Friday, March 09, 2018


I think you'd have to be fierce like a lion to be a fundraiser in the Jewish community.  (Note homemade lion Purim costume for emphasis...he wore an orange -handknit-sweater and a pair of pants with a big handmade tail, too...!)

I read this article about harassment of women who work as fundraisers in the Jewish community, published by the JTA, and it really bothered me.  I followed it up by writing this opinion piece, which was published by the Jewish Independent this week:
A need for ethical guidelines
(My working title was something along the lines of: Ritual Sacrifice?  Or sacrificing fundraisers?)

On the broader topic, I've written little so far that specifically addresses the #MeToo movement.  That isn't because I have nothing to say.  I have so much to say that I don't know where to start.  The problem is so pervasive.  The worst part is that I haven't encountered a single woman who doesn't have something to say about this, based on her lived experience.

For me, it seemed so clear when I had a brief conversation at the dining room table with my mom and she said something like "Oh, what's coming out now is only the tip of the iceberg."  We talked about how we'd handled it previously, often with laughter. For a long time, all you could do is talk about the harassment or awful unwanted attention/physical assaults with your female friends and family and---laugh.  It was embarrassing and awful and...there was little one could do to fix things. Bringing up these issues in public only resulted in shame. It potentially also drew more abuse--as if we, as victims, caused this unwanted male attention, touch or assault. (If I'd only worn something else, sat in a public area, taken a different train...the list goes on.) This movement is a first step in a long process.

As a writer, I feel obligated to amplify unjust things as I can.  I am not fierce or as brave as some of these professionals who spoke out in a way that threatened their livelihood...but I owe it to them to step up and help.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, loved your article. Well spoken.

March 12, 2018 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Thanks, Nina. I appreciate your comments and support! You are the only person to say a thing about the article so far...and it's now run in two publications.

March 14, 2018 at 2:38 PM  

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