I'm taking a politics and gender class right now, and even though I'm generally overwhelmed by my classes this semester, I'm really enjoying this one. I've never taken a women's studies class, so this class was my first exposure to feminist literature (other than Bust, of course). I've learned a lot.
I just finished reading an essay by Kathleen Hanna (of Le Tigre and Bikini Kill fame). She documents her experience in the Riot Grrrl movement and she stresses the importance of reading classic feminist texts, such as Sisterhood is Powerful, to help us understand our history and our current challenges. I've got tentative plans to acquire the Sisterhood trilogy for my birthday.
I also read an article about the Guerilla Girls. I like the creativity of this anonymous activist group, especially because they expanded their protests to address sexism in Hollywood:
Speaking of Hollywood and female directors, we watched North Country in class last month. It was directed by the director of Whale Rider: Niki Caro. The movie wasn't perfect, but it is powerful and definitely worth watching. It's based on the first class-action sexual harassment lawsuit in the US (Jensen v. Eveleth Mines). It wasn't resolved until 1998! This site has a great summary of the real-life events depicted in the movie. I was happy to read that Lois Jensen, the woman who led the lawsuit, was impressed with the film: "It's a story that compresses 20 years of stuff, and the characters are composites of several of us. But the sexual harassment depicted was true. They captured the emotions very well, and overall I think it's an incredibly powerful film that will be around a long time." Shannon, this is your next movie assignment.
I'm inspired by the materials I'm exposed to in this class. Here's a Le Tigre video to celebrate:
While looking for this video I found that a lot of people have made their own Deceptacon videos and uploaded them to YouTube. Is that a common occurance?