The Semite Subset April 13, 2012 1:30 PM   Subscribe

As a Jewish hetero man who has been transported by OK Cupid into the company of some of the creepiest people ever--of all ethnicities--I must respectfully take issue with Metafilter's acceptance of this non-Jew's comment that we Jews of JDate comprise a "particularly annoying subset." And I was surprised that this post was favorited more than flagged.

I'm not trying to be Abraham Foxman here, but it's not OK to generalize about minority groups just because you had to marry or grow up around them. Yes, online dating is a broken loneliness-factory providing a one-click stop for grade-A weirdoes to harass women. But please don't take it out on my people. It was hard enough escaping from the western Ukraine in 1906 without taking the blame for Internet creepers.

Just wanted to get that out there because although I am sure the intentions were good and that JDate is as full of molesty males as every other terrible dating website, this sweeping claim about the guys on there left me uncomfortable. I am always uncomfortable with that attitude of "Oh I dated that minority, let me tell you how crazy they are." It's like when a man marries a bride from Taiwan and feels he has a license to stereotype Asians.

Thanks for your consideration.
posted by steinsaltz to Etiquette/Policy at 1:30 PM (197 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Really? Everyone would just be okay if only a Jewish person had been saying it?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:33 PM on April 13, 2012


The comment could be better, but the author addressed your point: "There are uncool people in every sub-genre of society, and apparently sexist males who happen to be Jewish favor Jdate." In other words, "it's got nothing to do with them being Jewish, but JDate has apparently developed a culture that attracts sexist men."
posted by jedicus at 1:35 PM on April 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


And I was surprised that this post was favorited more than flagged. -- How many flags did it get?
posted by crunchland at 1:36 PM on April 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


It seems to me he's stereotyping sexist males, and then commenting that the subset of sexist males who happen to be Jewish predominantly use JDate. Where do you see him bashing Jews as a people, as opposed to the subset of Jews who are male and on JDate? And how do you know how often it was flagged?
posted by brainmouse at 1:36 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


In much the same way that New Jersey has developed a culture that attracts sexist white men.
posted by Curious Artificer at 1:36 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I found that comment annoying (though answering the question, imo) but saying that the people on JDate are annoying isn't really an anti-Jew statement, to me, especially when you read the whole thing. I mean maybe that's what you think jbenben was crypto-saying? At some level the dating website questions are fraught because people see people dissing on some sort of behavior or some sort of type of interaction and they take it personally and then the threads get weird. So in this case we have an OP who is saying "Guys in JDate are being creepy to me, is there a way to tamp that down somewhat?" and then people commiserating that yes, this annoying thing happens there for some weird reason.

Jbenben has a fairly large disclaimer on her comment that she's specifically trying not to be anit-semitic and just reporting her personal experience. While I don't think that excuses people generally from making racist remarks, I'm not sure how else she could have made her comment.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:38 PM on April 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not thrilled with the "here's some anecdata" angle because, eh, anecdata, but the comment reads more like "I've had lousy experiences with JDate and hence the proportion of annoying (in this case Jewish) creeper dudes on it" than an attempt to smear single Jewish dudes as a general statement. I can imagine much more problematic ways someone could take an answer like that, but this seems pretty mild.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:39 PM on April 13, 2012


It was hard enough escaping from the western Ukraine in 1906

The dating pool was horrible. And such small portions!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:39 PM on April 13, 2012 [87 favorites]


it's not OK to generalize about minority groups just because you had to marry or grow up around them

I don't think the post is generalizing about a "minority group" it's generalizing about the men who go on JDate. I have no idea whether or not the generalization has any truth to it, but saying that a particular dating website seems to attract a bad element isn't the same thing as casting aspersions on an entire ethnicity, even if that particular website is designed for people of that ethnicity. Or, rather, it would only be the case if the implication was that the site attracted a representative cross section of that community. In other words "don't go on JDate because Jewish guys are creeps" is antisemitic; "don't go on JDate because for some reason that site attracts an undue proportion of creeps" isn't. The comment you link to seems more the latter than the former.
posted by yoink at 1:42 PM on April 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


The problem with Jdate is you are dealing with a particularly annoying subset of single males

Yeah, when I first saw this I read it as "Jewish guys are particularly annoying". I guess that's not what they meant, but it sure came across poorly.
posted by inigo2 at 1:52 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not thrilled with the "here's some anecdata" angle because, eh, anecdata

I'm not sure I agree with that objection. None of us have run randomized studies on JDate users, with objective qualifications for annoyingness. Our own personal experience is all we have to go on. Asking Metafitler is like asking a bunch of people in a bar, a slighly lower percentage of whom are drunk at the time of answering. You're going to get people's experience, observations, thoughts. The comment in question, IMO, is actually rather interesting and is based on people's real experience with JDate. Maybe second-hand, but it's exactly the sort of thing would be valuable to hear if you were asking a friend about this.

Also, the comment in no way describes Jewish men as creepy or annoying; it says JDate attracts those Jewish men who happen to be creepy or annoying. I find the inability to distinguish between these two things to be annoying, and the attempt to place speech like this off-limits sort of creepy.
posted by Dasein at 1:52 PM on April 13, 2012 [39 favorites]


Yeah. AskMefi is 98% anecdata. At least, in my experience.
posted by crunchland at 1:58 PM on April 13, 2012 [43 favorites]


She says: "According to my anecdata regarding other Jdate users' experiences, that site is just broken. There are uncool people in every sub-genre of society, and apparently sexist males who happen to be Jewish favor Jdate."

She is slagging JDate, not Jews.
She is saying (according to her correspondents) JDate attracts sexist men.
She's not saying Jewish men in general are sexist.

I have no idea whether this is true about JDate, and I agree anecdata about a delicate issue are potentially fight-starty. I agree with inigo2 that the comment was phrased ambiguously at points but I think considered in total the intent is clearer.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:00 PM on April 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


I.e. the "annoying subset" refers to JDate users as a subset of Jewish men, not to Jewish men as a subset of all men.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:03 PM on April 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


steinsaltz: "It's like when a man marries a bride from Taiwan and feels he has a license to stereotype Asians."

No, it's not. The commenter was not trying to make a general comment about Jews. She specifically said that based on her own experiences on JDate, she has found that the site attracts a certain personality type.

It's a valid response. And it's in no way antisemitic.
posted by zarq at 2:05 PM on April 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


It's not the best-worded comment ever, but if we assume good faith then it's also pretty easy to see that she's not trying to make a sweeping generalization about Jewish men. Contrast the language you quoted with what she wrote later in her comment, "sexist males who happen to be Jewish" [emphasis added].

To be fair, your MeTa kinda runs into the same shoal. It's obvious that you are trying to be thoughtful and not antagonistic, and you specifically noted that you do assume good faith ("I am sure the intentions were good"). But at the same time, it would be easy to focus on phrases like, "it's not OK to generalize about minority groups just because you had to marry or grow up around them," or the Ukraine comment, and read into them a different conclusion.

And yeah, anecdata is huge on AskMe. Sometimes a question specifically calls for personal experiences, and other times the OP will write three vague sentences and you'll see different people with different anecdata giving polar-opposite "This is the right answer" advice. It's good and it's bad.
posted by cribcage at 2:07 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Extreme example alert!


Those members of the KKK are real assholes.

(does not mean all white people are assholes)
posted by edgeways at 2:07 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I find describing people as "non-Jews" creepy, speaking on behalf of the "Jews of JDate" bizarre, and talk of escaping from Ukraine in 1906 strident hyperbole. You may find that you need to adjust your writing style to communicate effectively on this site.

(Disclosure: I grew up in Ukraine and have not participated in any pogroms. In fact, I think you'll find it quite lovely if you visit — both the country and the people.)
posted by Nomyte at 2:12 PM on April 13, 2012 [26 favorites]


I agree that the way the comment was worded made me uncomfortable, despite the various attempts to clarify that it wasn't meant to be sweeping generalization about Jewish men. I think the anecdata would've been better off without the bit about friends and exes.

Also,

AskMe: like asking a bunch of people in a bar, a slightly lower percentage of whom are drunk at the time of answering.
posted by ldthomps at 2:14 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nomyte: "I find describing people as "non-Jews" creepy,"

Why?
posted by zarq at 2:15 PM on April 13, 2012


1) jbenben generally has awesome advice around here. She always gets right to the heart of the question the person is asking, and nails the answers right on the head, in the center of the scalp.

2) She is absolutely right about Jdate, based on this user's experience there.
posted by Melismata at 2:20 PM on April 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


I find describing people as "non-Jews" creepy

What would you prefer? Goyim? Gentiles?
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:22 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Monogamish.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:23 PM on April 13, 2012


Since JDate is ethnocentric, all criticisms of it's user base are racist? So if you were a JDate user that had also used other dating sites, and found that jDate users were, in your experience, more likely to be jerks, how would you relate that experience? I think your oversensitivity is showing, you should probably tuck it back in before someone notices.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:27 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


What would you prefer? Goyim? Gentiles?

