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Maya's blog

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My definition of feminism

When I started this class, I thought I had a basic idea of what feminism means and I considered myself a strong feminist. However, I don't think I ever really tried to define femism. I came at it one situation at a time and just dealt with that specific situation the way I thought best (which, thinking back on it, might not have been the best way). For example, many women like when men hold doors open for them. I also believe that holding doors open for other people is a very courteous thing to do. If I get to the door first, I usually hold it open for the person behind me. However, I do not like the idea that men hold doors open for me just because I am a woman. If I arrive at the door first they try and hold the door open for me, or they backtrack and let me go through the door first just because I am a woman. At one point I was holding the door open for some people and a man came up behind me and told me to go first. I told him no, at first, but he insisted, so I just gave in and walked through the door. I don't understand why he thought that was being polite because I certainly did not find it polite. Many times in high school people have told me I am too much of a feminist. I did not know what to make of this because I felt like I was a feminist, but not one who questioned every small thing a man does for sexist content. I would insist that people call Bryn Mawr a women's college and not a girl's school and would willingly explain why, but most people would just shrug this off and the next time, make the same mistake and call it a girl's school.

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Ideas about Persepolis

Since I was not present in class today I wanted to share some interesting aspects of the book I found while reading. This book describes an intense time in our world's history and is able to depict a wide range of emotions very accurately using only black and white childlike drawings. Because this story is being told by a child I think it is appropriate since we are seeing this story unfold from a child's perspective. The idea of black and white drawings is also interesting because during this time many people saw others as either good or bad; on their side or on the 'other' side. This stark contrast demonstrates the mentality of the time and is definetly appropriate.

One more point I thought was interesting was the difference between what the words said and what the pictures protrayed. I know Anne told us to watch for that difference and I found one particularly interesting one on page 43 when they are talking about the Shah fleein the country and the girl's father says, "Let's talk about something else. Let's enjoy our new freedom." Then her mother says, "Now that the devil is gone." The picture protrays the devil curled around the family with his tail hanging directly above the mother. This is obviously foreshadowing what is to come and it brings the idea that one cannot see all of the dangers lurking.

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Seeing Gender

Our discussion yesterday about Kathy Acker's "Seeing Gender" opened my mind to all of the different possibilities that the word gender can hold. We questioned whether gender or sex was binary or had a spectrum. I believe that gender is definitely not binary. It does not matter if somebody else "chooses" your sex for you. It only truly becomes who you are when you decide for yourself whether that gender fits you or not. Thinking about gender, our culture sees two distinct genders that cannot have a spectrum between them. We put so much space between the two genders that when people fit somewhere in the middle, others do not accept it. If the differences between the binary genders becomes smaller, it could be easier for people in the middle. As for a person's sex, I believe that, that could be slightly more binary, however that is not always the case. Because we think of sex as the biological part that makes up who we are, people usually assume that we can be either male or female. One interesting aspect of this is that if someone is born intersexual, the doctor and parents decide which sex they believe is stronger. This means that if the person grows up believing that they truly should be the other sex, they become stigmatized because the doctor chose the other sex for them and so they do not fit into the "correct" box that society loves to put people in.

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My Avatar

I chose this picture of a sunrise over water because I believe that, as a frosh, I am able to begin again. In college, we can re-write who we want to be and start again, just like a sunrise beginning again every day. When I was little, we would go visit my grandmother in Maine in the summer time. I would always get up early, come up the stairs, and find my grandmother sitting in her living room, or on the deck with a cup of tea for me, watching the sunrise. She watches the sunrise every morning with her tea and this sunrise reminds me how she takes her time in the morning to slow down and enjoy the beginning of each day. The sun and the water in this picture both play a part in calming down life for me. I love sitting on the rocks in Maine and watching the waves crash around me. The ocean is a powerful force, but it can also be very calming, reminding me how small I really am in the world, and yet, how big an impact I can make if I really try.

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