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January 31, 2007

Feminism

Before I started in this course my knowledge of feminism was low. I had heard of the suffragists and women finally being given the right to vote, however, that was the only part of history I was familiar with. After reading Suffragist City I was horrified to read how unfairly women were treated in everyday life. I was even more horrified when I read Pauls recounts of her jail time in England.

I was clapped into jail three times while in England, and during my first and second terms I refused to eat. When the forcible feeding was ordered, I was bound with sheets and sat upon bodily by a fat murderes, whose duty it was to keep me still. Then the prison doctor placed a rubber tube up my nostrils and pumped liquid food through it into the stomach.
In my opinion, not out of a book, feminism is a belief that females want to be treated as equally as males. Women should have the same liberties as men, should be able to get the same job as a man and be guaranteed the same pay as a man.

Tampa Bay Rape Victim Arrested

Hey All -
I have been watching this case the last day or two and there have been blogs on if from both feministing and Bitch Ph.D.. From their sites, you can access news sites that discuss the case as well. On the feministing site, there was a follow-up piece posted on how to take action and contact the sheriff's office to protest. The site is an action page from Planned Parenthood. You can also read my blogs on the subject here. If the UPDATE blog isn't functioning properly, I apologize in advance, but it might just be my whiny computer.

January 30, 2007

I am

My name is Kim Zier. Im a junior now here at the University majoring in Animal Science. Im hoping to become a veterinarian, someday, however I am not going to vet school right away. Im 20 years old and Im from West Bend, Wisconsin. West Bend is about 30 miles north of Milwaukee in the South Eastern part of the state. Im the youngest of three kids. I have two older brothers. My oldest brother, Dan, is 33 years old. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife, Rachel. My older brother, Tim is almost 29 years old. He and his wife, Julie, live at home with their two kids. My niece, Greta, will be turning 3 on Valentines Day, and my nephew, Matthew, will be 2 in April. Being in Minneapolis the past three years has really changed my life. I came to college with a steady boyfriend, a huge cloud of uncertainty and a great rush of excitment. I no longer have my boyfriend, I still have a huge cloud of uncertainty, and I still couldnt be more excited about whats coming next for me here at the U. I guess in a nutshell, thats my life and family. :)

January 29, 2007

Category 3. The Constructions of History

Remember to post by noon on Monday 2/5!

Instructions -

In a 300-500 word post, address one (or more) of the ideas in the following prompt:

What do you know of the women’s movement and/or women’s history? What should we know/learn? What are some of the sources of our historical learning? Who/what constructs our knowledge of and/or views of history and more specifically, of women's history?

You may want to post about key events included (or not included) on Manifesta’s Timeline or update the recent years (the Timeline ends in 2002).

OR

You may want to analyze who/what is included (or not included) in history according to American girl dolls (and accessories).

Click on the banner to tour the Historical American Girl characters:

amgirls_history.jpg

OR

You may want to think about how Hollywood narratives - like Iron Jawed Angels (re)writes and inscribes history in our cultural imaginations.

Race Exhibit at Science Museum (now - May 6)

Click the banner for more info:

32.jpg

Sample Journal Entries

+ + + Media Journal Assignment + + +

The media journal assignment asks you to pay regular attention to media concerning feminist issues, gender, sexuality or any other topic relevant to course material. You should be considering key theories and concepts, and how they could be applied to analyze what you see.

You could use this assignmet to track commentary on a specific issue, and it's representation in media sources (like news, magazines, newspapers, radio, film, and television) in order to become familiar with when, where, and in what contexts or situations this issue (or women and GLBTQQ communities receive media attention), and how it/they are represented.

It would also be beneficial to compare different types of sources (television, radio, print, Web-based, commercial, indie and grassroots outlets, as well as local, national, and international sources) to explore potential differences in treatment. Think about who (person, place or company) is producing a particular message and for what reason? Are they reporting an important event? Selling an idea, ideology or product?

You should collect a MINIMUM of 2 to 3 entries per week, and write a short analysis for each entry. You will write a more formal analytic essay (to be submitted when you turn your journal in May 1st ).

You can gather news links, images, video clips, music clips, scans from textbooks - anything you deem relevant to the study of women, gender and sexuality.


+ + + Example of Informal Journal Entry + + +

My absolute favorite feminist blog is feministing.com

One of the primary categories is Fun with Feminist Flickr. Read it HERE

Today's entry:

What do you see? :
Open the box and I'll open my legs OR Open your legs and I'll open the box


I think about:
- the way power operates in relationship
- gender roles and marriage
- sex as a bargaining tool
- the use of sex as power
- the control over women's bodies and sexuality
-the framing of the image (cuts her body into pieces where you can't see her face, her eyes, her expression)
- the pale whiteness of her flesh
- the angles her legs make (the V. is it for vagina? is an arrow pointing at her bargaining chips? her worth?)

It's as if the advert screams, literally screams to me:

- Close your legs, you aren't married yet!
- Single girls (like black heel and black skirt, hose wearing, business ladies) are power hunger sex brokers
- Selling sex for diamond rings
and so many more things...

What's the context of this image? I saw it on a feminist blog. I wonder where this ad appears (in what magazines, in what countries). I did a little research and didn't find much (and I'm not sure why) -

NataN Jewelers. What is their backstory? Do they think selling jewelry (and their name brand) means selling a whole lifestyle? I hate lifestyle marketing.

From this article in the New York Times . I've learned that it is a family business based in Ipanema but has 15 stores in Brazil. It is a family business, according to CNN.

From the CNN piece:

Her parents founded Natan, a successful jewelry company in Brazil, a half-century ago, but she only began designing jewelry 12 years ago. After pursuing a career in psychoanalysis, she studied under jewelry designers in Italy and Switzerland.

Now Natan is taking her parents' traditional company into the 21st century.

"I'm very aware of making jewelry, not heavy jewelry, but making jewelry as part of the new woman," she said. "Something that gives you some identity and something that makes you a little different."

Lifestyle marketing in full effect. Jewels = your identity.

They have other *interesting* advertisements as well:


What does this ad say to me?

- a woman is unhappy and incomplete without jewels
- a woman can only truly see herself when looking in the mirror
- women spend too much time looking in the mirror
- is this woman on date? will she look more appealing with jewels?
- should she just stop waiting for him to buy her that necklace and just go on and buy it for herself (you know the knew post-sex in the city right handed ring phenom)

What does selling products so often require selling ideology? Does every product have to be marketed as a lifestyle? Can a necklace and jewels just be that or must it convince us of our gendered roles and the resulting power dynamic?

I keep thinking about power, oppression, heteronormativity, coerced gender roles, control of over women's bodies and sexualities, marriage as a contract, high heels appear to be modern day foot binds, pantyhouse is constricting and I hate it.

This conversation will definitely continue...


+ + + Example of More Formal Journal Entry / Reflection + + +

A great example of a media journal entry for the Soc 3251 Race, Class and Gender blog

What is feminism?

I definetaly did not have a definition for feminism or feminist theory coming into this class. I had my ideas, but I would have to admit that some probably followed along the lines of sexism. I read all the articles and books required, but many are hard to follow and understand completely, especially brooks. However, I read the short article in Manafesta, which was probably one of the most thought provoking articles I have ever read. It really made me see how feminism has improved our world in just 30 years. I could not have imagined being a teenager in the 70's and just starting college. Right now I am majoring in chemical engineering, which would never be possible 30 years ago, but it is still considered a mans profession. However, I could never do anything esle besides math or science, it is very interesting and I enjoy learning new things everyday. If we were in the 70's right now this profession would never be an option, and basically I could not do anything that would be in the math or science field. It was so interesting just seeing the rights women have now and how much it has grown. This article helped to show me that feminism is standing up for what you believe in and using tremendous strength and will power to convince people of these changes, which we see the difference now.

Girl Power in Engineering

For my scholarly event I attended a guest lecture by Linda Curley, an engineer at General Mills. The reason that I choose this for my scholarly event is because I am a chemical engineering major. I was interested to hear what a women working in this historically male dominated field would have to say about her job.

Linda graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in chemical engineering in 1999. She has been working at General Mills for seven years. Her presentation was about her career path and how her degree has gotten her to where she is today.

Linda started with describing her job in general. She said everyone works in groups. She specifically works with the Innovation, Technology and quality group. What this group does is: makes new products, makes variations on products that they are already making, and they improve on the products they already have. In this group there are many sub-divisions and she works with the new product development group. There are eight main groups and of these eight groups, three have job opportunities for chemical engineering majors. This was encouraging for me to hear that despite getting a pretty specific degree, there are a wide variety of jobs just in one company.

The fact that everyone works in groups, was one of the most interesting things that she said during her presentation. These groups are so productive because everyone’s ideas are all collaborated into one great idea. This made me think of the feminist movement. The feminist movement is similar to this in that when everyone is working together and sharing ideas, that is when the movement is the most productive. General Mills, just like the feminist movement, cannot succeed without people working together as a team.

Another thing that I couldn’t help thinking about was when she told us that she graduated from the U of M in 1999 which meant she started school around 1995. I bet that a woman chemical engineering major back in 1995 was even more uncommon than it is now. The engineering classes that I am in right now are still mostly guys, and I know there has been an increase in women going into engineering in the last ten or so years. I really respect Linda for going into this area of study at the time that she did knowing that it was very male dominated.

Lastly, it was really good to hear that Linda has moved up the ladder in her job. She started as an Engineer 1, got promoted to an Engineer 2, then to a Sr. Engineer 1, and now she is a Sr. Engineer 2. This was encouraging to know that she has been promoted so many places with just her B.S. in chemical engineering. She doesn’t have a masters or Ph. D of any sort. It was so good to hear this because I was under the impression that it was going to be hard for me to make it in the work field if I didn’t go to some sort of school after college, which as of right now I don’t think I want to do.

All in all this presentation was very helpful for me to attend. I learned a lot of things. First off, I learned of a possible type of job that I could get once I graduate with my chemical engineering degree. This was helpful because I really haven’t looked into this very much. I have just been following this degree path because I’m interested in chemistry and engineering, but I never have really looked into what types of jobs they actually do. Secondly, it was helpful to learn that even in just one company, there are many different opportunities for someone with a degree in Chemical Engineering. This was comforting to me to hear because it means that there’s a wide variety of options for jobs. It was also encouraging when she said that she has moved up the ladder in her job. This presentation was offered to all chemical engineering students, but was part of an upper level chemical engineering class. The main thing that I took away from it was that they only have one speaker like this come in per year, and guess what, this speaker just so happens to be a woman! Now that’s cool.

Let us educate the chauvinistic 'feminist-haters'!

I had a friend in middle school who was convinced she was going to be the first female president. She told me time and time again that boys are not any better than girls, that she or I or any other girl in the entire world could take on any task that is male-dominated and that I should never forget that. She explained to me that people may try to make me believe that men are bigger, better, and smarter than women, and that I should refuse that notion. Kate was a part of a community that wanted to not only prove to the world that women are strong, equal, and capable creatures that should not be downsized by anyone, but to prevent women from being criticized for having these beliefs. And I envied her.

I became interested in Kate's different political and social views and quickly began to define myself as a feminist. I had no idea that by giving myself that label I would be considered a man-hating, bra-burning, crazy-ass politically incorrect lesbian. Ugh, for Christ's sake! I believed that women are just as good as men, not any better and definitely not any worse (although I'm not too fond of the chauvinistic jerks that called me ugly names, but who would be?!) I soon realized that there was a lot more to being a feminist than just being proud to have been created to have child-bearing hips, chubby cheeks, an icky reproductive menstrual cycle, and large breasts.

So I never gave much thought to the fact that women haven't always had the same rights as men. I think that women often just thought that was the way it was SUPPOSE to be. We have always been taught that life is not always fair but a few amazingly beautiful and smart people finally started to understand that this is something that should just not be tolerated. Society began to evolve when some of these awesome revolutionists confronted their fellow women by saying, “Hey! What the hell, girls? Aren't you sick of being shat on by not only men, but other women who are convinced that we will never live up to the standards of men? Don't you want to express yourself in a way that people will learn from and appreciate? I KNOW you girls don't always feel like fixing your hair and makeup to be considered 'sexually appealing' to others! Let's do something about this!?

Reading Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards' article from Manifesta, A Day Without Feminism, I thought about how lucky I am to have the rights I DO have within today's society. The authors took me back almost forty years ago to a day in the life of women who had no rights to be free and equal people. They explained that it was normal during that time for women to be mislead or misinformed about sex, to be given male-biased academic tests, major only in teaching, home economics, english, or maybe a language, and hardly allowed to serve in the military. The thing that urked me most within this reading was that women were expected to be sexually attractive at all times. “Sex appeal is a job requirement, wearing makeup is a rule, and women are fired if they exceed the age or weight deemed sexy.? (p. 7) UGH! I personally don't think I should feel LUCKY to not be under that kind of pressure in most of our society today, but I do. I just feel that this is how it should have been all along. (Yet we do still have a long way to go.)

I feel lucky to be able to take this course because I know that I could learn so much more about feminism. Already from Bell Hooks' Feminism is For Everybody to Manifesta and Tidal Waves, so much has been brought to my attention and raised my awareness about the "issue". I think that no matter who a person is or what their beliefs are on the topic of feminism, they should take some sort of women's studies course (or maybe find my dear friend Kate who will help them out). At least then uneducated, ignorant people would have some education about female activism and feminist theories and will stop calling proud innocent 12 year old girls (or anyone for that matter) politically incorrect lesbians! (Even if some feminists are lesbians, some lesbians don't classify themselves as feminists..so what?)

A Feminisit is...?

I was rather vague on the actual definition of feminism before taking Intro to Women Studies 1001, and I must confess, three weeks into the class, I still am not as clear in my definition. I have done all the reading for class and listened to what my peers are contemplating during discussion and read their blogs and I still am struggling to define ‘feminism.’ I specifically remember growing up and hearing about radical women who burned their bras, supported the killing of innocent babies, hated men and God, because if you were a feminist, you were absolutely were anti-men and you were obviously an ugly lesbian that couldn’t get a man anyways, so no wonder you were a feminist. Growing up in a male-dominated family and culture I was told that a woman’s place was in the kitchen and if I did not know how to cook – my husband would throw me out of his house on my ass. I was taught that if I spoke up against a man or in a room filled with men, I was out of my place and being rude. I was treated more as a liability in that, one mistake and I could cost my beloved family it’s sterling reputation and my father’s good name would be shamed, my brothers on the other hand, could do whatever the hell they wanted and when I rebelled or asked why, sometimes crying with frustration, the unsatisfying and repeated answer I received was that when I had children I would understand; I would understand that girls are different than boys and only when I became a parent would all be apparent to me.

I didn’t give feminism much thought throughout high school, I was always more free-spirited and challenged traditions in my family, culture and environment, but was I really a true feminist? In high school I remember my AP Psychology teacher had a poster of that one muscled woman showing her ‘pipes’ and the comment bubble that said, “We can do it!? Ha. I always thought that poster was kind of funny, but simultaneously thought-provoking in an inspirational way. Looking at the poster every day in class sparked my interest and hunger the learn more about this strange word feminism and I pondered how it fit into my life. My first year as a young college student was filled with conversations on social justice and friends who declared themselves as “eco-feminists.? A close friend told me, “Bethany, you need to say exactly what type of feminist you are, otherwise, if you just say that you are a feminist, people will think you are a raging dyke.? The word feminist has definitely evolved over the years with the meaning bringing different pictures and words to mind ranging from a full fledged dyke to matronly activist; this is why I connected with the quote: “Has feminism changed our lives? Was it necessary? After thirty years of feminism, the world we inhabit barely resembles the world we were born into. And there’s still a lot left to do (Manifesta: A Day Without Feminism. Pg.6)? I recognize that after all the years of activism and fighting for equal rights there is still so much more work to do, I am just trying to figure out where to start and which battles to fight – the process seems daunting, but hey, if they did – then we can do it too!
I think feminism is how I define it and how it pertains to my life, obviously there will be a shared collective vocabulary and basic beliefs between ‘sisters,’ but what is a feminist? Someone who fights against systematic oppression, institutionalized racism, someone who is an ally to everyone regardless of race/ethnicity, sex/gender, ability, religion, age, sexual orientation, and class. Someone who educates her/himself on issues pertaining to these fields of social justice, someone who helps educate one’s peers about those issues, someone who believes in equal access, but realizes that in this present day society and world – not everyone has equal access, someone who lives her/his day fighting the small and large battles with family in a home, with peers in a residence hall, with colleagues in workplace, with strangers on campus, with her/his self. A feminist is all of these things. A feminist is me.

Definition of Feminism

Before this course, I had a pretty limited view of feminism. I would have defined feminism as: a movement for women’s rights. However, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what that meant or how that was executed. I did realize that the stereotypes were false (all feminists are angry bra-burners). I also neglected to think about a man’s role in feminism and the extent to which women’s rights and choices were so few not all that long ago and still are today for many women across the world.

Within this course so far, however, I am learning of even harsher stereotypes than I had heard of before. Hearing these really makes me sympathize with this movement because I now know how feminists stand for something totally different than what these stereotypes say. A striking portion from our reading entitled “Tidal Wave? by Sara M. Evans reads: “‘The twisted, all-too-common logic about feminists goes like this: If you stand up for women, you must hate men. Therefore, you must be angry. Thus, you must be ugly and can’t get a man anyway. Hence, you must be a dyke.’? It is easy for anyone who is not educated on the subject to have a false impression or make a generalization about feminism.
From the reading we have done so far, I feel as though a have gained a stronger understanding of feminist aspects such as it’s themes, morals, messages, and attitudes. I have built upon my prior definition of feminism. After reading bell hook’s thorough book on feminism, things have been made clearer to me. The point that stuck out to me the most was the fact that feminism is rooted in love and equality. This means that feminism stands for equality among both sexes. It is a two-way street; if either sex is claiming domination over the other (this stemming from the stereotype that feminists think they are better than men or man-haters), this would be completely contrasting to feminist ideals. Feminism is grounded in love, not hate. Also, feminism is not just limited to white, privileged women. Men and woman of all races, classes, values and political views can be a part of this same movement. So now with what I have learned so far, I say: that feminism is a movement toward equality among the sexes, rooted in love and justice, and made up of believers (men and women) of all races and classes, with different values and personalities.

Minor Epiphany

I’ve always understood that it had been a struggle for women to obtain the basic things that we have now-- like the right to vote, know our bodies, have jobs, etc. I’ve known and respected women’s history. Although when it came to calling or labeling anyone a “feminist,? I always tend to let my thoughts fall into the “negative? definitions that we discussed in our first class meeting. I would have never guessed that the events that I’ve always known as women’s history is considered sort of a basis of feminism.

I haven't been very educated on this topic to date, but I'm starting to think that it would be accurate to label myself as a feminist, after all…

I enjoyed reading Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future because it brought up every topic that gave me that above conclusion. I had no idea that that was how women were, in a sense, FORCED to live their lives. Nowadays, some women choose to stay home, raise kids, and be a homemaker, but the difference is that they have that choice now.


I can’t even fathom not having those simple independent rights that I have now. No one can assume that every other women wants to feel and live their lives exactly how I do, but I think it would be an honest statement to say that most women do want to be respected and acknowledged. I think this goes for men, also. In general, the American human nature will hardly ever rest evenly by all, in my opinion.

A few parts of the writing really struck me as still holding the same truths even now, 20 years later, in certain parts of our country. While I traveled all over the country this last summer, it wasn’t until I read this piece that I understood some of those adventures more clearly. More specifically, I’m talking about how women are treated in Las Vegas. Obviously, only in some circumstances is this relevant, but a few particular times really stand out.

For example, women are not allowed into certain strip clubs or burlesque shows without the presence of a man. Now, strip clubs and the like are known to have their own sort of anti-feminism views, however, for them to actually ban coupled or lesbian women into a public place just seems unfair. In addition, did you know that for the majority of jobs out in the Las Vegas area, you must provide a headshot with any application or resume to even be considered? Most of the casinos will only hire female, model-type servers (which is like the stewardesses mentioned in the piece) no matter how much experience you have and a male dealer is much more likely to be hired over a female dealer. We all know that Las Vegas prides itself on it’s beautiful women/people, but to what extent should we all accept that? Why? With the idea of transferring myself and my daughter out to Nevada after this semester, these are some of the things that I think definitely go on the “con? list.

