Over the course of the semester, I’ve learned a lot about what it means (what it takes) to be a woman in this corporate capitalist patriarchal society. More importantly, I’ve become conscious of my role as a traditional woman of color within a feminism framework. I grew up in a culture that doesn’t value women, a culture that will rather have boys over girls, and one that operates to maintain inequalities against women. In taking this class, I began to see parallels between how women are treated in mainstream America and in my culture and it made me realize how far behind my culture is in creating gender equalities --- how much more my culture have to work in order for men and women to be treated equally, if that will ever happen. This class provided me with the terminology to talk about patriarchy and it has helped me rethink my position as a woman in my culture. It has empowered me to think about possibilities that my culture would have otherwise pushed under the carpet as a way of silencing me and other women.
In addition to positionality, I’ve also become more aware of the power that the media have in generating information and selling ideas. I feel like there is really no other way to make the class understand issues concerning race, class, and sexuality if we don’t resort to the media. The media filtered a lot of these ideas that are consume by people who because they don’t have the privilege of an education, don’t understand (or are not made aware) of the fact that these images/ideas are wrong. As as result, these are important issues that we don’t think about because our society consumes so much of our time and feed us with ideas that have been somewhat “normalize.” When a little girl sees a thin beautiful model on television, she’s going to embrace the idea that being thin means being beautiful. When a man watches porn and see a woman begging to be f***., he’s going to think all women wants it. In taking this class, I began to be critical of images that I see everyday in the media and have challenged myself to look at these images from different perspectives.
Not only were the media tools in the class a great way to shed light on theory and practice, the guest speakers were also a great way to expose the class to inspriing people who work to resist by pushing for gender and race equalities. Maria Isa was inspiring to me because she is young yet already has accomplished so much in her life. In addition, it was also good to see young women of color resisting against their traditional cultural values to fight for what they believe in.
Most men think that “feminists” are a bunch of extreme angry women. In that case, maybe I am a feminist. After taking the class and learning that things I thought were “normal” really isn’t, I get easily offended when I see distorted images of women in the media and get angry when my male friends converse with me in ways that suggested they knew more than me simply because I was a woman. This is how one of my male friend attempt to silence me. He cautioned, “You’re thinking too much, don’t become an extreme feminist.” This just made me realize how easily our system of oppression against women can be easily maintain and perpetuated. Not only do women have men telling them everyday about how they should or shouldn't do, they are also feed with images and ideas from the media depicting how they should act and behave. As a result, most women live not knowing how to express their fustration for being treated unfairly or how to resist against structural system of inequalities.
This class, however, made me aware of these issues of inequalities and empower me to think about ways I can resist agasint it. I'm thankful for this class and for the way that this class was taught because it challenged me to think about issues that concerned my everyday life and has made me more aware of my role as a woman.