Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I was particularly interested in this week's presentation because of how recent the events were. As much as learning about and from the past can be interesting, I find that I am most intrigued by things that have currently effected our society. I especially like the concise nature of the A Day Without Feminism for that reason. That being said, I also know that learning about the past helps build a more comprehensive foundation for our modern learning. Ms. Ruhl spoke to this by sharing the history of words and phrases used in our society: "rule of thumb"reached back to a time where domestic violence was legal, "obey" in the marriage vows of only the bride, "golf" was an acronym for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden.

Even the sentiment and implications behind phrases is important to acknowledge. For example, "Don't get yourself pregnant," reads as if women are the only ones in control of the biological process of creating life. This draws me to a point Ms. Ruhl and our readings discussed...the sentiment behind feminism. Ms. Ruhl asked us whether or not we were feminists, and I have to admit, even though I knew I was, I was hesitant to answer her. I don't exactly get asked that question very often, and I am very aware of the backlash that could result from identifying that way, so I stalled. Ms. Ruhl identified backlash as one of the main reasons for a fear of feminism. I agree, it's a very legitimate fear. Feminism exists and works so women can feel safe and not constantly threatened...but that exact movement working to protect them can put them in equal danger.

The Story Up Till Now addressed a lack of information and identified it as a main reason for why the Third Wave of feminism was struggling to take off. Misinformation regarding feminism is another reason why it's struggling. We touched on this in class and in the readings, and I loved the definition Ms. Ruhl gave us: "Feminism is the social justice movement for gender equity and human liberation." Not only does this accurately define feminism as a movement for gender equality, but it allows for non cisgender people to identify with this statement. It directly acknowledges women as human beings after all! If there are only two things that connect us to other people, it's our humanness and fear. 

Lastly, the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions from the Seneca Falls Convention. I particularly liked reading this because I thought the wording was so strong. The verbs especially evoked exactly how oppressed these women had felt as a result of the actions of men: compelled, withheld, deprived, made, taken from, administer, framed, monopolized, denied, exclude, especially fascinates me that these words can be used to discuss the issues to be tackled by the Third Wave. Crazy how so much progress has been made, yet so much has remained the same. 

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