Sandy Rashty

No joke - you pampered Princes are worse than us

April 30, 2015 12:36

So commonplace are Jewish Princess jokes, I'm willing to wager that this week you would have made, heard or, like me, been the butt of one. But aside from the obvious complaints that the humour is patronising at best and sexist at worst, few fail to note that the jokes are often spewed by pampered Jewish "Princes" - darling boys so spoilt by their mothers that they're just as prone to pushy tantrums as us girls, if not more so.

It is pot-calling-kettle-black irony at its height, but seemingly no one has cottoned on yet - not least the Princes themselves.

Take this shambolic conversation I had with a Jewish male friend (let's call him Josh) last weekend, after I'd been mistakenly trusted, aged 25, to safeguard the family home.

"My mum is going to absolutely lose her mind," I wailed down the phone. "I've been left alone in the house for one night - just one night - and I've already broken everything."

"What happened," he asked, bemused.

"Well, I started running a bath, but then got distracted by this brilliant Once Upon a Time episode on Netflix. I mean, the Evil Queen was about to lose Robin Hood, the love of her life, forever!"

"What happened…?"

"By the time the episode was finished, it was too late. The running water had spilled out of the bath-tub, across the floor, on to the landing, through the carpet and the wooden beams beneath it, down into the kitchen ceiling, through the spotlights and now, there are puddles splashing across the kitchen tiles and over my dad's prized collection of CDs. It's a nightmare!

"I've managed to find two vases to catch some of the water dripping through the kitchen ceiling - but aside from that, I don't know what to do. Help!!"

"Don't worry," he said, with a touch of heroism. "I've got an idea, a solution. I'll send over Jeza!"

"Who?" I asked.

"You know. Jeza. My flatmate's Filipino cleaner - she's the best."

I declined the Jeza offer; instead using up 17 towels (large and small) and two lots of kitchen roll to soak up the evidence as best I could. Four hours on, as I watched the dryer wring out the washed towels, I called Josh back.

What followed was a torrent of abuse and laughs, an endless stream of Jewish Princess jokes from a bloke, so lacking in self-awareness, he failed to see that he had acted like any Jewish Prince worth his salt.

He is one of three male friends that have recently moved out of their family home - and they all rely on their cleaners to come in once a week. Every other Friday night, they head home for a Shabbat meal – a gym bag full of two weeks' worth of washing in tow.

Today, jokes about the Jewish Princess (JP if you're British, JAP if you're from America) form part of everyday chat in the community but Jewish Princes get off scot-free.

Jewish Princess jokes are well-recorded in joke books; showcased on popular TV sitcoms (just think Rachel Green in Friends or Rachel Berry in Glee and widely circulated on digital media websites, which have taken to listing what it takes to be, or spot, a typical JP. And the picture is not always an endearing one.

According to Urban Dictionary, a popular online slang website, a Jewish Princess is: "a woman of Jewish faith who displays at least two of the following criteria; (a) viciousness (b) greed (c) arrogance (d) vanity (e) social dominance (f) inability to do minor tasks (i.e. cooking, cleaning, laundry) (g) fragility (h) dishonesty."

Not the most regal list of attributes.

But while the Jewish Princess faces a lot of flak, no one seems to have caught on to the Jewish Prince phenomenon.

Urban Dictionary has not even taken the time to define a "Jewish Prince", so I'll save its writers the trouble.

A Jewish Prince, I suggest, is: a man of Jewish faith who displays at least two of the following criteria; (a) lacking in self-awareness (b) competitive (c) arrogant (d) constantly hungry (e) vertically-challenged (f) inability to do minor tasks (i.e. put up a shelf, fix a sink, unblock a toilet) (g) egotistic (h) mummy's boys.

Lower your eyebrows, it's true. Jewish Princes are tough cookies to crack. While watching the dryer spin, I put my list to a laughing Josh. "I'm sorry, we're just not as difficult as Jewish Princesses," he scoffs.

That's (a) ticked, I thought – knowing TV dinners instead of home-cooked meals would send him, and all his chums, into meltdown mode.

But I'm not here to battle it out; I've got a stained ceiling to tend to.

I'm in no mood to have an overdone, feminist-wand waving conversation about equal rights. Let's leave it at equal jest - the recognition that every Jewish Princess joke deserves a Jewish Prince gag to go with it. After all, one would not exist without the other.

April 30, 2015 12:36

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