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  • Writer's pictureAriel Tovlev

Intersectional International Women's Day

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Happy #InternationalWomensDay! I love this Miriam's cup I made with Congregation Or Ami 's family education program Menschify! We all made Miriam's cups with images of women from the Bible, from history, and from our own lives.

I know when I approached International Women's Day as an educator, I was concerned about two potential problems: playing into the gender binary, or showing only one way to be a woman.

In acknowledging the first possibility, I made sure to include a verbal affirmation of anyone who isn't a man or a woman. A line such as, "We as Jews celebrate people of all genders; whether male, female, both, or neither, what's important is your neshama, your soul." Including women doesn't mean all genders are included when there are genders other than male and female.

In acknowledgement of the second possibility, I made sure to use images of women of different races, ethnicities, and ages. Making our feminism intersectional means understanding how other identities may or may not be represented, and how to acknowledge and include as many different intersecting identities as possible.

My favorite part was the kids' contributions. When asked who was a brave leader who stood up for what was right like Esther, one kid said Rosa Parks, because she stood up for civil rights. When asked who was a strong supportive leader like Miriam, one kid said Joe Biden, since he was leading the country like Miriam led the Israelites.

Part of what I love about International Women's Day is how it teaches that women can be inspirational to anyone. Anyone can be like a female hero or leader if they share her traits. Women are not only role models to girls and women, but to everyone.

I don't think it's a coincidence that Trans Day of Visibility takes place on the last day of Women's History Month. Feminism is the fight for gender equity, which paved the way for trans activists to fight for our own equity. I'm proud to celebrate an intersectional International Women's Day with the next generation of Jews!


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