Hello all. What lies below has only occurred once before at The Compass: we have a reader-submitted guest post. Huzzah! If you are interested in sharing your own writing, artwork or any other creative work, click the pencil icon above labeled “Submit!” Part of the mission of The Compass is to inspire others to create - we’d love to provide a home for it, anytime.
Today’s post comes from a good friend of The Compass, Cait. Cait is a wonderful young licensed librarian concerned with issues relating to feminism and disabilities (and a lot of other things, as you can see from her Tumblr. She’s also on Twitter.) As a blog started by four young white guys, there has not been a great deal of diversity at The Compass. Cait’s helping us out with this essay (the title is mine, the rest is her’s).
I know I probably won’t win any fans with this, because this post is going to be about feminism. Feminism is an intensely polarizing subject for many people as they find themselves confused by, angry at, and dismissive of the issues presented. Feminist discourse ranges from critiques of public policy, analyses of your favorite media, and even dissections of commercials and portrayals of women.
These are all important, as trivial as some of it may sound. However, I would like to point out that I am not expecting to convert anyone. My goal is simply to get you to consider the media you look at and how it reflects society. I will attempt to break it down with this extremely link-happy post. Click them! They are interesting!
When I say I am a feminist, I mean that my feminism is intersectional. This means I do not only think about just how women are affected, but also how they are affected by race, gender, class, sexuality, disability - basically anything that can set a person apart. Unfortunately, most feminist discourse is dominated by the rich, hetero, cis women. There are a lot of factors to take into account here when thinking about feminism, because we are all shaped by different experiences. Straight women experience life differently than gay women. Cis women experience life differently than trans women. White women experience life differently than Black, Latin@, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Inuit, Native American, Aboriginal, or Filipina women. Abled women experience life differently from disabled women. I also would also like to note, while we are still at the beginning, that I am a white, hetero, cis female with a disability (deafness). This is important to know, because I cannot speak for other people whose experiences I did not have – an especially important factor of intersectionality. You do not get to speak for someone else because all races are not a hegemony. This is something I have run into a lot when speaking about deafness – many people seem to think they understand what deafness is and that all deaf people share similar qualities, which isn’t true. That is why it is exceptionally important to seek out the perspectives of those belonging to the culture you are doing research on (and why I have included so. many. freakin’. links. that. you. should. read.). Don’t take my word for it because I am completely unable to speak for everybody – educate yourself on these matters.
It is important to take into account ALL of these experiences in order to determine how the world can be better for everyone. However, most people don’t. They simply chalk up feminism to women’s rights. But feminism should be more than just women’s rights. It should be about all of these different experiences and perspectives.
It is also extremely important to criticize portrayals of women in media. You don’t even know.
It has been quite some time since we last saw each other. A month, I believe. How are things with you? Things with me are alright. Nothing spectacular. I think I might be going through a funk. I’m not sure though and that is a really strange place to be.
All that being said, I do have plenty of things to share with you including a whole bunch of links, some more personal journal entries, and my main piece which was inspired by something very strange and may negate the piece if I told you what it was before you read it. It’s actually kind of funny but I’ll let you try and figure it out as you read it thursday. Plus that might distract you from how much I kind of don’t like it now but I’m going to post it anyway. There are a shit load of rhetorical questions in it and I find it irritating now but I guess they have to stay for the spirit of the piece.
I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve been doing that a lot lately.
Now is a time for introspection. Spending the past few months bitching about the country has taken its toll and now the lens must shift in order to keep my sanity. No amount of blogging can cure the world of its ailments.
Great job, Anthony. What a great way to start a blog post. Negate the underlying founding philosophy of the Compass. I really need to figure things out and get out of this strange, confusing state I’ve found myself in. Don’t misunderstand me; things aren’t bad. I’m doing quite well. Life is great. Same as it ever was but my mind never shuts up and this it where it happens to be right now. Time will fix everything, I suppose. The natural selection of thought.
We’ve all been trying to make our lives as close to The Adventures of Pete & Pete as much as possible but we keep failing every single day. It just ends up with a closing shot of us walking alone among the trees. I need to stop being so depressing.
Here are some links! Take care of yourselves and I look forward to further confusing you and myself this week.
Be nice to each other and no hitting,
- Every two weeks, my job gives me two rail passes that are good for a full week. Once the week is over, I’m stuck with these paper cards. I have not thrown away any of them yet since the beginning of August so now I have a bunch of them accumulating on my extremely cluttered desk (some things never change). There were only two foreseeable things I could do with them: 1) make a suit or 2) use them as bookmarks. I ended up choosing the second one but ran into a problem: the massive amount of bookmarks I have now means that I have to read as many things as I can. So now I am reading the following works: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.
- The following books are the ones I plan to start Thanksgiving break. Not when I finish the other ones but on Thanksgiving day. Don’t ask why. I’ve stopped asking why too: #1, #2, #3.
- @WaffleHouse now follows me on Twitter.
- Speaking of Twitter, They Might Be Giants put out a new rarities and b-sides album amazingly entitled Album Raises New And Troubling Questions and I tweeted that it made my day instantly better yesterday. @TMBG tweeted me back thanking me for my “kind words.” They Might Be Giants talked to me over the internet. I’m kind of a big deal.
- The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs is on now. It comes on every sunday at 9pm. One of my favorites was voted off on the first episode and it pissed me the fuck off but there are still plenty of amazing people left. It’s only been one episode.
- You don’t know shit about the cretaceous period. Learn something before you talk about it. You just sound stupid and ignorant when you open your mouth.
- Apart from the TMBG album, the following recent albums are well worth making your earholes all wet and sloppy for (sorry): #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6.
- Here are 11 songs that I’ve been listening to (“To Forgive” by Smashing Pumpkins would be on the list but Grooveshark doesn’t have any Pumpkins songs):