On Friday night I was sitting at a shabbes table where the following conversation occured:
J: He's generally a good guy, he just doesn't treat women well.
Me: WHAT? If he doesn't treat women well, he isn't generally a good guy; women are half of the population. He could be half a good guy.
J: I guess that that makes sense. I hadn't really thought about it.
Sadly this type of belief is more common than not. Gender parity is a huge issue in the world at large, and even more so in the Jewish world. An example of this trend is Salon's piece "Where are the Women Writers?" which discusses the issue vis a vis women's authorship of articles in major publications. It tracked this trend over the course of a year and found that: "Over the past 12 months, Harper's published 118 articles written by men and only 17 by women; that's an embarrassing ratio of 6.9:1. The New Yorker's ratio of 4.1:1 is also pretty dismal; out of 556 articles, 109 were written by women."
In light of this trend, is it suprising that at any given GA (General Assembly, the UJA's annual meeting) only 1/3 (if that) of the speakers at the Plenary (read: important) sessions are women? And even then they tend to be less credentialed than their male counterparts. A "token" woman is often placed as moderator, or on the panel as filler, just to satisfy the feminists. Nice. And ridiculous, as there are MANY qualified women. MANY.
You know what gives me hope, though? Tzippi Livni. Who may or may not need chiropractic help (according to Treppenwitz), but is one of the most powerful women in the world. ,of course, Hillary wins in '08.