Monday, December 13, 2010

Even if nothing had changed, I still would have loved her.

I was at community lunch a month or so ago, sitting around a table with many of my close friends. Since registering for classes had happened that week, we were discussing our classes for next semester. I then mentioned that everyone needed to take the F-Word sometime while at PC. One of my girlfriends, scoffed, and was like “why would I take that class, feminism is scary.” I got really offended, taking it personally, and thinking that my friend didn’t know what she was talking about. 
“Yea when I think of feminism I think of crazy radical lesbians. What is their to learn about it anyway, it has no importance to my life, I’m not a feminist so why talk about it.” my friend said.
I was shocked, baffled, appalled almost that my friend could think that way. “Every issue is a women’s issue” just kept pulsing through my head. I left community lunch really upset. Later that day I thought a lot about why she could have those notions about a movement that I hold so true and dear to my heart. She came from a house where a strong female role model was usually no where to be found. A place where equity between parents was also non existent. She was taught and shown that the feminist movement was a bunch of liberal hippies in the 1970’s who burned bras and hated men. So of course she thought that the class sounded scary and pointless. She had no reason to believe that it could fit into her life, and was also not educated about what feminism really is. 
After thinking about it for a while,  I texted my friend and told her that I would love to talk to her about the class and what she thought about the subject. She agreed and later that night when a bunch of my friends and I hung out, we chatted for a lengthy period of time, about equality, about misconceptions, about the different waves, and about everything that I learned throughout the class. She listened with an open ear and eagerness. At the end of the conversation she told me that everything she had thought before, she no longer thought and that she understood in her own way how feminism was tied to her own life. She proceeded to say that she now considered herself to be a feminist and that she wanted to educated the women in her family about the movement and how most of what they believed was not true and just propaganda. I tried to give my friend the information with as little bias possible. I just wanted to tell her what I knew, and let her make up her mind from there. However, I think that what I presented had some bias, I learned that it is hard to present something your passionate about without coming across with an agenda. I also learned even more, from talking with my friend that, sometimes people do not know that they are  ignorant. They don’t realize that they have been misinformed. I also came to the conclusion that I love my friend, and that I would still have loved her even if after our conversation she still had the same ideas as before, even if I hadn’t gotten through to her. Which is something I believe is part of the feminist movement, loving everyone, no matter what differences, to find that solidarity between other women and to care to matter what. 
And Jordana, I think I know a someone who plans on taking the F-Word next fall, my friend is already excited! =)

Love, Amanda

1 comment:

  1. This encounter reminds me of my experience with people for the ethical treatment of animals (PETA) while I was stationed in Virginia. The very minute I told people I worked there, the reaction I received was, I imagine, much in alignment with that of the reaction received when the F-Bomb is dropped, not that one, the Feminism one:-) I built dog houses for animals stuck outside in impoverished areas. Just like Feminism has different intensities in involvement and application, so do all justice seeking organizations. I think it is awesome that you had this dialog with your friend, keep it up! My definition and understanding of this the Feminist movement has been enhanced by this class, and I wish all folks had access to this curriculum and awesome co-learners like I was able to have. Jordana, I think you have a community service obligation to penetrate your curriculum into Yavapai and Embry-Riddle:-) I think we would all love to see that kind of outreach and the impact it may have.

    Thanks for sharing Amanda!