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Final Web Event --- Christian Intellectualism

Is an intelligent Christian an oxymoron? I posed a similar question about three months ago regarding Christian Feminism and whether those two aspects could work together.  During my search to find an identity that closely represented and accurately portrayed how I feel and want to represent myself I discovered a part of academia that I had not been aware of.  I found a truer identity and it helped strengthen both of these aspects of myself. This has made me reflect on another aspect that I have been judged on and that is the question of can someone be a Christian and an intellectual.

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Unbinding Dependence Web Event #3

The idea of feminism unbound can be a confusing one. I have struggled with the idea of feminism unbound and it took me a while to understand it. After each discussion of the term I question my understanding. I understand it now to be that after you get past the ideas of sex and gender it is what happens. I think that an example of feminism unbound is the idea of looking at people individually, not on lineage or relationships. Separating people from their associations and seeing people for their individual achievement.  Not assuming dependence. Looking at whom many people think of as successful and powerful women and seeing that many if not most seem to have a successful husband or father.  We need to separate the idea of dependence from sex and gender to unbind it.

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Right to Silence

I found the conversation on Tuesday interesting about the right to silence and to know what others are thinking.  I was uncomfortable with the idea that someone else has the right to know what I’m thinking. I think that in an academic environment there is an obligation to speak but I don’t think we ever should feel that we don’t have the right to be silent. At the same time I think that silence can become a crutch. There is a difference between choosing to be silent as a way to express yourself or your ideas and being silent because its convenient or you don’t want to speak. I think that by attributing such positive things to being silent that it creates an environment where people may just not speak. I still believe and appreciate the right to be silent but I think that it is better to express yourself and speak up if you are able and it is the right thing to do.  I still don’t think that anyone has a right to my thoughts but I have an obligation to speak.

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Power Feminism

When I imagine power feminism I get an image of a woman finding a rope to climb up in society and then once she reaches the top, cuts the cord. To me it is also denying the struggles of other women, the idea that if I made it in this current system that there is no need to change the way things are. Even though it means fewer women can reach the top. At the same time I think that power feminists tend to be the ones we look up to. The ones that are not defined by gender and have succeeded in a patriarchal system. Some of these power feminists are the women who inspire other women to believe it is possible to achieve in this system. It can be inspirational and help change perceptions about gender when there are strong women in high positions but if she is getting there by putting down other women I’m not sure if it can be called feminism. Is power feminism ever a positive thing for other women?

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Disability in the Admissions Process and Ensuing Academic life at Bryn Mawr - Web Event 2

You need to change your topic. That’s what I heard when I tried to write my essay on overcoming ADHD for my college application. I questioned that I was supposed to write about a struggle that I’ve encountered in my life and that I felt that this was what I wanted to write about. But everyone from my college counselor to my parents felt that I should pick a different topic.  Even though colleges are accepting and have services for students with disabilities there is still the worry that showcasing disability will hurt your chances in the academic realm. How can we change this in college admissions, in general and at Bryn Mawr? In order to change the admission process do we first need to change the academic structure of the college and classroom to be more accepting of people with disabilities of all types? And are we discriminating against people with disabilities by the arduous process of documentation and the normative time placed on a person’s individual ability to work?  

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Keeping Parts of Yourself Separate

In the class so far one of the things that I’ve been interested in the most is intersectionality.  It seems that for many groups intersectionality is seen as a bad thing. There is pressure to identify with one group. Whether it is religious, able -bodiedness, sexuality, gender or race.  People want to put you into a box so that you are simpler to understand. That identifying as something else as well makes you less of a part of the other group. It makes you choose, which makes it seem like one aspect is more important than the other.  Are you this or that? Most people identify as a variety of things.  Many groups that are inclusive of people frown down on intersectionality. Why would groups that help people find their voice hold back the same people from exploring the different aspects to themselves? Why is there pushback against identifying with several groups? Is it the worry that the group’s ideas and goals will conflict with the other groups?

