Tag Archives: double standard

Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood Book Review

In a perfect world, we would be able to make our own choices and still be loved by our families. But that is not always the case.

Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood, a memoir by Leah Vincent was published in 2015. Born and raised in the Yeshivish Jewish community in Pittsburgh, her world as a child was bound by a long list of rules of do’s and don’ts. Everything changed at sixteen when her letters to a young man were discovered.

Retribution was swift and cold. Forced to become an outcast to her family, she moved to New York City, where she faced a secular world that was far from the ultra-religious world she knew. As a result, she embarked on a series of sexual and semi-romantic relationships that all ended in disaster. Complicating these “relationships” was her still fierce adherence to the Judaism she was raised in.

This is one of the best memoirs I have ever read. Her journey at times is both difficult and universal. Most, if not all of us, go through changes when we are in our teens and early 20’s. But, we do so within the loving bosom of our families. Ms. Vincent had to go through those changes on her own.

I was stuck by several things while reading this book. The first is that the double standard is one hundred times more powerful in the Yeshivish community than it is in the secular world. The second is that she is a survivor who found her backbone. It would have been easy to crawl back to her parents on hands and knees, begging for forgiveness. But she didn’t. The third and most powerful thing is that the reader does not have to be Jewish to understand or relate to her story. If I was a betting woman, I would wager that there are many from all faiths who for any number of reasons, have walked away from the ultra-religious communities they were raised in.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, Life, New York City

Today is the Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

This image is not mine, merely borrowed.

The core of any legitimate democracy is the right to vote. On the surface, voting is a simple act. But if one were to dig a little deeper, they would see that voting is much more than simply casting your ballot on election day.

Today is the 100 anniversary of the 19th Amendment. In the span of history, 100 years is not a long time. But in the history of the fight for female equality in the United States and around the world, 100 years means the difference between being chattel and beating treated as a full human being.

The women of that generation saw voting as only the first step. They understood then, as we do now, that gaining the vote was only the first step in a long path ahead of them.

Iron Jawed Angels (2004)

Given our breathtaking progress in the past century, there is a part of me that is bursting with pride. But another part of me knows that legislation cannot wash away centuries of sexism and double standards. That requires education and changing of hearts and minds.

Though there are many issues that must be dealt with (including the fact that women of color are still fighting for their rights), the fact that we have come as far as we have is nothing to sneeze at.

Mrs. America (2020)

Ladies, we know that today is a celebration. But we also know that there much more work to be done. Today, we take a breath and a moment to enjoy the progress that has been made. But tomorrow, the work begins anew.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Hulu, Movies, Politics, Star Wars, Television

I Wonder if the Boys Were Really Distracted

It’s that time of year again.

The backpacks are packed, as are the lunches. The school buses are gassed up and ready to go.

Along with the school buses, the backpacks and the lunches, the double standard is ready to start school.

Kate Darrow’s nine year old daughter attends Callahan Intermediate School in Florida. Upon wearing a tank top to school, the girl was told to cover up because the male students were “distracted” by her bare shoulders.

Pardon my french, but this is bullsh*t.

If she was fifteen or sixteen, that argument may have a shot in Hades of making sense. But she is nine, the school’s reasoning makes no sense. If that was not enough, I have to question how the school sees this young girl. Is she a sexual object who is there just to tempt her male classmates away from their studies or a fully fledged human being who has the right to a real education?

I understand that the school has a dress code. I have no issue with the dress code. But I do have an issue with the fact that the dress code applies one way to male students and another way to female students.

Perhaps next time, the school will think twice when they over-enforce the dress code for the girls, but let the boys slide.

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Filed under Feminism, National News