I’m headed back to class tonight.
Last week I didn’t blog about class at all because I was too discouraged. So many of the women in my class are completely missing the point, underestimating the importance of feminism and a fight for women’s rights in this world. One girl even went so far as to clearly and succinctly state that she believes women should never be in position of leadership because we are not biologically prepared to handle that kind of power or responsibility. We were created second, she said, to be helpers to the men who should be leading. (I threw up a little in my mouth at that point.)
I don’t actually know what to think about this class anymore. I find the subject matter interesting and worth discussing. The assigned texts are full of valuable and enlightening information, and are really causing me to look at the world in a new light. Most of the young women in this class, however, are unable to take the discussion out of the literal and translate it into the universal. They are unable to talk about the topics at hand without bringing the discussion back around to personal experience. I know personal experience is a valuable tool in learning and constructive discussion of concepts, but that’s all these students are able to do. They seem to be incapable of looking at the larger world perspective.
There’s also a tinge of homophobia in the classroom – anytime the word “lesbian” comes up, the other students react visibly, and usually with some form of distaste. I understand they’re all quite young, and most of them have never met a real, live lesbian before – but it’s more than a little discouraging.
I have the opportunity to out myself in class tonight, and I’m not sure if I want to do that. Our first assignment was to write a creative autobiography: choose a social issue and talk about my life in the context of that issue. I wrote an essay called “Treading a Femme Line,” which basically talks about the concept of femme invisibility in both the queer and straight communities. I know there will be the option of presenting our essays to the class, and I don’t yet know how I feel about it.
Mostly I just feel discouraged, though.