- Women get an abridged/watered down/sugar coated version of the male education in the Orthodox system and therefore may not have as solid a foundation from which to question
- Skeptical women don't shut up and put up . . they get out
- Women may represent a smaller portion of the skeptical blogosphere in general, and so the smaller representation in the J-blogosphere is reflective of that.
- The Orthodox system basically does not allow for much (any?) independence of thought in women.
I have several OJ friends. Some are friends who are related to me by marriage (two of my sister-in-laws, for example). Most happen to be BTs, though I don't know how relevant that is. In any case, when one of my OJ friends confided in me that she was OP, it came as a complete shock. Not because I could not fathom how she could not believe in God or Torah. I'm an atheist so I get that part, but why practice, then?
In general, I am in awe of my MO friends. They are ambitious, educated, and successful professional women AND are committed wives/mothers who follow OJ. I am also a working mother, so I know first hand how labour intensive balancing work and family can be, but add all the complexities of living an OJ life, and they have what appears to me to be three full time jobs. One friend, for example, a very committed mother of two, works and studies full time. Obviously she observes Shabbat, but Shabbat is not necessarily a day of rest for her. It often means hosting people . . .worrying about when the food is cooked/ is there enough/ cleaning up etc., Sunday is a mad rush getting prepared for the week, not to mention additional obligations like going to the mikveh etc., or having everything sorted out for holidays. To me, it just seems exhausting! But if you believe, I get it. I get living with conviction, and behaving in a manner that reflects one's beliefs.
Naively, it never really occurred to me that there were practicing OJ's who didn't believe. So, what took me by surprise in my friend's revelation was how one could adopt such a labour intensive life without believing. Her confession got me hooked on reading OP blogs, and I understand a lot more now. (More about this in my next post). But - to answer Shilton's question - my suspicion is that there may be a large element of (communally unacknowledged?) burnout in working OJ women who face so much pressure to perform in various aspects of their lives. Insiders, what are your thoughts?
Update: Jan 4 2011: I have started reading an excellent Female OP blog, Sitting on The Fence. Another possiblilty for the MIA females: maybe our search engine failed us :).