Normal people, of course! HAMBURGER

But I agree, it always seems weird to me to define the world in binary terms, where one is just not-the-other. MeFites and non-MeFites. Lefties and non-lefties. Catholics and non-Catholics. Librarians and non-librarians.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:33 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


What would you prefer? Goyim? Gentiles?

My Father-in-Law, a Christian, is part of motorcycle club composed mostly of Jews. They call themselves Semites on Bikes (SOBs).

No, this has nothing to with anything in this post.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:33 PM on April 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


I find describing people as "non-Jews" creepy

I felt that way about cisgendered but I got over it. But then again I view the world as librarians and non-librarians so there is no accounting for taste.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:37 PM on April 13, 2012 [60 favorites]


I.e. the "annoying subset" refers to JDate users as a subset of Jewish men, not to Jewish men as a subset of all men.
posted by LobsterMitten


This. The commenter went to great lengths to get this point across, you just missed it and reacted instead. It's not anti-semetic in the least. It's anti-JDate users, based on experiences.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:41 PM on April 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I grew up in Ukraine and have not participated in any pogroms. In fact, I think you'll find it quite lovely if you visit — both the country and the people.

Yeah well, if you were 120 years old too you'd feel different about it.
posted by Hoopo at 2:41 PM on April 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Lefties and non-lefties.

We prefer sinister.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:42 PM on April 13, 2012 [21 favorites]


As a Jew I took no offense.

As a former male Jdate member on the other hand...
posted by The Gooch at 2:45 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


And, hey, not to completely pick apart the original callout, but what is "Metafilter's acceptance" supposed to mean?
posted by crunchland at 2:46 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


And, hey, not to completely pick apart the original callout, but what is "Metafilter's acceptance" supposed to mean?

Not resolutely shouted down as racist?
posted by Dasein at 2:48 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find describing people as "non-Jews" creepy,

It's an accurate shorthand, though, since someone who is not Jewish can be any number of religions and/or ethnicities, and enumerating all of them would possibly take more page space than the Treaty of Westphalia.
posted by rtha at 2:53 PM on April 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I'm with you. I didn't want to respond in that thread because while I've known a bunch of women who've had success with JDate, and could hazard an educated guess about their methods, I don't use any internet dating sites myself so I couldn't really answer the question to AskMe standards. But I felt that comment was (probably unintentionally, as the poster usually gives great, thoughtful answers) a bit icky. At first I thought she was saying Jewish guys were disrespectful to women, and then I realized she was not - she was saying Jewish guys on JDate are disrespectful to women. Which is, if not worse, almost more troubling to me because it's basically saying that Jewish men who are seeking out Jewish women are more likely to disrespect women than those who are seeking women of other ethnicities. And that, in my experience, is if anything the opposite of the truth.

Again, I assume it was probably not her intention, but I just wanted to say I understand.

(Also I think the Semite Subset needs to be the name of...something. I want it to be an online magazine, and I want to write for it.)
posted by DestinationUnknown at 3:00 PM on April 13, 2012


1) jbenben generally has awesome advice around here.

Generally, yes, she does give good advice, and is an asset to AskMe. But everyone has an off day and this was not jbenben's advice at its best.
posted by 6550 at 3:00 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Ukraine? You know what the Ukraine is, it's a sitting duck. A road apple. The Ukraine is weak. It's feeble. I think it's time to put the hurt on Ukraine.
posted by Trurl at 3:06 PM on April 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


it's basically saying that Jewish men who are seeking out Jewish women are more likely to disrespect women

i disagree. it's saying men who use a specific dating site can tend to be creepy.

if someone said the men on eharmony are creepy, most wouldn't jump to the conclusion that all christian men who seek christian women are more likely to disrespect women.
posted by nadawi at 3:08 PM on April 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


I find describing people as "non-Jews" creepy

I agree, but I also find calling people "Jews" a little squicky (just conveying my internal reaction here, not saying it is wrong from an objective standpoint). Whereas the phrases "Jewish person" and "non-Jewish person" don't have the same squick factor for me.

I think it's just a modern sensibility thing that dictates using an adjectival form rather than a noun form. ("He's a Jew" gives me the same feeling as saying "he's a black", "she's a Chinese" -- feels weird and bad. Whereas saying "he's Jewish", "he's black" or "she's Chinese" are fine).

I know that for people who are Jewish, it's very normal to use "Jew" and "non-Jew" as nouns and I'm not saying that's wrong. Just trying to articulate my own grammatical squick.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:09 PM on April 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


This all reminds me of a Hannukah episode of Martha Stewart's TV show where she introduced her guest for the segment as "my friend and banker".
posted by Trurl at 3:12 PM on April 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


What would you prefer? Goyim? Gentiles?

The OP referred to the user who made that comment as "this non-Jew." That user has a username. Her username is jbenben.
posted by Nomyte at 3:15 PM on April 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh, good point. "jbenben, who is not Jewish" would have been better wording for sure.

Not that I loved jbenben's wording in the answer so much, either. Perhaps the unusually high levels of tree pollen in the air may be getting in the way of people's usually precise wording.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:17 PM on April 13, 2012


Nomyte: " The OP referred to the user who made that comment as "this non-Jew." That user has a username. Her username is jbenben."

Except the fact that she's not Jewish is relevant to the OP's point(s). I disagree with his conclusions, but it's still relevant.

How else would you like him to point out that she is not Jewish, and he doesn't feel that as such, she should be making generalizations about Jews?
posted by zarq at 3:18 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Which is, if not worse, almost more troubling to me because it's basically saying that Jewish men who are seeking out Jewish women are more likely to disrespect women than those who are seeking women of other ethnicities.

I think that's reading into the post something that wasn't there. Every dating site has its own character. Want to meet nerds, people who are into mild kink or polyamory or nerdy people who are into mild kink or polyamory? Then OKCupid is the website for you. Even though nothing about OKCupid's programming or marketing makes it more open to those people than other people. That's just the subset of people who have most clearly found a home there and the character of the site is self-reinforcing as people like that find it useful for finding dates and other people do not and move on to other sites.

Every dating site has a certain character that's not inherent in the site, but just develops over time.

I'm not that familiar with jDate, but I think it's entirely plausible that it attracts a certain segment of somewhat controlling men, in the same way OKCupid attracts polyamorists. That's not a statement on the explicit mission of the site, just the developed character of its user base.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:20 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think that's reading into the post something that wasn't there. Every dating site has its own character.

Yeah, I don't claim to know what jbenben meant to say, and as I said above she may well have not meant to say this at all. But because JDate is - to my knowledge - the only dating website specifically intended for Jews who want to date other Jews, that's how it felt. (That feeling is based on a lifetime of picking up on things like this that are intended, and that are rarely explicitly spelled out.)
posted by DestinationUnknown at 3:35 PM on April 13, 2012


DestinationUnknown: "But because JDate is - to my knowledge - the only dating website specifically intended for Jews who want to date other Jews,"

Frumster, JCafe, JewishMatch and JewishMingle.

There's also SawYouAtSinai, but I think that's a matchmaker service.
posted by zarq at 3:42 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


JDATISTS!
posted by carsonb at 3:45 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Extreme example alert!

Thank you for stopping short of the full Hitler.

You never want to go full Hitler.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:50 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


it's not OK to generalize about minority groups just because you had to marry or grow up around them.

You're right. But good luck convincing the MeFi community of that, particularly when the minority group in question is members of a religion and its associated culture.
posted by The World Famous at 3:53 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's a story from my life: we were meeting my husband's Aunt Ruth and Uncle Sam for dinner once, and my husband suggested December 24th as a possibility.

Aunt Ruth said, "Will that be okay for Julia? After all, it's Erev Christmas."
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:54 PM on April 13, 2012 [33 favorites]


Wow, zarq, the fact that I didn't know of the existence of those (well, I have heard of sawyouatsinai & I think I've heard of Frumster but forgot about it since I'm not frum) just proves how completely people have given up on me: no one has suggested I try them;-) I think if that comment had said something like "JDate is for sleazy guys, but the non-sleazy guys use JCafe these days" or something like that, it would have come off very differently.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 3:58 PM on April 13, 2012


Sidhedevil, thank you for that chuckle. :)

My best buddy met his wife through JDate. But that was years ago. And I don't frequent dating sites myself, so I didn't think there was any point saying anything in the AskMe thread.
posted by bardophile at 4:03 PM on April 13, 2012


Whereas the phrases "Jewish person" and "non-Jewish person" don't have the same squick factor for me.

Ah! *light bulb goes on* That makes total sense - I was focused on the binary (Jewish or not) and got carried in that direction. "Non-Jew" sounded weird to me but for whatever reason at that moment I couldn't figure out why.
posted by rtha at 4:06 PM on April 13, 2012


Mel Gibson does not appreciated being called a Goy.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:07 PM on April 13, 2012


A friend of mine (who is Jewish) has spent the last six months or so working towards launching her own Jewish-oriented dating site, specifically because she found the men on JDate creepy and annoying, and had heard the same from enough other Jewish women, that she decided there was a market opening for a non-creepy version of JDate. It's right there in her elevator pitch and everything.

