Hey everybody, I don't really know if this has any place in this Ecological Imaginings class, but maybe if we can imagine the preservation of women to be a form of ecology, not unlike the preservation of all plant life, animal life.
I just wanted to call everyone's attention to this excellent documentary currently being shown on PBS on Mon & Tues nights at 9:00 PM. I imagine you guys have lots of time to watch films, yeah! But this is an amazing series.
"Half the Sky" about gender based violence.
Here's the link to the first & second segment:
Where I am sitting now: in a Starbucks on Broadway near 110th St, on the Upper West Side of New York, nearly 10 o'clock on Saturday night, the only place and time I've managed to get internet access and a modicum of space and time to myself. Better do this posting now; tomorrow will be full with rehearsal, and I need to practice my parts before that. This is actually OK with me as a way to live (so far...) The pleasure in the work to be done, and the stimulation and challenge of what I'm learning, more than outweigh the physical fatigue. So I sit and try to travel mentally back to the Labyrinth, and to my time there on Thursday, only a couple of days ago. My path from there to here is like a labyrinth in itself, twisting and turning through different locations and activities, meeting new people, trying to keep track of the threads of different conversations, different communication processes. I'm grateful for the opportunity to think myself back to the peaceful moments at the (Bryn Mawr) Labyrinth, just as I was grateful to have an assigned hour of contemplation. It makes me think, now, that integral to our ecological disaster in the present-day world, is the sheer pace of our life, the speed of it, the quantity of activity and experience we expect to pack into every day. How on earth can we expect to be aware of what is going on around us, of the existence and concerns of non-human beings, of the effect we are having on them and they on us, when we have assigned ourselves a more than full schedule we can barely keep up with?
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?
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.
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.
Haverford's home page features an interview with Rich Espey, who teaches middle school science at the Park School in Baltimore, and recently received the GLSEN Educator of the Year award. (Rich, who is a gay man and an accomplished playwright, did his senior thesis research in my lab.) Rich was honored for his work in developing the program, "Putting Gay in a Positive Context," with other teachers at his K-12 school. They created a superb website of gay resources for teachers, which are organized by age of students, subject, advocacy, and support for teachers. I hope you will check it out!
October 2-8 is Mental Health Awareness Week. For more info on events and programs, check out their website http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=mental_illness_awareness_week
I just received an announcement about this very relevant conference that is being held at Drexel University College of Medicine on Thursday, October 27, 2011 from 9 am - 4 pm. Regisration is free. Please see the website for more information.