Do(ing) it Like a Feminist

Post-Grad Girl living in a Post-Grad World.


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Moving Past the Funk: Living in a Post-Election World

Like many people, I’ve been in mourning. I actually found myself googling how to immigrate to Canada the night of the Election. Granted, I didn’t make it past the screen showing that the site crashed, but I still wondered how I would be able to do it. Then I thought more about what a Trump Presidency would look like and wondered, what would it look like for me to abandon my place in this country and lose my will to fight? If I were a child, I wouldn’t want my elders to do that to me, so I can’t give up now.

To this day, I can not fathom how people could vote for Trump. You say he is anti-establishment; we say he is a racist demagogue. You say he is a great businessman; we say he has gone bankrupt a handful of times and has only looked out for himself. I can go on and on about this, but there is no point. The only points left to make are what is going to happen next. How can we teach our peers and young folk about what it means to be an advocate for the issues at hand?

And here is where you can get your crash course.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-8-50-35-pm

Harro, page 16

In Bobbie Harro’s “The Cycle of Socialization”, she discusses how we are socialized from birth/toddler into a way of thinking. We are taught biases and stereotypes, and we live with these mechanics as we grow up. We are then socialized on a personal level from parents, loved ones, and teachers (that’s why they are so important). These mechanics are then reinforced through various institutions such as church, TV, and in our culture. When these mechanics are reinforced, they result in anger, discrimination, and ignorance. It’s up to you to figure out which direction you want to go- do you want to continue reinforcing the same cycle, or would you want to head in a direction for change?

For those who says white privilege doesn’t exist, I want you to look at the events that have occurred since the election: swastikas being spray-painted on walls, a woman in Brooklyn was punched by a male trump supporter at a restaurant in Brooklyn, a woman pulled another woman’s hijab off in a Walmart in the name of Trump, and the list goes on and on. In Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, she states:

“My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.” (McIntosh, 2)

As a woman of color, I will never be able to have this privilege. From what I’ve observed about the country post-Election is that many people who have this privilege don’t (or won’t) understand the power their actions have with people of color, and they don’t worry about the consequences of their actions, because most likely, they won’t be reprimanded for it. Is this what we want to teach our future children and voters?

For all you Trump supporters, I hope you realize what your future will look like. Only a week has passed and there is already a white supremacist in a position of power. You did this. Take responsibility for it. Once Donald Trump takes his place in the White House, I can only predict the decline of our Country, economically and socially. You can sit back and say that he will fix our broken “system”, but he will continue to display divisive and demeaning behavior toward people of color, the LGBTQIA community, Muslims, immigrants, etc..

Or maybe that’s what you all really want, which is much scarier to think about.

For those of you who are willing to fight forward, find your local community programs. Volunteer. Protest. Write to your local politicians. We will not be swayed. I am with you all.

___________________________

Harro, Bobbie. “The Cycle of Socialzation.” Readings for Diversity and Social Justice. N.p.: Routledge, 2007. 15-21. Print.

McIntosh, Peggy. “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.


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The Blessings in Disguise

My fellow bloggers! Today has been a wonderful day full of love, compassion, and understanding which has led to inspiration.

These past few months I have been getting much closer with certain people in my family and it has led me to really think about myself and what my future holds for me. When people ask me what I want to do with my life post-grad, I usually say the same things that associate with things I’ve done in college: feminism and media work, student affairs, feminist activism online, etc. but my life after college has done nothing related to that. Granted, I’ve maintained my presence online, but I’m talking on a larger scale.

Then, I think about what I’m doing while offline: spending time with my family, helping my brother with homework, giving my cousins advice on life, love, and menstruation, having adult conversations with my friends, supporting my older cousins with their new endeavors, etc… What I just came to realize is the blessings that have been placed right before my eyes which made me think about my independent study during college: teaching young people about the things that they may not get from their parents or guardians.

I titled this blog Do(ing) it like a Feminist because I believe that everything I do is feminist. Feminism is who I am and it’s the language I speak. When I’m spending time with my younger siblings/cousins, I’m having honest dialogue about growing up and reminding them to always ask questions because I never really had someone to do that for me as a kid.

Sometimes we don’t see the blessings right before our eyes, so once in a while, it’s good to step back and understand a new perspective.


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Having an Open & Intellectual Conversation with Your Partner/ A Mini-Lesson on Privilege & Oppression

Bloggers,

Last night, Marcus and I had an extremely interesting conversation that spanned over dinner, before and after a movie, and during a quick trip to Dunkin Donuts. Here’s where it started: while we were sitting in Red Lobster, I noticed that I didn’t see any female waiters and I made a comment about it. Marcus told me that I was being “racist” (wrong word) and before I face palmed myself, I told him that he meant sexist. We then proceeded a conversation about sexism and racism and how they weren’t the same thing. I explained that I wasn’t implying that there should be only women working there, but there should be an EQUAL amount of all genders because that’s how it should be. This led into a conversation about children and his double standard of boys and girls.

Granted, I could have just gotten up and walked away to go to the bathroom or just changed the subject, but these are the types of conversations that need to be created to understand both sides of the relationship. When I decide to have kids, it doesn’t matter whether they are a boy or a girl, they will be treated the same way. If I treat them a certain way according to society’s standards, then the cycle of socialization will continue amongst my children. Marcus felt a different way about raising his children, but after reaching a stalemate (or rather our food came), the conversation stopped and was left alone. Later that evening, we started talking about the impending ratification of Puerto Rico as the 51st state, and to my surprise, we held the same ideals. Then, he made a comment about Latin American’s emulating their culture off of black culture, and I couldn’t just let that go. I started talking to him about urbanization and how we’re socialized according to the environment we surround ourselves with. There was something so genuine about this conversation because although in my heart I knew he was serious about these ideas, I was afforded the opportunity to educate him about these types of subjects.

