I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about these two pieces over the last week or so:
A Woman’s Guide to Hasidic Street Harassment by Lilit Marcus over at Heeb Magazine and The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater by Erica over at NW Edible.
The first one has me thinking about how we police people within our own communities. I agree with Lilit Marcus, that I get even more angry misbehavior when it comes from within my community. Part of it is anger at hypocrisy when it comes from people who claim to be religious. But I think part of it is both shame and a bit of fear. Is this what people will think of when they think of Jews? How will that affect my own life and safety? And then, along those lines, what are the most effective methods for getting them to stop. The article also has me thinking about separating of the sexes. I know that this isn’t new! feminist! news! but I’m pretty convinced that the deep sexism that is present in the most extreme Jewish sects has a lot to do with rigid gender roles and, most of all, from the constant separation of men and women, even from childhood.
The NW Edible article is heartbreaking, because I know so many people, myself included, trying to navigate the clusterfuck that is our current understanding of nutrition. People want the best lives for themselves and their families, but at what cost? I think that, at a certain point, we need to just eat what we eat and understand that no food or diet is a panacea. No food or diet is going to save us from death or illness. We just do the best we can with the knowledge that we have, and that has to be sufficient. In part, I blame media outlets for reactionary reporting and not considering nuance in scientific writing. And article that says that food x is correlated with y condition with a careful discussion of the experimental parameters and a caution that this conclusion isn’t shared by other studies does not necessarily make for an exciting article. But it does make for a more informed public.