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Winter 2020-21

Personal & Political

Joan Roth's feminist photography • Young, queer and quarantined • The women who uphold the patriarchy • Abortion, then and now. • Breaking a taboo • And more

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

Is Gen-Z Alright?

Young feminists confront a fragile future.

Lilith Feature

The Fight for Reproductive Rights: It Never Ends

More Articles

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My Anger at the Kavanaugh Hearings Inspired Me to Take Action

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"Working on issues constantly on the precipice—healthcare, social justice, climate change, education—is emotionally and physically draining. When I founded Plan A, I was driven by what a friend called 'divine feminine fury.' Unfortunately, that fury is constantly being replenished, although my anger is coupled with excitement for the impact Plan A’s clinic will have on improving access to care."  

Camera Ready

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"In the worlds she captures with her camera, Roth quickly becomes an insider. She doesn’t step out of the story. While she’s not in the picture, she’s grounded in the lives she is documenting."

Retail Work in the Pandemic Is Hell

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Home Haven (name changed), a local, family-owned home goods store, is as close to an old-fashioned department store as it gets these days, with three-and-a-half floors and an array of products that one customer jokingly described to me as “everything you didn’t know you didn’t need.” I begin my work days there by wiping down... Read more »

Cohabiting in a Pandemic

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One night in January, we saw a rat in my boyfriend’s kitchen. We heard it first, strutting between the pots and pans and knocking spoons off the countertop. Then, it emerged. We watched it waddle across the floor and burrow beneath the sink, fearless. We gave it a name: Big Boy. “Oh yes,” my boyfriend’s... Read more »

A Performer Forbidden Her Audience

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I am an opera singer. It has been almost a year since I last entered a concert hall, performed for an audience, or had an in-person rehearsal. My industry has been forced to close all doors, cancel performances and wait. I know this is what we have to do to protect artists, neighbors and loved... Read more »

Breaking the Taboo

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So here I am, a mature woman working in religious life, having joyous, guilt-free extramarital sex. The relationship has been going on for several months, with no diminution of my enjoyment, my FWB’s ardor, or my husband’s tacit support. 

Amy Coney Barrett and Me

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The issue Coney Barrett’s hearings evoked, though, is that the stakes are greater when women who are protecting the patriarchy enter leadership. Then, the contradiction can take a sinister turn. Religious women can use their newly acquired power to keep other women in their place.

QAnon and its Dangerous Appeal to Women

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With so many arms and no clear hierarchy, QAnon is a protean monster, mutating and multiplying like cancer cells, and it is precisely its adaptability to today’s climate that makes it so scary.  QAnon, like a sewer flowing through the Internet, collects and absorbs every piece of noxious substance that passes into it from the waste pipes of our culture.

My Secretly Jewish Italian Grandmother

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No one upstairs knows for a long time what actually happens at the end of my visits to the basement apartment. From the beginning I understand without being told that these stories and these prayers are meant only for my grandmother and me and do not tell the rest of my family. That summer and for a long time after, my grandmother and I live a secret life, Marranos in the midst of Long Island, afraid of being caught out in the open by our family.  

Poem: Just Girls

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We were black and white girls with backyard passages so we     wouldn’t have to go around the block and knock, wouldn’talert our brothers or interfere with their one-on-ones or alert     our parents making dinner, mine likely easy leftovers so ourworking mom needn’t fuss, hers likely grit and greens working     their organoleptic magic... Read more »

The Lost Taste of an Apple

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I MOURN THE TASTE OF APPLES—tart-sweet, honeyed.

A Type of Havdalah

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Covid Forced My Relationship Long-Distance

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For those who have to stay at home due to the Covid, now is the perfect time for visiting casual dating sites and start having conversations with people that matches your personality. My girlfriend and I celebrated our one-year anniversary over FaceTime, each of us curled up in a blanket fort, 1,600 miles apart. We... Read more »

A College Senior During Covid Waits for the ‘After’

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I left college as a second-semester junior, not knowing if I was coming back. While the class of 2020 was pitied for losing their graduation and final moments with friends, I envied them their near-complete four years at school. My senior fall has since gone online, and there’s no indication of a different fate for... Read more »

Battling Depression in Quarantine

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This September, I moved back to New York City, where I’m in school, and began online classes. With the new expectation that we should be performing our best, even with the restraints of the pandemic, my hard-won equilibrium from the summer faded. I missed large chunks of days from constant dissociation. I felt inhuman.  It... Read more »

Coming Out While Being Locked In

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Throughout this pandemic, I haven’t let myself journal, despite having kept one for most of my life. Instead, I’ve spent the time looking over past journals. Only recently have I begun to understand why. Not writing was the only way to allow myself to grow. It sounds counterintuitive for someone like me who has always... Read more »

A Faithful Young Jewish Woman Struggles to Understand Why…

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There is nothing quite like being in shul on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I never feel the impact of the phrase, “k’eesh echad b’lev echad,” that the Jewish people are like one person with one heart, as strongly as I do on the High Holy Days, when everyone is gathered together and wearing emotions... Read more »

Freshman Year in a Pandemic

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My freshman year of college probably looks quite different from yours. I have to wear a mask while I use the bathroom. I’ve never seen the mouths of the people who serve me lunch every day. And my friends and I yearn to see invitations to events in our inboxes, that—just this once—won’t include a... Read more »

Fiction: Off the Roof

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Aviva took a swan dive. Her father sometimes remembered a nose dive. She hit the ground, arms outstretched like wings, a clipped duck, a New York pigeon. The moment she leapt, she felt Yaacov, her husband, shudder. Later she learned that he was gone. Somehow, on his way to check on his school, he disappeared,... Read more »

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