On Wednesday evening, the feminism society held its weekly meeting in Marten library with 2 talks: “Feminism in Judaism” by Nathan Swidler, and “Lessons from Radical Feminism” by Dowon Jung.
Nathan first spoke about feminism in both the Jewish religion and the Jewish State. He compared and contrasted the traditions of the Orthodox and Reform communities, whilst also commenting on the commonality of the patriarchy within the Old Testament, quoting Torah verses that vehemently suggested a male dominance of the female in marriage. On the subject of female equality in Israel, he contended that the development of women’s rights had almost come to a halt since 1973. Even though it has always paved the way for equality in Middle East (women’s rights, female representation), no other female has been Prime Minister since Golda Meir; there is still a large gender pay gap; and the current conservative government does not aid the current situation for women at all.
The second part of the evening commenced with Dowon’s talk on feminism in Korea. He describe how the feminist movement is in its infancy – hardly 2 or 3 years old. He spoke on the poor treatment of women in the country, for example of how it is much more likely for an abortion to take place of there were a female foetus than if it was male. Feminism also took the form of protests; ranging from ‘biologically female only’, to specifically those that included gender queer protests for women’s rights. The president was impeached in 2016 for reasons of unpopularity with the public, and so he asserted that through the aforementioned method, change will occur in the near future.
Through deep discussion and debate in small groups after the talks, it was an engaging and informative evening for all who attended.