what does it really mean to be a feminist in 2021?

feminsim _2021

What makes someone a feminist? How have cultural, social, and political standards for being a feminist changed in 2021? What does it mean to be an intersectional feminist after “the age of trump”? And do white feminists count as feminists? I often think about what makes someone a real feminist, when the word “feminist” gets thrown around a lot lately. As cultural and social standards change, maybe we, as feminists, need to raise what we consider to be feminism and push ourselves to advocate for equality that needs to exist in 2021. What comes to mind is the phrase “it’s the twenty-first century” when used in response to an outdated comment. I think I’ve made it more than clear in the last few posts, but the language is extremely important, and so defining such a significant term as “feminist” is just as important. And by reflecting on what it means to be a proactive, productive, and genuine feminist, maybe we will all become better ones.

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lets talk about false equivalences

false equivalence

 

There’s still a lot going on in the world, and a lot of changes occurring in the U.S. specifically, but it feels calmer. In this post, I am going to be addressing false equivalence, what it is, why it matters, and some very important examples of it in recent history. This isn’t a new term, but as we live through examples of false equivalencies and face the effects of past ones, we need to keep it in our minds and discussions. I first heard about it this year, but after learning and reading about the specific, I’ve realized that it’s something we have all noticed but maybe didn’t place a term to. Especially after the comparisons between the BLM protests and the Capitol Riots, people are beginning to call out false equivalences and are starting to recognize more. I have included links and resources throughout for further reading, as well as all of my sources and recommended opinion pieces at the bottom. My past few articles have stayed on the unbiased and informational side, but this post is going to be a little different. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t trustworthy or accurate, but that you should approach this article differently.

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should we use the term “people of color”?

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I recently wrote a post about political correctness. In that post, I discuss how a conversation with my friend caused me to reexamine political correctness and then motivated me to share the conversation surrounding it with all of you! I also mentioned that in this conversation, my friend and I discussed what it meant to be a “woman of color”. I looked it up (as one does during a friendly political discussion) and found more than I was looking for, in the best way possible. And so began my deep dive into articles about what it means to be a “woman of color” and is it inclusive or should we use alternatives. This is a topic that a lot of people think they know about, but maybe don’t know the entire story. And because of that, they don’t know the reasons behind a lot of discontent or support of the phrase, “people of color”. A lot of the issues within this larger conversation arise because rather than try to understand the roots of the phrase or the reasons for discontent, people just want to know – what word do I use. Someone might know that the phrase “African-American” isn’t always the best to use, but they don’t take the time to understand why or why people feel that way. So, in this post, I am going to discuss a lot of things, but primarily the roots of this discussion and where we are now. As always, I have included all my sources and suggestions for further reading at the end of the post. Something I did a little differently in this post, is that I included a lot of direct quotes from articles and individuals because I thought they were too compelling to paraphrase and the strongest as they were. 

 

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is it important to be politically correct?​

pc_2021 (1)

I recently had a very interesting conversation with my friend. Like myself, she is very active in politics and activism, and we have a lot of impromptu discussions, like one that we had recently about being politically correct. It started as a conversation about the representation of women in color, and then I learn that she doesn’t consider herself/ doesn’t know if she is a woman of color, as an Iranian-American. And so, I did a deep dive into what it means to be a woman of color, and the specifics of using that “political language correctly”. Then began our conversation about being politically correct. Is it important? Is it a social construct? Does it make the world more tolerant? Do people care or is it just a part of cancel culture? I’m going, to be honest, I had never thought about this topic in that way. And that’s probably because political correctness is only shown in one light, regardless of what people might think is right or wrong. As I researched and continued this conversation, I kept thinking, “why haven’t I heard of this before” and “why hasn’t anyone (until now) told me about this”. Part of my reason for blogging is sharing topics that might not get shared otherwise. In this post, I am going to do a deep dive into this conversation on political correctness. Rather than “answer” some of those questions I mentioned earlier, I am going to explore the ways to approach them. I also included links (as always) to some further reading and my sources at the end of the post, many of which are interesting. I like to think that all the resources I include in every post are interesting, but these are truly thought-provoking, and many are passionate opinion pieces.

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behind the blog: why I write about politics​

me_2021

As a little bonus post for the week, I am going to be talking about who I am, why I blog, and some general information about this blog. The main two reasons that I decided to write this post are that this little community has grown a lot in recent months and it’s the beginning-ish of the year, which I think is the perfect time to reflect on what got this blog to where it is now and where it is going! I already have an About Page, but this is going to go a little more in-depth as to why I write about this and will also have some more fun information. Please feel free to introduce yourself and join/start a discussion in the comments! 