I don't know exactly what her market research methodology was but I expect it's at least a step or two more rigorous than anecdata.

(If it had launched already I'd link it in that AskMe thread; not sure they're ready for traffic yet though.)
posted by ook at 4:19 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


DestinationUnknown: "Wow, zarq, the fact that I didn't know of the existence of those (well, I have heard of sawyouatsinai & I think I've heard of Frumster but forgot about it since I'm not frum) just proves how completely people have given up on me: no one has suggested I try them;-) I think if that comment had said something like "JDate is for sleazy guys, but the non-sleazy guys use JCafe these days" or something like that, it would have come off very differently."

:)

Wish I could have added my .02¢ to the thread, but when I was single and dating none of those sites existed. So I have no firsthand experience with any of 'em, including JDate. They all could be populated with creepy guys (or women) for all I know.

I do know that you're right about Frumster. It's definitely for Orthodox (or pretty observant conservative Jews.)
posted by zarq at 4:28 PM on April 13, 2012


The first time I heard about JDate, it was someone complaining that all the men on it were boring. I thought, well, a dating site for Java developers, what did they expect?
posted by thelonius at 4:31 PM on April 13, 2012 [26 favorites]


"It's like when a man marries a bride from Taiwan and feels he has a license to stereotype Asians."

No, it's like when a man has a bunch of friends who found Taiwanese dates off a particular dating site and feels he has a license to generalise about Taiwanese girls found on that website.
posted by jacalata at 4:39 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The original comment seemed to focus on sexism of Jdate users. It would seem to me that for any website focused (at least in part) on a sexist religion, might attract more sexist folks. I mean, if you're on a site to find other people that share an ideology that includes sexism, what do you expect?
posted by snofoam at 5:19 PM on April 13, 2012


Oh what the fuck.
posted by rtha at 5:21 PM on April 13, 2012 [15 favorites]


That seems like a weak troll. There's a wide spectrum from very liberal to very fundamentalist included in present-day Judaism, just as in other faiths.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:22 PM on April 13, 2012


Sorry, I wasn't saying it about Judaism specifically, I would say the exact same thing about a site for babtists or muslims or whatever.
posted by snofoam at 5:24 PM on April 13, 2012


Whoa, that is a major, major over-generalization, snofoam, regardless of what religious sect you're tacking that statement to.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 5:26 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


anti-religious inflammatory statements are the exact opposite of what this thread needs, and i say that as a formerly devout mormon now atheist.
posted by nadawi at 5:27 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


*bites tongue*

It's not even worth addressing.
posted by zarq at 5:28 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


And in any case, Jewishness functions as an ethnicity too - such that people of Jewish heritage might go looking for someone with the same heritage just for cultural reasons even if they were atheists and looking for fellow atheists.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:30 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's Baptists.
posted by rtha at 5:30 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sorry, I guess to me it just seems pretty obvious that religious institutions are, in many cases, the major proponents of sexism. It doesn't seem crazy that sites with a religious focus would attract people who still believe in the sexist parts of whatever religion, at least compared to a site that is totally non-religious. I wasn't saying all jewish people (or babtists) are sexist.

I should add that I'm not at all talking about people that happen to be of jewish background but are not religious, but I would imagine that they would be less likely to seek out Jdate than someone who does believe in the religion.
posted by snofoam at 5:40 PM on April 13, 2012


I think you meant muslins.
posted by inigo2 at 5:46 PM on April 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


I would imagine that they would be less likely to seek out Jdate than someone who does believe in the religion.

Not really, or that hasn't been my experience. JDate has seemed to be for cultural/secular Jews as well as more religious Jews. Non-Orthodox Judaism isn't really what you would call "a major proponent of sexism" and has been actively working towards parity of the sexes in ways that are sort of interesting, at least to me. The religion itself is matrilineal. So I get why you might feel that way based on understandings of other sites and other religions, but my insider opinion is that it doesn't really apply here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:47 PM on April 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, if there's one thing I can take from this thread, I now know who Abraham Foxman is.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:49 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Folks we don't like to delete stuff from Meta but uncalled for an off-topic personal attacks are right out. You know where to find us if you need to talk.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:55 PM on April 13, 2012


I would imagine that they would be less likely to seek out Jdate than someone who does believe in the religion.

I've had three seperare completely unrelated and different people tell me it's where creepers go to meet women who have sex on the first date, so no.
posted by fuq at 5:57 PM on April 13, 2012


Thanks for the insight, jessamyn. I could see the cultural component greatly diluting the religious component in this case. I guess I was thinking that anyone with a religious obligation to marry within their religion would have an additional impetus to seek someone of their religion versus someone who didn't.
posted by snofoam at 5:58 PM on April 13, 2012


I worked for one of the largest Jewish organizations in NYC for several years. I don't remember ever hearing a positive thing about JDate from anyone - male, female or otherwise.
posted by blaneyphoto at 6:00 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've had three seperare completely unrelated and different people tell me it's where creepers go to meet women who have sex on the first date, so no.

If the women are also having sex on the first date, why are the guys creepers?
posted by inigo2 at 6:01 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because of sexist assumptions? Because men have been the ones telling me this? Double-standards? I like the word creeper?
posted by fuq at 6:06 PM on April 13, 2012


Thank you, Jessamyn.
posted by zarq at 6:08 PM on April 13, 2012


I can totally understand where you are coming from on this because when I read it the way I imagine you are reading it, yes it’s mildly offensive. But, respectively, I think your interpretation of the comment is flawed.
posted by OsoMeaty at 6:37 PM on April 13, 2012


Abe Foxman is a really nice guy. I used to work at the ADL as a security guard. He gave us Christmas presents.

Did you know that at the very top floor of the ADL building in NYC has a room devoted to Hubert Humphrey? They give out a prize in his honor. The first time I went on patrol I was amazed. It's like a penthouse shrine to HHH.

What does this have to do with the subject at hand?

It's MetaTalk. I'm meta-talking.
posted by Splunge at 6:58 PM on April 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Can we please stop saying anecdata?
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:30 PM on April 13, 2012


Only if we say anecdodo instead.
posted by The World Famous at 7:44 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not sure about everywhere else, but all the anecdodo around here died off years ago.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:48 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


But the anecdoodoo remains.
posted by The World Famous at 7:50 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whereas the phrases "Jewish person" and "non-Jewish person" don't have the same squick factor for me.
I'm about the least PC person you'll come across, but this approach was a real light-bulb moment when it was explained to me. Regardless of the attribute, it makes it just one of the characteristics that makes up a person instead of the defining characteristic. It's the same as describing someone as a' person with a disability' rather than a 'disabled person'.
posted by dg at 7:55 PM on April 13, 2012


Also, 'anecdata' is a totally awesome word and I shall continue to use it at will.
posted by dg at 7:56 PM on April 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


My spell checker likes to correct "anecdata" to "acne data" so I've just started pronouncing it that way in my head.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:59 PM on April 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yea, I should probably not post here, but, in vino veritas, or whatever.

I hate that question. The above the fold portion pushed more buttons of mine than my husband knew I had. First, yes, checking my comment history will show that I have a husband a bit older than me. Any time anyone wants to rope off people of a certain age group, I am tending to dismiss them as idiots. But, then I read below the fold. And yea, this poor woman was getting idiots contacting her. I do feel for her, a lot! I didn't comment on the thread because I don't have JDate experience. Actually, I don't really have any online dating experience, unless you consider meeting guys from MUDs in 1994 "online dating".

Anyhow. Yea, I feel for the OP of that thread, I can totally grok what jbenben is saying, even if it took me a couple times to parse. The call out... not sure it is really needed. Of course, when I first started reading the call out, I was all hurf-derf-Holocaust-deniers, damnit! or some crap, then I went back and read.

Ok. Enough diarrhea of the brain. I feel better, I really did just want to talk about my conflict on that thread! Thanks, MeFi! Hugs?
posted by kellyblah at 8:14 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


My spell checker likes to correct "anecdata" to "acne data" so I've just started pronouncing it that way in my head.

That's offensive to people with less than perfect complexion. Pimpled Hamburger.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:23 PM on April 13, 2012


I am Jewish and this comment did not bother me. It's about the website - not about Jews. Sometimes Jewish people exist in a context of annoying things. If someone points that those things are annoying, they are not necessarily being anti-Semetic.
posted by latkes at 8:26 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am Jewish and this comment did not bother me.
posted by latkes


Epony-delicious?
posted by joe lisboa at 8:28 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Where flour, flower, tower-heist.
polysyndetic parataxis and almost hendiadys;

'Anec-Dada'
posted by infinite intimation at 8:29 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


thirteenkiller: "Can we please stop saying anecdata?"

Anecdata does not support your wish for this particular anecpony. But feel free to make a brand new Meta-anec-FPP. To try to anecchange it. Anec.