GENDER Equality

I have always thought that feminism was the belief that no matter the gender, people should be treated equally. I believe that most people, even those who disagree, think that this is at least part of what feminism is. In this regard, I have considered myself a feminist for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my main feminist focus was proving to those around me that women were or could be just as capable as men at everything. This is not the most important aspect for me anymore, but at the time is caused quite a stir, surprisingly, to those around me. I have heard and experienced every stereotype imaginable. My father told me at a young, confused age that I had “penis envy?. I’ve never wanted a penis! I’ve been called a man-hater and a lesbian despite the fact that most of the people who have said this are “friends? who are well aware that I have a boyfriend and countless male friends. This has driven me to really attempt to understand why friends and acquaintances use such illogical labels attributed to feminists and feminism. There are numerous ideas that I have come up with.

One idea is quite simple or basic. Calling the movements and theories for gender equality “feminism? does not incorporate all that it is about. If the general population understood that feminists are not out just for women’s rights but for social change for the betterment of both genders maybe men and women would feel less threatened. In my experience, most confused people have misunderstood this terribly. I attempt to explain that feminists are not anti-men though they have definitely appeared this way at times-- “Another groups’ policies was that it be staffed by women only,? (Suffragist City, p.60) Men are not the sole problem. In fact, it’s pretty obvious that women alone have accomplished a lot throughout the centuries, but the fundamental societal and cultural changes won’t occur without a larger supporting amount of male feminists. Women are culprits as well. I myself hold unconscious sexist stereotypes. Our society has ingrained such behavior and ideas on gender, and both sexes play an equal role in that. When explained this way, people seem to attribute these ideas to me as opposed to feminism in general which I attempt to debunk as well.
This brings me to the belief that all feminist have the same ideas. If people knew that feminists do not agree on everything, and that each individual brings different life experiences, ideas, and prejudices to the movement maybe people would be more willing to join and attempt to incorporate their beliefs into it as well. It is difficult to feel accepting of something when people hear one feminist’s narrow view of how things should be, including my own, and think that that is what feminism is PERIOD. Sara Evans in “Tidal Waves? explains that “the differences among feminists are so deep that some regularly challenge others’ credentials as feminists? (p. 3). I do not see this as a problem. Yes, feminists need to organize in order to make change, but their can be many different organizations with different roles that incorporate larger numbers of accepted people who have much to offer. As long as the main goal is for gender equality, change will occur.
Of course there are many more reasons for all of the backlash, stereotypes, and prejudices. This is a very complex problem that we can hopefully delve into further in the course because I have gone slightly over the words allowed.

Has feminism changed your life?

I had experience with feminist theory before taking this course because I had previously taken courses that addressed feminism. I am a senior and a GWSS minor. At the U, I have taken Feminist Thought and Theory, Women and the Arts, and a topics class, AIDS in Society: Change, Activism, and Policy. I am also a Cultural Studies major and have taken many classes in this department that address feminist theory and issues such as: The Body and the Politics of Representation, Sexuality and Culture, and Issues in Cultural Pluralism. I have found that the American Studies Department has great classes for studying women’s issues world-wide. I don’t know if this class is still around but Comparative Gender and Sexuality focuses on feminism and women’s issues on a global scale and analyzes the trafficking of women on a global market.

I truly fell in love with the study of power structures through my major and began to concentrate my studies on issues of sexuality and how normative thinking manifests as social discipline and law. Last year I worked independently with a teacher on a paper entitled Construction of the Beautiful Body: A Study of Agency in Feminine Body Hair Removal Practices. I hope to publish this paper in the near future.

The goals of feminism lie in thinking outside dominant patriarchical paradigms and are not limited to women gaining equality with men.

Feminism is not dead.
Feminism is a battle that can be fought by all sexualities and genders.
Feminism is the struggle for a space in society created by women for women.
Feminism opposes the defining of women in relation to men.
Feminism acknowledges that “the women’s struggle? is different for all women.
Feminism understands that women are not necessarily united in feminist goals by their gender.
Feminism believes that the structure of women’s domination is influenced by race, class, sexuality, gender, nationality, and physical location, along with other factors.

“Has feminism changed our lives? Was it necessary? After thirty years of feminism, the world we inhabit barely resembles the world we were born into. And there’s still a lot left to do? (Baumgardner and Richards, 9).

The fact that we are all in this class, that college students can earn a degree in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, and that women on a large scale are able to attend college at all is evidence that the feminist movement is only just beginning.

Manifesta

I was really moved by Baumgardner and Richards’ Manifesta. It’s one thing for me to think about what America would be like without feminism, but it was another to actually read A Day Without Feminism, so beautifully written and so powerful. The piece put into perspective not only the what living without feminism would be like, but, along with the other articles we had to read, made me appreciate feminism to a greater level, thinking about all the work that women before me have done to achieve equal rights. The excerpt also helped to break down feminism for me. Whereas before I thought about feminists working on broad scale (i.e. equal rights for all women), the article made me think about each individual right women had to fight for—voting, reproductive rights, equal education rights, to name a few. It seems that the role of this movement has been to change the identity of women in our world—in the minds of men and women. I feel that feminist movements have worked to get people to see women not as subordinate “servants,? but as individuals who are an asset to our society, to our economy, who can be self-sufficient and therefore deserve equality. Now that I think about it, feminism today is not too much further from the beginnings of feminism.

The platform is very much the same: to change the identity of women in our culture. It’s amazing to think of how much women have accomplished since the beginnings of feminism. Baumgardner and Richards are right: the world we live in today is so different than the world we were born into. And although we have come such a long way, we must still continue to fight, to change what is not equal so that the children born today will live in an even better world.

thoughts

Growing up my ideas of feminism was that of women’s rights: the right to vote, workplace equality, and the right to an independent life. When I was young my parents instilled that women should be treated with a great deal of respect and that gender equality wasn’t something to be thought about but something to be practiced

There were a lot of times when they would use various news stories to start a dialogue. A few instances that I remember well were the topics of sexual harassment and single unwed mothers. I remember my father talking about how sexual harassment was unacceptable, that it showed a severe character flaw and lack or respect for others. It was instilled on us that workplace performance was independent of gender, and that not one should use a position of power to make others feel others uncomfortable. We lived in a smaller town where being an unwed mother was a social stigma. My parents talked about how that pregnancy was not the woman’s sole responsibility that it was the responsibility of both partners and that men “shouldn’t be given a free pass.?
So my early encounters with feminism were perhaps reformist. I think like any social movement each person interprets and approaches feminism differently. I think the social rights element of feminism is important. One of my favourite quotes from the reading was when Alice Paul was being taken to prison and shouted “I am being imprisoned not because I obstruct traffic, but because I pointed out to President Wilson the fact that he is obstructing the process of justice and democracy at home while Americans fight for it abroad?(pg 6). I think this quote is very applicable currently as well. Today the United States is touting freedom and democracy abroad while there are still huge inequalities happening at home. For me right now feminism is about social rights but also breaking down they way in which we think about gender; the way that the hegemonic ideas of gender continue to lead to inequality and repression of both women and men who do not fit into traditional roles. So for me feminism isn’t just the rights of women, but challenging the thoughts and ideas of women and gender.

What is Feminism?

Coming into this class I was another one of those people who didn't really have a good idea of what Feminism really is. I knew better than to think that it was just a group of man-hating lesbians, but I still thought the idea of Feminism was for women to be equal with men and equality in the workforce. After doing some of the reading in this class I have realized that equality in the workforce is only one small part of Feminism, and that Feminism is about abolishing sexism and patriarchy.

bell hooks states in "Feminism is for Everybody", "Practically, it is a definition which implies that all sexist thinking and action is the problem, whether those who perpetuate it are female or male, child or adult." It has become very clear to me that Feminism is not anti-male and that people who think that are only hurting feminism. Feminists want to change the entire system that we live in, and remove any sexism that exists in society. This is why equal opportunities in the workforce is only a small part of what feminists want. This is because they are still living in a patriarchy, and that unless society as a whole is changed, people will still be participating in the sexist society.

I am interested to learn more about Feminism and Women's Studies this semester, and it has been more interesting than i expected. It is important that people know what feminism actually is, which is not just equal opportunities in jobs. As long as feminism is known as only that, it will not succeed.

so many definitions of feminism....

In the midst of my crazy work filled weekend, the only article that I was able to read beginning to end without interuption was the portion of Evan's book Tidal Waves. I sat down with one of the women I take care of and read it to her. She honestly never sits with me when I try to read anything to her, but unless she was just tired or lazy she sat with me through the 17 pages.

While jotting down notes throughout the pages in the margins, I never came to a conclusion of what I feel her definition of feminism is. she had alot of similarities to hook's book that feminism is not anti-male nor practiced only by women that are lesbians. She spoke about experiences that made her realize that sometimes a feminist's biggest enemy was another feminist with different views, not outsiders looking in and disproving of ideas and actions. Kind of on the same page, one part that really hit me was when she talked about "aroused conservatives" such as Phyllis Schlafly. I found it interesting how she attacked feminists by saying they were "anti-family, anti-children and pro-abortion" (might not be the whole quote my pages got cut off). A good example I thought of a woman that isn't aware of what it truely means to be a feminist. Within her experiences she gives a great timeline of feminsim and a good idea of what it was like to be a part of feminist groups. I liked that about this article because I am not one that remembers stuff like that so it was good to have it there with her thoughts and experiences. In the end, I enjoy reading these articles but have a hard time concluding their thoughts since they attempt to show the reader the whole picture of what was happening. I look forward to class to have a discussion about all three pieces because then hopefully I can sort out all the authors definitions of feminism and it will help me to expand my own definition.

thoughts on feminism ....

Coming into this course, I wasn’t well-versed in feminism nor held the right assumptions about feminism. Like many others without proper knowledge of the subject, I perceived feminists and their whole movement as angry, ‘anti-men-hating? women. Although I don’t disregard or disagree with their movement, I didn’t connect with the topic. Feminism was never something that I considered as being on the forefront of important issues to tackle. And as hostile or blunt it may sound for me to say, feminism is another thing that I feel the white majority can complain about and distract people from focusing on the most important issue at hand: racism. Being discriminated because you’re a woman is never by no means appropriate in today’s society. However, people do not kill or treat you as an inferior because your protest about gender inequality.

You are not dragged behind a truck because you are a woman.

You are not called offensive, derogatory, and demeaning words like “ch*nks? or “n*gger? that associate with your skin color because you are a woman.

You are not encouraged to forget your native roots and conform to a society that seeks to institutionalize racism against you because you are a woman.

What it really boils down to is that when color of skin comes into play, it doesn’t matter what gender you are. People of color are treated this way, men and women. For being a person of color and a woman, it’s already two strikes for me. And perhaps for that simple reason alone, I found feminism to be exclusive for white women only, not for people like me.

But after reading the text and having an appropriate and more formal introduction of the ideas and definitions about feminism, my view on feminism has altered somewhat. Although I still very much believe that feminism shouldn’t be on the forefront of discussion, I have come to appreciate feminism and its valid arguments for equality. After all, that’s what the majority of us are fighting for, right?

“Biased feminist scholarship attempts to show that white girls are somehow more vulnerable to sexist conditioning than girls of color simply perpetuates the white supremacist assumption that white females require and deserve more attention to their concerns and ills than other groups? (Hooks, 59). After reading that particular passage in the text, my view of feminists is slowly becoming less hostile. If feminists are actually able to admit to controversial and uncomfortable topics like that, my respect and willingness to be more open-minded has definitely increased. It opened up an opportunity to connect feminism with something I passionately fight against.

I think I have been able to re-define feminism into something I can relate to and now define as protecting the value of a woman. If feminism is able to affect and strike me at a deeper level throughout this course, perhaps it will develop into something more.

My views on feminism

What feminism was and is to me. Before taking this class feminism wasn’t a part of my vocabulary to be honest. Never really heard much about it; except for in high school history classes when a woman’s right to vote was brought up. I really had no idea what feminism was mainly because I had never really heard anything about it. At most if you would have asked me I would have just said I really don’t know, but I think it has something to do with equal rights. It’s pretty sad but very true. I think that’s a big problem with feminism……not many people even know what it is or what feminists are about. Like the video we saw people just think they hate men and want to be lesbians.
After being in this class for only two weeks I’ve learned more about feminism than I ever have and probably ever will. It’s kind of scary being in a class where you don’t know anything about the topic, but that’s also a good thing. It gives me a chance to learn something new and grow a little. After the few classes we’ve had I would have to say that feminism is a movement by people of all races and genders that believe the way women are treated in everyday life is unfair. Not just how they’re treated by men but how they are treated by everyone. They feel like the way women are portrayed and the rights women get are not fair to them and that they deserve better.

I feel like feminism has come a long way compared to what is was back in the day, but there’s still a lot more that has to and can be done. As was mentioned on page 8 in “Manifesta? by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, “women could be refused service at a restaurant or bar without a male escort and single women would have a hard time finding an apartment to rent?. That shocked me to hear those things. That entire article was definitely an eye opener for me. For women to go from that to where they are now is insane. I’m just glad I never lived back in those days because I don’t think I would have liked it at all even being a male. Women deserve better and deserve to be treated with respect. Thanks to my parents raising me properly I have always thought that.
I guess from everything that I have heard so far I would say I’m definitely happy that feminism is a part of this world. I can’t lie and say I don’t have my arguments against some of the things they think and believe either, but hopefully this class with show me that I’m wrong. I’ve already learned a ton and can’t wait to keep learning more.

Feminism is...

I learned early on in High School about feminism. I knew that there was a history and that somehow I was allowed the right to vote and have “equal? work, pay and reproductive rights etcetera. However, the meaning of “feminism? has always been hard for me to explain, and a label has been the farthest thing that I have ever wanted to understand. While reading the different articles this week I found the “Suffragist City? article to be historically interesting. I now understand more clearly the suffering that women had to endure and the time it took to fight for the right to vote. I assumed that jail was a negative experience; the force feeding through a tube that went through the noses of these women was visually too much for me. What I found to be the most profound part of this article was in the end when Maude Younger says, ‘“I don’t want to do anything more; I don’t want to be on any board or any committee or have anything more to do, because I think we have done all this for women and we have sacrificed everything we possessed for them,?’ (Rowe-Finkbeiner page 6). These women work so hard, unbelievably hard. I can’t imagine something like this because I take it for granted. I wonder what it feels like to sacrifice everything that you possess and what it would take for me to do that.
“A Day Without Feminism? helped me understand more clearly what I take for granted. There were many things within the article that struck me. I think that feminism isn’t clearly defined, that no one is able to come up with a definition. I always thought of feminism as being stagnant and label specific; the stereotypes always floated in the back of my mind. Now I see that feminism is recreated continuously. I know that reproductive rights are being taken away, but what is the focus of feminism now and is there going to be another wave or is the Third Wave still coming to shore?

January 28, 2007

a string of thoughts

I’ve realized that I didn’t know much about feminism before this class. I limited feminism to a movement to attain rights for women equal to those of men. This is true but I’m recognizing that there is a lot more attached to the definition. I have always believed that females should be considered and treated equal to the male gender but I didn’t have an understood basis for my beliefs. I didn’t deem myself a feminist because I didn’t act on this idea; therefore I thought I was unqualified to call myself one.

After reading the assigned articles, I’ve become truly aware of how little I knew about the oppression of women. I was shocked by the information presented by the authors. “A Day Without Feminism? was mind-boggling to me that women could be treated like so horribly. I had no idea that the conditions women were forced to live under were that terrible. It makes me appreciate the world we live in today, though it’s still not perfect. Every line made my jaw drop. The treatment of women by their bosses made me cringe and the issues regarding pregnancy were ridiculous. The phrase “gets herself pregnant? (4) is just so illogical because a girl can’t possibly do it by herself and for the entirety of the blame to be put on the woman is awful. I can’t believe women were fired or expelled for being pregnant. This also seems contradictory to me following the ideas of sexism. I thought that people believed the role of women was to reproduce. If this was true, I don’t understand why women would be punished for being pregnant. In “Suffragist City? by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, I was taken back by the fact that individuals within the feminism movement would oppose the advancement of their ideals by other women, even if they disagreed with their tactics. I think that this exemplifies bell hooks’ thoughts of an alleged hierarchy within feminism and her idea that “most women, especially privileged white women, ceased even to consider revolutionary feminist visions, once they began to gain economic power within the existing social structure? (4).

Before first semester ended, I was talking with a male friend of mine about the classes that I had chosen for this semester. When I mentioned that I was taking this class, he made a face and a sarcastic reproach about my decision to be in a women’s studies class. At the time, I was surprised by his reaction but I couldn’t exactly pinpoint why. Looking back on that conversation, I understand that his response stemmed from the negative connotations and associations that feminism provokes but I am still perplexed. I can’t believe that someone I perceive as intelligent, open-minded, and fair would be capable of being so affected by sexism and stereotypes of feminism.

All of this shows that the misconstrued ideas of the past still linger and are strongly present today. Along with fighting the oppression expressed in the articles, I think that the feminist movement focuses primarily on the reversal of sexism. As my eyes have been opened to the obscenity of the crimes against women, I think it is the goal of feminists to help individuals obtain a better understanding of what they’re fighting for so the misconceptions of feminism can be laid to rest and more people can join in the fight.

Revolutionary Feminism

Before the beginning of this course, I thought I knew a fair amount about feminism. I took a high school semester of Women in Society, and learned about women’s roles in different cultures throughout history, and the particular women who struggled to change society’s perception of females. We learned about what women have achieved in terms of equality, what we should thank them for, and what particular struggles we still have to face. But through all of this, I do not remember ever learning the ideas of revolutionary feminism.

Bell Hooks defines the philosophy of revolutionary feminists as “before women could change patriarchy we had to change ourselves; we had to raise our consciousness? (Feminism is for Everybody, pg. 7). Hooks continues to describe revolutionary feminism as eliminating all prejudices and inequalities between people of different genders, races, and classes from the inside out. Revolutionary feminism focuses on changing your own thoughts and actions to dispose of the patriarchy that oppresses not only women, but everyone.
This idea was completely new to me, and I thought it was impressive in both its reach for total equality and strategy of focusing on one’s self instead of the society or individuals they perceive as wrong. I see this idea as a huge and realistic step in terms of at least improving equality and people’s quality of life. This is because although many people believe in gender, racial and class equality, a lot of them do not know how to face it. To oppose these issues on a large scale takes a lot of effort, time and will power and all without the promise of results. And to be constantly aware of all the injustices of the world and to feel that you have no power can be an equally heavy and difficult feeling. For these reasons, I believe revolutionary feminism is a realistic and healthy goal because it allows people to change their own lives and the lives of the people directly around them. To focus on yourself and to change your own habits and ideas is a much more attainable and gratifying goal because you are the only one who gets to decide the path of your life, and you can see your results first hand in the relationships you create with other people. I also believe if this idea is held on to, it can spread throughout whole communities simply by word of mouth and witnessing others success. This idea changed how I perceived feminism as well as many other injustices in our country and the world, and I am looking forward to learning more about it in our class.

do titles bore anyone else?

To be honest, I never really “knew? what feminism was—I knew what it wasn’t.

I grew up with fairly conservative parents, but ones who weren’t always very vocal about their opinions. My dad has a photograph of President Bush on his hearth and I still don’t know why. My mom and stepfather have never, ever told me for whom they voted, no matter how “small? the election. In high school, I read the chapter of Rush Limbaugh’s The Way Things Ought To Be in which he introduces and embellishes the term “feminazi.? I was enraged at the sheer, cruel absurdity of what I’d read, and I railed at it that night at home. My stepdad stopped me cold by saying, “You know, he’s not entirely wrong.? I realized, at that moment, exactly how pervasive that kind of stereotype might be.

Like I said, I quickly garnered an idea of what the world’s many feminisms were not, but my initial ideas of feminism stemmed from various indignations that stuck with me. I knew that being harassed by the boys in my elementary-schoolyard was not right, and that feeling guilty about it was unfair. I hated to see that my mom raised three of us on her own while going to school, with an unhealthy little monthly stipend forced out of my father’s increasingly hearty bachelor’s salary.

