sunflowerp: (Default)
[personal profile] sunflowerp
It occurred to me, after the TIWAFFL intro post, that I really hadn't done as much feminist reading as I should, and there were too many ideas floating around that I didn't know enough about if I wanted to post about them intelligently.

In the (still ongoing, probably lifelong) process of rectifying my ignorance, I discovered that I'd been correct; I didn't know (enough about) what I was talking about.  Oh, I could talk about my ideas as a feminist, but I wouldn't be able to put them in context of feminism, except in a very general way.

The other effect of poking about was Too Much Stuff.  All sorts of thought-provokery, and the thoughts it had provoked, interconnected and overlapping, complex chains of memetic DNA.  One of my obstacles in writing has long been that I'm very conscious of connections; fields of study don't exist in neat vacuum-sealed compartments, but run into each other, bite each other's tails, step on each other's heels, and fall into each other's beds in massive polysexual orgies.  (Just wait until I get my thought-flow organized enough to talk about how the "scarcity" and "abundance" economic models can be applied to feminist-related issues!)

The thought-flow is becoming more organized, but something has to give as far as writing about it is concerned; I think that "something" is (some of the) structure.  I like my "major" posts to be essay-like, albeit conversational and informal, and usually do a first handwritten draft to make sure a post is reasonably on-topic, moves naturally from one idea to the next, and gives at least a nod to the intro-body-conclusion pattern.  Those drafts aren't happening; I start, and next thing I know my mind has pursued six different connections in different directions.  So I think the thing to do is grab an idea and type, and let the part of my brain that manages structural stuff on the fly (as, for example, spoken conversation) maintain organization as best it can.  (It appears to work fairly well so far - evidently, I'm accustomed to using the act of typing as a focal aid.)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-03-20 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 3treekisser.livejournal.com
+++Just wait until I get my thought-flow organized enough to talk about how the "scarcity" and "abundance" economic models can be applied to feminist-related issues!+++

Hurry! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2008-03-20 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolfychan.livejournal.com
I've read just enough feminist writing to know that I can't actually understand at least 50% of the stuff, because it's at a level and in a jargon that I can't read. A lot of it is... um... not very concrete.

But I'm pretty sure you don't have to understand all of feminism to identify as a feminist. It's such a fractitious field that the word itself barely tells people anything about your beliefs anyway; the term's been used so many ways that when you use it for yourself you can pretty much self-define what it means to you.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-03-24 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi Sunflower,

If you do want to go beyond the online realm, I'd suggest starting with a book or two that interests *you* (not necessarily something you think is "canonical") and pick something that's not too laden with jargon. If you've got access to a good university bookstore, you might even think about picking up a used copy of an intro to women's studies textbook. (You'd want to be able to browse through it first - and they're usually over $50 new.)

There definitely is some utility to not relying wholly on online resources, because much of the online stuff is more confrontational, and I see you as someone who appreciates a more subtle argument.

That said, there's a real danger in thinking you need to immerse yourself too deeply before you begin writing. By now the feminist literature is so large, you might dive in and never get around to writing about it. :-) One strategy is to pick a subtopic: history of feminism, French feminisms (well, that's pretty hefty theoretical stuff), 1970s American feminisms, 3rd wave, black or Latina approaches, etc. - and explore from there. Or you could pick a topical field within feminism and women's studies, which I frankly find more satisfying: motherhood, sexuality, body image, work, etc.

Happy reading! I'll look forward to your next installment.

Oops!

Date: 2008-03-31 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm sorry - it's me, Sungold. I need to figure out this OpenID business, I suppose.

I totally agree that feminism is a practice. The field of study is women's and gender studies, which deals with the history and current sociology of feminism as part of its subject, and which uses insights/standpoints from feminism to frame its scholarship. Actually, for some people, even that nomenclature is contentious - some still argue that adding "gender" de-centers women and depoliticizes the enterprise. I don't agree; I think that the category of gender offers a chance for deeper, and thus more radical, analysis.

I complete agree, too, about incivility being the problem. I love a good, respectful argument. This past quarter, I had politically active, conservative women in each of my classes, and because they were smart and respectful, we got along great. I am hoping they'll grow up to replace Ann Coulter.

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