Articles from Issue 12

The following are sample articles from Issue 12. Click here to download the PDF version for free, or contact to order the full zine in hard copy or PDF format.

The Holy Hymen (by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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Virginity is something to cherish, something to protect and something to save for a special someone…
Or virginity is something fathers have an obligation to protect.
Or virginity is something for men to steal.
Or virginity is something divine that ought to be worshipped by believers worldwide.
How about virginity belongs to the beholder and can be used as he or she wishes?
Since this is a feminist zine, the topic will be limited to women only. But like all other issues, it seems like virginity is yet another aspect of a woman’s life that belongs to everyone else but the woman herself.
Society, for example, creates a thick cloud of confusion around virginity. On one hand, you should save your virginity until you’re married (clearly ignoring the fact that not all women choose to get married). On the other, if you’re not a virgin up to a certain age, you’re a slut. Or if you are a virgin from a certain age, then you’re a prude.
At least, these are the societal standards that I felt dominated my life and my body. Shame was a big part of it, as it has been with any other aspect of my life – I was ashamed of my body, ashamed of my inexperience, ashamed of my innocence, ashamed of men, ashamed of love, ashamed of my experience with sexual harassment, ashamed of my voice, ashamed of the fact that I couldn’t scream, ashamed of taking up space in the world, ashamed of disappointing my parents and using their money for substance abuse…
When my mom found out that I’m not planning on staying as virgin as olive oil until I get married, she was livid, and did what any good Yiddishe Mama does – made me feel guilty and made me tell my dad about it. So I was beyond ashamed. But I went ahead with it anyways, because if there was one thing I hated more than feeling shame, it was feeling innocent.
I starved for corruption, and starved for more with every slap I got. When I lost my virginity, I felt reborn. And although technically I had given it up to my boyfriend of the time, I felt like I owned it more than ever, because I used it to shape my body as I wanted it to be – feminine and hymen-less.
This issue is an attempt to reclaim our bodies, yet again, and our virginity, not as a loss, but as something that we own and control. It mostly contains poems on virginity, and stories of first-time love, and also on societal views of virginity.
There is also a rather unrelated segment that I decided to add in this issue, as a tribute to the Land of Israel and its 62 years of independence, which took place around mid-April this year. This segment includes my account of March of the Living and a couple of poems.
And if you haven’t already guessed the Riot Grrrl Corner band featured in the cherry issue, here’s a hint:

Venus (by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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Broken Cherry (by Naomi)
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A Rebuttal (by Shoshana RK)
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The Cycle (by Deborah Kadishelby)
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In many religious circles, the use of tampons are prohibited for single women on the basis that this invalidates a woman’s virginity, and that nothing is supposed to pass through a woman’s hymen before her husband’s penis on the wedding night. This strict adherence to the concept of virginity reduces a woman’s marriageable value to her sexual purity. In this way, certain religious insistence of virginity seeks to limit a woman’s actions on every aspect of her life, including one which men know almost nothing abut, and indeed, have often traditionally been seen as dirty or unnatural. This source of life, this monthly flow is so constricted, that many women begin to fear their periods, are ashamed of their flows, and hate that which makes them women.

Of Romance, Cherries, Clichés and Sex (by Darryl Egnal)
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A Female Email Sent to a Male (by Sue Tourkin-Komet)
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First Time Awakening (by Debbie Snyder-Eliraz)
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Bodies...of...Water (by Sue Tourkin-Komet)
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Serial Virgin Dater (by Sandra Fragola)
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Life seemed better when I was a virgin. Didn’t have to worry about the pill, condoms, vibrators, pregnancy, dental dams, STD’s... Life just seemed so much easier. Kinda like having a buzz cut – just get up and go with no complications.
There are men out there that seem to think that being with a virgin is better...for them. There are lesbians out there that prefer being with someone who has never been touched by a man. It’s fuckin’ annoying is what it is. Seems like a conquest – who can get to you first and which “team” are you rooting for the most. It’s disgusting.
My issue is with straight men. In particular: my ex-boyfriend who would say to me, “If we ever break-up, I’ll still be the one that popped your cherry.” Who fuckin’ cares if you popped my cherry when the sex wasn’t that good in the first place?! Give me a great fuckin’ orgasm and that will be something worth talking about and worth remembering. “Oh yeah, your small cock is so great. I love it. Your small cock feel so large in my tight hole?” *rolls eyes* Whatever. When I wasn’t enjoying the sex with him or wasn’t crawling all over him, I was called a “prude”. Really? A prude? I hardly think so... You just have a small cock and I couldn’t feel anything. After we broke up and I started going out with my current partner, I bumped into my ex and the loser said this to my partner:
“Hey, you might be with her now but I’m the one who popped her cherry.” *insert eye roll here* What the fuckin’ hell?!?!?!?! Of all the fuckin’ audacity!!!!
“We shared a special moment with one another, a moment you won’t be able to share with anyone else.” Yuck, wish I could share it with someone else! *barfs* He is now going out with a girl who, surprisingly enough, is a virgin. He was bragging about it so I called him a “Serial Virgin Dater... You manipulate and deceive girls into believing that you care about them when all you really want is their virginity.” That offended him A LOT and he got really angry. Must have hit a nerve! He said he wasn’t going to stand there and be insulted (HA!) and left with steam practically coming out of his ears. Good riddance!!!!
Is it just me or do guys who have small cocks like to go after virgins and call what they feel “love” and “connection”? (Yeah, there’s a connection alright between your small cock and a girl who’s never been penetrated before. What a tight fit!)
Alright, I might seem a bit jaded when it comes to guys with small cocks and their intentions with girls who have never had sex before but really, who wouldn’t? Seems fuckin’ suspicious.
Like they have some sort of hidden agenda. And that hidden agenda is between their legs.

