Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Boys Get Mountains, Girls Get Boys

"The pursuit of love gets mixed up with the pursuit of life [...] The boys are expected to do. Accomplish something. Seek adventure. Sure, they study for careers now, but what are girls still expected to seek? Boys. Boys get mountains, girls get boys."

I thought that it was only in the frum world that girls' only path of success was through her "man." Apparently not.

"Like it or not, it happens all the time. [...] A man's identity is complete through action, a woman's when she has a man."

I used to joke that I would marry a rabbi and *POOF* instantly get smicha (Rabbinical ordination) by become a Rebbitzen.

I used to talk about going to graduate school without actually making any plans to because I knew might have a husband and family by the time I reached grad school, in which case I probably wouldn't do it.

Frum girls are taught that their success and happiness will be attained through their husband's success. That they will be fulfilled by caring for their husband and children.

I think that that's a dangerous mindset to head into the frum dating scene with. I think that it's important for girls in the frum world to know that:

"Love can come when you're already who you are, when you are filled with you. Not when you look to someone else to fill the empty space."
(Ignore the cover. It's a National Book Award finalist and a brilliant book.)


  1. "Frum girls are taught that their success and happiness will be attained through their husband's success. That they will be fulfilled by caring for their husband and children."

    I think that's a dangerous mindset in general, not just for dating. It assumes, first of all, that every frum "girl" is going to get married, and, once married, is going to be blessed with children. This mindset gives no role whatsoever in life to single women, and a drastically reduced role to married but childless ones. It implies that we women have no value when not in a relationship. Second, this mindset also implies that women's minds and talents are not to be used for our own benefit, but only for that of our husbands and children.

  2. You go get a mountain!

    (And a boy can get you...)

  3. You're absolutely right, Shira. And it's very unfortunate that it actually is a prevailing attitude in the frum world. I'm glad that you commented, because I think it's important for people to actively recognize that there's an issue.

  4. HI FF,

    An interesting post. My personal belief (which may or may not be tied to my Christian beliefs -- I'm not sure) is that we are all put in this Earth for a purpose and that we all affect change. Some people affect change negatively -- Charles Manson or Adolf Hilter, for example -- while most affect change in various levels of positive inlfuence. For most of us, being a good spouse and parent is the greatest endeavor we undertake in our lives. In fact, I think it is the first and foremost calling of our Lord. That certainly doesn't mean that Mother Teresa didn't affect positive change without a spouse!

    To say that men need accomplishments (through careers, military auccess, etc.) is to blur the lines. I think the "successful business man" who cheats on his wife or ignores his kids is not really a success b/c he' failing that primary calling I mentioned above.

    I feel that if a man can be true to his wife, love her and treat her with respect, if he can raise his children to be good, G-d fearing citizens who have compassion and a passion for life, if he can do good works for charitable causes and if he can do his best in his choose field or profession, then he is "a success". The same is true for women (in my mind, anyway)...

  5. Come on, FF. Only 4 posts since May 1st.... We want more!!! Please.....