DWB = driving while black. it's not a positive connotation.

but this righteous lady (literally), Alysa Stanton, is going to be PREACHING while black... and female... and as of this weekend- an ordained rabbi! very cool. (the first female rabbi was ordained in the u.s. in 1974.)

but of course, the old guard is none too pleased about it. (well, frankly, i don't think they've been pleased since 1974.)

"My general feeling, as a rabbi, is that there is a great deal of room for everyone to have spiritual fulfillment in Judaism but the public role of a rabbi is only for certain people and that excludes women," Orthodox Rabbi Gil Student of New York City told ABCNews.com. "That's based on tradition and enshrined in law."

As for race, Student said that neither he nor the Orthodox Jewish community finds any problem with African-American Jews. "There is no such thing as skin color in Judaism, it doesn't exist," Student said.

why is race invisible, but gender is a problem? a person has no control over either. neither one defines a person's morality, intellect, or character.
so why? why would it not matter if this new rabbi was a black MAN, but somehow the fact that it's a black WOMAN creates controversy?

you guessed it. because deep down, it's because women are still viewed as inferior. the orthodox rabbi flat out said in the article that the correct role for women is only to raise the family.

honestly, every time i hear that kind of sentiment i want to throw up a little bit. not because i don't respect the work of raising a family. but because 1. what about women who have no desire to raise a family? like, you know, ME? so what are we, chopped liver? (i don't think i want to know mr. rabbi's answer to that.) and 2. it's a cop-out. it completely ignores the other parent's responsibility. it's counterintuitive to the whole conservative movement's recent apoplectic fit about "one man and one woman is the only proper way to raise a family". uh...apparently not. apparently, it's the woman's responsibility, period. the man would be much too busy LEADING.

and i love how he justifies the arbitrary exclusion of women by saying it's "enshrined in law". because a. laws are ALWAYS moral and stand the test of time, don't they? (ahem.) and b. what about 'thou shalt have no other gods before me'? (enshrine: to cherish as sacred.) unless i'm misunderstanding that commandment, it's god, not the law, that should ultimately be honored. so if a law is immoral, or just flat out wrong, it should be changed. period.

so anyway- i just wanted to toot Alysa's horn a little bit. kudos!
and also tell rabbi student to bugger off.


shero alert

i almost started writing all about one of my "sheros", eve ensler. i do admire her courage, her persistence and her hard, hard work.

but then i realized the real sheros of this story are the congolese women who are surviving, and those who haven't survived.

War on Women in Congo

"I was in Bosnia during the war in 1994 when it was discovered there were rape camps where white women were being raped. Within two years there was adequate intervention. Yet, in Congo, femicide has continued for 12 years. Why?"

"What is happening in Congo is the most brutal and rampant violence toward women in the world. If it continues to go unchecked, if there continues to be complete impunity, it sets a precedent, it expands the boundaries of what is permissible to do to women's bodies..."

"...in Eastern Congo, 1,100 women a month are raped, according to the United Nations' most recent report."


the rape of a nation

nation of women, that is. today, and every day.

1ep·i·dem·ic            Listen to the pronunciation of 1epidemic
French épidémique, from Middle French, from epidemie, noun, epidemic, from Late Latin epidemia, from Greekepidēmia visit, epidemic, from epidēmos visiting, epidemic, from epi- + dēmos people — more at demagogue
1: affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time epidemic>

two parents sexually abuse & rape adopted daughter, separately and unbeknownst to one another.

rape is used worldwide as a weapon of war. i know that's a cliche by know- but imagine being born (through no fault of your own) as a newborn baby girl...in the congo. not so cliche now.

rape isn't enough- this guy decided to beat her in the head with a HAMMER as well.

14- year- old girl raped. there are no other details really...there don't need to be. this girls life is changed forever.

an army sergeant forced a women into his car and raped her in front of a restaurant in bel air. she tried to bang on the window, but no one heard. this we'll defend?

not just rape- rape of a THIRTEEN year old, MENTALLY HANDICAPPED girl...ON TAPE. but women aren't systematically abused. just individually abused- over and over and over.

child rape is the trifecta today- 14, 13, and now 10.

former minister. rape of four prostitutes. at knife-point. a butcher knife.

false rape allegations. yikes- definitely not good. murder, however- ALSO not really a good option. and he didn't just murder his girlfriend (the accuser), but also her sister. he stabbed his girlfriend in the back, and her sister, "Sabrina was stabbed 35 times, but Mr Ali said he only remembered stabbing her twice."

here's the thing. it doesn't matter what you do. take back the night. a vagina monologue. donate to a women's foundation. mentor a young man and teach him that violence against women is unacceptable. volunteer for a rape crisis line.

do SOMETHING. do it. NOW. women are being raped, every minute.


Women Pay the Price for Health Insurance
key points from this illuminating story:
- Insurance companies don't want to pay for the high cost events like childbirth
- Women are more likely to get annual check ups & visit the doctor if ill
- Women pay up to 39 percent more than men for similar individual policies, even when maternity benefits are excluded.

Makes me think of that saying people laugh about- but it's SO true:
If men could get pregnant, 'family planning' would be a sacrament.

I guess we could also say: If men were having babies, or if they were brought up in a world where going to the doctor wasn't akin to admitting a weakness (see also: crying), health insurance rates would be EQUAL for equally healthy people, regardless of gender.


highlights & lowlights

a couple of highlights for today:

8-year-old saudi arabian girl is FINALLY
granted her divorce from 50-year-old husband!!! (but no one knows how many other girls are still trapped in abusive prisons, passed off as "relationships", in saudi arabia and elsewhere.)

britain FINALLY appoints a
female poet laureate. it only took 341 years for a woman to produce poetry as good as the men. (<>acid attacks for attending school. group home schooling has sprung up as an option for those to afraid to walk down the street. let me repeat that: women and girls are afraid to walk down the street to attend school.

Final score: marching band 2, thugs 0.

one of the lucky ones:

Girl beats off muggers with marching band baton. 'Moral to this story is don't mess with the marching band girls,' official says.

The real moral is- ALWAYS fight back.