In Circle, Arrow, Spiral: Exploring Gender in Judaism, Miriam Kosman lays out a theological explanation of the traditional understanding of different roles for men and women, and a rationale for halakhic discrimination between the sexes. Sarah Rindner writes in her review:
The book draws on Jewish sources, particularly kabbalistic ones, as well as second-wave feminist theory, postmodern thought, [and] contemporary psychology and sociology, and offers a sweeping theory of gender as it manifests itself in Judaism. For Kosman, the traditional Jewish conception of male and female roles is not a challenge to be overcome; rather, it represents a sophisticated and delicate framework for enabling the “female force” to manifest itself within individual relationships and within history more broadly.
Obscuring the difference between men and women in the service of egalitarianism or other contemporary trends actually may have a counterproductive effect as it could, according to Kosman, serve to silence the feminine voice. . . . Kosman’s . . . book is critical reading for anyone who is invested in the Jewish intellectual tradition and uncomfortable with facile dismissals of its wisdom when it comes to gender in the modern world.