International Women’s Day Statement

While I, as a non-binary identifying person, have a really hard time connecting to my own sense of womanhood, the people around me still view me and treat me as they would a woman. Thus, I understand the oppression. Being treated like I don’t know as much; like I can’t go as far; like I can’t be as strong. We have to remember to make room not just for women’s bodies, but for their minds, their hearts, their passions. We need to make room for them to have muscles and body hair; to study math and science; to play in the dirt and like G.I. Joe more than Barbie. We need to make room for the women who have dyed blonde hair and read Cosmopolitan just as much as the women who go into politics. We need to make room for the unashamed housewife and mother who chose not to work, and we need to make room for the women who choose careers before family. We need to stop allowing the word “woman” to define what we

We have to remember to make room not just for women’s bodies, but for their minds, their hearts, their passions. We need to make room for them to have muscles and body hair; to study math and science; to play in the dirt and like G.I. Joe more than Barbie. We need to make room for the women and girls who have dyed blonde hair and read Cosmopolitan and Vogue just as much as the women who go into politics. We need to make room for the unashamed housewife and mother who chose not to work, and we need to make room for the women who choose careers before family. We need room for the Hillary Clintons, the Elle Woodses, the Serena Williamses, the Oprah Winfreys, the Ellen Degenereses, the Janet Mocks, the Laverne Coxes, the Madeline Stuarts, and so many more. We need to stop allowing the word “woman” to define what we should be, and start defining it by what we strive to be.

We must also begin to make room in feminism for our sisters of color, for our sisters who are religious and modest, for our sisters who are sex workers, for our trans sisters, for our sisters who still have some learning to do, for our sisters with disabilities, and for our family members who identify now as men but were socialized as women and experienced the plight of womanhood firsthand. There is no time for party lines, divisions, ignorance, or hatred. The patriarchy is at work constantly, and the only way we can truly do something about it is if we stop letting things divide us and we form a united front against ALL FORMS OF OPPRESSION. We don’t fight just for white women, just for cishet women, just for middle class and wealthy women, just for English-speaking or American-born women, but women everywhere. Starting today, starting right now, starting with me and you.

With power,

LJ

An Essay on Oppression

We were given a prompt in my feminist philosophy course: define oppression and discuss how one or more groups are affected by it. I decided to write about the general oppression of black people in the United States, and also went a bit deeper into how black women, especially, are affected by stereotyping, biased media, Eurocentric beauty expectations and more, culminating in misogynoir. You can read my thought under the cut, and my sources are cited and can be found in the Reading Material part of SJExchange.

Continue reading “An Essay on Oppression”

An Ongoing Discussion on the Flaws and Strengths of the Free Market

I had the pleasure of getting to hear Dr. Christian Nasulea speak about the free market system vs communism and socialism in Romania. I’ve been a big critic of capitalism and the American free market system for a while now, and that is based in my understanding of the fact that capitalism is built upon people working to live and eventually being exploited and made to be reliable on a system that will only ever exploit them. I’ve got a slightly less revolutionary view than some of my other leftist and Marxian friends, but I digress.

Under the cut, I will outline some of Nasulea’s main arguments against socialism, and then I pose a few questions and other things to ponder on. I also went into some of the Facebook groups I am a part of with other leftists and I will be outlining some of the discussion that occurred there, as well.

Continue reading “An Ongoing Discussion on the Flaws and Strengths of the Free Market”

Expository Essay on Gender in Selected Tide Commercials

For my gender and pop culture course, we’ve been looking at some Tide commercials and breaking them down to see what they say about feminity and masculinity. We have been discussing hegemony, ideology, and the performing of gender. We were asked to write a short essay on how we think certain ideas of gender play into some selected Tide commercials. You can read my take on those commercials below the cut.

Continue reading “Expository Essay on Gender in Selected Tide Commercials”

Philosophy of Social Movements

I’ve been doing a lot of work studying social movements and philosophy. Being that I study philosophy and social justice, I try to connect them a lot, and I find social movements really interesting because they rely a lot on the concepts of human nature, community, and political philosophy and ethics. Under the cut is a very rough paper outlining some of my thoughts about modern social movements as seen through some different philosophical lenses.