I’ve read and learned a lot more since then (not just in this class), and have discovered that feminism is all of those things and a lot more. It probably depends on whom one talks to, and when. bell hooks, for instance, focuses quite a bit on the class- and race-based struggles of feminism, but what caught me most was her idea of the way patriarchy hurts family. She writes that, as patriarchy is a system of dominance, “ours is a culture that does not love children, that continues to see children as the property of parents to do with as they will? (73). I watch this happening to my heedless little sister, whose parents attempt to focus her scattered attentions by becoming ever more strident, and I know that it is true. When Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards hypothesize that, without feminism, there would be “no Take Back The Night marches to protest women’s lack of safety after dark…,? I think of a conversation I had with a friend a while ago (6). There was a look of inexplicable pity on his face as he said, “You walk around alone all the time with a fear that I’m never going to have, even if you don’t think about it much…. Just because somebody got the idea, one day, to rape and attack…? Women have a fear of their physical and sexual safety in a way that very, very few men do. The authors of Manifesta draw attention to this fear, and although I don’t fully understand where it came from (Historically, why are women dominated? Why are men the ones to dominate?), I know that it’s real.

I could go on and cite the truth in almost every author’s description of feminism or multiple feminisms, but I’ve gone over the word count and it’s more succinct to write that, perhaps, any individual’s definition of feminism can be applicable to that individual’s cares and experiences, and is therefore viable.

The Right To....

Before this course, my assumptions were that feminists were females fighting for women’s rights. Other than that, I knew nothing. I knew that I thought it was important, but I had no idea to what extent feminism really stretches. I was raised on a farm in a house with two younger sisters and a mother and a father who both worked. When I was first born my parents were both in Graduate School in Green Bay. My mother was student teaching, so my father had to take me to classes with him. I grew up in a household where my father taught us the things he did around the house and I played with Lincoln logs and bugs outside rather than Barbie dolls. My parents have always told my sisters and I that we are able to do anything that we put our minds to, no matter the stereotypes that accompany that particular dream.

From reading these articles and chapters, I realize how lucky I am. I realize not only how lucky I am to grow up in such a motivational and loving family, but also to be growing up in the time that I am. I have so many opportunities at my fingertips, and it is because of the powerful people with voices who have come before me. I have them to thank for the mentality that my parents have passed on to me. My mother went through natural childbirth in my parent's home in Green Bay with me, and she is proud to have accomplished such a birth. Reading of the limited options and sometimes forced operations that took place in 1970 was appalling. “If a woman goes under the knife to see if she has breast cancer, the surgeon won’t wake her up to consult about her options before performing a Halsted mastectomy…? (Baumgardner and Richards 8) was the most shocking, depressing statement that I read. It is said that this procedure was a “disfiguring and debilitating surgery [that] was performed on virtually every woman who presented with the disease, regardless of the degree of the cancer's severity at the time of diagnosis.? (Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society). To know that these women could wake up and find the “the choice had been made for her? (Baumgarder and Richards 9) really represents how unequal the times were. My mother had the option of natural childbirth in her home because of the movement for women's rights to chioce. I look forward to being able to make such choices for myself when the time comes, thanks to the caring, motivational people before me.

Feminism in its most absolute form is the power to feel confident in yourself because of the equality that supports you. A feminist is someone who will strive to create an environment that is inviting to people of all races, gender and class. A feminist is someone who will celebrate differences that make people unique. Feminism is the movement to create peace.

My definition of feminism...

Feminism had and always will be a controversial topic in our society. While I do not disagree with feminism, I don’t find myself to be an extreme advocate for it either. Through the courses that I have taken in the past that focused solely on women, I was already familiar with the concept of feminism. Through my knowledge and beliefs, I define feminism as a movement of equality to advance women’s rights. Among those rights is the idea of equal work-equal pay.
Furthermore, while I agree with bell hooks definition of feminism in which she stated “feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression? (pg 1), I don’t find her message about the unification of feminism very convincing. Feminism itself is a very powerful foundation. However, there are so many different beliefs and ideas within feminism that make it impossible for a complete alliance. In other words, different groups of feminists have different values and goals that most of the times; it is hard to come to an agreement. For instance: while radical feminists focus their effort on changing the very foundation of how our society was established, liberal feminists strive their hardest for gender equality. I personally find myself to share the same values with those who are liberal. I don’t see the point of going so far as to uplift the foundation of our society. Is it necessary? Or is it even possible. What does it really mean to change our foundation and what than would our society become? Couldn’t that society also be established as long as there are equalities between genders? What more can be expected if there is no more wage discrepancy between men and women? Isn’t enough that sexism no longer exists? Overall, eventhough I’m not arguing with the fact that feminism has indeed revolutionized our lives, I find it sometimes contradicting and don’t think that it could ever harvest the complete one hundred percent support from people.

It Changed Me!

Before this class, I never considered myself a feminist. Sure, I stood up for women’s rights and equality, but I didn’t think I was a feminist because I never actually was educated on what feminism was really about. Previous to this course, I believed the stereotypes about feminism thinking all feminists were masculine, lesbians, who hated all men. Learning about feminism really hit home when reading “A Day Without Feminism? especially when I read about women in the workplace. “Less than 2 percent of dentists are women; 100 percent of dental assistants are women.? (Manifesta pg 7). I hope to one day become a dentist and have wanted to be one for quite some time. It’s hard to think of a time when women weren’t encouraged to strive for success or educate themselves, but rather to settle down and raise a family instead. I am lucky to have a family and a boyfriend who support me and encourage me to reach for my goals with a career and don’t expect me to settle for anything less. I am extremely happy to learn that women are pursuing dentistry as a profession and that here at the U (and most other universities) there is almost an exact equality ratio in the dental school or at least an expected equal ratio by 2010 (the year I graduate).

Not only did I fail to realize the gender inequality in the workplace, but I also didn’t realize how lucky I am to be able to take birth control, to decide when and how I’d like to have a baby, to play sports in high school and win our section and advance to the State Tournament in fastpitch softball, to even one day manage my own practice and work for and to support myself.

After a few weeks of class and reading about feminism I can now say that I believe feminism cannot be described with a specific type of person, but rather it covers an array of both women and men. Feminism strives for 100 percent acceptance and equality amongst everyone. A day when people are blindfolded and no one knows the gender of a person is an ideal day for feminists. It will eliminate all sexism. Until that day comes, it is so important to continue to educate people on feminism. Feminism has come such a long way since our mothers and grandmothers were in their teens but there is still so much more that needs to be changed. This class changed me in just a few weeks; just think of its potential!

Midwestern Feminism

Having grown up on a farm in Iowa, feminism was never really a topic that people were concerned about. If a person were to visit any rural community they would see that much of Baumgardner and Richard's "Manifesta" still applies to everyday life. "...almost all of the teachers are female" (p.4). "Girls take home ec while boys take shop" (p.4). All of the principles of our district are male (p.4). Feminism is not talked about simply because the women in rural communities are typically of an older generation having grown up pre 1970's. With this in mind, I have little background of feminism and I joined the class to learn about the history and future of this continually developing topic.
It is interesting to learn about women’s' different views on feminism. Hook's idea of feminism was of a "social and political movement" (p.1-2) focusing on the idea of equality as a whole. The three readings that were assigned showed feminism throughout different centuries. I believe each story was fighting for the same cause, but by using their own little "tweaks". An idea which seems to be reoccurring is the resurgence and then dying away of feminism throughout time. It seems as though each movement gets what they want, and then fades away until their authority is questioned again. I believe this is the reason why feminism is still criticized and under attack even today. If the movement would just get a foothold and hold their position with support, then it would get the respect that it demands. My current definition of feminism follows the same road as Hooks’, but like the different authors of the movement’s history it has its own “tweaks?. Feminism is the social and political desire for people of gender and race to be alike. This definition is subject to change and I am hoping that it will change with help from the assignments and speakers that I will encounter over the course of the semester.

What I knew, and What I know…

To me, the words “feminism? and “feminist? have always invoked an image of women who are confident and strong, they know who they are and are not afraid to be it. To me, a feminist was always a woman, I never considered that a man could be a feminist too, that they could believe in, support and fight for the same rights and equalities women were/are fighting for. After reading the three selections, as well as bell hooks Feminism is for Everybody, I realize that there is no clear cut definition that can embody all of what feminism is, or who a feminist is. As Sara Evans says in the selection from Tidal Waves, “There is no question that the women’s movement will continue to reinvent itself.? (p. 17) Feminism challenged/challenges “the common sense mentality that women were naturally docile, domestic and subordinate.?
“Manifesta? was a real eye-opener for me, it’s so strange to think that that is the world our moms, grandmas and aunts lived in. Some of the restrictions women were forced to endure seem outrageous, and I can’t imagine a world where “women are legally encouraged to stay in abusive relationships.? (Baumgardner and Richards p. 6) Now there are women’s shelters everywhere, hotlines to call, and serious consequences for abusers. It seems unreal that women could live without those protections and safety nets. The fact that the mentality that it was okay for “a boss could demand sex, refer to his female employees exclusively as ‘Baby,’ or say he won’t pay her unless she gives him a blow job? was accepted as the norm is highly disturbing. I can’t imagine going into a job knowing that those were your options—degrade yourself or quit. It just isn’t fair and it makes me so grateful that there has been so much progress since then.

Feminism: The Transformation of a Definition

Honestly, I did not know many specifics about feminism before this course. I was not sheltered, though. I knew that Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the first women’s rights convention. I knew that feminists nation-wide were and still are fighting for equality in the workplace, home, and society. In high school, I had a few friends who were feminists, so I knew that with the exception of some radicals, most feminists were not man-hating lesbians. My friends were in the top ten percent at one of the best high schools in the country, and from my experiences with them I learned that many (if not most) feminists are well-educated and are well-aware of current events and what is going on in the country that affects them and their cause. I enrolled in this course because my previous knowledge of feminism intrigued me to want to learn more about it. Before this course I would have defined feminism as a political and social movement directed towards the advancement of women in all aspects of life.

After the several readings about feminism, I am able to add to my previous definition. I know that feminism is not about making women better than men, but it is about making women equal to men. I learned that the movement is geared toward abolishing sexism, as that is the root cause of the inequalities and adversities women face. I am delightfully surprised that feminism advocates not only women but other cultural and ethnic minorities, the GLBTQQ community, and children. I think it is an admirable undertaking that ultimately leads to greater solidarity concerning the fight for equality.
I feel constantly privileged that I was born in the era I was for many reasons. For example, I am very athletic, and I played varsity volleyball for 2 years in high school. According to “A Day Without Feminism? in Manifesta, had I been born in the early 60’s, I would have been denied the pleasure I got from actively participating a sport that I love (4). Also, in that same article, it was brought to my attention that women in the past were basically unable to do much of anything without being married to a man (7). This makes me particularly angry because I consider myself a very independent person, and if being married to a man was the only way for me to live comfortably, I don’t think I would be very happy. I would want to be married because it was what I wanted to do, not what I needed to do.
Overall, I am excited to continue learning about the feminist movement and the many strides it has gained over the years.

How the old-time sisters dirtied the word (but we love 'em anyway)

Disclaimer: Some of this is revoltingly inflammatory. XOXO

So I was sitting at a friend’s house the other day, and was discussing the verbal harassment of women that goes unacknowledged by the better part of society because it is so devastatingly integrated. Ok, so then someone said something about me being a feminist, and then a record probably stopped or something, but then this guy looks over and he looks appalled that there might be a feminist in the room. So he says, “Wait, you’re a feminist?? Of course, I’m uncomfortable because this is kind of my “outing?, right? Like, is this guy still going to take me seriously if I say yes, will he be cautious around me, or what? I don’t know. Anyways, so I say, “Well, I think everyone is entitled to their opinions and should believe in the notion of equality, so if that makes a woman a feminist, then yes, I guess I am.? So from there he calls me a “good? feminist, apparently contrasting to the “bad? ones that he referenced as man-hating, nonsensical lesbians.

So then I read part of Evans’ book, Tidal Wave, and it was really heartbreaking to read that the “…conservative attack on the women’s movement has trumpeted the same themes for more than a century, warning against “mannish? women and the endangered patriarchal family.? (Evans 6) Admittedly, it is a little hilarious to think that this same stereotype has been around for over a century, and is apparently still used in defining a feminist. However, it is upsetting not only because people believe it, but also because it truly stunts the movement. Women won’t get involved if their femininity is threatened, if they are afraid of being transformed into some revolting cow…or something.
Really what I’m trying to say is that our second-wave sistahs inadvertently screwed things up for us trying third-wavers. Where as in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s (some) women lived with each other in co-ops, disposed of their husbands, and pretty much devoted their lives to this new-found womanhood invoked by feminists, the girls of today realize that maybe that’s not what we want. So we refute the feminist thing altogether. Therefore, by lack of concentration within the feminist movement, no one is able to see the need for it. Thus, reinforcing the ways of patriarchy, and losing what all of our foremothers have done for us!
Alas, I find it interesting that the only memory we retain of the second-wave feminists is their then new outlook on lifestyle, forgetting that they were the ones that allowed us to take out a loan solely under our name.

Feminism Changed My Life

Of course feminism has changed our lives! Whether we choose to believe it or not. In this chapter of Manifesta, Jennifer and Amy accurately paint the picture of feminism and the lives of women 30 years ago, before many of the current women's rights were 'awarded' to us. Feminism's role for myself and other women, has been a means to achieve the goals of equality, proper health care, better sex education, and other issues. The goals that we have for ourselves and for society can be achieved through feminism. I believe that feminism is a means rather than a goal. Feminism as a means can take many forms. For the members of the Combahee River Collective, Black Feminism is the most appropriate form or feminism to achieve their goals. There are many different types of feminisms that one could potentially identify with in order to visualize a better society that incorporates women. Some of my friends identify with ecofeminism and others with a feminism most focused on class relations. The role and form of feminism of the time that Jennifer and Amy describe is much the same as the feminism that Betty Freidan describes. Although they differ about a decade, the education and 'emancipation' of housewives and the typical woman needed to be addressed. Betty Freidan describes in her book 'the problem that has no name' as the biggest issue. The 'housewive's issue' grew to be a bigger issue than many male therapists believed. Jennifer and Amy describe a time when the misconception that working will free women is believed by most all. For me, feminism allows me a venue and a lens to view society differently. One issue that Jennifer and Amy address is that of a woman's 'title': "If a woman is not a Mrs., she's a Miss. A woman without makeup and a hairdo is a suspect as a man with them" (Baumgartner 8). I have filled out many applications in my life, however the most frustrating of them all are the ones that require me to give my marital status. I have made a commitment from now on to call myself Mr. Jessica Englund to avoid having to tell a random company or corporation whether I am single, married, or divorced/widowed. Has feminism changed our lives? Yes. But how you choose to see its changes or which form of feminism you choose to view your goals or visualize society is up to you. As for me, I do not want to limit myself to an identity that places me in a box. Therefore, I have no specific feminism that I identify with.

Gather Round

In “Suffragist City?, writer Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner quotes the New York Herald’s commentary of the Woman Suffrage Procession of 1913, “Call it curiosity, call it sympathy, call it opposition; the fact remains that the suffrage parade and pageant here today attracted a greater crowd than any inaugural ever did? (Rowe Finkbeiner 59). In a way the feminist movement can be seen as a metaphorical parade. Participants banded together in procession, screaming their message to a somewhat passive audience...

(Continued...) The New York Herald chose three words in their covering of the parade: curiosity, sympathy and opposition. These are three approaches that seem common to the audience of feminism. There are those who will watch strictly as an inactive audience, letting their curiosity rule. Most never get beyond this boundary line, remaining strictly silent. Some are sympathetic, and will say they “wholeheartedly? support the movement but would never move beyond that approach. In the trailer we watched for I Was A Teenage Feminist a streetwalker said believed that a feminist is someone who believed in woman’s rights, but would never identify herself as one. The third group of spectators are the oppressors. Many in this category are the ignorant stiff upper lip society folk who want our society to stay as it is. They hate change, and they detest those who wish to start it.

I don’t know where I lie. I am very curious about feminism and without a doubt I support it. In Duluth, I rarely saw any motion of feminism; it remained a silent territory in that sense. So in a way I was isolated from feminist theory or thought. The only opinion I had on feminism was based on assumptions. I assumed the idea of feminism was a woman who stood for all women, a woman who didn’t need a relationship to define her or a woman who didn’t need to depend on anyone by herself. But I thought the movement was solely for women.

Many thought it was strange for me to be taking a course that encapsulates the ideas of Gender, Sexuality and specifically Feminism. They say that, because I am male. But I reply with, "Why not?" I don't need to have the parts of a woman in order to learn about a different ideal. That is ludicrous. Must we stereotype even still by the classes we choose to take? I look forward to be infused with a new approach to thinking. I am a person open to all things and I will never say no to learning about something unfamiliar.

I am learning now that feminism crosses beyond the female gender border, and can mean more than just male vs. female rights. Feminist theory can be applied to any body of thought. It’s about politics, power, relationships, sex, nature, soul, pop culture and society. It can literally be anything, and that’s why it’s beautiful. There is not one clear way to define it because it is different for everybody. Feminism is united by an idea, but defined individually by choice.

Stereotypes and Feminism

I’ve heard the words sexism, feminism, and patriarchy many times throughout my life. I’ve heard stories about bra burning and protests and I’ve learned about suffrage in school but I had never heard what negative stereotypes feminism has been given until I started this course. I first realized this after talking to a friend of mine from high school who I had always really respected. I told him that I was taking a course in women’s studies and immediately he said, “So now you’re going to become a ranting, man-hating, lesbian, huh?? Not only was I offended, but I was also confused; why is it that the word feminism is paired with so many stereotypes?

The first time I encountered this problem was in the bell hooks reading. She discusses how feminists are thought of as evil, “how ‘they’ hate men; how ‘they’ want to go against nature- and god; how ‘they’ are all lesbians? (hooks pg. vii). It confuses me where this backlash comes from but I imagine that it’s from the effects of change. When someone first stands up for something that has been happening for centuries, there is bound to be backlash. I also agree with what Mikaela says in her entry, that men are not the problem necessarily but the system of patriarchy is to blame because of a possible loss of power that comes with anti-sexist reforms.

The other misconception of feminism that confuses me is that the movement is against family and motherhood. Sara Evans discusses this common misconception in her article “Tidal Wave?. Evans quotes Phyllis Schlafley to say that feminists are “anti-family, anti-children, and pro-abortion? (Evans pg. 6). This statement seems so false in my opinion because from the reading, feminist mothers are not against having children and having a family but instead against raising a child in a patriarchic home and in a sexist world. The backlash of being anti-children also seems to stem from the fear of change. Introducing the male to be more present in the care giving and avoiding sexist family practices isn’t anti-family. Instead it’s a way of raising anti-sexist children and possibly a closer, more open family. The misconception of feminists being against motherhood is unfair. Having and wanting children shouldn’t make me seem sexist or anti-feminist as long as I educate my children to know the dangers of sexism

What is Feminism?

Before taking this course, I didn’t know much about feminism. I had learned about the fight that feminists experienced in the 1900’s for equality among men with regards to suffrage, equal opportunity in the workforce, and reproductive rights. Prior to taking this course, my definition of a feminist would have been the group of women seeking to end female stereotypes, wanting to be given free will to do whatever they choose with their own lives and bodies, and working to achieve full equality with the male population. I was unaware that feminists stood up for equality among other genders as well, homosexuals and transgender people. I was also unaware of the stereotype surrounding feminism. Personally, I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that all feminists are man-hating lesbians just because a group of women are choosing to stand up for themselves and are not allowing sexual harassment and other forms of gender oppression to govern their lives.

Now, I would define feminism in the same way as before but include what I have learned about other forms of gender oppression. One thing that has surprised me the most in my course readings is that some of the harshest critics of the feminist movement are women themselves! These so-called critics should consider what life was like for women before the feminist movement reached its peak. Young girls in the 1960s didn’t play sports; they were cheerleaders. They didn’t go to co-educational colleges; they went to “girls’ schools? where they became teachers and secretaries (Manifesta 4-7). One of the major turning points in women’s history was the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Feminist women at the time began their quest for women’s suffrage rights through peaceful protest. Their peaceful attempts ended with being thrown into prison (Suffragist City 60).
After being in this class for only a week, I feel blessed to live right now, today, instead of at a time when women didn’t have even the most basic of rights. Yes, feminism has and will continue to have its ups and downs, times when the country is passionate about its causes and times when people feel the feminist mission is unnecessary (Tidal Wave 1-2). Still, I feel confident that feminism will always be around, fighting to end gender oppression on all accounts.

