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November 21, 2008

Feminism

I thought the discussion in class was very interesting today. The topic that struck me was what it means to be a feminist and who feels as if they fit into that category. The term feminist can mean very different things and can have very different severities. To me, a feminist is someone who believes that men and women should have equal rights and that they should be seen on the same playing field instead of in some sort of hierarchy. Men can be feminists and advocate for the rights of women. Women can be everyday people and still be feminists. Our society has come to seen feminism as something that is bad. The media portrays feminists as crazy, out spoken, man hating individuals. When in actuality being a feminist just means standing up for women and trying to break the many barriers that still stand between men and women. Like in the workforce, as professor Brewer said today, when men make $1 an hour women will only make $0.77. This gap continues to grow when speaking of Black, Asian, or Latino individuals.
Is Black feminism different from “normal� feminism? According to Gender Talk, Black feminism emphasizes the intersectionality of race, class, gender and sexuality. Black feminism examines the deep interplay with one another and how these intersections affect the lives of Black women. I don’t believe that Black feminism is much different from “normal� feminism. Both look at society and try to figure out how they fit. Both types of feminism strive to dismantle the societal and patriarchal levels that have been created. Feminism is a social construct that has been created and recreated overtime. It carries a total different meaning today than it did in the 1920’s. It also carries different meanings for different cultures. The definition of feminism in the Western world is very different than the definition you would find in Africa. However, all definitions of feminism carry the same underlying purpose and meaning: to allow women more rights.

November 25, 2008

Gender Talk

My blog is on the book Gender Talk and the discussions presented. This book was very interesting from the beginning because of the personal narratives presented by the authors and the women and men they interviewed. One interesting quote I read was a question that many people might have it said "how could I, so committed to fighting racism and who feels so deeply oppressed myself, be accused of oppressing someone black like me?" (page 44). It was interesting because that is a question that I myself have asked because there are many a times where there is jealously or something along those lines where I want to be the victor of a situation and hold someone else back. We have to realize that as oppressed people in either class, race, gender, or sexuality that we oppress others which is the matrix of domination law discussed in class so many times. Everyone can be oppressed in some way.

But the theme of this book is to state that Black women have the Black in front of them at all times and gender is always a second thought, it is not the first priority when discussing rights. It was said the Frederick Douglass said "race is more urgent then gender" or something along those lines. I do believe that, but what I do not believe is stating that gender can wait. The longer you wait for gender equality the harder it will actually be to achieve it, and the same does go for race. It is not fair that Black women were pushed to the background but had to act as the foreground in the home environment, it is a double standard in society.

Another question that was brought up is gender a chosen identity or natural behavior? That is an thought that we've discussed in class. Gender is socially defined as what a man and a woman are to do in society because of their reproductive parts and what society said each gender has to do. I believe that it is a mixture of both because people do choose their gender because it can be changed, and then again people are born into how they are supposed to act based on society's preference. I liked this book because it stated facts, it has experiences from men and women who are feminist, which is something else i found interesting, I did not, for some reason, realize that men could be feminist right along side women probably based on the hierarchy point of view in society where men are on top and women beneath but I was proven wrong in this text.

In conclusion I would like to say that this book helped me learn a lot more about experiences that women have had and the fact that gender is at times overlooked in the Black community because race is so deeply rooted in our history as people that we forget that gender is also. The stereotypes of each gender is connected to race and connected to class and we have to continue to remember that everything is connected and neither is more important than the other.