The Jewish Women’s Day

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Around Mother’s Day, I discovered the Holiday of Girls – a Jewish custom celebrated around Jewish Middle-Eastern communities during Hanukkah. My family is Moroccan so it made me wonder why I’ve never heard about it. I was determined to include it in our Hanukkah festivities and make it into the custom that it was intended to be.

Chag Habanot – because Judith was a badass and gave zero fucks!

I started planning it about a month ago. The holiday takes place on the eve of the first of the month of Tevet. That happened to fall right on the weekend we were set to be in Be’er Sheva with my parents. So I asked them to tell the family that we want to have my grandmother over specifically on that date, so that she could spend Chag Habanot with us.

I guess I should have planned it a bit better because I went crazy with all the preparations at the last minute and drove my husband crazy with it.

On the Wikipedia page I found about this holiday, it said that the custom is to have a dairy meal (in memory of Judith who gave Holofernes some milk before decapitating him). So on Friday, I tried a new recipe for cheesy Penne and a new sauce with plenty of veggies. Took me forever but it came out decent.

Another thing they said on the Wiki page is that it is also customary to eat a lot of sweet stuff. I already planned to take a piece of last week’s birthday cake to my parents (that I kept in the freezer), as well as the sufgies I made. But I still went ahead and tried making Churros. That was right after I was done with making the pasta, so I really had to hustle. The Churros didn’t come out as Churros but as fried snakes. So finally I decided to just fry them as I did the Sufgies and called them Sufganitas, to give them the Mexican sound of the food they were based on. I rolled them in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and they were delicious.

Another Wiki fact about Chag Habanot – in one custom, they pick one inspirational woman of many accomplishments and give her a gift naming her “Yekirat Ha’eda” (The Beloved of the Community). Since Hanukkah is also my grandmother’s birthday, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to give her such a gift and name her Yekirat Ha’eda. On Tuesday, right after work, I went to a souvenir shop on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall and ordered this colorful plate with decorations in the shape of the old city monuments and architecture, with an engraved plaque reading “Yekirat Ha’eda”. My husband went to pick it up on Friday morning.

I printed out the Wiki page and highlighted some parts of it to read to my family on the holiday.

After all the stress to try and get everything done, I heard that my extended family was planning a birthday party for my grandmother on the same evening of the first of Tevet. Of course, the party that they were planning had nothing to do with Chag Habanot because, like me, they’ve never heard of it before. At first, I was furious. I planned this shit for a fucking month and nearly lost my tuque making sure I get everything ready, and they up and steal it from right under me. Especially after I specifically requested that my grandmother spend the evening with us a whole fucking month in advance! I exclaimed “They fucking stole Memeh (my grandmother)!” And my daughter literally started crying.

“We’ll hide her so they can’t steal her then!” She said with defiance.

But then it occurred to me that Shabbat ends early because it gets dark so soon. And the birthday party they planned starts two hours later. So maybe we could make it work.

And we did!

After the Havdalah (the prayer we make to bid farewell to the Sabbath Queen), I took the stage and started my first ever Chag Habanot ritual. First, we lit the Menorah. It was the seventh candle and we had three menorahs – one that my dad lit, another that my daughter lit, and the third that I instructed only the girls of the family should light together, and I made the blessing on that one. It was me, my daughter, my mother and my grandmother who lit the third menorah together.

Then I sat in front of my grandmother, because she’s hard of hearing, and read to her the parts of the Wiki page I chose, to describe what Chag Habanot is, why we celebrate it during Hanukkah, who are the Jewish historical heroines we celebrate, and what are some of the customs in different Sephardi communities. Then, I gave her her gift and she was overwhelmed with joy. She even gave me one of her gold bracelets as a thank you gift, which was an incredible and moving gesture.

After that, we sat down for the dairy meal, had some sufgies and chocolate covered cones my mom made, and of course, a le’Chaim with Moscato wine my husband bought at the last minute. I got drunk for the first time in eons, but didn’t get sick which was great. And everything turned out perfect.

I’m so happy we have this holiday now and that it was reintroduced to our family as a regular custom of Hanukkah. We’ll have it every year from now on.

