I had a freebie day off today. A freebie day off is when you are pretty much the only person you know who has the day off. Everyone else is at work, so I stayed home, ate copious amounts of junk food, drank tea all day, and tackled a ton of stuff. I went grocery shopping, got a healthy meal in the slow cooker (vegetable barley soup, FTW!), did the laundry (seriously, I even washed my decorative pillow cases), caught up on the internet, submitted an article I’ve been working on for a long time to a major news outlet (fingers crossed…), wrote two more articles for other places and pitched a fourth somewhere else. Needless to say, I’ve been busy today, which is why I love freebie days off. I can get so much done (and eat so much food)! Oh, and did I mention I sat around in my leggings and neon socks with my hair in a crazybun all day? Well, I did.
I truly had every intention of writing a legit blog post today, but now I find I’m writing-ed out after doing all that writing for those other places, which happens often, and is why I’ve neglected this poor site this year. So, instead, I’d like to share with you a bit of what I’ve been reading today as I’ve been catching up on the internet. Enjoy!
How do you get teenagers to think feminism is cool? by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett and Holly Baxter
As far as we’re concerned, the jury’s still out as to whether or not the word itself needs, to slip into publicity speak for a moment, a “rebrand”. We certainly know from what young women are telling us that “feminism” is a dirty word, for a variety of reasons, perhaps most significantly because it’s “angry” it’s not “sexy” or “feminine”. Young women also expressed the feeling that feminism wasn’t really “for” them – that it was too complex and alienating and that they didn’t have the correct terminology. If you’ve read anything else we’ve written then you’ll know that we don’t see anger or verbose pomposity as effective recruiting tactics, but we need to go further than this and try and think about ways in which we can get young women thinking about gender inequality.
Six pregnancies and seven miscarriages later (one set of twins) we find ourselves facing the very real possibility that I simply can not carry a child to term. Three months seems to be average, though one pregnancy was lost at five months.
This opened up a whole host of questions. What if I can NEVER have a baby? What if he leaves me because I can’t have children? What if he doesn’t leave me but then is unhappy forever? What if we adopt? What if we try IVF? What if we decide to not have children, but end up feeling like we never fulfilled part of our lives? What if I can’t be happy without a baby? What if adoption/IVF is too expensive? If I do manage to get the money together, would it be more sensible to “buy” a baby or a house? What if buying a house means I can’t afford to adopt?
Reasons Girls Are Encouraged to Fail – and How to Change This by Regina Barreca, Ph.D.
What a waste.
When asked to explain exactly why they are reluctant to describe themselves as ambitious, my female students reply that if they seem too eager to get the “A” or to be elected to run some university office, they might lose friends. They will be regarded as ruthless. “I don’t want to claw my way to the top,” a sophomore told me. “I don’t want to seem arrogant,” said another. “I’m no better than anybody else” said a third. These are all dynamic, smart, and diligent students, none of whom wants to be called a “winner” in public because she thinks it might hurt somebody’s feelings.
Golden lads and girls all come to dust: School shootings and gender in a violent America by Sally Campbell Galman
Katz writes that “if a woman were the shooter, you can bet there would be all sorts of commentary about shifting cultural notions of femininity and how they might have contributed to her act,” but because the shooters are male, and US culture is notorious for its lexical inadequacy around male privilege or hegemonic, violent masculinity, the male shooter goes ungendered. These are men and boys conducting mass killings aimed at mostly women, children and occasionally other men. In the frenzied gun control discussions that followed Newtown, one man-on-the-street commentator observed that school shooters choose schools as targets instead of, say, police stations because of the concentration of guns at police stations. He was implying that schools are targets for the simple reason that there are typically no armed people there. The obvious logical problems with that argument aside, it seems instead that men with guns who are interested in killing multiple women and children mostly choose places that are full of women and also usually children as well. And what location more feminized than a school? The man in this case didn’t go to a shopping mall, or a dentist’s office, or to the zoo or a park. Instead, he went to a primary school. While we can’t know the mind of the man responsible, it is reasonable to say this was not serendipitous, but by design.
How to be an Ally: A Guide for Teachers & Other Adults by Alice Wilder
And if something does happen? I won’t be able to do anything. I will go to my next class and raise my hand a little less often than I usually would because I am focusing on keeping myself calm. I am focusing on helping my body feel safe. I am not focusing on Hamlet or geography. Later I might call my sister or friends to talk about it, but that doesn’t help me in the moment. My friends and I often talk about this feeling of isolation. After one of us deals with something, we often feel as if we are alone in our corner outside the cafeteria, left to try and help each other survive the day. We sprawl over the sidewalk and trade stories and advice. But often, it isn’t enough.
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