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let’s talk about the riots in dc​

capitol_riots_2021

The fact that I am writing the first article of the year on such a monumental, horrific event is very telling of the state the country is in. I live 30 minutes away from DC, but this is something that affects us all, regardless of proximity to the capital. I wanted to write this post, not only to properly address the riots but to provide a credible guide to those of you who are maybe overwhelmed with everything happening and those who want to stay aware. Additionally, I wanted to talk about some topics such as responsible social media use and credible information, that I have written about before but are even more important at this moment in history. As I always do, I have included links and resources that I used in this post and recommend reading. It is more important than ever that we are working towards spreading factual and reliable information, and I want to assure all of you reading that this post is no different.

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how does universal health care work? ​

healthcare

This is not a post about why universal health care should be a thing or my own personal opinion. This is a post about what universal healthcare would look like and how it would function in the United States. I have written a post about how universal healthcare affects jobs, but this is going to be more of an overview of the concept in its entirety. Although I have very strong beliefs regarding this subject, this post will remain as bias-free as it and I can be. I think it is important, whether or not you support it, to understand what universal health care means and how it would work. I also think that in forming your opinion of it, understanding what it is is integral. However, I am not claiming to be an expert and I know that there might be information missing. I have provided my sources and further reading at the end of the post, which I recommend looking through after reading to get a fuller view into universal healthcare.

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a holiday book guide for the feminists and activists in your life

holiday book guide

What do you get your friend that is interested in politics and zombies? I know that I just wrote a post about books, but I promise this is the last one for a while. This is a little last minute, but I wanted to make a quick gift guide for your political friends or friends interested in social justice. Not only is this going to be a very fun gift guide, but it’s also going to be a reminder to support small book stores, used book stores, and to be mindful about book buying overall. When I say friend throughout this post, feel free to switch it out for “family member”, “teacher”, “yourself”, “coworker”, etc. I love giving out book recommendations. If you click here, you will see that I have already many book guides. However, this one is special because it will help you target what book to get for what kind of person. And I’m going to include a few fiction books as well. I also wanted to take some time to provide you with some resources on how to find your local independent book stores. Please share other book recommendations or gift recommendations in the comments because I love receiving them almost as much as I love giving them out. 

 

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a global feminist book list

global feminsm_

Some of you may know that I am currently doing an Independent Study Class about global feminism and gender imperialism. You might want to read my post about confronting western feminism and motherhood. When I was creating the “syllabus” or list of books and literature that I wanted to read, I struggled. I had a lot of trouble finding books and textbooks that fit my criteria and talked about the topics I wanted to discuss. I included a little information about my criteria when looking for these books at the end of this post, in case anyone was interested. A little background, I am learning about the feminist history of different parts of the world, feminist movements in history, the connection to gender imperialism but, my takeaways so far have exceeded that. At the end of my class, I will do a full post on my takeaways and advice to aspiring global feminists. Overall, this post is my book list of books and authors that I wish someone told me about when I was younger and developing an interest in feminism. Please leave any additions to the book list in the comment section below, and feel free to share any thoughts or comments!

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feminism: motherhood vs. sisterhood

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I know the election is probably what everyone is focusing on right now, but I’m not ready to write about it yet. So here’s another post about global feminism. If you read my “why don’t we confront western feminism” post, then you probably know that this semester I am taking an independent study class about global feminism and challenging western perspectives in feminism. I’ve been writing and reflecting and LEARNING so much in that class, that it’s been difficult to find the right time to write a post. However, I want to share with you some of the big things I learned in the past few weeks, specifically about these ideas. Before I took this class, I didn’t realize that there was anything special about sisterhood. I learned that The western idea of sisterhood and the African idea of motherhood and Latin American idea of motherhood are all different, and expose this false idea of a “universal female experience”. In this post, I’m going to talk about global feminism and western feminism, and the different perspectives on motherhood. As always, the books and resources that sparked this post will be at the end of the post, but a book list will be coming with the completion of my class.

