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yj13's blog

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Web Event #1: A Question of Accessibility

If a feminist work falls in the forest and nobody can understand it, can it still be called feminist?

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Breaking Barriers, Making Barriers

I'm looking forward to our discussions on Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis this coming week. I studied the first half of Persepolis in my 12th grade English class, though I'm curious to see how my analysis and understanding will change with a more focused study. One thing I found interesting was the choice of medium, namely the undetailed comic style. When I originally took the art style into consideration, the point was made that since the drawings were very simplistic, it made the story more relatable. Since non-Iranians would be reading this book, the simple drawings could allow readers to not feel like they were reading the story of an "other", someone whose experiences were fundamentally different and ergo unrelateable. However, the style also leads to an enforcement of gender stereotypes due to its simplistic nature. It is very clear which figures are meant to be men and which are meant to be women based on external characteristics, traits that are meant to be clearly read as male or female. The style does not really allow for any variance in gender; it shows only two possible points on a the amorphous ball that is gender identity. 

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Gender Apathy

My own gender identity is something I've always taken for granted. My image in class was that of a rock, which signifies the sort of stagnant journey I've had in discovering my gender. I was designated female at birth, and as such I've considered myself female my entire life and never really had a problem with that. I can wear flowy dresses, baggy t-shirts, dress shirts and slacks, whatever style I find most appealing that day. Though whatever I choose to do I've always considered within the "bounds" of being female. The aptitude test in The New Gender Workbook declared me a gender outlaw, and I'm starting to think of all the ways I don't really fit society's box for my gender. I don't think about my gender all that often, I act and dress the way I choose without too much concern for how it fits the sterotype of female. If I don't shave my legs, if I never wear makeup or nail polish or if I never have children, does that make me less of a woman? What does make a woman anyway? Am I still female if I don't altogether care how I am read by others? Whether or not this causes any personal revelations in my identity I find it an interesting point of discussion that there's always more to learn about gender and sexuality.

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My Avatar

For my avatar, I chose a picture of my cat, Tuna. I chose this because my pets are an important part of my life, and of my family. I've had my three cats since the moment they were born, since the stray we adopted ended up being pregnant with kittens. It was a lucky accident and for the past 9 years my family has taken care of and loved these creatures that came into our lives most unexpectedly (perhaps we give them too much love, if their size is any indication). If I were to relate my pets to any notions of gender, I would say that my cats are the manifestation of my maternal instinct. I have no desire to raise children of my own; even when I was a child, according to my mother, I never dabbled in fantasies of motherhood with baby dolls or playing "house". However I express the trait of nurturing, which is typically deigned feminine, with my pets. While I defy societal norms by choosing to remain childfree the values I hold which are perpetuated by my gender's role in society are still present.

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