So In Order To Be A Liberal, I Have To Stop Being A Jew?

So In Order To Be A Liberal, I Have To Stop Being A Jew?

The events at the Chicago Dyke March just proved it.

I’ve always been ever so slightly frightened of being Jewish in public. I’m not ashamed of my heritage – in fact, I’m proud of it – but even so, I’ve never felt comfortable wearing my Star of David or t-shirts with Hebrew writing on them or any sort of marker that might identify me as being anything other than Christian. I’ve been able to convince myself that it’s fair because I can never truly know someone else’s intentions, because I can’t predict the way they might react to me if they realized that I’m not like them, but it’s always struck me as sort of cowardly. Then came the events at the Chicago Dyke March, and all my fears were suddenly justified.

The Chicago Dyke March, one of many Pride events this past month, was problematic for a variety of reasons, not the least among them being that they seemed to have no interest in including actual lesbians in their festivities. But the march and its organizers earned everlasting notoriety when they and their fellows confronted three Jewish marchers, harassed them for upwards of two hours about their views on the existence of Israel, and finally ejected them from the march. The reason behind their actions? The three marchers were carrying a rainbow flag emblazoned with a Star of David.

Since the event, and the resulting outcry from Jewish communities, the march organizers have claimed that the marchers were “Zionists,” and that they were therefore correct to throw them out. Meanwhile, Jewish LGBTQ+ women are having to confront once again what most of us have already known: The left wing of American politics doesn’t accept us any more than the right does. They’re just a little better at pretending.

The fact that the organizers questioned the Jewish marchers for hours about their views on Israel speaks to the fact that Jewish people have at best a conditional acceptance on the left wing. I’ve experienced it myself. Whether or not I’m welcome in a liberal or leftist space depends on how strongly I disavow Israel – in short, my acceptance depends on whether or not liberal and leftist Gentiles see me as a Good Jew™. Leftists and liberals see no problem in demanding this purity test from me and other Jewish people, but they would never demand the same from a Muslim man or woman, despite the fact that majority-Islamic countries commit some of the worst human rights violations on the planet.

Leftists, such as the ones at the Chicago Dyke March, have an extremely narrow view of what constitutes oppression. To them, oppression is perpetrated by people with white skin against people with nonwhite skin – and that’s it. There’s no room for nuance, and there’s certainly no room for understanding that despite our skin color, white Jewish people have never been considered white by the people who want to hurt us, and often, the people who want to hurt us are not white. Leftists paint the Israel/Palestine conflict as an apartheid, a race war, when it’s in fact nothing less than the result of a war that the Arab world started – and lost – more than 70 years ago.

Leftists are similarly convinced that their actions toward Jewish people are completely justified, and will defer any accusation of anti-Semitism with the phrase “I’m not anti-Semitic, I’m just anti-Zionist." The debate about whether anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism has been going on within the Jewish community for years, and it’s not for Gentiles to decide what constitutes anti-Semitism. Jewish people are often accused of crying anti-Semitism whenever something happens that they don’t like, and that makes most of us hesitant to call out anti-Semitism when we experience it. But unfortunately, anti-Semitism is like pornography. You know it when you see it, and on the left, I and other Jewish people have been seeing it for our entire lives.

All of this is academic, because what the organizers of the Chicago Dyke March did to the Jewish women they harassed is far worse: They forced them to choose which of their identities mattered most. In order to be accepted at the march, Jewish women were expected to categorically reject their Judaism. In order to be accepted, they were asked to assimilate. And when they refused, they were thrown out.

I shouldn’t have to demonstrate myself to be a Good Jew™ in order to be accepted in leftist spaces. I shouldn’t have to renounce my Judaism to participate in events that acknowledge my LGBTQ+ identity. And my identity shouldn’t make anyone feel unsafe. If people on the left are willing to double down on the idea that Jewish identities are inherently problematic, I think it’s time we acknowledge that the problem isn’t with Jewish people. It’s with everyone else.

Over this past year, I’ve been seeing anti-Semitism everywhere I turn. I see it in my supervisor at work, who made a series of anti-Semitic comments about my appearance, my behavior, and my brother’s mathematical ability after I let slip that I was Jewish. I see it in my college professors, who repeatedly traffic in anti-Semitic stereotypes and refuse to acknowledge their behavior. I see it in the student activists at my college who attempt to strip safe spaces away from their fellow Jewish students. I’m tired, and I’m scared. But I’m not going to let my fear stop me. I’m going to start wearing my Star of David and my shirts with Hebrew writing. I’m going to be proud of my identity, and I’m going to risk the consequences.

I’m still afraid. But I won’t let that stop me.

Cover Image Credit: Sarah Stierch // Wikimedia Commons

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I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists

I believe that I am a strong woman, but I also believe in a strong man.

Beliefs are beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm all about girl power, but in today's world, it's getting shoved down our throats. Relax feminists, we're OK.

My inspiration actually came from a man (God forbid, a man has ideas these days). One afternoon my boyfriend was telling me about a discussion his class had regarding female sports and how TV stations air fewer female competitions than that of males. In a room where he and his other male classmate were completely outnumbered, he didn't have much say in the discussion.

Apparently, it was getting pretty heated in the room, and the women in the class were going on and on about how society is unfair to women in this aspect and that respect for the female population is shrinking relative to the male population.

If we're being frank here, it's a load of bull.

SEE ALSO: To The Women Who Hate Feminism

First of all, this is the 21st century. Women have never been more respected. Women have more rights in the United States than ever before. As far as sports go, TV stations are going to air the sports that get the most ratings. On a realistic level, how many women are turning on Sports Center in the middle of the day? Not enough for TV stations to make money. It's a business, not a boycott against female athletics.

