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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 13, 2009 17 Adar 5769

Women's Work Is Never Done

By Suzanne Fields


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barbie, believe it or not, is 50 and still a dish. A doll is only a doll, but Barbie illustrates how over the past five decades women have become a touchstone for judging what freedom really means. How women are treated in different countries tells you a lot about the politics and culture of where they live.


The doll that every little girl wants enables tots to test the possibilities in role playing, giving them a glimpse of what they might be when they grow up, whether to be frivolous or serious (or both). But in many countries that's not an option. Saudi Arabia has banned Barbie, and you don't have to look very far over the toy chest to see that women confront limits on their freedom greater than merely choosing clothes for a doll. A woman still can't drive or go out publicly without an abaya to cover most of her forbidden flesh. Even a liberated plastic doll threatens the men in charge. Poor Barbie must go.


In America, she represents the swiftly changing roles of women. Barbie's fun to tease, but she's as American as miniskirts and pantsuits in her flexible identities and her "growth" from sexpot to astronaut. Some of her critics say she's still a bad influence because she's too skinny and encourages anorexia, that she has run through too many "feminine" or "feminist" stereotypes, that she lends too much significance to the fantasy stages of child's play. But Barbie in the Muslim world lives no fantasy. The prosecutor general of Iran warns that Barbie is merely the moll of Batman, Spider-Man and Harry Potter in the "invasion" from the West.


In her memoir, "Reading Lolita in Tehran," Azar Nafisi tells how after the Islamist Revolution in Iran women were no longer allowed to freely express themselves in clothes or speech; even their understanding of great literature was inhibited. "They have never been told they are good or can think independently," says a university professor in Tehran, explaining the poor performance of women on tests measuring their comprehension of subject matter. The author, who meets with a small group of bright young college girls in a clandestine class in her private apartment, encourages them to throw off their dark robes and headscarves for a transformation to the Barbie look of colorful t-shirts, jeans and bright red nail polish.


But as they begin to talk freely about the meaning of Nabokov, Henry James, Jane Austen and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the teacher must stand constant guard. Repression has narrowed women's ability to make both moral and aesthetic judgments.


Women in the democracies of the West are the most privileged in the world, and sometimes it's easy to be unaware of how those less fortunate suffer in ways both large and small. When women in the Third World say, "Women's work is never done," they're not talking about keeping a neat house. By the reckoning of statistics gathered by International Women's Day 2009, women in undeveloped countries must typically carry home 10 gallons of water every day, often in buckets balanced precariously on their heads, for four miles or more.


International Women's Day began as a communist holiday to liberate women to do the work of a man. A popular 1932 Soviet poster, depicting women escaping the drudgery of the home, declared, "Down with the oppression and the narrow-mindedness of household work!" (Then it was on to cement-mixing and road-building.)


When the Iron Curtain collapsed in 1989, the holiday was transformed in many countries into a kind of Valentine's Day, where gents were expected to bring gifts and flowers to the ladies. Barbie, moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, inspired a doll-revolution movement. When a Teen Talk Barbie was programmed electronically to say, "Math class is tough," she was regarded as a bad stereotype. Guerrillas of the Barbie Liberation Organization (B.L.O.) stole microchips from G.I. Joe, a popular toy for boys, and gave Barbie a chip transplant. The liberated Barbies across toyland soon cried, "Vengeance is mine."


That would have frosted the beards of every mullah in Riyadh. The Saudi Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, something of an Islamic Nice Squad always on the lookout for moral offenses, decreed that Barbie is a symbol of decadence and perversion. She was also said to be Jewish, naturally, and now Barbie is big on black markets across the Middle East.


President Obama saluted International Women's Day this week, saying that "women are vital to the solutions" for global warming, poverty and conflict. That's a tall order, assuring that women's work will truly never be done. We've come a long way, baby, with a long way to go.

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