I am a black American male feminist who was born and raised in Southern California. While in law school, I converted to both Reform Judaism and Orthodox Judaism.
I then moved to a Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles known as Pico-Robertson. I developed an intense friendship with a Jewish feminist named “Rena Rothschild” who introduced me to the music and poetry of Ani Difranco.
Ani Difranco, a Canadian-American artist, promotes a strident form of arch-feminism and female empowerment. When I listened to Difranco’s poem “The Slant” my brain almost exploded inside my skull, and I awakened to a new reality of admiration for female power.
I began to ask myself powerful questions such as: Why hasn’t America ever had a female president? Why are most CEOs and business leaders male? Why are women often the victims of male-on-female violence and harassment? Why do some men seek to control women’s bodies?
As I looked at myself in mirror, I saw the absolute reflection of female oppression on my face, hands, arms, and legs. I was part of the male dominated, corrupt machine that suppresses feminine power and energy. I was the face of the male oppressor of women and girls.
I also questioned my own motives: Am I really interested in female equality and female empowerment? Or am I just a lying, cunning male who is trying to manipulate and control women by posing as a male feminist? Am I a truly an ally of women or am I a ruthless oppressor of women? Am I divine or diabolical? Am I an angel of equality or a devil of oppression?
Soon, I moved to the State of Israel and enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
I served in three IDF units: Golani, the Legal Unit (Praklitut), and the Armored Division as a driver of the Merkava battle tank. When I served in the IDF, many of my instructors were women. In fact, in Hativat 7 (7th Brigade), all of my tank instructors were young women.
I felt completely comfortable being trained by women in the IDF. I felt natural working closely with female soldiers and female authority figures.
While serving as an Israeli soldier, I decided to write a feminism-inspired poem titled “Israeli Jewish Male Feminist“:
You claim to be a feminist
But I know you fake it
Like those jealous cowards
Who popped my brother Tupac in Vegas
You claim to support women
But I know you’re lying
You oppress women’s dreams
To get rich or die trying
Women and girls will shape our future
Empowering women will empower our culture
Discrimination against women is a deep crime
Men seek to control the female body every time
I’m not fake. I’m real with this.
I’m an outspoken black Jewish feminist
Promoting women’s rights is all too real
Crying “female power” in America and Israel
Although I am a man, I’m the female’s friend
Fighting for women’s rights until the end.