This is my first semester where I’m taking two classes for Women’s Studies. One of the professors teaches Literary Criticism which I’m also taking, so I could argue that it works also as Feminist teachings since she does tend to go off on tangents. The other class is Creative Writing and if you have ever taken one, you should know gender questions come up a lot either because of the writing or the conversations you have with peers. My last class has nothing to do with feminism, but it’s Tolkien and that’s one of the reasons I became interested in Feminism. I should write a post about that.
I’m taking all of these questions and learning all of this information and yet, I still have so many questions! Some of them are academic or theory based, but I do have many of them that apply to my life or may apply to my life in the future. I can never think of them all, but I’m going to write them out and maybe I’ll hear back from you or at least spark some thought.
1) How Can I Be Confident with my Body?
There’s a woman in my Feminist Theory class that would be described as overweight and by some, obese. She is confident in herself and says she feels at her best, so why should she bother changing? Some people would say health. Also in this class, we have learned about these biological reasonings that have made us accept ideologies that limit our gender. An example of this is how women are seen to not be as strong as men because of biological reasoning. I guess a truth is that women haven’t been studied as much as men, so how are these considered “facts”? Back to the point, I sit hear and feel like shit about my body. I know I’m skinnier than a number of people and barely tip the scale at 115. People tell me I’m stupid for feeling gross about myself because there are people much worse off than me. I try not to compare myself to other people and when people tell me I’m stupid for having these thoughts.
Since I am taking these classes and hearing about how I shouldn’t feel bad about myself because it’s a ploy to buy more/making me more of a robot in a capitalistic society/subscribing to the popular opinion that’s fake. On top of me feeling bad about my body, I then feel bad about feeling bad about my body. It’s a never-ending cycle and I need to find some blog to follow and help me sort it out.
2) How Can I Raise A Child to be Gender Neutral?
This is something I kind of figured out by looking it up because it has an actual question that won’t be filled with just “learn to love yourself!” What I got from it is you don’t have to deal with gender neutral yellows and greens, but let your child decide. (http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/01/gender-neutral-parenting-myths/)
My problem is what to do with the kids when they’re younger. I could see dressing a kid in boy’s clothes and pink. I like dresses though and I’d love to dress my baby in a dress. While this is acceptable with a girl, it’s hard to convince others that it’s okay with a boy. I know, I know I shouldn’t care what other people think, but I want my future child to have as many opportunities as possible and not be labeled as the “weirdo.” Yes, I can instill confidence in that child, but it can only go so far. The kid might still feel badly about themselves and maybe when their older, they’ll be happy about their childhood but they have to make it there first.
Also, we don’t have a gender-neutral pronoun and that’s obnoxious.
3) Why Don’t We Have a Good Vocabulary?
This is a general complaint, but it is annoying me. It goes along with not having a gender-neutral pronoun. I know why we don’t have it, I just wish we did. This is a think I can never understand, but I couldn’t come up with a third question. I should write down my questions more often.
When I’m reading all of this heavy feminist stuff, it seems we’re always talking about men versus women. My professor tells us this is not the case because women can be oppressive of other women and men can help women out. We do use the patriarchy, but God that sounds too academic. I feel like we could have another word. Yes, I could use the oppressed and the oppressive, but this poses a problem because there are all sorts of oppression.
Gr, gender neutral problems.