On "Manifesta" exerpts

Over the past couple of years (since I’ve been discovering and exploring feminism), I’ve been very overwhelmed by all of the negative, sexist things in our society. In a sociology class I took (“Inequality in America?), we discussed theories about why girls perform well in school when they won’t see positive returns for their efforts in the working world; one of the hypotheses was “the Pollyanna approach?, which suggested that young girls growing up today are so unaware of the work world inequalities facing women that they achieve well in school despite almost certain inequality in their futures. I was struck by this hypothesis primarily because I identified so much with this “Pollyanna? character. I felt that I had led a sheltered life, and at the age of 17 when I was introduced to the hardcore pornography that my male friends viewed, I was completely shocked. Suddenly, I felt as if women were demeaned in secret, or unbeknownst to them. I felt horrified; it was as if this secret medium legitimized television roles and media depictions of women.

I’ve dealt with a lot of activism in this sense, (regarding pornography), but I mention it because I have felt so negative about feminism the past couple of years. I was worried that the world wasn’t as it seemed, that I’d grown up being spoon-fed lies. Of course, this is more dramatic than it needs to be. And, in fact, simply because women are portrayed like this in many places does NOT mean feminism is dead, that inequality is worsening. Baumgartner and Richard’s “Day Without Feminism? (& timeline) really articulated the gains that have been made over the past 36 years. And though there are certainly important gender inequality issues today, they cannot overshadow the positive changes that have been made. I suppose that I am very lucky to even be able to make such critiques! To even be as incensed as I am over modern issues must mean something about my upbringing, self-worth, and solidarity among other women.

Feminism has helped to foster the world I live in today. I believe it has given me a self worth that I may not have had, had I been born 30 years ago. I feel passionate. I feel entitled. I feel that, as a woman, I should be equal to men in this American society.

I have a mother who never wore make-up, who played sports as a child and is the breadwinner of my family. I have had many countercultural role models in my lifetime. To see daytime television programs about 4-year olds obsessed with makeup or with their weight is really scary (just for example; they are not necessarily representative…)

Girls need role models. They need to grow up feeling entitled, striving for goals, jobs and equality. I think the role of feminism today is as important as ever, if indeed we are “reverting backwards? as Sarah Evans alludes to. We have to keep the message out there, and keep teaching young girls to value themselves as more than a pretty face. And young adults like myself need to recognize that feminism is real, important, and above all, not dead.

A clear definition?

It is hard for me to say what I thought feminism was before reading bell hooks and the other articles. Growing up, my best friends (and often only friends) were typically females. I was never aware of any differences or roles society had placed on females and males. As I got older, I learned about some of the injustices females have faced and still face today. So I guess feminism to me has always been the challenge of questioning and destroying ideas society has placed on us that would bring females down.

Now that I have read some literature dealing with feminism, I can now put into words the way I have always lived. I think bell hooks states it best for me in the first line of her book, “Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.? (hooks pg. 1) By no means do I think this is the only definition that can be given to feminism, however; I do think it is a good goal. I think feminism has many forms and is changing constantly as our society changes. I have to agree with the post by KIS, feminism is a little different from when it started. This is why I think it is important that people (like me) take courses like this one. To learn how the movement is evolving and what it is evolving into.
It isn’t good enough for me to just practice feminism in my own life. I need to be an example and a teacher for people who aren’t feminists. Having a clear definition for feminism is a good place to start; it will allow me to put my thoughts and beliefs into words for other people. I still have a lot to learn, and I am excited for future readings and theories in this course to help me develop my thoughts and beliefs.

Passionate Politics and Scholarly Feminisms- Feminism in the Academy and Beyond It

Scholarly and academic feminism are important to the survival and success of the feminist movement, but as bell hooks assert there is also a need for activist, “common-people? feminism, since “feminist knowledge is for everybody? (hooks, 24). hooks correctly identifies some of the ways in which the “institutionalization of women’s studies helped spread the word about feminism? (hooks, 21) and brought a wider acceptance and exposure to feminist ideas and theories, but she is also right in her acknowledgment of the growing detachment between the academic-theoretic and folkish-activist strands of feminism, and the problems that are associated with such a split.
When “women and men outside of the academic domain… (are) ...no longer considered an important audience? and “feminist thinking and theory… (are) …no longer tied to feminist movement? (hooks, 22) all of the feminist past, present and future achievements are in danger.

I believe there academic and scholarly feminisms do have an important role in the evolution and spread of the feminist revolution, but their roles are secondary to the roles of common (street-level or “folkish?) activist that are working everyday to topple the white-sexist-racist patriarchy that influences our lives and assist its victims. Since I was a soldier I will resort to an allegory from my own lived experience; good intelligence (that provide information about enemy’s locations, patterns of thoughts and behavior) is essential for every successful campaign or operation, but without the plain soldier in the field who fights to block the threats the intelligence information does not worth much.
Feminisms have to continue spreading their message everywhere, in and out of the academy. Scholarly feminisms’ theories and ideas may provide the feminist activists with an essential knowledge and understanding of how patriarchy works and how to use their limited resources in the most efficient ways, but they cannot and should not turn their back on the common people who are both the feminist movement past and future. As long as there is violence against women, prejudices and discriminations, as long as there is enormous gap between people of different classes, ethnic groups, gender identities and sexualities, as long as the future of the feminist movement is not secure, the activist feminism would remain the more important, more essential and crucial one.
Academic and scholarly feminisms are important, but activist feminism is even more crucial to the survival and success of the feminist revolution, which envisions a better, more egalitarian and safer world for all its inhabitants, regardless of their ethnic origin, gender, religion, identity or sexuality.

All bell hooks's citations are from the book "Feminsm is for Everybody".

January 27, 2007

Grateful

I originally enrolled in this course because it sounded very interesting and I wanted to know more about the history of feminism and where it is today. I wanted to be part of a class that explored the power of women. I have always been an outspoken individual and I defined feminism as a way to empower women in a male dominated society.

After reading “Feminism is for Everybody? by Bell Hooks, I now define feminism as “anti-sexist?. By all means I am not implying women are better than men when I describe feminism but no one should experience discrimination and refused certain rights just because of their gender. I have always believed and even more so now after completing the readings that there should be “gender equality – equal pay for equal work, and sometimes women and men sharing household chores and parenting? (Hooks, pg. 1-2).

Even though I am a woman, I should be entitled to the same things as men. I did not realize how lucky I am to be a woman in 2007 until I read “The Way We Were; The Way We Are? by Sara M Evans. According to Evans, “in the early 1960s married women could not borrow money in their own names, professional and graduate schools regularly imposed quotas of 5-10 percent … of women they would admit,… and sexual harassment did not exist as a legal concept? (Evans, pg. 1). I am extremely grateful to the women who have come before me. Because of their courage, I am allowed to explore an education in any field that I chose, I am allowed to chose birth control, keep my own name, apply for any job, and be an independent individual. They paved the way for future generations of women and I hope my generation will keep the tradition alive because we still have a long way to go!

A Broad View of Feminism So Far

This is a response to the first question of the prompt. It is a more broad focus on feminism than a specific passage from our readings.

After I signed up for GWSS 1001 I was a little bit nervous to be honest. I was nervous about how the professor and my classmates would be. I had imagined man-hating women that I would constantly be arguing with in class discussion. I believed a lot of the stereotypes about what feminism was. Fortunately, my opinions on feminism and feminists has changed drastically in the past couple weeks, and I would even go so far as to say proudly that I AM a feminist.


At this point in the semester, I agree with nearly all aspects of what feminism is. There are some issues I am continuing to struggle with such as whether or not feminists need to be pro-choice, as well as certain portions of sexual liberation that bell hooks describes in chapter 14 of her book. Coming from a family that was torn apart by an affair, I had a hard time reading that chapter. I’m sorry, but to me, the mere proposal that “marriage is another form of sexual slavery? (bell hooks) was troubling to say the least. I don’t care if you are a man, woman, heterosexual or homosexual; I don’t think that it is too much to ask for your partner to be sexually exclusive with you. I hope that we have further discussion as to what sexual liberation entails within the class because the way it came off in bell hooks’ book, it seemed like having great orgasms was more important than family.

I have also been questioning the first part of feminism that I mentioned in that feminists must be pro-choice. When we talked about this in class, I started thinking about all the systems in our country that work against feminism. If feminists must be pro-choice, you’ve just eliminated at least half of the country that is pro-life from the movement. In addition to political and religious beliefs, the feminism movement is further hindered by our national education system not teaching feminism to everybody, as well as social norms for parents giving daughters dolls and sons G.I. Joes. Further, pop-culture from advertising to well-known female figures such as Britney Spears or Jenna Jameson hurt the feminism movement. Finally, shifting demographics to an older, generally more conservative traditional population undermines the feminism movement as feminism is an extremely liberal movement.

Based on what I have learned so far in this class. As far as I can tell, feminism is nothing more than love, and love cannot truly exist without feminist ideals. Feminism and love must coexist in order for each to prevail. With a focus on equality amongst men and women as well as non-violent households and shared responsibility at home, feminism is truly a great thing at its base.

Why study it? I think there are so many misconceptions of what feminism is, that it needs to be taught and studied. We have a semester devoted to learning about feminism in hopes that we will be able to overcome our own misconceptions as well as helping clear up the misconceptions of others. Also, feminism is an important part of history. In our readings, it was evident that all the injustices that existed and still exist in our society affect feminism, and feminism affects them as well: racism, elitism, etc. Finally, as far as I can tell, feminism is not fully defined yet. There are aspects of it that are under debate. The reason we study it, also has to do with the fact that we can continue to mold and shape what feminism is to us and to each other. Maybe one of us will propose something about feminism that nobody has ever thought of.

January 26, 2007

"A Day Without Femininsm"

It was really interesting to see how far the women’s movement has taken our society in such a short time. It has made such a huge impact on our society. I think a lot of people take it for granted or don’t realize that these are things that women have been fighting for, and just accept it as how it is. I know that I have taken it for granted. I’ve never thought twice about the rights that I have now that I wouldn’t have had if I were born a different time.

Someone asked in class about how there could be forced c-sections. This seemed really strange to me as well its hard too think that you could be forced to have surgery. However “A Day Without Feminism? shows how this was possible. “There are no certified midwives and women are knocked out during birth…If he has a schedule to keep their likelihood of a caesarian is also very high.?(p.8 Baumgardner and Richards) Even having it explained it is still hard to believe. I think a major part of feminism now is to keep these rights that we have gained and stand up against patriarchy.

Why all the misconceptions?

In Tidal Waves, Sara Evens quotes Paula Kammen, who put the stereotype of Feminist like so: “The twisted, all-too-common logic about feminists goes like this: If you stand up for women, you must hate men. Therefore, you must be angry. Thus, you must be ugly and can’t get a man anyway. Hence, you must be a dyke.?(Evens pg. 7) You hear this description all the time, even nowadays, about feminism and it’s biggest discontent: men.

However, men are not the problem, and that is clear by our recognition of male feminists, but the general public has been educated otherwise. Most people that I encounter have the same notion of feminism as the one depicted above. The English language is full of fallacies that people follow blindly. Just because a feminist is pro-choice doesn’t mean they are anti-children, but most people assume that if you are one than you automatically oppose the other. With the media making a mockery of feminism and the issues it takes, such as a prevention of sexism, racism and violence, it’s difficult to bring the “true? message of feminism to the majority.
However, the confusion of these issues is not solely the media’s fault. Feminism within itself is full of schisms. Evens elaborates on this by showing that the “loss of historical memory would have fat-reaching consequences.? (Evens pg. 5) A major part of the reason for all the anti-feminism actions stems from a confusion within feminism itself because, as Evens points out, feminists do not have a clear knowledge of the past and thus, fall into the same mistakes. There’s such a large spectrum of feminisms to me, that I get confused on whether or not I can consider myself a feminist.
Not only has the confusion within feminism brought about the misconceptions about feminism, but the patriarchy bashed it because it felt threatened. Who wants to lose their power over another? It’s fear that is creating the backlash as well as confusion as to what feminists are trying to accomplish. At one point, many feminists decided that love was the culprit. Well, hearing your wife, mother or sister refusing love wouldn’t sound too good to a “content? patriarchal nation enveloped in all the exaggerated warnings from the press. And when that theory on love failed, many feminists did a complete 180 saying that love was actually necessary to bring us out of racism, sexism, and oppression. That, to come to a state of “mutual partnership [in] the foundation of love? (hooks pg. 104) is what this world needs to move towards. No wonder there was confusion. No wonder the media was able to turn the general public away from feminism so easily. Not only were sexists controlling the press, but they utilized the conflicting feminist issues to their advantage.
Personally, I think the stereotypes on feminisms are absurd, but feminism covers such a broad range of issues that these backlashes, though ridiculous, are able to hold up when feminism keeps slipping away.

What is was like...

Immediately after reading “A Day Without Feminism? from Manifesta, I went to the beginning to make sure that I had read the year these women were born correctly. I couldn’t believe when I saw that they were born in 1970, and these injustices had happened less then 40 years ago. This means that some of our mothers, and grandmothers experienced them. This was unsettling.

After reading the closing statement of the passage, “Has feminism changed out lives? Was it necessary? After thirty years of feminism, the world we inhabit barely resembles the world we were born into. And there is still a lot left to do,? (Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, pg 9) I am grateful that I am living now and not thirty years ago, but I am also angered that women were oppressed for such a long part of our history. Reading this article showed me how far women’s rights have come since the 1970’s.

Something that struck me was how women were treated in the medical world. I felt sick to my stomach when I read, “If the women goes under the knife to see if she has breast cancer, the surgeon won’t wake her up to consult about her options before performing a Halsted mastectomy…She’ll just wake up and find that the choice has been made for her.? (Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, pg 8-9). This seems so unethical and wrong.

This article showed me that feminism is something that is very powerful and productive. When a group of people unite, they can accomplish great things. I believe that the roles and forms of feminism have shifted since the 1970’s. Back in the 70’s there were so many basic things that women were denied: certain jobs, fair pay, safe birth control, and more. The women back in these days were working to get basic rights. Now I think that feminism is still women trying to get equal rights, but the movement has shifted a bit. The role of feminism now is to get women equality with men, but in those areas that aren’t so obvious. For instance, an issue of feminism today might be trying to get equal number of women and male math professors in a university.

The forms of feminism have also changed. There used to be protests that would go on so long that there would be women getting arrested. These protests would be a popular topic for the press. I’m sure that there are still women’s protests now, but I never really hear about them. It seems the feminist movement today is more formal.

This article is one that I think lots of people can relate to. We all have someone that we know who experience these injustices. I am so grateful for the women’s movement so that we don’t have to live like they did. There is still a long way to go, but this article was great in making me realize how far we have come already.

January 25, 2007

12/15 - 7/15 Art Exhibition at the Walker

Body Politics: Figurative Prints and Drawings from Schiele to De Kooning
Medtronic Gallery in the Walker Art Center

Images of the human body reveal a great deal about the cultures that produce them. Whether fashion ads, state portraits, news photos, or works of visual art, they will always mirror, to some degree, the social and political conditions under which they were made. If an image is provocative—that is, if it strays into forbidden territory, or makes explicit something that we don’t wish to acknowledge or confront—it will spark debate and may even stimulate change. On the other hand, affirmative and celebratory pictures can bring people together and bolster our sense of community. This is how figurative images can be said to be “political?—though they are pictures of individual bodies, they stand for a larger truth about us all. To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a cigar is more than just a cigar.

This theme provides the structure for the exhibition Body Politics: Figurative Prints and Drawings from Schiele to de Kooning, which focuses on the first half of the 20th century. During that time, the Western world was wracked by revolution, economic depression, labor struggles, and wars. Conventions governing gender roles collapsed as women gained the vote and entered the work force. Urban centers expanded at breakneck speed, racial strife percolated, colonizing nations retreated. By the time World War II had ended, massive change was underway in almost every realm of social, political, and private life. Artists of the period used the figure to deplore violence, war, poverty, and racism, or to express an upbeat optimism about the possibilities of the new century. Polemical, heartrending, or heartfelt, these historical works seem newly relevant, particularly at a moment when contemporary artists have returned to the figure as a means to comment on the world we inhabit today. As I visited collections looking for works for the show, a few themes suggested themselves and began to guide my choices. Austrian painter Egon Schiele became a cornerstone of the exhibition, in part because his work can be seen as an emblem for our cultural anxiety about sex. Schiele himself was convicted of “public immorality? in 1912 and briefly imprisoned; his habit of hiring neighborhood children as models had aroused fear in the rural village where he lived, but the edgy, moist eroticism of his drawings and watercolors was also at issue. His images are still challenging, as are other works in this section of the exhibition, including a graphic chronicle by self-taught recluse Henry Darger about the adventures of an army of young girls. These works reveal as much about the societies in which they were made as they do about the artists’ private appetites, and they remind us that the struggle between public and private spheres for control over sexual behaviors and expression is still very much alive.

The exhibition includes several works by Willem de Kooning, in whose hands the female figure becomes an archetype—a squat, large-breasted, snarling Earth mother with arms akimbo or legs spread wide. His Women belong to a larger category of exoticized Others that encompasses German Expressionist fantasies about “the primitive? as well as Joseph Beuys’ attenuated, ethereal girls. Somehow, it isn’t surprising that we have to turn to a female artist for an unromanticized view of the feminine. Isabel Bishop, an exact contemporary of de Kooning and associated with the American Scene group of painters, depicted the shop girls and secretaries she observed around New York’s Union Square, where she maintained a studio for many years. Bishop’s work celebrates the vitality of the city and the everyday adventures of working women during the 1940s and 1950s—subway rides, soda fountains, and double dates. The special energy of New York City is also the subject of works in the exhibition by Reginald Marsh and German satirist George Grosz, who had a lifelong fascination with the United States.

Politicians and zealots have long understood the power of pictures to influence and incite, but many artists have also used images this way, especially in times of war or other misery. In a letter written in 1945, Pablo Picasso passionately asserted his feelings about art’s engagement with life: “What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who only has eyes if he’s a painter, or ears if he’s a musician. . . ? Quite the contrary, he is at the same time a political being constantly alert to the horrifying, passionate, or pleasing events in the world. . . . No, painting is not made to decorate apartments. It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.?

For every generation, the identity of “the enemy? will change, but artists will undoubtedly continue to respond with anger and compassion to world events. For this exhibition, I chose Picasso’s etching Weeping Woman (1937), one of the dozens of objects he made in response to the firebombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. His extraordinary achievement in this print is the combination of revolutionary modernist form with intense emotion. Other works in the show are more traditional but no less powerful. James B. Turnbull, a WPA muralist and Regionalist who had ties to the artistic political left, documented the plight of sharecroppers during the Dust Bowl years of the Depression. Breastfeeding (1939) is an updated pietà in which a starving woman tries to nurse an emaciated infant in a desolate room furnished with only an iron bedstead. Infused with melodrama and pathos, Turnbull’s painting is also a cry of protest and a call to action. It is hard to ignore. As Picasso demanded accusingly, “By virtue of what cold nonchalance can you detach yourself??

—Joan Rothfuss, guest exhibition curator and former Walker permanent collection curator

Featured Artists
Ernst Barlach
Romare Bearden
Max Beckmann
Joseph Beuys
Isabel Bishop
Paul Cadmus
Henry Darger
Willem de Kooning
Otto Dix
Jared French
George Grosz
Lester Johnson
Paul Klee
Käthe Kollwitz
Walt Kuhn
Yasuo Kuniyoshi
Jacob Lawrence
Reginald Marsh
Emil Nolde
Georgia O’Keeffe
José Clemente Orozco
Max Pechstein
Francis Picabia
Pablo Picasso
Georges Rouault
Egon Schiele
Oskar Schlemmer
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
David Smith
James B. Turnbull

January 24, 2007

Tidal Waves: Confidence Through Solidarity

Sara Evans defines feminism as “The democratic mobilization of women to challenge inequality and to claim their civic right to be full participants in making changes and solving the problems of the twenty-first century will be essential for the foreseeable future? (Evans 2). In order for women to “be mobilized? to fulfill these callings, they need self-confidence, which draws strength from the energy of their allies.

