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Week 1 Response

MC's picture

I found that our Thursday in-class group discussions were very interesting, and that the questions were a very intriguing look into our brains. I've realized that I would love to have this discussion again with classmates- not only those who were in my group or in the class, but with others as well. Initially the questions seemed relatively straight-forward, but once we were all sitting down and put thought and effort behind our answers they became signficantly more difficult. All of the questions were very broad, and required more than just a yes or no answer- even, and maybe most especially, the question "Are you a feminist?" Feminism has a complex history of not only different waves, but different circles of thought within those waves that makes it difficult to just say 'yes' or 'no'. Some branches of feminism also have a very uncomfortable history of being exclusionary towards non-white and non-cisfemale women, which adds another layer of complexity to identifying as a feminist. Listening to everyone's reasons behind saying 'yes' or 'no' was very insightful, and I feel could potentially cause someone to rethink their own explanations, and the forces in their lives that made them say 'yes' or 'no'. Attempting to create a definition for feminism, at least in that short amount of time, would have been very difficult, especially since it was so easy to spend a lot of time on the other questions.

Based on some students' comments online, I would be very interested in knowing what their definition of feminism is, or potentially their multitude of definitions.

I'm not sure that I myself have come up with a definition of feminism that I hold to, but I understand the emotions behind wanting a definition and wanting to put to precise words I feel how I feel and why I feel it. Right now my definition of feminism is every thought I have exploring what it means to tear down broken systems and build new ones in their place, what it means to carefully examine the world around me and the spheres of influence that I interact in, and what it means to be angry and frustrated with society when few people care to listen. I feel like listening, particularly to people who are often given no voice or agency, is a solid tenant of feminism. That is one reason that I feel like introducing the course with Christina Rosetti is acceptable, as it lets us explore a work of fiction that was often ignored because of its subject, style, and author. 



Smashing the kyriarchy is probably somewhere in the definition of feminism too.