The bracha of shelo asani isha is probably one of the only prayers we say on a daily basis that most folks can agree with. Amidst all of those prayers about redemption, incense, fear of the Lord, and sacrifices it’s nice to know that we have some that really make sense. I’ve never wanted to be a woman and most dudes I know feel the same way, child birth, sitting to pee, and mood swings are all reason enough to be glad we were born men, so what if we can’t get multiple orgasms. However, I do sometimes wonder along with the feminists over why they didn’t get left with a better bracha.
It’s gotta suck to be an orthodox feminist, you have to combat with the men who run this religion over everything. You have to fight with the men to get out of the women’s section during weekday davening, fight with them for your daily mikvah rights (because truly God fearing women want to be clean everyday) and you have to fight with the men to sell you a pair of tzitzis or tefillin when it’s obviously not for a man. I guess this is one of the many reasons why you don’t meet too many orthodox feminists, it’s just too tough of a fight to wage. When you meet frum feminists, they tend to be super liberal and not doing it for the right reasons. Although, a great man once told me that if you do it for the wrong reasons (trying to be like men and make a stink) you may come to do it for the right reasons (cleaving to the Lord).
Of course, it’s doubtful that any regular frum folks would ever be dan l’kav z’chus and assume a woman is doing anything they are not chayiv in – for the right reasons. I always wondered about this, because men do things they aren’t chayiv in all the time, yet we don’t make any assumption that they are doing it for the wrong reasons, yet when women go beyond the letter of the law, we always assume the worst.
We have all heard the arguments against women learning anything beyond agadata, putting on tefillin and holding the Torah. Apparently it breaks down the fabric of society and leads us all to sin, it also violates the mesorah we have to keep women down and back in the kitchen. Instead, the frum community is trying to go to the opposite extreme and ban women from all public spheres.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a male dominated religion and I love the bracha shelo asani isha, I just wonder why women got shafted with such a crappy bracha. Being a woman is not all bad, they don’t have to come to shul, buy a lulav or fast on minor fast days. They also get to check out the kiddush without being yelled at by the kiddush bouncers.
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