What is a Frum Feminist?

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  • #616824

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Can you be a frum feminist?

    What is your opinion on this?

    #1116221

    Bookworm120
    Participant

    Hey, Shopping! Thanks for bringing this subject up.

    While I believe that women and men have different roles in Judaism, I also believe that women and men should have equal social and employment opportunities in the secular world. (Whether they should take full advantage of these opportunities is another story entirely. Maybe a girl doesn’t want to work in a STEM field, and really would rather be a stay-at-home mom – but I digress….) In that sense, I think it’s possible to support [at least some] feminist values and live a frum Jewish lifestyle without conflict.

    Not everyone defines “frum feminism” this way; the majority of people I see calling themselves “frum feminists” on the Web tend to support things that seem to conflict with Orthodox Jewish values. Many appear to be feminists advocating for pro-feminist changes within Judaism, not feminists who happen to be frum Jews. I have my reasons for not openly associated with others who call themselves “frum feminists” … and the feminist movement as a whole.

    #1116222

    charliehall
    Participant

    I know many.

    #1116223

    Joseph
    Participant

    “frum feminist” is an oxymoron and misnomer.

    #1116224

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    I clicked on the link to comment on this, but Joseph beat me to it. It’s an oxymoron.

    #1116225

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    I suspect that there are those who do not know what “frum” means.

    There is no designation open frum. So that should clarify some misnomers.

    #1116226

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    A frum feminist is not the same thing as a feminist. A frum feminist is frum and believes that women are people with rights, not objects.

    #1116227

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Who gave them rights?

    #1116228

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Women and men were created with rights and obligations.

    #1116229

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The same right and obligations, or different ones?

    #1116230

    skripka
    Participant

    different obligations definitely. men have an obligation to daven with a minyan, woman don’t. woman have an obligation to keep other mitzvos which don’t apply to men . my only question is, what do you mean by “rights”?

    do you mean on the socio-political level? or on the judaism-halacha-hashkafa level?

    #1116231

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Skripka, of course. The problem with “frum” feminists (the type Charlie knows) is that they want equal rights and obligations in the realm of Judaism whether or not it is what the Torah actually wants (being careful to have a teirutz for how it doesn’t technically violate halacha).

    #1116232

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    The Catholic Church does not allow women to be priests, so no, a woman feminist can’t be frum.

    Frum is a Galach, a Yid is erlich!

    Now if you ask “can a woman be an erlich yid”, if the model is Rebbetzen Chava Bachrach, Jungreis, or Liebowitz, then the answer is certainly yes. If the model is Rabbi Sally Priesand or Hillary Rodham, then the answer is certainly no.

    #1116233

    Joseph
    Participant

    Examples of ehrliche women are motherly, support their husband and sons Torah learning, have a dinner prepared for their mishpacha and cry with tefilos when lighting Shabbos neiros.

    #1116234

    charliehall
    Participant

    “they want equal rights and obligations in the realm of Judaism whether or not it is what the Torah actually wants “

    Not true.

    #1116235

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/what-is-a-frum-feminist#post-591237 is wrong because feminists don’t want gender equality. Gender equality activists want gender equality. Feminists care about rights for women. It’s not the same thing.

    #1116236

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Charlie,

    Of course it’s true. What do you think women being rabbis is all about?

    #1116237

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    RY23,

    You haven’t defined or given examples of “rights”.

    #1116238

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Women being rabbis has more to do with gender equality movement than feminism.

    #1116239

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    I am not a dictionary.

    #1116240

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    It’s not only dictionaries that give definitions.

    #1116241

    TheGoq
    Participant

    Just because women have different roles in yiddishkeit than men does not mean they need to be subserviant a marriage dominated by one party is not healthy for anyone involved.

    #1116242

    simcha613
    Participant

    Bookworm120

    +1. I agree wholeheartedly. Being a frum woman does not mean you are relegated to being stay at home or working at a dead end low paying job just because she’s female. And being a feminist doesn’t necessarily mean a desire to destroy all role differences between men and women especially in the realm of religion.

