Feminism | Posted by Gwen on 02/15/2010
Man Hater. Lesbian. Outspoken. Beautiful. Overtly Sexual.
In my young life, I have been called many of these things. At first glance, it’s not easy to see how man hater fits with beautiful, or overtly sexual fits with man hater, if lesbian isn’t attached. Am I a man hater? No. I have plenty of guy acquaintances, you could even —gasp— call them good friends. Am I a lesbian? Well, I don’t care for labels. I have never fallen in love, and love has no gender limits. Am I outspoken? Well people have definitely hit the nail on the head with this one. I’m not afraid to call out injustices, I’m not a afraid to be called out on my opinions. I’m not going to ever limit myself to being that “ girl with the pretty face and lackluster body, who should just shut her face.”
For example just recently, I was sitting in my Biology class. The book credits Watson and Crick for establishing the first model of a DNA double helix. However in the book there is a tiny mention of Rosalind Franklin. She wasn’t allowed to enter the labs and do research at King’s College because she was a woman. She conducted most of her DNA research from her basement. However , she had a male assistant who would conduct her research, and get materials she needed from the lab. One day her assistant was “accidentally” ( as my bio teacher put it ) at the same hotel as Watson and Crick, and invited them into his room to “chat.” And somehow they “accidentally” saw her DNA model diagrams!! They strategically published this after her death!!
I know, all this happened in the fiftys. That was not what pissed me off, per say. It was the fact that when I asked why the book had extensive information and credited it all to Watson and Crick, my teacher responded with “look, class, it’s only a girl that’s making an issue of this.” And another girl told me, “ Just shut up it was an accident that they saw the diagrams.” It angered me that another women agreed with these sexist attitudes and thought nothing of it. Women who make great contributions in science, or other fields, should deserve credit where credit is due. They shouldn’t be manipulated to the point that no one even knows they had anything to do with anything until years later, if ever.
But the fact is, whenever I speak up about something against women, I always get these comments along the line of “shut up who cares.” These are usually from male teachers, sometimes even females. What pains me is the fact that the students who makes these kind of comments, are just to afraid of being seen as man haters. That isn’t what feminism is. However whenever a male teacher makes comments against women, it’s found as hilarious humor.
Another incident I remember clearly, was that of a history teacher of mine. I go to a Catholic school ( which only makes the environment more prejudiced against anything). Apparently, prior to teaching, my teacher went to a seminary college. He told us this story about about a nun teacher. She was talking about a cat she had as a child. She lost this cat, and when her father brought it back, “She stroked the pussy ’till it was all clean.” Of course she meant the cat, but our history teacher has this theme of telling us crude sex jokes instead of teaching. That’s why he’s immensely popular. However, we have an extremely nice female religion teacher. She’s kind to all students regardless, of their sex, but is overweight, and constantly the butt of jokes. My history teacher is overweight, crude, sometimes mean towards female students, and is respected.
I hate double standards.
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