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Jerusalem Goes Gaga

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A major international crisis was nearly averted yesterday by Lady Gaga when she, in a sweeping gesture of respect for her more conservative Israeli fans, covered her skimpy attire by donning a black leather jacket adorned with a Star of David made of silver spikes on the back.

Quick—what do you think the top of her Dead Sea bathing suit will be?  Two kippot strung together?

(I would caution her against wearing fringes on the bottom—bad tan lines.)

Forgive my snarkiness today.  Maybe I’m old, maybe I’m jaded, maybe I’m just grumpy (or all of the above), but I fail to grasp what makes this tidbit interesting and why it was widely covered in the Jewish news.

Frankly, I—along with tween boys throughout Israel—would have been more interested if Lady G didn’t cover up.

As a woman who has been the recipient of piercing glares and negative verbal comments made by Orthodox men while walking through Jerusalem, who dared to touch the small sliver of the Western Wall allowable to women in pants, let me be the first to say that I’m disappointed in Lady G’s choice to present a more modest version of herself.

We could use more boundaries in this area pushed, and not just in the Middle East.  I find it incredible that, in the year 2009, there are still some United States Senators who require their female staff workers to report each day in a skirt, heels and pantyhose.

(My husband would argue the equality issue here with me, pointing out that these Senators require their male staff to wear ties.  My response is the same dress code should apply to all.  If I want to wear a pantsuit, then I would be required to also wear a tie.  And if my husband wants to wear a skirt, then he would wear the required heels and hose.  Damnit, he looks better in a skirt than I do anyway.)

Or maybe we should change the conversation entirely and talk about why female performers continue to almost bare-it-all– including 16-year-old Disney pop tarts.  Somehow I doubt most of these woman are true feminists embracing their sexuality.  At what point do we, as an intelligent society, decide that talent, not sex, should be what sells?

But I digress.  Back to Lady G, who does deserve some props for performing in Israel, and making an obvious effort to relate to her Jewish fans.  In what feels like an increasingly anti-Semitic world, I for one appreciate the gesture, even if it’s linked with a questionable fashion choice.

Lady G: coming from someone who also has gotten drunk in Jerusalem, I raise my glass to you.  I, too, am more excited for you to see Jerusalem than I am to “get drunk in a bar.”

I just can’t wait to see what her note for the Western Wall says.

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