Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Found Hella Winston!

I have long been interested in Hella Winston, since reading her book “The Unchosen” about a year and a half ago. For several months, I continued an active correspondence with her by email. She always seemed like a very nice person and she always claimed to be very open minded, however the weird thing was that she seemed to be incapable of seeing anything positive in the Orthodox Jewish community and she seemed to be obsessed with unsubstantiated stories of “abuse” within the community – child abuse, spousal abuse, etc.

I could never quite figure out – what exactly is bothering her? Also, I knew nothing about her personal life. Who is she?

Today, I came across this article on the web, which I think makes it all a lot clearer.

Apparently, Ms. Winston is a 38 year old, childless, never married woman. She doesn’t have any high-powered career. She is a student. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her dog. I can imagine her interviewing Satmar women a decade younger than she is who are in stable marriages and have a bunch of little kids. Understandably, that can be depressing. In order to protect herself from being overwhelmed by jealousy, she has had to console herself with imaginary stories of the terrible “abuse” these women are suffering.

I think “The Unchosen” should be renamed “The Sour Grapes”.


Shmarya said...

1. The woman got her Ph. D. a few weeks after that article was published.

2. Before going into academia, she had successful careers in public service and in media.

3. She has research grants and conducts research.

4. She could have a professorship in the NY state system (or elsewhere, for that matter) but has not chosen to do this. She may opt to do so in the future.

5. She has a very well-selling book that has been widely praised.

6. She has other active projects.

As for the rest of what you write, I'm sure the victims of child sexual abuse and spousal abuse are comforted by your sarcasm and your dismissal.

What a truly despicable excuse for a human being you are.

badrabbi said...

How do you define "character assasination"?

A woman writes a book. She exposes some truths in a given community. As a reply, the response is "oh, she does not have a good career, and she is not married. She must be jelous of us"

As if this is a proper response to a well written book?

JP, the above commentator is correct. With each post, your comments are getting more and more reprehensible.

I second Shamarya. You are despicable.

jewish philosopher said...

"I'm sure the victims of child sexual abuse and spousal abuse are comforted by your sarcasm and your dismissal."

Just like the victims of Jewish ritual murder are comforted by my sarcasm and dismissal.

Bad, how do you define "anti-Semite"?

And, just for your information, I'm very yummy.

Bonjour said...

You're a pathetic little man with the typically twisted and myopic fundamentalist world view that won't let you see past your nose.

How telling is it when you dismiss another person's impressive credentials and accomplishments simply because of his/her marital status, or because her subject matter, dissenters within the frum community, doesn't jibe with your myopia?

Accomplishments aside, Ms. Winston possesses more compassion and empathy for her fellow human being than you can ever fathom, and we have your hateful words to prove it.

jewish philosopher said...

It sounds like I've hit on a little raw nerve here. I guess only the truth hurts.

I can only recommend that those people who are really concerned about the Hassidic community, should please send a generous donation to organizations like this one, which are really helping people, rather than wasting their time spreading bigoted canards in order to see their name in print.

badrabbi said...


What raw nerve have you hit, you idiot? You are insulting otherwise decent women, and you think it is a raw nerve?

It is remarkable that you call yourself Jewish. Most Jews I know are decent, caring people. I would ask that you produce your conversion papers to prove that you are not an imposter, as I no longer beleive that you are Jewish.

jewish philosopher said...

Well, I haven't the faintest idea of who or what you are. It's quite brave of you to conceal your identity.

avrum68 said...

I'll say this...

The depth psychologists have said that many, if not most, of our motivations reside from a not concious place. That what we do is mostly the result of things we're not aware of. Many of JP's posts touch on these themes, and hence, provide some light on a darker self we'd rather ignore. However...

1) These things are best left in the domain of a therapists office

2) JP may be wrong

3) JP rarely, if ever, applies the same degree of analysis to his own choice(s), and when he does, he comes out unscathed. How convienient.

But the most serious charge is that most, if not all, of your commentors believe YOU have an underlying issue that feeds these outlandish posts. You've accused other's of narrcissitic injury, but Jacob, you fit the description to a "t". And I mean to...a...T!!!

Unchecked narcissitic rage can do alot of harm. Consider yourself warned (though as a narcissit, this won't mean much to you).

badrabbi said...


Are you saying that I disguise my identity because I am afraid of the likes of you? Really?

Would you like to meet?

avrum68 said...


You're both about to prove the worthlessness of the interent and blogging in general. Stop it.

jewish philosopher said...

Bad, sure, why not. Or how about just send me your name, address and photo.

I think pretty much everyone sincerely Orthodox has been appalled by the anti-Orthodox slant of Hella's writings. This isn't just my idea. Of course, there could be a lot of reasons for this. Maybe she had an Orthodox uncle who was nasty to her. Who knows?

However, I do now know that she is a middle aged single woman and I do happen to know that most women in that situation are very jealous of women who are not. I don't need a degree in psychology to understand that.

And Avrum, just because I said I am yummy doesn't make me a narcissist. I am yummy, that's all.

joe said...

your a sicko

Joebaum said...

