While Anne Frank may be the face of the Holocaust of European Jewry, the memory of the experiential reality of the Holocaust is male. The way we conceptualize and remember the concentration camp experience is constructed by male narratives. More Jewish men survived the Holocaust than Jewish women. Due to attitudes towards education in the interwar period, more male Jewish survivors had the education and literary capital needed to craft enduring narratives of their experiences than did female Jewish survivors. There are three foundational male Holocaust survival narratives: Night by Elie Wiesel, Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi, and Maus by Art Spiegelman about his father’s Holocaust experience. Never have I seen those three men and their narratives used as a joke, or a meme, or a cheap narrative device, or as self-promotion by an American pop star.
These men are revered, and their narratives taken extremely seriously. And none of them, none of them have been used in a prop in a story about terminally ill gentile American teenagers. They survived, in perhaps the type of heroic arc a John Green protagonist would yearn for. Yet Augustus doesn’t look to them. He doesn’t share a kiss with his girlfriend at Auschwitz. He shared a kiss with her in the Anne Frank House.
Anne Frank is not a prop. She is not a symbol, she is not a teenager who happened to die of an illness, and she is not one of the canonical Jewish male survivors. She is one of many millions of Jewish women and girls who were industrially murdered like livestock, incinerated, and left in an unmarked grave.
This week, India became the first Asian nation to reach Mars when its orbiter entered the planet’s orbit on Wednesday — and this is the picture that was seen around the world to mark this historic event. It shows a group of female scientists at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) congratulating one another on the mission’s success.
The picture was widely shared on Twitter where Egyptian journalist and women’s rights activist Mona El-Tahawy tweeted: “Love this pic so much. When was the last time u saw women scientists celebrate space mission?”
In most mission room photos of historic space events or in films about space, women are rarely seen, making this photo both compelling and unique. Of course, ISRO, like many technical agencies, has far to go in terms of achieving gender balance in their workforce. As Rhitu Chatterjee of PRI’s The World observed in an op-ed, only 10 percent of ISRO’s engineers are female.
This fact, however, Chatterjee writes, is “why this new photograph of ISRO’s women scientists is invaluable. It shatters stereotypes about space research and Indian women. It forces society to acknowledge and appreciate the accomplishments of female scientists. And for little girls and young women seeing the picture, I hope it will broaden their horizons, giving them more options for what they can pursue and achieve.”
To read Chatterjee’s op-ed on The World, visit http://bit.ly/1u3fvGZ
Photo credit: Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images
if anybody asks me why i hate men, i’m just gonna redirect them to this post.
it’s pretty fucking obvious that men only want to invest in breast cancer research to further degrade, objectify, and jerk off to body parts they already feel 100% entitled to. that’s what is at stake for them.
what about the women whose “tatas” weren’t saved? how must they feel being surrounded by awareness ads that focus more on keeping women’s sexy-sexy-titties-to-continue-titillating-the-males than saving real life human beings and helping survivors?
If anyone’s wondering, those posts came from here. It’s a forum for breast cancer support. Give it a read, and you’ll see how many women are outright abandoned by their husbands, sometimes after being married for decades, because their “tatas” couldn’t be saved.
This culture of “save the tatas” even goes as far as the doctor’s offices themselves. Most doctors request that the husband be present during surgical consultations, as though he has an equal say in the patient-professional discussion.
If the woman is single, as was my case, doctors have actually recommended postponing surgery until she finds a relationship, because “it could be nearly impossible to find someone who accepts it [your unnatural tatas] in years to come”.
I’m 15 months post-mastectomy, and the date I had this past week was the first time since then that a guy hadn’t reacted negatively to my scars. The relief was so overwhelming that I was fighting back tears. When I told him —essentially warning him that my body wasn’t what he must be expecting — I felt so guilty; it seemed to have the same weight and shame as telling someone I had some sort of an incurable STI or a felony record.
I shouldn’t have felt that way. I should not be ashamed of choosing to live.
Thank you for your important commentary! I hope you find someone who can love you for who you are and admire your strength as a survivor.
holy shit this just makes me so immensely disgusted and i actually feel sick to the core??? just. holy shit.
"The goal is not to turn kids into your kind of adult, but rather, better adults than you have been. Progress happens because new generations grow and develop and become better than the previous ones.”
From Adora Svitak’s talk “What adults can learn from kids.” In her talk, Adora makes a case for why adults shouldn’t underestimate kids. And they shouldn’t. Kids are doing amazing things. Let’s just take a second to think about how Adora organized her first TEDxYouth event when she was just 12.
This weekend, young people around the world are attending, organizing, speaking at, and watching TEDxYouthDay events — TEDx events dedicated to the ingenuity of kids worldwide. Every year we’re taken aback by the amazing things that come out of these events, and we think you should be, too. Find a TEDxYouthDay event near you to attend or watch live online here.
this is so effing important and i’m super impressed after read her transcript
Kill Bill technically takes place in the same universe as Spy Kids just so you all know
how do you figure that
uncle machete from spy kids is the same machete from machete and machete kills, if that wasn’t clear
woody allen, the irredeemable creep whose obvious misogyny was misinterpreted as creative genius by the college-boy mentality.
#gosh i wonder why sylvia plath’s poetry is important to young women when we’re bombarded with so much misogynistic literature written by ~the greats~ of the 20th century #if you want to talk about highly romanticized and overrated writers we can talk about bukowski hemingway kerouac ginsberg and so on #who were not only basic writers but were also vile people irl #i don’t understand how people can idolize pedophiles and wife beaters and then mock people who like plath? ~fionaapples