            I really like the idea of multi-cultural feminism and I think that it a great way to identify because it encompasses many different aspects. It takes into account that there is more to you then one idea and that all these ideas shape your view. I strongly believe that it is important to embrace your points of view together and not separate them because it’s easier.  Even if the groups don’t go together they don’t have to go together. There is no universal rule that your beliefs have to fit perfectly together.

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Web Event 1- Feminist Theology

Is a Christian feminist an oxymoron? I identify as a Christian. I identify as a feminist. I do not know how to completely reconcile them together. It can be easier to have these two aspects be separate. In some circles you can proudly say you are a feminist and in others affirm that you are a Christian. But then you are denying a big part of yourself if you do not acknowledge both beliefs. An issue that you’re creating for yourself is that you are hiding and choosing parts of yourself which might not be as accepted in certain circles. You are picking one over the other and in those instances saying that the other is less important. How do you deal with feminists who have a view that religion and “their ideologies, their symbolism, and above all, their established institutions stand accused of putting a stranglehold on women’s aspirations”(Soskice 1) In many ways men and organizations have used religion to put women in a subservient role. Christianity is not about making women lesser than men and feminism is not about destroying family values and beliefs that Christians hold dear. If you can find the good in theology that helps to elevate women then Christianity and feminism could become closer to being accepted together.

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Accessibility in feminist literature

Last week we talked about accessibility in regards to literature and if books should be less accessible to be effective. I think that it’s interesting to compare Persepolis with The Doll's House in this regard. For Persepolis I watched the movie and read the book and I found it very accessible in both formats. When I read The Doll's House, it wasn’t until class when we discussed it that I began to understand some of the deeper meaning.  I’m not sure if I agree that feminist literature should be less accessible. I think that it has to have meaning below the surface and it should not be dumbed down but it’s also important that it can reach people. I believe both are feminist works but I’m not sure if having one be less accessible makes it more of a feminist work.  Are there negatives to having a piece of work be too accessible?  Does it somehow make it less powerful? Is accessibility a feminist value? 

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Defining Feminism

I found the discussion in class on tuesday very interesting regarding the three waves of feminism and how do you define feminism. In my experience a lot of people I meet outside of the Bryn Mawr bubble view feminism in an negative light or think that it’s not needed anymore. I’m always amazed at the amount of men I meet who are willing to say that there isn’t a need for feminism any more. I have gotten that comment many times but I'm always a little shocked that a man would make that definitive a statement about womens rights. I was thinking from the class discussion on the definition of feminism that I am not sure what definition of feminism I use.  I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting my beliefs into a box. For the question of autobiography being a feminist genre I found it confusing at first because as a group we weren’t sure how to define feminism. When I tell people why I think that feminism is important and needed I usually draw on past experiences when I have been looked down on or not allowed to do things because I am female.  For example when I was in kindergarten they made the T ball league coed so my best friend Megan and I joined. The coach was annoyed that they had let girls into the league so he wouldn’t let us be in the team photo. So it’s hard for me to say that autobiography is not a feminist genre when that is usually how I express my own feelings regarding why feminism is needed.

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My Avatar

I wasn't in class on Tuesday so I thought I would post my avatar now. My avatar is a picture of my dog Ginger. I have four dogs and I tend to talk about them a lot but Ginger is special because she hates me. I really enjoy this picture because my family adopted her from a shelter and she is not a particularly pretty dog. We have a love-hate relationship. She likes to hide behind chairs and stare at me while I sleep. I like to give her food which she won’t eat and crawl through bushes at night to bring her inside. She's this cranky little dog with bad teeth and stumpy little legs but she always makes my day entertaining and as much as she annoys me, I love her very much. It's hard to pick a picture for an avatar that other people will see all the time but I picked this picture because it makes me happy. I love her odd little face and it reminds me of home and whenever I look at this photo it makes me laugh. 

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