Women of the Wall and Pussy Riot: Unlikely partners in the same struggle
…With Pussy Riot, the name says it all. A reclamation of feminine sexuality, an opposition to sexism and other forms of control – the group’s name is accompanied by music, art, masks and a huge, rapidly growing movement of supporters around the world. Women of the Wall are a group of Jewish women – Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Orthodox, ages 15 to over 80 – who wake up at 6 a.m. once a month to pray together, while remaining within the realm of Jewish law, at Jerusalem’s Western Wall. At first glance it seems that no two groups could be more different.
I would determine, after examining this comparison, that the true common denominator between Pussy Riot and Women of the Wall is not our acts, but the strict control over speech, religious freedom and expression in our countries. Our male religious authorities are so intimidated to see a group of women mobilizing support for women’s freedoms and religious expression, that they feel the need to restrain, detain and jail this great potential for change.