Peace, love and Esther is still my favorite Jewess of all times!

Free Love

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I got to see the Pride online broadcast that the Jerusalem Open House posted. There was a segment where the camera crew went around interviewing some of the marchers and asked them why they decided to come to the Pride March in Jerusalem. There were some wonderful answers there, and I started to think what my answer would have been if I was there and was asked to explain my attendance. This is what I would have said:

“I think it’s important for me to recognize my privilege as a straight cis and support this community. They deserve to have the same rights and privileges that I have. And it’s important for this change to happen in a city like Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and if this change happens here, it will happen throughout the country.

“I also want to teach my daughter what it is to love and be tolerant. I want to teach her that it’s ok to be whoever she is, and she is deserving of love and respect no matter who she is. She is four years old and she already knows what trans is and what non-binary is, and that it’s perfectly ok for anyone to be who they are. I want her to know that her parents love her and will love her no matter who she is. This is what unconditional love is and this is the kind of love that I can see here today, in this march, within the community – everyone is accepted and loved regardless of who they are or what they look like. This is the kind of love I want to see in this city and this country. Ahavat chinam.”

But I wasn’t there and I didn’t get to say that. And that sucks. I wish I didn’t feel so old and I wish I had more friends who are willing and eager to join me for such events. I’ve found myself alone in so much of my social life – concerts, fundraisers, parties, protests, and many times on Pride as well. It was ok when I was young and single. But I’m older today and I feel that need for a friend – at least one – to be with me on such events. I hope that next year (which marks 20 years to the Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance) I can make it to the march and that I’ll have some friends who can join me. I want to make the above statement and stand proudly as an ally for the community, for equal rights and for future generations.

Peace, love and Gayrusalem

Proud to Be Human

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Jerusalem Pride is today. As always, I love this time of year when the city takes on color and vibrancy.

The flags in front of our office on Hillel Street

The municipality usually hangs the rainbow flags along the route of the march way ahead of time. So all week this week, I’ve been looking forward to see all the pride flags during my bus rides. But this year, they only started hanging them up yesterday. On my way home yesterday, I saw the truck with all the pride flags going from street light to street light, hanging the flags on the poles. This morning, all flags were up, and my bus ride was a wonderful one, as I admired my multicolored city.

An interesting point about the location of the flags: On one of the previous years, the religious community got pissed that the municipality decided to hang a flag right next to Heichal Shlomo – one of the largest synagogues in Jerusalem. Fine, whatever. They took it down. This year, I noticed there were no flags next to it again (there might have been some on the opposite side of the street, but my view from my seat on the bus was blocked) but there WERE flags next to that Christian monastery place thingy on the corner of Azza street. I’m not sure what that place is, but there is a cross on top and I constantly see nuns going in and out of it, so yeah. Another religious place of worship, but different views on what they should be angry about. Seriously, flags?! Is that really the best you can come up with to lose your shit over?

I try to rationalize it and I can’t. Who was that person who said “Don’t try to make sense out of nonsense”?

Some of the so-called “moderate” religious Jews say “You can be gay if you want to, but do it privately. We don’t want to see it.” I say to these idiots “You can be a disgusting fucking homophobe if you want to, but do it privately. Don’t go out rioting in the streets and stabbing people who only want to live their lives.”

There are so many situations that can be avoided by simply looking the other way. You don’t want to see gay people, the good Lord gave you ocular muscles that can move your eyes away from that “abomination”. You don’t want to see a flag hanging wherever the fuck, once again, turn away. You don’t want to see women nursing their babies, look at your feet. You don’t want to see the faces of women on ads and billboards, turn the fuck away. You have no problem looking at the ceiling or at the walls when you talk to me, so why is it so hard for you to go by a billboard without spraypainting in black the face of the woman on it?

Check out this disgusting thing. Today, I saw a commercial van with an ad for lice medication. It had a picture of a little girl scratching her head and another picture of that same girl just standing there smiling… I assume she’s smiling in that other picture but couldn’t really tell because her face was spraypainted black. As well as the one where she’s scratching her head. A LITTLE GIRL! What message are you trying to send here? Modesty, I can understand. You’re a straight-up pervert and don’t want to see a woman’s face because it might give you a boner? Fine, whatever, look away. But a little girl? Does seeing the face of a little girl give you a boner too? You don’t need to look away or spraypaint it. What you need is castration and the electric chair. You’re a fucking pedophile!!!

