Musings of an expat grad student... oy vey.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Just confused.

I guess this isn't quite so much an angry feminist post as a tired and head-whirling one. Thanks, Otto, for giving me the impetus to post it. :)

I've been reading a lot of really fascinating blogs lately. Feministe, Pandagon, nubian's stunning Blac(k)ademic, and others to which I've been linked through them. Since my few weeks of thesis hell ended in the middle of last week, there's been a bit of a lull, and I've been able to sit back at the computer and read what people have to say.

But I stop short of commenting, because I'm so afraid that I'll offend someone. And that's the last thing I want to do.

I guess I'm trying to figure out a) how big the feminist tent is, and b) where I fit in. I'm a woman and therefore do not benefit from male privilege. For me, this is fairly cut-and-dried; I identify and am identified as female, so that space of privilege/lack thereof is clear to me. But there are so many other components, all of which interlock. I benefit from heterosexual privilege, which is not quite as governmentally privileged in the UK as it is in the US with the inception of gay marriage here (YAY!), but is still socially privileged to an enormous degree. I benefit from the privilege associated with not being non-traditionally gendered. I benefit from class privilege, which intersects heavily with feminism, especially in the US where, for instance, health care is not universally guaranteed and women's health care often seems to be the patriarchy's last priority.

I am trying to be an activist for change - in my academic work, in my life, and in my interactions with others. I am doing what I can to bring down the system. But I worry sometimes that I'm not doing a good enough job. I'm constantly worried that I'm going to offend someone, that I'm ignorant about something and don't even know it, and that my ignorance will cause harm to others. I suppose it's an extension of the academic problem: there's always something else to read, there's always another facet of the situation to explore, and it's never good enough. I think that's why I don't really blog about Issues; I don't feel qualified to do so.

Therefore, I think that I'll continue to do what I'm doing: I'll just read, and listen to what people have to say. Maybe eventually, when I figure out where exactly I fit in and how I can best advocate in the online community for change, I'll speak up more outside this little blog. But not yet.

Friday, June 02, 2006


...and the livin' is stressful.

There's a big-ass angry feminist post in my head, but I can't think straight enough to write it at the moment as I am dog-tired. So, tomorrow.