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how effective are petitions?​

petitions_2020

If you have a social media account, there is a very good chance that you have seen an increase in petitions being shared. You may have even signed a few. The pandemic has created limits on social justice organizing, leading to a lot of activism being conducted on social media and online. This topic has a lot of connections to slacktivism and general social media activism, which you can read about if you click here. I find these types of topics so fascinating and pertinent because of how activism and politics are changing. I also think that any way we can raise our productivity and efficacy as activists is worth discussing and learning about. Are petitions effective? Are they a form of slacktivism? If they aren’t effective, are there benefits? I have included some resources at the end of this post, ranging from opinion pieces on petitions to how to start your own petition.

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why do we avoid confronting western feminism?

western_2020

Hopefully, this post is going to make a lot of the feminists and global citizens better and more conscious of the realities of the world and women. This semester, I had the opportunity to create my own independent study class and curriculum. Something I’ve started becoming more dedicated to is furthering my feminist knowledge and awareness. This mainly meant that I wanted to know what other cultures, countries, parts of the world I have missed out on learning due to my western and euro-centric learnings, and bubble. As feminists, we often learn about Betty Friedan, Simone de Beauvoir, and Mary Wollstonecraft. That becomes our idea of feminism. However, this western bubble limits our understanding and creates a harmful ignorance, and weakens our feminism. Within the first week of learning about unacknowledged parts of feminism, my western mindset was burst. For example, I had never truly examined the connotations of monogamy that differ from Europe, where it is considered unacceptable, to some African countries, where it gave women opportunities to work and co-parent. This post is meant to be a wakeup call and introduction to the sides of feminism that we don’t acknowledge, and the feminism we forget about.

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is sustainability a privilege?

sustain_privelege

I have spit out a lot of rhetoric and information, on this blog, about sustainability and the progression of climate change. However, something I don’t always mention is the economic considerations of being sustainable. Not everyone can afford package free toothpaste or 100% recycled material clothing. And while there may be a lot of companies that are trying to make sustainability more affordable, not everyone has access to them. Additionally, we live in a society and have a government that turns a blind eye to companies that overlook their effect on climate change, because it’s economically profitable for them. If we want to promote climate change action effectively, then we need to make sure that it’s an option for everyone, and holds everyone accountable.

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another political + nonfiction book list

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I’ve read a lot of nonfiction in the past, but until now, it’s been limited to feminist ideology and American politics. However, this booklist features a very diverse set of authors and topics, even though they are all connected by a general theme of politics, foreign affairs, and feminism. A fun fact about all these books is that they are all from used bookstores. I sought out most of these books on my favorite online used bookstore, Thriftbooks, but a couple randomly drew my attention at a local used bookstore. These are all books that I recommend for anyone that wants to learn more about the topics I just mentioned and is genuinely curious about the world.

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let’s talk about slacktivism

slacktivism_2020

Between challenging systemic racism through the Black Lives Matter Movement to the fight for voting rights in the upcoming US election, a lot is happening in the world right now. On top of it, the coronavirus has restricted our access to conventional activist opportunities. AND social media is on the rise, becoming pervasive and an even stronger tool in our society. All of these combined equal the need for people to take action. However, these conditions have also fostered a rise in slacktivism. There are a lot of questions to answer and a lot of things to discuss, especially if we want to be productive social media activists and activists in general. Additionally, I want to mention that you don’t need to be “an activist” to promote change and create a world that is more just and fair.

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how america’s politicization of the coronavirus has led us to death

politicization_2020

The best way for me to get enraged enough about a topic to dedicate an entire post to it is by watching the news. I feel that I’m not alone in thinking “how did we get here”, every time I watch the news or read about how this administration is letting people die while they politicize everything. We all know politics, especially in the current state of America, can be extremely polarizing. The fact that we have allowed or that political leaders have encouraged the politicization of everything should scare us. It scares me, especially since it has led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people. And now, with the coronavirus as the “fight for science”, we have only seen the government politicizing exacerbated. What does this mean for the future of America? Why is this dangerous and worthy of examination? In what ways should we be politicizing the coronavirus?

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what kind of an impact will universal healthcare have on jobs?

healthcare_2020

I’m going to be honest, I don’t know what got me thinking of healthcare’s relationship to jobs. All I know is that one day I had the question, will medicare for all get rid of health care and administrative jobs? I thought that simply googling this question would bring me an answer. However, this is a very complicated issue. We all know how complex healthcare is, no matter how simple politicians make it seem. This specifically has so many different “expert analyses” that give different answers that have significant effects of one of the boldest (only bold in America) policy ideas. In this post, I’m going to try to simplify it down. What is being said about universal healthcare’s impact on jobs? What’s credible? Are politicians addressing this? Like always, I’m going to included resources and links down below and I urge you to read the resource disclaimer I provided specifically for this topic.

