by Sander Gilman

Did You Know the Venus of Willendorf was Jewish?

The uneasiness that many Jewish women feel about their breasts did not spring up overnight, nor is it the result of an indigenous Jewish anxiety. Historically, the discourse on the Jewish women’s body was marked by sexist and anti-Semitic ideas about science, culture, and female beauty. In his book Making the Body Beautiful: A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery (Princeton University Press, 1999), University of Chicago professor of liberal arts in human biology” Sander Oilman examines some of the insulting history:

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Let’s Talk About Breasts

The articles in this special section:

Breasts Notes Toward a New Cartography

by Hanne Blank

Hanne Blank on why some Jewish women diminish their bodies’ power and pleasure.

Did You Know the Venus of Willendorf was Jewish?

by Sander Gilman

Sander L. Gilman reports on the prejudices of body-image anthropologists.

Who Own My Breasts?

by Charlotte Wyman

Charlotte Wyman (our pseudonymous memoirist) tells why she had a surgeon shrink her breasts—and what the guys in her high school did afterward.

One Woman’s History of her Breasts

by Sarah Blustain

Sarah Blustain tries to contain herself.