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Web Event 2: Cosmopolitan Canopy of Mawrters

Cosmopolitan Canopy of Mawrters


I think I was honestly sad to write this paper because I knew that I would be addressing a harsh reality: Bryn Mawr, as an entire entity, is no longer my home.  Throughout the semester I have engaged in course materials, personal conversations, made observations, and MOST importantly met Anne—all of these things have led me to the conclusion that Bryn Mawr is not the cohesive community we advertise ourselves to be.  This is not to be confused with the idea that community does not exist in this space, and that there is the possibility for a more collective coalition to build—however Bryn Mawr as an institution has not been structured to facilitate an actual community where the needs of students are addressed in full.  Of course we have Access Services for academic accommodations, counseling center, dean’s office, the Pensby center, and various other systems of protocol in which standards are somewhat flexible in order to address the “most pressing” or “urgent” needs for students.  However many of these issues are considered to be individualistic, or micro-level, thus stifling communal solidarity amongst students, faculty, staff, and administrators due to student’s respective stigmas, shame, and silence about our ACTUAL discourse. 

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Web Event Final Paper: Journey through Mantrafesto

I do not want to critique whether or not Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is a feminist or not.  As we have discussed in class “Feminism/Feminist” is a self-identifying term that too subjective due to the varied lived experiences and temporalities, in which women are stratified.  I wanted to write this paper given the exponential emergence of dialogues and opinions ((un-) expressed) within multiple spheres of feminist discourse, specifically between white feminists and black feminists, as well as intraracial dialogues within the black feminist community.  When I began to do my research I knew that I wanted to focus on the song “***Flawless”, IT IS MY FAVORITE SONG/VIDEO, but I also wanted to explore Beyoncé’s using Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDxEuston talk: “We Should All Be Feminists” on the track.  My favorite part about the song is the juxtaposition of the three different narratives: child/adolescent Beyoncé~ feminist mantra-festo~ Queen B, and her use of “criping time” by way of her somewhat cyclical, fragmented, segregated way of story telling: “I Woke Up Like This… Flawless”. 

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WEB EVENT 3: My Feminism Was Never Bound

Submitted by kwilkinson on Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:32pm

“In the age of freedom, equality, and new beginnings, revolution emerges as the term for a continuous and inexorable push for the realization of these values against the old regimes that denied them both legitimacy and actuality.”- Wendy Brown

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Michelle Obama

I came across these articles, just thought I would share:

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Trayvon Martin

Although I rationally/logically understand how death "trumps" other parts of one's identity, considering we will all die and everyone has experienced death/loss in some degree--I take issue with it.  What death can represent/mean to people is incredibly subjective.  

In class, Trayvon Martin's death loomed in the back of my mind--although his death/trial sparked much needed conversations about America's racial climate, his death did not mean the same thing to everyone.  Although it illuminated prejudice, racial inequalities within our legal systems, gun laws, etc.--the grief and mourning experienced by many black Americans was incredibly racialized.  

I am not sure how many white parents had to sit down their children, explain his death--teach their children how to act when being profiled.  That constant feeling of being watching, questioned, body not being valued, being stereotyped--that is what his death meant to me.  Trayvon Martin is my future child, my father, my boyfriend, my brothers, and me.  He symbolized that black bodies are not valued by American society--that we don't count.  Although his death did create some type of political coalition, it was relatively brief and heavily racialized--certainly not a place for common ground.  

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What is the patriarchy?

"Importantly, whether feminist or not, we all need to remember that visionary feminist goal which is not a women running the world as is, but of women doing our part to change the world so that freedom and justice, the opportunity to have optimal well-being, can be equally shared by everyone – female and male." -bell hooks

In one of my other classes, we have been watching clips from the PBS documentary, "Makers:  Women Who Shape America".  Although I have not watched the documentary in it's entirety, I was not surprised that the images shown were predominately white women (except for fleeting moments of Oprah, Claire Huxtable, Melissa Harris-Perry, ie Black Exceptionalism).  This was (as per usual) a friendly reminder that mainstream-public sphere feminism/women right's STILL does not really include me. 

All of the women showcased in the documentary are amazing.  Many of the interviews included personal ancedotes illustrating "the moment" where in which the GLASS CEILING was shattered, examples of blatant sexist oppression and prejudice, and the solidarity that all of us share as women.  However I immediately grew bored--given that this is the same message just different packaging.  Of course I want these voices to be celebrated but if this documentary is about the "the women that shape America", then shouldn't it be asking--whose America? how have they shaped it? and why?

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Class Discussion Reflection

After our class discussion, I reflected quite a bit about what people said.  I can totally empathize/sympathize with feeling uncomfortable to speak, fear of misinterpretation, wanting approval and acceptance of your ideas from your peers (I feel like that all the time).  I definitely think that our learning environment should be a safe space that allows for growth, but how can we grow if we DO NOT speak?

I guess from our conversation I felt that the responsibility to fix this problem was very one-sided.  Of course the people who talk alot should create space for others to speak freely, but the people who don't talk have to work on speaking up more too.  I don't think it's fair to expect others to self-censor or limit their voice for the benefit of others.  

I guess for me it is more personal, because as a Black-American woman my voice is limited and censored in society by way of stereotypes and fixed roles.  For many people of color on campus there is a constant (at times sporadic) internal battle of self-censorship for one's own personal well-being, or if something is offensive saying something for the great good of the space by providing another perspective.  For myself, trying to figure out if the space is literally SAFE enough for one to speak, am I going to be marginalized as the angry black women or too sensitive/aggressive if I give the "Race" perspective, etc?   

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Cool Article!!!

This popped up in my Twitter Feed after class on Tuesday:

I think this article is really relevant to our class.  I also tweeted the author and she tweeted me back! :) 

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WEB EVENT 1: Am I Too Accessible?

My blackness always reigned as my dominant identity in high school, often times forcing me to choose between: black or woman.  Although I went to a relatively progressive high school, our discourse about race always seemed more significant.  I operated in a dual-consciousness that felt inherent.  In hindsight, I see that this was of course socialized, but it seemed natural to always be aware of how others perceive you, while expressing yourself in the way they can most understand.  I was use to always having to culturally translate or give the Black perspective, more concerned with how I said or expressed an opinion, than it’s actual content.  Of course I felt that it was unfair that my opinion in class would speak on behalf of my whole race, but I understood that I had no real choice.  Most of my peers never have to think of this intersectionality.  I felt that it was my job to educate them.  I had to make myself accessible, not only to socially survive, but also to contribute a valuable opinion that has been underrepresented in the classroom my entire academic career. 

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M Carey Thomas/Serendip Throwback

Has anyone else ever seen this? I feel like I have seen it before. I wanted to post this not only because there is very interesting information about Bryn Mawr's racial discourse, but we are literally having this same conversation 10 years later surrounding Perry and other things.

Although some may think this history is not relevant today, it really still is. M Carey Thomas is one of the most celebrated President's of this college, but why do we glide over the fact of she had very strong convictions about racial hierarchy and eugenics? Many have told me that this isn't as relevant because it was the popular opinion of the time. Given that she actively challenged the societal norms and constructions by executing her vision of a highly-rigorous education for women, why is she allowed to get a pass on her prejudice?


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