Monday, March 14, 2011

"Jewish mothers are infamous for being overbearing," and other insights from a great new literary mind

Interesting that a book in which a woman describes her encounters with men of different races is divided into "Salsa Fever, Yellow Fever, Jungle Fever, Curry Fever and Shiksa Fever, which refer to her yearning or 'fever' for different races." Spot the difference time: which of these categories is not about the author's "yearning," but rather about the presumed reason a particular "race" of man would yearn for her?

The Daily Mail helpfully provides a list of the screw-PC questions about "bedroom secrets" one J.C. Davies seeks to answer (in the affirmative, no doubt) with her courageous tome:

Do Asian men like women submissive?
Are all Indian men well versed in the Karma Sutra?
Do Latin lovers live up to their reputation?
Are black men well endowed?
Are Jewish men really cheap?
Spot the difference time again! Which of these has not got a thing to do with sex?

What's interesting isn't OMG racism being used to get a rise out of people, or the fact that in 2011, a writer living in NY thinks a relationship between a white woman and a (not Ethiopian, for example) Jew is "interracial," but the way in which Jews are dealt with altogether differently from other groups. The author's not exploring (or playing at) a fetish for Jewish men, but a fetish for being the "shiksa."

Racism aside, we're with the age-old cliché of a woman finding it sexier to be found sexy than to find the man she's with hott - and it is with a Jewish man that she has, for the time being at least, settled down.

The Jewish man, for this lady, is not a sex object among the many Baskin Robbins flavors of her exploits, but appealing in that he can provide her with the sense of being hott simply by virtue of non-membership in the world's infinitesimal Jewish minority. Far easier than hitting the gym, or being blessed with supernaturally gorgeous features. Just find a man who will find you gorgeous by the mere fact that you, like nearly all women, are not Jewish.

Because this is apparently her deal. "Critics branded that comment [about a black man as an "Oreo" - are we charmed by her originality?] as racist and offensive and even Davies admitted that 'she went a little crazy with her references to JAPs - an acronym for Jewish American Princess." (Further asininity along these lines here, with novel observations like "Jewish mothers are infamous for being overbearing." Woman, you are blowing my mind.) The "JAP" is presumably of interest to a woman like this, because on some level she is aware that Jewish women are not by and large frigid, grotesque-looking gold-diggers, and that her own allure rests on that false assumption.

I suppose there are still, to this day, the occasional Jewish men who operate along these lines, and who are absolute catches for women whose principle appeal is a characteristic shared by almost the entire world population, who can play at being Marilyn friggin' Monroe, simply because they have nothing Semitic about them. Jewish women are not sitting around bemoaning the unavailability to us of these men, who are after all a tiny subset of a tiny minority, not representative of Jewish men generally, plus there are enough Jewish men out there who will only date Jewish women that, for Jewish women with that requirement, things seem to go fine. As for these few, on behalf of Jewish women everywhere, I say, they're all yours.


Anonymous said...

Look at the subtitle on the Mother in Law catfight picture:

"The Cat Fight of the Century: The Indian Mother-in-Law has the Jew on the ropes!"

The Jew. Hmmm.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

The more I look at that site, the more I think not "1930s" but "1840s." It's like some kind of proto-anthropology, as though it has not occurred to this woman that others have made the observations she's making to the point that they're almost beyond cliché.

Britta said...

Yeah. I would say her book is desperately offensive. She's probably hoping that between it being about sex and being full of cliche racial stereotypes she'll get enough shock publicity that enough people will buy it and she'll not have to sell her home. If the writing style of the whole book is like the snippets quoted though, it reads worse than particularly bad online lady's mag content.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...


Yup. She also seems to be in a kind of dialogue with white racists, baiting them with, 'see, watch as I sleep with all these icky non-white men.'

She also seems to be an example of the worst kind of class>race argumentation ("argumentation" more like), with her whole 'I'm trailer trash' excuse, as though having grown up without much money gives her permission to say nasty crap about every marginalized group she can think of.

Britta said...

Oh totally. She wants to have it both ways...shock the racists by lascivious details of interracial sex, and shock non-racists with her non-PC "revelations" about black men having big dicks and Asians small dicks, etc.

I just kind of skimmed what she wrote, but I noticed that her Jewish boyfriend is Iranian, something which would add a layer of difference between them, but which wouldn't really fit in with the "all Jewish men are cheap shiksa-lovers with overbearing mothers" angle she's going for in the book. Maybe acknowledging that would require a level of nuance that would kind of undermine the rest of her book.

Also, be kind of bitchy, I wonder if her non-white dude fetish has to do with her own racial hang-ups and about wanting to be, as you put it, someone's "Marilyn Monroe." To be blunt, the woman is not at all attractive. My guess is imagining herself as playing some sort of white goddess to these men of color is a way she can feel beautiful, because she sees men of color as *of course* desiring white women, and *of course* she's a catch to anyone with darker skin than her. I think this explains lots of racism you find among people with very little else going for them, the sort of, "well, at least I'm white" attitude.

Britta said...

^Also, to be kind of bitchy...

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...


It took restraint not to link to her "photos" section with... what you mention. (Is it "body-snarking" if it's not about her body per se, if she's putting herself out there to be judged in this way, and if the point of commenting is explaining her racism?) To be fair, going by the photos she's selected, she's within normal limits. I'm sure some men would like her without all this racially-complicated hoopla, but this is a way she can play at being wanted for her looks. So yes, we're agreed on this.

I'd also add - and this should have been in my post, I realize - that what's in it for the Jewish men in this scenario is that they get to imagine that they have rejected Jewish women en masse in favor of a woman who meets their exacting specifications, which implies that Jewish women en masse were throwing themselves at them in the first place. Which is flattering, because what man doesn't want to imagine any subset of women being implicitly available to him?

To be clear, this is the attitude of only a tiny, negligible proportion of the Jewish men with non-Jewish female partners, which is to say, it's only true of those who get off on the "shiksa" cliché, not of those who happen to be with non-Jewish women because, after all, most women, like most men, are not Jewish.

David Schraub said...

I enjoy accusing my non-Jewish girlfriend of having "Dreidel fever".

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

Hope she enjoys that as well!

It's still striking to me how our culture has all these notions about Jewish men and non-Jewish women, but the reverse, though only a bit less common, has no accompanying stereotypes. Not that I'm complaining!

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Belle Juive?

Anonymous said...

I was raised as the daughter of a Rabbi, and my mother was the Rabbi's wife, with all that came with keeping up Jewish traditions, kosher laws, and raising their children to be good citizens too. But, once I turned into a teenager, all hell broke loose, with me telling my parents, and mother in particular, that I no longer was going to Friday night services, and she couldn't make me either. I wasn't going to pretend that I was a Jewish religious person either, just to make her look good in front of the other people in the temple.
My toxic relationship with my mother, who I have recently found out, on Jan. 20, 2014, was my adoptive mom, and that secret she took to her grave with her. I now understand why she kept such a secret from me. She only wanted me to think of her-as my mom, and even though we fought bitterly, and I had to join the U.S. Navy in 1979, in order to flee from her, I was able to later on, make amends to her. and am peace knowing she loved me the best she knew how to.