One awkward person trying to think it through and not even brushing the tip of the iceberg.
(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?
When someone mentioned in class that language was a feminist issue, I was so curious as to how. Beyond perhaps certain words ending in "man," I couldn't think of a way that language could be sexist. "'The english language is sexist in so far as it relegates women to a secondary and inferior lace in society'" (Spender 15). Language is the way that you communicate with others and express yourself, if that is inherently male, then how are women expected to express themselves? As we saw in The Book of Salt, it was difficult for Bìhn to progress further in his community because of the language barrier. He doesn't have the tools to gain social capital. He lacks the ability to speak in a certain way that will gain him a higher position in life.
WHAT IS A FEMINIST LANGUAGE
Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting is a
practice that has been going on for thousands of years based in northern Africa, the
Middle East, and parts of south Asia. Although there are claims that FMG is done for
religious reasons, there are no passages in the Koran, Bible, or Torah supporting FGM.
Because FGM has no health benefits, but instead serious health risks, including death, the
World Health Organization (WHO), Human Rights Watch, and countless other
organizations are trying to put an end to it. Many countries including western nations that
have immigrants from the main countries of FGM , have made FGM illegal. Several
politicians and activists have proposed implementing mandatory gynecological exams in
elementary schools for at risk students, but this has been rejected. The governments of
these countries who have outlawed FGM are working with many organizations like
UNICEF, Amnesty International, and WHO to take preventative measures, which mainly
consist of spreading education on the affects of FGM.
Female genital mutilation is classified into four groups. Type 1 is the excision of
the clitoral hood, usually as well as the clitoris. Type 2 is the excision of the clitoris and
Initially, I thought about feminism across different geographic locations as global feminism, as a feminism rooted in nations, defined and given flavor by the nation as a whole. That is, thinking about American feminism and Indian feminism and Ghanaian feminism and French Feminism. But then, that is SO American-centric of me. When I try to think of a certain American feminism, it’s impossible. Just to think of Bryn Mawr feminism strikes me as impossible. And I’m not trying to suggest that we’re all special feminist snowflakes, or that there is not sense of shared feminist thought or identity. But our shorthand, our labeling of feminisms as rooted in some national identity/location/region can have the possibility of flattening and erasing nuance from how feminists express themselves in a variety of contexts.
Feminism of SlutWalk
SlutWalk is a protest event that began in April of 2011 in Toronto to express freedom of expression and anger at double standards. It has since expanded to other cities including New York and Chicago. SlutWalk Toronto was originally spurred by a Toronto police officer who suggested that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” This made a lot of people angry.
SlutWalk Toronto’s website explains that this statement is wrong and hurtful for many reasons. Sexual assault is a serious crime and has nothing to do with the clothing a woman wears. No woman is “asking for it” when she wears a blouse that shows cleavage or when she wears sky-high platform pumps. By placing blame on the victim, it makes her less likely to report it to authorities or seek professional help.
Of the many riveting cultural situations that we have only begun to explore in class so far, one of the most striking were those of men and women born in the body of a sex that they do not identify with and how society responds to them as transgendered individuals. As I approach the question of feminism and how it differs geographically, I want to take a look into the transsexual community in America and compare it to that in Iran, specifically after having watched the film “Be Like Others”.
In the United States, transgender issues are rising to the forefront – in films such as “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Transamerica” and in news stories about transgendered children and the increase in support for these individuals and their families. Coming across the color photography project My Right Self was an experience that provided me with a more personal and moving account of what it is like to be transgendered and hopes to do the same for the public.
The website is an informative project while the photographs are intended to be a traveling show and part of advocacy to benefit the healthcare community, those who are transgendered and their loved ones. The website’s eager invitation to use photography as a vehicle to initiate conversation shows that part of America, even if a slim one; is becoming more accepting and actually attempting to understand this point of view on some level.
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.
I have known two things for a while:
1. I like music, and I have feelings about it
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:
“Persepolis” tells the story of Marjane Satrapi’s childhood, adolescence and transition into adulthood set on the changing backdrop of her cultural location and identity. Through her personal story, Satrapi educates her audience on what it means to her to be an Iranian girl and woman, the political situation in Iran at the time of her upbringing, and how she often clashed with her surroundings and fought back against oppressive and simplistic ideology encountered in both Iran and Europe. As inspiration for her graphic novel, Satrapi cites “Maus” by Art Spiegelman. While in some ways “Persepolis” is very similar to “Maus,” the changes that Satrapi has made can be seen as her way of creating a feminist text out of an uncommon genre – the graphic novel.
The feeling of reading Three Guineas seems a little bit awkward for me. Virginia Woolf asked many questions and answered them herself in the book, trying to make her writing more conversational and interactive. However I had a feeling of being excluded by the conversation. As a white woman from higher class, Virginia Woolf sent her invitations to the “outsiders”, yet I feel the ‘outside’ she defined is still the “inside” for most of us who read the book. With priorities of the rich, she could say that poverty, chastity, derision, and freedom from unreal loyalties are “four great teachers of the daughters of educated men”. However, does she really understand what the “outsiders” need and want?