Mofo Politics
Mofo Politics

Jewish-American Female Privilege   March 28, 2016

* h/t JH, edited for readability by MFP.

There is a perverse amount of scholarship and civic policy devoted to improving the lives of Jewish-American women.

But we’re good, really!

Without seeming ungrateful, government and ancillary groups should probably redirect their resources to those that face actual discrimination.


Speaking as a half-Jewish atheist, it almost never comes up in IRL.

Other than:

  • People on the internet.
  • Wealthy old people
  • Pro-Palestinian people at college.
  • Other Jews

Most people can’t (or don’t) differentiate between whites and Jews.


The privileges that come with being a Jewish woman far outweigh the negatives:

  • Got good grades without trying (Dad’s side, pretty sure).
  • Got a free trip to Israel.
  • Technically, I’m a double-minority, so I’m at the top of most employment/admissions stacks.
  • When a racist employer is stuck between a quota and a hard place? He picks the Jewish blonde over the Vietnamese guy.
  • Parents paid for my apartment/travel/tuition/startover $$$ when I kept changing careers– I benefited from 2nd and 3rd chances that other minorities don’t get in life.
  • Financial parachute gave me the confidence to take risks, which eventually paid off.
  • Over-represented in media. It’s to the point even I resent Amy Schumer’s success.
  • Near the top of the dating pyramid.
  • I’ve been hit on during an emergency toilet paper run, in my pajamas, with no makeup, before brushing my teeth– men have no standards, and this is comforting to me.


  • The frizzy hair. I’m self-conscious about it. Over the course of my life, I’ve probably spent months straightening it.


Modern social inequity is largely a function of how litigious or disruptive institutions perceive groups or individuals to be.

For instance, I bought my dog a service vest and bring him everywhere.

On the rare occasion I’m stopped, I reference the ADA website, which reads:

In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.

At which point, they drop it, because who’s more litigious than pushy white animal lovers?

  • A Mexican male would have a hard time pulling this off (perceived to be unlikely to bring a lawsuit over a dog).
  • An African-American woman would have a slightly better chance than the Mexican (perceived as likely to make a scene).
  • An Asian would have the worst chance of all (perceived to be unlikely to waste money on a lawsuit, march in protest, or make a scene).

So we’re fine.

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