Sunday, December 6, 2009

You should hear this

P.S. don't miss the post below this one about Nick's WICKED AWESOME GIFT OPPORTUNITIES!!!!!

I'd like to recommend this podcast I listened to today.
Its called, "Framing feminism: mass media, social movements, and women's liberation" 20th Anniv. podcast series. Texas A&M University.
You can find it FREE in the ITunes store by searching any of that above language.
Its about an hour long.
The lady giving the talk is a rhetorician, which would normally mean that she studies discursive objects like speeches. A rhetorician would explain the importance of and analyze something like MLK's "I have a dream" speech. The speaker is a little different in that she is interested in the way that radical 2nd wave feminism (as opposed to the liberal 2nd wave, i.e. Betty Friedan) in particular does not engage in things like a singular leader giving a milestone speech. These women are more interested in consciousness building than media exposure (you should wonder if that distinction is necessary).
She describes a particular group of about 150 women storming the 1970 Lady's Home Journal magazine office and holding the [male-as-usual] editor hostage with a list of demands. There's some cool newsreel clips included and analyzed. This podcast would apply to the ongoing CWC discussion of anti-hierarchical organizational strategies, as well as offer a refresher on the history of feminism, particularly the 2nd wave.

ITUNES U RULEZ!!!!!

8 comments:

emily racine said...

First off: Hi Sean! (and CWC!)

Secondly, ITUNES does, indeed, rule - sometimes, when feeling particularly nerdy, I bust out the Dreyfus, which I still mostly don´t understand. Bah.

And thirdly, I am currently downloading the aforementioned recommendation you made. It´s not quite done, but I´m excited about it. I should have perhaps saved Leaving My Comment for AFTER having listened to it. However, I would have forgotten about it by then. (I think teaching HS might cause the early onset of dementia.)

I keep trying to find things for my students that are not only accessible but also relevant. And we are only on Aristotle. I am still trying to find creative ways to make feminism relevant to black and Hispanic males who have grown up in the hood. Mostly this looks like me beating my head against the wall repeatedly and trying to teach the Platonic forms while simultaneously trying to convince teenagers that feminist doesn´t necessitate lesbian, and that even if it did -- so what?

Now that I´ve written that down, I´m not sure of my point other than my excitement about the fact that CWC seems to be thriving and that I <3 ITUNES and continued education. But whatever, it's staying.

Done.

micahblaise said...

Sean, so cool! i can't wait to hear it. i'm going to download it now, in the library, and then listen to it when i feel my brain shutting down in retaliation to all the WASPy early-twentieth-century imperialistic-dude religious theory i have to study for tomorrow's final. oh, sweet respite!

ps, emily, i want to see your blog but the blogspot powers that be won't let me. help?

Sean said...

I'm still scratching the surface of the feminist podcast world, but I bet theres some cool stuff there that might get high schoolers excited.
So far I really like the Bitch Magazine podcast, Bitch Radio. I guess there are some problems recommending something with an expletive in the name to students, but they talk about commercials and tv shows and stuff, i.e. twilight. Its pretty girly though.
An angle for the guys though, I dunno. One thing might be the whole Children's Health/Welfare thing. After they got the vote a lot of the suffragettes shifted gears to that. Bush vetoed the last Children's Health bill I heard about, so its still an active issue, and I think its spearheaded by women still. I dunno what Obama's doing with that lobby.
Really, it seems like women's issues are the issues that apply most directly to "the hood." The discourses on Aids, public health, criminal justice, birth control, the list goes on. Its not a coincidence that Social Workers are ALL WOMEN. And its not just Social Work. At least relative to the totally patriarchal private sector, nonprofit charitable 501c3s and stuff are a women's world from what I can see. I'm not saying theres not still gender inequalities in the public sector, you only have to look as far as the Board of Directors to see that. What I'm saying is that issues for women are in a totally concrete real-world way, issues for the hood.
Its true on the international level too. Microfinance could revolutionize the way India is developing economically. They're doing it in Congo too. And microfinance loans are primarily given to groups of women. (microfinance is giving loans of like less than $100 to poor women to weave garments or grow cabbage or something) But the government banks there are fighting it.
And I mean, here we've traditionally associated Aids with gay men in some ways, but Human Rights groups now are really pushing that its about female condoms, microbicide creams, and giving micro-subsidies to *women* who take care of children orphaned by aids.
I mean, but noone is working with you on this stuff, its not like they learn anything in geography or social studies about why the future of the third world is dependent on empowering women because they don't even teach anything about the third world to begin with. And on domestic issues, you wouldn't even know what social worker was with a high school education. Maybe you'd think it was DSS dudes coming to take your kids away or something. AAAGGGHHHHHH

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emily racine said...

