More Hell, Fewer Dahlias: The Musings of a Radical Feminist.

Archive for the ‘school/learning/education’ Category


http://genderbitch.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/intent-its-fucking-magic/

Please, go here and read.

Pear of the awesome linkage linked me to this and it sums up everything i’ve been being upset about for the past, oh week.

My sociology class is hung up on intent. Lots of second wave feminists, including a second wave feminist presenting professor. Addressing those marginalized in comments would be negating the intent of the comments, which was to…uhm.

Well, I’m not really sure what was intended by comments comparing the oppression of lesbians to the “oppression” of brunettes, and I would have loved to find out. But that would have been “villainizing” the girl who made the comments, so instead I should shut the fuck up and “not get angry when people say insensitive things.” because “intent goes a long way in the classroom.”

Yes, intent goes a long way in the classroom. A long way in MARGINALIZING PEOPLE.

Fuck people, srsly.

I’m sure some of my angst over this has to do with actually COMING OUT to my family and claiming the identity of lesbian (I mean I’m telling my GRANDMOTHER, people. I can’t get out of this one) and this is my first actual incident where I’m experiencing marginalization and can talk about it with people in real life.

And talk about it I do. Constantly. Perhaps at the risk of becoming annoying.

But I mean, I just defined kyriarchy for my girlfriend!

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Please stop telling me to subvert my identity to keep you happy.

I thought we were past this, solidly into the third wave, maybe emerging into the fourth, realizing that women of color, queer women, disabled women, imprisoned women and every other woman had their own voice to add to our movement. I really thought you were done telling me that my identity needed to be sectioned off and isolated into pockets of activism. You’re telling me I should suppress being queer in order to further a movement that represents women, yet if you have your way, won’t represent me. But I’m pretty sure I’m a woman. I’m also pretty sure that the trans women I know are women too, and that your definition of woman and female are woefully inadequate, insulting, and just another way to perpetuate your tired stereotypes and patriarchy approved message of racism and homophobia.

In other words, fuck you sociology class.

Love,
R.F.L.


As a freshman in college, I took a woman’s studies class. No problems, right? At the time I didn’t consider myself radical, but the seeds were definitely there, and I was definitely a feminist. I’d been calling myself one since I was nine years old, knew everything about Gloria Steinham, and just assumed I’d have no trouble in the class.

I ended up dropping it after seven weeks, switching advisors out of the women’s studies faculty, and never setting foot in another women’s studies class again.  There were some things wrong with the class: it was mostly freshmen, so the level of discourse wasn’t very high and people didn’t know how to respectfully disagree and were still adjusting to a discussion based seminar style class.  But reading my journal from those seven weeks…wow. Some of the things that were said, and how I interpreted them, weren’t conducive at all to fostering a level of respect for all women. Some quotes from my journal:

“Apparently my stay at home mother set back feminism by having a career, getting married, and continuing her career until she had children. I mean, it’s not like her and my da decided, TOGETHER, for mum to stay home because they wanted us to have the attention and support after school that they didn’t always have. Nope! Women shouldn’t make conscious decisions about their life, apparently, especially not with male input. Everyone can afford a nanny or daycare while mom works and have it be a good financial decision.”

“Did you know my Da controls the finances in my house, gives my mum an allowance, and obviously spends the rest drinking and carousing with loose women? That’s what men who have stay at home wives do. All of them. I brought up my parents as an example, and apparently I’m wrong, I didn’t live in my house for sixteen years or anything, watching them pay the bills and make all financial decisions together. I must have missed all the loose women parading through and my mother’s overt oppression. And obviously I’m not at college, because all men with stay at home partners FORCE THEM to stay at home and all female children will be made to do the same! Oh shucks, guess I’ve been brainwashed by the patriarchy into thinking you’re all crazy!”

The amount of hatred for males and women who chose other options than what they had chosen or would choose in the future was scary. At the time, I was particularly interested in what I’ve heard referred to as “Kitchen Feminism.” You know that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where the women formulate a plan and then coax the males into the plan, giving them all the credit? I was so proud of the women in that scene. They lived in a patriarchal subculture, but managed to do what they wanted anyways, and make decisions for themselves. Do I wish they’d said “Hell no, we aren’t taking this,” walked out, and formed a Greek Women’s Collective complete with lending library? Of course. But that didn’t happen. And instead of being proud of their ability to stretch and challenge their culture while still maintaining a respect for it, my women’s studies class was the environment that faulted them for not starting up the lending library right then and there. The lack of respect for women’s choices (including starting families young, not attending college, having large families/not using birth control, being involved in sex work, just to name a few from those seven weeks) was suffocating. I had to get out, and I did so.

I stopped calling myself a feminist. I wasn’t going to degrade other women and limit their options to fit an upper middle class white worldview. After relating these experiences in a safe space with other feminists, radical and not, I came back to self identifying as a feminist, but the whole experience has made me incredibly wary of academics in feminism.

Except for Mary Daly, who I sort of want to be one day.

Things on my To Blog About Post It: The US Military and Abortion, Alter Boys: Why I’m a Bad Angry Occasional Catholic But Not Really, Tech School Men: Women’s College Doesn’t Equal Lesbian Training Camp, Feminism Reading List, Why Mary Daly Rocks, and Sweetie, You’re a Feminist: A Rant On The New “F-bomb.”

I also have enough Econ HW to kill a cat, so I bid you adieu.


Who the hell are these people and why are they making decisions for us?

Change.org: “Single-Sex Classes on Trial Expect Girls to Sit Down and Shut Up”

As a woman who attended an all female high school and currently a woman’s college, I’m a big fan of  single sex education. Some of the benefits I’ve noticed include a more open environment about issues related to women, especially in regards to sexual violence. Science classes are no longer a battleground between the sexes, and women are encouraged to stand up and talk loudly, among many many other things.

And really, this is sexism that can easily be refuted by some quick googling.  Which leads me to wonder, why in the world are the principals who care more about their own outdated sexist notions than actual studies and information regarding single sex education? Why are we allowing these people to continue to advance in society, and become our educators, politicians and high powered executives?

Let’s stop giving sexism a free pass and start holding sexist jerks accountable.

(check out the link’s website too! really cool people doing really cool things.)