And zor as well. My wife and I use -zor in a lot of our conversation. It's kinda strange I know, but that's what we do.

Me: Are you feeling sickzor?
Her: Yeah I think I ate something that doesn't agree with my stomach-zor.
Me: That suxzor.
Her: I knowzor.
Me: Hugszor?
Her: Pleasezor.
posted by Splunge at 9:04 PM on April 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I also find calling people "Jews" a little squicky

Hi, I'm a Jew. Allow me to remove your unnecessary squick! "Jew" is just as okay as "Jewish person" and no one reasonable will ever bothered by it.

Let us recall the word of the sacred texts on the matter: when Alvy Singer misheard "Jew eat?", it was a joke — and the point of the joke was that he was being completely paranoid and flighty, seeking offense where none was meant. Only someone this off-their-rocker touchy and thin-skinned reads offense into the word "Jew" when it's devoid of other offensive context. When they do, the proper response is to laugh at them.

I don't remember ever hearing a positive thing about JDate from anyone - male, female or otherwise

Seconded. Pretty much everyone I know who's ever tried it hates JDate. I am pretty sure we're not all anti-Semites.
posted by RogerB at 9:16 PM on April 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Disclosure: I grew up in Ukraine and have not participated in any pogroms. In fact, I think you'll find it quite lovely if you visit — both the country and the people.

Oh, please. Don't suggest Jews should stop making jokes about how horrible their ancestors' lives were in Eastern Europe in order to save the delicate feelings of people who "grew up there" after all that unpleasantness was over. Grow a thicker skin, or just don't go places where they left any Jews to make jokes. Enjoy your lovely Ukraine, for instance.
posted by palliser at 9:18 PM on April 13, 2012 [13 favorites]


Don't all Jews say things like erev Christmas? It's not so useful to describe the 24th, granted, because that has a name already, but erev Christmas Eve, erev Halloween, erev Canada Day?
posted by jeather at 9:19 PM on April 13, 2012


So when one of those guys come up to me, right out of the Mitzvah Tank, and ask me: "Are you a Jew?" they are being disrespectful to all Jewish people? Because if they are, have I got a spiel for them!

And by the way, my answer is always, in my heart I am. Then they shake my hand. And I am happy.
posted by Splunge at 9:37 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


>Allow me to remove your unnecessary squick! "Jew" is just as okay as "Jewish person" and no one reasonable will ever bothered by it.

Heh, I know Jewish people aren't bothered by it, they're the people who say it around me! It's that I am bothered by it (not deeply bothered, but just viscerally a little squicked) and I wanted to sort out why.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:43 PM on April 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't mind being called a Jew. Although, to do me full justice, I should probably be referred to as a bad Jew.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:02 PM on April 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


I recently saw a Louis C.K. routine in which he observed that the word "Jew" is the only signifier of a group that can also be used as a slur, just with a change of intonation.

Should you choose to test his observation for yourself, I recommend doing so in the privacy of your own home. Otherwise it's just awkward.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 10:02 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clearly Louis C.K. never was called a "LESBIAN!!!" in middle school.
posted by Wordwoman at 10:27 PM on April 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


Clearly Louis C.K. never was called a "LESBIAN!!!" in middle school.

This is, in all probability, a horrible bet.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:30 PM on April 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


Hi. It's the shiksa in question weighing in!

(I'm kidding. Although I have been jokingly called a shiksa many many times. Not currently, tho, as my beloved husband is Muslim:))

Yeah, there really was no graceful way to impart my experience that there is an unusually high amount of similar complaints I have heard about Jdate, both via Mefites and IRL. Seriously. I don't know what is up with that community, but so many women have the same experience as the OP in that question!

I'm in the US. I noticed someone from London posted EXCELLENT experiences with Jdate. That actually made some sense to me, since friends have reported how class-conscious and anti-semitic British society can be. I can EASILY see how a more respectful culture for Jdate users evolved on the other side of the pond in that climate.

In light of the above, I'll rescind my generalization that, "Jdate is just broken," and amend it to, "Jdate is broken for US users."

---

It's annoying to me the minute the word "Jew" gets mentioned, lots of folks feel polarized or triggered. I'm not a fan of that mindset. steinsaltz, feel free to check that shit at the door.

---

Interestingly, my awesome neighbor is Jewish and from the Ukraine. Her experiences, and her families', are just harrowing to hear about. I empathize greatly. Probably more than you previously gave me credit for.

That said, wow! You left the Ukraine in 1906! My friend is only just in her 30's and left when she was in her teens. I think this makes you the oldest user on MetaFilter!

(I know you're not laughing at that last bit, but you should be. Not because tyranny, ethnic cleansing, oppression, or violence or remotely funny - NO! You should laugh because you had to go all the way back to 1906 to make your point - I can list (very sadly) dozens of places on Earth right now where genocide and violent oppression (and non-violent oppression, I'm looking at you, America) are widespread and tragic. If you want to make a difference, embrace your LGBT co-workers or neighbors as a members of your tribe, protest against genocide and war around the world, seek PEACE internally and externally. In short, your Meta is evocative and produced some interesting discussion, but your premise is lame compared to some concrete good you might be doing out there in the world with the energy you spent writing this Meta.)

Anyway, I hope we're clear now.

Oh, BTW, I didn't have to marry my first husband, who happened to be Jewish. I came from a predominately Jewish community (70's & 80's North Shore of Long Island.) He actually grew up in the opposite of cultures (Wasp) in Connecticut. We met in NYC. No gun to my head there, honest!

We're all good. Really. Thanks for the discussion!

Just get out there and make a difference since you have good intentions, just improve your focus and action!

Thanks.
posted by jbenben at 11:06 PM on April 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


ook makes a really great point that backs up my statements about Jdate!

I'm just now reading deeper into the thread. I was on dating sites 5 to 8 years ago, I never experienced the, well, bullying, that my personal friends and online acquaintances report from recent experiences on Jdate. It was nice of ook to back that up. So weird and worth noting!

Also, it is true I am a non-Jew, noted for the purposes of this call-out.

That said, when I was 12 years old, my Scottish father was getting ready to drive me to a friend's house for Seder (by far, not my first) and he remarked to me, "Your last name is really Mcjbenben-owitz!"

Since we were on Long Island in the 80's, and in an apex of Jewish Pop Culture LOVE (Barbara! Mel Brooks! Neil Diamond!!) he was being affectionate and complimentary. Also, his best friends at the time were of different races than him, and most worked at the United Nations - meaning we socialized with folks from just about EVERYWHERE, encompassing all creeds, colors, and politics.

---

It's true my comments lately have been less than carefully worded. Sorry. I'll admit and own this. Unfortunately my infant son, my iPad, and my iPhone have taken precedent in my life this past year. The comment in question was from my laptop, but still, I've been wanting to apologize for a while about the copious typo's and badly worded comments over the past year.

---

I won't be adding more, but thanks for the opportunity to address the loose strings highlighted in this thread.

Cheers.
posted by jbenben at 11:39 PM on April 13, 2012


I must respectfully take issue with Metafilter's acceptance of this non-Jew's comment that we Jews of JDate comprise a "particularly annoying subset."

That was not what the writer said. Please be more careful about assuming generalisation where none exists. Failing to do so tends to cause unnecessary aggravation.
posted by Decani at 11:53 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I also found the comment problematic. However, I'll admit that my reaction was colored by my response to this particular member's overall tone in AskMe which, to me, often reads "I know what's best" vs. "here's something you might want to consider." That's my own deal but, again, you were not alone in your reaction.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 12:16 AM on April 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Y'all, I think it is just "Ukraine."
posted by naoko at 12:36 AM on April 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


So long as there is an annoying subset in this world, I am in it.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:09 AM on April 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


>>> If you want to make a difference, embrace your LGBT co-workers or neighbors as a members of your tribe, protest against genocide and war around the world, seek PEACE internally and externally. In short, your Meta is evocative and produced some interesting discussion, but your premise is lame compared to some concrete good you might be doing out there in the world with the energy you spent writing this Meta.)

Just get out there and make a difference since you have good intentions, just improve your focus and action!


Oh, come on! Jbenben you are in absolutely no position to hypothesize about what steinsaltz has or has not done in regards to combating injustice and inequality for Jews and non-Jews. And, SHOCKER, some people can do more than one thing in one day so it's quite possible steinsaltz wrote this MeTa and used additional energy to address topics, genocide or otherwise, outside of MetaFilter.

I find your response to be incredibly assumptive and distasteful. Feel free to check that shit at the door.
posted by OsoMeaty at 5:19 AM on April 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


Shit check clerk, worst summer job ever.
posted by fleacircus at 5:26 AM on April 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


It's easier in the winter.
posted by spitbull at 6:02 AM on April 14, 2012


This is a bit late, but as I see it:

Question title: "JDate, block these creeps already."
Original question: "I joined JDate a month ago and I've gotten a lot of pestering messages from men that are old enough to be my father ... super creeps."
jbenben: "The problem with Jdate is you are dealing with a particularly annoying subset of single males (sorry, all of the complaints I heard were from females concerning this site) that aren't super female-positive ..."

