A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words or so…

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words or so...

I showed my feminist hand. Waved it around furiously like a parent locating their child in a crowd

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Daniella English

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I changed my picture for this column, because I had outgrown the picture I usually use for my blog. 

 

It’s kind of like those shoes sitting in the back of your closet that you always loved wearing. You finally take them out, and dust them off, only to realize they’re just not ‘you’ anymore. The size fits, yet you have outgrown them still.

 

When I started my blog, admittedly, I had no idea what I was doing. But I understood clothing and image, and knew it was important to create a look that evoked sass, femininity, and loads of personality. An image that wouldn’t threaten women, and wouldn’t be overtly sexualized to give men the wrong impression. You may be thinking that is a lot of thought to dedicate to a picture. And you would be right. But in a world where you have two milliseconds to make an impression on someone’s subconscious terrain, you’re gonna overthink it like an awkward social interaction that plagues you in the shower for months to come. 

 I decided it was time for a new picture. Something that represents the tremendous self-growth I have achieved over the years. An image that propels me into the next phase of my professional career, while channeling my insightful, empathetic, and playful nature, all while not undermining my intellect and analytical skills. That is a lot to expect out of one photo. But the expectations are high, especially as a woman. 

There, I did it. I showed my feminist hand. Waved it around furiously like a parent locating their child in a crowd. 

 If I smile in my picture, and look friendly and sweet, will I be taken seriously as a writer? If I look more solemn and serious, will I be labeled a snob and hard to work with? If I show my elbows, will that isolate me from the religious world? If I cover up too much, will the secular world label me a fanatic? 

 Many ultra-orthodox publications have taken to wiping out female faces in ads, either by elimination, or blurring out their faces. It is a terrible practice, and organizations such as Chochmat Nashim and JOFA, fight tirelessly against it. But it does display an awareness that women’s images are different than men’s – that the expectations are not the same. Now, some people have chosen to combat this with the erasure of women’s images as their form of defense, whereas others have chosen discussion and awareness.   

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Giving plenty of thought to my picture and what it may convey, even unwittingly, no longer seems unfounded, but rather necessary. A picture is said to speak a thousand words. But whose words are they? Are they the words of the subject, or are they the words of the spectator? If they belong to the former, then whatever the subject intends is sufficient. But if the meaning is in the hands of the spectator, those thousand words fall in the hands of their individual intersectional mindsets and beliefs. And the subject is left to the whim of someone else’s words. And those without a picture at all, are silenced and denied those thousand words, all for the fear of someone else’s interpretation altogether.

 We take pictures to represent ourselves to the world, but how the world chooses to interpret us is out of our hands. 

 So I share a new picture here. In a Jewish publication that is proud to have female columnists, and is equally proud to have them visually represented. I share with you an image that speaks a story. Part of that is the story I tell, and the other part is the story you interpret. I share with you an image that holds far less than a thousand words, because my boss’s orders for word count is 500-600 words.

Daniella English is the author of the acclaimed blog The Not So Single Life. She has written for various publications such as Savvymom and the CJN, and is now a columnist with TheJ.ca. She has been featured on What She Said Talks and The AM 640 Dating and Relationship Show

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

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Maybe It’s OK To Not Know Why

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Maybe It's OK To Not Know Why

Using religion as a means of explaining calamity is an outright defiance of belief in God

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Daniella English is the author of the acclaimed blog The Not So Single Life

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We give meaning to calamity by offering ourselves reassurance. We comfort ourselves with the knowledge that there is a pre-destined grand plan; that life is not just flurries of chaos arbitrarily floating into a blizzard. Everyone is searching for meaning in the face of this pandemic, asking where, how, when and mostly why. We are looking for something or someone to create calm in this storm of madness. Many have turned to Judaism for this solace, finding comfort in the rituals and structure religion provides. This can be soulful. But danger surfaces when religion is used to ascribe the purpose and intent of calamity to mortals.

I was 17 when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I remember saying to my father, “God only gives you what He thinks you can handle, so I guess this is a kind of a backhanded compliment.” I was looking for meaning in my new diagnosis – meaning that would bring me closer to God, and closer to myself. Looking for intent with my new chronic illness would have been me blaming my defunct pancreas on that one time I stole a horoscope from Shoppers Drug Mart when I was 11.

Using religion as a means of explaining calamity is an outright defiance of belief in God. Implicit in belief is trust. We trust that we do not know everything, just as we believe God does. To say that we know why the world is upside down is in direct opposition to the belief that God runs the show. The reality is that we have no idea. We are lost. We are pointing to our siblings in blame the same way my kids readily throw their youngest brother under the bus when they perceive my anger.

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When we say that God has plagued us with Covid-19 because women are dressing immodestly, or because men are partaking in homosexual activity, we are taking the role of God into our own hands. We turn our relationship with God into one of fear of punishment, instead of desired closeness. The stark reality is that we don’t have the answers to life anymore than I do to my daughter’s math work. To be clear, I know neither of these.

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There is space in Judaism for punishment, but God is not cruel. He does not punish us as a manifestation of his anger. I don’t take away my son’s cellphone as a punishment because I am angry at him for being on TikTok at midnight, when his phone was supposed to be in my room at 10:30 pm. I take it away for him to learn boundaries and respect. My anger manifests itself when I am in my room alone eating chocolate and talking to my friends about how I’m messing up my kids. I can just imagine all the Gods of the world sitting around, drinking wine, lamenting over their ‘children’ and worrying if they’re indulging them or being too hard on them.

The ultimate open display of dedication to God, is acceptance. That means accepting we have no idea why things are happening; and accepting that it is upon us individually to implement change within ourselves, and not to point a finger elsewhere. Acceptance holds space for both the good and the bad to coexist. A genuine relationship with God does the same thing. It holds space for the best and worst of us. But when we relate to God only in terms of reward versus punishment, we degrade the beauty of that relationship – relationship that allows us to make mistakes and make amends. A relationship that holds space for the best and worst in all of us. But mostly, a relationship that motivates us to do more because we are loved so wholly and completely by God and in turn, ourselves.

Daniella English is the author of the acclaimed blog The Not So Single Life. She has written for various publications such as Savvymom and the CJN, and is now a columnist with TheJ.ca. She has been featured on What She Said Talks and The AM 640 Dating and Relationship Show.

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Read More

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

Breaking News

Recent

Features

News

Current Events

Opinions

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Subscribe Now

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© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

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About Us

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contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

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Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

Terms and Conditions

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About Us

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© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved