On Veidah, LJY-Netzer’s annual decision-making event for Galim and Bogrim, we passed a motion resolving to align LJY Netzer with the feminist movement and educate chanichim on feminism and the pursuit of equality. Although inherent in the ideology of Liberal Judaism, inequality of all sexes/genders is still very much – however unintentionally – prevalent in the movement, let alone the global community, and we believe it is vital to constantly check and correct this in both LJY-Netzer and the wider world.
One of the criticisms of this motion raised in the discussion was that of the misconceptions of what feminism actually is, and how identifying as pro-feminist might affect people’s involvement with the movement. One of the most common questions I have to answer as a proud (and vocal) feminist is ‘feminism obviously isn’t good and striving for equality because it’s called feminism not equality-ism; why isn’t there masculine-ism?’ The term feminism develops from the original movement, who were campaigning for equal rights for women (which, by definition of equal, suggests the desire of equality between the sexes/genders), and whilst it was specifically advocating women’s rights because of the startlingly gigantic gap between men and women at the time, it is now seen as advocating rights for all sex/gender minorities.
Effectively, it goes like this: equality is fundamental to feminism; equality IS feminism. What we mean by saying that we identify as a pro-feminist movement is not, as some bizarre conspirators believe, supporting transcendental power of women over men, but simply that we believe in and support the struggle of equal rights and opportunities for all sexes and genders, for all peoples, and the pursuit of liberation from prejudice and discrimination.
So what does this mean for the movement? By making feminism an official part of our ideology, we aim to educate and empower our members on feminist issues. These can range from the collapse of both gender stereotypes and the concept of binary gender identity (whereby there are only two genders: male and female) to feminism and oppression in other cultures, or to the ‘No More Page 3’ or ‘Everyday Sexism’ campaigns. Being an inclusive and welcoming movement is such a huge part of what makes LJY-Netzer what it is, and striving for equality of all peoples, as feminism does, is the ultimate representation of this.
By Daisy Bogod
LJY-Netzer is a pro-feminist movement which supports the struggle for equal rights and opportunities for all sexes and genders. In our pursuit of liberation from prejudice and discrimination, we strive to recognise the experiences of all people and breakdown all forms of oppression. As a movement constantly striving for an inclusive environment, we believe feminism is fundamental to our ideology and it is our responsibility to avoid replicating the damaging and discriminatory norms of society by constantly empowering and educating our members.
Read the Fenimism addition to the mission statement here