Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

michelle.lee's blog

michelle.lee's picture


Whist ruminating over my web events and the material and discussions of this class, I thought hard about how I have grown as a feminist.  This was my first class that had anything to do about feminism.  I wanted to know what feminism was about, how it was defined and just get a taste of it.  I think I had a naive notion in my mind that I could take one class of feminism and get a fuller understanding of it.  While I feel like I do have a better understanding as to what feminism is, I also think I've become more confused.  But what I've also gained from this class is the acceptance of this confusion.   (which always happens when you take the time to learn more about a subject).  At the beginning of the year, I felt like I didn't know enough to make any statements or say anything.  I felt I was talking more towards the end of the year.    I really appreciate that this class has made me bolder and not afraid to express my opinions.  As a learner, this helps me to explore ideas more since I am not as afraid to venture into different topics and vocalize my opinions.  

michelle.lee's picture

It's Elementary My Dear Watson

Setting the Scene

In my past web event, I addressed the issue of change specific to the context of a situation.  In my case, I looked into homosexuality in the context of Christianity and South Korea.  This stemmed from my desire to reframe anti-gay rhetoric at my high school.  For my final web event, I want to expand on this idea and investigate what queering education would look like not just at my own school but just on a general level.  What does homosexuality look like in schools across the US today and how is affecting students and society?  Why should this be addressed?  Why is there resistance?   


The Other Side

See video
michelle.lee's picture

Context, Context, Context

At my high school, similar to perhaps many other high schools,  making gay jokes was always a popular thing to do.   I feel ashamed to have participated in this crude and horrible form of "humor" and teasing when I first entered high school.  I loved my high school and I had a great high school experience but I did think my school needed to revise it's policy on tolerance.  Not just on anti-gay rhetoric issue but on an overall issue of tolerance and respect.  It wasn't until the end of high school that one of my very good friends who had been constantly made fun of for "acting gay" that I realized this was not right and that this had to stop.  I couldn't articulate why I felt it was wrong.  I don't think I was the only one who thought this was a problem but I do think it was an easy pitfall to trap yourself into when you were with a group of people and you just wanted to tease someone.  And I saw no way of changing it.  I just knew it was unfair but I didn't know for what reason and I couldn't understand why this kind of homophobic subculture was so deeply ingrained in the way my high school interacted with each other.  

michelle.lee's picture

Nicki Minaj!

See video
michelle.lee's picture


the mantrafesto of michelle.lee, dchin, epeck

Feminist Pornography is Possible

Possibility is opportunity for progress.

Progress is mutual pleasure.

Mutual pleasure involves consent.

Consent is full & active.  

michelle.lee's picture


Half the Sky has really gotten me to think about what the standard protocol and ettiquite for international humanitarianism is.

I remember asking my dean at the beginning of my freshman year, what classes can I take that can help me look more deeply into non-profit activism.  And she had told me that there really aren't any classes that focus just on that; You can essentially major in anything and go into non-profit activism.  When I think back, I thought that was very fair.  Anyone can go into the world and try and help.  However, my thoughts have shifted a bit.  While I still think it's great that the opportunity to help in ways such as the Half the Sky movement, I often wonder how organizations would be percieved if there were classes that were specifically offered about the organization of non-profit groups or international humanitarianism in general.  Perhaps I just haven't done enough research to find classes, but even as I look into classes for next semester, I do not see many classes that are offered that are about how to operate an organization that works in international humanitarianism.  Why can't it be like teacher certification?  You'd have to be certified to start a non-profit organization.  Is that too crazy of an idea?  If there is someone who is well-versed in this area, they could comment on how it works.   

michelle.lee's picture

Definitely an emotional read and other related topics to Middlesex

On the topic of Middlesex, I came across a film called Tomboy.  It's a French film from 2011 and it tells the story of a 10 year old girl, named Laure, who decides to introduce herself as a boy to other children when she moves towns.  She interacts with her new friends as a boy while she acts like a girl at home.  It reminded me of Middlesex since it touches on the idea of transgender/transsexualism at a young age.  It also has the same idea of "rebirth" since both main characters experience a point in life where they are "reborn."  Although Cal's case is slightly different since he is intersex while Laure is biologically female.  Both the film and novel exude this kind of subversive sadness.  I felt almost helpless at some points of the movie and novel because there wasn't anything I could do.  I am still trying to process formally what my emotions and my thoughts are for these books...

Trailer for the film Tomboy
michelle.lee's picture

A Look into Language

When someone mentioned in class that language was a feminist issue, I was so curious as to how.  Beyond perhaps certain words ending in "man," I couldn't think of a way that language could be sexist.  "'The english language is sexist in so far as it relegates women to a secondary and inferior lace in society'" (Spender 15).  Language is the way that you communicate with others and express yourself, if that is inherently male, then how are women expected to express themselves?   As we saw in The Book of Salt, it was difficult for Bìhn to progress further in his community because of the language barrier.   He doesn't have the tools to gain social capital. He lacks the ability to speak in a certain way that will gain him a higher position in life.  


michelle.lee's picture

Rest of the Semester!

Global Feminism (Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, America, Middle East)

  -what is life for women like? Transgender or LGBQTIA

  -key feminists in these areas or what movements have happened here

  -is feminism inherently western?

 Religious views/ conservative views on feminism is feminism only a liberal/non-religious view?

 Women succeeding on men's terms in a man world

 Men's view of feminism how to men fit into feminism, what makes a man a feminist? 

 LGBTQIA in relation to feminism, what kinds of movements, writing by people 

 Exposure to distinct feminism 

 Autobiographies, articles in the news, watch more documentaries 

 Feminism in mass media 

Feminism in sex work

  -documentary annabel chong

  -does sex make you feminist or not?
"the rise of raunch culture" - ariel levy 

michelle.lee's picture

Are Feminist Allowed to be Funny?

What's Feminism?
Feminism was never something I thought much about.  It wasn't a prominent issue until I came to Bryn Mawr.  After a semester here, I felt that I needed to get rid of my naive notion that feminism was a two sided coin.  It wasn't one way or another, feminist or not.  I wanted a more personal definition as to what feminism was and where I fit in the scheme of things which is why I decided to take this course.  Critical Feminist Issues is the first course I've taken that is specifically about feminism.  My experience with this class have been paradoxical thus far.  More questions are raised than answered and the lines of feminism are getting blurred and yet I still feel like I'm getting a better idea as to where I fit into feminism and developing my own definition.
Syndicate content