April 2011

Marieme Helie Lucas on Secularism, Communalism, and the French veiling law

I am reposting this blog by Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian sociologist and founder of Women Living Under Muslim Laws, as a corrective to the superficiality with which these issues are covered in the US. I am amazed at the legitimacy that some Western feminists grant claims by Muslim fundamentalists that young girls must veil. They would not grant similar legitimacy to evangelical preachers who insist that all Christian girls wear long skirts or ultra-orthodox rabbis who ban sleeveless dresses. When they say this should be a matter of free choice, one must respond, how much

Jewish feminism and secular space

         I spent this Sunday and Monday at a conference on Women’s Liberation and Jewish Identity at NYU, organized by Joyce Antler, a professor of history at Brandeis, to discuss the connections and disjunctions between Jewish identity and feminism. The conference brought together people from the women’s liberation movement of the late sixties and early seventies, including many of my old friends; feminists who have fought for equality within Jewish institutional life, both religious and secular; and feminists in their t
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