I wasn’t planning to post today but I couldn’t let South Jerusalem’s readers head into the holiday season without alerting them to Anastasia Michaeli, the superwoman who is headed for the Knesset on the Yisrael Beiteinu list led by Avidgor (“the only thing to my right is the wall”) Lieberman.
When it comes to role models for Israel’s young women, you can’t beat Michaeli. A Russian immigrant who has pulled herself up by the straps of her high heels, she’s a tv star, former beauty queen, and a mother of seven. She’ll be the first Knesset member to bring a baby to full term in term and (so the papers say) the first convert to Judaism to serve in that august body.
Michaeli will be the Knesset flagbearer of third-wave feminism. First-wave feminists demanded equal rights and opportunities; second wave feminists stressed female distinctness and pride. Third-wave feminists have taken the bold step of proclaiming that men can do whatever they like; they can trust their women to remain pure. Here’s Michaeli on how every woman should treat her husband:
A man remains a man, at least in terms of his sexual needs, even in Judaism. A man can go to another city and can sleep with another woman and go back to his wife. A woman has no such privileges. A woman must be a mother and clean.
We’ve come a long way from Manya Shochat, the pioneer fighter, socialist, and Zionist activist, and from Rachel the Poetess, who sang about her sorrow at men’s inconstancy. Only now, in 21st-century Israel, can a woman stand up proudly for family values and for her husband’s God-given right to promiscuity.
What a great time to be a Jew, and an Israeli.