I went on a little bit on a tangent here, so let me get back to the topic of gay pride.

There are these people who are against it and don’t understand why the LGBTQ community needs gay pride when there isn’t a straight pride. I saw a meme the other day that explains it perfectly: “Gay pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a straight pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.”

And Jerusalem Pride is exactly that. Pride in Jerusalem is actually called the Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance. It’s more of a demonstration than a parade. There are no floats. There are no men in speedos. There are no topless women. This is a protest to demand equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

And when you think about it, why does this community need to demand equal rights? Are they hurting anyone by getting married? Are they killing and torturing people by having a family?

To all homophobes who can’t fathom a society where everyone are treated like human beings, imagine this hypothetical scenario: The Bible says that people with black hair are an abomination. The religious community starts excommunicating people with black hair. Lawmakers take away black-haired people’s rights. Black-haired people lose their jobs, their family, and their friends and finally take their own lives as a result. Then, black-haired people get pissed for being discriminated against everywhere they turn, and decide to swarm the streets to demand that people stop persecuting them and start seeing them as human beings. They didn’t choose to have black hair. They were born with black hair and they want to be proud of it and come out of the hair salon where they dye their hair to hide who they really are.

Sounds preposterous, doesn’t it? Same goes for LGBTQ. They’re human beings struggling to have human rights. Gay Pride is quite simply Human Pride. You can’t discriminate against them for loving who they want to love anymore than you can discriminate against me for loving the color purple. “No! The color purple is an abomination! You should be stoned!” Well, you should get a brain.

Gay Pride in Jerusalem is still risky business. The security personal and authorities are on overdrive. Especially after all the riots that took place in recent weeks all over the country, the police are on high alert. Two cops even stopped by our office yesterday requesting us to keep the door to the roof open so that they can set up a lookout spot up there today. I really hope that nothing bad happens. I hope no one of the marchers gets hurt. We can’t have a repeat of the march in 2015 where an innocent 16-year-old girl was stabbed to death.

I love that one Orthodox Jewish guy who never misses Jerusalem Pride. He’s there every year. He stands on the sidelines of the march and holds up a sign with the colors of the flag and the line “Love Thy Neighbor” in Hebrew printed on it. We need more people like him.

As for me, I can’t go to the march this year. Last time I went was in 2019 and I had no friends with me. I went that year because I planned to write a zine about activism in Jerusalem, and Pride was a big part of it. But I left the march before it ended because I was tired, had a headache and started feeling a bit anthropophobic. It happens to me when I’m in a crowd full of people squished together. If I had some friends with me, it would have taken my mind off the crowd around me and I could have enjoyed it much more. So this year, since no one is coming with me, I decided to just not go, and maybe watch part of the online broadcast that the Jerusalem Open House is planning to have following the march.

I still love this time of the year. I’m so fucking proud of the LGBTQ community and all those who support the movement for equal rights. You’re all the embodiment of love, tolerance and beauty in the face of so much hate, ignorance and darkness. Have fun at Pride and please be safe.

Peace, love and did anyone say democracy?

Women of Valor

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We never celebrated Mother’s Day in my family. In fact, I don’t ever recall it being celebrated in Israel at all.

Seeing all the Facebook posts of my overseas friends with their kids, celebrating Mother’s Day, it made me wonder how it is that we don’t celebrate it in Israel. Maybe it’s on a different date?

So I read up about it on Wikipedia and was stunned to find out that Yom Hamishpacha (Family Day) was supposed to be Mother’s Day in Israel but was renamed Family Day instead. Yom Hamishpacha is on the 30th day of the Jewish month of Shvat, that falls around January or February.

Kinda pissed me off. It sounds like those people who say “I’m not a feminist, I’m an equalist.” Or those who say “All lives matter” in a response to “Black lives matter”. Or those idiots who think we should have a straight pride parade in response to gay pride.

