Your voice knocks

Feminism then and now

Screen-Shot-2015-07-02-at-2.26.42-PM-130x174Someday I'll have time to write for Lilith magazine again. (Somehow between my congregation, our five year old, and ALEPH, I don't seem to pitch many articles to editors these days. Go figure.) But I'm honored to be quoted in the cover story for Lilith's Summer 2015 issue, Erica Brody's Confronting Generational Tensions to Build Our Badass Jewish Feminist Future.

Here's a taste:

Last year, I was invited to an Upper West Side seder in New York with several Jewish women who had, literally, stood shoulder to shoulder four decades ago and marched into the American fray for women’s rights, creating a distinctly American, Jewish, feminist space. Included in an effort to share this experience and space with younger women, I was humming a tune of gratitude — “Well done, Sister Second Wave!” — when I kicked off my boots and lined them up next to my heroines’ in the hallway.

It’s strange being a Generation Xer (ages 35–50 in 2015, if you go by Pew Research Center metrics), no longer the young guard, not yet the old guard, a small generation bookended by two mega ones: Baby Boomers and Millennials. I’d claimed the mantle of feminism as a 14-year-old purple-haired activist spewing Emma Goldman quotes, but it was only in my late 20s that I started thinking of myself as part of a long line of Jewish feminists, proud of their achievements, steeped in the criticisms, turning tides.

Ever since, from my perch — mainly behind a screen, as a writer, editor and strategist — I’d done my best to lift up progressive Jewish women’s voices, to build bridges. Yet for a long time, to be honest, I’d blocked out the white noise of tensions between generations of Jewish feminists. I tried extra hard when I was peppered with questions from some older feminists along the lines of Why aren’t you….? No one your age seems to care about….

My voice is one of 22 quoted in the article; we range in age from 18 to 76. It's an awesome piece -- go forth and read it online, and if you're moved by what you read, consider subscribing to the magazine or buying the current issue.