Articles From Issue 8

To read the entire zine, you can order or download it. The following are sample articles from the current issue (Issue 8).

Relationshit (by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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I’ve always had this love-hate relationship with love. As a child, I used to draw people with heads in the shape of a heart. One of my mom’s friends said I was a “love child.” I never quite understood what that meant because my barbies were too busy fucking Ken than actually being in love with him.
As a teenager, I was one of the most unromantic people in my circle of friends. When I watched Moulin Rouge with my friend, the part where the Nicole Kidman dies and Ewan McGregor starts crying, I laughed my ass off. My friend called me an insensitive prick. Not that I cared. After all, I lived up to my reputation.
Growing up, I was socialized, like many other girls, to follow the path laid out for me by… I don’t even know who – Fall in love, get married, have kids, and today, add another dimension to that, get a divorce.
Now, after seeing my girlfriends fall to pieces after being dumped by guys, time and time again, and watching my life fall to pieces as well after experiencing the same, I can safely say that my love-hate relationship with love is the only steady relationship I managed to maintain. Yet, in every wedding I’ve been to, people keep telling me, “To your wedding, soon!”
During one of these “heterosexual suicide pacts” (c/o Brian Kinney, Queer As Folk), the Rabbi read out the Ketuba (marriage contract), most of which was what the husband owes his wife should they ever dissolve the marriage. I turned to my mom and whispered, “So basically, a wedding is one big preparatory ceremony for a divorce?”
In today’s hypocritical society, it is no wonder why the divorce rate is on the rise. Yet people are still getting married. I say, let them fall in love. Let them get married. Let them fuck up their lives and the lives of their children by getting a divorce. Just don’t wish it on me. And no Yenta mother of mine can pressure me into it either.
My former boss once told me, “You shouldn’t be so bitter about marriage. Look at my daughter. She used to be just like you, and today, she’s 40 and still not married.” I say, good for her! Did he even bother to ask her if she’s happy?
I have been in relationships, and have dreamt of marriage. But after every heartbreak, I attempted to mend it with feminist literature, Riot Grrrl music, chocolate, self-punishment, self-worship, man-hate, and hibernation. The only thing I managed to do is to further suppress the pain, and close myself off to other potential partners in a desperate attempt to avoid more pain. But is there anyway to remain feminist and powerful and still be in a healthy, loving relationship with a man? Are we capable of giving ourselves entirely to our lover without feeling controlled, suppressed, used or powerless?
This issue contains a lot of bloody material, with the hope that some of the readers can relate to it. It is not a call to give up on love, and neither is it to encourage following the road laid out by your parents. This issue is an attempt to move beyond the pain of love, and have the ability to build a healthy relationship using your feminist values, and keeping your inner Riot Grrrl powerful even in love.

Happily Ever After? (By Hadass S. Ben-ari)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.

Ice Storm (by Merav Fima)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.

Handle With Care (by Orit Hizme)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.

Feminist, My Ass (by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.

Divorcing the Disney Princesses (by Yerushalmit)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.
Visit Yerushalmit's blog here!

One (by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.

Poem on the End of Love (by Shoshana RK)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.

Confusing Exploitation and Nurturing (by Dr. Hannah Greenberg)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.

My Suicide Note (by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.

The Gondolier's Song (by Roy Runds)
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“Ply your oar swiftly, O good gondolier,
Lest disaster and woe toward us draw near.”
Velvet clouds scudded ‘cross Venice’s skies.
Two forms were united in tears and in sighs.
She was pale and exquisite with black flowing tresses
And dancing dark eyes as she lavished caresses
On her beau with blue eyes and hair red as the dawn
And a smile as light as a sea bird airborne.
My heart burst with pity, my bony face twisted;
I pledged them my aid as my eager eyes misted.

“Ply your oar swiftly, our good gondolier,
For disaster and woe toward us career.
I sight in the distance a sail quickly nearing;
It’s Father’s foul face that we are so fearing.”
His face like a raven’s he strutted and ranted
And stormed at all daughters by devils enchanted.
“Return, for you drive daggers into my heart.
From Rodolfo I swore that you never would part.”
“He is base, he is mean, he’s a knave, he’s a fool.
Sooner than wed him I’ll gorge on toadstool.

“Ply your oar swiftly, O sweet gondolier,
Disaster and woe have toward us drawn near.”
Like Samson, who strove all his might at the wheel,
I strained to escape from the swifter boat’s keel.
“Daughter, return to the man that I chose,
Or I’ll scourge you and hang your fiend up by the toes!”
“Never!” She plummeted into the sea,
Was dragged down by the current and ceased to be.
Her lover then shot the old man through the head.
Muskets barked back at him. Both men fell dead.

Rough hands tore my tunic and biting ropes bound me.
Hot coals seared my eyes – I could no longer see.
They broke my stout oar and they scuttled my vessel –
But triumph is mine in the unequal wrestle!
When the rope snaps my neck at six the next morning,
I’ll bear in my heart those whose heaven was dawning:
Her dark, dancing eyes and her black flowing tresses,
Her soft, gentle voice as she lavished caresses.
“Ply your oar swiftly, O good gondolier,
Disaster and woe we will never more fear.”

