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Mansfield Park [Apr. 14th, 2004|12:12 am]

This is a short essay I wrote on Jane Austen's Mansfield Park in the context of feminism (Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women).

Jane Austen's 'Mansfield Park'Collapse )

Cross-posted to feminist_lit
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a PROJECT for the March for Women's Lives [Apr. 11th, 2004|03:10 pm]

[mood |optimisticoptimistic]

This is a crafty project so if your crafty feel free to help, if not perhaps you can help by spreading the word to someone who is-----

March for Women's Lives ~~ DC ~~ 4/25/04

For the march, I will be knitting millions of purple and gold (lemon yellow) wrist bands. These are the colors of the march and also the colors that were on the flags in the 'Iron Jawed Angels' HBO original movie on Alice Paul. I have people all over the country joining me for this project, some crocheting and some weaving.

How cool will it be to see a crowd of women raising their fists clad with a purple and gold feminist wrist bands? -YEAH!!

If you want to join me in my efforts, you can follow the pattern in the Stitch 'n Bitch book, just change the colors. or you can email me (airingoutthevulva at hotmail dot com). I can certainly use crafting help to make a million.

To get the bands to the march, you can either bring them with you, send them with a friend or email me about shipping.

I'm using CHEAP yarn for this project.

It is a great way to contribute to the cause if you cannot attend the March.

For more info on the March go to www.marchforwomen.org

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"Feminism" [Apr. 7th, 2004|01:40 pm]

How do you guys feel about the word itself? I recently started a feminist club at my school and we made the decision to call it the FEMINIST club, not a women's group or gender equality club or something out of respect for the women who came before us and fought for rights we take for granted today who called themselves feminists.

I think that using this word to describe our club has decreased membership and given people the wrong impression. People crossed out "feminist" on our posters and wrote "sexist". People told me that feminism was passe and sexist by definition. I heard from people that though they agreed with everything we were doing, they were not feminists, they were equalists, or humanists.

To all these people, I pointed out that they were stereotyping feminism, and if they'd had the forethought to look in the dictionary, they would find this:

feminism-belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

Many people seem to have very stereotyped images of a "feminist", and I think this has been encouraged by the media. Though in some ways I dislike the word "feminist"--it seems to imply that one needs to be feminine--I think that because of its heritage it needs to be reclaimed.

Or has it's time passed? The goals of feminism now are not what they once were--do we need a new name to reflect that?

Anyway, what does everyone think about the word "feminist"?
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hi? [Apr. 6th, 2004|08:47 am]

[mood |blahblah]

I've been here for a bit and just reading and since marionnette was saying how few people post, I figured I would? I'm a jr in highschool and interested in feminism.. so I read what other people post to learn a little more about what feminism's issues are nowadays... Does anyone have any major ones? I realize that there's several issues, I just don't know the main ones that the movement goes for now. Thank you!
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(no subject) [Apr. 5th, 2004|11:48 am]

I have watched the number of members grow from two to twelve, and yet there still seem only to be two posters.

I'm sure you all have something to say, ask, share, rant about, et c.. So, post it! There's a reason we made a community, and didn't hold these conversations over MSN; we want other opinions. Those other opinions are yours.
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The Hijab: my veil, my choice [Mar. 29th, 2004|08:44 pm]

From islam.

The Hijab: my veil, my choice

by Malak Chabkoun | Staff Writer, The Sagamore
March 23, 2004

Summer is just around the corner, and that means it's time for the fun, parties, beaches, and the questions. Every year, as summer nears, I get into gear to answer a lot of, "Aren't you hot??" or, "How can you be dressed like that when it's 90 degrees outside? I would never do it if I didn't have to!" or, "Man, you should take all those clothes off in this heat, you're in America now, you don't have to dress like that anymore!"

Ever since I made the decision, yes, I chose this by my own will, to wear the Hijab, the Muslim women's veil and long dress, I've gotten a lot of looks, remarks, and well-meant advice.

But, see, the thing is, I was born in Little Rock, Ark. I moved to Indiana when I was about two-years-old. The way I dress has nothing to do with where I'm from and everything to do with what God has commanded the Muslim women with.

When I was getting ready to enter fifth grade, I begged and pleaded with my parents to wear the Hijab. They said I was too young. I said I was ready to do it. In the end, they relented, and it's been a decade now that I've been wearing the Hijab, and I haven't looked back.

In fact, rather than limiting me, the Hijab has given me freedom. It has allowed me to build myself as a woman and to focus on my inner-self rather than my outer appearance. Don't get me wrong, outer appearance matters too, but it doesn't matter one bit if there is nothing substantial inside. I haven't been prevented from going to school and getting an education or working because I am wearing the Hijab or because I am a Muslim woman.

Women were not created by God to be looked down upon or stepped on by men. They were not created to be slaves to what their society imposes on them. They were created by God to better society and to nurture future generations. God gave women the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to contribute to society meaningfully, long before men gave these rights to them through man-made systems.

It is true that many women may be oppressed by men, but Islam is not responsible for this oppression. In the Quran, Allah says, "There is no compulsion in religion: truth stands out clear from error." Therefore, in Islam one cannot be forced to follow the religious guidelines, if someone is being forced, it is mere culture that is doing this.

Not only that, Hijab is a reflection of faith and the choice should be in the hands of the woman herself. If she fully accepts Islam, she has chosen to accept this tenant of religion as well.

Before Islam, the women who lived in the Arabian Peninsula had no rights; they were the property of their husbands as were goats and cattle. Then, Islam came by way of a prophet, and God restored to women their rights, and made them honored and esteemed members of society. In fact, as the Prophet Muhammad delivered his Last Sermon to the people, he gave them a reminder, "Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.