Seems okay to me, and on topic. As others have pointed out, the subset is 'creeps on JDate,' and not 'semites.'
posted by carter at 6:08 AM on April 14, 2012


We're all good. Really. Thanks for the discussion!

Isn't that for the offended party to say or determine, not the offending one?

Anyway, the comment bugged me a bit too, but mostly because of the "who happen to be Jewish" part. Why specify "Jewish" rather than sticking to commenting on the users of Jdate? There's no requirement to even self-identify as Jewish to sign up there, and I'm under the impression that there are lots of non-Jewish folks there, so the additional specificity seems a little strange.
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:09 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's annoying to me the minute the word "Jew" gets mentioned, lots of folks feel polarized or triggered. I'm not a fan of that mindset. steinsaltz, feel free to check that shit at the door.

You know, if you're trying not to come off as someone who has a problem with Jewish people, this is... somewhat counterproductive. Or maybe you're just trying to demonstrate that it's not just Jewish people you have a problem with.
posted by asterix at 7:21 AM on April 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


I do appreciate that some of your best friends are Jewish, though!
posted by asterix at 7:23 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


You should laugh because you had to go all the way back to 1906 to make your point - I can list (very sadly) dozens of places on Earth right now where genocide and violent oppression (and non-violent oppression, I'm looking at you, America) are widespread and tragic. If you want to make a difference, embrace your LGBT co-workers or neighbors as a members of your tribe, protest against genocide and war around the world,

Obviously jbenben has the best of intentions here, but I think this is just the kind of thing that gets under my skin a bit -- it's hard to read this and not feel like she's saying "Jewish folks, don't get touchy about stereotyping, the heyday of your oppression is behind you and lots of other tribes have it worse off than yours." And it's true! Contemporary America is a great time and place to be Jewish. But I reserve the right to get touchy about stereotypes if I want to -- am not, in fact, certain that I could help getting touchy about them.

I mean, like, when jbenben says

"That said, when I was 12 years old, my Scottish father was getting ready to drive me to a friend's house for Seder (by far, not my first) and he remarked to me, "Your last name is really Mcjbenben-owitz!"

that kind of grosses me out. It's sort of like when you're watching TV and a friend comments on how hot a 15-year-old actress is. And it's not like I think my friend is a child molester or has done anything wrong, any more than I think jbenben is an anti-Semite or has done anything wrong even in the most attenuated sense. I just think she's not attuned to the connotations of saying "you hang out with those Jews so much it's started to stick to you!" It's slightly gross the way the word "wigger" is slightly gross.

As for:

"I'm in the US. I noticed someone from London posted EXCELLENT experiences with Jdate. That actually made some sense to me, since friends have reported how class-conscious and anti-semitic British society can be. I can EASILY see how a more respectful culture for Jdate users evolved on the other side of the pond in that climate. "

I guess I am unable to easily see how anti-Semitism helps Jewish men be more polite on online dating services.

Oh, and the word "Jew"! It's all in the tone of voice. To me it's very similar to the use of "female" in place of "woman" (i.e. "That department has a lot of females in leadership positions.") I don't think there's a reason it smells slightly bad. But I don't think it can be denied that "Eric Cantor is a Jew" and "Eric Cantor is Jewish," while in some weak sense conveying the same information, are not at all the same statement.
posted by escabeche at 7:47 AM on April 14, 2012 [22 favorites]


I'm thinking of that expression, "When you're in a hole, stop digging." I can't recall ever seeing anyone defend themselves at length against accusations of bias-- in this kind of situation at least-- and not come off sounding worse. I think it's almost logically impossible.
posted by BibiRose at 8:05 AM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


As mentioned upthread, I was solidly on the "nothing offensive about jbenben's comments" side of this argument at the time of the call-out. Having read this response from her though:

It's annoying to me the minute the word "Jew" gets mentioned, lots of folks feel polarized or triggered. I'm not a fan of that mindset. steinsaltz, feel free to check that shit at the door.

now I'm not so sure.

I know that analogies along the lines of "Replace THIS WORD for THAT WORD and I bet you'd never say that!" get shot down here with some frequency, but nonetheless, I think it's fair to point out that this comment illustrates a weird attitude held by some which seems to suggest that if a minority group is not considered underprivileged or heavily discriminated against currently (or if the country that is considered to be that minority group's "homeland" has problematic governmental policy) it is considered fair game to make nasty, dismissive remarks when members of that minority group make a claim of prejudice (whether valid or not) in a way that no one would dare if it came from someone who was black/transgender/gay/other "acceptable" minority.
posted by The Gooch at 8:16 AM on April 14, 2012


The Gooch, I would agree with you except that, in my opinion, anti-semitism is clearly alive and well in the US. It doesn't take quite the same form as it did a few decades ago, but it's there. The "get over it" remarks are part of it.
posted by BibiRose at 8:32 AM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Are you allowed to make sweeping generalizations if everyone else lots of people makes sweeping assumptions that you're Jewish including some Jews, even outside of search and gather style outreaches?
posted by Phalene at 8:41 AM on April 14, 2012


It's annoying to me the minute the word "Jew" gets mentioned, lots of folks feel polarized or triggered.

I'm sorry it annoys you, but, speaking from experience, as a Jew, I am constantly shocked by expressions of antisemitism or insensitivity. Admittedly, they're not a daily occurrence, or even especially frequent. But they pop up just often enough that you end up thinking, what? Really?

I expect its easier to be a Jew in American society than to be most other minorities; it was for me. I have not felt especially oppressed. But there s just enough nastiness toward Jews to remind us that we haven't completely overcome our outside status, and some people still hate us just for who we are. So when I say I wasn't especially oppressed, keep in mind that a friend of my family, from my neighborhood, was murdered for being Jewish. Keep in mind that we're just two and a half years out from a murderous attack on the Holocaust museum. So there are, as I said, these reminders that some people still hate us, and actually hate us enough to be violent about it.

And, as would happen with anybody else, that really stings -- especially as we are raised with the memory that within living memory the whole world turned their back on us when we were murdered en masse.

Do Jews sometimes seem a bit touchy? Probably. Sometime we mistake tone or intention. It happens. But, then, it happens with everybody. You don't do yourself any favors by identifying it as some sort of especially Jewish phenomenon, and you don't demonstrate your supposed great identification with the Jewish people by behaving oblivious to the very real causes of this sensitivity.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:45 AM on April 14, 2012 [22 favorites]


"I came from a predominately Jewish community (70's & 80's North Shore of Long Island.)"

As a Jew who grew up in the south shore of Long Island in the 70's and 80's, my anecdata has been that many people who were not Jewish in my community seemed to think that making stereotypical generalizations about Jews were OK because they came from a predominantly Jewish community and dated Jewish guys/gals.

Disclaimer: My mom is Christian as is my wife. There are uncool people in every sub-genre of society, and apparently people who live in predominantly Jewish communities who aren't Jewish tend to make stereotypical generalizations. That is my direct experience. (That should cover me, right?)

And BTW, I have never used JDate in my life so I can't speak to it one way or the other. But have you ever used JDate? If not, all of your info is, in fact, hearsay. And if you did use it, weren't you the one misleading the men on the site as you are not Jewish? Wouldn't that lead to an upset reaction from a man seeking a Jewish date?
posted by cjets at 9:23 AM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think it's interesting that some Jewish people seem to define themselves by their religion. I mean, it's never occurred to me to call myself an Episcopalian when I describe myself to someone. For that matter, I don't think "christian" would even rank in the top 20 words I'd use to describe myself, though maybe that says more about me than any broader social phenomenon.
posted by crunchland at 9:33 AM on April 14, 2012


Oh, and the word "Jew"! It's all in the tone of voice. To me it's very similar to the use of "female" in place of "woman" (i.e. "That department has a lot of females in leadership positions.") I don't think there's a reason it smells slightly bad.

Yes, woman/man is an interesting parallel where the noun form doesn't have the whiff of badness (derogation?) about it, to my ear. I left those examples out because they didn't fit nicely into my noun-form-bad, adjective-form-fine model.
But woman/female has its own whole set of odd usage issues, eg the rise of "woman" as an adjective; the use of "female" as a noun, etc.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:34 AM on April 14, 2012


I think it's interesting that some Jewish people seem to define themselves by their religion.

I don't. I am Jewish, but an atheist. It isn't just a religion -- it's also an ethnic and cultural heritage. And you can identify with the two latter aspects without participating in the first.

I've jokes before that there are few things more Jewish than not believing in god, but it's not really a joke. There are a lot like me.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:35 AM on April 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


I think it's interesting that some Jewish people seem to define themselves by their religion. I mean, it's never occurred to me to call myself an Episcopalian when I describe myself to someone.

?!?!?!?!?

First they came for the Episcopalians, but I was not an Episcopalian...