Evans found this empowerment in her women’s liberation group. These women were strengthened by their relationships within the group, but they still had doubts and confusion about how they should live out their ideals. They were trying to reconcile their beliefs about raising children with the reality of living in a world of gender stereotypes and Barbies.
The liberation group by no means provided all the answers about feminism, but the sense of community and shared ideas was tremendously meaningful for these women. Likewise, they were hungry to connect with groups across the country through Xeroxed pamphlets. By recognizing the “shared dynamics that underlay [the feminist movement’s] immense and complex diversity,? (Evans 16), feminism becomes clearer and less daunting.
Just as Evans valued the connections with other women across the country, she recognized the need to connect with women in history as well. The title of the book, Tidal Waves, refers to the way feminism gains ground and then loses momentum throughout history. It also implies that there is great power in the movement when it is on the upswing. Evans wrote of “the rage we experienced about having been cut off from our own history in all its complexity? (Evans 5). Her frustration with not having a sense of roots in the movement led her to be a feminist historian. She noted similarities between the historical waves of feminist popularity or disinterest. Knowledge about the history of the movement is necessary for the next generation to make improvements. Also, calling attention to significant female contributions in history boosts the self-efficacy of women.
In Evans’ experience, she found strength by connecting with her liberation group and also by highlighting women’s history through her career. Evans benefited from solidarity both with fellow feminists and with the strong women who came before her. This solidarity gives one the strength and confidence to believe and participate in the next “tidal wave.?

January 23, 2007

On Feminism(s) Assignment - Due 1/29

Category 2: On Feminism(s) - (3 points)
Post by noon on Monday 1/29
300-500 word post

Instructions: Cite at least one passage from any of the course readings (include author & pg#) to respond to one idea in the following prompt -

What did you know of feminism(s) before this course? Now, after some of the readings, how do you define it? What is signficant about feminism, feminist theory, feminist scholarship and/or feminist activism? (Meaning: why might we be spending a semester studying all of these feminist theories and "issues"?)

OR

You may want to focus on a specific reading or passage, for example, you can respond to one of the following reading prompts:

hooks write about her personal relationship to feminism, the "academization of feminism", and calls for passionate politics. What do you think the role of the university and scholarly feminist thought and theory is? How do you see her vision of spreading feminism beyond the academy?

OR

In Tidal Waves Evans also writes of her experience in the women's movement - her participation in feminist consciousness-raising groups and her decision to shape her life's work around women's history. How does her experience help define her feminism?

OR

In "A Day Without Feminism" from Manifesta Baumgardner and Richards write:

Has feminism changed our lives? Was it necessary? After thirty years of feminism, the world we inhabit barely resembles the world we were born into. And there's still a lot left to do.

What do you think? What has the role(s) and form(s) of feminism(s) been? What is it now? What should it be?

OR

What are some of the misconceptions about feminism(s)? Why the backlash? How do you respond to these critiques?

Notes:

* Do not repeat exact response as those who posts before you. If someone has posted what you intended to say, build upon their thoughts, use additional examples to illustrate your point. Or, choose another piece of the prompt to respond to.

* It is recommended that you type your response in word, spellcheck and check your word count, and save it as a document file. Then, copy and paste your writing into a blog entry (warning: sometimes the web will freeze and lose what you type).

Nikki Giovani Flyer - 2/28

Click to download the flyer:

NG.png

The Feminist Media Center (FMC)

The Feminist Media Center (FMC) is a a teaching classroom and open lab for Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and GLBT Studies students, faculty and staff, and a multimedia training and production facility. This lab provides the physical space and infrastructure to support a variety of instructor and faculty training, curriculum development, and research efforts for the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, GLBT Studies, and the broader community of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies scholars at the University of Minnesota.

Instructors and students are learning how to use powerful multimedia tools such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Final Cut, and blog tools, authoring projects for class assignments, research, senior theses, and dissertations as part of the FMC's ongoing efforts to create a visible online community for feminist, gender, and sexuality studies campus-wide.

Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Feminist Media Center
468 Ford Hall
224 Church Street Southeast
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Location: 468 Ford Hall

Spring 2007 FMC Open Hours:
Monday: 10:00am-3:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00-11:30am
Wednesday: 11:00am-5:00pm
Thursday: 9:00-11:00am and 3:00-6:30pm

FMC Contact/Classroom use Scheduling:
Phone - 612-625-6451
E-mail fmc@umn.edu

Here's a list of helpful UMN Technology Resources - click HERE

see i LOVE to work in the FMC!

1 Scholarly Event & 1 Artistic/Activist Event (Due by 3/6, Due by 4/24):

Attend an event related to any of the class topics. This may be an on-campus lecture, talk, film, art gallery showing, rally, organizational meeting or performance sponsored by GWSS, another department, organization or an off-campus group.

You are encouraged to attend any of the GWSS Department Colloquia (certain Mondays, 3:30-5pm) or suggested events on the course blog under (“Attend this event!? category). If you question whether an event is acceptable, ask the instructor.

Reflect on the event with a short report (600 to 800 words for each), using key terms and concepts discussed in course materials in your analysis. Be sure to include the event title, date, sponsor, location, and details of who/what/where (and web link where applicable).

Post your write-up to the course blog (under category “Event Reports" in the appropriate sub-cateogory: scholarly event, artistic event or activist event). If there is a write-up you prefer not to post, you can hand in a hard copy by the due date.


One write-up is due by 3/6 and the other is due by 4/24.

Category Reminder!

Please make sure that you post your entry in the proper Category!

January 22, 2007

I am

I am Abbey Carson. I was born in Ramsey, MN and move to Andover, MN when I was about 8, where i lived in two different houses there, until my family recently moved to St. Francis, MN and my mom is planning on moving to Isanti, MN into a house on the lake. I am the youngest of 4 children and love every minute of it. Me and one of my sister are 11 months apart and we are basically inseperable, I was usually with her every day and we have the same friends, but she goes to St. Cloud State so I talk to her everyday. Because we are the youngest my parents are really easy going with us, and spoil us alot. I have an older brother who is 27 and an older sister who is 28, I love talking to them about college and I always get their feedback from when they were in college. I am currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota, Institue of Technology, and plan on majoring in chemical engineering. I love chemistry, obviously, and I like logic and math problems. Sounds dorky, and my friends always joke around with me about it. However, I love to snowboard, listen to music, watch movies (mainly chick flicks and romance), and I love going up to St. Cloud where all my friends have a house together and hang out. I also have a boyfriend of two and half years, who I love, and is so supportive of me through this experience.

Introduction

I am originally from Rochester, Minnesota. I have an older sister who lives in Minneapolis and my parents live in Rochester still. I am a Political Science major. I enjoy music and I play the guitar and the violin. My favortie bands are Tool, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles. I am a big fan of movies, my favorites being American Beauty, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Pulp Fiction. My favorite thing to do is to is to play the guitar, hands down. I would say that if I have to sit around I would rather sit and listen to music with friends than sit and watch TV. I occasionally watch sports but I have been less and less interested in them lately.

Introduction

My name is Net and I come from Cameroon in West Africa. I am the second (son) of the six siblings and I have three sisters and two brothers. I am a senior, majoring in Civil Engineering. I am a soccer player and like to watch movies, basket ball, listen to music, and a wrestling fan. Every Friday between the hours of 7pm and 9pm, I watch Smack Down and I don’t miss it except it’s a situation that I can’t control. I like to hang out with friend, play games and I can basically do any thing for fun as long as it is interesting.

I am...Katie Jo

K id at heart. I love to play games, hang out with my family, and act like a kid as much as possible… before it’s gone forever.

A true friend. My friends mean the world to me and I cherish each relationship for different reasons. Life without TRUE friends and family just doesn’t mean much.

T he cabin is my most favorite place in the world. I love going boating, fishing, swimming and laying in the sun relaxing.

I would consider myself to be a passionate, punctual, outgoing, compassionate, reliable, considerate, and cheerful person.

E nding College is a huge achievement in my life, graduating in May 2007, I am excited to see where life is going to take me and to begin a new journey.

J oking is fun… I love romantic comedies, good jokes, comedy shows, and anything that can make me giggle! There is nothing better than a good laugh.

O bjective and open-minded. I have been blessed with the “devil’s advocate? mentality. My biggest pet peeve is ignorant people who always think that their opinion(s) are right. There always two sides to every story and I think that people should be open to hear both sides.

More about who I am…

I am a Business and Marketing Education Major. I hope to obtain a career in the advertising/sales field once I graduate. I have one incredible older sister and two magnificent parents. For fun I like to; spend time with my friends, watch movies, spend time outside, working with kids and animals, and my guilty pleasure is watching the Soap Opera Passions (and if we are being totally honest, People’s Court too) and eating Macaroni and Cheese. I am known for getting people hooked on Passions… so consider yourself warned! This is my favorite quote and something that I try to live my life by:

“Be the change you want to see in the World.?
-Mahatma Gandhi

I am...a poet

Hi everyone. Because I am such a procrastinator, I had the privelege of reading many of your worth while introductions before I actually did the writing part of mine. It's been nice getting to know everyone. Especially impressive were those of you who dared to bare a little soul to us strangers, which is slmost what I am about to do. Realizing that my poetry says more about me than what my favorite things are (which are the same as many as you; e.e. cummings is the man!), I decided to write a little poem.

Autobiographer

Between this stone
and its vertical garden,
I lay on shaded hammock vines,
until they break, and I fall.
For a moment I do,
every time

I am
strong as glass after
it’s been shattered, stained
glass with parts of pictures staring up
at white surfaces
asking to be touched,
I am

learning to walk through
fields, plodding along though fleeting flowers
never meet my sole,
but write letters when I’m gone,
fearing I’ll forget, which I will,
but at a strenuous pace.

These poems that I wrote previous to this assignment probably say even more about the kind of person I am.

Until Tomorrow Morning

Kitty tricked Cowardly finch
never lands On my finger
there is a scar from saving him from Kitty
played tug-of-war and bit me When i won
finch chirped, head flopping over Sideways
his vertical stair made me wail Loudly
i sang “amazing grace? in his key So high
we swung, him in my pocket Like a nest
he felt at home in My Life
held on to His Life
held on to mine.

Mom found dead skin under My fingernail
i cleaned Promptly
she marched me outside to The tree
is outside the bedroom window I had
peeled its bark off leaving A small exposed spot
, she said, was enough to kill It
twinged with Discomfort
of skin sliced It felt
betrayed By me
it stood weak in My crying embrace
held on to His crying embrace
held on to mine.

Dad found us there Tomorrow morning
he smashed finch With two rocks
in his hands, i found him Very angry
eyes glared at me like i had glared at Kitty
and i were no longer allowed to play In the front yard
tree died alone.

Unconditioned Positive Regard

During the skinny-dipping, cliff-jumping, moonfull nights,
I ripped scars I am proud of
like the word “uninhibited? I tattooed
into my unsteady body,

I ripped scars I am proud of
due to all the beer or lack of sleep.
Into my unsteady body
they slipped easily.

Due to all the beer or lack of sleep,
we fought Inhale and Exhale.
They slipped easily,
“Fuck You’s? sung in loving tones.

We fought Inhale and Exhale,
the urges suffocated only half the time.
“Fuck You’s? sung in loving tones,
we were talented if not wrong.

The urges suffocated only half the time
played out like late-night cards at Racy’s Way Too Coffeehouse.
We were talented if not wrong
while demanding indifference and unconditioned positive regard

played out like late-night cards at Racy’s Way Too Coffeehouse,
café mochas making us loudest
while demanding indifference and unconditioned positive regard,
talked out ‘til morning about how we work the world,

café mochas making us loudest.
Inhale and Exhale, necessary antagonists,
talked out ‘til morning about how we work the world.
We were perfect

Inhale and Exhale, necessary antagonists
Like the word “uninhibited? I tattooed.
We were perfect
During the skinny-dipping, cliff-jumping, moonfull nights.


What We Have in Common

before she changed her last name to Salgado
and spent all their money on an American dream,
before she calmed down and forgave herself
for the broken bowls and faces of her four daughters,
my mother was a breathless oboe player beneath
a waterfall of high splashing melody.
she was a yoga instructor, who greeted
souls with, “I bow to the God in you.?

before she was raped by two friends, waking up
half-way through, figuring it was her fault,
before she earned $2000 a night at the Vu
making married men’s pants drool,
and long before she was saved,
my oldest sister would wiggle her nose
like a bunny to make Mom laugh
and get out of chores or trouble.
she embraced strangers the same as
visiting family friends on the 4th of July.

Rival Song

If I were not in this room it would sound the same:

radio waves and city street waves,
light-buzz waves and wind on window waves,
muffled voice waves and eye-contact
waves off the dilated walls.

Since you are here, try to listen to the air
in my mouth,
Tell me, if they peeled my words off paper and threw them out
as song, would you…

shhhhhh, watch me write.

…then would you know it is you they have stolen?
They are my vulnerable perceptions
you sing in the shower when you think no one is here.
It is me you crave to beat the rhythm into your whetted skin.
I wrote the fucking waves!

Look at my face when you read this,
Baby,
the walls are merely lip-syncing.

If I Can’t Help It

You are merely a memory of the future
maybe or I’ve missed you entirely because I
stayed home or feared you and what you could be. After
touching your picture, I need to wash my hands, but there is
no picture so I go through the motions laughing
a lot more than I speak, letting men do all the work. Now I
rarely smile since I took up a camera, and I’m fucking them
only to get to you.

“Tilt your head down slightly into the reach of the bloodless sun sneaking in through the tall bedroom window. Let your left arm fall from the bed, sweeping fingers along the wood floor. Hold that pose; I’m just going to twist the sheet here between your thighs. Take the top with your free hand. Look towards the door. Don’t watch the camera as it flashes handprints on your breast.? I’m so far away. “Stand up! Come towards me, but walk slow.? Backward steps. “Hold your arms out, call out to me with your eyes and torso.? Good. “Stop. This is what I want: lower your arms, don’t let the tears fall, less wrinkles in your forehead. Try to hold this kinetic surge until my last role is finished and I am gone.?

You are possibly a premonition of the past. We’ve
probably happened already.
Either way, this picture is for you of me, or was it
the other way around, and if we have yet to meet, I will have
known who it is by that way you look at the camera that I will leave
on a table so that my hands
are free to relieve you.

i am.

i am sensitive. i can say the abc's backwards. i am not ticklish. i like to fart. i am beginning to realize the world is very small. i still sleep with my blankie. i like being alone but i have an easy attachment to things and people. i am introspective. i hate socks and i am allergic to real bras. i tend to personify objects. i am becoming more introverted. i hate dirty belly buttons. i believe in soulmates. i don't like confrontation. i take my time. i kiss with my eyes open. i want a larger vocabulary. i can’t talk about things that truly upset me but everything else spills out involuntarily. i wash my hands a lot. i like to listen but i interrupt regularly. i try to remember my dreams. i am afraid of the dark. i cry a lot. i like the cold, it makes me feel alive. i am strong-willed yet indecisive. i love reading but i get too emotionally involved. i am responsible. i want to stop comparing myself to others. i am scared of the future. i think my mom is superwoman. i get nostalgic and i don’t know why. i give compliments often. i hate the misuse of your and you’re. i don’t like to hurt people. i am bad at making eye contact. i think it’s impossible to really know someone. i can be selfish. i want to be genuine.

spain.jpg

interests: learning, clean teeth, spanish, thrifting, naps, breakfast, leonardo dicaprio, french, people watching, spain, sneezes, big hair, subtitles, fall, gossip magazines, fog, boots, lord of the dance, my family

books: the time traveler’s wife [audrey niffenegger], never let me go [kazuo ishiguro], the virgin blue / girl with a pearl earring [tracy chevalier], pericles [shakespeare]
i have a long, long list of books that i want to read.

movies: labyrinth, mean girls, the little mermaid, amadeus, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, the sound of music, saved, the last unicorn

music: ani difranco, the shins, fiona apple, andrew bird, the cardigans, dr. dog, belle and sebastian

recent obsessions: mystic chai, old movies (especially those of audrey hepburn), america’s next top model

January 21, 2007

I'm a World-Saver

And my name is Karina. I'm an artist; here at the U I'm studing to become a Graphic Designer, which, if you weren't aware, encompasses several different areas of design, leaving me somewhat clueless about where I want to take my degree after college (and it certainly doesn't help that I change my mind, oh, about every other week). Right now I'm just going where the wind takes me; and here, my friends, is a great opportunity to list some of the places that the wind is actually taking me:

The Fund for Public Interest Research
I currently work for this non-profit organization. "The Fund" is one of the largest grassroots/fundraising orgainizations in the country, hiring for other NGOs like the State PIRGs, The Human Rights Campaign and the Sierra Club. Right now I'm working with the Sierra Club on their global warming/cleaner energy campaign. I love my job. By default I work with really interesting, inspiring, politically motivated people. It's hard work, but it's so important to continue to build public support and raise public awareness.

Sushi Restaurants
I was just introduced to sushi two summers ago, now I can't get enough of it. My favorite sushi joint is in Milwaukee, where I'm from, and it's called Sake Tumi. To me, sushi is incredibly satisfying. I love, love, love seafood. Some suggestions are Unagi (eel, served with a specail unagi sauce), spicy tuna maki (rolls, usually with crunchy tempura flakes on the outside) and usually great sushi restaurants have their own creative specialty rolls.

The Sierra Club
I'm currently working with the North Star Chapter, which is Minnesota's chapter of the Sierra Club. With a group of volunteers, we're helping to redesign and reformat the current website. I'm thrilled to have the level of involvment that I do with the Sierra Club, better yet, it incorporates my major with my greatest passion: environmental conservation.

Europe
I just booked a flight to France for May. I'll be going to visit my best friend, Kim, who is studying abroad for the year in Grenoble. We're starting out in France and backpacking our way through a few other countries. It's going to be amazing. We don't have a plan but hey, it's Europe; it'll be great.

Surdyk's
Great wine, great imported cheese. It's on Hennepin and University and they always have samples, so visit it! It'll get you addicted, too.


I'm excited to get to know all of you and I've loved reading all of your blogs, too.

I am pensive

My name is Bethany Ann Khan. I am a sophomore currently in the School of Journalism and College of Liberal Arts. I am majoring in Professional Journalism and I hope to minor in the areas of Social Justice, Leadership, and Women Studies. I am a feminist and I am very dedicated to helping to create a socially just environment here on campus and in the near future as a professional journalist, I hope to impact the world, one article at a time.

Ethnicity: I identity as an Arab-American or Middle-Eastern (Egypt / Pakistan), Indian-American (India), but in terms of statistics at the University of Minnesota, I check the Asian box.

Likes: I am very open-minded in terms of music and movies. I listen to almost every genre of music I come across except country...for some reason I am not a big fan. I love watching old movies (think "Gone With The Wind," or Audrey Hepburn movies), foreign films, black and white films, "chick flicks," and adventure films such as James Bond and/or Indiana Jones (PS.I cannot believe that Harrison Ford is doing another film. What is he now, like 60? Wow). I like reading books for fun or that I find intrinsically interesting, I am interested in learning as much as I can about social justice, equality, women's rights; GLBT rights and helping my peers educate themselves on issues that are crucial to understand and be educated on, in order to develop a socially just environment. I enjoy laughing and hugs, going to see plays, operas, musicals, and ballets. On Sundays, I like to go the Minneapolis Institute of Art or the Science Museum to introduce myself to new artists and their works or to have fun with my little brothers by learning about dinosaurs or whatever the current exhibit is about. I also enjoy playing the piano, but I regret that I never have time to actually practice anymore; same with reading for fun...I barely get enough time to sleep when the night comes, and how can I possibly read or play the piano for fun? I also like the date: August 10th - this year I will be 21 years young! Yay! :-)

Dislikes: I dislike ignorant people, derogatory slang, socially unjust language, racism, sexism, classism, all other 'isms, when bad grammar or poor spelling happens, institutionalized racism, systematic oppression, when "you guys" is commonly used as an all-inclusive phrase - it isn't, I am a woman not a man. I also don't like speaking to a large audience, I would rather write. I strongly dislike rodents, insects, President Bush and the fact that more than half of the people in power who decide whether or not I should be able to have an abortion are men...who will never actually get pregnant or give birth.

On-campus involvement: I live in Sanford Hall, which is near Dinkytown. I am the President of Sanford, its fun. Trust me. I also am the VP for CLA Student Board - even more fun, if you are in CLA, you should join. I work for Housing and Residential Life in many different capacities and am on the steering committee for the Social Justice Leadership Retreats that HRL puts on about twice a year, heard of it? You should definitely go on one sometime - its life changing! I am also a Night Manager and Office Assistant and U-Crew at Sanford Hall. I also recently joined Women's Student Activist Collective (WSAC) and I think there is a lot of potential there - check us out sometime.

