ambersweet: Ramona with hammer (Ramona - banhammer)
Also because I don't have an angry feminist icon, for some reason.

Tonight I'm taking a break from the brain-intensive beer gloves and casting on the Gryffindor Argyle State University scarf, now that I've found a proper gold yarn. It's double-knitting and colorwork, two things I've not done before, plus it's a pattern I thought was cool, so I'm kind of excited by it.

This evening's Women as Healers class involved talking about the mpreg story I wrote my paper on. The story in question is a "in the near future" feminist science fiction piece in which there exists the technology to remove a woman's uterus, place it in an artificial pouch, and connect it to someone else via a conduit implanted in the navel. It's a semi-surrogacy situation, without the legal messiness, because the uterus and eggs don't belong to the host and obviously aren't actually inside her. The sidebar has marketing materials, newspaper articles, and excerpts from a scholarly paper all using a rhetoric of pregnancy as a messy, dirty burden that the "busy professional woman" can escape from by having a poor woman of color someone else to do the work for her. In fact, the host who is interviewed is a woman (from El Salvador, I believe) who wanted more children but had to be sterilized in order to keep her green card, and so this is the closest she can get to actual pregnancy. The "main" part of the story is a man, a scientist, who takes his wife's uterus in order to have a son after the illness and death of their daughter. The wife, incidentally, isn't interested in having another child, and I got the impression that she gave up her uterus because she was tired of arguing with him about it, but Howard convinces himself that there will be a Magical Point at which she will become interested in the baby and then all will be well.

Most of our discussion was focused on the reversal of gender roles, and the way that Howard (and his privilege) processes pregnancy and others' reactions to it, using simultaneously the Mansplanation "I, a man have experienced this thing, so now it is valid" approach (did you know that morning sickness was not something in our heads, ladies? it's REAL! because Man Howard has experienced it!) and the rhetoric of "I am special! because I are a PIONEER! and if you discriminate against me it must be because I am a MAN HAVING A BABY and that makes YOU uncomfortable!" Also I understand racial oppression because my ancestors are Irish. (Yes, Howard seriously reminds me of Privilege Denying Dude. Google it, it will make your morning.)

Speaking of Privilege Denying Dude, I have a particular classmate (Poli Sci major, Women's Studies Minor) who is gay and Asian, and acts like no one in the world could possibly be more oppressed/stereotyped/racialized than him. He's loudmouthed in a particularly obnoxious way, and several members of the class (including me) get into arguments with him virtually every week because of it. Tonight's Privilege Demonstration was regarding Man Howard's attitude toward parental leave (which he turned into an argument about how it was DISCRIMINATION, REALLY, and if he were adopting a child and he got discriminated against, he would throw a fit. Which, I actually had to turn to a human being in real life, face-to-face discourse, and say, "It's not about you. Stop making it about you."

One of my classmates, a fellow knitter who's usually a little more aware than this, opined that she didn't understand why Dorothy (the wife) and Rosa (the sidebar host) were getting so much sympathy, because they both CHOSE to do these things. (Obviously she's never been in a relationship where it was easier to give in than to argue, even if you really didn't want to do something, because your partner was so gung-ho about it they weren't hearing you when you said no.) The professor pointed out that criticizing Rosa was operating from a position of white privilege, because framing her decision to be sterilized to keep her green card as a choice was problematic. (She did concede the point after I re-emphasized that Rosa wanted more children but chose sterilization rather than deportation; obviously returning to her home country was something she desperately didn't want.) So Privilege Denying Classmate stands up for her against the professor, saying that Knitting Classmate can't be experiencing privilege because she's a lesbian, and her oppressed state as a lesbian basically outranks her privileged state as a white person. I could not possibly be making this up. And then, not ten minutes later, he gets into an argument with another classmate about how she shouldn't treat intersectional oppression like a hierarchy. Because it's only valid when he does it, obviously.

He wasn't in class last week. It was so nice and quiet and civilized.

On the other hand, tag-team jumping him for being wrong is kind of fun.
ambersweet: (Default)
Mostly because I came home from work, lay down for a few minutes, picked [personal profile] finch up from work, lay back down, and woke up at 9:00 this morning. Some days the 3 hours of sleep thing works fine; other days, it doesn't.

In good news, I got my paper finished. Yesterday at my internship was a "hurry up and wait" day, so I re-read the entirety of Ethan of Athos and was thus able to include it in my paper. (If you erase women from your world, you suddenly feel the need to count child-rearing as labor. Amazing.) The paper, incidentally, was about mpreg un-gendering pregnancy, as represented in Junior, Ethan of Athos, and "The Man Who Plugged In," and how the intervention of science leads to the erasure of women. Everything leads to the erasure of women, really. That is my degree in a nutshell.

In even better news, my Knit Picks package arrived! It actually got here on Tuesday, but between my schedule and the office hours, I wasn't actually able to get it until this morning. YARN SO BEAUTIFUL. New needle so amazing. I can't wait to get started. Maybe tonight! We shall see.

Okay, that's all for now.

April 2013

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