What I really struggle with is starting points. Yes, these points that you mentioned are all things that I want my students to see and not just see but also care deeply about - enough to do things about them, but it is difficult.
When I was given the great fortune of teaching a philosophy class, my original vision of the class was something like this: "Students, this is the 'canon.' And this is how you have not only been systematically left out of the canon but also royally fucked by said canon. Now, where do we go from here? What does this mean for you, for Watts, for greater L.A., for California, for this country, for this world, et al."
I am finding it surprisingly difficult to convince my students of the profound fucked up ness of their predicament. They are so used to seeing their marginalized situation and all of the implications, consequences, whatevers of that situation - the one of growing up in the inner city, hood, whatever euphemism you may want to use for the ghetto where (mostly) only black and immigrant families live - (negative shit like drug dealers and users and gangbangers ad infinitum) through the lens of the dominant culture via mainstream movies/media/music like Twilight or The Hangover that I think they see their situation or predicament and mistake it for their identity thus fomenting rage which seems to be directed towards their own people, women, neighbors. (One example of this misdirected rage: two years ago there was a 600 student "race riot" at my school. The media dubbed it black on brown; the students just saw it as two gangs, who were insignificantly black and brown respectively and distinctively.)
There are so many setbacks. I remember starting last year and learning that something like 80 percent of the students at Locke test below basic proficient in English and that over 90 percent test below in Math. (Forgive me for now for my forgetting of the exact figures.) 45 percent of my students are in foster care. The fixing of shitty public education -- well, for me, involves a digging up of 10 years of poor education in this shitty public education system and then a process of remediation. So many of my kids have lived under the impression that they are not capable of what white students or affluent minorities are capable of - that is reading, writing, thinking, BEING PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. In California projections for prison construction is based on 3rd grade literacy levels, AND YET you cannot keep a student back in Los Angeles Unified School District. A student will keep being pushed through 3rd, 4th, 5th grades until he or she fails to graduate. Students in these schools with this color of skin or without the proper papers or skill in their second language are being socially tracked to the prisons that were projected for construction to serve as their houses when they were in the 3rd grade.

emily racine said...

(cont'd - apparently there is a character limit!)

AGHHHHHH, indeed. It is difficult, but it is not impossible. Some kids see it. Some kids sleep through it.

Women's issues do apply very directly to the hood. And my female students really relate to these ideas and are flowering and asking questions that sometimes floor me. My male students struggle with the roles of men more so than my girls do. I think this has a lot to do with the abstract image they see of the black male portrayed by the dominant culture. Original Gangsta. Abandoning father. Imprisoned. Angry. What are they supposed to do with that? Especially when we have Obama (positive black male figure?) giving a Father's Day speech charging black men to be good fathers and stay with their families without speaking of the blame that American institutions have in putting black men in those positions. And what is my place as a white woman in showing them that that image is not their fault and it is not their identity, that it is something that has been put on them and they need not self loathe nor loathe their fathers or mothers brothers or sisters??? How do I help them to rethink gender roles without threatening their humanity?

I have a lot of thinking to do in this tiny week I have left before break is over and school resumes.

Sean said...

I listened to another really great lecture today that zeroes in even better on this thread.
It's called "When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: My Life as a Hip-Hop Feminist" and its a talk given by Joan Morgan. She wrote a book called that. Its all about dealing with these abstract images of black femininity, and ways to reclaim them without abandoning what I would call one's facticity.
Theres a video version you should probably watch instead. Morgan is awesome to watch, really funny. Its on ITunes U, free, hour long.
One thing she goes into is how its problematic to say a feminist solution to the misogyny in hip-hop is just to take the sex out of hip-hop. Instead she talks about empowering black women with an abstract self-image that includes sexuality and eroticism, but in a healthy way.
Also, they talk about that show, "Flavor of Love" and at some point a questioner refers to Oprah as a "postmodern Mammie."
One thing to think about if you watch this, is something I heard about in another lecture, where there's this feminist group pushing for hip-hop artists to sign a pledge that video chix (semi-nude women dancing/grinding in hip-hop videos) must have at least 2 years of college to be eligible to perform in a video. She doesn't talk about this, but its interesting to think about how feminist critique can apply to policy decisions in the entertainment industry.