Now, when it comes to relationships, is it OK to keep the politics out of it, or engage them and create conversations? With that question, I answer by saying that the personal is political, and everything we do, experience, etc. has a political connotation. We can’t pretend like our society isn’t dealing with social issues and economic crisis, so conversations need to happen. Who knows, maybe both sides can learn something and take it to someone else, then the dialogue is really expanding. As a female who understands the simultinaety of privilege and oppression, it is pertinent to retain knowledge about these different types of politics.

According to the SCWAMP theory, it is said that if you fall under SCWAMP, then you are of the privileged few. What is SCWAMP? It is an acronym: Straight, Christian, White, Able-Bodied, Male with Property (meaning social class), and if you fit into this mold, then you are privileged and considered the dominant force in this society. However, many do not fall under this system; many feel oppression from single or multiple identities. As a Puerto Rican woman with no property, I understand the oppression of my race, class, and gender, but I recognize my privilege in my religion, accessibility, and sexuality. It is with the simultinaety of my privilege and oppression that I am able to understand the concept of how I’ve been socialized in my environment, but it is my duty to break free from the cycle and educate others about it, and what better way to start then with your partner.

Granted, this post switched into a personal rant, but as I said before, the personal is political. Stay true to yourself and expand the conversation. After all, it’s the most simple form of activism.


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“Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” – The Hurricane That Hit the Tri-State Area

This past weekend, Hurricane Sandy made it’s way to the Tri-State Area from the Caribbean and hit us with a purpose, to knock us back so we can pick ourselves up again. Sandy has been dubbed “Frankenstorm” by many because it has hit around Halloweeen, but I like to think of her as “Sandra Dee” from Grease, because it’s funnier and incites less panic on my end.

Hopelessly devoted to tearing shit up

On Sunday, my family and I prepped with essentials just in case we lost power and by Monday, we were packing a bag just in case we had to evacuate due to flooding. I live in Sunset Park, which is near water, and although Zone A ends on First Avenue, we live on Second, so we weren’t taking any chances.

I can’t even begin to describe the feelings behind sitting through a Hurricane. I kept looking out the window to see if any trees fell, particularly this one in front of my house that is a little too slanted for my comfort.

Can you see the slant in this bad boy?

The wind kept howling, the lights flickered and I kept hearing things banging on my window. At the start of Hurricane Sandy’s reign (around 4pm), the tree in my backyard fell backward (thank goodness) and knocked down the cable wires of the building next door. 10 minutes later, someone came by from next door to complain, but seriously – what are we supposed to do about it? Do we look like the cable company? Also, WE ARE IN A HURRICANE, just saying.

Throughout the night, the wind kept getting worse, and I kept praying that it wouldn’t knock anything down or tear through someone’s house. Toward 9pm, I kept hearing metal panels banging together, and I kept thinking someone’s house is falling apart thanks to Sandy. I still had electricity, so I took to social media to find out the latest from Sandy in other areas, and it was not good. Flooding in Red Hook, Coney Island, and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Flooding in the LES in Manhattan, and Staten Island also got hit really bad. Never mind the flooding in NJ and the power outages all throughout NY, NJ and all the neighboring cities.

Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

Manhattan

Red Hook, Brooklyn

These are instances of the mass flooding that has occurred due to Sandy. She even messed up our New York City Transit system:

86th Street N Train Station

I’ve never been in a Hurricane before, and now that I’ve been in one, I never want to be in one again. The fear, the waiting, the aftermath; it’s not something I like to experience all at once. All the trains in NYC are suspended until further notice, and we have limited bus service in NYC, which means if you don’t have a car, you are somewhat trapped in your neighborhood. And don’t even get me started on Long Island.

But all in all, I can’t complain too much about Hurricane Sandy. Yes, she devastated us badly, but we have a system in place for a quick turnaround. I was snapped back into reality after I remembered Sandy didn’t only affect us, she affected the Caribbean as well.

As I shut my ‘First World drama’ up, I realized that countries such as Haiti (who have already been devastated enough), are struggling everyday to regain control of their country from the natural disasters. Yes, I may be without transportation, but as I write this, I recognize my privilege in being able to write on my blog and use the computer to do so. So while we Americans continue to complain about the things we are lacking, I will stay quiet because I know there are people out there suffering worse than us.

My heart goes out to the people affected by Sandy, whether in the Caribbean or in the East Coast. Sandy tore through our coast and made it her bitch, to put it into simple terms. To those who lost their homes due to Sandy, I hope you find the resources needed to rebuild it. We now have to deal with the aftermath, and hopefully we can do it in a peaceful way and not resort to thinking that it’s the end of the world for we are a country of great privilege, and it will be rebuilt.

IN OTHER NEWS: Do you remember when Romney said he was doing to de-fund FEMA? I don’t think you want to do that now, buddy.

This is one of the reasons why I think Barack Obama is amazing: during Sandy, he made efforts to call officials in the areas that were getting hit the worst and applauded them for their efforts in trying to regain control during Sandy’s passing. That’s dedication and humility for you. Think about it, America. THINK ABOUT IT.