Writer Carey Purcell wrote an op-ed about her dating life for The Washington Post that went viral, but probably not in the way she intended.
Purcell’s piece titled, “I am tired of being a Jewish man’s rebellion” was, essentially, a rant about how she no longer plans to date Jewish men due to the complexities surrounding interfaith relationships.
She drew upon her own two serious relationships with Jewish men to lay the foundation of her argument. She described both of her former lovers as “culturally, but not spiritually, Jewish.”
Additionally, she claimed that both men ended their relationships with her, respectively, and went on to marry Jewish women. Because of these experiences, Purcell concluded that her exes dated her as a form of rebellion against their Jewish faith.
"I guess dating me had been their last act of defiance against cultural or familial expectations before finding someone who warranted their parents’ approval — perhaps the equivalent of a woman dating a motorcycle-driving, leather-jacket wearing 'bad boy' before settling down with a banker with a 9-5 job," she wrote.
Once Twitter got ahold of her article, which was oozing with stereotypes and bitterness, users wasted no time mocking Purcell for such a narrow-minded portrayal of Jewish culture, which is solely based on her failed relationships.
Imagine the hardship this poor, beautiful innocent WASP had to face dealing with a Loud and Mean Jewish Mother!!!! I am so glad her suffering is over!!!— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) April 2, 2018
Based on this op ed, I'm going to guess there were SEVERAL reasons that those two jewish boys broke up with her, and they did not have to do with her not being jewish— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) April 2, 2018
I for one, am relieved that The Israelite's LUST for the Willowy Shiksa is finally being EXPOSED, no thanks to (((the media))) https://t.co/iZKjCbyLJM— T'Challah 🍝 (@AdamSerwer) April 2, 2018
I've dated two men from Ohio, and let me tell you, I'm tired of being just an excuse for all Midwesterners to say "coke' instead of "pop" for a while https://t.co/ikDZg87UQ8— Olga Khazan (@olgakhazan) April 2, 2018
Yikes. There are so many problems here and also make sure you have friends who don’t let you publish such things! https://t.co/SxQj8wYAdJ— roxane gay (@rgay) April 2, 2018
While many people took a more sarcastic approach to criticizing Purcell's article, others took serious offense and even suggested that the writer is anti-Semitic.
I'm tired of being a WASP's excuse to peddle anti-Semitic tropes in the Washington Post https://t.co/MWuEOon9eU— Max Berger (@maxberger) April 2, 2018
I feel your article was extremely misguided and underresearched, to say the least, and borderline dangerous at a time when this country has become fraught with increased anti-Semitism.— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) April 2, 2018
so sad this antisemitic lady's relationships with jews didnt work out! must be the jews' fault - back to the shtetl everyone, we tried!https://t.co/oomcextxX0— Sam Biederman (@Biedersam) April 2, 2018
It feels like maybe these Jewish men aren't leaving you because you're not Jewish as much as they're leaving you because you hate Jews? https://t.co/DOk5E1fm5C— Taffy Brodesser-Akner (@taffyakner) April 2, 2018
The flak she got for this tone-deaf and overgeneralized piece is certainly warranted. Even without all the stereotypes, the insinuation that her Jewish exes dated her out of defiance of their religion is offensive on its own as it implies that she takes no responsibility for these relationships going sour, and therefore, the breakups must be attributed to their faith.
Purcell has since apologized upon receiving so much merciless backlash.
“I realize now that I touched upon serious issues for Jewish people in America and worldwide, for which I sincerely apologize,” she wrote on her personal website.
She also clarified that she never meant to “disrespect the Jewish faith or anyone who engages in Jewish customs, traditions, or religious beliefs.”
She said that the poor reception her piece received and the social media dragging that followed served as an “eye-opening experience.”
Additionally, she addressed why she didn’t issue a statement sooner:
“Some have asked why I didn’t respond to the comments and Tweets and emails more quickly. I wanted to really think about what was being said. There was a lot to process and I want and need to honestly acknowledge the harm that had been done. Please know that I read your comments and I have and will continue to listen to them.”
While it's great that Purcell took this experience as a learning opportunity and her eyes have now been opened, the mere fact that in 2018, a piece like this was published in a major publication without a second thought speaks volumes about how we, as a society, think — or don't think — about being sensitive and respectful to others.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Pixabay, StockSnap