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Jewish girls gone ‘wild’

line up
Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad, performance art headed by one “Goddess Perlman” and featuring a rotating revue of scantily clad performers is meant to be “a forum to expose — quite literally, in some cases — “the gals who learned to smoke at Hebrew School, got drunk at their Bat-Mitzvahs, and would rather have more scht**pa than the chupah”
Ooooh, look at us, we’re so bad, mixing religion and rebellion…Shocking!

But why do we think we need to be “bad” to be cool? Is there nothing more interesting we could do than reduce ourselves to tackling every cultural cliche and replacing it with sex, vulgarity and nudity, which is not even particularly noteworthy anymore? Perlman states “Jewish women get a bad wrap” agreed, but I don’t know if we’re doing ourselves any favors here. Fine, so we can be as raunchy and sexual as the goyisha girl down the block, but is that really who we want to be? Do Jewish women have nothing more unique to offer the world?

The oh-so-racy poster for the show features one Jewess drinking Manischewitz straight form the bottle, (personally, i object to drinking Manischewitz at all) and another woman lighting a cigar from the menorah. However, by attempting to mock the stereotypes don’t we just end up reinforcing them?

This is part of the trend of a cultural-only Judaism which often relies on turning 1950’s Borsht Belt humor on its head. It acts as though the depth of who we are as a people can be found in the commentary track of a Woody Allen film and your Bubby’s cooking. As happy as I am that Jews are proud to be Jews again, I can’t shake the sneaking suspicion that ultimately pop-culture Judaism will fail us as much as Hebrew school did.

It just bothers me.

16 Comments

  1. Michelle

    8/31/2004 at 11:19 am

    I agree with you. Actually sounds kind of boring and played.

  2. Janice

    8/31/2004 at 3:57 pm

    Laya — I have to tell you that I am enjoying your posts. You are identify and describing some of the Israeli Jewish trends that are degrading the Jewish persona in the universe. [I.e., not all that “Jewlicious” now, is it?] It’s as if you’re doing a real public service!

    That said, I think that these girls are just using their Jewishness to get attention. After all, there are millions of beautiful women out there wanting to get noticed, so what’s to distinguish one from the other? And if a girl isn’t especially talented, then why not exploit some of her other attributes? Like, uh, mocking her Jewishness? That only shows that she’s just another dumb blonde, no matter what her yichus is.

    If it even exists over there, I’d like to know about how Jews are elevating their existence by engaging in behaviors other than smoking pot, drinking ‘chevitz from the bottle, or cursing in Hebrew.

  3. ck

    8/31/2004 at 4:36 pm

    Janice wrote:
    If it even exists over there, I’d like to know about how Jews are elevating their existence by engaging in behaviors other than smoking pot, drinking ‘chevitz from the bottle, or cursing in Hebrew.

    Duh, Janice. They blog of course! And as far as I am concerned, cursing in Hebrew is a sign of the success of both Herzl’s Zionist dream and Ben Yehudah’s resurrection of Ancient Hebrew into a modern and vital language. If anything there should be more cursing in Hebrew. It seems as if 3/4 of my Hebrew curse words are actually arabic.

  4. ck

    8/31/2004 at 4:37 pm

    … and the other 1/4 are friggin’ yiddish!

  5. Janice

    8/31/2004 at 9:34 pm

    You have gone way off topic, Dude. My issue is not with cursing, whether it be in Hebrew, Arabic, Yiddish or English. It’s about how people, especially women, are going about calling attention to themselves.

    It just makes me so ?!#%#!!&* mad!

  6. david

    8/31/2004 at 9:48 pm

    Janice – they do it because it’s easier than the alternative – actually coming up with something CREATIVE….

  7. nana stevens

    6/5/2005 at 7:58 pm

    Another judgemental holier than thou Jew, folks …. have you even bothered seeing the show? Probably not. That is what is wrong with the Yids, we are much willing to judge than accept, no wonder why our people are leaving by the truck load. Who would want to hang around this self-righteous BS?

  8. esther

    6/5/2005 at 9:51 pm

    I actually have seen the show. And the Goddess is a friend of a friend of mine. As “bad” as I get, I’ll never be eligible for this show. I’m not disagreeing with you entirely, nana stephens, Jews are judgmental. That’s why every denomination thinks the other denoms are wrong. But in her post, Laya was just saying she wasn’t thrilled with the idea of Jewish Girls Gone Bad, which is certainly her right.

    It’s kind of the same issue with Heeb. Are we being shocking because it’s our truth and an exploration of creativity and identity, or just to be shocking?

    As someone who considers herself a bit of a drama queen/artist on a good day (or maybe it’s a bad one), I can tell you that art, rebellion, creativity and “badness” are all relative.

  9. nana stevens

    6/6/2005 at 4:35 pm

    take the name of this website-Jewlicious.com not Ilovehashem.com, why? because “Jewlicious” is catchy much sexier term to drive traffic…why can’t Jews be sexy, rebellious and crass, even if it is the name of promotion. African Americans do it, Asians do it, when we try to keep up we get the Hebrew Hammer and for anyone who saw it-that is offensive but I digress, why is it always about being a holier than thou, light unto the nations mofos. why can’t we keep it real, yo and judge the book after we’ve read it.

  10. djjsougly

    7/28/2005 at 10:07 pm

    I LOVE JEWISH GIRLS.I LIVE I CROWNHEIGHTS,BROOKLYN.THAT IS IN NEW YORK CITY.THEY ARE SO GOOD LOOKING.I’M LOOKING FOR ONE TO BE MY WOMAN,IF THEY THING THEY GOT WHAT IT TAKE’S TO BE WITH ME,THEN BRING THEM COME.IF THEY DON’T,WELL ON TO THE NEXT ONE.

  11. SexyJewishLover

    11/27/2005 at 7:09 pm

    Well hmmm…where should I begin?? How about…skeet skeet skeet! Big up Menacham Mendel and all my Rebitzins! Gemera aint easy but somebodys gotta do it. Dont hate the rebbe hate the game! Zug the gemara “Toker BaBoker” iz the best!!!

  12. Shimshon

    2/23/2006 at 10:43 am

    I live in Texas where there are very few jews, i am one in a million here. I see all the typical people who claim their religion is better than mine, and i find it aweful espically when i see the gift that we have been given by Hashem in torah, when jews act like goyim. we are not asians, we are not african americans, we are not christians or anyother religion. we are jews. isn’t it written somewhere that we are to not be like the nations, be different?

  13. Tania

    12/8/2007 at 7:13 pm

    Anyone who has seen this show knows that all the women involved are exceptionally creative, talented, witty and thought provoking. This is the kind of show that should being young jewish people together. Before you pass judgement on something you obviously never even seen, why not open your mind and see what it is about? Who knows you might actually have a good time.

  14. nana stevens

    12/10/2007 at 1:12 pm

    Right on Tania!!!!!!

  15. Lina Kano

    3/10/2010 at 10:01 am

    Perlman states “Jewish women get a bad wrap.”
    Is that a schmatta reference? Something to do with Tefillin?
    Maybe “rap” is the word you’re looking for.

  16. David

    4/10/2010 at 9:37 pm

    Jewish women are definitely the sexiest! They even have hot Palestinian women!

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