Being Jewish isn't just a religion. Also, other people define Jewish people by their ethnic/cultural/religious heritage a lot more than other people define various flavors of white Christians by their ethnic/cultural/religious heritage.

I mean, even taking the Holocaust off the table, in the US alone the Jewish community has dealt with college admissions quotas, discrimination in the workplace, "restricted" neighborhoods and organizations, and attacks on synagogues and Jewish cultural centers in the past 50 years.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:50 AM on April 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


So long as there is an annoying subset in this world, I am in it.

Amen, brother.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:12 AM on April 14, 2012


I think it's interesting that some Jewish people seem to define themselves by their religion. I mean, it's never occurred to me to call myself an Episcopalian when I describe myself to someone.

Here's an interesting article that discusses Jewish ethnicity vs. the Jewish religion: A Jew of No Religion
posted by Wordwoman at 10:34 AM on April 14, 2012


Jews are an ethnic group. They also have a traditional religion. Referring to someone as "Jewish" is ambiguous, so we have terms like "practicing" vs "culturally Jewish" and "Jewish atheist" to disambiguate. It's a shame somebody has to point this out in every conversation that has anything to do with Jewish people, Judaism or any thread about religion that happens to mention Judaism. This lack of understanding ends up making these some of these threads very weird, and we always end up with some comments like this one.

For the record. I'm not Jewish, and I didn't think jbenben's comment was offensive (though I can understand why steinsaltz read it that way). Saying 'I'm not Jewish, but I know a lot of women who have used this site, and they've had similar problems' is on topic and not antisemitic.
posted by nangar at 10:46 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it's interesting that some Jewish people seem to define themselves by their religion.

lol no. 90% of the people I know who identify as jewish have never kept kosher, don't even KNOW the term halakah, haven't set foot in a temple since their bar mitzvahs, and only had their bar mitzvah in the first place to get presents/have a big party. It's a cultural thing, a family thing, and a familiar childhood thing far more than anything even remotely related to religion. (and a presents thing)
posted by elizardbits at 11:01 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


ALSO this is the same sort of ridiculous misunderstanding that leads jew A to call jew B (or nonjewish person C for that matter) an antisemite when B or C says they don't support Israel's foreign and domestic policies.
posted by elizardbits at 11:03 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


> Sorry, I guess to me it just seems pretty obvious that religious institutions are, in many cases, the major proponents of sexism.

That's pernicious bullshit. Knock it off.

> I think it's interesting that some Jewish people seem to define themselves by their religion. I mean, it's never occurred to me to call myself an Episcopalian when I describe myself to someone.

Are you serious? Because you sound like you're either from Mars or trying to get a rise out of people.
posted by languagehat at 11:04 AM on April 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


I think it's interesting that some Jewish people seem to define themselves by their religion.

My friend Lisa has lived in San Francisco for....a long time, decades, and is an atheist, and yet identifies as a New York Jew.

Is it really so strange to you that people identify with their ethnic and/or cultural background? It seems strange to me that it's strange to you.
posted by rtha at 11:30 AM on April 14, 2012


ALSO this is the same sort of ridiculous misunderstanding that leads jew A to call jew B (or nonjewish person C for that matter) an antisemite when B or C says they don't support Israel's foreign and domestic policies.

Well, if person B or C had said worded it along the lines of "When dealing with Israel you're dealing with a particularly hard to deal with subset of people" then yes, it would just like that. And it would still be understandable that the misunderstanding happened. (Especially when it's followed by a disclaimer about how (paraphrasing) "some of my best friends are jewish".)
posted by inigo2 at 11:37 AM on April 14, 2012


Are you allowed to make sweeping generalizations if everyone else lots of people makes sweeping assumptions that you're Jewish including some Jews, even outside of search and gather style outreaches?

Why on earth would you want to be allowed?

But anyway, no, you're not allowed, TIA.
posted by palliser at 11:46 AM on April 14, 2012


Oh yeah, absolutely. But unfortunately in my experience (with family/friends of family) most of these conversations play out like:

A: *enthusiastic words of support for zionism*
B/C: Well, I personally am not sure I can support Israel's foreign and domestic policies becau -
A: ANTISEMITE!
B/C: But ... I .... no?
A: BETRAYER MOST FOUL!
B/C: sigh.
posted by elizardbits at 11:48 AM on April 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


ALSO this is the same sort of ridiculous misunderstanding that leads jew A to call jew B (or nonjewish person C for that matter) an antisemite when B or C says they don't support Israel's foreign and domestic policies.

Can I ask that we not bring this up unless it actually happens? It really is straight up poison to a conversation like this. The subject of Israel, criticisms of Israel, false accusations of antisemtisim, and actual antisemitism masquerading as criticisms of Israel are just too complicated, and straying too far from the topic of this thread, to be much use here.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:50 AM on April 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


Happens specifically here in this thread, I mean.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:51 AM on April 14, 2012


It seems strange to me that it's strange to you. -- I didn't say it was strange.
posted by crunchland at 11:52 AM on April 14, 2012


That's pernicious bullshit. Knock it off.

In the case of orthodox Judaism, it's still a very real problem, not just in Israel, but even in the United States where that kind of discrimination is illegal and usually subject to jail time or at least heavy civil penalties.

The sad reality is that we (as in the majority of people) continue to look the other way or make exceptions and excuses for organized religions that break the law — and not just in discriminating against women, either.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:53 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can we not use this thread as an excuse to drag in unrelated complaints about Jews?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:57 AM on April 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sure, no problem. Mods, delete my unrelated comments at your leisure! And then have some cake if you are so inclined.
posted by elizardbits at 12:00 PM on April 14, 2012


I didn't say it was strange.

True. Apologies for the misquote.
posted by rtha at 12:00 PM on April 14, 2012


ALSO this is the same sort of ridiculous misunderstanding that leads jew A to call jew B (or nonjewish person C for that matter) an antisemite when B or C says they don't support Israel's foreign and domestic policies.

The J in "JDate" does not stand for "Jisraeli Foreign and domestic policies."
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:04 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, no. It's good to know how people really feel about Jews here. Let them comment freely.
posted by zarq at 12:05 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh. While I find your comment pretty funny, zarq, consider that from the perspective of a Jew, this thread is about a poorly phrased comment that was misread, and that could have been resolved easily.

Instead, it's starting to be about how odd it is that Jews think of themselves as Jews, how you can't criticize Israel without Jews calling you an antisemite, how a particularly tiny subsections of Jews are sexist, and how Jews belong to an unreasonable and sexist religion so why is it surprising that they are unreasonable and sexist.

I would rather not have a place that I consider to be one of my few online communities turn into a place that is alienating to me because people don't know how to stick to a topic and instead make use of threads like this to inventory unrelated confusion or frustration with some Jews somewhere.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:09 PM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've heard some weird anti-Semitic stuff over the years when people just assumed that I'd be a bigot since I wasn't Jewish. Because of that, out in the meat-world, I tend to assume people who say 'Jew' instead of 'Jewish' will come out with some crazy bigoted stuff at some point, just like with people who say 'female' instead of 'woman'.

I had an acquaintance in high school who thought Jewish people had horns. It was many years before I found out where that piece of lunacy came from.
posted by winna at 12:11 PM on April 14, 2012


Herb Alpert has a horn.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:15 PM on April 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but Jewishness can have religious, cultural and ethnic components that may or may not overlap and vary widely from person to person. I think it is something that can be difficult to understand. I don't think it is productive to mock people for not having a sufficiently nuanced understanding of it.
posted by snofoam at 12:15 PM on April 14, 2012


No, no. It's good to know how people really feel about Jews here. Let them comment freely.

I couldn't roll my eyes any harder if I tried.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:16 PM on April 14, 2012


The Klezmatics have horns, too! They were so proud of them they named an album after the phenomenon, and a fine album it is.
posted by winna at 12:21 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


people look the other way... at organized religions that break the law

That doesn't seem to be super relevant to the particular issue here.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:23 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


>>> You don't do yourself any favors by identifying it as some sort of especially Jewish phenomenon, and you don't demonstrate your supposed great identification with the Jewish people by behaving oblivious to the very real causes of this sensitivity.

Truth.
posted by OsoMeaty at 12:33 PM on April 14, 2012


Correct me if I'm wrong, but Jewishness can have religious, cultural and ethnic components that may or may not overlap and vary widely from person to person. I think it is something that can be difficult to understand. I don't think it is productive to mock people for not having a sufficiently nuanced understanding of it.

I think it's fair to point out that it is, at best, wildly inappropriate that some people have used a thread that is ostensibly about perceived anti-Semitism as a free for all to list their exhaustive "And Here is Another Bad Thing About Jews" complaints.
posted by The Gooch at 12:38 PM on April 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Did you just say "I don't think it is productive to mock people", snofoam?
posted by nangar at 12:39 PM on April 14, 2012


Yeah, I did. I'm a complicated guy. I don't think of myself as someone who mocks other mefites all the time, but maybe I should check my history.
posted by snofoam at 12:48 PM on April 14, 2012


Correct me if I'm wrong, but Jewishness can have religious, cultural and ethnic components that may or may not overlap and vary widely from person to person. I think it is something that can be difficult to understand. I don't think it is productive to mock people for not having a sufficiently nuanced understanding of it.

