Thursday, April 01, 2004

I am not a sheigetz god


This piece from the New York Observer really made me think about myself and the stereotypes I exhibit. The article is about Shaina Feinberg's lusting after non-Jewish men, and her loss of interest in Jewish ones. At first I was violently offended. What does she mean "I don't want a little weenie Jewish boy."?!?

Excuse me?

Is this some angry woman's way of getting back at all men for the gold-digger JAP jokes of the 80's? Is this the self-hatred that the author's shrink says she has?

I suppose it is OK to talk about stereotypes of your own kind? If they exist, then who is more qualified to talk about them? Of course Jewish men are not her own kind. Jewish women are - but so what? Or, is the author just looking for the only people she can feel superior too, realizing that with someone completely alien, she can pretend to know something, whereas even when it comes to being Jewish she is hopelessly outclassed and outgunned by your average Jewish male?

Who knows what the author is thinking? Maybe she needs more help then she realizes.

Anyway, I was thinking that despite her obnoxiousness, and crass insensitivity to Jewish men, she may indeed have a point. Being a somewhat self-reflective Jewish man, I have to admit, I am not particularly tall or hulking. I am a fairly nice guy. And I am genuinely bookish. I do sit and read. . . alot. I do spend late nights hunched over my Talmud, or my math book, or my Arabic grammar, or some obscure philosophy book. I do wear glasses. I drink many lattes at Starbucks. I rarely attend sports games, and I have only once been in a bar fight, and that was at least six or seven years ago. I am not impressed when someone understands three percent of what she reads in a haggadah. The ability to understand the words that come out of your mouth is a duty, not a virtue. Most of my girlfriends had staggering IQs. I am slightly on the neurotic side. I have a blog. (I am literate.) My friends include academics, doctors, and lawyers.

I do not have all that much to offer in my defense. I have made bookshelves - from nails and wood - with my own two hands. And I can use a stud-finder. I recently fixed a broken toilet. I am a low-level nobody in the US Army whose job it is to do lots of hard manual labor. I stay in shape. In the army I also learned how to kick someone's ass. I was pretty good at it too. (In my unit I am the only white guy, that has to be good for something.) I never see doctors unless I need a form filled out. I never used an inhaler. I speak with my mother every other week - and that is on good months. And my friends include plumbers, contractors, and bus drivers.

So what is my deal? I am a stereotype. I have described myself as an overeducated Jew from New York. I will always be one. So I am not blond? So I am not thuggish?

Mind you, all this criticism comes from a woman seeing an Israeli shrink. I think it may be time to revive those old how-do-you-know-when-a-JAP-had-an-orgasm jokes. (When she drops her nail file.)

From now on, I do my studying in secret, and my fighting in public. None of this metrosexual slash Woody Alan crap for me. I am off to get me some power tools.

Screw you.

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