New Article: Trajtenberg, Female Israeli Artists Make Uncommissioned Street Art

Trajtenberg, Graciela. “Multiple Trespasses. Female Israeli Artists Make Uncommissioned Street Art.” Ethnologie française 161 (2016): 83-92.

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URL: http://www.cairn.info/resume.php?ID_ARTICLE=ETHN_161_0083

 

Abstract

This article analyzes the strategies used by Israeli women to make illegal street art. The findings demonstrate that female street artists do not only trespass the taken‑for‑granted capitalist concept of who controls the public space, but also the normative boundaries of what activities are permitted or forbidden for women in this domain. In comparison to women artists that work in other societies, the transgressive actions of Israeli street artists involve both strategies historically defined as feminine, as well as critical strategies of the malestream order.

 

 

 

New Book: Ben Shitrit, Women’s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right

Ben Shitrit, Lihi. Righteous Transgressions: Women’s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015.

 

BenShitrit

How do women in conservative religious movements expand spaces for political activism in ways that go beyond their movements’ strict ideas about male and female roles? How and why does this activism happen in some movements but not in others? Righteous Transgressions examines these questions by comparatively studying four groups: the Jewish settlers in the West Bank, the ultra-Orthodox Shas, the Islamic Movement in Israel, and the Palestinian Hamas. Lihi Ben Shitrit demonstrates that women’s prioritization of a nationalist agenda over a proselytizing one shapes their activist involvement.

Ben Shitrit shows how women construct “frames of exception” that temporarily suspend, rather than challenge, some of the limiting aspects of their movements’ gender ideology. Viewing women as agents in such movements, she analyzes the ways in which activists use nationalism to astutely reframe gender role transgressions from inappropriate to righteous. The author engages the literature on women’s agency in Muslim and Jewish religious contexts, and sheds light on the centrality of women’s activism to the promotion of the spiritual, social, cultural, and political agendas of both the Israeli and Palestinian religious right.

Looking at the four most influential political movements of the Israeli and Palestinian religious right, Righteous Transgressions reveals how the bounds of gender expectations can be crossed for the political good.

 

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Note on Language xi
  • 1 Introduction: “Be an Other’s, Be an Other”: A Personal Perspective 1
  • 2 Contextualizing the Movements 32
  • 3 Complementarian Activism: Domestic and Social Work, Da‘wa, and Teshuva 80
  • 4 Women’s Protest: Exceptional Times and Exceptional Measures 128
  • 5 Women’s Formal Representation: Overlapping Frames 181
  • 6 Conclusion 225
  • Notes 241
  • References 259
  • Index 275

 

LIHI BEN SHITRIT is an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

 

 

 

New Article: Zakai, Literature, Ideology and Sexual Violence in the Writing of Rivka Alper

Zakai, Orian. “A Uniform of a Writer: Literature, Ideology and Sexual Violence in the Writing of Rivka Alper.” Prooftexts 34.2 (2015): 232-70.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/prooftexts/v034/34.2.zakai.html

 

Abstract

This essay explores the politics of women’s writing in the Zionist yishuv by examining the literary career of Rivka Alper, whose work features a difficult clash between a “feminine” narrative of sexual trauma and Zionist ideology. I discuss Alper’s literary trajectory from her first novel, Pirpurey mahapekha, a coming-of-age story of a young woman, which foregrounds themes of sexual trauma and gendered violence, to her second project, Ha-mitnaḥalim ba-har, a biography of a Zionist role model, one of the women founders of the colony of Motza. Alper’s transition from “personal” fiction to ideological literature is part of a process of an arduous self-fashioning toward carving a place for herself, albeit marginal, in the Zionist republic of letters. Her process demonstrates the predicament of writing as a woman in a Zionist cultural space that marks writing as an emasculating practice, but exclusively assigns male writers the role of national subjects. In such a space, I argue, transitioning to marginal genres in order to write for the collective emerges as a privileged alternative for an aspiring woman writer. And yet, as contents from Alper’s fictional writing infiltrate her biographic writing, the literariness of her “less literary” text exposes the exclusions that lie at the heart of the Zionist ideological project, and, in turn, reinscribes “the feminine” as a composite marker of these exclusions back into the Zionist text.