Dude, when you don't have a sufficiently nuanced understanding of something, don't you think you should abstain from contributing your increasingly misinformed views to the conversation? I feel like that's MeFi 101 status.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 12:50 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think we can give snofoam the benefit of the doubt if he was honestly just not clear that Jewishness has elements beyond adhering to a particular religion.

And I think a bunch of the late-thread fighty stuff is people adding to their lists of what's wrong with religion, not Judaism in particular. But it's also not really relevant here and is just stirring the pot in a way that doesn't really shed light on the specific topic of this thread.

(And I say this as the rootinest-tootinest atheist this side of the Mississip.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:54 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


how is babtist formed?
posted by adamdschneider at 1:08 PM on April 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Dude, when you don't have a sufficiently nuanced understanding of something, don't you think you should abstain from contributing your increasingly misinformed views to the conversation? I feel like that's MeFi 101 status.

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. For what it's worth, my first comment in this thread deserved some mocking. Later, this comment seemed to reflect a genuine lack of understanding about the Jewishness being more than just a religion and some of the responses were helpful and some seemed unnecessarily mock-y to me.

If you're saying that I shouldn't post a comment saying Jewishness can be many things and difficult to understand, I don't really agree.
posted by snofoam at 1:08 PM on April 14, 2012


Bunny Ultramod: "Ugh. While I find your comment pretty funny, zarq, consider that from the perspective of a Jew, this thread is about a poorly phrased comment that was misread, and that could have been resolved easily.

I was being sarcastic, yes. I should have put an emoticon in the comment. Sorry. Between this and the other MeTa, it has very much felt like "Metafilter Inappropriately Attacks Religious Jews Week" here for me. Perhaps that's just me being oversensitive. Lord knows there's enough actual awfulness to criticize in my religion without having to make shit up wholesale or overgeneralize.

Let me explain a little further -- hopefully this comment will act as a counterweight to my last one.

Look, the initial issue was resolved quite quickly. The community's response was overwhelmingly that the OP misread the original comment. And speaking as a member of this community, it was truly pleasant to see the grounded, non-aggressive counterresponse by many people explaining that they felt the OP was misinterpreting jbenben's intent without attacking him for doing so. Callouts often backfire here, and this could have turned into a nasty discussion. It didn't, and that was nice to see.

Instead, it's starting to be about how odd it is that Jews think of themselves as Jews, how you can't criticize Israel without Jews calling you an antisemite, how a particularly tiny subsections of Jews are sexist, and how Jews belong to an unreasonable and sexist religion so why is it surprising that they are unreasonable and sexist.

As conversations about Judaism, Jewish culture and heritage appear on Metafilter, people seem to (inevitably?) bring their own misconceptions into the conversation. Which is normal. Israel is a Jewish state, with an outspoken Haredi community, whose current government caters in many ways to right wing, religious sects. It is normal to look at the Israeli Haredi (or the Lubavitchers in Brooklyn) as examples when discussing the Jewish religious right, and especially sexism.

snofoam made a comment. Some people jumped down his (or her) throat for it, but Jessamyn gave a very clear counterargument -- essentially explaining that the Jewish religion and its followers are not entirely represented by (and should not be wholly judged by) the actions, beliefs and problems of some Orthodox/fundamentalist communities. You and I have made similar arguments int he past and I assume will in the future.

BP's subsequent comment was accurate, but still sort of problematic, because snofoam inappropriately lumped all Jews in with the Orthodox -- and while I'm sure that BP didn't mean to do so as well, by defending snofoam's point without drawing a distinction between the sects, BP's inadvertently emphasizing what snofoam said rather than creating an understanding of the nuances involved. But again, he's accurate -- Jewish fundamentalists and some Orthodox communities DO have a problem. In some ways, that's improved a great deal over the last few decades.

It seems almost anti-Jewish to say we shouldn't talk about these things. Jewish sexists do exist, after all. And if this is a problem that is inherent to our culture or religion, then it behooves us to bring that into the light of day and examine it fully. Hiding it seems wrong.

I would rather not have a place that I consider to be one of my few online communities turn into a place that is alienating to me because people don't know how to stick to a topic and instead make use of threads like this to inventory unrelated confusion or frustration with some Jews somewhere.

I sympathize. I really do. But it's not our place to steer threads.
posted by zarq at 1:09 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Blazecock Pileon: "I couldn't roll my eyes any harder if I tried."

I just addressed this, and in doing so referred to your comment about Orthodox sexism, but to respond to you directly:

I was being sarcastic. Sometimes I find it easy to convey complex sentiments in short form. In this case, I should have been a lot more verbose, because I didn't explain what I meant properly. Apologies.
posted by zarq at 1:13 PM on April 14, 2012


I think we can give snofoam the benefit of the doubt if he was honestly just not clear that Jewishness has elements beyond adhering to a particular religion.

Thanks. To be honest, I totally knew about this. I have a lot of Jewish friends who are for the most part non-religious and not concerned with dating/marrying other Jewish people. Because of this, I made the incorrect assumption that people on Jdate were more likely to be religious. I also worded my comment really poorly.
posted by snofoam at 1:20 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're saying that I shouldn't post a comment saying Jewishness can be many things and difficult to understand, I don't really agree.

If you think that Jewishness is difficult to understand, put that on you. "I am still learning about these aspects of Judaism and I have a few questions. I'm having a hard time understanding X. What should I look into to understand X better? Is X not Y?" That will tune people in to the fact that you're actually interested in changing your assumptions, which in my opinion was something not evident in the comments you've made thus far.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 1:23 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry for stirring up the shit with my lack of nuance and understanding. I'd say more, but I feel like I've walked deep enough into this minefield.
posted by crunchland at 1:26 PM on April 14, 2012


If you think that Jewishness is difficult to understand, put that on you.

I certainly don't have a comprehensive understanding of it, but my comment wasn't referring to my shortcomings specifically. I was saying that it is a term that can have a multitude of meanings and is difficult to fully understand. I feel like there's a tremendous amount of art and literature that attempts to grapple with what Jewishness is. Even if I am ignorant, it doesn't mean that it isn't complex.
posted by snofoam at 1:35 PM on April 14, 2012


That's the point, snofoam; your comments may come across as being judgmental and stated-as-facts because you are not taking ownership of the fact that you're not an expert on Judaism or Jewish culture. I am not debating you about whether or not Jewish culture is complex. It is. I am alerting you to a possible reason why you were being mocked and why you may continue to be mocked by some people who find your comments to be overgeneralized assumptions, as you've recently acknowledged.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 1:59 PM on April 14, 2012


> To be honest, I totally knew about this. I have a lot of Jewish friends who are for the most part non-religious and not concerned with dating/marrying other Jewish people. Because of this, I made the incorrect assumption that people on Jdate were more likely to be religious. I also worded my comment really poorly.

Fair enough, snofoam. I think you're totally off the hook here. I apologize for my snark, even.
posted by nangar at 2:00 PM on April 14, 2012


I was saying that it is a term that can have a multitude of meanings and is difficult to fully understand. I feel like there's a tremendous amount of art and literature that attempts to grapple with what Jewishness is.

I feel that's true for any culture, especially really longstanding cultures and/or religions. The "It's a culture!" "It's a religion!" "It's both!" thing can sometimes be complicated, especially to people not raised within the tradition somehow, or people who have had some specific introduction to it that felt like it was the whole story and then someone said "What? That's only a teeny part of it!" [like the stuff about Israel, like the stuff about Orthodox Jews] and it's not like people are wrong if they equate either of these things with Jewry generally, but for a lot of people there's a lot more to it than that. So I think there's the "This is tough to understand, it contains multitudes" view and the "This is tough to understand, you just can't understand it so it's fine to just have a partial understanding because that's all you CAN have" which I think it less accurate and what people may be responding to.

No big deal really, it's just one of those tiger traps around talking about cultural/religious differences (you see the same thing with gender stuff, the same thing with sexual orientation, it's not just this) that some people feel much more strongly about than others and so even having a perceived different strength of opinion can seem odd to folks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:03 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Three Birds, I get what you're saying. I think we're just talking about separate things right now. I fully acknowledge that my original comment was faulty, poorly worded and worthy of mockery. I was just saying it didn't seem great to mock other people for not understanding the complexities of Jewishness when it seemed like a simple misunderstanding.
posted by snofoam at 2:06 PM on April 14, 2012


I feel that's true for any culture, especially really longstanding cultures and/or religions.

I did come close to saying "uniquely complex" before remembering that identity is/can be complex for anyone. On the other hand, I can't think of other cases where so many meanings are packed equally into one word, which may increase the ambiguity in a discussion.
posted by snofoam at 3:02 PM on April 14, 2012


No, no. It's good to know how people really feel about Jews here. Let them comment freely.

