Articles from Issue 15

The following are sample articles from Issue 15. Click here or contact to order the full zine.

Fe-MAN-ist (By Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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I make fun of men. It’s true. Sometimes I like to stir the shit and bitch about their insecurity-hiding-behind-macho attitudes, about how they’re clearly scared of our power but completely deny it when confronted head-on, and pull jokes about them.
But in reality, sometimes it’s because of those things that I love them. Knowing that they’re also human, they have their weaknesses, and knowing that yes, there are the feminist ones who know how to treat a woman with respect, without assuming that she can’t stand on her own two feet without holding on to a man.
The reason why I still make fun of them, I admit, is due to my own repressed feelings of anger, fear and insecurity. These feelings come up mostly after suffering a devastating heartbreak, or see my girlfriends suffer a similar episode, or experiencing any form of sexual harassment, or simply coming into contact with a man who wants to get between my legs and ignoring what’s between my ears. And another truth is that these incidents happen way more often than meeting a feminist man. A real feminist man, who doesn’t even need to proclaim it to prove his stance.
So at first, I wasn’t going to write an issue on that topic because I figured it may be too hard to find these feminist men and weed out the real from the fake. But then I came across zines that included some very clever rants by feminist men, and some other stories by women expressing their opinion on the topic. That’s aside from walking around Jerusalem and sometimes running into a guy wearing a t-shirt that reads “This is what a feminist looks like,” or being at the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center fundraiser and coming across other such men…
It is necessary to recognize the men fighting for equality, because they’re the ones who will make the most significant, most radical change. Men are the oppressors, and only men can stop the oppression. So the more feminist men, the better, and we need to allow them in.
Sure women need their own space and this is what Riot Grrrl is all about – mutual support and love among women – but the real feminist men would understand and appreciate that. They would participate in the collective struggle against violence, rape and sexual harassment, by first making a change within themselves, and then serve as an example for others.
But they cannot do that if we alienate them. Being in touch with feminist women is what can make a man understand and respect us.
This issue includes submissions by men on the topic of feminism, an interview with two self-proclaimed male feminists, as well as some rants/monologues by women on the topic.
And this issue’s Riot Grrrl Corner is also dedicated to an Israeli artist who never misses a show without proudly announcing his radical feminist stance – Aviv Geffen!

Of Chauvenist Beasts and Radical Dykes (By Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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Step Away from the Cave, Boys and Girls (By Dr. Lea-Ora Leeder)
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Short Note from a Feminist Toughguy (By Jesski)
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I was born with a learning disability; the medical term is “Y-Chromosomes”.
Luckily for me, my ancestors spent several thousand years doing things like writing the Talmud, describing relativity and kicking ass on various bad guys. So though I am slow, I am observant. One of the first things I noticed in life was that my father could lift a car. The second thing I noticed was that when my mother needed a car lifted she smiled and my Dad did it. “Ah-Chaa!!!” as uncle Phil used to say.
Yes, I have always been in awe of women. Mom was brilliant and eclectic. Grandma was brilliant and neurotic. It was always obvious to me that women were better. Not just because men suck (I’m a man, I can say it). But because they seemed to have that “Not a bull in a china shop” quality. Don’t get me wrong, many of my friends are men. They are loyal, strong, like to play and are basically happy....all the qualities you would want in a dog. I also like dogs very much but I wouldn’t date either. Dad pointed out that if you were really a tough guy you didn’t have to act like one. What percentage of women start the wars, bar fights and street gangs on this planet? Women just seem to bypass all that silly mucking about. They have natural abilities which they use with much more finesse than men. Sure there are exceptions on both sides but they are also brilliant in ways men can’t be. I respect women...OK love...OK adore them for their subtlety and power. What is more interesting than a female artist or rocket scientist? I don’t know either, probably nothing. So, why feminism?
Because feminism isn’t just an expression of female power. It is also an expression of male power. When we can unblinkingly accept women as equals, we free ourselves, too, because equality empowers both sides. We acknowledge a team up that G-d Himself created and we open the door to amazing possibilities. Ever wonder why Sarah laughed? Ever wish she had written a book? Or that Miriam or Esther had kept a diary? I do. We have allowed too much of the wisdom, love and strength of our women to slip away. Someday we will be the history of the Jews. How do we want to be remembered? More important, how do we want to live now?
Jesski is single, Jewish and a freelance writer, sculptor and snaplink worker in Tel Aviv. He enjoys physics and baking. (comments:

