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Does Power Feminism Exist? last web event

            The definition of power feminism is the act of a woman amassing power in a male dominated capitalist society, and breaking through the gates that have historically held women back from powerful positions. These women inspire others that it is possible for them to reach power in this patriarchal system. But is power feminism real? Can the power of one individual woman liberate us all? Does the feminist agenda of this individual speak to the intersectional identities of others?

Author and feminist activist bell hooks believes that power feminism is not real, she states: “Power feminism is just another scam in which women get to play patriarchs and pretend that the power we seek and gain liberates us.” To further explore why she does not believe in power feminism I turn to hook’s critique of Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg. In Dig Deep: Beyond Lean In, hooks analyzes Sandberg’s book Lean In, and the advice she gives as a self-claimed feminist. Hooks makes three main critiques of Sandberg: she does not include or consider the perspectives and identities of women of color, she does not recognize the challenges of women in poverty, and she does not seek to challenge the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.


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Web Event 3: Unbinding the Definition of a Woman and its Implications within the Corporate Workplace

What is it to be a woman? Some say it’s biological, others say it’s social, or a combination of the two culminating into an entity of sensitively nurturing, docile domesticity. But what might it look like to not be restrained to such narrowing definitions of womanhood? To unbind the codex of the female essence? Let us for a moment erase woman, not her being or her individual self, but the attributes assigned to her as a woman. She is no longer a she, but a human; uncategorized and unbound by societies stereotypes of how this being should act and present themselves. And in order to do this effectively, as to eliminate the risk of having this newly freed group re-packaged only under another name, we must eliminate the ideology of what it means to be a man. Now there is no man and no woman, just a spectrum of diverse creatures.

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not all lives are created equal

Given the recent text we read by Judith Butler, and examining that some deaths are more celebrated and honored than others, and given recent tragedies i thought this seemed appropriate to post. Recently, famous actor of the Fast and Furious movie series, Paul Walker, died. His, like many other celeberty deaths, was widely broadcast on television and social media. Several other deaths also occured around this same time that got less attention and were not as publicily mourned, whose lives werent as revered. Several individuals died in several parts of the world in horrific accidents, and although Paul Walker's death was tragic and he will be missed by many, even Brain Griffin's death got more views and shed tears than the thousands that lose their lives everyday under much more severe circumstances. 

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Rights to my Silence

A right is an entitlement to obatin something, and I do not beleive one has rights over me; my thoughts, my opinions, my ideas, my silence, especailly my silence. To have a right to it is to have power over me. Only I know what is hidden in my silence, whether it be gold or trash, and only I should have the right to it, it is my property. In thinking about feminism, can keeping silence be a way in which one keeps power? I feel that at certain times it is necessary to speak to be heard so that others will recognize your existence and not step all over you. But i think one can be silent and still talk. Through movement, through dance, through words, through prayer, through action messages, ideas, concerns can be voiced. Silence speaks a different language.

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Hard out here

so there has been this new video by Lily Allen circulating the mass media. When i fist saw it i thought "what in the world did i just watch", then after listening to the lyrics i was like "oh wow, you go girl! being all feminist", then i watched it again and read some articles and i am have to say, why doesnt her feminism include black women? is she a power feminist??

Here was an interesting perspective on her performance and song that I really like:

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Through the silence

It seems for many that silence holds power, mystery but also privilege. We hold power when we have the right to remain silent, the right to withhold information, secrets and truths. When we are silent we generate an air a mystery, we hold the unknown. Silence can push away outsiders, it can deter or mislead. But silence can also bring safety and comfort. When I think about Eva's silence though, i question whether it is really a privilege. A privilege is something that some people have and others do not. Yes she has the truth and no one else does, but this truth to why she did what she did (which she may not even fully know herself) has arisen from circumstances that she did not have the privilege to choose. It seems that people in the novel are so concerned with her silence, almost afraid of it. Why are some people so afriad of silence? is it alienating? uncomfortable? creates a disconnect? Should we be afraid of silence? or should we embrace it? I think Eva embraces her silence as a source of shelter, her voice to say no, to have her feelings understood were never embraced, so she keeps to herself, the only person she can trust.

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Web Event 2

Hair Politics: Afros, Braids and Locks in schools

“Trying to make hair beautiful on the outside causes damage deep inside”, declares an ad for Dove hair moisturizer.  And indeed trying to straighten, curl, color and do a number of things with hair, especially women’s hair, can cause damage to the follicles. But this “damage deep inside” is more than just physical damage to the hair itself. The cost of beauty in America for young girls, and most specifically Black girls, is destructive. The Europeanized standard of beauty that dominates American culture is one that most Black women naturally cannot match up with, but the pressure to do so is tremendous. From TV ads, to billboards, actresses in movies, Barbie’s, and models, long, straight, silky hair has been a celebrated characteristic. So to match up with these “ideal images” many Black girls and women alike go through processes to straighten and lengthen their hair. But many of these processes involve chemicals and heat that damage the hair. Even more damaging though, is the lowered self-esteem of those who cannot attain what the popular media deems as “beauty”.

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Feminism, able-ism and their intersectionality

I really like that in this class we discuss the intersextionality between various identities. Often it is only one "category" that is focused on in a text or discussion, but that can be and is limiting because humans are all so diverse and have various identities and personalities. Talking about ableism in class though I feel we really only touched on physical diablities, but what about the individuals with mental disalities such as ptsd, aspergers, deafness, depression, pyschosis? I am interested in the intersections between feminism, race, ableism, and classism, and how that plays out for various individuals.

Also on the conversation on Tuesday, we questioned what "disablity" actually meant, and who defines it. Like most hierarchies I feel that those in positions of power (or in some cases its just the majority) can create definitions, so those who are seemingly "able-bodied" categorize those who are different in appearance and stature as not abled (it is interesting to note that most dividing catergories between people are base only on what we see). But are we not all disabled in some way? 

Also, I really like this quote I from Kai Erikson in his book Everything in its Path: "a person's mental health is measured less by his capacity to express his inner self than by his capacity to submerge that self into a larger communal whole". Many things in society are based on who's "in" and who's "out", and often those who are "differently abled" (as opposed to disabled which creates an "Other") are often left out. 

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mid-semester course evaluation

Thus far this course has taught me so much in terms of gender identity, feminism, defying binaries and hierarchies and exploring self-representation, including my own. In terms of the course material solely, I have been fascinated, scared and amazed by the texts we have read. I like the variety of the texts and the forms in which they are presented, they stem away from the usual formats I read in school and this has made it easier and more exciting to read them. They are engaging and eye-opening for me. Our discussions around the texts are eye-opening as well.

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Bryn Mawr College: A look at the representation of race (web event 1)

A fact about owls: their eyes are fixed in their sockets, which means they must turn their entire head to see in a different direction. Like the owl, we often only see what is presented in front of us, but sometimes we must turn our heads in order to gain a fuller perspective of the people and world around us.

Part of the Bryn Mawr College mission “seeks to sustain a community diverse in nature and democratic in practice” believing that “considering many perspectives we gain a deeper understanding of each other and the world.” It is through engaging with others who are different from us that we can broaden our perspectives and reshape our choices. One way in which the College tries to represent their diversity is through their website; a medium readily accessible to millions around the world. However, the representation of diversity displayed on the Bryn Mawr website, through photos, statistics and language is incongruous to the actual representation on campus. This discrepancy is misleading to prospective students and the false idea about what the college presents itself as cherishing is detrimental to the wellbeing of all members of the college community.

A Little History First

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