Here is a picture of my beautiful and wonderful family...
The Khan Family 2005.jpg
...and here is a picture of me so you can put my written words to a face that you will see in class. You should say hi and tell me if you agree with my likes/dislikes or not at all! :-)
Ak_07_122s.jpg

I am...Derek Blanchard

I am...
a Christian, a Libertarian, the loud crazy kid at the party, an extremely good listener, a finance major, usually deep in thought, fun, outgoing, driven, excited about life, in love, and open-minded.

Some of my favorites are...
Grey's Anatomy, watermelon, football, lifting weights, running, Espresso Expose, talking with friends, reading, The Green Mile, traveling, Argentina, campfires, my cabin, sunsets, boating, and partying.

I used to...
be a state track and field champion, work at a movie theater, work at a bank, worry too much, tutor elementary students, and plan out every second of my life.

I'm looking forward to...
asking my girlfriend to marry me (probably within 2 months!), owning my own house, buying a dog, graduating in May, working at Mayo Clinic in healthcare administration, having children, taking a vacation when I graduate, and spending time with my family and friends during my last semester because I have a very light load!

Important lesson's I've learned are...
man plans and God laughs, to live a life in fear of losing it is to lose the reason to live it, treat those as you would like to be treated and better, the first duty of love is to listen, God gave you two ears and one mouth and they should be used in that ratio, and life is all about attitude. All of these lessons have affected my life significantly.

If there is anything else you would like to know about me, check out my facebook profile. I actually have a weekly blog, and it is under my notes on facebook. I would encourage you to add me as a friend on facebook and check them out. There's some really good stuff there, and I would love to be challenged as well as encouraged on some of the deep thoughts I have posted.

I am... a collection of life

I don’t really know in words what or who I am, so the best I can do is show you what I love, and hope that you can pull a good idea from that. Here goes and I wish you luck in deciphering the person I am!

1. Film – I’m the kind of person who loves spending the night watching great movie after great movie, and then doing it all over again the next night. Film is my tentative major, and although I enjoy making short films, I like to watch and admire other people’s masterpieces more. I still have not decided if I want to make a career out of film or to just keep it a hobby, but I suppose that at 19, I have lots of time to figure that out. I have many favorite films that would be too long and boring to post here, so I will limit it to my top three, which are Donnie Darko, V for Vendetta and The Prestige.

2. Ceramics - Pottery (or art) is my second choice major although I'm more passion than talent in this field. I am taking my first college level ceramics class this semester and am more excited than I could possibly put in words. My plan is that if I become good enough at the potter's wheel to afford a plastic box to live in when I grow up instead of a cardboard one, I'll switch my major.
DSCF0001.JPGThis is my favorite bowl that I have made.

3. Art Metal - More specifically I like making jewelry, because very little beats someone complimenting your ring and you being able to say, "I made it." I took an introductory class to art metal in high school, and made four bezel rings and a couple trinket boxes. I don't plan on ever making money off my work, but I wish to always keep it as a hobby. If anyone knows of any good small-scale metal classes at the University, I would love the recommendation.

4. Sweatpants - Under my three aspiring passions, I love the simple parts of everyday, especially sweatpants. I wear sweatpants to school, to bed, out with friends and would probably wear them to my wedding if allowed. There is no simpler way to lift my spirits than to slide on a pair or two of fuzzy-soft and warm pants.

5. Broccoli - Yes, I know I am weird, but I could eat cooked broccoli for every meal of the day, including dessert. Hopefully it will keep me healthy through the cold winters in my plastic box.

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Bug is my faithful companion and favorite betta fish in the world. I spoil him silly and love him tons, and am very happy that he just recovered from his fish sickness.

7. Zoos - I love going to Zoos and I always push my family to go to them whenever we visit a new city. I've been to the Portland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Minnesota and Washington D.C. zoos, and it's hard to pick a favorite. My favorite exhibits include the aquarium of the Milwaukee zoo, which has a tank of freshwater fish big enough to ride on, and the arctic exhibit of the Detroit zoo, which has a Plexiglas tunnel underneath the polar bear swimming pool. I have to admit though that as a frequent swimmer in Lake Michigan, the freshwater fish scare me as much as they amaze me. I never bothered to find out what they eat and I don't think I ever will.
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8. Oregon - I went on my first cross-country trip with my parents last fall to Portland, Oregon, and given the choice, I don't think I would have come back. The city lacked the usual hustled feeling of downtown, and filled the gap with relaxed wanderers, dog-walkers, and roses, and it was all set on a backdrop of mountains. We also drove the couple hours to the Pacific coast and spent an amazing day wandering along the empty beaches filled with volcanic rocks and starfish.

9. Weather - I love the variety of weather the Midwest gives us, from the wholly warming sunshine in the summer, to the lazy rainy afternoons in the fall and spring, and the crisp, crunchy snow in our winters.

10. Fireworks – They’re fireworks, what more needs to be said?

i am a procrastinator...

-i put absolutely everything off until the last minute, but would never even dream of turning in anything late, or being late for anything im supposed to be at.
-i am a junior nursing student and i absolutely love the profession i am getting into. i love taking care of people, working with people and learning about people. i love to think critically and problem solve.
-i was born in st.paul, but raised in madison wisconsin, so i am one of the hated badger fans that go to the university of minnesota. i enjoy sporting my red and white and talking trash, even if they lose.
**my family and friends mean the world to me and although i like to do things independently, i couldn't imagine life without any of them.

-football and hockey are my two favorite sports to watch and to play. (it has actually taken me 2 hours to write this because i have been glued to the play off games all afternoon!) i love watching everything else whether its NBA basketball or my little cousins soccer game. i enjoy being active whenever i can and love trying new things. my greatest accomplishment thus far is the sprint triathlon i did july '06. 1/3 mile swim, 15 mile bike and 3 mile run, i completed it all and had a decent time! can't wait to try again this summer!
-i love all four seasons and have things i look forward to in each. i love laying in the sun and playing in the water. i love raking up leaves and jumping in them on a cool fall day. snow is the greatest (now that we finally have some), who would pass up downhill skiing, sledding, snowball fights and building snow forts? definitely not i. then spring comes and the flowers start blooming and the leaves come back. the grass turns green and school is almost over.
-when im not working or at school i enjoy watching movies (of any genre), playing video games (preferably ones where i can just press buttons rather than knowing all the secret codes..) or just being outside. i love to cook and bake, im trying to learn to sew and i enjoy cleaning and doing laundry. (although its not until my apartment is a mess and my laundry is overflowing, that i actually do the last couple :) )
-so although i love to cook and bake, my favorite places to grab a bite to eat are definitely mcdonalds and taco bell. i could gobble up an entire pizza and have all necessary jimmy johns numbers in my phone. fast food is definitely a weakness and i would prefer salty french fries to ice cream or chocolate any day.
-music is something i couldn't go a day without. i listen to pretty much everything depending on who im with and what kind of mood im in. a few of my favorites are jimmy eat world, weezer, nickel creek, evanescence, anna nalick and dashboard confessionals.
-until a couple of years ago, the only reason i had a tv was to watch sports and occasionally the news. now thanks to grey's anatomy i am in front of my tv thursdays from 8-9pm. i am also a sucker for one tree hill and lately prison break....
-i love going on road trips even if its up to duluth or back home to madison. i am totally fine with driving myself as well...more time to sing ridiculous songs at the top of my lungs :)
-vacations are also fabulous and i wish i had more time and money to travel around and see the world. i love going out west to colorado or montana to ski in the mountains, or spending time under the sun in florida or hawaii :) skiing in british columbia canada was absolutely amazing and hope to go back in 2010 for the winter olympics (to watch obviously...) this summer i may study abroad and look forward to that opportunity to explore a different region of the world.
anyway, im gonna wrap this up. when i started i wasn't sure what to write but now i feel like i could type out my whole life story. as others have said, this class should be fun and i look forward to getting to know everyone else better!

I am.. thuy

I am a senior in college. Thus this is my last year as an undergraduate. My major is in psychology. However I am not thrill to receive my degree in that field at all. So as a result, i will be applying to the MBA program at St. Thomas. Hopefully, i will get accepted. Other than that, I like to hang out with my friends whenever i can. My favorite thing to do in the whole world is to travel. So far, i have been to vegas, hawaii, vietnam and jaimaca. My next destination would be China and Japan. I don't like to read but my favorite book is Harry Potter. Also, i'm addicted in reading In Touch magazines. I know it's silly and i get yelled by my boyfriend alot for wasting my brain power in those stuff but i can't help it. I have another friend that has the same addiction and it's hilarious when we get together and "gossip" about what we read. =). I love to try new things so this winter i'm trying to learn to snowboard and all i can say is that i need to get more padding, especially the one for my behind. My favorite movie is the notebook. I don't know how many times i have cried watching that movie. Speaking of crying, one could say that i'm a cry baby, especiallly my boyfriend. It's not that i'm emotionally unstable but i just tend to cry very easily. One sad scene from a movie and you can count on seeing those tears falling down. Overall, i consider myself to be a fun caring person. Although i may say the stupidest thing sometimes but i am very thougthful. I love to experience new things becuase in order to criticize something, one would have to try it first. I don't like people who just made meaningless assumptions on subjects that they themselves have not tried.

I am pure potential.

I enjoy people. I love conversing and collaborating ideas. I have never had the hiccups. My little cousins make me happier than most people. Sweet potatoes are my favorite food. I have a tendency to see the best in people. I eat cereal for desert after almost every meal. I find colors uplifting, but black and white photos are my favorite. Though the city is brilliant and inspiring, my true home is in the country.

I have a passion for music and odds and ends of crafts, especially designing and creating jewelry. I swim for the other side of things. Painting my nails and dancing help me cope better than any medication could. I know more about shoes than I ever thought I would. I think that people are inherently good, not evil. I live for my friends and family. I dream about studying abroad. I believe in God and evolution. I think that green tea is the most contemplative drink. My house is the most beautiful place in the United States.

I love tea and coffee. I love to listen and I love to talk. I am currently taking sign language and have found it to be a creative outlet. I think that passion is one of the most attractive qualities in humans. I would rather spend the day at an art museum than at any shopping mall. I am planning on majoring in Global Studies with a minor in Women’s Studies but that is subject to change any second. My sisters are gorgeous girls who I look up to though they are younger than I am.

I am an activist, a woman, a sister, a daughter, a feminist, an environmentalist, a student. I would love to be your friend.

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I Am...Me

In lieu of this assignment, i scoured my room, computer and photos for ten things that represent me as a person. What I have chosen can say more about me than any list of adjectives and nouns. This list should present a nice glimpse of a proper representation of my personality. My interests in music, film and literature are constantly evolving, but my love for my friends and family will always be permanent. And with this, let me present my list..

1. My Sister, Ashley

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I consider the relationship with my sister to be very special. Our family moved constantly when we were younger, so there was a reliance on each other for support and familiarity. This inspired us to be very close. We still call each other a couple times a day. She both challenges and inspires me. There isn't anything about myself that she doesn't already know. And for that, i love her.


2. My hometown, Duluth, Minnesota

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Once my family finally settled down, it seemed our chosen location was Duluth, Minnesota. I couldn't have hoped for a better city. Call it what you may, a Tourist Trap or 'Just like the movie Fargo', but Duluth is better than any city i have ever been to. There is everything one could ever want, and not to mention a killer view of Lake Superior.


3. Laguna Beach

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Sure, it may be considerer trashy, unbearable and trivial, but i consider this one of my favorite shoes. I can't explain what it is, but it may be the fact that i love people with disposable income and flawless tans. Oh, and nothing gets better than Kristin Cavalleri saying, "Dunzo."


4. Starbucks

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I could never live without coffee. I could care less about a monopolized industry with a dominated force in advertising. I don't care where the beans are grown, and i don't care about their corporate tactics. Just give me my Starbucks and i'll give you my 1.92 for my venti coffee, straight up black no sugar or cream.


5. My Cell Phone

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I could never live without my cell phone. Sure it may sound trivial to many, but without a cell phone means I would be without a engine for my social life. It is the crutch in my otherwise meaningless and materialistic life.

6. The Mall

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I don't need a specific mall. Just give me any mall and i will find gold. There is a reason my parents hate to give me money, and there is a reason why christmas shopping gives me a rush unlike anything else in life.

7. Snow

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This is a event that has seriously been M.I.A this winter. Our current lack of snow has caused prevented me from festive winter activities like skating, sledding, construction of snow men, white washing friends and forming of snow angels. I believe playing with snow shouldn't be left at the playground after elementary school. It should only prosper!


8. My best friend, Tara

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Outside my family, Tara is the person I spend the most time with. We were brought together in orchestra when we started out as lab partners. We have evolved into people who have identical thought processes and interests. If neither of us find the loves of our lives by 35, we will likely cohabitate.


9. My Parents, Tina & Larry

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My relationship with my parents is very interesting. They are not the type of parents who wish to be clueless about my life and they are not the type to be hands off. The stream of communication between us is amazing. There is not a thing we can't tell each other. Our relationship goes beyond the framework of a Parent-Child relationship. My admiration and love for them continues to grow every day. Sure some people say I have attachment issues. To them, I just say at least I never have to doubt love, trust or family any day in my life.


10. Music

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Music holds to ability to go beyond words in defining someone. My music library overflows into every music genre. My taste is not limited by any means. I can go from listening to the bubbliest of pop to death metal. I dislike those who choose to only indulge in certain areas of music (for example, EMO) because they feel that is the only genre that can express who they are. I find definitions of myself in everything from Journey to Joni Mitchell to Cake to Britney Spears to the Rolling Stones. Why stop in one section of the music store, when there are ten more aisles to go through?

I AM ....

[Korean]

I am an adoptee.
I am still seeking answers to my history.
I am easily jealous of families that are fortunate to have shared genetics, for I will never have that.
I am a part of an Asian community, but never disregard that I am also an individual.

[Activist]

I am aware of and acknowledge the racial injustice in our society.
I am always and will forever be viewed as a foreigner by the public eye based on the color of my skin.
I am a descendant of an oppressed community of color that has been consistently discriminated against through the likes of the government, media, and society.
I am not afraid to confront ignorance.

[Musician]

I am a pianist of 17 years.
I am a critic and critique other musicians and their work.
I am a devoted fan of hip hop because it is the most lyrically challenging and profound music in the music industry.
I am a firm believer of music as a global language.

[Christian]

I am a believer of faith and God.
I am not one to judge another’s faith or to force my beliefs on them.
I am not bound to a single denomination, but rather the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.


Do not judge me based on false assumptions.
I am an avid believer of voicing one's own opinions, so expect me to do so.

I am...

A few of my favorite things…

1. I love all animals! I have a rat named, Sno. She keeps me company when I’m lonely. I also have a dog at my dad’s house his name is Smoky. I volunteer at the wildlife rehab center in Roseville, and it’s a lot of fun.
2. The Last Unicorn is my favorite movie of all time. It always has been ever since I was little. It is a cartoon about the last unicorn in the world and she goes and saves all the other unicorns. However its not really the genre I would usually go for. My favorite directors are Quentin Tarantino and Tim Burton.
3. I love being outside in the winter, summer, whatever. I love the snow. I like to just sit outside when its snowing its so relaxing and beautiful. I love to sit outside in the sun in the summer time… cause its so relaxing and beautiful. Haha
4. I try to go camping whenever possible in the summer. I love backpacking or just car camping. Last summer I got to go sea kayaking in the Apostle Islands with some friends it was my first time kayaking and it was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.

5. Stephen King is basically the only author I read for fun. The first book of his that I read was Carrie after that I was hooked. I’m currently working on his Dark Tower series, I’m on book 5 Wolves of the Calla.
6. My dad always gets season tickets to the Guthrie so I get to see a lot of good plays. I saw Pirates of Penzance a couple years back and it was hilarious. That’s probably my favorite play ever.
7. My favorite band really depends on what mood I am in but some of my favorites are: Atmosphere, the Eagles, Reel Big Fish, CKY, and the Kottonmouth Kings.
8. I love ice cream of all flavors. I like to walk over to the House of Hansen and pick up some Ben and Jerry’s even though its kind of pricey. I’m also in Dairy Queen’s Blizzard fan club so there send me a news letter about what the Blizzard of the month is each month. M&M McFlurries are really good too.
9. I would have to say Nip/Tuck is my favorite TV show. I don’t watch a lot of TV because I don’t want to pay for cable. When Nip/Tuck is on I record it at my dads house and then go watch it there.
10. My cabin is probably my favorite place in the world. It is on Long Lake in WI. I love it there. It is always so beautiful no matter what season. My dog loves it cause he can roam free and run around in the words and chase all the other animals. We have boats and ATVs so there is always something to do. It is also easy to just relax and read a book.

I am.. Learning and Growing

I am a freshman and I have absolutely no idea what my major is or what direction my life is going. I have tons of ideas, but haven’t made any decisions yet. I love kids and I want to do big, great things someday, and I know I will, after I decide my major :)

I am very emotional, and I think that’s ok. I am overly sensitive but also very compassionate towards other people.

I am a slob. I love clean rooms, but for some reason, I can’t have one.

I love to read, I’ll read anything and everything. Some of my favorites include Catcher in the Rye, Brave New World, and Ella Enchanted, which I read in third grade and loved and I still like it a lot.

I have been very strong in my faith my whole life and have been very involved in my church but coming to college and experiencing all the new things that I have has really caused me to struggle with it and really question it. I’m anxious to see what will happen in that part of my life. It scares me, but at the same time, I think questioning is important.

Music has always been very important in my life. I’ve sang in choirs since I was very little and I love listening to classical music. I like Motion City Soundtrack and Carole King (in my opinion, Tapestry was the best album ever made). I also like Joni Mitchell, Nickel Creek, and Ben Lee.

My family is really important to me and I love spending time with them. I laugh more when I’m with my parents and my brother and sister than with anyone else.

I am a complete beginner in this subject but am really looking forward to learning!

I am...

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Probably not what you were expecting, but that's okay with me I guess. I'm young, I feel younger than I look, I don't know what I want to do with my life, I'd like to do what makes me passionate (but what can I choose if gender studies, design, science, HUMAN MINDS, creative writing and feathers all fall under my interests?) I was recently at a school I didn't like, and I found myself trying to remember what I really enjoy in life. I made a list- it's long, so I won't recreate it, I'll give you just a few:

winter trees, summer driving, radios, gin and tonic, old comic books, bridges, boots, the color red, the words "sandbar" and "icebox", binoculars, comets, the alphabet, trains, pears, old clothes, hills, laughing.

I want the things around me to be genuine; I want to be genuine. This should be easier than it is.

January 20, 2007

e(I)ye am. (a list)

an obvious disciple of e.e. cummings.
highly mutable, prone to staring.
I try to be an artist, a musician, an actor,
and end up being more motivated by passion than talent.
i am sensitive to violence and used to avoid the news,
but have recently decided that the world is worth the pain.
a chronic shower-er.
devoted to my siblings, even if i don't show it often.

a Freshman making up a major in Cinematography and pretending she knows what she's doing.
better at dreaming than sleeping.
i love drawing with charcoal, because it gives me an excuse to get messy and act like a child.
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i love acting like a child.
am terrified of spiders and being stared at-- and am therefore slightly hypocritical.
i believe that it doesn't matter what your political opinions are, you had better be informed and you had better be active-- or you had better shut up.
very shy about sharing my religious beliefs, but honest if asked.
pretty sure that animals and children are perfect, beautiful creatures
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am irrevocably in love with Jon Stewart, John Mayer, Craig Charles, and three boys and one girl from my past.
am not very good at dancing or believing in myself,
but trying really hard to learn to walk on that mental tightrope.
probably not "beautiful"
but convention has never been my strong point.

I am....Expanding my Horizons

My name is Kari and I am a freshman here at the U majoring in (hopefully) biochemistry to one day go into Dental School. One of my best friends is my older sister Bethany and I am very family-oriented. I am extremely motivated and will do anything to achieve my goals, however, I am a bit of a perfectionist and sometimes pretty stubborn. I was extremely involved in high school with DECA, Key club, a leadership club and sports. I played basketball and softball competitively year-around. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people try to tell me that softball is such an easier sport than baseball…IT'S NOT TRUE! My new favorite show is Grey’s Anatomy and love reading romance novels. I love coffee and have been working at Caribou Coffee for almost three years now- I have been known as a workaholic, but I love being able to support myself and like to keep busy. I come from a suburb of Minneapolis where just about everyone is white, so coming the U was a huge culture shock for me, but I am loving every minute of it. I enjoy meeting new people and trying out new things. I am really looking forward to expand my horizons in this class and promise to keep an open mind to everyone’s opinions and way of life.