    #1116243

    Joseph
    Participant

    Goq: The Torah prescribes a subservient role.

    Simcha: If being stay-at-home is something you consider to be a matter of “relegated”, you ought to reconsider. The Shulchan Aruch prescribes, as a matter of halacha, that the role is stay-at-home.

    #1116244

    Joseph
    Participant

    Feminism also goes by its other name of Women’s Liberation (women’s lib), which it is synanamous with, and gender equality is one of the movements core theologies.

    Ask yourself what they are trying to “liberate” themselves from and what that has to do with Hashem and Judaism.

    #1116245

    simcha613
    Participant

    Joseph- if it’s against halacha for a woman to work, why is a woman allowed to break this halacha to support her husband in learning? Usually the husband could probably find another source of income other than kollel that would allow his wife to not break this halacha.

    And, I would like to apologize for using the term “relegated.” There are many women that find much fulfillment and menuchas hanefesh as a full time wife and mother. But not all women fit that mold. Are there contemporary poskim that say that it is assur for a woman to have a career if not completely necessary for financial reasons? I would love to see contemporary sources that say that explicitly (other than the S”A that you mention).

    #1116246

    simcha613
    Participant

    Joseph- where does the Torah prescribe a subservient role? In Parshas Bereishis for Chava’s curse? It also curses Chava with difficult childbirth. Does that mean a woman is not allowed an epidural to ease the pain? It also curses Adam to work for a living. Does that mean it is assur for a man to rely on the financial support of others?

    One can argue that a curse is not the same thing as a command. One is not required to make sure that that curse comes true. Maybe a curse is just a statement that a new reality exists but it does not impose any new active restrictions. Like if man used to have the ability to fly and God cursed man by saying “you shall not fly” and took away the ability… that just means there’s a new reality that man can no longer fly. That doesn’t forbid man from building a balloon or an airplane.

    The new reality is that it will be much more difficult for man to earn a living, but it does not forbid one man from making it easier on another man. The new reality is, is that childbirth will be much more difficult, but it doesn’t forbid a woman from making it as easy as possible. The new reality is that there is a new natural dominant relationship between man and woman, but it doesn’t forbid a man and a woman from having a different dynamic if they choose to.

    #1116247

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Feminism does not believe in gender equality. Gender equality activists fight for women to be allowed to be female rabbis and for men to be allowed to be male rebbitzens or whatever the word is. Feminism is about women, not equality.

    #1116248

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    You can’t be frum and a feminist.

    I know some people who are frum and call themselves feminist, but I have spoken with them and they are not feminist. Some are not frum.

    #1116249

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    You can’t be butter and a fly.

    I know some insects who fly and call themselves butter, but I have attempted to spread them on bread and they are not butter.

    #1116250

    Joseph
    Participant
    #1116251

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Well done rebyidd

    #1116252

    adocs
    Participant

    Not sure what the problem is.

    If women aren’t Jewish then why does it matter if they’re frum?

    #1116253

    According to Wikipedia,

    “Feminism is a range of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women.

    This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.”

    You can be a frum feminist, just as you can be a frum

    environmentalist*, but the thing is that when feminism

    and the Torah or contemporary chareidi/Orthodox practice

    conflict, those who are frum and feminists often think

    that it is not feminism but Judaism which should yield,

    which is obviously not acceptable.

    *I don’t know how appropriate “isms” that aren’t Judaism are for a Jew.

    #1116254

    charliehall
    Participant

    “The Torah prescribes a subservient role.”

    The origin of that belief is from the Tanna Shaul HaTarsi, the famous (infamous) talmid of Rabban Gamliel HaZakein who became a min. It is probably asur to follow his heresies.

    #1116256

    Joseph
    Participant

    Charlie, is your Rambam missing the page for Hilchos Ishus 15:20 and your Shulchan Aruch YD 240:17? Did you miss Bereishis 3:16 and 18:12 or Tehilim 45:12?

    #1116257

    Tell that to Rav Avigdor Miller.

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