Whatever happened to chivalry? Why is it so “old fashioned" to allow a man to do the dirty work or pay for meals? Feminists claim that this is a sign of disrespect, yet when a man offers to pick up the check or help fix a flat tire (aka being a gentleman), they become offended. It seems like a bit of a double standard to me. There is a distinct divide between both the mental and physical makeup of a male and female body. There is a reason for this. We are not equals. The male is made of more muscle mass, and the woman has a more efficient brain (I mean, I think that's pretty freaking awesome).

The male body is meant to endure more physical while the female is more delicate. So, quite frankly, at a certain point in life, there need to be restrictions on integrating the two. For example, during that same class discussion that I mentioned before, one of the young ladies in the room complained about how the NFL doesn't have female athletes. I mean, really? Can you imagine being tackled by a 220-pound linebacker? Of course not. Our bodies are different. It's not “inequality," it's just science.

And while I can understand the concern in regard to money and women making statistically less than men do, let's consider some historical facts. If we think about it, women branching out into the workforce is still relatively new in terms of history. Up until about the '80s or so, many women didn't work as much as they do now (no disrespect to the women that did work to provide for themselves and their families — you go ladies!). We are still climbing the charts in 2016.

Though there is still considered to be a glass ceiling for the working female, it's being shattered by the perseverance and strong mentality of women everywhere. So, let's stop blaming men and society for how we continue to “struggle" and praise the female gender for working hard to make a mark in today's workforce. We're doing a kick-ass job, let's stop the complaining.

I consider myself to be a very strong and independent female. But that doesn't mean that I feel the need to put down the opposite gender for every problem I endure. Not everything is a man's fault. Let's be realistic ladies, just as much as they are boneheads from time to time, we have the tendency to be a real pain in the tush.

It's a lot of give and take. We don't have to pretend we don't need our men every once in a while. It's OK to be vulnerable. Men and women are meant to complement one another—not to be equal or to over-power. The genders are meant to balance each other out. There's nothing wrong with it.

I am all for being a proud woman and having confidence in what I say and do. I believe in myself as a powerful female and human being. However, I don't believe that being a female entitles me to put down men and claim to be the “dominant" gender. There is no “dominant" gender. There's just men and women. Women and men. We coincide with each other, that's that. Time to embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: chrisjohnbeckett / Flickr

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6 Things You Notice When You Transfer From A Community College To A University

Transferring to a university from a community college could be the most stressful and rewarding thing you ever do.


After spending four years of my life taking classes on and off at a community college in the middle of Michigan and living at home with my parents, I finally decided to make the move and transfer to Eastern Michigan University to finish my degree. I still have a lot of work to do, but making this transition really helped me focus on what I need to do.

Here are the top 6 things I noticed after transferring to a big school from a small community college.

1. No matter how easy it might seem to get everything transferred, it's not.


Maybe I've just had a bad experience, but everyone I've known that has transitioned from a community college to a university seems to have the same horror stories about the process involved with transferring: and it sucks.

Not only is there a ton of paperwork and appointments to go to with various advisers that all tell you different things, but sometimes the credits (a.k.a. the hard work you've put in at your previous school) just don't transfer for whatever reason. It's stressful, and anyone who says it doesn't have some kind of mental capability or superpower that I wish I had.

2. Students get way more involved.


A big difference between community college and universities is how spirited the students get! At a community college, people pretty much just go to class and then go home. At EMU, it's all about the eagles! There are so many clubs and organizations to get involved in and sporting events to go to, and it's really refreshing to be around people who love their school! It makes a huge difference and makes you feel like you're part of something bigger.

3. There really is no college town like YOUR college town.

College towns really are a whole other world. Everything on campus is close together, and there are lots of "spots" in town where students hang out regularly. It's almost like each university is in its own little snow globe that is separate from the rest of the world. And I love it.

Ypsilanti, MI is starting to feel like a home away from home for me, and I know lots of students feel the same way about their college towns. Whether it's weekly trivia nights at the local pizza joint or walking to Insomnia Cookies at 1 a.m., every university has staples that make it unique.

4. You don't see people you went to high school with every day.


My community college was like part two of high school for me. This is because it was so close to where I graduated, and the fact that it's cheap and an easy way to ease into college. I used to see so many people in classes and in the hallways that I already knew from high school, so it wasn't much of a change and didn't really feel like college. (I'm not by any means bashing people who start at community colleges either, I think they're a great place to start.) Since my university is almost two hours from home, there was pretty much no one I already knew here. New city, new school, new people.

5. The friends you make will be longer lasting with stronger bonds.

Kristin Madaj

This is not to say that I didn't enjoy anyone in my classes at community college. I made a few friends there, but it's a lot different. I pretty much only saw those people in class, and then everyone goes home afterward.

At universities, many people live on campus or near it, so they are around a lot more and have time to hang out. I've made some lifelong friends already this year in my classes and especially in the building I live in. I hang out with my roommates every day, and I see the people who live in my building pretty often too. It's a community where we all have a lot in common, and the friendships are lasting.

6. You have a chance to start all over!


Because everything is new and different when most people transfer to a university, you have a chance to make a whole new start for yourself! No one knows you or your past failures, no one knows who you dated in high school or what your reputation was. New school, new you!

Bottom line: transferring to a university after being at a community college for a few years can be stressful. It can be difficult and a lot different than what you're used to. But it was one of the best things I've ever done. I'm only one semester in and I've already made so many memories and met so many amazing people! And those people will be there for all of your stresses and bad days. If you're getting ready to make the transition or even thinking about it, I hope you fall in love with your new school and home as much as I did.

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