Feminism isfor everyone.
a celebration of feminism at UVA.
Jan 31, 2011,2:11 PM
FIFE has officially made the switch to tumblr! Follow us at feminismis4everyone.tumblr.com
Jan 3, 2011,1:46 PM
gotta love toothpaste for dinner comics.
Dec 16, 2010,11:35 PM
I am always surprised, looking down at my favorite shoes, at their vibrancy after all these years. In spite of the flaking flesh of the soles and one slight discoloration on the right toe, the pink canvas appears to be in impeccable condition, unimpressed by the usual afflictions of wear and tear. My shoes conceal imperfect, squarish little feet with calluses and long toenails. I wonder, walking down the sidewalk, past brick buildings reminiscent of antique splendor, past flawless green lawns, whether the other girls at this school have toenails. I mean, certainly they must, but as they pass—the slender topaz of a girl paddling her fingers through luxurious black rivers of hair; the perky humility of small, firm, athletic breasts cresting, luminous with sweat, over the runner’s confident white tank top; the clean, loose fabric of sundresses gliding over creamy curves and draping quite purposefully across the jewel-shaped silhouettes of thighs—I cannot imagine that there is anything imperfect about them as there is about me.
In some ways, though, I know we’re the same. They’re having the same dilemma I often do, this tendency to try to impress some vague, haunting, age-old and faintly male presence of judgment. They seem unable to identify the reason why they devote incalculable amounts of their time to their physical appearance, spend hours in doubtful tears that they are attractive enough to satisfy this—this—what is this, anyway? This bitter, lingering hint of criticism in the air. A musky and mildewed scent of what is expected of us, a half-imagined residue left behind from centuries of coercion, a passing thought that we exist for the pleasure of other human beings and not for the joy of being ourselves. We are running so hard for an invisible prize that we can’t see our fellow women as anything but rivals in the race. It is as though we’re unwilling to abandon the safety net of our obsession with appearances, the cradle that lulls us into sleepy inaction, into a chronic and dangerous sense of being securely acceptable and good enough for our society.
So few voices have come to tell us that we weren’t created solely to be the assistant, the helpmeet, the afterthought of masculinity. So few have reminded us that our existence does not depend on the amount of beauty we can exude to attract others to us or the amount of loveliness we can possess to keep them there. Most importantly, I think, no one is around to explain to us that we were made in the divine image too, the image of intelligence and justice and benevolence and creativity and mercy and passion and truth and love—words that go beyond pretty faces and all of our trying so hard, that go beyond this collective, subconscious lie we have bought into about our identity on Earth and who we were created to become. I don’t know why we haven’t shed our skins yet, haven’t put away this lie for good and recognized ourselves not just as women or girls but as complete and full human beings exactly the way we are. Maybe we, the general female population, will always be like this: always needing to please, competing for an imagined crown in a pageant none of us will ever win. We are our own greatest adversary for the singular fact that we have believed in our own subordination. We’ve mastered the art of appearances, patching the tears and smoothing the wrinkles and blotting the blemishes and squeezing into the standards left behind by our mothers and their mothers and their mothers before them. We’ve been taught to pretend we enjoy the expectations of us that begin the moment the doctor says, “It’s a girl”—the assumption that she must be either extraordinarily beautiful or incredibly talented to be anything at all. I think that somehow we can each see a bit of ourselves in the external vivacity and the internal deterioration of my little pink shoes.
But I’d also like to think that there is healing power in dropping out of the competition—in stopping short halfway through the race, bewildered by the thrill of a vague, but resolute epiphany—in taking a long, slow, meditative breath and turning around to embrace self-love instead.
-Alys Matthews, UVA 2011
Dec 10, 2010,2:21 PM
"If human endeavors are like a pyramid with man's highest achievements at the top, then keeping oneself alive is at the bottom. Men have always had servants (you) to take care of this bottom stratum of life while he has confined his efforts to the rarified upper regions. It is thus ironic when they ask of women: 'Where are your great painters, statesmen, etc.?' Mrs. Matisse ran a millinery shop so he could paint. Mrs. Martin Luther King kept his house and raised his babies."
-Pat Mainardi, The Politics of Housework
Dec 7, 2010,7:05 PM
feminism + internet memes = awesome.
Nov 21, 2010,10:03 PM
Nov 17, 2010,10:40 AM
the "F" word and the "L" word.
Nora's presentation on radical feminism last night was the bomb. I had to blog this quote from "The Woman-Identified Woman" by Radicalesbians because I think it perfectly describes this recent phenomenon of women fearing the label of "feminist" like the plague in order to avoid also being labeled as a lesbian. Homophobia has become just another tool that the patriarchy uses to keep women in their place.
"Lesbian is the word, the label, the condition that holds women in line. When a woman hears this word tossed her way, she knows she is stepping out of line...For in this sexist society, for a woman to be independent means she can't be a woman-- she must be a dyke."
10 previous postsWe've moved! ★ N.O.M. ★ Dropout ★ well said. ★ feminism + internet memes = awesome. ★ ★ the "F" word and the "L" word. ★ Levy vs. Colbert ★ this is what I want our dessert parties to be like... ★ the top ten fictional feminist icons of all time ★
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