I’m not saying that it makes sense for everyone to center all conversations around the patriarchy and drop everything to get a Master’s in Gender Studies. That would probably leave you friendless and broke. As selfish as it sounds, it can be helpful to ask “What’s in it for me?” And human issues are all interconnected, so making someone else’s life easier can help you, indirectly or otherwise.
Within the last ten to fifteen years, shows like South Park, Family Guy, Futurama, and American Dad have been popping up, creating huge hordes of followers and dominating the airwaves. These shows are unique in that they are animated, which allows for extremely off-color, inappropriate, or even offensive stereotypes. The question is: Are these stereotypes positive or harmful?
There are lots of ways to be a great “ally” – and innumerable ways to be a terrible one. But it’s not rocket science. There are simple things you can keep in mind and do in order to be a better person “currently operating in solidarity with” the marginalized or oppressed. And while this list is not comprehensive, it’s definitely somewhere to start. So “allies,” let’s talk.
Knowing how to apologize is an important skill for everyone to know, but it’s especially pertinent in cases of getting called out on a behavior that enforces the oppression of a marginalized group. What do non-apologies look like, and how can you avoid giving them? How do you apologize for your behavior in a way that is meaningful and genuine?
How we signal our displeasure to someone matters, because it is in our attempts to cause harm that we reveal how we really feel about who they are. I take “bitch” more seriously than other insults because it attempts to use a piece of my identity – my femaleness – as a weapon. Reclamation projects aside, we all need to carefully consider when and why we take aim with a B-bomb.
“I just don’t get along with girls. They’re all so catty and bitchy.” Chances are, you’ve heard that before. But have you ever thought about the implications of saying this? Watch as Angelina LB discusses the absurdity of writing off an entire group of people, the hypocrisy involved when it’s a group you’re a part of, and how internalized sexism only breeds further sexism.
Any outspoken feminist will tell you that among the most common insults they receive are “slut,” “bitch,” and “cunt.” But the funny thing is, those are actually among the least effective insults to throw at a feminist! In this week’s video headline, Melissa A. Fabello will discuss the many ways these words fail to do the damage they’re intended to, and how they only make feminism stronger.
I know the media depiction of sororities is less than favorable. If those movies and television shows were my sole source of information, I probably wouldn’t know any better either. And while I would like to say that the stereotypes they create don’t exist, I would be lying. Stereotypes derive from somewhere. But my problem has been dealing with the burden they place on those who don’t fit them.
I didn’t identify as a feminist when I first met my partner seven years ago. But as I became more comfortable identifying as a feminist, I began to feel wary about coming out as a feminist to one of the closest people in my life – my partner. Feminism likely changed your perception of the world and yourself, so share your new perspective. Feminism is a conversation. Don’t be afraid to start one.
When people publicly share their personal experiences of depression, I feel encouraged. I see fellow sufferers expressing gratitude that they no longer feel alone. But I often wonder if non-depressed people are even listening to this conversation. So I’m going to explain what depression is like based on my experience, and ask you to try to envision what the spiral feels like.