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Feminist Africa is a continental gender studies journal produced by the community of feminist scholars. It provides a platform for intellectual and activist research, dialogue and strategy. Feminist Africa attends to the complex and diverse dynamics of creativity and resistance that have emerged in postcolonial Africa, and the manner in which these are shaped by the shifting global geopolitical configurations of power.

It is currently based at the African Gender Institute in Cape Town.

Editorial policy

Feminist Africa is guided by a profound commitment to transforming gender hierarchies in Africa, and seeks to redress injustice and inequality in its content and design, and its open-access and continentally-targeted distribution strategy. Feminist Africa targets gender researchers, students, educators, women’s organisations and feminist activists throughout Africa. It works to develop a feminist intellectual community by promoting and enhancing African women’s intellectual work. To overcome the access and distribution challenges facing conventional academic publications, Feminist Africa deploys a dual dissemination strategy, using the Internet as a key tool for knowledge-sharing and communication, while making hard copies available to those based at African institutions.

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yeah!!!!

The theme for this Sex Ed class shifted from the “You’re going to be a fat, knocked up 15-year-old with visible, terminal lesions all over your nether-regions’ to ‘You’re going to go away to college, be sexually assaulted by a masked assailant who will never be caught, and subsequently be left for dead in a trash-filled alley.” (There was, of course, another variation, in which the aforementioned masked assailant was replaced by the captain of the football team and “left for dead in a trash filled alley” was swapped out with: “And there’s no use reporting it because no one will believe you, and it will only serve to further ostracize you from your peers.”

it is weird to me that sex is something you’d need education for! however, i feel like the way contemporary american society views sex, female-bodied people having hetero sex need to know what is what, like a lot.

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HOUSTON — A suburban Dallas school district has suspended a 4-year-old from his prekindergarten class because he wears his hair too long and does not want his parents to cut it.

The boy, Taylor Pugh, says he likes his hair long and curly. But on Monday night, the school board in Mesquite voted unanimously to enforce its ban on Beatles haircuts, much less anything approaching coiffures of bands like Led Zeppelin. School officials say the district’s dress code serves to limit distractions in the classroom.

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happy woman liberationFollow-up to that other article posted a while ago: Here

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This is a really long excerpt from Moroccan feminist Fatima Mernissi’s book, Beyond the Veil, first published in 1975, later edited in 1987. I read the whole thing and it gave me a better understanding of male-female dynamics in modern Muslim society.

Islam’s basically positive attitude toward sexuality is more conducive to healthy perspectives of a self-realizing sexuality, harmoniously integrated in social life, than the West’s basically negative attitude toward sexuality. Serious changes in male-female conditioning in Western countries imply revolutionary changes in society which these reformist countries are determined to avoid at any cost. Muslim societies cannot afford to be reformist; they do not have sufficient resources to be able to offer palliatives. A superficial replastering of the system is not a possible solution for them.

At a deeper level than laws and official policy, the Muslim social order views the female as a potent aggressive individual whose power can, if not tamed and curbed, corrode the social order. It is very likely than in the long run such a view will facilitate women’s integration into the networks of decision-making and power. One of the main obstacles Western women have been dealing with is their society’s view of women as passive inferior beings. The fact that generations of university-educated women in both Europe and America failed to win access to decision-making posts is due in part to this deeply ingrained image of women as inferior. The Muslim image of women as a source of power is likely to make Muslim women set higher and broader goals than just equality with men. The most recent studies on the aspirations of both men and women seem to come to the same conclusion: the goal is not to achieve equality with men. Woman have seen that what men have is not worth getting. Women’s goals are already being phrased in terms of a global rejection of established sexual patterns, frustrating for males and degrading for females. This implies a revolutionary reorgnization of the entire society, starting from its economic structure and ending with its grammar…

…The problem Arab societies face is not whether or not to change, but how fast to change. The link between women’s liberation and economic development is shown by the similarities in the conditions of the two sexes in the Third World; both sexes suffer from exploitation and deprivation. Men do not have, as in the so-called abundant Western societies, glaring advantages over women. Illiteracy and unemployment are suffered by males as well as females. This similarity of men and women as equally deprived and exploited individuals assumes enormous importance in the likely evolution of Third World family structure. George Tarabishi has pointed out the absurdity of men who argue that women should not be encouraged to get jobs in Arab society, where men suffer from unemployment. He argues that society should not waste human resources in unemployment, but systematically channel the wealth of rsources into productive tasks. The female half of human resources is more than welcome in the Arab future.

One may speculate that women’s liberation in an Arab context is likely to take a faster and more radical path than in Western countries. Women in Western liberal democracies are organizing themselves to claim their rights, but their oppressors are strong, wealthy, and reformist regimes. The dialogue takes place within the reformist framework characteristic of bourgeois democracies. In such situations, serious changes are likely to take a long time. American women will get the right to abortion but it will be a long time before they can prevent the female’s body from being exploited as a marketable product. Muslim women, on the contrary, engage in a silent but explosive dialogue with a fragile ruling class whose major task is to secure economic growth and plan a future without exploitation and deprivation. The Arab ruling classes are beginning to realize that they are charged with building a sovereign future, which necessarily revolves around the location and adequate utilization of all human and natural resources for the benefit of the entire population. The Arab wan is a central element in any sovereign future. Thoes who have not realized this fact are misleading themselves and their countries.

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Here, a blogger talks about his experiences teaching women’s studies at a university. This particular post, and the comments on it, remind me of people using the phrase “No offense…but”, when they actually do mean to be offensive, but they’re also trying to get off the hook.

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penis graffitiRemember in high school when people were constantly drawing penises everywhere.  I always chalked this up to immaturity/silliness.  But I was talking to orkinson the other day and she thinks that it is a manifestation of patriarchy, and even a form of terrorism, not that different from, say, drawing swastikas everywhere.  Although the people I knew who did this seemed more like goofballs than terrorists, I think it is a serious concern, after all, male dominance and machismo were both prevalent in our high school, especially in my class, which seemed dominated by boys, particularly in the honors classes.  So, basically, I ask you, harmless (though tasteless) prank?  Or act of sexual terrorism?  After all, there are many ways to be immature, but the selected weapon is almost always the penis.  Thoughts?

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