Fate is Chance. Destiny is Choice.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Confessions of a Chilled out Mind

Its been a while again, mostly because I've been collecting my thoughts and not doing much at all - just watching trash on TV, eating and occasionally deciding that I need to complete random tasks like taking books back to the University library and making lists for moving out and so on. My partner came to York for the weekend, which was great, a break from the mundane things!

I kind of like making lists, I always have. I used to make 'profile' lists when I was younger (wow, that makes me feel every inch the 21 year old I am!) of my likes and dislikes and so on. But I still adore making 'to-do' lists or 'best rock songs of all time' or 'inspiring people' or whatever - I've think I've made a couple in previous posts. In some ways, making lists is one of those creative and oddly satisfying things that don't really need to be done but people do it anyway =D

I haven't really written much poetry in the past three years, maybe University takes so much of your time that you can't really focus your creativity on other things much. Or maybe it's just that I haven't found myself in the right frame of mind to actually write much apart from essays and so on. A lot of the time, I have bursts of inspiration that makes me write poetry or lyrics (whatever they are). It's not really a constant thing, although I know some writers write all the time in order that they don't lose the ability to think creatively or whatever. I do sometimes hit a point when I feel as though I have writer's block, even though I think it's just creative 'boredom' when you don't know what to write about.

However, I have generated some great pieces of writing spread out over the three years at Uni. I'm my own worst critic though and I sometimes tend to dismiss things that are actually better than I give them credit for. Its up to the readers to figure out whether my writing means anything to them anyway.

I'm not going to say much about feminism in this post but there is one thing that has been getting to me recently. I've spoken to my Mum quite a lot about feminism, trying to explain how strongly I feel about things. She told some of her friends at Chicken Shed and mostly it was positive but she said that some of them said things like 'what does her boyfriend think?' and so on. I don't get why people are so bloody hostile about feminism and feminists. They all seem to have the perception that we are a bunch of *man haters* or that there is no point to it anymore. I mean, to me, feminism explains why I feel the way I do when I feel outraged about pornography, prostitution, the pay gap, sexism, rape, the double standard, violence and general misogyny.

**I understand however, when a woman has had a terrible experience, why she would hate or distrust men. I don't like men who try to justify things they do that degrade and hurt women, who think it's okay to go to strip clubs, watch pornography, act out their misogynist fantasies on an unwilling woman and so on**

It puts these awful things into context, so that we can examine them and dubunk them and expose them for the degradation of women that they are. I want women to be seen as PEOPLE, not sex objects for mens consumption, not as breasts, holes and legs or whatever it is that men fetishize. I believe that in order for women to be seen as people, society needs to change, it needs to stop justifying supposedly 'ordinary' things such as men wolf whistling a woman as she goes about her business, to stop judging women in terms of appearance and instead taking them at their individual, personal value as a PERSON.

I think the truth is that feminism makes both women and men feel uncomfortable because it questions things. People don't really like things that question their day to day lives, that uproot things and try to make the world a better place. It was the same in Africa, getting rid of apartheid, it was the same when the gay rights movement surfaced, it was the same when feminism became so prominent in the 70s. I wish people would listen, it makes me feel discouraged when someone says something like "but what does your boyfriend think?". My partners opinion matters a great deal to me and he mostly does support me when I voice my concerns.

And I believe I'm lucky to have such a man as my partner, and he is lucky to have me. I think too often, women find themselves in relationships in which their opinions are dismissed and they are rarely listened to. Listening is very important. I know, I can't hear, but I lipread therefore I listen. I tend to listen to people more than talk, and I think to listen is one of the most important things anybody can give somebody. Therefore, to the person, or people who say "but what about your partner?" - I care about his opinions and thoughts so therefore he cares about mine. We can all learn from each other if we listen and take on board what other people say, and we can either change or go through journeys together.

That turned out to be quite a long rant about feminism, but its always worthwhile! :-) I suppose when you go on a long train of thought thing its hard to stop it! My degree results come out on 27th June (next tuesday) so I'm pretty nervous. I'm just thinking, whatever I get, I've still got a degree :-)

Labels: ,

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Long Summer

I finally finished my project essay and gave it in on 5th June. I'm sad that my sociology degree is over and it's now up to the essay markers whether I get a 2.1 or a 2.2. Its been such an enlightening journey, one in which I think I've grown up and in which my opinions and views have grown and progressed. This year has been particularly good; my tiny anger and feeling that something is not right has grown into a powerful anger and certainty that there are many things wrong with this world. I think if I hadn't taken the Gender and Society module, perhaps I wouldn't have found myself blogging about the things close to my heart. I feel so strongly that if I hadn't made a certain decision, that, for example, I had done English Literature instead of Sociology, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

I've been thinking about what I want to do with my future. Doing a Masters degree would be great if I got a good mark; I may even go back to York to do an MA in Women's Studies. It would take me down another road to what I perhaps thought I would do (something to do with Deafness and so on). But then I could maybe stay in London and do a research MA on deafness/sociology. I don't have much experience of working so I do need to go into a work environment and learn what it is like (and to get things on my CV!!). But most of all, I want to move in with my partner at some point. Obviously this takes money, but I'm determined to save and add to my savings for a house deposit. My ideal life would be to write about what I'm most passionate about: deaf rights, women's rights and literature.

I've also noticed a big debate happening in the feminist blogsphere. It involves the argument about what constitutes a radical feminist. I find it ridiculous that some so called 'radical' feminists are ostracising other feminists by proclaiming you need to give up things like beauty routines (make-up and so on), men, and so on. Isn't the spirit of feminism more important?

The ideal that we are working towards a world in which the pain of women is heard and they are given the right to CHOOSE what they want, to OWN their own bodies and to BELIEVE what they want to believe? I was under the impression that radical feminism was the uncovering of patriarchal values and lies about women and men. To challenge them, to stop the pain and hurt and violence inherent in our society. To allow women the choice to do what they want without being influenced by the dictates of patriarchy, to be themselves without feeling guilty or somehow wrong, just because they are a woman.

This should mean the freedom to wear makeup, the freedom to not wear makeup, the freedom to wear a skirt without being wolf-whistled or judged, the freedom to like clothes or not give a damn about them. Women don't have this freedom, and they are always judged every step of the way. If they don't care about clothes, they are judged incompetent or wrong, and if they do care about clothes, they are thought to be doing this for men!! I can't believe there are double standards like this.

That they are judged also by so called 'radical' feminists is a sad, awful thing. I hope it changes, I hope they rethink what they have been saying. It makes me angry, that when we are all meant to be fighting the patriarchy, people turn on each other. It's wrong, everyone has their views, whether we disagree or not is maybe not the point. We all want women to be happy, that is the point. Life isn't black and white.

Anyway, I think I've said enough for one post, theres a lot more to say but it's a lovely day and I'm in front of a computer! I'll post again soon.

Labels: ,