I am Introspective

I am introspective but not centripetally focused. My name is Eve and I am a senior at the U of M. I am an honors student majoring in cultural studies but don't worry, I am no smarter than you. I am minoring in GWSS and am pursuing a post-bacalaureate certificate in Complementary and Alternative therapies through the Center at the U. I may one day go for a master's in nutrition. I live in the ghetto of S. Mpls with my roommates Ted and Mark, our dogs Nico (boxer), Tucker (German Shepherd/Rott), and Sasha (Coon Hound/Husky), and our kitty Yoko. I work at Cupcake in Prospect Park off of University (by 280). I sell cupcakes and I must say it is not a bad deal. My boyfriend lives in Seattle and works for Earth Corps (like Americorps) and is coming back in August! I am very excited. I like to budget time for fun because if you don't enjoy your life then why are you still living?! I look forward to getting to know everyone and I hope we have a rousing class!

January 19, 2007

I am the other Jesse.

I see I am one of many "Jesses" in this class, so here's what sets me apart:
I am a Spanish and pre-med student in CLA. I come from a town in MN that has as many people as this University. I love and miss my family. My favorite place to be is outdoors. I am in U of M Nordic Skiing. I have been on top of a waterski pyramid and have waterskiied barefoot. I worked in a hardware store this past summer, and I can now tell you what a sump pump is. I take after my mom in her concern for the environment, and after years of complaining about the chilly temperature in our house, I am now the one turning off the heater in my dorm room. I love to cook, and my favorite recipe is shrimp tostadas. I have travelled to the Dominican Republic to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. This class is a totally new subject area for me, but I'm excited for the experience!

International Velvet

I am a junior slowly plugging away at a Family Social Sciences major and a GLBT studies minor. Someday, I hope to work with GLBT youth. I have an odd collection of hobbies, in summer I show horses and dogs. I also do quite a bit of gardening in a floppy hat (it makes it that much more exciting). I also have been a drag performer for many years and am involved with a local band.

I love old films and some of my favourites are: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, All About Eve, Suddenly, Last Summer, Splendor in the Grass and Grey Gardens. I am pretty obsessed with Grey Gardens and if you want to dive into a world of insanity you should rent it. I read a lot of Jewish literature, one of my favourite authors is a professor at the U named Judith Katz. She has two amazing novels called Running Fiercely Towards A Thin High Sound, and The Escape Artist. I also am quite fond of the book Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes by T Cooper. I love music a list of all would be exhaustive, but some of my tops include: Wolf Parade, the Unicorns, Gay Against You, SSION, Sissy Bar, Freezepop, Adult., Bis, Yma Sumac, Bessie Smith, Maria Callas, Gay Beast, First Communion After Party, Lady Sovereign, Deerhoof, Ladytron, The Gossip, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Oh and here is a photo of my supermodel dog…
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Local Rape Crisis Center Needs Volunteers!

Sexual Offense Services (SOS) of Ramsey County needs rape crisis hotline and hospital outreach volunteers. Support group facilitation and community education volunteer opportunities also available. Must attend 40+ hour February training. Please call SOS Business Line for more information: 651-643-3022.

I am…optimistic.

I always believe the best in people or situations, looking for solutions or benefits before accepting negative outcomes. I am Italian and Irish. I am strong willed and stubborn. I am not perfect, but I am lucky to be part of a loving family, who supports me no matter what, even when they are 6 hours away. I am an athlete, I played soccer through high school and miss it quite a bit. I am a reader and a writer. I am spontaneous, often leaping before I look. I am not sure yet what I want to do, but I want to make a difference, big or small. I love good books, good movies and good music, anything with a nice message or is relatable or informative. I am not a fan of anything that has to do with math. I don’t believe anyone should ever be ashamed of mistakes or faults, but they should be able to admit to them and learn from them without being judged.

1/22 - Dean Spade Talk

Consolidating the Gendered Citizen: Trans Survival, Bureaucratic Power, and the War on Terror
Dean Spade, University of California – Los Angeles Law School

Monday, January 22, 2007
B10 Ford Hall
3:15-3:30pm Refreshments
3:30-5:00pm Talk

For more information, call Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at (612) 624-6006.

As an increasingly institutionalized transgender rights movement has emerged in the last 15 years, legal interventions regarding transgender equality have been framed in ways that mirror the equality paradigm used in the lesbian and gay legal struggles. The favored interventions have been anti-discrimination laws that primarily focus on employment, and hate crimes laws aimed at increasing awareness or punishment of non-state violence against transgender people. Are the interventions actually the most significant for transgender survival and increased political participation? This colloquium will examine the fate of transgender people at the hands of the administrative state, suggesting that the most significant barriers to survival actually take place in the realms untouched by the traditional gay rights movement interventions, such as identity documentation, sex segregation, and trans health care coverage.

Dean Spade is currently a law teaching fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School. In 2002, Dean founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a collective non-profit providing free legal assistance to transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming people facing poverty and racism. Dean's writing has appeared in the Berkeley Women's Law Journal, the Georgetown Journal of Gender and Law, the Widener Law Review and several anthologies, including the recently released "Nobody Passes" (ed. Sycamore) and "Transgender Rights" (ed. Currah).

January 18, 2007

I am Jessie

My favorite things...
- My family. I only have one sister, Rachel, but she's my best friend.
- The summertime. I love going to the lake!
- Dance. I've been in dance for as long as I can remember, since I was about 4 years old.
-Singing. My mom and I sing at our church a lot and throughout high school I was a member of the concert choir.
-Reading romance novels. I don't care if it makes me sound like an old woman, I love Danielle Steele.
-Watching movies and tv. My favorite tv shows are Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and The Office.
-Cereal. I could eat cereal for every meal.
-Hanging out with my friends. I have some the best friends ever. We have fun even when we aren't really doing anything at all.
-Traveling. I went to France in 2004, and last summer I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for the May session.

I am...open

Hey, my name is Tony. Being open is a very broad statement, but it is what best describes me. I love to try new things and am willing to do just about anything. I am very hard working, but am always open to do something with friends. I think that every person deserves to find a life that is enjoyable, and if they havent yet, then they are not looking hard enough. A class like this allows me to be open with my opinions and learn alot from other people. I am looking forward to a semester with people I'v never met before with opinions that I may have never thought of before.

I am..........just plain old me!

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I am a junior here majoring in civil engineering with a minor in construction management. I am, as many here like to call them, and IT nerd. You might not be able to tell by looking at me, but that is who I am. I'm used to having about 4 girls in my class so this is definitely a step out of my norm, but I have no complaints at all. I was born in Sioux Falls, SD; was raised in Sioux City, IA and Hartland, WI (about 20 minutes outside of Milwaukee); and am loving living up here in the cities. There's so many things to do and so many opportunities up here it blows me away. I love sports! Anything from curling to football I've probably played it with baseball, basketball, and hockey being my top three. I'm the guy that when march madness or the playoffs are on I sit and watch them from beginning to end. I love music! I played the drums for 14 years. This is why you will often see me tapping anything and everything around me. I can listen to pretty much any kind of music as long as it has a cool beat to dance or relax to. My two favorite kinds are....

hip hop because you can dance all night long to it and r&b because there's nothing like kickin' back and relaxin' with a nice slow jam to clear the mind. My favorite artists would have to be Usher, John Mayer, Blink 182, Rascall Flatts, and Chris Brown; which, as you can see, is a little bit of everything. Family and friends are the most important thing in the world to me! I have a ton of great friends up here, but there's nothing like going back home to visit the family and my 7 best friends from high school. I love having them around so much that I live with 3 of my best friends in an apartment up here. It's just a wonderful feeling knowing that I always have someone there for me when I'm down. I'd do anything for anyone of them and they'd do the same for me! I am a very outgoing and fun guy with a good head on my shoulders thanks to my parents and friends. I'm always up to do pretty much anything. I'll party, go to a movie, go bowling (might kick your butt though!), or just relax and watch a movie. I am...........just plain old me! I am who I am and there's nobody that will ever change that!

I am.... me!

I am a third year animal science student with everything to gain and nothing to lose. I am excited (about what, I have no idea) at all times of the day. I am sarcastic, kind, sensitive, loyal and fun, or so i have been told. I love meeting new and different people. I love being in new places, it is scary and exhilarating at the same time. I am not really a family person but I love my family all the same. I rely heavily on my friends for support and advice. I feel deprived of something when I can't be near an animal, and I think everyone should have a dog or a cat for therapeutic reasons.

If I could meet anyone it would be Prince. If I could go anywhere I would choose Mongolia. I am fascinated with Japanese culture and I will most likely be studying in Tokyo next fall. I want my future to be full of plants, books, warm sweaters and tea. I love cowboy boots and short shorts.

I am currently reading the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. If you haven't already read the book, you should. In fact, everyone in the world should read the book, it is amazing. I am obsessed with Lord of the RIngs, and I can tell you pretty much anything you want to know about it or J.R.R. Tolkien. I listen to all sorts of music such as; Joanna Newsom, CocoRosie, Hope Sandoval, The Microphones, Mirah.... ect. But my heart belongs to 80's pop. Madonna, Prince, Cyndi and Pat Benatar, are among the top of that list.

I love to dance, not that I am any good at it, but I think it is fun and freeing. My favorite movies are LOTR, Billy Elliot, Gattaca and Serenity.

This is me:
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January 17, 2007

I am...Just Another One.

I am moody, quirky, and sometimes selfish. However, I am also independent, compassionate, an introvert, affectionate, and am willing to try anything at least once. I have been told that I am strong on the outside, but have weak spots inside. I battle my own inner demons, sometimes with swords and other times with tears. I am silly and serious; and sweet with a little sass.

I am NOT a morning person although breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

Favorite movies include Garden State, Little Miss Sunshine, Kissing Jessica Stein, and I will admit: Mean Girls had me in hysterical laughter at times.

Favorite book is a children's book entitled Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch.

Because of a little girl that entered my life almost exactly 5 years ago I am no longer a drug addict or a dancer. She gave me reason to continue living and break the bad habits that I was quickly falling into.

Meet Madeline.

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Her smile, her laugh, her ability to do a "crazy-lady dance" like no other little girl is what makes me smile, laugh, and dance right along side her. She is a Princess and a Star Wars junkie. Her questions about the Muffin Man, the Moon, and what and where and when and why and how and who is the Muffin Man again? Never cease to amaze me.

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Together, Madeline and I, have taken on the World. This past summer we drove all over the country stopping in random little towns (& some large cities too) meeting people from completely different places and backgrounds than our own. We heard and shared so much laughter and so many stories.

From the coasts of Florida...
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To the mountain tops of Colorado...
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To the windy deserts of Utah...
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And on to Arizona...and Nevada...and California...and back home to Minnesota... (and all the states inbetween).

Having my daughter and experiencing all that we did this past summer has helped me to realize that this might just be the only life we have and that we have to make the most of everything.

"Do what you want, and f*ck the rest." -- I can't seem to remember where I've heard this quote, but it seems to fit well right here.

I will continue to follow my heart, no matter how crazy it may seem at the time...which is the BEST advice my mother ever gave me. My life hasn't been the greatest, but I am learning from the past instead of dwelling on it. I love my life.

I am... so confused.

Right now, I really couldn't tell you a lot about who I am. I could tell you what music I like (The Dresden Dolls, The Beatles, NIN, Bright Eyes, Weezer, Ani Defranco, Metric, Mugison, Modest Mouse, A Tur, the list goes on...), I could tell you about the kind of movies I love to watch (The Fifth Element, Star Wars (original trilogy), Stay, Donnie Darko, Amadeus, The Matrix, Saw (all 3), WaxWorks, Cast Away, A.I., Nightmare Before Christmas, Nightmare on Elm Street (1-4), I Heart Huckabees, Lost in Translation, and so on...), or I could even tell you what I'm in college for (I want to be an actress, so I am in the BFA Actor Training Program here). I could tell you that I was born in Minnesota, moved down to Texas (which I never got used to), and as I way to reconnect with my homeland, I am a Freshman here at the U now. But, I really don't see how that would tell you a lot about who I am. I wish I could explain myself. I wish that I could actually make a tangible list, a recipe if you will, that gave you directions on how to build the ultimate Mikaela Jo Krantz, but unfortunately, I don't think life works that way. I'll do my best to share with you what I know...

I used to be Christian, but I never really understood what that entailed, and when I found out, I felt like I didn't belong. This scared me because my Dad is a very religious christian, and I love him to death. I look up to him, but I never felt very comfortable when the preacher spoke of hell, so when my parents divorced, my mom joined the Center for Spiritual Living, which lives by the philosophy of the Power of the Mind. I'm not saying the worship the mind. They believe in God, but it's more like God and the Universe and all energy is the same thing. We are a part of God and God is a part of us, and God is Good. Personally, I believe there is a God and I definitely believe in the Power of the Mind. I think the mind is a very dangerous, complex, and beautiful thing, but sometimes it can be a lot to handle, and I don't think I'll ever master it's use. I'm really into a lot of different philosophies on pretty much everything, but mainly religious philosophies. I am constantly thinking about whether or not everything is all relative, or if the law of attraction works because I have made myself believe that it does, or if it works because that's how the universe works. If you don't know what the law of attraction is, it's okay. You can ask me. Oh, and one more thing, my best friend in the whole world (who is christian knows that I am not one, but my father still believes that I am. None of his children are, and I fear that I may be his "last hope" child. I just don't want to disappoint him. You won't tell him will you??? Thanks.

Another thing I see about myself is that I tend to go on random tangents about nothing really significant at all. I'm a loner. I'm hard on myself. I think I could become mentally insane (not only do I believe in the power of the mnd, I fear it).

I am very disorganized when it comes to my thoughts. My mind is always a rough draft. I'm really excited about this class, but also extremely nervous because my BFA classes take up a lot of time in my schedule. I just found out about this class today (jan. 17th), so that's why I wasn't in class on Tuesday.


Also, right now, I am through with romance, and anything that has to do with romantic relationships, and Danika (Quick Digression, yay!: 4 Sisters = Johnna-oldest, Danika-2nd oldest, Me-3rd, Kendra-youngest) and I are going to be the Crazy old Krantz Sisters who live next door and have about 900,834 cats. I had a very complicated winter break...Basically, I am the 90 degree angle of an Isosceles love triangle. It is no fun at all.

And moving on, if you look to your right you'll see that: I love playing guitar, I love writing stream of consiousness. I'm reading a book called A New Earth which I highly recommend. I'm also getting through The Disappearance of the Universe. I just finished The Alchemist. I love The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories and The Angel is Near. I try to meditate whenever I can, which is usually at night because I'm an insomniac.

I am currently stationed in Middlebrook, and only really see 17 other student faces a day. Those faces make up my BFA company. I love 'em, but you don't get much of a college experience with a tight-knit group like that.

I fear that I may be writing this wrong. I constantly have a fear of being incorrect in anything and everything I do, and I can't stand being late. I am still afraid of the dark and not ashamed to admit it. I fear failure, I fear losing my grip on reality, I fear showing my true self, I fear my inability to communicate, I fear strong religious opinions, I fear my questioning everything, I fear regrets, I fear just barely missing my goals, I fear I have lost my self. I fear that I do not know where I am; where my consiousness is stationed; who I am.

I want to act, I want to succeed. I want my step father to aquire all the neuro-feedback equipment he wants. I don't want to go too deep into what I want for fear that you will misinterpret what I mean. I admit that I want to be liked by everyone. I admit that I want to look attractive. I seem to give in to the pressures of the media, and yet am repulsed by what they say about what I am supposed to look like, feel like, dress like, act like,...

I AM A HYPOCRITE!....who isn't that great at spelling, but that was totally unrelated to the previous statement that was presented in all capital letters.

And when I get going on an online entry, I really go on for way too long. I think this entry should come to a close, but I just wanted to show how difficult it was to really get an organized view of who a person is. Humans just seem too complex to get to the very bottom of a who they are....or who they think they are. Though, I got to say, I enjoyed every messy minute of it!


Thanks for Reading!
~Mikaela

I am... Amanda

I am a strong, courageous woman who has faced many adversities and has lived to tell the tale. I don't think I am better than anybody else, nor do I want to be. My major goal in life is to try my hardest in all I strive for and to reach my full potential as a family member, friend, professional, and individual. I like to listen to others because I feel there is much to learn from those around us. I do not believe in organized religion as I feel it hinders free thought, but I do believe that some form of spirituality is integral in a healthy lifestyle. I don't really know what else to say... but here are some of my favorites...

6 Favorite Things to Do
1. Horseback ride
2. Read
3. Nap
4. Learn
5. Play guitar
6. Have good conversations

5 Favorite Movies (in no specific order):
1. Dr. Strangelove
2. High School Musical
3. The Little Mermaid
4. Ice Age
5. I Heart Huckabees

4 Favorite Books (in no specific order):
1. Any Harry Potter Book
2. Seabiscuit
3. Things Fall Apart
4. Angels and Demons

3 Favorite TV Shows:
1. Grey's Anatomy!!
2. Boston Legal
3. CSI, CSI: NY, CSI: Miami

2 Favorite People/Heros
1. Mom
2. Uncle Duane

1 Life Goal: Get a Doctorate in Nursing Practice.

I am...a back-ways walker, spittin' slander. Y'dig?

I’m a woman who has just been disgusted/appalled/harassed by a South Beach Diet commercial, yet I lust for that body. I am a woman who routinely acknowledges the degradation of our culture and am sickened by it, yet still feels like shit when I am not up to par with its demands. I am a woman who feels strong in virtues, yet find it quite hard to keep up with them. I dig Marina Abramovic, Jenny Holzer, Ana Mendieta and Barbara Kruger, and I jive to Camera Obscura, Cat Power, Songs:Ohia, Andrew Bird, yet feel stunted next to someone else’s taste. I crave identity yet want to regress to that unidentifiable childhood. I seek brilliance in Whitman and Thoreau, but then decide that they were naïve, because everything is just not that good. I crave to be self-sufficient, yet understand that’s impossible anymore. I want to live under the radar, but really enjoy people around. And now I see a commercial for tampons and cannot quite understand why women should have to pay for such devices. And technology really scares me. I am a decided hypocrite that enjoys the groovy notions of thought.

I am a coffee drinker.

What can I say? I enjoy a hot cup of black coffee... ok, let's be real here: I get headaches when I don't drink coffee at least once a day, but come on, it's college, right? I am sure many of you reading this can relate. And while the caffiene-charged beverage never fails, I must confess it is only one of several treasures I hold dear to my heart.

The foremost of these other things is my faith in love. No matter what selfishly prideful or pathetically self-loathing state I find myself in, my belief will not subside. Honestly, I believe from the core of who I am and with everything I have that I am a created being whose sole purpose is to love. When we all breathe the same air in this increasingly crowding world, isolation is highly overrated. Also: I love and treasure my family and my friends. I am continuously grateful for their love, support, offerings of forgiveness, and audacity to challenge me. Also: My passion. I have been created with a built-in passion of tremendous depth. My passion is for song. Since I was tiny I have been amazed by the power of music in its ability to communicate, connect, and move. Music is what I write, sing, play, hear, and dance to everyday. Well, that is it for now, the coffee is wearing off, but thank you so much for reading. Here is my music myspace and my facebook if you're interested. Let's be friends.

I am a feminist atheist immigrant of a Israeli and Jewish backgrounds

I am a feminst atheist immigrant of Israeli and Jewish backgrounds. I am married for almost five and half years, to a woman who has literally crossed the face of the earth to meet me in the heart of the Israeli desert, in the little socialist and self suficant community I lived in at the time (a kibbutz). In Israel I was a grandon of a writer who published more than seventeen books, and I tried to write some poetry and short stories myself. I left all this behind me when I came to the U.S., and I still struggle (like many others immigrants) with issues of culture, tradition, national and political identity, as well as private one.

I am an eco-feminist, worries about the enviorment and trying to buy mostly organic profucts, fruits and vegtables. I am vegeterian, but eat dairy products and (cage-free) eggs (since you do not have to kill an animal or to cage it to obtain these products). I am also concerned about global warming and the future of our planet, especially under the leadership of some of the current leaders in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East (as well as Africa and Asia).

