Friday, June 15, 2007

The History of the Jewish Mother

Of course, what do I know about a Jewish mother? Nothing. But I saw this interesting article on Slate magazine. I thought that many of my friends would be interested & amused to read below.

Never Mind, I'll Just Sit Here in the Dark
A Brief History of the Jewish Mother

by Emily Bazelon
Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2007, at 6:43 AM ET

You might think that the Jewish mother we know and love
mock--self-sacrificing, neuroses-inducing,
sprang whole from the head of
Philip Roth or from the Bible. But neither is the case.
the 20th-century creation of a few
anthropologists and a legion of comedians.
And while
some of her features are all too constant, she is
continually being
touched up (which she no
doubt appreciates).

The Jewish mother's greatest act of sacrifice, perhaps,
is to be the gift that
keeps on giving: first to
generations of male writers like Roth, Mel Brooks,
Woody Allen, and then to female ones like Wendy
Wasserstein and Sarah Silverman.
Click here for a slide
show based on
You Never Call! You Never Write! A
of the Jewish Mother, a new book by historian
Joyce Antler.

Emily Bazelon is a Slate senior editor.
Copyright 2007 Washington Post.Newsweek
Interactive Co. LLC

Be sure to click on the slide show to view an American media history of the stereotype of the Jewish mother. It's based on a book called, "You Never Call! You Never Write! A History of the Jewish Mother", by Joyce Antler. Number '7' in the slide show is one of the funniest and most memorable Woody Allen pieces. It's from "New York Stories," 1989. Woody Allen's short film was called "Oedipus Wrecks," about a hen pecked Jewish man dating a non-Jewish woman, (Mia Farrow of course). His mother, naturally, is beside herself. In this clip she hovers in the skyline, consulting with half of lower Manhattan about her son-- Sheldon Millstein's--love life.

New York Stories--- Oedipus Wrecks Woody Allen 1989

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