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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Feminism

For the rest of the semester we will be reading a black female feminist author, Bell Hooks. And don't think I forgot about Malcolm X, I have to catch up on some of his readings. When I do I'll have some thoughts for you to consider.

I've learned though I'm not clear on the how or why that black women were excluded for the most part from the feminist movement. The movement maybe in the earliest days consisted of mostly white middle class to upper class women. I heard a story that some black ladies were going to a dinner they paid their tickets but they wouldn't be served before the men. Well that's not very just is it? Even in the civil rights movement there was a little housecleaning to be done.

It was mentioned and I didn't witness it that some time last year the ladies at Spelman College marched to their brother college Morehouse to protest rape. Apparently there were some allegations that a Spelmanite was about the being taken advantage of my a Morehouse student. Well I won't talk too much about it because I don't know a lot about it. It was mentioned in class that this is a result of black women being excluded from the feminist movement, they have no where to turn.

Still there are those who surely had their problem with it. My political theory professor mentioned she had a problem with that march as a feminist. A lot of guys certainly had a problem with it because these ladies decided to deem Morehouse men rapists.

This might underscore why people in general have a preconceived notion of feminism. Rush Limbaugh coined the term feminazi and I do believe such women exists in the world. My preconceived notion of feminism to me involves hatred of men, changing the pedestal of domination where women are dominate, and maybe how they treat other women.

Feminism has one thing right, that women should have equal rights with their male counterpart. And biology is not destiny! I don't believe women should be forced either by social convention or even law to become domesticated, or I should say housewives, homemakers or whatever the proper term is today. Still in another way women are still perceived as not having a choice.

Women today are generally expected to make their name in a male dominated world. I hear there are those who look down on those ladies who choose to stay at home and be wives and mothers. Feminism should allow that woman a choice and realize the drawbacks of becoming housewives or career women. Unfortunately most don't and some believe they can put off getting married or having children until they've made their mark in the world.

Of course in seeking to change domination there are those who hate men enough to force little boys to suffer. Could a man be with a woman who things men are bad? It is said that feminism should be liberating to men, and what does that mean?

Well perhaps a removal of all these ideas on gender roles. A woman who can take care of herself and I suppose her man, relieving him of doing so many of the things a man is expected to do for his lady. In order to prove how masculine he might be some women might play games it might occur the younger she is. Or perhaps when it comes to dating, convention suggests that a man must pay for the date instead she might foot the bill or at least 50/50.

I'm sure there are bound to be more questions than answers. The one thing feminism is plain and simple is equal rights between men and women. I think women ought to have a choice as to whether she wants to work, have a career, or stay at home and take care of the kids. And feminism needs not be a vehicle to express hate against men. Somehow men and women have to live together both of us has to learn and we can't merely try to find ways to knock each other off of some pedestal. Also such a movement need not be co-opted by some political party and it seems the civil rights movement and feminism has been in recent years.

The book we're reading is Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics by Bell Hooks. Rest assured I will have my own thoughts as my class goes thru these readings. Soon I shall return to Malcolm X. Hopefully that will be in the near future or after the end of the semester.

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