I am a (radical?) leftist, who thinks that socialism still has somthing to offer in our capitalist world and hope the U.S. will follow the example of Venezeula, Bolivia, Peru and other Sothern American countries who review their guiding economic and social principles and re-consider them. I support non traditional families; marriage or any other family arrnagment people of GLBTQQ people find suitable. I am for woman's right to choose, especially in the face of an over populated world that has difficultties to feed and educate the inhabitnats it already has.

I am a Violence Prevnetion Educator in the Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education on issues of sexual and relationship violence. The Aurora Center still have many open volunteer positions and a coming training on February 23-25. They also have 24 hours, confedential, help line- if you, or someone you know, needs help with a situation of relationship or sexual violence, or just want to know which other services the center can provide.

I am a senior, honors, student. I am a history major (with focus on Holocaust and Genocide studies), a GWSS minor (when I began it was Women Studies), who is particulary intrested on the currents debate within feminism and in the general society on issues that relates to freedom of choice and empowerment versus patriarchal opression, especially in fields related to sexuality. I do not believe prostitution (as an instituion) should be legalized, but the women who work as prostitutes should be seen as victims rather than criminals. I do not believve pornography is empowering for anyone other than the (mostly white) men who get an endless supply of flesh, in a constant serch for younger women (and children) that make them rich and famous while their subjects end in the trash (or in other dumpsites for used and ruin human bodies).

I hold very strong opinions and beleifs, but I am always ready to discuss them, and to be convinced (in a logical and reaonable way) that I am wrong and that other opinions or beliefs can better suit my political and personal views.

I tend to write to much about subjects I am passionate about, so I would like to appologise if you still reading this. If you got here, you will see some of my (short) reccomandations for books and movies.

Books: "Having Faith" and "Living Downstream" by Sandra Steingraber (both deal with feminism and the enviorment).
Movies: "Hard Candy", "The Death and the Maiden", "Though Guise" and Struggeling with Menhood" (by Jackson Katz), "Bagdad Coffe" and the three colors trilogy by Kislowski (a Polish director).
Music: many Israeli and Hebrew folk and light pop songs, but also Johnny Cash, Hugh Blumenfeld and Lorenna Mc'Cannit.

Thank you for reading all this- if you made it so far.

BLACK FACE(S) IN FILM - Now Through Feb 28

BLACK FACE(S) IN FILM:
An Exhibit of Items from the Givens Collection of African American Literature
January 5-February 28
at the University of Minnesota's Elmer L. Andersen Library
221 21st Ave. S.
FREE and open to the public.
Call (612) 624-3855 for gallery hours.

Once upon a time, blackface on the movie screen was more common than an actual Black face. Now, the sight of Black actors no longer surprises us. We're used to Denzel Washington portraying heroes and Halle Berry playing the love interest of both White and Black men. But stereotypes still exist on the screen. Blackface(s) in Film highlights items from the Givens Collection, including movie scripts, photographs, and film press kits that celebrate film pioneers like directors Oscar Micheaux and Spike Lee, and actors Sidney Poitier and Eartha Kitt. The exhibit includes a screenplay Alice Walker wrote for the film The Color Purple; screenplays for Carmen Jones and Stormy Weather; and press kits for Spike Lee and Gordon Parks films.

February 28 - NIKKI GIOVANNI

CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY & CULTURAL HERITAGE MONTH and WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH with

NIKKI GIOVANNI
Poet, Essayist, Activist, Professor
“Truth-Telling & the Need for Poetry"

Wednesday, February 28, 2007
7:30 p.m. Ted Mann Concert Hall
FREE to UM students, faculty, and staff and the general public

YOU MUST GET TICKETS IN ADVANCE in COFFMAN UNION

Poet Yolanda Cornelia“Nikki? Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on June 7, 1943. Although she grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, she and her sister returned during the summer months to Knoxville, Tennessee to visit their grandparents. Nikki graduated with honors in history from her grandfather's alma mater, Fisk University. As a student at Fisk, she worked with the school's Writer's Workshop and edited the literary magazine. After graduating, she organized the Black Arts Festival in Cincinnati and then entered graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. In her first two collections, Black Feeling, Black Talk (1968) and Black Judgement (1969), Giovanni explores African-American identity. More recent works include: Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not-Quite Poems (2002) Blues For All the Changes: New Poems (1999), Love Poems (1997) and Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni (1996). In 2003, William and Morrow & Co. published The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998. Giovanni’s honors include the Langston Hughes award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts and Letters in 1996 and the NAACP Image Award for Literature in 1998. Several magazines have named Giovanni Woman of the Year, including Essence, Mademoiselle, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently Professor of English and Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies at Virginia Tech University.

Nikki Giovanni’s Writing:
Black Feeling, Black Talk (1968)
Black Judgement (1968)
Black Feeling, Black Talk/Black Judgement (1970)
Re: Creation (1970)
Poem of Angela Yvonne Davis (1970)
My House (1972)
The Women and The Men (1975)
Cotton Candy On A Rainy Day (1978)
Those Who Ride The Night Winds (1983)
Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni (1996)
Love Poems (1997)
Blues: For All the Changes (1999)
Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems (2002)
The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni (2003)
Acolytes (forthcoming)

I am ... The Musician

1. I am a Music Education and Vocal Performance double major in the School of Music. Music has to be one of my biggest passions in life. I have been training in voice for about seven years and I have been training in piano for about 13 years. After college I want to make it in professional theatre and possibly record some albums. I also plant to teach high school choir. Some of my favorite musicians are Jonny Lang, The Beatles, Marc Broussard, Gavin DeGraw, Eric Clapton, James Taylor, John Prine, The Temptations, etc.
2. I love making people laugh and I enjoy lightening the mood.
3. My friends are a big part of my life. I have four best friends that I have known since I was five-years-old: Ilse, Liz, Kristin, and Rochelle. Although we all go to different colleges, we are still extremely close. I have a close group of friends here at school and we are all musicians. We are an eclectic group!
4. Along with music, I LOVE MOVIES. I have seen so many films and I am very proud of my personal collection. I like all kinds of movies and I love many aspects of film including acting, production, and the film’s musical score. I hope to be involved in films someday. Some of my favorite movies are: Newsies, Stand By Me, Saving Private Ryan, The Fisherking, The Pianist, Brokeback Mountain, Little Miss Sunshine, Mr. Holland’s Opus, etc.
5. I am very liberal and I enjoy sitting down with people and discussing my ideas and beliefs. I would consider myself a feminist as well. My parents have both raised me to be an independent woman and I think it shows. I am the first woman on my mother’s side to go to college so I am very proud to be here in school.
6. My favorite book is “A Prayer for Owen Meany? and I also really like “East of Eden?. I am currently reading “Flags of Our Fathers? and it is really good!
7. I really like t.v. and I have to say my favorite show is “The Office?. I can’t get enough of it!
8. I am a very organized person and I love everything being in its place. I am like Monica on “Friends?. I enjoy cleaning and love having everything organized. If music doesn’t work out, I could always be a maid. HAHA!
9. I am addicted to facebook!
10. I pride myself on being independent, strong, hardworking, fun, funny, and someone that people can talk too. I hope to continue this way in my life and also grow as I learn more.

I am a tree hugger

When people ask me what I am going to do with an Environmental Science, Policy & Management degree, they assume I will count fish for the DNR or something like that. Not quite. I want to save the earth from global warming. I am not quite sure how I will do that yet, but I am on my way. Right now I am focusing on environmental education/communication. I don't want to teach in a K-12 setting, but more in a community-based way. Like most college students, however, I am still trying to figure out exactly how I will go about doing that.

Some of my other hobbies are sewing, making jewelry, and other forms of crafting. I am also proud of my bicycle, however, I am not hard-core enough to ride it through the snow. Since moving to Minneapolis, I have gotten into the local music scene, and some of my favorite bands are Best Friends Forever
and Dance Band.

All in all, I am excited for this class. I'm looking forward to some good literature and good discussions.

I am Jessica Englund

1. Post-its rule my life and there is a good reason for it: I don't have enough to write or remember that can't fit on a cute little star post-it. Its official, I might be an addict.
2. My music, computer, blogs, and especially my books mean everything to me. I hold high regard for these things which define my life and allow me to continue to evolve.
3. I journal almost everyday as well as write poetry. I feel it is important to keep a tight connection with oneself and a lot of times i discover new things when i write.
4. I am a feminist. I identify myself very losely, but this is one aspect of myself that I am clear upon. Feminism gives me a base to work from and I am a GWSS major as well as a Political Science major. Can anyone say law school?
5. The last book I bought was "Feminists Theorize the Political" by Judith Butler and probably won't have time to read it until after this semester when I don't have ten other books to read.
6. The last movie I bought was Scoop with Scarlett Johanson and Woody Allen. I highly recommend seeing it! It is very funny and original.
7. I LOVE Bill Cosby, Daily Show, M*A*S*H, Sex and the City, Friends, and The L Word. I am currently obsessed with The L Word season 3 and the fourth season just started, but since I don't have Showtime, I am waiting for the DVDs to come out!
8. I HATE The Simpsons, Family Guy, and most silly adult cartoon shows. I think they are offensive and completely irrelevant in life. If you asked me, however, I could not give a justification for Friends other than I love it...
9. I drink a lot of tea and coffee. I think Starbucks is better than Caribou but my favorite coffeeshop at the moment is Espresso 22 where you will find me on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12:45 and 2:15. My favorite teas are green teas like jasmine or perhaps a green and white tea infusion.
10. Last, but not least, I am a part of a beautiful community of women. We meet at Espresso 22 thursdays at 4pm and they are a few of my great loves. We all identify as feminists but have many different viewpoints on life. They offer me new perspectives and stimulating conversation. All are welcome to stop by and say hello! Espresso 22 is located in the dinky dome off of University Avenue right across from Folwell Hall.

I have multiple websites including facebook and myspace. Above are links to my personal blog and poetry page. You are welcome to comment! Hopefully soon, I will have my own website up and running with links to all blogs and profiles. I will let you all know when that comes up!

I am...Non-judgmental

My "Top Ten" do not go in order, but are merely the order inwhich I thought of them!

1) A girlfriend to my boyfriend, Chuck, of 4 1/2 years.
2) Into designer handbags
3) The book, "The Meaning of Wife," by Anne Kingston
4) One of my favorites, "Where the Girls Are," by Susan J. Douglas - A must-read for anyone into feminism.. its great!
5) Thanks to my CSCL class on Hollywood teenpics 50s and 60s, I am now passionate about films made in Hollywood in the 1950s.
6) I work at TGI Fridays (for 5 years now) and Coach (for a year and a half.)- Hence the handbag obsession
7) Into Country music, Lene Marlin's Songs, singing loud in my car, and dancing.
8) I enjoy singing while my boyfriend plays the guitar (and he's very good at it!)
9) In love with Chuck and my kitty, Layla
10) Still best friends with my three best friends from Lakeville High school
AND...PS: I love Passions, the soap opera...I know, I know.., thanks to Katie Magnuson who is in our class, and also happens to be my roommate from Sophomore and Junior year!! =)

I also wanted to add one more thing.. I would say the biggest thing about feminism to me is stereotypes. More than anything I hate people assuming things about something they know absolutely nothing about... Here is my favorite part of the book "Where the Girls Are" by Susan J. Douglas... it's basically all of the stereotypes concerning feminists.

"The truth is that growing up female with the mass media helped make me a feminist, and it helped make millions of other women feminists too, whether they take on that label or not. I'm not supposed to admit I'm a feminist, and neither are you, for this portion of our history evokes as much derision as what preceded it. The moment the Women's movement emerged in 1970, feminism once again became a dirty word, with considerable help from the mainstream news media. New reports and opinion columnists created a new stereotype, of fanatics, "braless bubbleheads," Amazons, "The angries," and "a band of wild lesbians." The result is that we all know what feminists are. They are shrill, overly aggressive, man-hating, ball-busting, selfish, hairy, extremist, deliberately unattractive women with absolutely no sense of humor who see sexism at every turn. They make men's testicles shrivel up to the size of peas, they detest the family and think all children should be deported or drowned. Feminists are relentless, unforgiving, and unwilling to bend or compromise; they are singlehandedly responsible for the high divorce rate, the shortage of decent men, and the unfortunate proliferation of Birkenstocks in America."

So, Douglas says, " Given all this baggage, it's best to say, "I'm not a feminist, but..." Before putting forward a feminist position.""

January 16, 2007

A Few of My Favorite Things

1. Person: My favorite person by far is my mother. Everyone needs a role model in their lives. Some people look to celebrities and famous athletes, but I only have to look as far as my own home. My mom is someone that is generous, smart, thoughtful, ambitious, loving, and a million other things that I hopefully will one day become. She is also a scientist working with all males, yet she is the one that usually is giving them the advice.
2. Sport: To watch is definitely hockey! Despite being a figure skater most of my childhood up until junior high school, I grew up watching high school hockey, gopher hockey, and my younger brother play. I quickly fell in love with it. To play would have to be lacrosse. I play for the U of M and really like it.
3. Class: My favorite class I have ever taken was my eight grade science class. It was with one of those teachers who was truly passionate about what he was teaching. He made the class tremendously fun and I learned so much stuff that I still remember it today (which I wish I could say about all of my classes in junior high).

4. Place: My favorite place in the whole wide world would have to be Fort Meyers, Florida. Our family used to go there every year to visit my grandparents, usually during February. I have so many good memories of this place: going to the beach, going to the Minnesota Twins spring training, rollerblading, sea shells, fresh oranges, family, and countless more memories.
5. Animal: My God-mother lives in Boulder and we visit them on a yearly basis. When we would visit them my favorite part was that I got to see their chocolate lab, Maxine. She was the best dog ever, and when I would have to part with her (she died about 10 years ago), I would always cry because it was so hard for me to leave her.
6. Season: Summer. There’s something to be said for the colors of spring and fall, but I just love the summer when everything is green, growing, and full of life. This is also the time of warm weather, free-time, and boating on all the awesome lakes in Minnesota.
7. Color: Definitely PINK! I don’t know why but I am in love with this color. I think it’s because it makes me feel girly, and since I am at the age now where I have to start growing up, this really appeals to me. It’s one of the few things that I still hold on to that makes me feel like I still have a little bit of a kid in me.
8. Holiday: Christmas. It just comes at the perfect time of the year when you have been working your butt off at school and you’re ready for a break. I also love it because I usually haven’t seen a lot of my extended family lately when Christmas comes, so it’s good to see everyone again.
9. Author: I’m not sure if he really counts as an author, but he does have published work so I’m going to count him as one for this purpose. He is Chester Miracle, a math professor at the U of M and he writes the Calculus text for Calc 1, 2, and 3. His booklets that he writes for these courses are so amazingly clear and understandable that he makes these classes very enjoyable. I’m currently in Calc. 3 so I guess I can’t comment on the booklet for this class yet, but if it’s anything like the other two, I’m going to love it.
10. T.V. Show: Heroes. I had never been addicted to a show on T.V. until I watched this one and now I watch every Monday. This last month has been so hard because it hasn’t been on. It starts up again on the 22nd though for those fans!

Maria Isa Performs 1/17 and 1/18

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Listen to her music - http://www.myspace.com/mariaisalolita

Show Details:
Wednesday, January 17:
Maria Isa won top 7 of the best new bands of 2006. We will be performing a short set (20 minutes) in honor of receiving this award tomorrow night at First Avenue. Maria's set is scheduled for 10:30pm. She will be playing primarily with the Leroy Smokes Band. If you haven't seen this set it's amazing!

First Avenue Main Room
701 First Avenue North
Downtown Mineapolis, MN
7:30 PM / 18+
RADIO K & VITA.MN PRESENT..THE BEST NEW BANDS OF 2006
Featuring THE ALARMISTS, FIRST COMMUNION AFTERPARTY, JEREMY MESSERSMITH, MARIA ISA, ONE FOR THE TEAM, VAMPIRE HANDS, and WHITE LIGHT RIOT. Hosted by Homegrown’s David Campbell and Cities 97’s Jason Nagel.

AND

Thursday January 18:
Our regular third Thursday of the month at Babalu. This January we are highlighting a percussion heavy rendition of Maria Isa's hip-hop, reggaeton, R&B and bomba repertoire.

Babalu

9pm to 1am
800 Washington Avenue N.
For more info: 612.281.9970
21+
NO COVER

Maria Isa Bio:

Born Maria Isabelle Perez Vega to Nuyorican parents and raised on St. Paul's Westside, Maria Isa is a vocalist, songwriter and performs Afro-Puerto Rican music Bomba and Plena with a mix of Hip-Hop, R&B, and Reggaeton. She is currently attending McNally Smith College of Music, returning to Minnesota after a semester at Columbia College Chicago. Maria Isa teaches song and vocal instructions to children at El Arco Iris Center for the Arts in St. Paul, while performing with the folklore group "RAICES"(roots). Performing since she was a young girl, Maria Isa was inspired by the artistic values of Mila Llauger (her aunt) Evaristo Rodriguez (mentor), and the many Fania, Motown, and Ol'Skool Hip-hop played by her family. "We're (the family) are like the Boricua My Big Fat Greek Wedding, except we say WEPA instead of OPA!" At the age of 7, Maria Isa was invited on stage with Salsa singer La India and given timbales sticks from the late great Tito Puente. From then she knew she wanted to be reaching others by being in the light and behind a mic. She thanks Los Nativos member Felipe Chautli for believing in her and being a guiding hand in opening many opportunities. She also acknowledges Melisa Riviere (Maria Isa's manager and president of Emetrece Productions) for educating and opening more doors. Isa's words express who she is: a female activist recognizing her heritage and culture as a "Boricua de las Ciudades Gemelas" (Puerto Rican from the Twin Cities). She flows her opinions on the political movements that take place and errupt from the USA owning Puerto Rico. Through her voz (voice) and Spanglish tracks Maria Isa hopes to reach those who are on the same mission as her..... to place the truth in the textbooks and to teach people of all ages what is being missed in the classrooms. Quoting the Young Lords Party "Siempre Pa'lante," Moochie (da girl on da block aka Maria's nickname since an infant) remains to tell others, "although bad things attack us, there is always good that can come out of a situation.. we gotta keep learning something new every day about the world and moving foward. Paz, Salud, y Felicidad."-Maria Isa

I am... La Maestra

Me: teacher, mother, wife, friend, Feminist Studies graduate student, mentor, filmmaker, activist, photographer, hip hop feminist, impatient listener (too often), dominating speaker (more often), pump blood of Puerto Rico and Russia in my veins, i talk and laugh way toooo loud, hate wearing anything on my feet, love watchig HGTV and so much more...

I Value: critical thinking, good beats, a DJ that can hold a beat while cutting and scratching, technology, this video blog - pouring down

Likes: YouTube, blogs, vlogs (video blogs), warm fuzzy knits, warm weather, documentaries, memoirs,

Hates: myspace (but I use it to connect w/friends anyway), abuses of power, the way the system works, inequality, -isms, most things on television, big budget waste of millions of dollars Hollywood movies

Addictions: I use to be addicted to Law & Order and CSI but now watch STUPID reality shows. My favorite is Rob & Big (but the finale stunk) (I <3 skaters!). I check this blog often - BitchPhD. I read this website every single day: allhiphop.com

Reading: Female Chauvinist Pigs and the Rise of Raunch Culture right now (for a class and for interest).

Want to Read: DeConstructing Tyrone: Black Masculinity in the Hip Hop Generation

Listening to : Nas (Hip Hop is Dead Instrumental [the lyrics could be deeper Nasir!] and Street's Disciple)

Wanna Learn More? See some of my videos? Photos of my adorable kids?
Visit: my blog HERE or visit my website HERE.

I'm excited for this class!
Rae

1. "I Am..." Introductions

First Blog post: Creating community beyond the classroom (1 point)
Post under Category: 1. Introductions
Post by noon on Monday 1/22.

Don’t wait until the last minute! If you can’t access the course blog, email me!

Instructions: Post an “I am...? introduction
This could be a list of your “top 10 favorites?, a paragraph, a poem, an essay, or a list on our course blog. You could name facets of your identity, films, TV shows, books, songs, artists, interests, hobbies, political issues you think about, or any sort of details about you. Feel free to post links to the websites, photos or anything that let’s us know about who you are, what you are watching, reading, listening to, and are thinking about. If you have a personal blog, link us!