Jewish Gender Trouble: Women Writing Men of Valor

Helene MeyersSouthwestern University
Vol. 25, No. 2 (Fall 2006), 323-334

This article argues that contemporary Jewish women writers trouble gender by re-presenting masculinity and imagining Jewish men as actively engaged in the cultural work of healing Jewish gender relations. Whether Orthodox or not, these contemporary men of valor find themselves engaged by questions of Jewish continuity; hence rather than being torn apart by plots of assimilation and traditional misogyny, Jewish men and women are imaged in these narratives as partners in preserving and re-visioning Jewish cultures. The literary/critical story limned here is a specifically Jewish one. However, feminist criticism colludes with Jewish ghettoization at its own peril. The role that ethnoracial (re)configurations of masculinity can play in promoting more generalized gender trouble should not be underestimated. By resisting anti-Judaic stereotypes and feminism without women, Dara Horn, Rebecca Goldstein, and Allegra Goodman contribute to a truly multicultural feminist discourse bent on reconstructing masculinity.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]