Precarious and Performative Play
Diva 4, Kurt Kauper
Check out Advocate editors favorite art pieces from 2011 here.
This painting by Aaron Smith is my favorite! What's yours? Maybe one way this class site can continue is each of us keeping an eye out for our favorite art piece entangled with gender and sexuality during 2012? Post here!
Rip-staver, Andrew Smith
Wishing you a rejuvenating, relaxing, refreshing start to 2012.
This diffraction is not easy for me to write. I think that’s because this class has left me feeling largely confused. When we began the class, I saw myself as someone who loved Gender and Sexuality Studies—not so much the theories behind them as the case studies I read about and saw all around me (as a Biology major, I’ve noticed that I tend to reject the idea that one theory can explain all of gender or all of society—I think this is because in anthropological sense, there is no theory that computes to a scientific law. This is, for me, a weakness and a strength). The first reading by Barad caused me some distress, because I couldn’t understand why we were working so hard to connect physics and gender. In my mind, physics and gender both connect to everything else (indeed, if you get philosophical enough, everything connects to everything else), but that doesn’t mean we should spend our time dissecting the connection.
After Barad, I was further confused by the focus the course took on disability. I think disability is an important topic, and one that merits discussion, but I didn’t feel like our discussions ever had anything to do with gender. Once again, the sheer interdisciplinary-ness of the course had me feeling lost.
I know tonight is our last night of class, and you may no longer be checking the Serendip conversation posts anymore. That being said, there is a post in our conversation that I think really merits more discussion. That post is jmorgant's post "OUT" and the replies it garnered. I think that the conversation about choice that resulted from the original post just kind of dwindled out, which is a huge shame, because it is not only an important conversation for us to have -- it is necessary for us to understand.
I am choosing to post anew rather than to respond to the original post in the hope that more of you will see this and join me in continuing to discuss it.
As far as my perspectives go, I was blown away by the comments made by Christine. Her story highlights the lack of choice faced by survivors as well as the extent to which lack of understanding regarding rape and sexual assault is ingrained in our minds and the system. As a society, we need to strive to gain a better understanding of rape and sexual assault and what survivors are going through. We cannot discount the witness that survivors share. Let's keep talking.
A couple of us were going to continue the conversation about the group work for our last class here... I don't think we agreed who would start the thread... so here it is!
Last Thursday, I attended a discussion with my Transitions to Adulthood class about the difficulties undocumented Americans face throughout their lifetimes. Since my knowledge of the topic was limited, I decided to do some research so that I would be well prepared for both class and community discussion. While researching, I stumbled upon this article: “Undocumented Women Forced To Give Birth While Shackled And In Police Custody“ To give you the Cliff Notes version, the article states that it’s legal in over half the states in the US to handcuff women to hospital beds while they’re giving birth if they’re being held for a criminal offense (in this case, being an undocumented immigrant). Additionally, in most instances, women are not allowed to have family members present while they’re giving birth, nor are they allowed to hold their newborns past the babies’ first 24 hours of life (unless, of course, there is no American relative to care for a baby, in which case it’s shipped out of the country with the rest of the family despite being an American citizen).
I wasn't able to be in class last Tuesday, which I was especially disappointed about after our class on 11/15. I've read the class talking notes and people's blog posts, and there are a couple people I want to respond to, and a couple points I want to make in general.
I left class two weeks ago feeling totally drained - not only because of the things we'd talked about, many of which touch me deeply - rape&sexual assault, Ensler's Huffington Post piece, activism - but also because I felt totally unprepared to be talking about such things so publicly, and also, to be honest, pretty offended. I'm not trying to speak for others here, but I thought that it was grossly inappropriate to take a student's quote from this website and have them read it aloud in class without any warning. As some students (and Kaye) have already pointed out, to say something out loud, in public, is completely different from writing it (semi-anonymously?) online. I felt that in some ways, a community was created as a result - but I also think that it was very insensitive. Kaye acknowledged that if she and Anne had warned us beforehand that we would be discussing rape&sexual assault, people may not have shown up, or had their guard up. It doesn't matter. That's our right.
I am so enjoying Little Bee. We are talking on-its-way-to-becoming-one-of-my-favorite-books enjoying. Part of what I love is how much Chris Cleave elected to leave to our imaginations. I'm not just talking about Little Bee's past (which, at least at the part I'm at, is murky at best). I'm also talking about the way the characters look, their emotions, and their surroundings. At the same time, Cleave provides enough detail to completely blow me away. Seriously, I know this sounds cheesy, but when I really like things, I can feel them sitting in my chest, and reading Little Bee is like having an inflating balloon on top of my breastbone.
In case anyone's interested (the Women's Center at Haverford just received the email, and I thought someone might be interested in submitting a last minute paper...)
Call for Papers: "Gender, Sexuality, and Poverty"
2012 Women's Studies Conference
sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Consortium
Saturday, March 31, 2012
8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Gettysburg College, Gettysburg PA
I've been doing a lot of thinking about Tuesday's class, and I spent a couple hours last night discussing various issues around rape and sexual assault with a friend (not in the class). Some of the questions we talked about (along with some of the questions I was left with) are listed below:
How can we talk about rape theory in class when, statistically, rape is so much more than a theory for 25% of college women?
Is the "theorization" of rape okay? Or does it do violence to rape and sexual assault survivors?
When even GenSex professors and students (myself included) make elementary mistakes when introducing and discussing rape and sexual assault ideas, where is the hope?
Is it fair for Haverford to ask rape and sexual assault survivors to out themselves to their deans in order to receive adequate support in classes (i.e. extensions and/or exemptions from certain assignments)?
Should I have to change who I am to avoid rape and sexual assault?
How can I tell Haverford or my dean that they are NOT doing a good job at helping students who are dealing with rape and sexual assault?