I have read Simone de Beauvoir, I subscribe to Lilith, I believe women are fit for any professional role, and when I get married I will more than likely hyphenate my name—even if that means assuming the responsibility of a combined last name sporting 3 Zs. But I would not like to live with my partner the way de Beauvoir did with Sartre, I read Lilith but I also have nothing against “chick lit,” I do not strive to be a firewoman and I do still want to partake in the old-fashioned union of, marriage.
I am not old enough to have read the New York Times before “Ms.” became the proper title for a woman, and I never doubted for a second that I would not work full-time upon graduating from college. Feminist rights that our not-so-distant foremothers fought for are simply “norms” for us lucky, affluent, young women of the West. I still believe there is a need for female solidarity and adamantly adhere to the precept that women deserve equality and the right to “contradiction”: women have the right to burn bras and be stay-at-home moms.
I see 30 as a landmark. Cinderella-esque is how I feel. I imagine that if I am not married by 11:59 PM on September 15th, 2007,I will not turn into the poor girl in rags, but rather, like the carriage, into a full-blown pumpkin: shape, color and all! I imagine my boyfriend on the morning of the I 6th as he rolls over to say “Joyeux anniversaire, mon amour…” and opens his eyes to find that his lips are pressed against a cool, delicately grooved, saffron-colored… PUMPKIN!
Two-and-a-half years ago I began working at a Jewish organization. The Jewish job coupled with having a non- Jewish partner has forced me to see my Jewish self as having as many angles and colors as a prism; much depends on the aspect of the light and the angle from which it is viewed.
Emily Mazo has been an American in Paris for the past 7 years; she currently works as a program director for a Jewish NGO.