Monday, February 28, 2011
I was first introduced to feminism in my senior year of high school, which in turn assisted me in shaping my path to major in Women’s Studies in University. Through my current life in academia, I reflect back on feminist activists such as Uzma Shakir who found oppression within her own community. By using her own knowledge and tying it within her culture, she is able to move forward to fight with her western sisters. I am inspired by Judith Butler who deconstructs gender ideologies every day. To me, Butler exemplifies that our gender and sexuality is not fixed upon, it is ever changing and growing. Finally, a feminist that speaks to me is Nawaal el Saadawi, whose work every day tells me that third world women do have an agenda to fight for their own feminism. She inspires me to think outside of the box to create another world of feminism. Her strength and endurance gives me the inspiration to be free to fight my own oppressions every day.
Now, my feminism calls upon embracing all of the things that I once ignored, that shaped me into the woman who I am today. My feminism calls for me to not back down when things are tough. My feminism challenges me every day to work hard and help others.
My manifesto calls for me creating my own self through the use of language, culture and ideas. My manifesto calls on my feminism to create world where I see out of a cultured lens, to view things from another view that has not been discussed in academia. My feminism is a construction of everything I have ever learned, through my religion, relationships and power. My feminism also reflects on my own power, the power that I have lost, the power that I have gained, and the power that I hope to instill in others.
- I will life my life fully, expressing all of the different forms of confidence that I have instilled within myself. I will not jeopardize my own physical health by any form of eating disorder cosmetic surgery or use harsh chemicals for the purpose of attempting to better myself on the outside. I will create my own image of beauty through language, knowledge and culture. For any person out there who does not believe that they are beautiful, I will help create their own image of beauty, specifically designed to suit their own self. I will love myself, my body, my spirit.
- I will not be afraid to love, to look for love or to romantically dream. I will fall in love, and my own mind will come first. I will give a piece of myself to love, but not let go of everything I know-my strength, because of love.
- I will dream wonderful things for myself. Health, happiness and prosperity. I will work hard to achieve all of this without forgetting the privilege I have. I will remember the sacrifices that I have made for myself. I will not forget those who are not as financially stable and privileged as I am. I will donate, and continue to donate my time to help others in need.
- I will remember my privilege. My ableism, my knowledge my power. I will use it to advocate for others who may not have similar strengths as I do. I will not forget that my privilege is only here to help others find their own stepping stones to power.
- I will remember those who have sacrificed and fought to keep this country safe. I will be forever grateful that my freedom came from the expense of others. I will also be thankful for everything I was given because my family and I were able to come to Canada. I understand that my life would have been different if I never immigrated here. I will use this new freedom to support other women in third world nations who are battling their own feminism.
- I will express my feminist voice for women and men who were harmed in doing so. I will suffer and fight for those who cannot; not by fighting for them, but empowering them to fight on their own.
- I will be independent. I will accept my own responsibilities for my own self. I will work, learn, grow and share all that I have learned into my own life goals. I will breathe the injustices that were brought upon me by others and I will analyze them on my own. I will not depend on others to fight my own battles. I in the end, I will win this war.
- I will not back away from my culture. I understand that it is a gift, given to me to work with. My culture gives me a stepping stone against all others who may fail to acknowledge oppression and power. I will embrace every aspect of my culture, the food, the language, the stories passed onto me from previous generations. I will keep my culture and share it with others.
- I will not construct my own self based on the assumptions of others. I will wear whatever fashion accessories I see fit; glitter, dresses and makeup when I want to. I will embrace my feminity. I will not feel guilty if I change my appearance for my own self. I will choose when I want to be sexual and beautiful. I will wear loose clothing when I am lazy. I will abolish all gender constructed norms of fashion. I will create my own fashion, for myself.
- I will create myself. I will use my privilege of receiving a great education to create my own self as a person. I will grow, change, and use the resources that I have been given to create the best version of myself. I will share my confidence, my feminism with others, end find a way to empower myself every day.
- Finally, I will be an activist. I will work hard to fight for the things that matter the most to me. I will not only fight collectively with others for a common goal, but I will use my individualism for myself to reach my own creation of a feminist world
Sunday, February 27, 2011
This blog began with the idea that Sandra, Ashley and I wanted to discuss the importance of how cultural perceptions are made about Middle Eastern women, especially Chaldean women, who have not be represented properly in academia and global politics. We wanted to write this blog from our own hearts, in hopes of finding our own feminist voices along the way. We recognize that although we may have a lot in common, our differences are embraced on a wide spectrum of culture, attitudes, knowledge and experiences that we hope to share with you within this blog. Also, within this blog, we will discuss meaningful articles and news topics that we feel are relevant to how our own culture is displayed, and the reasons why we can sometimes feel so empowered as women, yet so dis-empowered as well.
Furthermore, we hope to share with you, the readers, how we find our own empowerment through our feminist voices that have been changed throughout the past four years of our undergraduate university experience in Women’s Studies.