Pam Oliver, a professor in the UW-Madison...
When we assume that boys won’t read books with girls on the cover, and then institutionalize that assumption by leaving the “girlie” books out of...”
My boyfriend got a Tumblr recently. Two reasons why he is my perfect person:
1. He has concluded that Tumblr is nothing but cats, social justice issues and naked men, and he’s fucking delighted.
2. The same day he started Tumblr, he deleted his Facebook because it sucked too much of his time away. Oh, honey.
When we assume that boys won’t read books with girls on the cover, and then institutionalize that assumption by leaving the “girlie” books out of award nominations (as well as school wide reads, story times, etc.), we insult them. By suggesting that on the whole our boys have a limited capacity for empathy, an inability to imagine a world beyond their own most obvious understanding, and an unwillingness to stretch.
In the same stroke, we neglect our girls. Not because they can’t read “boy books” (they do and will). But because when they see those awards, they also learn something —to accept a world in which they are rarely the central players. They learn, at a formative age, that the “best” books are the ones about boys.
It’s a problem. And when we play into it, when we accept it as THE TRUTH, we’re reaching for the simplest solution, not the best one. Because the best solution would require us to push against the gender bias in the world, and in ourselves. It’s easier to say, “Boys naturally gravitate to these things, and we want them to read, don’t we?” - Laurel Snyder
The contrarian in me always wants to respond to “how can you be moral without God?” with “I’ve been asked that question so many times that I want to punch you for asking it, AND YET I DON’T.”
But I don’t want to be seen as hostile or threatening, so I just stare or, if I’m in the mood, put on my sociologist hat and go to town.
Silly questions I’ve been asked as an atheist:
People on Facebook talking about how atheists are all angry at God. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. This reminds me of the time I let an entire classroom “Ask an Atheist” at me as an exercise in interviewing people unlike yourself (sociology, though many students were social work or criminal justice for this class). I got this question in multiple forms, as well as “Do you worship Satan?” So many facepalms. SO MANY.
The feminist movement is generally periodized into the so-called first, second and third waves of feminism. In the United States, the first wave is characterized by the suffragette movement; the second wave is characterized by the formation of the National Organization for Women, abortion rights politics, and the fight for the Equal Rights Amendments. Suddenly, during the third wave of feminism, women of colour make an appearance to transform feminism into a multicultural movement.
This periodization situates white middle-class women as the central historical agents to which women of colour attach themselves. However, if we were to recognize the agency of indigenous women in an account of feminist history, we might begin with 1492 when Native women collectively resisted colonization. This would allow us to see that there are multiple feminist histories emerging from multiple communities of colour which intersect at points and diverge in others. This would not negate the contributions made by white feminists, but would de-center them from our historicizing and analysis.
Indigenous feminism thus centers anti-colonial practice within its organizing. This is critical today when you have mainstream feminist groups supporting, for example, the US bombing of Afghanistan with the claim that this bombing will free women from the Taliban (apparently bombing women somehow liberates them).