First Advisor

Kim Williams

Date of Award

Spring 6-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and University Honors


Political Science




Feminism, #MeToo, Judaism, Modern Orthodox, United States




In recent years, the #MeToo movement in the US has normalized discussing sexual harassment and assault against women, as well as encouraged survivors to come forward with their experiences like never before. Though this movement has undoubtedly affected much of secular and even religious America, how much has the #MeToo movement affected the more extreme, conservative communities of Orthodox Judaism? Though some research has been conducted as to the effects of the patriarchy and sexual assault on women in some Jewish communities, there is little research regarding how the women in these communities may have been impacted by the recent #MeToo movement, whether regarding their potential abuse stories or how this movement may have influenced their opinion of feminism. Scholarship on Jewish feminism is varied because Jewish women each practice differently and adhere to traditional Jewish law differently. What is more, the majority of scholarship on Jewish feminism excludes Orthodox Jews whose extremely traditional values and obligations often include many patriarchal mindsets and practices. This paper addresses how traditional and Orthodox Jewish women are affected by #MeToo by studying Jewish feminism in these traditional communities, the existing patriarchal structures in Orthodox Judaism and how they work against #MeToo survivors, and the effect the #MeToo movement has had on the American Jewish and Orthodox Jewish communities. Interviews were conducted with Orthodox Jewish women in order to address these nuanced topics.


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