At 11.52am on Saturday March 3rd, within partitioned function rooms, on outdoor terraces and in purpose built Kiddish-arenas across our nation’s Synagogues, communities were collectively salivating at the prospect of their usual Shabbat brunch-fress. But this week, something terrible occurred….
The Bored shan’t linger on the details of The Ladies Guild Strike, but as those gentlemen valiantly attempted and ultimately failed to line up biscuits in a straight line… as fellas trembled whilst trying pour grape juice into tiny plastic glasses without spilling any on the faux-Perspex tray…and as blokes were sent close to madness trying to open all 8 sides of Swedish Glace tubs without the previous sides closing again; we knew they had won.
What could we do? Their demands were clear. They wanted girl power, matronly muscle, dame-o-cratic status if you will, or a Broad of Deputies (if you really will).
So peckish and forced into a corner we did the only thing we knew how… commissioned a full survey complimented by a far-reaching review. Here, exclusively, are some of the highlights from that 4,000 page document (typed at 30 wpm by the Bored’s fastest male typist). Our goal was simple: thrill few birds with one tome.
Initially, the Bored intended to send the survey to our donor base and all influential community figures, but then the strike leaders complained that we weren’t sending it to any women so we added the kindergarten volunteers’ and charity administrators’ distribution lists to balance things up.
Is there a problem?
96% of female respondents said they had been involved with their local Jewish nurseries, schools and youth clubs. Only 3% of the involvement was instructive or strategic, whilst in every situation the main role was dropping the kids off. (However, the Bored are keen to point that this means without the ladies contribution our community’s education system would fall apart). Meanwhile, 88% of male respondents were effusive in their praise of Friday night dinners and the shirts that were recently bought for them; suggesting that the status quo is pretty hunky dory.
The Case for Change
We asked respondents to suggest the skills and attributes that women provide UK Jewry to help understand why we needed to change the existing system. An impressive 74% selected “Child-Bearing Hips” as the main asset and the pelvic-capacity of our ladies is often something we gloat about to our French counterparts. Other suggested qualities included; Kitch-intuition (knowing by sight when chicken is cooked through), a good sense of irony (but we think you meant ironing, didn’t you luv?) and the ability to spot food caught on the side of one’s mouth and remove it by rubbing a licked tissue on the offending morsel.
One comical respondent suggested that having women in leadership “would increase diversity, improve equality and provide critical soft skills”, this was absurd, everyone knows nothing is more equal than a Bored comprised entirely of men… everyone’s the same!
Why not just get involved?
One of the questions the Bored asked was if women were soooooo bothered about the issue of female leadership, why not just get involved, here is a random selection of the verbatim responses:
“Well, I suppose I could, but I wouldn’t know where to start… Graham usually handles all the getting involved.”
“Me? Lead a small shul committee? Well professionally, I run a budget of £8m and a team of 28 engineers, but I’m not sure I’ve got the conflict management skills for it!”
“It sounds like a pretty thankless task and as it is I didn’t even get any gratitude for the foie gras and caviar kiddish we had last week.”
“Well, nobody’s asked me…I’m playing hard to get.”
“I’m Orthodox and my husband told me it’s prohibited in the Torah ‘Thine wenches and mothers, must nay procrastinate with a congregation of asses.’”
We acknowledge that there is an appetite for women to do more in our community and not just more fish balls. So here are our ideas:
A quota system is clearly necessary to ensure equality. We think men should either be doing at least 25% of the Friday night dinner washing-up or bearing 1 in every 3 children.
To increase their independence, women should be encouraged to buy their own flowers on a Friday evening (because those bloody flowers don’t buy themselves!)
A new accreditation for United Synagogues who permit women to chair their Shul’s bored. These forward thinking communities are allowed to add the word “relatively” in front of Modern Orthodox when then describe their stream of Judaism.
In summary, the Bored acknowledge that the world is changing and our community too moves on (at a 4-times slower pace). We understand that the era has passed where women can be called ‘birds’ or when you can kill two of them with one stone as in biblical times. But at the same time, we urge a cautious, slow-moving (and often entirely stagnant) transition otherwise before we know it there’ll be a female Head of State, an Israeli Political Party Leader or even worse… we’ll be arranging our own Danishes.
The Bored wish all our followers a happy 3 weeks… a period of the year so arduous that it is referred to by the answer to the question, “how long do we have to do this for?”
Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @boredofdeputies and check out our back catalogue on Cartoon Kippah.