dchin, sekang, and I wrote this Mantrafesto from bell hooks's statement and with Sara Palin in mind.
The voices of “power feminism” tend to be highlighted in mass media. (42)
Media rewards those who reinforce structures that are already in place.
Structures in place put Sara Palin in the McCain campaign.
The campaign exists within a structure that bell hooks wants to break free from.
Break free from reform, engage in revolution.
Revolution and presidential campaigns do not coincide (?) cannot coexist (?) one does not lend itself to the other (?).
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?
buffalo, MC, and I have four statements to show for this excersize:
Feminist pornography is possible.
Possible problems with objectification.
Objectification depends on the viewer.
Viewer access to non-creepy porn.
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
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.
-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.
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.
Merging the Female Movie Star and the Politician
I invited Sarah Palin to the conversation at our “feminist table” because I thought she and most voices like to hers would be excluded otherwise. I have though about her and other very visible public female personas frequently since then. And I have come to understand these women as part of a separate public world, which must be, in terms of feminism, examined it were a “separate geographical location” entirely. This public world requires a specific examination, just as the woman of the global south or the Korean woman might require examination through a specifically feminist lens or gaze. Others have addressed issues of “double standards” arising in very particular circumstances in very different parts of the globe. The public gaze (constantly directed at this public world) creates a unique combination of “double standards” when it turns towards the female body. I would like to explore the very unique position the public woman finds herself in, both in terms of the political and popular worlds and how these once very separate worlds have come to merge.
-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.
This semester I am taking Intro to Film with Michael Tratner. We recently watched a 1960’s French New Wave film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Breathless. This movie featured two main characters: Michel and Patricia. Michel steals a car, impulsively shoots a policeman, and spends the rest of the film on the run from the police. He imposes himself on his “girlfriend” Patricia, a young New Yorker who sells newspapers in the streets of Paris. Michel spends most of his time trying to convince Patricia to sleep with him and have her run away with him to Italy, and Patricia spends most of her time blowing him off and pursuing her career as a journalist.