One time, a woman came to the Prophet Muhammad complaining about her husband's treatment towards her, and Allah revealed a whole chapter of the Quran, titled the Woman Who Pleads, acknowledging her complaint and giving her reassurance.

Incidences such as these were not uncommon during the early Islamic period, women had been suffering at the hands of men for a long period of time and early Islamic leaders worked hard to make sure the oppression stopped. For this reason, when I hear about a woman being oppressed in a so-called Muslim country, I know that this while the act may be done in the name of Islam, it has nothing to do with what this religion is built on.

Just as there is a stereotype that most Americans are materialistic, there is a stereotype that most Muslim women are forced to wear the Hijab. When you speak, however, to a Muslim woman, you will more than likely find she is proud to be obeying God and no one else in choosing to dress the way she does.

Because I know the true foundations of Islam, I don't view my veil and long dress as awkward or demeaning. I view it as a protection of that which God has given me, a protection of my physical and mental capacities.

The veil has given me self-respect and allowed me to value myself as a woman. My Hijab may cover my hair, but it opens my mind.



For this and other articles please visit Dr. Amir Ali's article collection at http://www.ilaam.net . Dr. Amir Ali may be reached at amirali@ilaam.net .
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What Is Feminism? [Mar. 29th, 2004|07:32 pm]

Feminism, being a political movement, has its nuances and its intra-movement disagreements. One person's feminism may be very different from another's.

Pornography, for example, is a big issue in a lot of contemporary feminism tracts, but is considered a non-issue by some self-proclaimed feminists. As are media stereotypes, gender stereotypes, queer issues, abortion, and a whole list of others.

For Discussion: Is feminism, or a feminist, defined by ideals, language, culture, clothes, or general philosophy?

My Stance: I feel that all the issues I mentioned are absolutely imperative to feminism. I don't think a pro-life man or woman is a feminist, for example.

Sub-Debate: Having brought up pornography, the question must be asked: can there be woman-friendly pornography, and if so, can you cite any examples of this?

Cross-posted to debate
Cross posted to feminist
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Stop Pretending You Don't Want Me [Mar. 29th, 2004|07:15 pm]

Female staff at Westco shops across Australia say they have been sexually harassed after being forced to wear tight T-shirts bearing a provocative slogan.
Westco shop assistants say the tight T-shirts, which have "Stop pretending you don't want me" printed on them, have been drawing a steady flow of lewd comments from male customers.
Staff at the casual clothes store chain were told in a memo they must wear the T-shirts and if they refused they would be sent home.
The memo ended with a clear message in capital letters: "NO T-SHIRT NO WORK".

Read the full story here.

Cross-posted to kissmyass_cosmo
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(no subject) [Mar. 29th, 2004|04:40 pm]

I was sitting on the train this afternoon on the way home when I noticed this interesting tidbit in the MX newspaper.

A school in Mexico city is offering classes to teach girls to become perfect wives. The Tota Topete School is offering the special weekly after-school classes to 13- to 18-year old girls.
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I was sitting on the train this afternoon on the way home when I noticed this interesting tidbit in the MX newspaper.

<i>A school in Mexico city is offering classes to teach girls to become perfect wives. The Tota Topete School is offering the special weekly after-school classes to 13- to 18-year old girls. <essons include cooking, sewing, ironing, childcare and special feminine touches such as putting flowers in bathrooms and having initials embroidered on towels. </i></i>

Now my first reaction was to give a big chortle and flip the page but then I got to thinking. While the idea is completely sexist and beyond stupidity it does give me a great idea. Let's just even the boat and have schools teaching men to be the perfect husbands? We can have motivational classes like 'turning off the TV' and 'how not to beat your wife'. Can you imagine twenty men crowded into a room roleplaying like the Brady Bunch?

Note that the above is all in jest. What we really need isn't schools to teach us how to live up to age old sexist stereotypes but a community willing to accept individuality not only of the sexes but of each and every person. If I don't want to drink beer, I won't. If my girlfriend's handbag doesn't contain the entire contents of the bathroom that's just swell.

<b>For Discussion:</b> Are sexist stereotypes of both the men and women in the normal household environment related to our own insecurities as people? Do we look for traits in our partners which we are not willing to find in ourselves?

Cross-posted to <lj user="feminist_fury">.
Cross-posted to <lj user="feminism4choice">.
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(no subject) [Mar. 21st, 2004|06:58 pm]

At a recent address to Adelaide University's Democratic Club, Federal Health Minister Tony Abbot made several remarks regarding abortion. After stating that Australia's 100,000 abortions each year were a clear measure of our 'moral health' he then went on to question the relationships of the Australian people. He used age-old idea that teenagers were solely to blame, and urged greater education concerning the risks of premarital sex. Statistics show that of the 100,000 abortions, most are sought by those in their twenties. Continuing along this vein to the need for people (obviously meaning teenagers, once again) to understand the consequences behind their actions, he went on to declare abortion the 'easy way out'.

To sum up this rousing speech it appears the Federal Health Minister considers abortion the 'easy way out' when, during his teenage years, he put a son up for adoption. Is he comparing abortion to passing up a child for adoption? Did he find the paperwork tiresome?

What it boils down to is a serious message that an unplanned pregnancy is the woman's sole responsiblity, which is an outdated, insulting idea. The Liberal Party is claiming that his comments were made as an individual and that he does not speak for the party in this matter.

Debate/Discussion: Should the Liberal Party be allowed to keep a no-stance position on abortion even with Abbot's fierce anti-abortion stance? Is there a conflict of interest considering his position as Health Minister?
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