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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, May 03, 2004

Odds and Ends

Lately, I have been compiling a list of people who I really like, and Greg and Peninah have definitely been added to that list. It was great to spend Shabbos with them, and I hope to see them a lot in the future! Rabbi Gottlieb gave a great drasha this week. I know I am not going to give it justice, but I want to try. Rabbi Gottlieb spoke about being a kiddush Hashem to those around us. He specified that he was speaking about those who are not only a part of the Orthodox community, or even a part of the Jewish community, but everyone, Jewish and non-Jewish. He said that a part of bringing kedusha into our lives is to live it and project that example onto others. He emphasized the necessity of not sheltering ourselves from the outside world, because if we keep only to those who are exactly like us, then we are not leading by example. In not leading by example, there is then no way for others to be inspired by the holiness that we strive to embody. I thought it was an important message and I hope that I can internalize enough kedusha myself to be a kiddush Hashem and inspiration to those whom I come in contact with. We had an interesting discussion in my Counseling class the other night. The topic was Feminist Therapy, which is one approach to counseling that has developed fairly recently in response to the increasing dissatisfaction among women with the role that society tends to enforce. It was an interesting discussion, if a little one-sided (being a Psych class, we only have one male in the class). The basic premise of the theory is that women (and men, to an extent) have been repressed by the gender roles that society says men and women need to fit into. The therapy instructs the client that it is not necessary to fulfill these stereotypical gender roles and that problems that they may feel they have are often due to the messages society sends rather than with the client herself. I brought up the point that many women are very happy, and choose to live, within the traditional gender framework that society holds. And the point that a woman who is happy within the traditional gender framework who comes to therapy may be very turned and unhappy with a therapist who tells her that her problems are due to the messages that society has been sending her about her gender role. Also, I don't believe that someone who chooses to live within a traditional role should be made to feel bad about it, she should be supported in whatever choice she makes for her life. I am still a bit torn about where I stand on the issue of Feminist Therapy, as I do believe that women should not be told that they should not strive to achieve. But on the other side, I don't agree with the concept that a traditional role should not be respected as a legitimate choice either. And I think that a Feminist orientation to therapy unfortunately only supports a woman who rejects traditional roles, which I believe is antithetical to the basis on which the theory was built. I guess I am not going to become a Feminist Therapist any time soon!

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