Stern College For Women OpEd Project Follow-Up Seminar
By: Aimee Rubensteen
The OpEd Project first arrived at Stern College For Women, a Modern Orthodox Jewish undergraduate college for women, on September 9, 2011. The seminar was filled with talented female students interested in writing about a spectrum of topics ranging from the politics involved in Iran sanctions, the religious expectations embedded in modern culture and the social media phenomenon planted in relationships. Our personal stories soon began conversations that created a forum for numerous unheard voices.
During the Stern College For Women Follow-Up Workshop on January 29, 2012, the workshop began with a discussion about the obstacles in writing an op-ed. Equipped with the initial hesitation and excitement in any encounter, the Program Leaders, Deborah Siegel and Courtney Martin, were ready to actualize our pieces. Reacting from the last seminar, I explained my interest in proving my expertise in subjects through personal anecdotes and research, but questioned the relevance of my personal interest in the intermarriage of technology, religion and love. However, the world is interested in peeking into the Orthodox Jewish female mind, and I am ready to talk.
Throughout the workshop I recreated a piece to address debated topics raised during conversations in the workshop. I focused on the way Facebook has harmfully molded and transformed my five best friends to worship the attention and validity they receive online, especially since they are all recently engaged at the age of twenty-one. I enjoyed Courtney Martin’s shock in learning this is a normal, even repetitive, experience for me to have numerous friends telling me about their husbands rather than their latest crush. Martin referred to this anecdote as the “stickiness” in my argument, which will easily seize the audience’s attention and remain a post-it note in their mind when they finish reading. It is readily apparent that we are certainly knowledgeable about many things. We simply have to be experts in trusting our own voices.