Someone who makes up libels against the Jews, what evidence do you need more that there is somethink realy wrong with her?

joe said...

your a sicko.

joe said...

your a sicko.

joe said...

your a sicko.

joe said...

what libels? where did she lie, she was merely exposing that this DOES GO ON, in the ulra-orthhodox world. she wasn't trying to paint them all like that. in fact, she very much respects alot of the orthodox world. Did you hear her on the "Zev Brenner show"?

Joebaum said...

JP, I got the reason why she is speaking like that.
she is a professional lier she worked at PBS.

jewish philosopher said...

I'll put it like this. Let's say someone in China would write articles about the terrible problem of undernourishment and starvation in Nassau County Long Island. Would that be a lie? Not necessarily. There may well be a few undernourished mentally ill/homeless people somewhere under a bridge in Nassau County. However it would be a little odd, especially when you consider that this problem is so much greater in China. Why is this Chinese person making a big deal about the "starving people on Long Island"? Is he really trying to help? Or is he trying to say "Well, don't think America's better. Everyone has the same problem we have."

Joebaum said...

Well that was the idea allways by the liberals to demonise everyone, and then when someone took it seriously and starts to complain and wants a change they starting to say: hay you cant change peaple everybody has a right to be whoever they are.
I know its frustrating.

Look What A Bargain said...

Here's someone coming to JP's defense. I'm a Satmar woman from williamsburg in a happy marriage, raising a happay family BH. dont have a career. Was never abused BH. happy in my role as a stay at home mom. HElla's book is full of CRUD. Take that!!!

avrum68 said...

It's not JP's ideas that are suspect, it's his tone, and approach. His megalomania doesn't help his cause either.

jewish philosopher said...

Avrum, that really hurt. I'm telling Mommy.

Joebaum said...

Everybody has times whan his attitude gets a little weaker, thats life, ups and downs.
But that doesnt take away enythink what JP has to say.

Shmarya said...

Avrum, that really hurt. I'm telling Mommy.

Do you have frequent contact with her now, "Stein"? Or are you making a "special effort" for this one occasion?

Mark said...

"Let's say someone in China would write articles about the terrible problem of undernourishment and starvation in Nassau County Long Island. Would that be a lie?... However it would be a little odd, especially when you consider that this problem is so much greater in China."

I think, JP, you are alluding to the issue of proportion. Undernourishment is greater in China compared to Nassau County. Similarly, you argue that spouse abuse is greater in the secular compared to Orthodox community.

But here is the issue. If this is your beef, just say that! Don't attack the woman personally. If someone from China was talking about undernourishment in Nassau County, a reasonable response would hardly be that the Chinese writer's eyes are slanted and slit-like and she eats snakes for dinner! You can not assassinate the character of a person as a means of rebutting the argument.

That said, I second the sentiment of the commentators that you are mean spirited shit-head who has a pea for a brain.

jewish philosopher said...

What's the big deal about speculating about someone's motives for unusual behavior?

And if most of Ms. Winston's admirers are so rude and abusive, perhaps that says something about her as well.

Friar Yid (not Shlita) said...

This seems suspiciously reminiscent of when you said that the only way to explain atheism was to call it a personality disorder.

Why does there have to be something defective with Winston for her to not like Orthodox Judaism? Can't she just be calling things like she sees them? I wouldn't be surprised if talking to outcasts, misfits, abuse survivors, etc, would color her views of the community she's studying.

Call her biased, fine. But to suggest that she has an anti-Orthodox animus because she envies these women their 10 kids? Come on.

jewish philosopher said...

The question is, why is she so biased.

Plutonian said...

Go back to the 19th century since that's clearly where you belong. Many single women--and men--are single by choice and perfectly happy. I'm one of them and so are many of my friends. I wouldn't marry for a million bucks; I love my freedom. In fact, many married people saddled with the responsibility of supporting kids, saving for college, etc., are jealous of our freedom. Caring for a pet can be very meaningful and so can being a student. You are reinforcing outdated prejudices that have no place in the 21st century. Marriage isn't for everyone; as Rhett Butler in "Gone with the Wind" said, some people are not "the marrying kind." Plus, using someone's personal status as a way to discredit their argument is a logical fallacy known as an ad hominem attack.

jewish philosopher said...

"Many single women--and men--are single by choice and perfectly happy."

Probably a lot of unemployed people are also perfectly happy.

Plutonian said...

"Probably a lot of unemployed people are also perfectly happy."

What a complete non-sequitur. One has nothing to do with the other. The closest thing would be to say some people would rather work for themselves and be poor than work for an exploitative company as "wage slaves."

Ever hear of "different strokes for different folks?" Marriage is NOT for everyone. Some of us know we would be miserable being tied down this way. Maybe we enjoy the freedom of being able to do the stuff kids do like take classes and lessons, pursue hobbies, etc.

Your comments on this subject promote intolerance and discrimination in an age where they are completely unjustified. There are million of single men and women who are living happy, fulfilled lives.

jewish philosopher said...

"There are million of single men and women who are living happy, fulfilled lives."

And they will be quickly eliminated by natural selection, if we are to believe Darwin.

modern c said...

I think your argument against Ms Winston lacks merit. It does not deal with the issues rather it attacks the person. You call yourself a philosopher?

jewish philosopher said...

The issue is why she wrote the book, or in general why she has chosen to be a missionary for atheism within New York's chassidic community.