Sisterhood Blog

When Do We Become 'Women?'

By Elissa Strauss

Thinkstock

When do you become a woman? As in, someone that your friend or colleague actually refers to as a “woman.” It is is certainly not after your Bat Mitzvah (will get back to that later), nor is it when you graduate from high school, or even college.

Today, the age of a woman who most of us feel comfortable calling a “woman” is being pushed further and further back; I personally hesitate or feel awkward using the term for anyone under 45. The issue is, many of us also feel the same about using “girl” for anyone over 25, and even that feels a little iffy. So basically for approximately 20 years there seems to be no appropriate term to describe people with vaginas.

Women long for an analog to “guy,” something that messages mature but not stuffy. “Gal” would technically fit the bill, but it hasn’t made much traction.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: women, the new republic, sisterhood, lady blogs, lady, jewish women, girls, ann friedman

The Debate Over Chromosome-Centric Media

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

Are women’s voices being ghettoized in the name of niche media? Ann Friedman, deputy editor of The American Prospect recently tackled this very query in light of Slate’s spin-off, Double X, and its debut. It should be mentioned that a founding editor, Hannah Rosin, has been giving smart answers to readers’ questions on the Bintel Brief — and the Forward has made its own foray into niche media with this, The Sisterhood blog.

Friedman calls out publishers of sites like Slate, Gawker, and Salon (each masterminding separate gal-sites, Double X, Jezebel, and Broadsheet) for “signaling that they don’t see a need to have their main site serve [women] as core readers,” while they still dream of ad dollars brought in by this group.

Perhaps these publishers are simply trailing the numbers: In 2009 women’s presence online topped men’s by seven million. Women are projected to drive more than half of total Internet traffic in the next four years. The gut reaction of most entrepreneurs would not be to overhaul a well-performing brand — a tried-and-true place for wonks like Slate or a snarky gossip site like Gawker — but to expand and shape new content elsewhere under its warm gaze. Enter women’s spinoff sites, which are multiplying fruitfully. The best way to become integral in a male-dominated conversation seems to be to bombard it, from the outside and from within.

Friedman wonders why household names, unquestionably aware of the rising demand for women’s content, don’t just publish more of it on their already existing sites. She sets Feministing, the blog where she also dabbles, apart from this conversation because she believes it is steeped in a distinct worldview rather than a “set of chromosomes.”

But what’s wrong with chromosomes? The proliferation of womens media outlets on the Web corresponds naturally to the explosion of more media outlets in general. X-chromosome-based magazines, Web sites, newspapers, and media can influence a broader social conversation. We just have to keep talking to keep up.

In this Sisterhood space, we’re eking out a venue for fresh conversation for/by/about/between women within the Forward’s Jewish, social justice-oriented 112-year-old newspaper format. We produce venerable weekly papers in English and Yiddish — and an award-winning Web site; we’re immensely proud of these publications. But we also like the idea of giving women another platform. Stay tuned.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Women, Ann Friedman, Jezebel, Feministing, Double X, Broadsheet




Find us on Facebook!
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.