Why generalize? Why not make a day that is special just for mothers like the rest of the world?

At least, when it comes to Father’s Day, in Israel, that was also integrated into Family Day. So there is no difference between mother and father in that case. But it’s still stupid.

As part of my research about Mother’s Day in Israel, I stumbled upon an article about Chag Habanot (The Holiday of Girls). In the article, it says that this day is celebrated across Israel mostly by communities that originated from countries around the Middle East, such as Morocco, where my family is from.

Dudes, I have NEVER heard of this holiday! Why in the hell aren’t we celebrating it more prominently? With all I read about this holiday, it’s probably the most feminist holiday in all of Israel and all of Judaism.

This is what I found out so far:

  • The Holiday of Girls is celebrated on the first day of the month of Tevet, which falls in the week of Hanukkah, and on the darkest night of the year.
  • This holiday celebrates the miraculous power of women: their heroism, their wisdom and their sisterhood throughout the ages.
  • In the past, the first of every month was considered a special day for women, who would light a candle for the rebirth of the moon and keep the holiday as a Sabbath.
  • There is evidence in the scriptures about the cycles of the moon as related to the menstrual cycle of women, which explains the importance of the new month for women.
  • There is a link between this holiday and some prominent women in the scriptures. The first is Judith who lived during the time when the Romans tried to conquer Judea. Judith used her beauty and wisdom to seduce the general of the Roman army, boozed him up and beheaded him, thus saving the Jews and all of Judea. That happened on the eve of the first month of Tevet.
  • Another prominent woman was the Hasmonean sister. During the Greek empire, it was decreed that every newlywed Jewish women would be raped by a bishop on her wedding night. The Hasmonean sister refused the decree. On her wedding night, she went to the king along with her brothers who snuck into the king’s room and killed him. This started the Maccabees’ rebellion against the Greeks.
  • The first of the month of Tevet was also the day when Esther was brought to King Ahasuerus to be crowned as queen. Esther is my personal favorite Jewish heroine. She’s the one who saved the Jews from Haman who wanted to exterminate them. I wish we had an Esther when Hitler was around. She would have given him hell.

There are some more anecdotes and stories of different customs of this holiday within Middle Eastern communities. The first day of the month of Tevet, which falls on the sixth or seventh candle of Hanukkah, is the Holiday of Girls. I wish I could celebrate that holiday in my family. Maybe next Hanukkah, we’ll do something special for my daughter, or something special for my mom, or maybe I’ll do something special for myself. As there is no Mother’s Day in Israel per se, I want the Holiday of Girls to be the one we celebrate. Compared to Mother’s Day, Chag Habanot seems to be much more special, much more feminist and much more Jewish. I fucking LOVE it!

Peace, love and Shebrew forever!

Meet the New Everyone

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I wrote this post a few months ago about how gender-specific the Hebrew language is. I complained about not knowing how to speak or how to refer to a non-binary person in Hebrew as there is no such thing as a multi-gender singular “they” in Hebrew like there is in English… until now!

Yesterday, I saw this post on my newsfeed and got super fucking excited about it!

This ad reads “Now, everyone can use multi-gender Hebrew” and the caption includes a link to a site where this new font can be downloaded. The ad itself uses the new letters they created. For those of you who don’t read Hebrew, this is basically how this ad works:

The words “everyone” and “can” are always gender-specific in Hebrew. When used in the male format, it’s kulam yecholim. In the female format, it’s kulan yecholot. What they did with this font is merge the M and the N (for kulam/kulan), and merged the I of yecholim with the second O of yecholot, and the M with the T of these words. From what I see so far, these are new Hebrew letters created to make Hebrew more gender-fluid at least in writing. In terms of how to pronounce these letters, I’m not sure, but I assume this phrase would sound something like “Kulanem Yecholotim”.

It’s sheer perfection! Music to my ears! And I mean, seriously, the Hebrew word for “everyone” would finally actually include EVERYONE – men, women and non-binary people!

