immiZINE

Issue 01: Feminism
The 2005 entries were originally written for the journal I kept in WST 3015/Intro to Women's Studies. They have been modified slightly since then.

2005 September 23, 2:05 pm

I was finishing a reading in Listen Up before my World Religions class started. As I was putting the book into my backpack, the girl sitting next to me asked me what I was reading. I held it up to show her the cover and explained that it's for my Women's Studies class, and she said, "Right on!"

I'm not sure why I started blushing so much as I was telling her about the class. Unfortunately, I developed a blush in my mid-teens, and it makes me feel embarrassed when my face heats up so much. I tried to ignore it and just talk to her, but I still wondered what I was blushing for. Was I somehow uncomfortable with saying I was taking the class? I didn't feel like it was a problem to talk about it, and it was easy to let her know what the format is like and who the professor is. Was my body just reacting to thinking it's attractive for a girl to assert herself like that; "girl power" is hot?

Another woman sitting with us also responded that she thinks that's a great class, and the first asked me, "Are you Women's Studies?" (as in my major/minor.) I can't explain the blushing, but it felt good to talk to someone about taking a course like this; I wasn't encountering the "Are you a feminist?" attitude that we've sometimes read about. I told her how I thought this class is very worthwhile and it'd been recommended by my dental hygienist, and that it is a lot of work plus the service learning. She said she had considered the class, but didn't take it because of the service learning requirement.

I know that turned me off from taking this over the summer; I was in pain and knew I would need physical therapy, so I didn't want to commit to a time-intensive course when I needed to be relaxing. My bursitis and the related complications were stressful enough! But I felt disappointed that she had turned it down because of that. I did think at first that it might be asking too much of some people, but I was surprised at how quickly I passed three hours just writing the first letter of my writing campaign. When we care about something, it really isn't going to feel like we're doing extra work for 15 hours— we're spending the time on something we feel is very worthwhile. At least, I know that my project is very worthwhile to me, so it doesn't feel tedious like my Confirmation community service did.

So I wonder, is it really possible to be a feminist without being an activist? To support civil rights but not work towards them? How can you say you support something if you don't actually contribute towards achieving it? I don't know for sure right now that the answer is, "you aren't really for something if you aren't an activist for it," but I thought maybe that would be more clear to me by the end of that course.

And in the end, I didn't think it was possible to truly support something if you won't take any action for it.

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This e-zine copyright © 2006 Immora. All other properties are copyright to their respective holders. E-zine originally created as a service learning project for WST 3930/Third Wave Feminisms. Project started on March 18 2006.