Arranged

Arranged is a little indie movie you probably haven't heard of. It's the story of Rochel and Nasirah, two young Brooklyn schoolteachers who are about to enter into arranged marriages. Rochel is an Orthodox Jew, Nasirah is Muslim. Their shared difficulties with dealing with the demands of their families and cultures in the 21st century is portrayed in a thoughtful and non-judgmental way. It's interesting insight into two American subcultures into which most of us never get a meaningful glimpse.

There's a great Review of it at Jewish Week: The Sheitel and the Hjab

I'm probably setting my feminist and liberal friends' teeth on edge. First homeschooling apologia and then movies sympathetic to patriarchal cultures.

I am of two minds on the headscarf thing. On one hand, I think that veils are a despicable symbol of female submission. On the other, having worn headrails continuously in SCA persona, I know that there's a subtle strength there that we modern females have no access to. For a Muslim or Orthodox woman to wear such things in the US today takes a great strength of character. It does annoy me when it's portrayed as modesty. There is nothing modest or humble about marking oneself in such a noticeable way. But it is a great show of pride in one's traditions, and I do respect that aspect of it a lot.

Arranged marriages, well, Ick. I wouldn't presume to try to arrange marriages for my children when they were of age, but with over half of all American marriages ending in divorce I feel we have got no moral ground to speak from

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