Feminism from a Male/Gender Queer/Trans/Whatever-the-Fuck-I-Am Perspective (By Royce Icon)
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Linked in Synch - Post Feministic Stance on Holy Union (By Joy Sherri)
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Blessing: Repossessing Sexuality as Holiness - Torah Portion Vayechi (By Shaya Kelter)
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As a child and adolescent in largely Christian America, I grew up in a culture in which sexuality is dirty, something to be ashamed of. “Dirty thoughts”, “dirty books” and “dirty pictures” were those that contained some connection with sexuality. The attitude linking dirty and shameful with sexuality has also seeped into Jewish thought among those Jews who for nearly two millenia have been living among the Christians. Christianity began in Israel as a Jewish sect but after Paul became a religion of primarily Gentiles and other philosophic influences, especially Greek, entered.Among them was the concept that the body and the soul are two separate entities and that the body is dirty and the soul is pure. An ideal in Christianity developed in which chastity, even for all of life became the ideal. To this day, Roman Catholic priests and nuns take oaths of lifelong celibacy.
The attitude towards sexuality in the Bible was very different. This Torah portion provides examples. “When Yisrael’s days drew near to death, he called his son Yosef and said to him: “Pray if I have found favor in your eyes, pray put your hand under my thigh – deal with me kindly and in truth: pray do not bury me in Egypt.” Genesis 47:29 Before Yisrael a.k.a. Yaakov (Jacob) dies, he makes his burial arrangements making his son Yosef swear that he will be buried with his fathers and then bequeaths his heritage to his sons in blessings. Just as Avraham, before sending his servant on a holy mission, had made him swear by placing his hand under his thigh, Yisrael in asking to be buried in holy ground, has his son Yosef swear while placing his hand under his thigh. The holiest organ in the Jewish male’s body is his circumcised penis. The “brit milah” (covenant of the circumcision) or in Yiddish “bris” marks the covenant between God and His people. The sexual organ is the instrument of progeneration, of new life, the very first “mitzvah” or commandment God gave to the human being, from the time of Creation.
Yisrael gives his blessing to each of his 12 sons and reserves his most tender blessing for his beloved Yosef including: “By your father’s God – may he help you and Shaddai, may he give-you-blessing: Blessings of the heavens, from above, blessings of the depths crouching below, blessings of breasts and womb!” Genesis 49:25 Two of God’s names are invoked by Yisrael in this verse. El Avicha – Your father’s God and Shaddai. El is masculine and Shaddai is feminine. The word Shaddai, one of the names of God, means “My breasts”. The breasts are a wonderful image for God because the breasts provide the suckling infant with all that he needs, just what he needs, but not too much. The word Shaddai can also be understood to mean She-Dai (that is sufficient). This is from the same word that we have in the song from the Passover Seder “Dayyenu” (It would sufficient). Shaddai is saying that God gives us what we need, just what we need, sufficient and not too much. It is a loving way of relating to God. Womb in Hebrew is “Rechem” which is the basis of another two of God’s names Harachaman (the Merciful One) and El Rachum (Compassionate God).
In this versus Yisrael is providing blessings of breasts and womb, the blessings of sexuality, which are also the regeneration of life and its loving sustenance.
Blessing is here giving of love. Blessing was very much part of Biblical life. Our times could also use blessing.
May we all be blessed with lives blessed with loving.

The Balls Behind the Pussy (By Jme Hash)
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This Is What a Feminist Man Looks Like - Interview with Shaya Kelter and Steve Goeke
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How to Be a Feminist Man (By Royce Icon)
(Photo by Shira Richter)
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To me, the easiest way to define Feminism is the belief in total and complete equality between the sexes. So to be a Feminist male you should believe in equality, and exercise that belief in your day to day life. That last bit is important, as simply stating you believe in equality doesn’t mean shit if you don’t practice it in real life.
And how do you go about practicing equality? Well, that’s simple; Don’t be an asshole! Treat women - and all people for that matter - with the same general courtesy and respect that you would want them to treat you with. Don’t make stupid generalizations about gender roles, don’t think of women merely as body parts, don’t act like a creepy stalker. Just don’t be a douche!
It really is that simple. It’s easier for some and harder for others, but it’s important. Not everyone is born with an egalitarian mindset, some have to work on it. If equality is a foreign concept for you, think about what you say and do around women, and try to see things from their perspective. Talk to women, make some female friends if you don’t have any, and generally try and gauge their reactions to your behavior, and seriously consider their input. And if you see people saying some sexist or misogynistic bullshit, call them out on it if you can!
The key to being a Feminist male is practicing and advocating equality between the sexes. If you can honestly say you do that, then you’re a Feminist in my book.

Me and the Minyan (By Leah Moses)
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Feminist MEN?! (By Dorit Shirim)
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Three Pillows (By Hannah Greenberg)
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מונולוג בוקר של אב לא אטום - שירה ריכטר
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Riot Grrrl Corner (By Hadass S. Ben-Ari)
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