I made an infographic on "Dynamics of the Jewish Patriarchy" for the current Journal of the Association of Jewish Studies (AJS). With the help of super-talented graphic designer Shoshana Balofsky.
A few disclaimers: It obviously does not exhaust every aspect of the patriarchy, nor does it go into intersectional aspects of the patriarchy or issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, class, or physical ability. It is a broad overview of many of the structures of Jewish society and how they affect women as a group and men as a group. Obviously #notallmen, and #notallwomen. And obviously the notion that there is a such thing as "women as a group" brushes over important differences in culture and social experiences. Same goes for assumptions of "men as a group". And of course, we all know that women can be and often are participants in the patriarchy and abusers of power, while men can be and often are victims of patriarchy. And that there are many people who define themselves in ways other than "man" and "woman" who are not singled out or identified. And that anyone with any gender identity can also be a victim of patriarchy and alternatively an abuser of the system.
Despite all those disclaimers, I think that there is nevertheless value in looking at gender as gender with a broad brush. I think that everything in this infographic reflects a deep truth of the Jewish community, even as there are many other truths that didn't make it onto the page. It's only one page and cannot possibly hold everyone's truths and everyone's stories. But I think that the particular story that it shares is worth looking at and talking about.
What do you think?
You can read the rest of the AJS journal -- the special patriarchy issue -- here