I plotzed.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:27 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's good to know how people really feel about Jews here.

They sure can dance.

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:55 PM on April 14, 2012


They also invented rugelach as well as fish and chips.
posted by winna at 4:59 PM on April 14, 2012


Kugel too.
posted by jonmc at 5:52 PM on April 14, 2012


Put it back in the deck.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:36 PM on April 14, 2012


Apparently, it's not just the ladies who need to watch out:

Toward the end of the year, Mr. Kushner ended things. “It was definitely unexpected,” Mr. Barley said. Mr. Kushner resolved to find a Jewish mate. “I got on JDate.com,” he said. “But it was horrific. As a whole, Jewish gay guys might be marvelous people, but the ones I met were insane.”
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:14 AM on April 15, 2012


I noticed someone from London posted EXCELLENT experiences with Jdate. That actually made some sense to me, since friends have reported how class-conscious and anti-semitic British society can be. I can EASILY see how a more respectful culture for Jdate users evolved on the other side of the pond in that climate... "Jdate is broken for US users."

I'm interested in what you mean about Britain being anti-semitic. None of my Jewish friends have expressed anything like this - there aren't really that many Jews in the UK, really, not compared with the US. There's a sizeable community in North London and North Manchester, maybe in other cities too, but not so much elsewhere. I never even met a Jewish person until I was eighteen. Obviously I'm a gentile and I probably know nothing, but to me it seems - unlike Muslims here who absolutely do face a lot of prejudice and ignorance who ab - they're an ethnicity that is under the radar, no more mocked or derided than, say, the Italian community in Scotland.

Also, the 'broken' thing is exactly what I think OKCupid is over here. I only seemed to encounter creeps when I used it years ago - there just didn't seem to be anyone particularly interesting on there. (An ex of mine once told me he used it to meet 'vulnerable girls' - make of that what you will.) I have one friend who met her lovely boyfriend there, and she's definitely a nerdy kinky type, but another friend of mine has just had years of crappy experiences. I'm not in the market for online dating these days but it seems that Guardian Soulmates or Match.com are the sites that are more popular in terms of meeting someone you might want to have more than an 'adult encounter' with.
posted by mippy at 1:48 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Though, while I don'#t think jbenben was stereotyping Jews generally in her comment, the description of an ethnic group as one that doesn't respect women or is creepy is one often attributed to Muslim men here. I haven't heard people describing Jewish men in this way. Interesting how we treat minorities, I guess. The stereotype for tightness here is the Scotsman and the thief is the Scouser (ie. person from Liverpool) rather than the jew and whoever it is racist Americans think are out to steal stuff.
posted by mippy at 1:51 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]




Blazecock Pileon: "Apparently, it's not just the ladies who need to watch out:"

My wife and I are close with three couples (4 gay men / 2 lesbians) who met on JDate and formed lasting, long-term relationships. (One of them is now married with two kids.) Another three couples (hetero) we know are married thanks to the site.

None of them are sexists or jerks. (Although one pair are Yankee fans. There's no accounting for taste.)

So as with other dating sites, perhaps one's mileage varies. And perhaps other factors play a role, too.
posted by zarq at 2:40 PM on April 15, 2012


Having grown up in the most goyische of family and social circles possible, pretty much, the stereotype I always heard about Jewish men as partners in opposite-gender relationships is that they tended to be henpecked husbands whose wives took advantage of them. Cf. Woody Allen in every Woody Allen movie (as opposed to Woody Allen in real life).

This is not why I married my Largely Mythological Husband, I hasten to add.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:41 PM on April 15, 2012


100 JDates: A Collection of Not-So-Great JDates from LA and NYC.

Oh my god so much non-greatness on both sides. Horrible judgmental people go on terrible dates with awful losers! What a great website to commemorate how bad online dating is.
posted by fuq at 4:34 PM on April 15, 2012


I'm interested in what you mean about Britain being anti-semitic. None of my Jewish friends have expressed anything like this

Have you asked? I have cousins who live in a typically Jewish area of North London, and they definitely have experienced anti-Semitism there. They have some outward signs of their religion (yarmulkes for men, but no head-coverings for women), which makes things more overt, as it does for Muslims.

Britain also has a history of weirdly obsessive anti-Semitism that's worth being aware of, with novels and political cartoons being cringe-inducingly thick with it. It's hard rooting something like that out of society completely, and my cousins' experience suggests that it really hasn't been.
posted by palliser at 5:53 PM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah, I know about the history.

None of my friends are hugely observant - I have one acquaintance who is enough to use J-Date rather than dating outside the faith - so perhaps it's less of an issue for secular Jews.
posted by mippy at 3:03 AM on April 16, 2012


I find describing people as "non-Jews" creepy

What would you prefer? Goyim? Gentiles?
posted by Sidhedevil


I'm proudly Goyim; I'll also call myself a "shiksa".

But really I'm just jealous that I'm not Yiddish.
posted by jb at 10:36 AM on April 16, 2012


Ugh. I hate the word shiksa. It's not clear if it is from Polish or Yiddish. If the former, it basically means "pisspants." If the latter, it means "abomination," or something similar, depending on the translation. I know it's used as a sort of in-group joke now, but its linguistic origins are so grotesque and mean-spirited that I can't be comfortable using it.

But, then, I never use "goy" either, even though its linguistic origins are totally neutral -- it just means "nation." Yiddish can be a wonderfully salty language, and I enjoy that, but I still try to steer clear of the pejoratives.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:04 AM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I still cannot grok what it would've been like escaping from the western Ukraine in 1906 while taking the blame for Internet creepers.
posted by BurnChao at 10:21 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think interpretations of jbenben's comment may also have to do with how familiar you are with JDate.

For disclosure, I'm not Jewish, though some of my family is. Many of my friends are. This isn't the "this means I'm not prejudiced!" This is the "and here's where my anecdotes come from."

From conservative to Orthodox to Jewish agnostics, from old to young, I have never heard a good word spoken about JDate. I have heard older women cackle about how awful it is. I have heard young folk suggest that a dateless guy use JDate, then break into peals of laughter and immediately apologize for suggesting something so awful. No one likes it.

I can also see where the proportion of sexist men might be higher there. It is a small subcommunity of people specifically looking for a romantic interest that is confined to their minority. It is by nature conservative rather than progressive-looking inwards and back rather than forward and out. This has nothing to do with the Jewishness of it, but with the selectivity. Catholics looking to only date Catholics I would say are slightly less open to new ideas and people. Hispanics or Italians or Irish or Chinese looking to only date Hispanics or Italians or Irish or Chinese are essentially saying, "I need things to be exactly the same, to have no new ideas brought to me." That correlates for conservatism-it's almost the textbook definition of it. And sexism is more prevalent in communities that have existed unchanged for long periods of time, than in places that have brought in new blood periodically. You can see this with geographical regions as well.

Given that the OP was looking to avoid obnoxious, entitled sexism, I think the idea to stay away from JDate had serious merit.
posted by corb at 11:26 AM on April 17, 2012


I think interpretations of jbenben's comment may also have to do with how familiar you are with JDate..

I am quite familiar with JDate, and have several friends who are now married because of it. My interpretation of the comment came from the wording.
posted by inigo2 at 11:41 AM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm Jewish. Most of my childhood/teenage years were spent immersed in an Orthodox community.

As an adult, I have worked very, very hard to rid myself of the "us versus them" attitude I developed as a result of living in that community. That's the same attitude that created the terms "shiksa" and "shegetz" for "non-Jew" and it's not good for anyone.

Even if you don't find it offensive, please don't use it.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:18 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mel Gibson does not appreciated being called a Goy.

Well, he is meshuga.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:27 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there any difference between OKCupid and JDate? OKC pretty much only pairs me up with Jewish girls (not that I mind in the slightest).
posted by Eideteker at 2:35 PM on April 17, 2012


I had no idea of the etymology, and will prefer goyim from now on.

That said, when I have used "shiksa" (always of myself) it was an ironic joke about how I'm an outsider but using the insider word for myself.
posted by jb at 2:39 PM on April 17, 2012


That said, when I have used "shiksa" (always of myself) it was an ironic joke about how I'm an outsider but using the insider word for myself.

Oh sure. I didn't mean to sound like I was chastising anybody; just explaining why I steer clear of the term.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:42 PM on April 17, 2012


I find describing people as "non-Jews" creepy, speaking on behalf of the "Jews of JDate" bizarre, and talk of escaping from Ukraine in 1906 strident hyperbole.

What now? Despite the OP's hackleraisedness, this is the first offensive thing in the thread. My forebears left Ukraine around that time period because soldiers would come into their store, beat them up, and steal their stuff. Also sometimes they chased them around and tried to kill them. So yeah, escaped.
posted by threeants at 5:15 PM on April 19, 2012


I think it's legitimate to assume that nobody in this thread escaped from anywhere in 1906.
posted by jacalata at 5:38 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


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