 

 

New Article: Dana & Walker, The Effects of Israeli Occupation on Palestinian Gender Roles

Dana, Karam, and Hannah Walker. “Invisible Disasters: The Effects of Israeli Occupation on Palestinian Gender Roles.” Contemporary Arab Affairs 8.4 (2015): 488-504.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17550912.2015.1090100

 

Abstract

Women’s participation in the First Intifada allowed for increased gender equality in Palestine. However, the weakness of the Palestinian Authority, established by the Oslo Accords, created space for non-state actors (dominated by the Islamist political organization Hamas) to emerge and gain popularity. Likewise, during the post-Oslo period conservative positions on gender resurged. This paper re-examines the structural factors that facilitated increased gender inequality and argues that the nature of the occupation itself serves as the greatest force for gender inequality in Palestine. To develop and test our theory, we draw on original, large-n survey data and in-depth interviews.

 

 

New Article: Maor and Cwikel, Mothers’ Strategies to Strengthen Their Daughters’ Body Image

Maor, Maya, and Julie Cwikel. “Mothers’ Strategies to Strengthen Their Daughters’ Body Image.” Feminism & Psychology (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.og/10.1177/0959353515592899

 

Abstract

Existing studies of the mother–daughter relationship have focused mainly on the transfer of negative body image messages or on risk of eating disorders, and have paid little attention to how this relationship might serve as a resource for building body-acceptance or resilience to disordered eating. On the basis of a secondary analysis of four qualitative samples, we examined how mothers and their now-adult daughters reflect on the ways in which the mothers tried to promote positive body image and resilience to body dissatisfaction in their daughters. Using a content analysis, we have identified five strategies: (a) filtering – being cautious and sensitive in communicating about body image issues, (b) transmitting awareness of the dangers of eating disorders, (c) positive reinforcement – providing affirmations in regard to daughters’ bodies; (d) discussion – providing tools for criticism of the dominant body-related social discourse; and (e) positivity – shifting the focus from food, body-size and weight loss to making healthy choices and taking pleasure in food. Identification of these strategies emphasizes the many potential avenues for growth and development inherent in mother–daughter relationships.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Lavie-Dinur et al, Media’s Coverage of Israeli Female Political Criminals

Lavie-Dinur, Amit, Yuval Karniel, and Tal Azran. “‘Bad Girls’: The Use of Gendered Media Frames in the Israeli Media’s Coverage of Israeli Female Political Criminals.” Journal of Gender Studies 24.3 (2015): 326-46.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09589236.2013.841572

 

Abstract

The study examined news media coverage of Israeli female political criminals to determine how the media construct and portray women who commit ideological crimes against the state, ultimately to discern what these framing choices suggest about women involved in political crimes. Studies show that the media tend to rely on stereotypical gender frames to portray female criminals and their motivations to the public. These frames depict women perpetrators as motivated to commit political crime for personal reasons as opposed to political reasons, which are often cited for male criminal behavior. The study examined the Israeli news media’s use of stereotypical gender news frames when reporting on three Israeli women who committed ideological crimes against the state. The study compared the coverage of these cases among three Israeli newspapers representing different political affinities. As a country with a long history of political conflict, Israel offers a unique opportunity to examine gender bias in the media’s coverage of female actors in the public sphere. The study’s theoretical contribution lies in its analysis of Israeli female political criminals who, by definition of their crime, acted within the political sphere. The study confirms previous research on the subject – mainly that the media rely on gender frames and explanations of personal motive in its portrayals of female criminals.

New Article: Jamal, Western Donor Assistance and Gender Empowerment in the Palestinian Territories

Jamal, Manal A. “Western Donor Assistance and Gender Empowerment in the Palestinian Territories and Beyond.” International Feminist Journal of Politics (online first; early view).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14616742.2013.849966

 

Abstract

Since the end of the Cold War, the quest to spread democracy has become the rallying call of many Western donor agencies. Reflecting this new agenda, new program priorities prevailed that placed greater emphasis on civil society development, civic engagement and gender empowerment. Contrary to expectations, however, many of these programs have often adversely affected existing social movements. Most scholars attempting to explain these unintended outcomes have focused on the impact of NGO professionalization. Examining the Palestinian women’s movement, this article addresses the inadequacy of this explanation and focuses on the political dimension of this discussion by illustrating how Western donors’ lack of understanding of the Palestinian women’s movement and its “embeddedness” in the broader political context served to weaken and undermine this movement. The influx of Western donor assistance in the post-Madrid, post-Oslo era, along with the greater emphasis on Western promoted gender empowerment, undermined the cohesiveness of the women’s movement by exacerbating existing political polarization (that went beyond Islamist and secular divisions) and disempowering many grassroots activists. Effectively, many of these activists were transformed from active political participants involved in their organizations to the recipients of skills and services in need of awareness raising. Findings in this article also speak to current regional developments, especially in light of the current Arab uprisings and the promise of greater Western involvement to empower women in the region.