My favorite new letter so far is the merging of the M and N when put at the end of a word, they call that letter nem sofit. I will go back to that link a few more times and attempt to teach myself the rest of the new letters and finally incorporate them in my Hebrew texts. Not that there are too many of them. I prefer writing in English. But I’m so fucking psyched that I have the possibility of typing in multi-gender Hebrew!

Oh and also, once I actually get the hang of it, maybe I’ll even write a zine about it and include examples like I do in this post! So fucking rad!!

I can finally use the multi-gender singular “they” which is written with nem sofit and is probably pronounced henem. But I think this is the one problem with these new letters is that I’m not sure how to pronounce them. Like for a word like “you”, in Hebrew it’s either at (female) or ata (male). The genderfluid version of the word is spelled A-T-half of A. How would you pronounce half of a letter? Maybe just say both? Like, at’ata? So I think they should add an audio section to this website to show how such half-letters would be pronounced in different words. Even better if they scheduled some sort of online course or uploaded some YouTube tutorials answering questions from the viewers and participants about how to spell and pronounce some more complex words.

Either way, this is groundbreaking and I’m so glad that the change is starting to happen. People are taking notice. It’s definitely a language worth learning.

Peace, love and to all schools, upgrade your curriculum!

VaxZine!

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I finally got around to watching Moxie on Netflix on Friday. Once I heard about the movie, and then saw the preview, I was like “Well, DUUUUHHHH! I’m so totally glued-to-the-screen-and-burning-my-face-off watching this movie!” I mean, a movie about riot grrrl, feminism and ZINES? Not missing it for the world. (For the record, I’m seriously considering buying a copy of the book too!)

And yes, I did love the movie. I found myself saying “Fuck yes” on many occasions because I identified with it and remembered my own experiences throughout all the years since I was introduced to the movement, and even more since I got into zines. There were even some flyers and zines that I recognized, which made it even cooler. And the ongoing riffs of Bikini Kill in the background sent shivers down my spine without fail.

What I also loved about it is how they managed to introduce the riot grrrl movement as a more intersectional one than the original one from the 90s. I heard quite a bit of criticism of the original riot grrrl movement as not being inclusive enough – that African American or Latinx women or other women of color were not represented enough, that their experiences were not heard, and that the zines and the punk bands of the era were predominantly white. Now although the girl who started Moxie is white in the movie, she was motivated mostly by the experiences of her African American classmate and how she was picked on and assaulted by the lead jock of the school. When the Moxie group grew, it included also a Latinx girl, a few other African American girls, an Asian girl and even an Asian guy. There was a scene with a punk band made up of young Asian girls totally rocking Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl”. If I understood it correctly, they also had a non-binary person in there, the one who said that someone refused to address them by their new name.

I think they could have put a bit more emphasis on lesbians and trans women as well, and it would have been even cooler to throw in a Jewish girl and a Muslim one in there too, or at least a Middle Eastern girl. But the effort they made and the way they actually did manage to make the movie as inclusive as they did while the original movement was so limited is brilliant. I think it definitely represents the riot grrrl and zine movement as it is today, in the age of the internet and worldwide communication. The grrrl zine community started out small and limited probably because it was back in the late 80s and early 90s before the internet became an accessible tool to the masses around the world. But later on, the movement quickly became a global one. You can find zines in every country and in every language. The movement transcends all the differences and labels that set us apart – race, color, religion, nationality, culture, religiosity, gender, sexuality, class, age, etc. – and bring us together in the common cause of the revolution. The zine is such a multifaceted medium that can be used by anyone to speak their subjective truth, and as such, it must be inclusive. By their very nature, zines are inclusive.

So after watching this movie and having all these thoughts running through my mind, I miss making zines. It’s one of the biggest and most important things that the Covid crisis stole from me. Being so worried about contracting the virus and my daughter not being vaccinated, and a bunch of anti-vaxxers walking around, with no end in sight, I completely lost the will to create, and it absolutely kills me.

The blog is good some of the time. But the lack of scissors and glue and typewriter and ink smudges on my fingers is the thing that really gets me.

