Gender. Sexuality. Transformation. And the language that limits, pigeonholes, or liberates. On this week’s 51%, you’ll meet the first openly transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish institution.
Then we’ll introduce you to an unlikely pair brought together by gender and technology. And you’ll hear about slut shaming and what one teacher is doing to change the mindset and the words we choose.
Professor Jay Ladin made headlines around the world when after years of teaching literature at Yeshiva University he returned to the Orthodox Jewish campus as a woman, Joy Ladin. Her new book is Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders. In her story, Ladin wrestles with both the practical problems of gender transition and the larger moral, spiritual, and philosophical questions that arise. Ladin is a Fulbright Scholar and the author of seven books. She is the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. 51%’s Joe Donahue spoke with Ladin during her recent visit to Albany, New York. This is part one of a two-part interview.
Next we bring you a story of an unlikely pair brought together by gender and technology. Beta is intersex, which means she does not fit squarely into either gender, in a biological sense. Most intersex babies are assigned a gender at birth and undergo surgery. She did not find out until her 20's. Cary's story is nearly the same.
Slut Shaming. It’s defined as the act of shaming and/or attacking a woman for her sexuality. But a lot of the time, like in middle and high school, it can all revolve around rumors and gossip. 51%’s Katie Britton spoke with author and high school teacher Jennifer Mathieu, who first heard about it in a Seventeen Magazine article in the early 1990s. It has stayed with her ever since. So Mathieu decided to put pen to the paper, and her new young adult novel, The Truth About Alice, looks at how one lie can get an entire school slut shaming the girl, while patting the boy on the back.
And that concludes our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.