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Q Forum Mark 2: CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

In tandem with Amophrast, Colleen Ryanne, aybala05, and S. Yaeger

Continuing conversations for the year

-After the revamped Q-Forum during Customs Week we will have continuing conversations periodically through the year. These conversations will be open to the entire school, not just first years. There will be three larger conversations, one in the fall and two in the spring.

 

FIRST CONVERSATION

 

Working title not yet here: what it means to be queer here and not there

How do we translate a queer space into spaces that we are less comfortable in/feel less safe in/etc.?

The first post-Customs Week Q Forum discussion, it will cover issues such as coming out, the idea of being out and all that entails, and talking with people from home/family about queer life at Bryn Mawr. This conversation will take place the week before Fall Break by hall, and will be open to anyone. There will most likely be follow up events hosted by Rainbow Alliance during Out Week (week we get back from Fall Break).

Theoretical Hosts: HA's and CDAs

 

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REWIND [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Space is being shaped right now! 

Looking back on some of the classes we've had I realized that I do not agree with some of the choices that we as a class either made or went along with. For this web paper I have tried to address those issues. 

----> CURRENT TIMELINE

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Petition to Asma al-Assad (TRIGGER WARNING)

During my daily perusal of feminist blogs, I came across this on Feministing. The wives of the British and German ambassadors to the UN produced  a video calling out Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian president Bashar Assad, and encouraging her to speak out against her husband's actions in Syria. I am linking to the video instead of directly posting it  because of trigger warnings for gore, specifically injured and dead children. This video brings several conversations we have had in class to mind, including at what point are we allowed to involve ourselves in communities that are not our own (specifically white upper-class Americans in impoverished non-American communities, but I feel as though this still fits the bill) and what responsibilities does the wife of a powerful government official have to the community. 

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April 17 Links and Eventual Commentary

-The Daily Show discusses Oklahoma's personhood bill. 

-Since children's media seems to be of interest, here is a list by Malic White at Bitch Media's End of Gender series of story books on the mulitiplicities and complexities of gender. The End of Gender series this past week has covered parenting and gender non-conforming children.

-A Mighty Girl: An entire site dedicated to positive media portrayals of girls. It looks very exciting to me as someone who read and enjoyed many of the books that are listed on the site, and as someone who continues to consume children's media aimed at or inclusive of girls. 

-A Feministing post about The Dinner Party. There isn't much to it besides stating that it exists, but considering our discussions of the piece earlier in the year, what does it mean that a well-known feminist site simply presents the piece with out any commentary?

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Politics of Work

During our question-writing session in class last week most of my questions focused on the politics of a career choice. 

"What are the politics of selecting a job?

Of starting a career or learning a trade?

What are the differences between learning a trade and having a career in our social dictionary? What are the consequences of these differences?

Is anything "just" a job?"

A lot of my feminist reading as of late has been on the debate of the political vs private, and how the private more often than not, and whether we want it to be or not, is political. It's rather overwhelming to think that every decision I make is impacted by the political environment I move through, but it makes sense. It makes me hyper-aware of what and how I consume and speak, as well as the consumption of others. As a feminist (specifically aware that I am a white, upper-middle class, female-identifying, non-religious feminist) is there any decision I make that could be considered free of political thought? 

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Links for April 5, 2012

Flavia Dzodan's article at Tigerbeatdown on "penis centric" porn for cis straight women.

A podcast in which Amanda Hess discusses porn and feminism. 

Autostraddle has NSFW Lesbosexy Sunday, a weekly series discussing sex and porn. Since it's directed toward a lesbian/bi/queer/queer-friendly audience it would be interesting to know what other people think about it and its consumption.

Jill Filipovic on "outsourcing porn". 

Feministing's interview with Tristan Taormino, editor of Best Lesbian Erotica and feminist pornographer.

What makes feminist porn feminist? at Feministing

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Janelle Monae Setting the Seen and Accompanying Links

I would suggest looking into all of Janelle Monáe's album The ArchAndroid both for musical/cultural value but also for its message and presentation (especially if you plan on reading the Moya Bailey article). It's very readily available from standard music venues, or just ask around for people who have the album. 

Mentioned in class:

Double Rainbow was the blog series done by Caroline Narby for Bitch Magazine's blog about the autism spectrum. 

Vampires and Cyborgs: Transhuman Abilities and Ableism in the Work of Octavia Butler and Janelle Monáe by Moya Bailey at Social Text Journal. 

See video
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"Hoodie or hijab"

Text: "Hoodie or hijab; racism is racism. I'm Iraqi and I want justice for Trayvon."

Via Feministing, via.

I saw this when it was posted on Feministing, and was reminded of it during our 4/3/12 continued discussion on Half the Sky. I feel this goes along with our discussion of what it means to go into another space and attempt to fix problems as an upper-middle class white American (as the intended audience of Half the Sky seemed to be), what it means to go into our own communities to solve problems, and the geographical, class, cultural, and racial divides between spaces and why or why not we transgress them/what it means to transgress them. This young woman is not part of the intended audience of the book, but she is transgressing geographical, racial, cultural, and religious boundaries to speak out against an attack and the systematic oppression that caused it. 

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Links for March 29, 2012

-Here is a very interesting PDF by the Women Media Center's Name It. Change It. Project. It's a guide to how to avoid sexist and otherwise problematic representations of women politicians and candidates in the media, both for consumers of media and creators of media. 

-This is an article that one of my math professors directed me to on one of Bryn Mawr's former professors, mathematician Amalie Noether. 

-A different look at Kristof, one of the authors of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, and the organizations he advocates for,

-Similar to the link above, The White Savior Industrial Complex.

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ASEXUALITY

I have mentioned and explained once in class and in one of my web events that I am asexual aromantic, which is one reason why I have mixed feelings about My Gender Workbook. The author in many instances assumes that the audience identifies as a sexual being, and her wording often gives the impression that sexuality and gender while not the same thing, are deeply dependent on each other. And while society's impression of your gender is often connected to their impression of your sexuality, as is the language they use, self-identification of gender does not always hinge on sexuality. I still identify overall as cisfemale, even though because of societal expectations and connotations I do not feel I have access to many of the words describing cisfemales. The word woman is deeply connected to being a sexual and/or reproductive being; menstruation and the construct of losing one's virginity and engaging in sexual or romantic relations is a sign of growing up, of a girl becoming a woman. And while I have the reproductive capacities of a woman, I have no intention of using them, and the idea of being sexually or romantically involved with others bothers me to my very core. As such I will retain my "virginity" (I have no time to explain how upsetting I find that word to be), my innocence, my chastity, which keeps me in the position of a girl, which I still cannot belong to because I am an adult (also because girls are expected to grow up into women). Does that make me an adult girl? I'd rather not be.

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