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Feminist Credentials

Feminist Credentials

In your story on Jewish women and the upcoming election, “Elections Stirring Passions Among Jewish Women” (Sept. 14), I was at properly identified.

The reporter describes me as someone who “considers herself a feminist.” No. I am not the only one who views me as such. As I told him, I am a Second Wave feminist leader and the author of 15 books, including “Women and Madness,” “Mothers on Trial, Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman,” “Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism’s Holy Site” and “The New Anti-Semitism.”

As a professor, I founded Women’s Studies at the City University of New York (1970). I am also the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1975) and a founder and member of the International Board for Women of the Wall (1989-2008). I co-organized the first press conference on feminism and anti-Semitism (1973), the first feminist trip for anti-Israel journalists to visit Israel (1975) and the first-ever conference of Jewish feminists in New York City (1975). I was also a co-founder of the first Feminist Seder, held in my apartment.

Why do I spell this out? Because two of the other Jewish feminists your reporter quoted are presented with their credentials intact. Perhaps this is why their views on this crucial subject were given serious attention. Mine, alas, were not.


Editor’s Note: The article identified Ms. Chesler as “an author and academic who considers herself a feminist.” It also described her as “an observant Jew who has written about the dangers facing women, gays and dissidents.”

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