I’m applying for a scholarship in the Women’s Studies Department and I would love some feedback or even a like if you enjoy it and find it compelling. I’m nervous, but would love to have the money for next semester when some of my grants will be taken away.
I’m also sending this into my professor and am terrified she’ll call it crap and that’ll be the end of that. I’m one of those people who always want to impress a professor. HELP!
Include a statement (500-600 words minimum) on your goals and role as an activist, the impact of your work, and your plans to continue your work on behalf of women.
Silence has been my response for when I was put in a situation when I had to stand up for what I believed in. It was easier than offending somebody and facing negative consequences. This was my stance for eighteen years until I went into college and learned that to make a difference, I had to be loud. Not only that, I needed to start taking steps to being an activist. Not only did I need to learn how to say what I wanted, I needed to show how it could happen, demonstrate it in my own actions, and convince others that making a change was needed. I found this to be most important when I took a class on Trafficking and went to India to listen to a panel discussion on the laws regarding women there.
I met a number of activists in India and they were prepared with what was happening, where it came from, and how they were going to change it. One panelist spoke about how sexual assault is defined by anything that makes a woman uncomfortable and that includes cat-calling from men on the streets. A number of my peers scoffed at this idea, claiming this wasn’t harming the woman and women have to put up with much worse at the clubs and bars in the United States. The panelist asked them if that meant it should be accepted just because it was a common occurrence. It was harder to argue against her ideas after this question. It brought my attention to a number of instances that are accepted because “it’s going to happen anyway.”
Literature is a part of media that has been influencing people much longer than movies and television shows. What is shown in these books gives readers the ability to track the changes throughout history of culture and people. It gives an account of how people treated others, including women. Now, books are being produced with mixed messages. Some have women acting as girl in need while others have women who stand strong for what she believes in no matter the consequences. In popular fiction, it’s harder to come across the latter, but it is possible. What I find to be important is to bring up these books and create new writers who realize how their words are going to affect their audience. They may consider this in plot, but the basic relationship between the characters is more important than most might think. These women can be a mother, a girlfriend, or a wife. What needs to be conveyed is that they’re more than this. Many authors want to write round characters so they create the loving girlfriend, the nosy mother, or the crazy wife. These depictions are further perpetuating that women only have so many identities. Even if these identities are positive, they’re ones that take away the identity of a person and only throws them in a category. One day, I plan to be able to write more on this subject and if I am able to publish fiction, I want to be able to be a feminism activist by writing women that are complete people and are not shown as objects.
“It’s going to happen anyway,” is a popular response to feminists who are becoming activists in their community. It’s easy to be quiet for there won’t be backlash from others, but it’s difficult for someone when they realize that they had an opportunity to begin making a change and they didn’t seize it. I plan to become a stronger activist, but at this point, I’m making as many waves as I can. My first essay I wrote on the topic was looking at how Tolkien wrote women in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings. Since then, I have read books that are on the popular shelf with a critical blog and made comments in my own notes and in a blog. My plan is to strengthen my personal thoughts on feminism and the way I think it should be shown in literature. I also plan to write stories that can create readers who say that women being seen as people with identities who have the same rights as men is “going to happen anyway.”
Thanks for any feedback you can give and wish me luck!