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How to Successfully Ban Bossy

Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, has a track-record for coining catchy phrases that launch revolutions. Her book Lean In got women thinking in new ways about getting the most out of their careers and lives. More recently, she pioneered the notion Ban Bossy, which suggests that we do our daughters, and all women, a disservice by labeling women who speak up for themselves with a negative label like “bossy” instead of a positive one like “leader.”

“Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up,” says the ban bossy website. “By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys – a trend that continues into adulthood. Sandberg’s campaign has partnered with the Girl Scouts of America and superstars like Beyonce and Jennifer Garner to spread their message.
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4 Jewish Women’s Blogs That Change the World

As Laurel Thatcher Ulrich famously wrote, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Her words have become a rallying cry and an inspiration for women everywhere – including women bloggers, who make history through their words.

This Women’s History Month, here are 4 women-centric Jewish blogs that strive to give voice to the diverse, wonderful, rebellious, and inspiring stories of women.

The Sisterhood: This popular blog, housed at The Jewish Daily Forward, covers a far-ranging array of compelling topics from stories about modern day sex-trafficking, Jewish motherhood, and to how an Israeli beauty queen is fighting for women’s rights in her country.

Lilith: The pioneering Jewish women’s publication also has an awesome blog that brings the magazine’s “independent, Jewish, and frankly feminist” journalism online. Contributors range in background from secular to Orthodox, which means there’s room for every voice on the blog.

Jewish Women’s Archive: Titled “Jewesses with Attitude,” JWA’s blog is consistently sassy and smart. The organization recently launched a fellowship called Rising Voices, for outstanding Jewish teen girls who will, among other things, share their thoughts and words on the blog.

JewFem: Founded by Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman, the former Executive Director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA), this blog and website covers gender and feminism from an observant Jewish perspective.

Do you have a favorite Jewish women’s blog that we’re missing on this list? Let us know in the comments below, or by tweeting @repairtheworld.

Mayim Bialik, Women’s History Month, and “Princess Culture”

Maybe you remember her as the star of Blossom, the early-90s sitcom that launched her career. Perhaps you watch her today playing Amy Farrah Fowler, the adorkable neurobiologist on The Big Bang Theory. You may even know her as a regular contributor to the Jewish parenting website, Kveller.

However you know Mayim Bialik, you undoubtedly think, like we do, that she is awesome. After all, how many other Hollywood celebrities find the time to be super engaged parents, education activists, and cookbook authors (check out the newly released a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Mayims-Vegan-Table-Great-Tasting-Healthy/dp/0738217042″>Mayim’s Vegan Table)?

So in honor of Women’s History Month, we’re turning to one of our favorite contemporary heroines for her thoughts on women in culture today – and particularly on the “princess culture,” which seems to permeate so much of society. Check out the first part of Mayim’s thoughts below, then head on over to Kveller for the rest!

On the Big Bang Theory Princess Scene & Why I Don’t Like Princess Culture
By: Mayim Bialik

Last night’s episode of The Big Bang Theory featured my character, Melissa Rauch’s character, and Kaley Cuoco’s character dressed up as different Disney princesses. I was Snow White (since I’m the brunette), Melissa was Cinderella, and Kaley was Sleeping Beauty.

This would be a good time to tell you that I never once for Halloween or Purim ever dressed as a princess. I don’t remember having any particular fondness for fairy tales or the color pink. I despised the color purple and much as I enjoyed jewelry and trying out my mom’s makeup and even wearing my favorite robe (which happened to be pink) around the house, there is not one picture of me dressed like any sort of princess, Disney or otherwise.

I did, however, really enjoy being “character” females for dress-up holidays; most notably, my mother loved to dress me as a “gypsy.” I am hoping this isn’t perceived as racist in this culture of political correctness, but basically, “gypsy” meant fun fabrics, brightly colored belts, lots of layers, a bandana, and a darkening of a mole near red lips. I loved Japanese kimonos as a child, and once I went to a costume party in a kimono and traditional wooden Japanese shoes.

Read the rest of Mayim’s thoughts here…

5 Ways to Give Purim Food Gifts (Mishloach Manot) To Those in Need

March is Get To Know Your Neighbors month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for inspiring posts.

Giving mishloach manot, the gifts of food people share on Purim, is one of the most delicious Jewish traditions. Derived from the Book of Esther and literally translated as “sending of portions,” people bundle up hamantaschen and other edible goodies (brownies, granola bars, raisins, juice boxes) and deliver them to friends and family.

But get this: giving mishloach manot have an underlying message of social change. Each person is required to deliver at least one Purim basket to someone else. The reason? To ensure that everybody, wealthy or not, has enough food to enjoy their Purim celebration. In other words, it’s a bit of food justice built right into the holiday!
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Join Reboot On March 7-8 For the National Day of Unplugging

From sundown to sundown, March 7th to 8th, thousands of people across the world from New York and Tel Aviv, to Warsaw and Australia, will turn off their cellphones, log out of Twitter, shut down their Kindles and take a 24-hour break from technology. Sounds kinda familiar, right? That’s because the ancient Jewish tradition of observing Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the inspiration behind Reboot’s fourth annual National Day of Unplugging.

Based around 10 universal principles called the Sabbath Manifesto – things like “get outside,” “find silence,” and “give back” – The National Day of Unplugging encourages people to temporarily disconnect from their hectic, fast-paced lives and reconnect to the world and people around them. Some folks will join in because they are traditionally observant Jews who “unplug” every week. Some will join because they think it’s eco-friendly to give their electronics a little break. And some will join in simply because they want the opportunity to relax and spend time with family and friends. So why do YOU unplug?
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