Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Yes, I'm a Feminist

Hi guys! I just wanted to update this little corner of my blog: musings. Musings are the heart of any blog and I was given a little food for thought. I've really wanted to cover this for a while but there was never a right moment, a right jolt of inspiration. Now it nears 11 pm and I'm sitting in pink pj pants (gasp! not yoga pants!! those are in the wash :/ it's not really Tuesday either but . . . musings don't wait), listening to some Maroon 5 and I just needed to write this right now. I was talking to my boyfriend (it feels weird. really weird.) casually about the bank situation... (yeah... this is our relationship xD) There are two things that get me riled up and they are banks and feminism.

I became absolutely enamored with the bank situation this year (very recently..) and then there's feminism. I think I became like this in the middle of sophomore year. I had a very pro feminism teacher for European History. Everyone makes fun of that all the time. "Oh she won't mind if you blah blah do something terrible blah blah if you put in a good word about women!" She may be a little crazy about women's history but you know, she's the only woman (out of 3 so it's not that bad...) teaching European History who actually covers the things women did in detail. In junior year, I watched a great documentary called Miss Representation and listened to one of the people who worked on the project at a journalism convention. Since those moments, I've just been noticing how media, people, I treat women. The little things are the worst. This rant could be divided into so many parts but I'll spare you that for now.

I do this annoying thing once in a while where I just send him blurbs of something remarkable a woman did. This time it was about women in film. Here is a great article I read that made me go hmmm and I feel like when one person goes hmm there is great potential behind that. It's dated from one year ago but I don't think much has changed. Check it out!! http://www.thegrindstone.com/2012/09/18/office-politics/women-creating-more-tv-shows-157/
But enjoy my take of feminism and why I choose to be a feminist.
So where was I? Ah, I was talking about my annoying little habit. Well I also happen to be a fan of Adventure Time. One of the writers for Adventure Time, Rebecca Sugar, went on to create her own show called Steven Universe. I haven't been that into TV so I'm not caught up on Adventure Time and I haven't watched Steven Universe yet but reviews are pretty good. I just sent some blurbs to my boyfriend about her and how she's the FIRST woman to create her own show on Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network has been around since 1992.

He was saying how it's impressive but it's not more impressive than a man doing the same thing. Now don't get me wrong. My boyfriend is really open minded. I've realized there are also two types of people in this world (I make it sound really dramatic, well the big 2 at least): the people who believe that women are already equal (S falls into this category) and the people who believe women aren't deserving of the same rewards men have (being CEOs, being physicists, creating their own shows on CN). Although people who believe that equality is already reached are the future, society isn't at that place yet. It's not helpful for furthering the cause if achievements as pioneers aren't highlighted.

 My parents who only have one daughter always push me to do things and challenge myself without stopping to consider whether it's okay for a girl to do that. A lot of my friends want to go into the science field (which is great! I'm in awe of them) but my parents were both saying how women have a better job to do besides hard sciences. That's the type of attitude that holds women back from achieving great things. How many more women would go into science or animation if they were encouraged from an early age to see that as a valuable career to pursue? Anyways, S and I also both debaters and stubborn. We argued about this for about thirty minutes, whether it's worthy of attention when Rebecca Sugar does the same thing as Pendleton Ward.

We were also discussing the validity of the claim that Cartoon Network and other similar tv networks are based solely on merit. So are women just inherently worse at animation and writing? I don't think that's the cause.

I wish we lived in a world where it's weird for me to be highlighting something someone did just because of their gender (and plus I love Rebecca Sugar). I wish women and men had equal opportunities and everything really did revolve around merit. I don't think the reason that Rebecca Sugar is the first women to create her own show is because Rebecca Sugar is so much better of a writer and animator than other women. There is a huge issue when she is the first. The world is not equal enough for evaluation based solely on merit. It's like running a 10 mile racing with a handicapped person. Let's say the handicapped person finished at the same time as you. Shouldn't that be taken into consideration? The film business in particular is a place where women are handicapped. It's just a fact. They are faced with preconceived notions that men are funnier, men are better at managing a team, women bring in weird perspectives, etc. If you read that article, there are some astounding statistics about how many women are in the television showbiz as writers.

Women foster new creativity and perspectives into the workplace, companies, and television. So it's in everyone's best interest that there are more women working to make a difference.

Along the discussion, he was asking why women should be evaluated differently when the skills and outcome are the same (hypothetically). I was about to type the fact that women SHOULD be put on a different scale until I realized that was exactly the attitude I was against. I don't think women should be rewarded more solely based on the fact of gender. It sounds a bit contradictory but let me try to explain. I don't want to be treated better, to have brownie points because I'm a girl. I want to be evaluated on the same caliber as any guy: to have my work considered without it being a big deal that I'm a girl. But in order to do that, the environment must accommodate. The situations and pressures felt must be similar.

I can't help but admire the women who pioneer a new path for other women to take. Yes, they are doing the same thing and one day I really hope that equality is achieved. Feminists are not saying women are better than men. I don't say that because I don't believe that. That's where a lot of confusion regarding what feminism is and I believe that feminism is just the search for equality. It's not saying that one gender is better than another.



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