I started the month of April with the admission that I am a fool. It seemed appropriate on April Fool’s Day to admit that I have foolish notions of my own about a partnership between the binary genders. I quickly followed that up with the realization that this partnership and feminism itself is about so much more than the binary genders. So, I explored intersectionality and non-binary genders.
Those two topics were eye-opening and a little crazy at first. I am starting to integrate that outlook better into life and hopefully it will start to shine through my writing as well. I suppose that we will see. I hope that it does and that I get better at acknowledging and advocating in such an inclusive way.
With that in mind, I went ahead and indentified my qualifiers as a feminist. There are many subgroups within feminism and we don’t all agree on all points, so this was intended to dispell whatever misconceptions about me there might have been.
And then I made my Twitter account. It was revolutionary. I follow several feminist and women’s issues news outlets, so my awareness has increased exponentially. Since then, I have been tweeting articles rather than writing individual or group blog posts for them. This has improved my ability to know what’s going on in the world of human rights and to pass that information along. I have been looking for more men’s rights and LGBT outlets, but I have been failing at finding such outlets that promote and practice compassion before outrage. I know that they exist, I just don’t know who they are yet (except The Good Men Project, which is wonderful). Suggestions are welcome.
Shortly after that, I finished the book The Feminine Mystique, which was eye-opening as well. I had a lot of assumptions about that book, based on the movement it ignited and many of them were wrong or revolutionary by today’s standard rather than the time. Things that we take for granted as 21st century women and men were hardly an option and discouraged during the time of this book. I started The Second Sex as further research into the beginning of the second wave feminist movement. It is giving me a clearer look at those women and softening my view of them. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, it was easy to look at the Women’s Liberation movement as something outlandish and unnecessary, but I was horribly wrong.
I also went ahead and talked about Body Image so that it was out there. This is my least favorite feminist issue, but it is a real problem and I wanted to at least acknowledge it so that I could move on to issues that are more personal to me. I also made my Tumblr account which connects to this one, so same information, different platform.
Good Friday and Easter also came and went during April. I know that many women question religion, church organizations, and the existence of God when it comes to the ways that they have been oppressed. Many also set blame there. I learned in March from the Jesus Feminist the actions that made Jesus identifiable as the first recorded egalitarian, so I took this Good Friday and Easter to further publicize this perspective. Not all agree with it, which is their own choice, but I have always felt it to be true, though I couldn’t always defend that notion well. Thank you, Sara Bessey for that.
It was in April that I finally overcame some fears and wrote to you all about it. I spoke openly to people I work with and who I would have to deal with their judgement about some of these issues and how they relate to our workplace. I hope to get more opportunities to do this in the coming months, but we will see.
I ended the month with announcing my “Aha!” moment so far for The Second Sex. I have sincerely been enjoying the historical sections and discovering how many other times we have teetered on the brink of ending patriarchy, only to be sucked back in. What makes this moment different, I hope, is the unfettered access to meanungful work in the first world. This access is growing into the second and third world countries, but it is not as prevalent there. I see this through my Twitter follows all the time. I hope that this time we are nearing the true end of patriarchy, but I guess that only time will tell.
This has been a stellar month for me and TED, as I realized that I can stream through the car on my way to work. I have tweeted quite a few of these talks, mostly on progress with human right’s in the third world.
I hope for May to be a time of continued growth into the world and outside of “first world problems.” I find that the issues that we deal with here in the United States are important and they are especially important to us, but the confidence gap is a first world problem. The wage gap is a first world problem. They are real problems, but they cannot be compared to the horrifying announcement of the Child Marriage Law pending in Iraq right now. We are not fighting for our own educations and livelihoods and freedom. I think sometimes that we forget to be grateful of that. We forget to lend our voices to that fight for others.
I also understand that it is far easier to help out the problems of other countries when we are in the positions that closing the confidence and wage gaps here would provide us. These problems are more entangled than you think at first glance. Untangling them will not solve them. Weaving them closer together just might.