Sarah Dropek Thank you very much for writing this senator. I greatly admire you conviction and courage. Working in a culture pervasive with victim blaming attitudes is not easy in any sense and it takes people like you and others committed to the work to strive to remove those attitudes from society and get down to the real work of helping survivors of sexual violence have access to justice and proper care.
Sarah Dropek Senator Paul, thank you for taking the time to write this. RE: 5th paragraph- While I understand your reference to the Constitution and can appreciate the sentiment in the document, I'm troubled by your conclusion that we should leave a large amount of decisions, particularly ones that would deal with the tolerance you mention (re: social issues), up to the states. We're already sort of dealing with this, but how do you feel about the essential division this would cause in our nation of areas of social liberalness vs. social conservatism, particularly for individuals who are limited in their ability to relocate but would still feel it their right to live in an equitable and tolerant society?
Sarah Dropek Definitely. I'm anxious to see what Thomas will write in the movie as I think it's a done deal, they hit over 1 million dollars of their goal just now within four hours of the project launch!! So awesome!
Sarah Dropek Hey Christine, thanks for the comment! I think I get what you're saying. But one of my issues is that the Lilith House women are clearly labeled as feminists while Veronica herself is not. I also don't like to play into a strict definition of "real feminist" as I think part of the beauty of feminism is that it is adaptable and shifting. But it was bothersome to watch the clearly labeled feminists of the show be portrayed in such a stereotypically negative way (such that you got a bad vibe about them), you know?
Sarah Dropek "One doesn't acquire the capacity to do useful gender analysis simply because one is "modern", "loves women," "believes in equality, or "has daughters." One has to learn how to do it, practice doing it, be candidly reflective about one's shortcomings, try again." Love this! So much! I think too often people stay out of gender activism because they think they don't have a predilection for it like some. But thinking to this sort of work is "natural" to some and not to others is ridiculous! It is *definitely* a learning process and something that needs practicing. Happy International Women's Day! Thanks for this great piece.
Sarah Dropek Agreed! From one source (if I'm remembering correctly) she also said that she's working on some more children appropriate role models than "J" (as Awkward Black Girl has some more adult themed topics and swearing) which would be a fantastic addition to her repertoire of work for her viewers!
Sarah Dropek Thanks Barbara! You bring up an awesome point that I did indeed leave out (I hesitated but thought it would be tangential feeling to the core of the argument) but it actually isn't when you think about all the issues that come from valorizing a European beauty ideal like harmful skin bleaching creams sold abroad, etc.
Sarah Dropek I should clarify then. I'm not proposing a legal ban on the competition. What I'm arguing for can take many forms. Countries recognize the sexist outdated essence of the competition and elect to not send a representative (like Australia did in 2000). Or (and I think this would be a more productive option), those in positions of power running the competition see how problematic the competition is and elect to transform it into a scholarship program based on something other than looks similar to what you find I proposed to Benjamin below.
Sarah Dropek Not watching it myself and deciding to ignore it might make me a little happier but in no way would it cause a cessation of the impact it has on those who do watch it and the societal influence that it then continues to have. I can understand the argument that negative press is still press to a degree. But if we just decide to ignore all of the things we think are directly harmful to individuals (here, mostly women and young girls) we're contenting ourselves to acquiesce to the status quo of how our world functions.
Sarah Dropek Undoubtedly I celebrate representatives from countries coming together. My argument isn't that it should stop but that there could be better ways to bring ambitious women together like I discussed with Benjamin a little lower in this comment section.
Sarah Dropek Some of this is going on already with nonprofits created to promote mentoring between women in certain field like engineering, freelancing, etc. But it hasn't taken the form of a competition like Miss Universe where the woman with the best plan (according to vote) would be awarded the money and means in order to achieve the plan she set out.
Sarah Dropek While writing this I knew it would be a problem that I couldn't think of a legitimate alternative so instead I decided to leave the point that we should get rid of the competition and leave it at that. But I'm glad you asked because that's not necessarily the most productive course of action. Just off the top of my head, it would be nice to see some sort of adult science fair type of thing adopted (that would cater to the advancement of women in whatever they saw fit to put forward as their platform). This would take the form of women putting together business plans, nonprofit intentions, or any sort of actionable plan on an issue that they feel passionately about.
Sarah Dropek Many feminists do struggle with understanding feminism in relation to cultural, geographic, and sociopolitical boundaries. Just look online to find a plethora of feminists from the U.S. (and elsewhere) debating, writing on, and trying to understand how feminism works within different areas. Check out this website for a sampling: http://www.genderacrossborders.com/ Also keep in mind that female-identified writers aren't necessarily the only individuals writing about feminism!
Sarah Dropek Y'all are awesome. I think it's not too difficult either to bring the two together. While labels do limit and hold back and can reinforce some of the things we're trying to oust (like racism in the U.S. a la your mentioning of Obama), we still need to accept that we live in a world dominated by those very labels we look to deconstruct. Thus, working to get rid of labels becomes difficult because you have to acknowledge and work *with* the labels themselves. So while in a perfect world, Mayar's career should be seen without gender being a factor, we are still in a world when gender is a very salient aspect of the way a person's life plays out making it noteworthy.