By Sarah Tuttle-Singer
Cross Posted from the Times of Israel
(A gimmick, I might add, meant to raise funds for a very worthy cause.)
Look. Despite the sultry pictures of the two pretty bloggers, Jewlicious is not a virtual red light district. This isn’t prostitution, people. It’s savvy business.
And the controversy alone has generated a lot of interest not only in the fundraiser, but in the organization itself.
Still, this begs the question: When we get all up in arms over this so-called issue, doesn’t that assume that we assume that these bloggers are just pretty faces? And while ardently defending them â€” because, obviously, these poor girls are, like, totally being exploited and blah blah blah, we’re assuming that they’re being objectified and need defending in the first place. Not only is this condescending, it’s also sexist. And Jewlicious Founder David Abitbol breaks it down for us in his rejoinder:
â€œJessica and Michelle weren’t chosen because they were women. They were chosen because they volunteered, because they were available, and because after hearing various experts and consultants speak (inaccurately) on their behalf at the Presidential Conference, they relished the opportunity to speak to a Jewish Philanthropist and give him or her or them a genuine opinion by a real live young Jew.â€
If I had any beef with the whole thing it was that there was (ahem) no beef. Why should we operate under the assumption that there aren’t female (or gay) philanthropists just dying to drop 5 thou on an evening with a Jewlicious man? But the men have stepped up, so there goes that argument.
And let’s face it. Anyone who blogs under their real name for a high-trafficked site becomes public domain. Sure, while bloggers are greater than the sum of their blog posts, we cultivate an online persona that generates a following. And that’s a good thing.
And for a site like Jewlicious that is doing very meaningful work inspiring Jewish people all over the world, their bloggers become part of that mission.
And if there are bloggers adventurous enough to volunteer for this kind of creative fundraising, then more power to them.
(I just wish Times of Israel would do the same.)
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