I’m sick of talking about Corona. I’m sick of complaining about people not getting vaccinated and being absolutely terrified of where the next mutation may come from. I want to write a zine about a concert that I went to, or how I enjoyed my night out with my husband. I want to write a zine about parenting and how I took my daughter to the gymboree, and the zoo, and the aquarium. I want to write a zine about how awesome my social life is and how much I enjoy the Jewish holidays with my family, as loud and as deafening as their singing can get. I want to write a zine about this awesome cool movie I saw and how I sometimes see myself as also taking part in a creation revolution when I have my friends over for an art morning or a crafternoon.

I miss my zinester life. What do you miss most about your pre-Covid life? What’s your excuse for not getting vaccinated and getting right back to that thing you miss the most?

Peace, love and let’s share some zine germs.

When a Poisonous Feminist Stings

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The following will be a raging fucking angry feminist rant and if you have a problem with feminist statements, go fuck yourself and fuck off from my blog.

Today is International Women’s Day and I am filled with feminist venom and absolute anger at all this bullshit we call patriarchy and this bigger pile of bullshit we call society.

In fact, I am so angry, I am shaking with rage.

This morning was also the day when all the kids in Israel go to kindergarten in costumes for Purim. My daughter, being the awesome feminist firecracker she is, decided to become a superhero and dressed up as Catboy.

So when came the time to post her picture on the family Whatsapp group, I posted her picture, with her appropriate fist up in the air, and the tagline “Who goes into the night, so they can smash the patriarchy…” as a nice little feminist twist to the PJ Masks tune. And then I wished everyone a happy International Women’s Day.

One of my family members, who shall remain nameless, said that “this is a pleasant family group and not the place for ideological statements.”

Ideological statements? What ideological statements? That I happen to find IWD a day that is worth mentioning? That I took a children’s song and made it fit the above mentioned day? That my daughter chose an obvious “boy” costume even though she is female-bodied?

One family member stood up for me and that was a touching moment.

But the seed of anger has been planted and I am burned to a crisp with the hell I wish I could raise. Instead, I am seriously considering leaving this group because this isn’t the first time they have smashed my so-called “ideological statements”.

I once posted a picture of my daughter with her fist up in the air reading the book “Feminist Baby” with the tagline quote from the book: “Feminist Baby chooses what to wear, and if you don’t like it, she doesn’t care.” That also incited an insulting comment from the same person, followed by a supporting one from the same one who stood up for me this time as well.

After the sad wish-less birthday I had this past year, I am starting to think that my family simply do not know me at all.

So for those of you reading this, let me make it abundantly clear:

I AM A FEMINIST.

I AM INSTILLING FEMINIST VALUES WITHIN MY DAUGHTER.

I WILL KEEP MARCHING AT SLUTWALK AND I WILL KEEP MAKING FEMINIST STATEMENTS WHENEVER THEY APPLY.

This will never change, so you misogynistic losers better get used to it and fast.

I will not stop until this patriarchal society is bludgeoned bloody and crawling on its hands and knees.

Peace, love and Catboy is for Girls, FOREVER.

 

The Safety Offline

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Today, I picked up my daughter’s new photo album from the post office.

It looks spectacular, as I knew it would.
I posted about it on Facebook, as I promised I would.
I didn’t post a picture of it, as I never do.

I don’t know exactly when I decided I wouldn’t be one of those moms who endlessly post pictures of her kids on social media. But I know it was before my daughter was conceived. And it doesn’t have anything to do with what people might think of me if I do post endless photos of my kid. I know that as a mother, I couldn’t be prouder of my kid. And if I really wanted to, I would post endless photos to show off the object of my affection and my pride and the best thing I ever did with my life. I’m sure this is why parents usually do post pictures of their kids, and I don’t blame them and I don’t think that what they’re doing is wrong.

For me, I think it has to do with what people used to fear ever since the internet began to spread and became something you can find everywhere. Hackers, online fraud, theft, pedophiles hiding behind false profiles and pseudonyms – you never know who’s on the other side of that screen. Do I really want such disgusting people to get their filthy hands on pictures of my daughter?

Sure, we have government officials and authority figures who got their hands on far more crucial information. From the moment she was born, she was assigned an ID number that will follow her for the rest of her life and which will provide anyone who has access to every detail of her identity – full name, date of birth, her father’s name, her mother’s maiden name, hair color, eye color, ethnicity, place of birth, height, weight, registered medical insurance, maybe even dental records once they get recorded. So what’s a few family photos on social media to that?

