Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 15, 2007 / 27 Shevat, 5767

Dr. Faust and Other Females

By Suzanne Fields


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If the new president of Harvard ever plays a character in a campus production of an allegory, she won't have to change her name. She's already Dr. Faust, literally. The original Dr. Faust, as depicted in literature, drama and opera, had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and in most variations of the tale, he sells his soul to the devil and goes straight to hell to pay for overzealous ambition.


Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, however, is a timid Faust compared to Lawrence Summers, her predecessor, whose ambition to change Harvard sealed his doom. We'll have to see whether Harvard's Dr. Faust has a similar Mephistopheles moment, but the auguries are not good. She has to contend with an excess of devilish colleagues on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences who can make her life hellish. She's as unlikely as the original Faust to escape "all ambiguities."


But with Valentine's Day now behind us, we can catalog the many women assuming the stereotypes of aggressiveness that we've always associated with masculinity. We've got a speaker of the House, a serious candidate for president, even an astronaut who plots to kidnap a rival for affections, ladies all.


In fact, if you listen to Hillary Clinton as she raises her fist and shouts how she'll end the war if she moves back in to the White House, she sounds more typically male than Barack Obama, who appeals to forces of moderation to forge a winning consensus. Isn't that just like a woman? We're talking rhetoric, of course, which may not turn out to resemble reality.


Who sounds more overstuffed with machismo than Lisa Nowak, the astronaut who donned a trench coat and a diaper, and took a cache of weapons to drive in a fit of rage to deal with her competitor in love? Hers was not exactly the jealous rage of Othello, but she now has a man's rap sheet, detailing earthbound endeavors quite at odds with her training to soar into space.


So you don't have to be a fan of chick-lit to discover that a woman today is often troubled by conflicts of feminism and femininity, trying to figure out when to tap that inner man in the way that men were once urged to tap the inner woman. Women of yore used femininity to seduce and tease through passivity, concealing their power by emphasizing allure. The power of weakness always had its disadvantages; the scales were not reliably balanced when women carried the babies and men carried the money.


Anna Nicole Smith used her pre-feminist charms to engage a billionaire husband, and look what happened to her. The minute details of her life fascinate because her life illustrated the limitations of femininity and feminism as strategies of pursuit. She alternated dangerously between the stereotypes, and three men claimed fatherhood for her motherless child (and all that inherited cash).


Romantic novels always lead the man to believe that he is overpowering the woman, although it's not clear that Adam overpowered Eve or Eve overpowered Adam. Original Sin, no matter how you interpret it, became the Original Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Today, the liberated woman learns that she must choose her tactics carefully. Femininity and feminism are incompatible instincts, likely in the end to dissolve in divorce due to irreconcilable differences.


"Being female at this point in history is an especially conflicted enterprise, like Birkenstocks with Chanel, or trying to frown after a Botox injection," observes the wry Laura Kipnis in "The Female Thing." She identifies the "feminine industrial complex" which accounts for the vast investment in cosmetics, fashion and how-to manuals to trap and keep a man even when he's not worth it.


Men are eager to take what women have to give, but they're not taking the sexual revolution lying down. They have a conflicting dichotomy all their own, often shifting between macho and metrosexual. Charles LeDuff, in his book "US Guys: The True and Twisted Mind of the American Man," scolds the fashion industry for softening the sophisticated urban male. "They are creating a whole subgenus," he says maliciously: "The alpha-pansy."


A recent study cites a "substantial" drop in the testosterone level of American men over the past two decades. It's not clear why, but the usual suspects — trans fats, global warming and, of course, feminism — get most of the blame. The war between the sexes continues, with new weapons. Women employ the push-up bra, and men rely on push-ups and Viagra. The winner, if there ever is one, may be the sex that first makes a pact with the devil. And good luck at Harvard, Dr. Faust.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on JWR contributor Suzanne Fields' column by clicking here.

Up

Suzanne Fields Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles