3 Important Messages in Netta’s Toy

by | Nov 15, 2018 | Hillel Ontario | 0 comments

The winner of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest “Toy”,  by Netta Barzilai, is a powerful song that will make anyone stop what they are doing and pay attention. Netta conquered the world with a song that is sticky, fun, interesting, and totally different. But the song is not just you average top 40 hit. The Israeli artist is using it to spread important and powerful messages that the audience may not catch the first time they listen. With punchy lyrics and strong visuals, Netta expresses her thoughts on the #MeToo movement and fights back against today’s beauty standards and stereotypes.

 

It Raises Awareness Of Sexual Harassment

Netta has made many statements confirming that her up-beat song is meant to support the #MeToo movement. Netta is a strong advocate for raising awareness of victims of sexual harassment, and gender inequality. In “Toy”, she uses terms like “stupid boy”, and “chicken” to describe the cowardly behaviour of  abusive men that continues in our society.

 

It Encourages Women To Speak Out

“Toy” aims to empower women with references to Wonder Woman, and by encouraging them to understand their own worth and to speak up for themselves. An example is the line: “The Barbie’s got something to say…” implying that women are not just iconic dolls with no voice but need to speak up for themselves.  Another powerful line is “I don’t care ‘bout your Stefa baby”. As Netta explains during an official Eurovision Song Contest interview the slang word “Stefa” is a term used to describe a pile of cash. By telling the world not to care about a man’s’ “Stefa”, Netta empowers women to free themselves from financial dependence and take charge of their own life.

 

It Fights Body Shaming and Societal Beauty Standards

Netta was quoted, saying that in the early stages of her career she was told to “dress like [she has] nothing to celebrate. Dress in black. Dress big. Short skirts are not for [her]. Short sleeves are not for [her]. [She’s] not sexy or beautiful. [She’s] funny – that’s what [she is].” But that was not how Netta saw herself. She wants to be part of today’s pop culture, and her music to reflect who she really is. Netta decided to break the stereotype that  “pop stars have to be thin and beautiful” which she does by wearing bright colors, fun hairstyles, and making funny noises. You can find this reflected in the lyrics of “Toy”, when Netta opens the song with the powerful line: “Look at me, I’m a beautiful creature”. (Source)

Now Netta is coming to Toronto to deliver her powerful message in person. On January 24th, Hillel Ontario is proud to host Netta’s first live performance in Canada during Out of Sync! If you haven’t bought your tickets already be sure to buy them today at www.outofsync.ca/tickets – See you there!

Annamie Paul Joins Hillel Ontario

Annamie Paul Joins Hillel Ontario

Last month Hillel Ontario heard from Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada. After winning the leadership race back in October of 2020, Annamie became the first Black person and first Jewish woman to lead a federal Canadian political party. Since then, she has been speaking to Canadians all across the country, spreading messages of hope and inspiration, during a time where these moments are a rarity. No matter the political orientation of the Zoom attendees of this fireside chat, everyone walked away with a few life lessons up their sleeve.

Here are some of my biggest takeaways. First, Annamie spoke about following your passion, a message that I know many students needed to hear. When I graduated from grade 12, I was constantly asked where I saw myself in five years, ten years, and sometimes even twenty years. Although I was asked with the best intentions, I’ve always felt overwhelming pressure to envision a clear career path. Annamie dispelled this myth by referencing the enjoyment associated with the process of discovering your passion rather than having a final goal in mind, and Annamie’s enthusiasm for human rights through a policy lens has shaped the course of her life. Second, Annamie spoke about the importance of speaking up in the face of injustice. Whether you consider yourself an advocate or not, Annamie highlighted the need to follow your moral compass, never remaining complicit. Following Annamie’s time as the leader of the Green Party, it is clear that she isn’t afraid to use her voice and position to shine light on racism, antisemitism, and sexism. These are two lessons I think everyone can learn from.

Annamie spoke about growing up in Toronto Centre (the riding where she will be running in the next federal election), her career as an international lawyer, and her decision to enter politics. As someone who doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional politician, Annamie referenced about the challenges that she’s faced as a Black, Jewish woman. Racism, antisemitism, and sexism were all constant throughout her leadership campaign, and her six months leading the Green Party. 

Throughout Annamie’s talk, I learned about the importance of elevating voices that have previously gone unheard. In a predominantly white space, Hillel students and staff need to work hard to ensure that Jews of Colour feel welcomed. 

After 45 minutes, the latter half of which consisted of an insightful Q&A, Annamie mentioned that she would love to be invited back to another Hillel Ontario fireside chat. For now, I’ll take Annamie’s lessons with me while looking forward to hearing about all of her accomplishments in a year from now.

  • Skylar Banks, Guelph Hillel
Collaboration Breeds Diversity and Inclusion

Collaboration Breeds Diversity and Inclusion

Collaborating with other student organizations allows us to diversify the students at our events, build coalitions, establish good rapport with other student groups and broaden the topics of the content that we deliver. 

This past month, we had the privilege of working with the Waterloo and Laurier chapters of Menstruation Redefined, which is committed to helping with the “institutional and social barriers surrounding menstruation that risk the health, well-being, and daily lives of many.” This mission resonated with us at Hillel because we understand the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion for all. These are values that we hold as Jews, and want to embody at Hillel. 

We joined forces to produce a fun evening of trivia and learning. The event allowed us to reach new students, educate others on Jewish practice for those who menstruate, and learn more about Menstruation Redefined’s mission. Collaborative events like this allow us to understand key issues and causes that other student-run campus groups advocate for and to build strong allyships and ensure that we propel Hillel’s values forward, such as inclusion and equity.

Jessica Bloom, HIllel Waterloo Student President
Veronica Grad, Hillel Laurier Student President

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