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the 19th amendment did not the end the fight for voting rights

votingrights_2020

This past week was the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. As we celebrate this milestone in the women’s suffrage movement, it’s especially important to recognize the reality and restrictions of the amendment as it pertains to women and people of color. We often overlook the harsh actualities of history, while only focuses on the surface meaning. I don’t want to diminish the significance of the 19th amendment or its place in women’s rights’ history. Rather, I want to ensure that we give attention to the Americans who had to wait 32 – 45 years to vote. In this post, I am going to give a brief history of voting rights as it pertains to people and women of color. Even further, I want to make sure that we all remain aware that the fight for voting rights still exists and requires our action.

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let’s talk about the united states postal service

usps_2020

I’ve had this topic and post idea in my mind for a while, but this issue has been in the news a little more than usual, which gave me the push to talk about it. I think that a lot of us take the postal service for granted or don’t truly understand its value to our society. Now that it’s being threatened and at risk, we are all waking up to what life would be like without it. And with everything going on *cough cough* COVID-19, the last thing we need is an under-appreciated postal service to dissolve.

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will covid-19 actually have a lasting environmental impact?

covid_environment
One of the unseen positive effects of the coronavirus that gets cited quite often is the impact that it has had on the environment. With lockdowns and more people staying home, lifestyles are changing, resulting in things such as reduced pollution due to a decline in the use of transportations. However, I think people are overlooking some of the less optimistic aspects of the reality of the environment. Additionally, I think that we could all use some clarity of the likelihood of a positive and impact on the environment. I’ve seen so many different expert opinions and predictions that all contribute to the larger debate about whether or not the coronavirus will have a lasting impact on the environment, positive or negative. And like always, I have provided resources and articles at the end of this post.

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let’s talk about the missing diversity in english class

classics

 

I was recently reminded of the blatant lack of diversity that still plagues our classrooms. I go through this every year. Back to school sales are popping up as everyone prepares for next year. No matter how unconventional that year is going to be, students are preparing and buying supplies. Among those supplies are books for English and literature classes. As I viewed my list of required books for the year, I wasn’t even surprised that all of them, but one, were written by white men. I have written posts before about problematic aspects of literature, this post is going to focus on its role in classrooms.

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how voter suppression is a danger to our democracy

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I had to double-check to make sure that I haven’t already written about this topic because it’s something that I think and talks a lot about. Voter suppression is a very dangerous and serious topic, especially now that the coronavirus is further aiding suppressive efforts by those trying to hamper voters. In my post how the coronavirus is testing our election system, I touch a little bit on its impact on voter suppression. However, this post is going to go much deeper into the issue, COVID-19’s heightening effects, and how it is a danger to the country and its values. As always, there will be several resources and articles at the end of this post, for further education. You can also click here to read more of my posts about the coronavirus or here to read more on voting.

 

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let’s talk about the government’s response to reopening schools

2020_Reopening schools

 

American public schools have been the subject of many debates and discussions in the news lately. And while this is primarily because of the position that the coronavirus puts students in and the opinions of many political figures, I believe that some things are going unsaid. If you have read some of my past COVID-19 posts, you probably have noticed a pattern in the impact of the pandemic on American politics and the government. It’s exposing the weak and vulnerable aspects of the country, and we need to make sure we are paying attention while reforming what’s broken. As always, I will include some resources and articles throughout and at the end, for further research.

 

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where are all the women in politics

American politics is lacking in female representation. That isn’t new information. When we look at countries, like New Zealand, (my favorite) with female leadership, somewhat thriving right now, it makes you wonder, why aren’t more women involved in American politics. Furthermore, where are all the women of color in politics? As we think about ways to improve the country and government, we first need to think about what’s missing from it. As always, there will be resources and articles available for you below. 

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how you can fight against racism

This post is going to be more serious. However, I’m not going to talk about how the government and local authorities are failing to reform a long-lasting issue of police violence, gun violence, police militarization, all fueled by racism. This post is going to be a compilation of resources for you to actively fight racism, specifically in regards to recent acts of racist police violence against black men, such as George Floyd. And just racism in general. If you do have any credible resources that I may have missed, feel free to email me so that I can add them to this post or leave them in the comments.

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