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.
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
My final project is a picture book for adults to inform them on gender and sexuality--what they are, why they are important, and how they work together. I made this because I have friends and family who don't really understand much of this, and I want to give them a concrete way to get informed. It is an overview of basic concepts to create a vocabulary to help readers communicate their ideas with other people who without having to define every term.
I chose to make this in book form because reading a book is a different experience from surfing websites. Reading a book is a more personal experience because you can hold it in your hands and turn the pages yourself. On the internet, you can click hyperlinks as much as you want, but you depend on the hardware to obey you. You can change the website, delete your history, and distract yourself with a funny cat video in all of 20 seconds. A book is different because you make a decision to sit down and read it, understand it, and absorb it. The stories stay with you.
That being said, I chose to include several resources for readers that go more in-depth than the book because, like I said, this book is just an overview. I included websites, a film, and a GLBT National Help line. I chose four websites for information, and seven websites by religion because sometimes people forget that sexuality and religion are not mutually exclusive and a higher power can be tremendously helpful when dealing with issues such as these.
For our final web event, sekang, dchin and I reflected on the process of our class presentation and asked ourselves the questions we had asked others for the interviews we conducted.
*Both videos are long, so please allow time for loading before watching.
In the first video we reflect on our motivation for our class presentation, the process of interviewing strangers at Philadelphia train stations, the process of editing those interviews and how the product we created related back to the discussions we have had in Critical Feminist Studies this spring.
In the second video, we interview each other in the same style that we conducted the interviews for our class presentation. We then reflect on being asked these questions and our new perspectives on documentary filmmaking.
The Editing Process
[just speak nearby the borders of our minds] <-- link
This is a piece about borders. About communities. About movement and restrictions and ideologies. I wanted to interrogate how feminism is at times bounded by qualifiers, that is, to differentiate between French feminism and Third-World Feminism, and the ways in which those are both appropriate and constructed such that the result is constructed identities viewed as essential.
Among artists in the 20th and 21st century, explicit reference to prior works has become a mode of producing pieces. This may be in the form of collage or pastiche of some kind, and in video art, it is typically through found footage that these references can be made. Video Artists like Dara Birnbaum have spoken on the power of reappropriating footage, specifically, in her case, from popular media sources, but some of the logic remains in what I have done. Birnbaum wanted the agency to engage with the images being presented to her, to take ownership and subvert their meanings to create new meaning, asserting that she wanted to “talk back” to the media. Further, she asserts:
Exploring Women in Violence
For a long time, the focus of domestic violenceand crime commitment has been put on men, who are believed as conductors of a vast majority of violence. bell hooks in her book Feminism is for Everybody (2000), yet suggests that women’s involvement in violent crime has increased over the past decade. I therefore want to explore women’s role in conducting violent crimes. What makes them commit violence? Is there a link exists between violence against women and women’s involvement in violence? Does it undermine the importance of feminism because women violence-perpetrators show the masculinity in their behaviors? This paper begins with a snapshot of violent women offenders in the US. The theories that have been proposed to explain women’s violent behaviors, as well as the factors that have been found to place women at-risk for violence, are subsequently reviewed. Finally, a discussion of women in violence and its connection with feminism and programs targeting violent behaviors among women offenders are highlighted.
Story telling is an important part of the human experience, and in this class we have focused very much on the stories that people tell. Feminism is about story telling, and, as MC said long ago, “…listening, particularly to people who are often given no voice or agency, is a solid tenant of feminism.” In order to listen, we must also tell. Throughout our journey in Critical Feminist Studies, we have heard stories about a wide variety of folks – ladies, men, and people above, below, around and in between; queers, straights, and everything else; white people and colored people; people from this world and from other worlds; people who are rich, poor, famous, obscure, enslaved, powerful, intellectual, uneducated, able-bodied, “others,” outsiders, insiders, and every level in between. Hundreds of stories about hundreds of different people. The voices we hear, however, are not always the voices of the people whose story is being told. This is something we have discussed often in class, and the curriculum is carefully constructed to give us a wide selection of voices. Not all of these voices are the ones we’ve been wanting to hear.
Phineas and Ferb is a show on the Disney Channel about the summer exploits of a pair of stepbrothers. Phineas and Ferb are boy geniuses who can create literally anything they imagine in the convenient time span of about one episode. Of course, before the episode is over, there is frequently some unexpected consequence that teaches the characters, usually Candace, their older sister, a valuable life lesson. The secondary plot concerning Perry the Platypus, the family pet who is an undercover secret agent and his arch-nemesis the evil Doctor Doofenschmirtz, who can also create nearly any contraption that he can imagine with the intention to enact revenge or to take over the tri-state area. Doctor Doofenschmirtz’s machines nearly always malfunction and helpfully dispose of all evidence of Phineas and Ferb’s inventions.
When our class watched the film Game Change to further our discussion on Sarah Palin, one of the most striking aspects of her portrayal was the public’s focus on her role as a mother, and further, as an “everyday person” who understands the needs of the average family. I quickly remembered that this depiction was incredibly true to reality, as Palin’s role as a mother and wife was continuously touched on, whether in a negative or positive light. When her daughter, Bristol, was announced pregnant during the race, the construct of Palin’s “family first” outlook was questioned by some and applauded by others. A question that arose for me was how Bristol’s pregnancy affected Palin’s already stereotypical gender roles that were being emphasized throughout the campaign.
While reading “My Gender Workbook,” I came across the following passage that Kate Bornstein had quoted from Mariah Burton Nelson:
"All female athletes are gender outlaws… In the act of lunging for a soccer ball or diving into a swimming pool or engaging in most of the other sports that millions of women now enjoy, the athlete goes beyond gender…She has transcended gender and, even more importantly, sexism. Which explains, in part, why women are so passionate about sports."
Reading this quote inspired all kinds of questions for me. I have known for a while now that athletics is an important part of my life and my identity, but I had never thought about how sports played into questions of gender until now. It does seem to me that in swimming, I can transcend gender; I've trained alongside boys ever since I started, and I've always felt that I was treated as an equal. I grew up in a time when women had equal access to sports, and (at my level, anyway) female athletes seemed to be as visible as their male counterparts. However, this wasn’t always the case. I want to look into women's history in sports to see where we stand today, and see if there are any changes that could still be made to further women's opportunities in sports.