In 2012, The Forward (a Jewish publication) published a fantastic study by Emily Shire of the evolution of the stereotype known as “Jewish American Princess,” or “JAP,” on TV.
Her thesis was that what seems like an inherently negative portrayal of Jewish women can become a textured, complex, fascinating character study in the right hands.
My first encounter with the “Jap” stereotype in popular culture was Goldie Hawn’s character in “Private Benjamin.” She plays a spoiled Jewish woman whose husband dies on their wedding day, and she is forced to find her own way through hard work. Judy joins the Army, and she fails again and again, until she becomes a great soldier. I absolutely loved that movie, not just because of Goldie Hawn, but because it really spoke to me as a budding believer in women’s empowerment.
When I was growing up, in my family and among my friendship circle — very insular and Jewish — we constantly used the phrase “Jappy,” as in “please don’t act so Jappy and go clean up the sink.”
I bring this up because now people are trying to attack Whoopi Goldberg—who comes from Jewish lineage—for a humorous 1993 recipe featuring a “Jewish American Princess” making fried chicken…by having her chef do the work.
I read the recipe and started to laugh hysterically. Whoopi, a great comedienne, really nailed it. I actually knew girls like that. It was hilarious.
How many people are we going to cancel for being real? Roseanne, Dave Chappelle, Joe Rogan, Kanye (some days yes, some days no)…funny people, human people, cranky people, nasty people, rude people, politically incorrect people, sometimes totally wrong people. Always direct and human.
How much politically correct comedy will I have to suffer through before this nonsense ends? I saw some shows recently. One was unbearable. The other one was vulgar. I guess that’s okay nowadays, but I would rather hear politically incorrect jokes than sick references that embarrass me and everyone sitting in the room.
One other thing about how psychotic our culture has become with wokeness. A friend of mine is studying for a licensing test. This test is medical—completely medical in nature. The coursework includes a module on Critical Race Theory. My friend read me the module and I literally couldn’t believe the words: “Imagine a White patient and a Black nurse…”
My friend said to me, “I just see people, not White patients and Black nurses. This is crazy!”
I had to agree with her.
By Dr. Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal. All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.