Thursday, July 23, 2009

Theorizing Activism

My experience in this class has had a tremendous impact on me. Before this class, I never really thought about the certain stereotypes given to women or the fact that changes can be made by women to free women from certain societal oppressions. I just did not think there was this huge movement out there that was working to gain more rights for me. Now that I know more about the feminist movement, I am a huge supporter. I think it is so important that we start to ‘glorify’ women in the media instead of ‘whorify’ women in the media. There is a lot more to this gender than what the media represents. By reading the experiences and thoughts of my fellow classmates, I see that there are a lot of strong and intelligent women who have hopes and dreams for themselves and for society as a whole. I think it is important that society begins to recognize this.

I suppose that is also how I envision a just future. One in which the media, men, and other women view women as independent and free beings that are powerful, wise, and beautiful. Not beautiful in just appearance, but beautiful in their creativity, intelligence, and personalities above all else. A just society should transcend gender and see people only by their individual attributes. This would be a just society. I think we can get there if everyone does their part. I don’t think that men should have to fall on their knees, admit their mistakes, and beg for forgiveness. Men just have to be supportive. Just like we, as women, should be supportive of all women all over the world, men should be supportive and encourage us while we make ourselves known in society and create benefits for us in society. I don’t think we should have a system of ‘Oh hey, this person is a female, that means we have to give them a job’ or ‘Hey, this person is a race other than Caucasian, we have to give them a job’ in order for this to work. That type of system solves NOTHING, and I see it all too often. It just creates more problems. No. The type of things that we should be doing is granting equal opportunities for everyone and disregarding what they look like, what gender they are, and what race they are. That shouldn’t even be a slot on the job application anymore. The different aspects of the human race should NOT be presented as a quota that a company has to fill. A company should base their quotas on who can get the job done based on their skill sets.

I sometimes go off on these rants, and inadvertently answer the next question in the prompt. I think the above would be my feminist priority. While I love the enduring and successful women of this country, I want equality for everyone. I don’t want to kick white men to the curb, either. If you have the skills, then I think it is absolutely great that you have risen to the top of your career. However, people must EARN these top-notch positions. If you are an African American woman, and your skills are incredible and you have proven that you can handle the job and handle it well, then there is no reason that you shouldn’t rise to the top of that career. Society, however, has not seen this. When we are not pushing white men to the front of the line, we are pulling them to the back of the line and quota-filling other races in at the front. Stop with these races (no pun intended). I want the person, the human being, that will work the hardest, communicate effectively with others, and present skills in a manner that ensures success to work in the highest position of my corporation. If that means they are Caucasian, African American, Mexican, Asian, Native American, a male or a female, I don’t care. Just prove that you can do it. That’s all I ask of society. Let go of race, and look at skill. Let go of prejudice, and look at personality. I know it’s a lot to ask, especially since we love our prejudices and our racism-debates, but at some point in the future, let’s move on! We only have so much time on this earth, let’s spend it being productive rather than creating barriers.

Integrity, for me, means being the best at what God or whatever you believe in, has given you. The people that achieve integrity are those who set out to use their skill sets to the best of their ability. Also integrity involves being mindful of others and giving praise, compassion, and love where these attributes are due. No one rises to the top with skills alone. They have family and friends that also help shape their road to success. If we don’t give back to these people, and give them the praise they deserve, we fall victim to self-absorption and the startling fact that we might be at the top and be completely alone.

I think integrity affects my ‘justice’ goal precisely in the sense that – in my definition – I didn’t mention race, color, or appearances once. This is because it doesn’t matter. People try and make appearance matter, but it really doesn’t. People have to come and realize that they need to work with what they have and accept others for what they have. Not everyone is going to be the most attractive person in the world in the eyes of everyone else. But, one person’s bronze is another person’s gold. As long as people can see themselves as gold, and make others recognize them for being gold. Then the world can start to shift to a better place.

I would recommend this course to everyone and anyone. You don’t have to be a female to take this course. If my friends asked me about taking this course I would absolutely advise it (and tell them to take Ms. Alysia Davis! : - )). I think, despite the focus being on women, I learned a lot about the different races and some aspects of society that create challenges for other people, besides women, as well. Also, I think that this course high lighted some extremely important issues that should be prevalent in the minds of men and women alike. This course has taught me so much about being mindful of domestic violence, environmental issues, the economy, poverty, health care, welfare, relationships, disabilities, privileges, etc. These are a lot of topics that not many people know about. I certainly didn’t know about a lot of them, and it has definitely shaped my way of thinking.

I think this course encouraged me to participate in political activism more heavily, because I see that my actions and opinions really can make a difference in the world. I have come to realize that ‘woman’ does not define who I am. ‘Woman’ is just a lable. I am me, and people should see me for who I am, and not for the ‘woman’ that I am.

This education is definitely a form of activism. I feel so encouraged to make changes, and perceive things differently. I see myself as being so much stronger than I originally had. This course has made me realize how important I really am. Before, I didn’t value myself or appreciate myself nearly as much as I do now. It is definitely an empowering experience, and I highly recommend this course to EVERYONE!!!!

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