Sisterhood Blog

Let's Cancel Valentine's Day!

By Johnna Kaplan

Thinkstock
Do you like Valentine’s Day?

It’s February, and I have a suggestion. Let’s eliminate Valentine’s Day and replace it with Tu B’Av.

Tu B’Av, for the curious, is a very minor Jewish holiday that takes place six days after the solemn fast of Tisha B’Av. Once upon a time on the 15th day of the month of Av, girls in white dresses would dance in vineyards under the full moon, saying, “Young man, consider who you would choose.” It was considered one of the happiest days of the Jewish year.

Why is an old matchmaking festival better than a modern-day holiday known for red cardboard heart boxes full of chocolates? Let me count the ways.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: love, romance, tu b'av, valentines, valentines day 2

Talking 'Trash' With Romance Novel Queen

By Blair Thornburgh

Blogger and self-proclaimed “man-titty media pundit” Sarah Wendell posts witty and wicked reviews of romance novels at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and has also written two books about the genre. The Sisterhood caught up with her to talk “trash,” sex and David Beckham in his underwear, plus what she really wants to know about “50 Shades of Grey.”

THORNBURGH: Your website is called Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Are the romances really trashy? And are the women who read them actually smart?

WENDELL: No, and yes! Smart women read and write romance, and that has been true for a really long time. They’ve taught me amazing things about women, about history, about feminism, and about language.

There are a lot of reasons why romance as a genre is dismissed. Plain old, everyday, garden-variety sexism. This is a genre that’s written by and actually read by women, and most of the editors and industry professionals are also women. It’s a women-dominated genre and a women-dominated profession and for that reason alone it becomes an object of ridicule.

But on top of that, to quote Nora Roberts, romances contain what she calls “the hat trick of easy targets: emotions, relationships and sex.” Any combination of those three is a ripe target for ridicule as well. We don’t value emotions and we don’t value outward displays of them. And that’s what romance deals in. It doesn’t hide what it is. If you look at a romance novel, you know that’s a romance novel.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: women, sarah wendell, romance, jewish women, jewish, david beckham, 50 shades of grey

For Rachel Berry — and for Real Girls, Too — It’s Not a Choice Between Hook-ups and Romance

By Elissa Strauss

Getty Images
Members of the cast of ‘Glee,’ including Lea Michele, far right, the actress who plays Rachel.

Caitlin Flanagan’s use of Rachel, the brassy Jewish character from the Fox television show “Glee”, as an anecdote for her Atlantic essay “Love, Actually” about the renewed interested in the “boyfriend story,” or old-fashioned romance, is a bit flawed. Yes, Rachel wants love, but she is hardly an innocent romantic. Early in the series she kisses her love interest while he is still dating another girl, and now she is juggling more than one love interest.

With Rachel we are not, as Flanagan writes, “back in Kansas.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Romance, Rachel Berry, Hook-ups, Glee, Caitlin Flanagan, Teenagers




Find us on Facebook!
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • 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.