Feminism for all

Guten tag, fellow students! Today’s riveting topic will be on the two readings we were assigned, and I believe I’ll start with Feminism is for everybody.

This piece, in comparison, was a much easier and lighter read than the other. I enjoyed hearing the author tell her story- but what I most enjoyed is that the very essence of the article can be defined as the idea that feminism isn’t exclusive. She’s encountered people, as I’m sure we all have, who have this idea that a feminist is someone with a super edgy haircut and combat boots who stomps into the streets with a megaphone screaming “WOMEN ARE BETTER THAN MEN!” Even faced with that sort of innocuous ignorance that is the result of a lack of firsthand experience, she sees that these people just don’t know. They aren’t aware of what feminism actually is and are stuck thinking that a feminist can only be one type of person, when in fact, it can be anyone. A mother, a friend, a teacher, a politician, a celebrity, even a man. Also, one thing that I found extremely pleasing is the fact that she mentions the patriarchy and the injustice it does to the men that live under it. Obviously, females have it worse living in a male dominated society, but the patriarchy most definitely has a hand in setting the standard from what being a ‘man’ means. It defines how a man should act, how he should talk, how he should walk, what kind of job he has to get or what kind of things he should aspire to. The patriarchy limits everyone within it, not just women, and I think that is a very important point that must be made. I, myself, often find myself wondering if I’m ‘man’ enough, and often believing not because I don’t play sports and I’m not aggressive or competitive, only to come to the conclusion that these are all things that are defined by the whole of society as ‘masculine’. These are things that I have been told that I must be to fit in, things that the patriarchy has commanded me to align to.

Settling the Colonel’s Hash was a much different read. It took a lot more brainpower to understand what she was really trying to say, and I’m still not sure that I completely understand it even after reflection, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. The thing that stood out to me the most was not the fact that her story was found fictional, but  that it was being dismantled into symbols in order to make sense of it. It was impressive though how she turned around and made the symbolism of a real life story into something so powerful within her reflection of the event. It was interesting how she could turn the little banal details of her event with the Colonel into symbolism that actually made sense. She goes on to talk about how if a story can only find meaning within the small details or symbolism of itself, than it is not a true story at all. I agree with her thought that a real story should be more than the accumulation of all its symbols, that it must rise above and break out of he bounds that those symbols set in order for it to hold its own.

I enjoyed both of these articles much more than I thought I would. Suffice to say, now I’m having flashbacks to certain events in my life and wondering if I can find symbolism within the small details. Wouldn’t that be cool?

– Peter


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