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Feminist Fridays: This Week’s Findings (16.01.15)

A week of my feminist inquiry, in and out of the classroom

– “We Were Children” (National Film Board of Canada): Jesus, this film is intense. I’m currently half way finished it in my Gender, Race and Racism class and this film in powerful and horrifying all of that same time. Based on true events and recreated with dramatization, the film tells the story of two First Nations children in 1958 who are forced to attend residential schools in Canada and their experiences of the time there and afterwards. This moving is brutally honest and difficult to watch, but is a must for everyone, not just to remember what took place in residential schools, but to help full understand the cause and effect of assimilation and colonization in Canada.

– “A Year in Review: The Top 10 Most Racist/Privileged Things White Feminists Did in 2014” (http://thecoloredfountain.net/2014/12/31/a-year-in-review-2014/): a really thought provoking and wonderful article found via Pinterest, which speaks the harsh truth about the popularized versions of feminism and who is excluded and why. The article speaks to varies issues that prevent some white feminists from fully engaging in true trans formative work, and definitely made me reflect on my past year and the expectations I had for popularized feminism.

– I found the above image on Pinterest and couldn’t stop laughing and telling everyone about this. The internalized misogyny of the common cool girl troupe that describes the mysterious group of “other girls” as catty, bitchy and generally unworthy to hang out with in favour of men has always baffled me, as a six year old to a sixteen year old to now, where I can attach some more complex language and understanding to why these sorts of statements piss me off to no end and are often used as a sort of reference for being a relaxed, low maintenance friend to men. The above is so fucking true, it makes me smile so.

– I found the “Women Against Feminism” Tumblr (on Tuesday, of all days) and felt like breaking down into a puddle of tears (a few were shed, obvi). It was overwhelming the association of feminism with man haters and “misandrists”. I think what was even more harsh, was not needing feminism because they play the “victims.” Urgh, that word just makes my skin crawl. It was brutal. Very “equaltarian” approach by most commentators (granted I only viewed two pages because I could not stand it) and really took the high horse in the way that it is individual responsibility of women to stop harassment and discrimination. I sometimes think that the idea that certain actions and ideologies are intertwined with Western society and thus won’t be stopped by telling one jerk to “fuck off” really is lost of people and worse, that is doesn’t bother then that it’s “just that way.”

– Buzzfeed of course was on my radar this week and posted the article about the woman who responded positively to compliments given to them by men on social media (http://www.buzzfeed.com/rossalynwarren/this-is-what-happens-when-women-actually-accept-a-compliment#.ilDXYYO5V). It gained quite a bit of attention of my Facebook, and there was of course, some unsettling comments. Most unsettling with the agreement that the article was good, and agreeing that the outcomes of the social experiment were disturbing, but that they don’t usually “agree with feminist articles”. Like it was a good thing. Hmmm. For the article and experiment itself, there was a disproportional attention paid to the way the women responded (which wasn’t always “thank you”) and that there lack of gratitude for unsolicited comments was not viewed positively, which is bullshit. It is totally telling that the attention paid to the way women responded is a misogynistic act in itself and is quite troubling. Plus just the idea that men would compliment appearance then take it away once women agreed with them is so stupid, like you can take back a compliment, take back that you spoke attractiveness into existence. Sorry, I’ve been sitting on this for a week, boiling it over.

Anyways, that is one week of my feminist inquiry and thought. Next week I have more class readings, so hopefully I can post a review if I read something super dynamic and thought provoking.

Later days!

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