Continue reading “Philosophy of Social Movements”

A few words on Memorial Day

I just wanted to say a few things about today.I am eternally grateful for those men and women who have risked their lives for my freedom. I will never be as brave or as dedicated to the liberty of others. This day is in their honor. 

That being said, I also have a few words about how we treat these men and women who are still alive. We have people in office, mostly republicans, who vote against bills that would provide better healthcare for our veterans, including mental healthcare. These same people vote against programs that would help vets get jobs after coming back from deployment. These same people won’t raise the minimum wage which would help veterans who are working minimum wage jobs. These same people refuse to help the homeless and the drug addicts and alcoholics, many of whom came back from war with nowhere else to go and have no way to get rehabilitation. We can NOT praise these men and women on the battlefield, sign them up to fight or wars, and then put people in office who turn against them as soon as they land back on our soil. If you really want to remember the fallen, honor them by making sure that the next generation of men and women serving us and our great country can come back to the things they deserve: a job, healthcare, and a place to live.

I also wanted to point out that many young kids, especially in the south and in republican run states, end up joining the military because they can’t afford an education. We can’t live in a country where kids have to risk their lives to make sure they can go to school. 

We also need to pay close attention to who is serving us. Muslims, Mexicans, African Americans, and people of all races, backgrounds, religions are fighting to keep us safe. I want to make sure everyone understands that these people may be unfairly targeted upon re-entering this country. The same people keeping you safe are the same ones you feel will do you harm. Let’s also especially recognize our population of illegal immigrants that join the army being promised citizenship and then end up being deported or detained afterwards. Nobody who risks their life for our country deserves to come back to that. 

Today, let’s remember that we’ve lost people who were shining examples of the American spirit, and we have people today, fighting for us overseas,who are just the same. Let’s make sure that they are taken care of when they return home.

The New Anti-Feminist Movement

So, there’s a new problem making its way around, similar to that  Mumps outbreak at Harvard. This new problem is the newest anti-feminist movement being lead by women. If you thought white feminism was bad, hold on to your seats, kids, ’cause this is going to be a wild ride.

Recently, girls everywhere have decided that they don’t even, like, need feminism. That’s, like, cool and all, except these girls are pretty much all white, cis, and hetero. There’s no problem with that, generally speaking, but when you say you don’t need the feminist movement and can identify with all three categories, you kind of, well, ERASE ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO STILL NEED THIS MOVEMENT.

When white, cis, hetero women have the audacity to say “we’re doing just fine” it’s because they forgot that women of color and LGBTQ women exist. It’s because they see their pay gap closing and forget that Latina and black women make even less than 78 cents an hour. It’s because they see themselves represented more often than not on television and don’t have to worry about being one of the queer women who die on tv every 10 days. It’s because, even while facing harassment, they will still face nothing compared to what trans women face.

There’s also the huge issue here of American/Western privilege. Maybe it is easy for you, pretty, blonde, white girl. Maybe your country doesn’t choose to oppress you. Maybe you’re lucky to be born somewhere that allows you to drive your car and doesn’t require you to have a chaperone, and where it’s a lot less likely your husband will one day throw acid on you (or even your child). Maybe you got lucky and don’t need feminism because your family won’t disown you for having sex before marriage. Maybe you’ll never have to have sex to support your family. Maybe you’ll never be raped by a group of men so badly that you die from it, and still be the one blamed.

But maybe, just maybe, your privilege so clouds your views that you can only see women who look, think, talk, and act like you do. Maybe the woman you see in the mirror doesn’t have bruises because her boyfriend is one of the good ones. Maybe when you were a little girl no one had already sold you off to a man three times your age. Maybe when you got your first job you made the same amount as the guys. Maybe you see Hillary Clinton and think, “That could be me one day,” when so many young girls of color can’t think the same. Maybe you can walk down the street and not try to shrink down for fear of someone trying to clock you as transgender.

Maybe you’re lucky enough to not need feminism, but that doesn’t mean you should have any right to take it from the girls all over this world that do need it. How very dare you, anti-feminist women.