In a recent blog post, Conservative Jewish feminist Sara Liben bemoaned the lack of “Good” (i.e., eligible) Conservative men, who have all run off to Orthodoxy or at least non-egalitarian shuls (or secularism).
I have an answer for Ms. Liben, though it may not be the one she wants to hear:
Sara, they left because you – that is feminism – won. You have made women entirely equal to men in every way and eliminated any passages or sayings “offensive” to women. Conservative Judaism is now either as egalitarian or close to the egalitarianism of other religious denominations which have adopted the same approach.
Except that in your struggle, you have also made men as a whole redundant, undervalued, unappreciated and unnecessary. Men now have nothing special in Conservative Judaism for which they are *needed* which women can’t do. Worse, you have made men *less* valued by constantly bashing or neutralizing male themes and expression while blowing female themes and expression out of proportion.
You and your compatriots loudly proclaimed “I don’t really need a man”; Men got the hint and went to where they are needed and appreciated.
Conservative Judaism has thus learned the lesson of everyone who has adopted feminist-driven “egalitarianism” – Jewish and non-Jewish religious denominations as well as schools and universities, to say nothing of unequal family law:
When everything revolves around the women’s needs and wants, when women have only rights but men only have obligations, men often just up and quit. With good reason.
Sara, you won. Rejoice in your victory.