This is around the anniversary of a profoundly disturbing Anti-Semitic experience I was subjected to by the mother of another child in my daughters playgroup. Actually, its the anniversary of my decision to leave that playgroup because of this womans bigotry and subsequent support for her hideous pathological behavior by 2 other mothers in the same group. Whether this incident was inspired by feminism, paranoia, or some kind of mob mentality is up for grabs. There's no excuse for wrong thinking or wrong action.
At a playgroup gathering on a pumpkin farm, Halloween 2002, the mother who started this incident chose to confront me about that old warhorse of internet Politically Correct anti-Semitism, the ancient Jewish prayer containing the "thank God I am not a woman" line. Whether it was under the guise of feminism or not, the impropriety of choosing a family gathering to discuss this, and the insulting tone and language with which her question was delivered was nothing more than a callous assault. To add insult to injury,this woman is a practicing Catholic who is obsessing about another religions treatment of women, though I guess there is something worse than being a Catholic woman and that's being a Catholic boy. Then there's the Catholic Church's horrible treatment of Jews throughout history, their invention of the Christ-Killer myth, and the myth of the blood libel, their abduction and forced baptism of Jewish children. The Catholics are rivaled only by the Nazis for anti-Semitism! I wonder if these past lessons taught run deeper than anyone is willing to recognize.
As I tried to delicately squirm out from under her assault, she continued to barrage me with accusations regarding her obsessive concern with this minor and outdated prayer. This is when I realized that this woman was an anti-Semite. In spite of her advanced education, and her job at a local newspaper (which surely must be a daily object lesson in the violent and evil consequences of prejudice), there was an obvious and visceral hatred entombed within her, which she was incapable of acknowledging. When the playgroup was ended, I decided never to involve myself with this bigot again. Eventually 2 single Catholic mothers, who also take part in the playgroup, entered the fray and all decided that I was overreacting and spreading rumors about the first womans anti-Semitism. This really had me confused, since the other 2 women had plenty of unkind things to say about the perpetrator of this incident, and her pathological and annoying behavior, prior to her anti-Semitic outing. Had this become an incident of Jew versus Catholic, man vs. woman? I still puzzle over this, even though my friendship with them, and my desire for friendship with them, is as dead as their cumulative humanity. I am grateful to have them out of my life.