New Article: Regev-Messalem, Collective Struggle through Welfare Fraud in Israel

Regev-Messalem, Shiri. “Trapped in Resistance: Collective Struggle through Welfare Fraud in Israel.” Law & Society Review 48.4 (2014): 741-72.

 

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/lasr.12110/abstract

 

Abstract

This paper offers a qualitative empirical examination of the noncompliance of Israeli female welfare recipients with welfare laws and authorities. The paper demonstrates that their behavior, defined as “welfare fraud” by the law, is a limited form of collective resistance to the Israeli welfare state. Although the acts of welfare fraud that the women in my study engaged in entail a political claim against the state, the relationship between these acts and notions of collectivity is very constricted in form. The women’s collectivity is shown to be constrained by the welfare authorities’ invasive and pervasive investigation practices and methods. Due to fear of disclosure to the authorities, the women emerged as deliberately isolating themselves from their immediate environment and potential members of their like-situated collective. This weakens the connection between the women’s acts of resistance and their collectivity, and prevents their acts of resistance from driving social change, trapping them in their harsh conditions and existence.

 

New Book: Fuchs, Israeli Feminist Scholarship

Fuchs, Esther, ed. Israeli Feminist Scholarship. Gender, Zionism, and Difference. Austin, TX : University of Texas Press, 2014.

Israeli Feminist Scholarship-cover

More than a dozen scholars give voice to cutting-edge postcolonial trends (from ecofeminism to gender identity in family life) that question traditional approaches to Zionism while highlighting nationalism as the core issue of Israeli feminist scholarship today.

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction. Israeli Feminist Scholarship: Gender, Zionism, and Difference

Esther Fuchs

Chapter One. The Evolution of Critical Paradigms in Israeli Feminist Scholarship: A Theoretical Model

Esther Fuchs

Chapter Two. Politicizing Masculinities: Shahada and Haganah

Sheila H. Katz

Chapter Three. The Double or Multiple Image of the New Hebrew Woman

Margalit Shilo

Chapter Four. The Heroism of Hannah Senesz: An Exercise in Creating Collective National Memory in the State of Israel

Judith T. Baumel

Chapter Five. The Feminisation of Stigma in the Relationship Between Israelis and Shoah Survivors

Ronit Lentin

Chapter Six. Gendering Military Service in the Israel Defense Forces

Dafna N. Izraeli

Chapter Seven. The Halachic Trap: Marriage and Family Life

Ruth Halperin-Kaddari

Chapter Eight. Motherhood as a National Mission: The Construction of Womanhood in the Legal Discourse in Israel

Nitza Berkovitch

Chapter Nine. No Home at Home: Women’s Fiction vs. Zionist Practice

Yaffah Berlovitz

Chapter Ten. Wasteland Revisited: An Ecofeminist Strategy

Hannah Naveh

Chapter Eleven. Tensions in Israeli Feminism: The Mizrahi-Ashkenazi Rift

Henriette Dahan-Kalev

Chapter Twelve. Scholarship, Identity, and Power: Mizrahi Women in Israel

Pnina Motzafi-Haller

Chapter Thirteen. Reexamining Femicide: Breaking the Silence and Crossing “Scientific” Borders

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian

Chapter Fourteen. The Construction of Lesbianism as Nonissue in Israel

Erella Shadmi

Chapter Fifteen. From Gender to Genders: Feminists Read Women’s Locations in Israeli Society

Hanna Herzog

Acknowledgments

Contributors

Index

 

Purchase from publisher: https://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/fucisr

New Article: Harris, Palestinian, Druze, and Jewish Women in Recent Israeli Cinema on the Conflict

Harris, Rachel S. “Parallel Lives: Palestinian, Druze, and Jewish Women in Recent Israeli Cinema on the Conflict: Free Zone, Syrian Bride, and Lemon Tree.” Shofar 32.1 (2013): 79-102.

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/shofar/v032/32.1.harris.html

Abstract

Free Zone (Amos Gitai, 2005); The Lemon Tree (Eran Riklis, 2008) and Syrian Bride (Eran Riklis, 2004), explore the Arab-Israeli conflict through women’s experience of the political and military stalemate. In presenting Palestinian, Druze, and Israeli women, these filmmakers attempt to contrast and compare women’s shared encounters, including their experience of patriarchy. While the characters may come from diametrically opposed sides, their experiences as women occlude their political differences. In these films, women are foregrounded within the plot, and have agency over their actions if not their situations. Rejecting the masculine frame that has governed representations of the conflict, these filmmakers demonstrate a new kind of approach in Israeli film that considers feminist aesthetics in the construction of character and plot, as well as the treatment of women’s physicality, gaze, territoriality, and agency.