Posted at 1:03 PM May 28, 2009By Andrea Grimes
Why are you being so internationally badass today? Literally and figuratively, the goings-on across oceans are rocking mightily in favor of the females. First up, it's an all-female rock band from Israel called Ashira, comprised of Orthodox Jews who play exclusively for female audiences. This AP story is being passed around like crabs at the Hamptons:
"... guided by a rabbinical injunction that says it is immodest for a man to listen to a woman's voice in song, they perform only before other women.The band's members say they are answering a dire need in the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel, where entertainment options for women are often limited. Orthodox communities sponsor activities like women's-only lectures, swims, dancing or traditional music, but modern day rock is a novelty."Ashira, kudos to you for finding a way to express yourselves despite what many would see as a major cultural obstacle--what with the not being able to sing in front of 50% of audiences and all. I can only assume that the same rabbinical injunction that prevents you from playing for dudes also prevents you from having a website or putting your videos up on YouTube. Rabbi, can we get an exception, please?
While I'm waiting on an Ashira music video, I'll be listening to the first interview Roxana Saberi has given since she was released from an Iranian jail after being sentenced to 8 years for, ostensibly, buying a bottle of wine. Melissa Block asked Saberi about her experience:
"After I realized that nobody knew where I was, I was very afraid, and my interrogators threatened me and said, "If you don't confess to being a U.S. spy, you could be here for many years -- 10 years or 20 years, or you could even face execution."My god, what guts. Roxana Saberi is the definition of bravery.
And I thought, well, if something happens to me, my family doesn't know where I am, maybe they would never find out. And so I made a false confession and I said, "Yes, I'm a U.S. spy." But because my conscience got the better of me and the God that I believe in -- the God that I thought had abandoned me when I was first in prison -- I realized [he] was always with me. And I realized that he was not pleased with what I had done by making this false confession. I recanted my confession, knowing full well that I would jeopardize my freedom."
I implore you, ladies of the world: do not stop rocking!