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Small Late Night Link Offering for 3/18/12

-Bitch is currently running a series of articles on their blog about fictional women in politics. Here are the first couple of articles. Considering our future discussions of conservative women in politics, I thought some of us might be interested to read them.

-Some more information about Pussy Riot, though admittedly not much more than what was presented in class. Here is their LJ, though it is in Russian so that is of debatable use to the class. This entry, however, is in English, apparently taken from an article when they were interviewed. They have a lot of comments on that entry, including more news clips of them. 

-Tigerbeatdown, the site I mentioned in class.

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POWER

One awkward person trying to think it through and not even brushing the tip of the iceberg. 

 

Part 1

Part 2

(Attempts at embedding lead to two copies of one video, so I'm afraid I only have links.)

Videos of myself attempting to explain why sometimes we have to look past ignorance as an explanation for behavior, and explore and dissect how behaviors are considered acceptable in the first place. What is power? How do we use it? How is it used against us, and how does its use against others affect us? What layers of power do we as individuals move against? 

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A Link Spam (3/1/12) Under Construction! Add yours anyway!

Links for your perusal that may or may not be relevant to class. Add your own! No seriously, add your own.

 

The H-Word was a series on Bitch Magazine's blog done by a former sex-worker on a variety of issues. I haven't read all of the articles, but I thought the ones I did read were really interesting and worth reading. I would suggest reading most of their series, actually, so go check it out.

Prism Comics is the comic book company mentioned in class. 

-There was a very interesting exhibit at Drexel last fall (fall '11) called Half the Sky: Women in the New Art of China full of Chinese women artist's work. I remember reading interviews/articles quoting the artists themselves and how they interacted with/thought of feminism, but I can't remember where I left it at the moment.

 

Will be edited later. This computer doesn't have my zillions of bookmarks. Also, why don't we have more conversations here? I understand I'm a broken record, but really I just like talking about things with people and this is a convenient (sort of?) way to do it. I know we have more thoughts in class than what we say.

 

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BRING YOUR OWN MUSIC, VOLUME 1

I have known two things for a while:

1. I like music, and I have feelings about it

and

2. I like feminism, and I have feelings about it

I realized in class that even if we don't end up with classes dedicated to music and feminism/other cultural movements, I would really love the opportunity to talk about it incessantly with other people. And then I realized we have Serendip and good ideas just abounded.

A SERENDIP FEMINISTY PLAYLIST, DAY/WEEK/INSTALLMENT 1

PROTOCOL: Anyone can offer up a playlist, preferably with links to where we can actually listen to the music. If there are music videos, please post them! Even if it's not the official video and just someone's project, if you like it share it! This particular part does not have a theme, but if someone is inspired to do that sort of thing that would also be totally sweet. The music you post does not necessarily have to be explicitly feminist, it can talk about issues you think are important, or maybe even just have certain lyrics you really respond to. You can also edit and post multiple times, because music is wonderful and I don't think anyone is going to get angry if you add more. If you feel like adding commentary that would also be really cool, but feel free to just post the links and let us ruminate on our own. Interpret this entire activity as you will, there is no "proper model".

My initial contribution:

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A Dinner Table: Eggs

 

At the beginning of this class we were shown The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, an art display immortalizing women Chicago thought were the most influential to the feminist movement. I felt there were many problems with this kind of depiction, but after reading Three Guineas I felt an even greater negative reaction to it. Chicago's Woolfe plate made Virginia Woolfe seem like the climax of a great tradition of feminist thought- not an evolution in the scientific sense of the word, but a slow build up to a lauded, supposed-perfect feminist. And not just any kind of feminist, but a feminist explicitly defined by and given such status by her [white] ciswoman body. This hardly felt appropriate to me. Virginia Woolfe's writings exclude more than they embrace, and attempt to instruct women what they should do with themselves (to be what, precisely?) in a way that can be especially harmful. Why should she remain such an iconic representation of feminism when feminism as a movement, as a word, as a lifestyle and perception has moved beyond what she imagined or, maybe more importanty, deemed appropriate? There are, however, pieces of Three Guineas that I believe can still be found useful. So what is Virginia Woolfe now? Who is she meant to be to us?

I've thought about that, and I've come up with my own imagining of The Dinner Party. I consider this an initial draft of what it will become, and have many ideas for its next incarnations.

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Feminism and the "Four Great Teachers"

I think I enjoyed portions of Three Guineas, but there was something that really just bothered me about it.

Virginia Woolfe's description of the "four great teachers of the daughters of educated men" (emphasis mine) made me rather uncomfortable for a multitude of reasons. All four "teachers" have intimate associations with how women are controlled, and though Virginia Woolfe's definitions of each "teacher" are hardly the standard definitions for these words, seeing them connected to an essay on how women should act felt very off-putting.

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Week 1 Response

I found that our Thursday in-class group discussions were very interesting, and that the questions were a very intriguing look into our brains. I've realized that I would love to have this discussion again with classmates- not only those who were in my group or in the class, but with others as well. Initially the questions seemed relatively straight-forward, but once we were all sitting down and put thought and effort behind our answers they became signficantly more difficult. All of the questions were very broad, and required more than just a yes or no answer- even, and maybe most especially, the question "Are you a feminist?" Feminism has a complex history of not only different waves, but different circles of thought within those waves that makes it difficult to just say 'yes' or 'no'. Some branches of feminism also have a very uncomfortable history of being exclusionary towards non-white and non-cisfemale women, which adds another layer of complexity to identifying as a feminist. Listening to everyone's reasons behind saying 'yes' or 'no' was very insightful, and I feel could potentially cause someone to rethink their own explanations, and the forces in their lives that made them say 'yes' or 'no'. Attempting to create a definition for feminism, at least in that short amount of time, would have been very difficult, especially since it was so easy to spend a lot of time on the other questions.

Based on some students' comments online, I would be very interested in knowing what their definition of feminism is, or potentially their multitude of definitions.

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Change Does Not Mean Improvement

Erzsébet Báthory: Change Does Not Mean Improvement

 

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