Sacred?
Women describe their tallitot, revealing how gendered one’s experience of the sacred actually is.
 
© 2011 Lilith Magazine