To begin with my reaction to the readings, The Story Up Till Now was quite interesting. This was the first time I had read a historical text like this that specifically focused on the experiences of women. Putting it in this sort of timeline really helped me gain perspective on the scale of the entire history of women's experience. It can be seen as a long time since we achieved what should have been our rights from the beginning, however I am definitely a 'glass-half-full' type of person, so I took this reading as a reminder of how much incredible progress we have made. Just a couple generations ago, there are so many things that we would never have thought possible for our gender that we now might take for granted. I hope progress continues like this and we continue to see the small changes that make up the overall shift in society's way of seeing women and the important roles we have.
In regard to the Day Without Feminism, this also made me feel grateful, but rather than grateful for all that has happened, this article made me realize how appreciative I am of all the women who have helped get us to where we are now. With all the limitations and expectations and stereotypes, I cannot imagine what it must have been like for them. Sometimes I feel limited today with the few stereotypes and societal norms still around (compared to back then) and I can't even imagine doing what they did in a society that was far more repressive.
Lastly, reading the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions from the Seneca Falls convention, I realized not only how hard it would have been, but how brave these women must have been to write that while knowing the backlash that was in store for them. Persevering through that must have taken an incredible amount of mental toughness and confidence.
Speaking of confidence, what I took from Ms. Ruhl's talk was that we all need to be confident and proud of our feminism and not become thrown off when opposition is put in our way. I loved how we addressed how to talk to others about being feminists and how to deal with those who react by becoming defensive. I think knowing how to handle those types of situations and having confidence in our beliefs are key to spreading this idea and getting more people to understand that feminists are simply here to ensure equality for both genders.