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.
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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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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

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2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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Hollywood Sure Seems To Hate Colored People

They may not hate us, but they sure don't want us in their stuff.

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We really gotta talk about this subject. Because people still don't believe this is a thing. Because people are still gonna dismiss this article as bitter and unnecessary. So before I even get into anything, I will say flat out:

**There is a racial bias in media (film, television, modeling, music, sports, etc.) that favors white people.**

It's been this way since television was a created. What I mean by bias is that: white people are still being seen as or used as the default race in these mediums. White actors are still getting casts as colored people, the world is still be held to white beauty standards, colored characters are still limited to sidekicks or background characters. This is a real thing and it is a problem.

Let's use some recent events as examples:

Actor Idris Elba, as of November 5th, has been named People Magazine's 2018 Sexiest Man Alive. This is a huge deal because he is the third colored man to be named this. And the second black man (after Denzel Washington in 1996) and Dwayne Johnson kinda. But, out of 33 men awarded, only three of them were non-white. Not saying that since 1985 when the first man was named there haven't been sexy non-white people. I guess they were just not sexy enough to note.

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Much talk has been around actress Viola Davis and her comments about her upcoming film, "Windows." Davis comments about how many people in film are not truly committed to interracial relationships and that there should be more black women seen kissing hunky white men. Davis was commenting on the media normalizing the fact that colored women are attractive and can be attractive to white men. She flat out tells us "You don't see that!"

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Everyone has heard about what's been going on with Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Both of these men are known for their work, contributions to the black community, and they used to be powerful, positive black figures. Now, both their careers have been defaced (by their own actions of course). Yet, Charlie Sheen still has shows airing on television, Donald Trump was elected our president.

Y'all wanna talk about why "Moonlight", or "Crazy Rich Asians", or "Hamilton" are so important? When do you ever see an Oscar winning movie about black people (that's not a slave movie), let alone one about LGBTQ black people. When's the last time you saw a mainstream movie with a mainly Asian cast? How did "Hamilton" tell a prominently white narrative with a completely colorblind cast and become one of the most popular Broadway musicals of all time?

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Have you ever Googled "beautiful women" or "male models"? See who pops up.

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The point I'm trying to make is that very seldom are narratives outside of white narratives, of white people, depicted in media. Unless the content is created by colored people. So we have incredible people like Tyler Perry, Tyra Banks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shonda Rimes and such who are creating projects to include minority groups because they are a part of them. But what this is saying is, no one is thinking of us except for us.

That brings up a good point. Should colored people expect non-colored creators to include them in their material? The answer is yes! We exist in the actual world, don't we!?! It's one thing to write a narrative that completely has nothing to do with the colored world. There are stories we can't tell. Just like there are narratives that have nothing to do with white people. There are stories they can't tell. But the superhero isn't always a Christian Bale. The hot girl next door isn't always Jennifer Aniston. But when these are the only types of faces attached to these concepts, what do you expect people to think?

So this is why this whole thing is so detrimental. One-sided depictions cause people to develop false ideas about groups of people. People don't wanna believe that the media has that much impact on our thinking, but it does! What this means is that, if you only grow up seeing movies where white guys are the heartthrob, you might grow up to only be attracted to white men. If the only representation you have of black or Hispanic people are the depictions you've seen of them as thugs or criminals, you're going to think that's who they truly are.

The way to remedy this is:

Artists, we need to find ways to create narratives that are true to our experiences but that don't ex out other demographics. This is a huge world we live in, it's stupid to only include one group of people. And consumers, don't ignore projects that have to do with other groups. It's dangerous when we dismiss a project as a "black movie" or even a "chick flick". Although it may not have been created specifically for you, there's always something to be appreciated and learned.

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