New Article: Amishai-Maisels, Ayana Friedman. Layers of Feminist Struggle

Amishai-Maisels, Ziva. “Ayana Friedman. Layers of Feminist Struggle.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 15.1 (2016): 131-57.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1114822

 

Abstract

Ayana Friedman is an Israeli multi-media artist who deals with politics, the Holocaust and society’s treatment of the Other. This article concentrates on her feminist works and how Judaism and being the child of a Holocaust survivor affected her approach to this subject. Three main feminist interests are highlighted. First, the turn to “feminine” materials. Second, the struggle against the restrictions and abuse imposed on women and their specific Jewish examples. Friedman demands equality for women in Judaism, opposing customs that demean them and creating new ritual objects for them. Third, the conflicts women have between a career and motherhood, and the inter-generational problems they involve.

 

 

 

New Article: Trajtenberg, When was Feminism? Israeli Women Art Critics

Trajtenberg, Graciela. “When was Feminism? Some Critical Reflections after Exploring an Unknown Group of Israeli Women Art Critics.” Women’s Studies 44.5 (2015): 635-56.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00497878.2015.1036159

 

 

 

New Article: Peled, Female Sexual Subjectivity in Victoria by Sami Michael

Peled, Shimrit. “Construction of Female Sexual Subjectivity in Victoria by Sami Michael in Comparison to other Hebrew and Israeli Writers.” Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature 27 (2014): 233ff (in Hebrew).

 

Abstract

Sexual violence towards women in the Jewish community in Baghdad is central in Sami Michael’s novel, Victoria. Can these violent erotic scenes be interpreted as destabilizing patriarchal mechanisms in Israeli culture? The article discusses this question taking into consideration the debates about pornography in feminist theory and exploring other representations of violence against women in Hebrew and Israeli Literature. Feminists’ views of pornography are divided. From a radical feminist point of view, the production of the subordinate feminine subject in pornography is effective and ultimate. Other feminists claim that pornography can theoretically subvert the mechanism of oppression and its efficacy in exploitation of the female subject because it is by nature repetitious.

Trying to evaluate the impact of the violent erotic scenes in Victoria, this article examines preceding representations of violence against women in Hebrew and Israeli Literature. Portrayal of physical and emotional pain after rape or female desire that does not end in disaster seldom appeared in Hebrew and Israeli literature before Victoria. Although the novel is compliant with the Zionist narrative, Michael fashions a rich and particular female existence in Victoria, centered on feminine sexual subjectivity. I suggest that Michael’s representations of violence against women, and female desire that is nevertheless left intact were accepted by Israeli readers because of the displacement identity in time, space and ethnicity to Jewish Baghdad.

This displacement, which leaves current Israeli culture untouched and therefore does not threaten the reader, allows sexual female consciousness, and sane female sexual subjectivity to enter. However, it is also possible that the feminine confession is forced, that it constructs a femininity, which, though experiencing pain, humiliation, suppuration and abuse, collaborates with the patriarchal mechanism in confessing pleasures that repeat and extend pornographic discourse, making possible the continuation of mechanisms of suppression.

 

 

פלד, שמרית. “הבניית סובייקטיביות מינית נשים ב’ויקטוריה’ לסמי מיכאל בראי פרוזה עברית וישראלית”. מחקרי ירושלים בספרות עברית כז (2014): 233 ואילך.

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.