Tuesday, October 29, 2002

What is "free"?

My Meidel is the Centerfold

I was just rifling through the Bitch Magazine archives and came across the above-linked article by Deborah Kolben about the first Jewish Playboy bunny, Lindsey Vuolo.

Kolben's thesis is that Vuolo, by posing nude, is defying the stereotypes that paint Jewish women.
As the self-proclaimed first-ever synagogue-attending Jewish centerfold, Lindsey finds herself heralding a new generation of young Jewish women seeking appreciation for their bodies as well as their minds.
Kolben presents the binary that a woman can only be appreciated for either her mind or her body. This is a sexist construct. The only way to defeat this construct is to exist outside of it; NOT to flip the binary, to insist that, dammit, you will accept me for my mind AND my hot bod!

If that isn't giving the patriarchy what it wants, I don't know what is.

From Bradley Hirschfield, rabbi and vice president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership,
“Now you have Jewish men who will go home and masturbate to a Jewish girl for a change,” Hirschfield enthuses on Beliefnet, a website devoted to religious discourse.
Hardly something for a feminist to get excited about.

Kolben goes on to say,
Lindsey falls along a continuum of progress for Jewish women that began in 1945 when Bess Myerson, a brunette from the Bronx, became the first and only Jewish woman to win the title of Miss America.
Sexual objectification = freedom. On what planet?

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