I've been having conversations with my body for as long as I can remember. Not always pleasant ones.
Having grown up in Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn, I learned a lot of things about what a "correct" woman's body should be. Be covered but not TOO covered, be attractive but not alluring, be noticed but MODEST, have lots of babies but be THIN, and make sure there is always lots of food on the table -- but don't eat too much of it. And more...
I spent my entire career advocating for change on behalf of women. I have worked with women's organizations for 25 years -- as a researcher, anthropologist, political organizer, teacher, advocate, writer, activist, and more. I have spoken and written around the world about gender issues, especially in traditional societies. But all the time I've been talking about women's stories, I have never told my own.
It has always been personal. The political is personal, we know. But I never talked about that. Until now.
With this new book, Conversations with my Body, I'm finally telling my truth. I'm talking about how gender cultures have affected not only the women I advocate for, but also myself.
If you're interested in Conversations, you can buy the book on this site, or at Lioness Books -- .
And if you like the book, please share. or even write a review!
Thank you! :-)
Prof Rabbi Rachel Adler, Professor of Modern Jewish Thought and Judaism and Gender at Hebrew Union College
“Conversations with My Body is Elana Sztokman's report from the front lines about the battle to control gender socialization in contemporary Orthodoxy. As her account illustrates, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and secular patriarchies employ similar strategies to control how women may present and perceive themselves. Unflinchingly and personally, she describes the impact on women’s body images, aspirations, and self esteem from the perspective of the injured parties. This was a very moving collection and personally painful to me to read.”