March 25, 2010

Oh School House Rock, How You Teach Us Things

Posted in culture, diversions, feminism, feminist journey, music, our histories, Society, Uncategorized, why i am a feminist tagged , , , , , at 2:58 am by Eostre

More comics talk next week, and other things, there is a long post in the works but it’s not done yet…but until then I thought I would post a little something that will never cease to make me very, very happy. I hope you enjoy it. Also, there is a very interesting discussion about Twilight over at NPR’s Art and Culture blog, Monkey See, written by Linda Holmes who is reading Twilight through what is essentially a hermeneutics of suspicion. You all should check it out. Now, on to School House Rock:

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September 23, 2009

This is Why I’m a Feminist

Posted in feminism, feminist journey, our histories, why i am a feminist at 11:42 pm by Gaia

The women were innocent and defenseless. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.

Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of “obstructing sidewalk traffic.” They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thoughtLewis was dead and suffered a heart attack….

Thus unfolded the Night of Terror on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson’s White House for the right to vote….*

I am proud to embrace the term ‘feminist’. I do so in solidarity and gratefulness to the women who worked so tirelessly and in the face of such antagonism to win me the right to vote. I also do so in solidarity with the women of a generation or two ago that won me the right to hold a credit card in my name, to obtain a home loan, and to participate in women’s sports.

My journey towards feminism has had several seminal moments.

-Reading Ibsen’s A Doll’s House in high school and rejoicing when the main character chooses to leave the husband that infantilizes her in order to search for her true adult self.

-Recognizing the way girls were treated so differently in my Mormon congregation: unable to pass the sacrament, ineligable to receive the priesthood as all the boys did, taught to support and sustain their husbands as priesthood holders who would ‘preside’ over them.

-Attending a women’s college in which nearly every course had a feminist spin. There I met so many other students and professors, whom I respected so much, and who identified themselves as feminists.

-And perhaps most importantly, finding a vibrant group of Mormon feminist intellectuals, who had the bravery and integrity to confront the gender disparities in our faith and work towards a more equitable future.

As the years go by and I meet more thoughtful and compassionate feminists, I become increasingly proud to align myself with them.

*from a newspapaer column by Connie Schultz