Carol Gilligan: ‘Are Jews gendered feminine?’

The American feminist asks the above question in this week’s 20 Questions in an attempt to understand the world’s treatment of Israel through gender studies.

By DEBORAH DANAN
June 5, 2011 14:00
1 minute read.
20 questions

20 questions 58. (photo credit: courtsey)

 
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This week 20 Questions hosts Professor Carol Gilligan, an American feminist currently visiting Israel on behalf of the College of Management's Law School.

Gilligan is the author of numerous books in the field of gender studies, including In a Different Voice and most recently, Joining the Resistance. Gilligan asserts that gender studies are as imperative today as women studies were until now. One of the reasons for this is that gender colors every aspect and issue in society.

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According to Gilligan, a gendered issue in American society would be the health care bill. Gendered feminine (as opposed to Wall Street or the military which are by nature masculine), the bill is regarded as something that should not be the governments responsibility. 

To loosely paraphrase Gilligan, men are more concerned with the ethics of justice while women are judged on the ethics of responsibility. With that in mind, the question then arose of whether it is possible that Israel is being judged as feminine by the international community – and therefore more critiqued when it neglects the ethics of care and responsibility. 

Gilligan took this one stage further and posed the question: Are Jews gendered feminine?

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