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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 April 9, 2012/ 17 Nissan 5772

Climbing a rock and getting nowhere

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You've probably seen the Citi credit card commercial that has generated a lot of buzz.

It opens with a woman saying, "My boyfriend and I were going on vacation." She appears to be in a clothing store and needs to get a few accessories. With her Citi card, of course. Then the scene changes. She picks out "a new belt" (it's a rock-climbing harness) and "some nylons" (rock-climbing ropes). "And what girl wouldn't need new shoes?" she asks. (Yes, for rock climbing, of course.)

Then we watch as she hoists herself up to the tiny top of a huge rock formation we can't believe is real, with her guy following. Natch. As we get dizzy watching her triumphantly stand on the little precipice, we hear her voiceover again: "We talked about getting a diamond. But with all the 'thank you' points I've been earning, I flew us to the rock I really had in mind." In the background, we hear the lyrics "Somebody left the gate open" chime in. (From "Into the Wild" by LP.)

The ad has generated buzz, with many folks not believing what they are seeing. But, it turns out the actors are real rock climbers, climbing a real rock formation near Moab, Utah. It's all very glorious.

I can't stand the ad.

In fact, it just about has me climbing the walls.

This is a tough girl who eschews those silly feminine trappings of fashion for real power - high heels for high rocks. And that rock on the third finger of the left hand? Who needs it? Especially when she has all those handy-dandy "thank you" points instead.

Well, let me offer this: Her Citi "thank you" points are not going to keep her warm at night. And they are not going to help her with the baby if she gets pregnant by the boyfriend she doesn't think she needs to marry. Or, rather, who doesn't think he needs to marry her. So what's to keep him from finding a younger, more attractive rock climber?

And "Somebody left the gate open"? I guess the gate was closed when a rock meant marriage, not hiking.

I know, it's just an ad. But it reflects a culture in which girls are more and more "supposed" to be tough, independent, aggressively sexual, and with no need for men or marriage. In fact, that's all seen as constraining.

"I flew us to the rock I really had in mind." Real women create their own destiny, with their own money, and they don't need to consult anyone. Not even someone they might condescend to love.

I am woman, hear me roar.

Few real women actually think like this, of course. They don't want to man up themselves; they want the men they love to man up. And whatever we want in our professional lives, most women want marriage, children, and a man who will pursue them and, in some tangible way, care for them. That's how we are built.

That's why this commercial, and the culture it represents, is so pathetic. It's not that it depicts reality. It's that it's depicting a "reality" that isn't real at all.

Sadly, women aren't empowered by this attempt at social engineering. Marriage rates are plummeting; newspaper articles and books ask, "Where have all the good men gone?"; and, today, a majority of babies born to women under 30 are being born to single moms. That means a high probability of poor social outcomes for those kids, as well as much higher poverty and depression rates for those single moms as compared with their married sisters. And that's just for starters.

Yes, I want my own daughters to rise to the top of their professions. If they want to get to the top of precarious rock formations, too, that's great. I hope they tell me about it when they are back down safely.

But you can bet I'm also clear that, of course, real-life women want men and marriage and family. And so my daughters had better be darned tough. Because increasingly in our culture, it takes a strong woman to admit just that.

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