Losing It (by Anonymous)
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Fifteen & a-Half & Overly-Ripe (by Sue Tourkin-Komet)
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Virgin Births (by Dr. Lea-Ora Leeder)
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I am a single mother by choice of a beautiful six month old girl, and my child was conceived not the “fun” way, but through IUI. Some perverse part of me wanted Raphaela to be born on Christmas Day, so I could say that the sperm donor was G-d. Technically speaking, I did not have sex in order to bring my daughter into the world.
Recently, I have thrown myself back into the arena of dating, and was confronted with the odd question, can I still marry a Cohen? While I believe that much of organized religion exists to bolster the power of insecure and money-conscious men, this issue takes religious snobbery to the next level: a Cohen may only marry a pure woman, a woman who has not been tainted by a previous marriage, thus implying that only a virgin would be acceptable to those who some day may serve in the Third Temple. Those of the priestly class boast that they even have a special genome, distinctive only to men; in fact this gene can be found in many African tribal leaders who claim Jewish descent.
The Ultra-Orthodox expend a lot of energy to prove that their daughter is worthy for match making, that her hymen is complete. Woe to a Chareidi girl who fell off a horse as a child, she will end up unmarried and an embarrassment to her family.
I am not a divorcee, but my hymen is most definitely punctured, child birth will do that. One Cohen gentleman became quite angry and felt that he had been tricked into dating me when he found out I had a child; not that he was such a catch in any case, I wouldn’t want him sacrificing my lamb.
Is virginity biology or a state of mind? And should men really be the ones to decide?

Flashing & Flushing: First Love (by Sue Tourkin-Komet)
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Losing My Innocence in a Hotel Room at 14 (by Jessi Edwards)
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Virginity Smirginity (by Tinamarie Bernard)
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Unmade Angel (by Hannah Greenberg)
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Juvenile anhinga, whose flesh-colored tights
Without vambrace or even simple pauldrons,
Never crenellated, but constructed from fashion,
A singular regolith, that smalltime hustler, cries.

She’s not altered by inanition. Instead, receives
Immediate attention even when not readily, at the larche’s
Threshold, offering her breasts for public view,
Or otherwise, allegedly, sharing shelter with neighbors.

Whereas space visitors attempt fornication, their forked tongues
Making passage over the wee girl’s dimensions, regularly tickling
Her toes with mud, slime, worse, she’s no biological entablature,
Not a fool, ever.

Just a gal with a gist, an uncanny ability
To live between moments dirtied by cancer, poison,
Or portended escapes related to aliquot
Parts of power. Such women prevail.

Hence, the unmade angel, not the racewalker,
Gets good results due to “marvels” of character
While another young thing requires “minor surgery,”
An abortion, for a doxy aged thirteen.

Overstuffed chairs, chests, chattel make small waves
In compensation for virginity lost, refound, resold.
Street practices voluntarily adopted means little ones
Get left dreaming of nothing.

Here starts "We're All Blue & White" - Special Segment dedicated to Yom Ha'atzmaut

By the Rivers of Babylon (by Sue Tourkin-Komet)
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By The Rivers of Babylon I learnt to swim to
p e r f e c t i o n

By The Rivers of Babylon I learnt to type to
p e r f e c t i o n

By The Rivers of Babylon I learnt to drive with
c a u t i o n

By The Rivers of Babylon they advertise tablets
for eternal e r e c t i o n s.

But here in Zion–
I learnt to pray with e l a t i o n
I learnt to dance with holy a b a n d o n
I learnt to love to be a v e g e t a r i a n
I learnt to swim in perfect i m p e r f e c t i o n.

And here near Zion–
Moses broke The Tablets for eternal g e n e r a t i o n s.

Marching On (by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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Just Because (by Sue Tourkin-Komet)
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Riot Grrrl Corner (by Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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