Jewish Feminism Chai
10/25/2012 - 11:35
Helen Chernikoff
Lesley Gore, Jewish feminist. Getty Images
Lesley Gore, Jewish feminist. Getty Images

Bella Abzug. Gloria Steinem. Shulamith Firestone. Lesley Gore?

There are lots of ways to be a feminist.

Lesley Gore, who grew up in a Jewish family in Tenafly, New Jersey, won the right to be classed with the above grandes dames in 1964 with the release of “You Don’t Own Me,” which became a feminist anthem.

Now the golden oldie has taken on a new shine in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Gore and many friends and allies, all female and several Jewish, have banded together to release the “YouDon’tOwnMePSA.”

Created by Sarah Sophie Flicker, a filmmaker and leader of a cabaret collective who has a Danish mother and a Jewish father, the video features titles painting a dire picture of women’s lives under a hypothetical President Mitt Romney interspersed with women and girls lip-syncing with gusto. Many of them hold up snarky signs such as one that reads, “Get your rosaries off my ovaries.”

Other Jewish participants in the video: Carrie Brownstein, star of Portlandia; teen blogger Tavi Gevinson and author Miranda July.

Fittingly, Lesley Gore, one of the mothers of us all, has the last word:

“I recorded “You Don’t Own Me” in 1964,” she says at the end of the video. “It’s hard for me to believe that we’re still fighting for the same things that we were then. Yes, ladies, we have to come together, get out there and protect our bodies. They’re ours. Please vote.”

Actually, in the interest of crediting my sources, maybe I’ll give my own mother the last word. It was she who told me about the “YouDon’tOwnMePSA.”  Thanks, Mumele!

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