Still, there are some things that I can avoid and keep my daughter’s face under covers up until the age where she decides to post it herself. And even then, I would still be worried about child molesters coming across her face online. I might just be paranoid, but there is more to my refusal to post photos of my kid online than that.

I try to put myself in her shoes. What if the internet and social media was widespread in 1982? Would I have really wanted my mom to post pictures of me, and my face, and my first time on the potty all over the internet for complete strangers to see without my consent? Would I really be OK with that? No, never. And neither would my daughter.

How can I teach my daughter about body autonomy — that her body is her own, and that no one has the right to it but herself — if I go around violating her very privacy and denying her her birth-given right to control her body, by posting pictures of her on such public forums? This goes against everything I stand for and every feminist value I try to instill in my daughter. And even if my daughter was my son, I would think exactly the same way and do exactly the same thing — keep his face offline until he is ready and willing to post it himself.

Again, this is not an attack on my friends who do post pictures of their kids online. This is just a general explanation as to why I choose not to.

Peace, love and my photo album kicks your photo album’s ass!

Slutwalk Jerusalem 2019

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Slutwalk was painfully intense and crazy empowering. Definitely the place to be for a feminist activist mother of a little girl, or boy for that matter.

DSC03571

This past Friday was the peak of the heatwave in Israel. Jerusalem reached a high of 39 degrees, so before I left for the center of town, I made sure to take every precaution to keep myself from fainting – headscarf because no hat ever fits, sunscreen even though I never even tan, and so much water I drown.

When I heard of the heatwave I thought maybe I shouldn’t go. I mean, last year there was no heatwave and I still saw a person faint after the march. Even with my earphones firmly in my ears, blasting yet another crazy metal tune, I still heard the thud her head made when she hit the ground. It disturbed me for the entire following week.

But I’m really happy I made the effort to go, seriously. And the precautions I took proved to be effective and kept me strong enough to keep chanting along with the crowd.

“No means no means no means no means no. What part of no did you not understand yet?” We went on chanting.

I took a few pictures too. And I’ll include them with a full report of the demonstration in the next issue of my zine.

So yes, Slutwalk kicked some major patriarchic ass.

On to Pride! June 6, and I am SO going!

Peace, love and badass bitches take no shit.

Alt-Zine

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Summer is finally here, thank the good Goddess, and summer events in Jerusalem are right around the corner. The ones that I love most are Slutwalk, LGBT Pride, and the annual Artists’ Fair at the Sultan’s Pool. I don’t always attend them, but I still try my best because having a life outside of my mother-of-a-toddler one is necessary for my sanity and emotional wellbeing.

Before they announced the final dates for Slutwalk and Pride, I knew that most of the time, Slutwalk takes place around the end of May, and Pride sometime around early August. As it turns out this year, Slutwalk is happening on May 24, but Pride will be a couple of weeks later on June 6. This gave me an idea for a zine that I could write in July during International Zine Month.

I already have a postcard collection I call Alternative Jerusalem, so why not have a zine to go along with that? If I can, in fact, make it to these two events and take a few pictures and write some stuff about my experience, it would be nice to add it to a new issue of my zine.

The Artists’ Fair is always around August, so adding it to said zine will not work if I plan to write it in July. And I’m not even sure I’ll want to go. I almost never do if neither Aviv Geffen nor Hayehudim are on the bill. I made the mistake of going once to see Barry Sacharof and wanted to kill myself the whole night, as his entire musical set was made so disgustingly Middle Eastern that it made my ears bleed. But if I find out that Aviv Geffen or Hayehudim are planning to make an appearance at the Fair, I will definitely consider going, and maybe I’ll put off the release of the zine in order to add a segment about the show too.

And if Ka wills it and my husband and I make it to Sunday Metal Night at Blaze Bar between now and then, a segment about that is also in order.

Yes, that will be one awesome Alternative Jerusalemite Summer and one awesome kickass zine to go along with it!

Peace, love and fuck yeah summer!!!


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