If only Baz Luhrmann directed my life.
Stephanie Irene. KC girl. Feisty. Feminist. Neurotic. Atheist. Passionate. CATS!
Being here is just giving me all sorts of feels, and I’ve just got to get them out.
I’m sort of having this self-doubt of my identity as a feminist. My entire life, I’ve been special for being a girl. Instead of gathering my pride and self-worth form just being smart or just being ballsy or whatever, I upped the ante and figured myself extra because I was who I am, but on top of all that, I was a girl. And it didn’t really matter that I had never really suffered adversity due to my gender; I perceived it where it probably didn’t actually exist. Sure, when people met me in a completely non-academic setting when I was just goofing off, they took me for a bimbo. Sure, I suffered through the loneliness that may or may not have been because I ‘intimidated boys.’ But in all reality, my life hasn’t been much changed by my gender.
But regardless, I went through the past few years of my life feeling a little ‘holier than thou’ toward other women. Of course I had female role models and was always utterly supportive of the feats of my mom, sister, Elizabeth, and the girls close to me, and better yet those very far away and not even slightly threatening. But I’ve always had this sort of deep seeded resentment toward other girls that could do what I could do. Or did it better. Or had what I wanted. After Jessica Ahlquist recieved national attention from the skeptics community and media as a whole, I secretly wished that my school would have been dumb enough to hang a prayer banner, because there was no reason I couldn’t be her. I could have fought in the face of hatred and threats for a rightful cause. I could have had those balls. So I hated her, for being lucky enough to get her opportunity, instead of affording her any credit for her courage or cleverness.
And now, at university, I’m in an environment where women are the more impressive ones. Statistically, women far succeed their male counterparts in the classroom setting. We get better grades, better test scores, develop stronger bonds with important contacts. And am I happy about this progress? Not really. It means my success is less special. And I’ve been trying this new sort of mantra for the past while about how other people’s success/happiness/experiences/whathaveyou do not in fact take anything away from you. So I should celebrate other’s joy instead of feeling cheated or jealous.
And now I’m reading Lean In, and with every page I feel more and more enraged to sit and the table, make my presence known, and kick some ass and take some names. Because we don’t have equality yet. All that university success doesn’t translate into the workplace. It doesn’t extend beyond age 25 or so. It doesn’t transcend family and relationships. So I feel even more compelled to fight against this injustice. And I should bless every single triumph by a woman. But instead it makes me feel less. Because how can I be the super-special, impressive, all powerful women with everything I could possibly want if other women get there first? I have to remind myself not to hate Alanna because she’s also pre-med and applying for almost all the same things as me. I know it’s wildly irrational. I know it’s not founded in reality. But I continue to see other women as threats; I’d be much more comfortable if they all just batted their eyelashes and found husbands. Leave the way paving to me.
So I’m working on this. I’m trying to put my own life in perspective. Tying to be grateful for the other women that stand beside me.
And then on top of that. I have a new, constant internal nagging to do like 6 zillion things. Because I just want to have it all. I have this perfect image of myself. Well traveled through study abroad, yachting, backpacking and whatever else the wind brings me. Applying for tons and tons more scholarships. Deciding that this is the last year I take out student loans. Becoming a medical scribe. Working at the national merit office. Getting the Freshman research fellowship I want. Doing all sorts of internships and apprenticeships. Winning all the awards. Having my photo among the other international scholars who I look at every single day as I walk through my building. Being adventurous and going to Paris for the summer after just two dates with a distant relative of Toulouse-Lautrec. Any adventure. Every chance. Finding passion and great love in all that I do. Having my family always. Political awareness. Fluency in French. Cooking. Making every sort of great friend. No regrets.
And I think about it all and it spirals. It gets out of control. I have to cut myself off from adding more to the list because I get so exhausted all I can bring myself to do is read game of thrones and hide in my room. Which accomplishes not a single thing on my list. And it’s just a mess. And I make checklists and that end up ignored as opportunities pass by because I’m a frozen deer in headlights and my future rushes toward me.
So needless to say, I have a lot of internal reflection and maintenance to do.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Good god. I have never seen a more succinct description of the root of all feminist problems.
Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton
Great speech by Hilary Clinton. We also need to keep in mind that while we are calling for America to “set an example” this must not, and can not translate into “Americans telling women in other countries how to fight for their own rights” and keep this as a focus on analyzing what is going on in America, and even how America exports damaging and exotifying images & beliefs about other women all over the world. We can set an example by handling our business in house while still aknowledging our complicity in the subjagation of the “exotic other” overseas that we do on a daily basis.