On Tuesday, three female American rabbinical students were detained at the Kotel for wearing prayer shawls. I probably would have read about it and then filed it away in my brain under “Things That as a Probably Secular American Jewish Feminist I Am Deeply Troubled By But Can’t Deal With Right Now,” had it not been for the fact that I know two of the women from my time working at the university where they were undergrads. Instead, I found myself thinking about gender, revolution and civil disobedience.
Recently I’ve been talking a lot of folks who are curious about Occupy Wall Street, and would like to be involved, but are unsure/afraid of getting arrested. I’ve told them about working groups, about attending General Assemblies, about other ways to be involved that are not about civil disobedience, but the truth does remain that much of the message of Occupy is about taking the streets, putting our bodies on the line for change, and the decision to get arrested remain fraught. Police around the country have made it clear that being associated with the Occupy movement is apparently enough to qualify someone for arrest (or being hit by a police van.) If you thought women were safe from this, you would be wrong.
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Chanel Dubofsky writes and lives in New York City. Her work has been published at the Sisterhood Blog, Tablet, The Pursuit of Harpyness, Monkey Bicycle, and Pure Slush. You can read about her adventures in feminism and art, at her blog, Diverge.