Women Really Don't Want a Male Rabbi Speaking on their Behalf

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has written an article based on his new book that does something that women really don't want. Namely he speaks on behalf of all women to explain to all men (I suppose, and maybe to let the women know too) what they really want.

That's just not right. I do hope that this idea that men need to speak for women is not an attitude shared by other Orthodox rabbis. Sadly, I think it is.

Here is an example of the mind-reading-rabbi's explanations of women's thinking.
"Women are not looking just for love in a marriage; they are primarily looking for lust. A woman wants to be wanted, needs to be needed, desires to be desired. A woman does not go into marriage principally to be loved; she goes into marriage to be lusted after, to be desired, to feel that there's a man who has a magnetic attraction for her. It's an easy point to prove. If a woman wanted primarily to be loved, why would she ever leave the comfort of the parental home? No one's ever going to love her more than her parents. Her parents are never going to divorce her. Her parents are going to love her unconditionally. She doesn't have to dress up for them; she doesn't have to impress them. They love her no matter what she does. If you want to be loved, you stay at home..."
I realize that by saying this, in effect it could be construed that I am speaking on behalf of women. I do not mean to do that. I strongly disagree with the notion that a man needs to speak for women. And even if for a nano-second I allowed that a rabbi should speak for women, based on my experiences and observations in my life, I disagree with all of the specific and general things that this rabbi says motivates women.

PS: Rabbi Boteach has good company in his quest for telling us "what women want". Mel Gibson starred in a movie by that title.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree, I think that Boteach makes excellent points about the relationship between men and women but couching it in terms of "what women want" is a sales gimmick. He does excellent public work speaking out in debates on behalf of Israel.