So, what role does this ‘window of opportunity’ play in Jewish literary history? As modernity came knocking and women had acquired real world skills and exposure, the door opened wider for women authors to make themselves known. This was particularly true in the land of Israel; Zionism’s purported egalitarianism, paired with the feminization of men who pursue intellectual over physical pursuits, created a prime environment for poets like Esther Raab to emerge. The combination of new opportunities for women writers within an old framework, however, can trigger what authors Gilbert and Gubar call ‘the anxiety of influence’ in their essay “Infection in the Sentence: the Woman Writer and the Anxiety of Authorship”. This phenomenon is described as an internal recognition that literary texts are inherently connected, perhaps dangerously so, with their authors. This encourages a fear of writing and creating as the ultimate destruction, specifically in women; because there was no significant literary tradition of Jewish women authors, the pioneering female authors faced an entirely new realm within literary history.
This is not to say that the literary and social world was immediately ready for the entrance of women poets; far from it. Patriarchal hegemony in the literary field was not immediately reversed; women poets still faced exclusion from the Hebrew literary canon. Dan Miron, in his article “Why Was There No Women’s Poetry in Hebrew Before 1920?”, writes “the discrimination, if it existed, was not in the ill will of the literary establishment. Instead it manifested itself in the cultural and aesthetic tastes, and in the norms and restrictions these determined” (Miron, 70). Michael Gluzman argues against Miron, ultimately claiming that whether or not the exclusion was intentional is irrelevant; women authors faced explicit barring from the literary canon. In the end, examining gender history within Jewish history can be a useful tool in understanding women’s roles in literary history.