The Way They Are
My mother is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College. She recently found the pin pictured above and gave it to. The pin says “Bryn Mawr College A School of One’s Own” a clear play off of Virginia Woolf’s feminist essay “A Room of One’s Own.” From my mother to Bryn Mawr College to Virginia Woolf, there is so much history represented in this pin. Which got me thinking…
One of the days of this course that stood out the most to me was when Anne and Kristen traced their feminism throughout their lives. The presentations on their backgrounds and influences helped answer a question I had been asking myself since the first day of class: why do they care? By examining their personal history of feminism, Anne and Kristen gave us answers as to why they chose to teach, learn, and explore the topics of feminism, gender, and sexuality.
I would like to do as well.
Admittedly, my own history has been relatively short, as I am only 20 years old. Though considering I ended up taking “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality,” I think it would be fun and introspective for me to trace my own background through the influences that have brought me here.
I want to go about tracing my history in a slightly different was than Anne and Kristen. Being exposed to works such as “The Sandman,” “Jimmy Corrigan,” and “What It Is,” I realized I wanted to do something visual. At first I wanted to create my own mini-graphic novel, but as this was not quite realistic to do in less than two weeks, I decided I wanted to create a storyboard. I imagine the storyboard to follow some sort of “road” that will end at the Bryn Mawr College Gender and Sexuality department.
My central question… or questions:
How have my life experiences thus far shaped my perceptions on gender and sexuality? How have books, relationships, movies, music, and more help create these perceptions? Whose/what work has been useful in helping me address these questions? (Work being extremely open ended.)
Hopefully my exploration of my own history will help me figure out these questions and maybe even make other people want to examine their own.
Barry, Lynda. What It Is. Montreal, Quebec: Drawn & Quarterly, 2008.
I was instantly struck by the imagery and straightforward inquisitiveness of Lynda Barry’s What It Is. In my storyboard I want to incorporate the multi-layered complexity Lynda Barry uses with her visual art. I plan to use magazine and newspaper clippings, personal photographs, stickers, pen, pencil, markers, you name it!
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. Toronto: McClelland-Bantam, Inc., 1985.
The Handmaid’s Tale is a feminist dystopian novel that has stuck with me ever since I read it my senior year of high school. I even bought my mother the book for mother’s day because there was something so eerie about a desexualized society that only treated women as vessels for reproduction, that I wanted my mother to react as intensely as I did. The world represented in The Handmaid’s Tale is so much the complete opposite of feminism that it only made me want to explore a deeper understanding of feminism, gender, and sexuality more.
Bringing Up Baby Vintage Movie Poster Print. Digital image. IOffer.com. Web. 4 Dec. 2005. <http://cdn1.ioffer.com/img/item/782/748/66/100407014_2.jpg>.
This poster is from one of my favorite movies and incorporates one of my favorite actresses, Katherine Hepburn. My childhood was filled with nights in front of the television watching black and white movies with my mother. Bringing Up Baby was particularly important to my realization of the perception of women in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. This movie was one of the only ones that had man allow a woman to get him to do things he never thought he’d do. I loved it.
Dalke, Anne. "Notes Towards Day 8: Thinking Back Through Our Mothers |." Serendip's Exchange. 17 Sept. 2009. Web. 04 Dec. 2009. <http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/courses/gas/f09/archive/8>.
I take no claim for coming up with the idea of exploring my own historical experiences with feminism, gender, and sexuality. That idea would be Anne and Kristen’s.
Steinem, Gloria. "If Men Could Menstruate." N. Rpt. in Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. New York, 1986. Print.
Gloris Steinem. Cliché? Maybe… but I cannot deny her influence, especially in this class. She inspired my third web paper about seeing menstruation as a disability and has helped me, through satire and wit, thoroughly understand what it means to not a part of the “superior” gender.