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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Femme Fatale

Lately, I've been sorting through my library cards. I happen to have a lot of library cards that deal with women rights.
I wouldn't call myself a hard-core feminist. Actually, I think most would not consider me a feminist at all. But that doesn't mean I'm not interested in it!
The first time I "got into feminist things" was when I read a chapter from the book, Listen up: Voices From the Next Feminist Generation by Barbara Findlen. I discovered my math and theory of knowledge teach wrote a chapter for it, titled Bloodlove. After reading her chapter, I became very curious about the riot grrrl and feminist culture. I started listen to bands like Le Tigre, Bikini Kill, X, X-Ray Spex, The Slits, ect. The whole idea of d.i.y style and playing rough like the boys seems very liberating. But I realized that I could never really write a chapter in a book about my "liberating" life. I couldn't say I hate boys. I couldn't talk about how society was putting me down and that I was the underdog. 
That's why I find it very hard to take feminist, that my age, seriously.  My teacher lived through the third-wave feminist movement. She had something to shout about, and I am glad she did. What wave of feminism are we living in now? One where we listen to Teagan and Sarah and sew on our hand made patches? In my opinion, this generation of feminism is only a repeat of the riot grrrl scene back in nineties.

    Surprisingly, my mom was (or what was considered to be) a feminist during the early eighties. Her and six other friends started a group called TKALS which stood for Tennesseans Keeping Abortion Legal and Safe. This program was a branch off of the National Group NARAL.
They would put on a benefit concerts every year called Nashville Women Sing for Choice. I still have a few t-shirt and pin from this event.
     Even my grandmother had "feminist qualities". In the eighties, my grandmother wrote a letter to the president stating why abortion should be legal in the United States. I am not sure of the exact year my grandmother wrote the letter; so she either wrote it to Ronald Reagan or George H. W. Bush.My grandmother never told anyone if he wrote back or not.

So the whole being pro-choice makes you a feminist right? Well, who is says so? I'm sure there are a handful of pro-life feminist out there.

I made three pieces that have a feminist theme.  The first one I made back in May. The last two I made tonight. All three are collage pieces, and the last two I added paint to them. There is correlation between the subject matter and title of the library card.


  1. okay i get long winded when it comes to feminism, probably because i've spent so many hours defending my views in the high school commons haha. but here it goes...

    when i first became aware that feminism is a real thing that people care about in the 21st century, i had a really similar feeling toward it as i think you're expressing here, like yeah that sounds fine but i don't see what's left for me to shout about. cause i didn't feel like i'd ever encountered discrimination because of my gender. but i started doing more research and talking to more people and after months of what felt like my brain getting shoved around like mashed potatoes, my perspective had totally totally changed. i guess i've come upon what i believe to be only the tip of the iceberg of just how much there is left to be shouting about. there are things that are conspicuously related to feminism, like the fight for reproductive rights (which is much further from being over than i had assumed), but there's also the simple fact of a sexism that is far more pervasive than i'd realized; from the subtlest jokes to the existence of rape culture, the sexism is completely ingrained into our still intensely patriarchal society--which is probably why most people still don't necessarily see it as such. and since i am privileged in basically every way possible, that's the part of feminism that finally got through, that resonated with me. and that opened the door to all the things that WE should be shouting about, especially ones that might not directly affect ME.

    i've spent more hours on the internet reading up on this subject than i'd like to admit, but this is an article i've been passing along to my male and female friends alike because it resonated with me so intensely. this article probably convinced me that i was allowed to call myself a feminist because i finally figured out how this shit affects me on a day-to-day basis. check it out if you're interested: