For my electronic rituals and fortune telling class final project I wanted to create a ritual/moment that helped me connect in a daily basis with things that go beyond my daily routine. Still, once I wasn’t really sure to what specifically and how to create this connection, I started to research ritualistic practices within my family and my religious background for inspiration. In this process, I came across the everyday jewish morning blessing: Birchot Hashachar.

In spite of being practiced only by orthodox jews and not commonly used by all people that follow judaism, Birchot Hashachar contains an excerpt that makes me feel very uncomfortable as a jewish woman: in the Orthodox daily prayer service, men thanks ‘God who has not made me a woman‘, whereas the parallel
blessing for women is thanking ‘God for making me according to his will‘.

Blessed be he who has not made me a woman

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֶלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁלֹּא עָשַֽׂנִי אִשָּׁה

It is not new that, like other western world’s major religions, Judaism fosters gender hierarchy and traditional gender ideologies. The Jewish tradition defines separate spheres for men and women, with men occupying the public sphere and women limited to the private sphere. Accordingly, women are exempted from many of the religious rituals that could undermine their devotion to domestic responsibilities. Still, I was surprised by such a straightforward Gender discriminatory statement that is recited daily by such a large amount of men.

In response to that, I created for I am a woman. It is a Chrome Extension that gives me a daily  reminder of the existence of this discriminatory blessing  with a small dose of inspiration of people who defied/defy this status-quo.

At every 10AM this Chrome Extension pops up a window in my browser to show information about a different extraordinary person that helped/helps define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of genders.

The pop up randomly chooses one inspirational person to display, selected from a json file where I manually added the data. This was the pop up that I received today.

This was the first chrome extension I created. At first, the idea for this project was to create a webpage. But, as I started to research and user test, people often asked me “when would I visit this page??”. I couldn’t come up with a good answer for that, and that’s when the idea of developing it as something that would pop up in your screen at a specific time seemed more appropriate.

In the background.js file on the Chrome Extension, I added this code that checks the time and displays the pop up with the content once its 10 o’clock.

var popup = chrome.extension.getURL('foriamawoman/index.html');
var win;

chrome.browserAction.onClicked.addListener(buttonClicked)

function buttonClicked(){
console.log("button clicked")
}

setInterval(checkTime, 10000);

var alarmTriggered = false;

win = window.open(popup, '', 'width=750, height=360');

function checkTime(){
var now = new Date;
var hour = now.getHours();
if (hour == 10){
if (!alarmTriggered){
win = window.open(popup, '', 'width=750, height=360');
alarmTriggered = true;
}
} else if (hour > 10){
if (alarmTriggered){
alarmTriggered = false;
}
}
}

You can check the code on my github.

Resources:

http://www.academia.edu/8869285/_Blessed_is_He_who_has_not_made_me_a_woman_Ambivalent_sexism_and_Jewish_religiosity

http://www.jidaily.com/7OfEK

http://traditionarchive.org/news/originals/Volume%2029/No.%204/Who%20has%20not%20made.pdf

 

 

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