Sunday, November 15, 2009

"There will never be a new world order until women are a part of it." ---Alice Paul

My family keeps hearing about blogs. They think its really great and all, you know, people saying stuff and other people reading it. I don't know. It feels like a bunch of hooey unless you're actually saying something interesting, you know? So I'll try to say interesting things. Mostly I want to be informative. I'm not really interested in your dumb lives (whoever is reading this, no offense) so I'm guessing you're not interested in mine. 

But I do feel like not enough people know about cool things that are interesting. So maybe if I make this blog, people will be interested by what interests me.

So, my first business here will be feminism. This last week, I've been up to my ears in feminism. First of all, in AP US History II, my class has been on the Progressive Era, learning about reforms. One reform being the Women's Movement, which ended up succeeding by acquiring women the right to vote in 1920. Nineteenth Amendment, as we all know. (Or at least I hope we all know this) Secondly, in AP English, we had to read "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen, which is considered the first feminist play. And you may say, "But he's a man!" Well, yeah, that's what I said too. But apparently he likes women a whole lot more than regular old straight men.

Anyways, I ended up learning a lot of really interesting shit.

And Alice Paul is now my new idol. She was amazing. In fact, the essay I wrote on her for History was according to good ol' Mr. Halloway "the best essay you've ever written".  But I only got a 90 because I forgot the goshdamn Works Cited page. Oh Well. Most of the information I got was from a book called "Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists" by Jean H. Baker. It was really interesting. I actually did a project last year on Elizabeth Cady Stanton too. I'm more of a fan of the radical ones, as anyone who knows anything about suffragettes would be able to see by now.

Alice Paul endured terrible conditions in jail thanks to that stupid guy they called President Wilson and was actually force fed in a torturous fashion by way of jamming a tube down her throat. She was Wilson's own personal pain in the ass, leading her fellow radical suffragettes in standing outside the White House and protesting for years, even during the war, which was what got her arrested. Oh, sorry, I meant she was arrested for "disrupting traffic". I mean, how much traffic could they really have back then anyways?

She's really an inspiration. She gets shit done. For something like sixty years, no progress was made for the women's movement in America since its conception in 1848. Then, Alice Paul and her radical chika friends come on the scene and suddenly everyone's paying attention.

On the subject of "A Doll's House":

I wasn't such a fan of the actual book. But the point it made was pretty pristine and clear, and I sort of liked the end. I happen to think that most plays shouldn't be just straight up read. I think they should be seen. There's something really annoying about reading the speaker's name over and over again. The main character was kind of bratty and self-absorbed, but in general, her end decision to leave her stupid husband was pretty cool.

Defining quote of the book:

{husband is questioning what is more important than her duty to her children and her husband}
"My duty to myself."

I liked this book a whole lot less until I was in Physics and the subject of "A Doll's House" came up. I was surrounded by boys. And they were all saying things along the lines of "She was a stupid bitch" and "She should have just stayed in the kitchen and made her husband a sandwhich." Yeah, not even kidding. So every girl in the room starts defending the heroine Nora and I suddenly felt a lot better about the book. Even though I know they were kidding (kind of) it makes me wonder how much things have really changed. Do men respect women because they have to and its politically and socially respectable to? I mean in a general sense. I know there will always be bad guys and good guys on either side of the spectrum. But you know, it makes you wonder.

Ah well, I'm pretty sure I won't be burning my bra anytime soon. But I just wanted to chalk it up to the people who took a stand when it wasn't cool to be a feminist.

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