A Different Strength (by Genevieve)
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Seven years ago I was one of many women attending an ‘International Conference for Women in Business’ taking place in Madrid, Spain. I found myself trying to stay awake as woman after woman wearing boring, black suits talked about their experiences running companies.
Anyways, I know you’re not supposed to focus on how women look, or how we dress... right? That’s the whole point. Women shouldn’t be judged by how we look but on what we do, just like men are. But still I found the whole environment way too corporate. The day continued and although I was impressed by the stories of individual women who managed companies, led people, took risks, and made decisions bearing ultimate responsibility, I still felt a bit bored.
By the end of the day, when boredom had turned to fantasies of sleep, I was snapped out of it by a Black woman who suddenly stood up and asked for a microphone. Yes, I thought to myself, finally it’s getting interesting. She said she was from Nigeria and she was wearing a traditional Nigerian outfit with bright colors and bold patterns. It was funky, ethnic looking, definitely not a business suit, and somehow it made her look powerful. Her vibe was deep, strong and confident. Then she said, “Ladies, the most important decision you can make is not about what to study, or which school to attend, or where to work, or what job to do. The most important thing you should do is to be very careful that you pick a good man to share your life with.”
The room literally started growling. Other women yelled out, “That’s not true.” Others just shook their heads. I actually think people would have been harsher if she had been from Europe. Who knows maybe they thought “Poor thing hasn’t been enlightened. She’s not a real feminist.”
At the time I had only been married a year, and what she said didn’t have a real impact on me other than that I appreciated her disrupting a generally non-eventful day. Seven years later, I can substitute her use of man for ‘partner’, and tell you that now that I am deeper in my marriage, with two babies, unless you plan to live your life as single, she is right. The most important thing a woman can do is decide who she is going to spend her life with, and whether that is another woman, another man, or another person in the spectrum of the GLBT group, who you permanently ‘hook up’ with will determine how free you are to remain an independent, strong and autonomous woman.
This idea seems counterintuitive, and acknowledging that the person you are in partnership with has such influence on how your own life unfolds may seem disempowering, and a throwback to more conventional ways of thinking. What I do know is that when my baby wakes up in the middle of the night, half of the time it is my husband who rocks him down to sleep. When my daughter needs her diaper changed in the morning it is my husband who changes her and takes her to Gan. From grocery shopping, to doing laundry, to cooking, we do these thing equally. OK, not cleaning. He sucks. Please learn to flush the toilet. But because I am not exclusively tied down to these endless, mundane, banal tasks that do take up more of your life the older you get, I can focus my energies on my own development.
Before I sound like I am advising women to make sure they find a partner who doesn’t mind cleaning, this isn’t my point. What matters is that we be in a relationship with someone who will struggle with us to make sure we are fulfilled and that our lives have meaning, and who in turn is worthy of us struggling for.
I can pursue another Master’s degree, advance professionally, pull off a V-Day fundraiser, and write for a killer magazine. Not because my husband is willing to split the chores, but because he supports what I believe in.
So, if we are talking about feminism and relationships, I agree with the Nigerian woman who stole the show. “Be very careful in choosing who you will spend your life with.”

The City Girl who Knew All About the Stars (by Mindy Aber Barad)
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The others were the earth
Their fingernails more familiar with soil than polish

But her heart belonged to the comet
Her eyes taught the girls all about what was overhead
The night lights

While they plowed their furrows
She dreamed.
After work she ruled their hearts
Taught them to turn their necks to see,
And smoothed their turned-up brows.

Leah's Sister, Rachel (by Sara K. Eisen)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.

Frum and Feminine (by Phyllis Klughaupt-Becker)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.

My Personal Story (by Bat-Adam) - in Hebrew (סיפורי האישי - בת אדם)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.

Splashing in the Puddles (by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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Hashlooliyot (The Puddles), with Lisa Grin on lead vocals and guitar, Merav Shwartz on drums and vocals, Neta Ben Cnaan on guitar and vocals and Chen Naor on bass and vocals, is one of my favorite Israeli underground Riot Grrrl-style bands. First time I saw them live, they opened for another Israeli band I really like, LadyD.
I got to interview them prior to a gig they played in Jerusalem’s Avram Bar on March 19, Lisa said she heard on the radio that women mostly sings songs about love and men sing about everything else. Hashlooliyot set out to change that trend and avoid songs about love. In fact, even in the Avram Bar pamphlet that listed the band’s gig, it stated “No love songs and bullshit.”
However, they still believe love is great. Neta is getting married and their new album, which was released in April, is called Francis’s Graveyard, after Lisa’s former boyfriend, whom she has been with for four years before he succumbed to cancer and passed away at the age of 54. Francis was also the author of many of the songs on the album.
Hashlooliyot’s style reminds me a bit of Marla Hooch as their lyrics are random yet totally raw, and have an incredible sense of humor. They have songs about cats, chocolate milk, cold water, and my favorite – Tofu!
The Tofu song, says Lisa, talks about a boyfriend she had, who was all spiritual and said that tofu is healthy. At some point, his spiritual streak went to his head and he decided to become all orthodox. Lisa says: “A spiritual trend leads to another spiritual trend and before you know it, you’re living on the wrong side of Me’a She’arim” (i.e. one of the most Ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem).
Lisa went on to tell me that she saw her now-religious ex in a grocery store, and he wouldn’t shake her hand, saying it may burn him. So she pinched his belly and he became all red.
In the pull-quote is the tofu song in all it’s lyrical glory (sorry to all you Anglos, but translating that song will butcher and decapitate it in cold blood). Stuff your faces, people!

טופו - השלוליות

פעם היה לי חבר רוחני
האמין מאוד שטופו זה בריא
כשסגנון השאנטי הפך לטרנד
הבריז הבנזונה והתחרד

טופו פרווה כשר למהדרין
איפה קונים טופו במאה שערים

אולי בקורס לחשיבה חיובית
ילמדו אותי מודעות עצמית
אני יודעת שאני זאת ליסה
אני יודעת שטופו זה איכסה

ועל הזין האנרגיות שלי
איפה קונים טופו במאה שערים

For more Hashlooliyot go to:

Riot Grrrl Corner (by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
Available only on hard copy. Click to order or download.