This piece first appeared as “New Feminist Knesset” on The Sisterhood blog at the Forward.
The minute I saw that new MK Merav Michaeli’s inaugural (some call it “maiden,” but I prefer “inaugural”) speech to the Knesset on Wednesday had gone online, I immediately remembered a Sisterhood post I wrote prior to the recent Israeli elections about Ha’aretz political writer Yossi Verter’s sexism.
In a piece on the Labor Party list, Verter had made fun of a particular feminist trait of Michaeli, a successful journalist: “One thing she is going to have to cure herself of immediately is her silly and childish habit of speaking in the feminine gender. If she chooses to speak in the legislature and committees like that, she will quickly become the laughing stock of the 19th Knesset.”
In her unmistakably feminist speech, the newly minted MK Michaeli did speak using the feminine gender (she actually used both feminine and masculine genders, always mentioning the feminine first). And guess what? No one laughed. Rather, her fellow MKs all sat and listened to her with rapt attention.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.