'A Jewish Man's Rebellion': Washington Post Blasted for Column Complaining About Jewish Boyfriends

Article by Carey Purcell, titled 'I am tired of being a Jewish man's rebellion,' is labeled racist by Jewish group and widely ridiculed on Twitter

Illustration.
Eran Wolkoski

The Washington Post has been accused of anti-Semitism after it published an opinion piece in which a self-proclaimed "WASP" complained about dating Jewish boyfriends who then choose to settle down with Jewish women.

In her article titled "I am tired of being a Jewish man's rebellion," freelance journalist Carey Purcell kvetched about two of her "biggest heartbreaks" coming when relationships with Jewish men ended.

Purcell wrote: "Over almost seven years and two serious relationships with Jewish men who at first said religion didn’t matter – and then backtracked and decided it did – I’ve optimistically begun interfaith relationships with an open mind twice, only to become the last woman these men dated before settling down with a nice Jewish girl."

>> 'She Tried on a Culture': Why Jews Fumed at Wa-Po Essay Lamenting Jewish Boyfriends | Opinion

She explained how although her Christianity wasn't the "official reason" either of the relationships ended, both men "kept talking about Judaism" when they discussed ending things. 

"After we broke up, both men went on to find serious partners who were, in fact, Jewish," she wrote. "And while I try not to look back after a relationship ends, to go full-on Carrie Bradshaw, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was not just a coincidence but a pattern I should pay attention to."

The Washington Post was widely criticized on Twitter for choosing to run the op-ed.

The Minnesota branch of the Jewish Community Action group called the piece "incredibly racist," while Vox journalist Zack Beauchamp tweeted, "Which editor at the Washington Post thought that publishing 'I refuse to date Jewish men because I believe stereotypes are real' was a good idea?"

His colleague at Vox, Yochi Dreazen, tweeted that although he wanted "to give the Washington Post the benefit of the doubt and assume this column by @CareyPurcell was meant as edgy humor, not barely disguised anti-Semitism," he wasn't sure he could. "This is a sad moment for a fantastic newspaper," he added.

New York Post columnist John Podhoretz called out the Washington Post's editor, tweeting, "So Marty Baron, you happy publishing anti-Semitic gibberish during Pesach?"

Writer Phoebe Maltz Bovy tweeted, "If I found the piece offensive – if weirdly hilarious – As A Jewish Woman, it's because of its author's apparent *sheer incomprehension* that a Jewish man could prefer a Jewish woman (any Jewish woman, and for who knows what reason) to her." 

She also responds to a specific line in the Op-Ed – "At almost every event I go to, [Jewish men] approach me" – by noting, "I want to know if this has been fact-checked."

Actor Mara Wilson wrote that Purcell's Op-Ed was "extremely misguided and underresearched." She later tweeted: "I am sorry you had trouble dating Jewish men. I bet the world‘s tiniest fiddler on the world‘s tiniest roof is playing for you."

"Dok" joked that "it rules that the goddamned Washington Post is publishing conversations you pretend not to overhear at a restaurant now," while journalist Joe Bernstein said, "'A Jewish Man's Rebellion' is my misunderstood LP of jazz standards played on shofar."

New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum took a different tack when she tweeted: "The real moral of that essay is not to piss off the media Jewesses of Twitter three days after we’ve seen our extended families and eaten a lot of constipating food." 

Finally, "Passover is my Favorite" tweeted, "I am tired of being a Jewish man's rebellion' and 20 other pick up lines for White Nationalists."

They also later tweeted: "You know you are stupid as hell when even the Forward is dunking on you," referring to the Jewish website's spoof of the Purcell article, titled "How Dare Jewish Men Keep Breaking Up With Me."

Purcell – whose Twitter page says she is "Fighting the patriarchy while keeping my hair shiny and fitting into my skinny jeans"– finally responded to the fury her piece evoked on Tuesday night, issuing an official apology on her website. 

"It was never my intention to disrespect the Jewish faith or anyone who engages in Jewish customs, traditions or religious beliefs, and my editor and I spoke about that at length while putting the piece together. I realize now that I touched upon serious issues for Jewish people in America and worldwide, for which I sincerely apologize," she wrote.