You can absolutely take these guys home to Mom and Dad, claims the website Wokman.com, which is selling its Nice Jewish Guys Wall Calendar 2021 by Adam Cohan for $14.99, just in time for Chanukah and, well, 2021.
In his Unheroic Conduct: The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man, scholar Daniel Boyarin argues against the view of the “feminized Jew” as a pathological product of the Diaspora or a figment of anti-Semitic imagination. Boyarin asserts that the Diaspora produced valuable alternatives to the dominant cultures’ overriding gender norms. He finds the origins of the rabbinic model of masculinity in the Talmud, and though unrelentingly critical of rabbinic society’s oppressive aspects, he shows how it could provide greater happiness for women than the passive gentility required by bourgeois European standards.
So that’s two gifts you could get Mom for Chanukah, although the Boyarin paperback is not cheap: $33.95 from Amazon.
The calendar is all about the ideal, and harmless, Jewish man. Yes, it’s a stereotype, and like all stereotypes, it has some truth in it. On the other hand, get those men to make Aliyah and watch how in short order they become macho Israelis, complete with an IDF uniform and an Uzi.
“Nice Jewish Guys is the sweet and irreverent hit calendar that features a dozen super-handsome, super-nice, and super-eligible bachelors,” according to the publisher. “Meet Justin, with a puppy-dog smile and penchant for dance fitness classes. Outdoor adventurer Scott, whose mom describes him as ‘very single.’ And, for ladies who love a bad boy, there’s ‘geeky tough guy’ Howie, who was once body-slammed by a sumo wrestler. Ouch! Includes adorable photos and bios packed with fun facts, favorite things, and goals, like Dov’s: ‘Children and a wife he worships.’ So sweet.”
And, yes, of course, it’s borderline racist, like a calendar with images of African American men who won’t scare you, or armed folks from Oklahoma who never put on hooded white robes. But we have a healthy sense of humor so we didn’t report them to the Internet. But you go ahead…