Feminist Friday: Seeking control to preserve my sanity, and; rape myth research

I had an entirely different post all planned for Feminist Friday today, but I need to say something about my place within the world of feminism, gender, and women’s issues instead.

I love these topics. I think these topics are essential, and serve as profound discourse areas that have to be addressed by local, national and global society. I believe that the more we vocalize, the more both written and verbal debates are presented, the more we as individuals can come together to carry on conversations, then we can envision change as extant.

However, being immersed within topics of feminism, gender and issues surrounding women and men in our society can be taxing, stressful, worrisome, and draining. For the second time in the last six months I have had to remove all news feeds from organizations that focus on the above topics. I gave up on Twitter a long time ago, but continued to hold onto a number of Facebook pages mainly to keep current on relevant social issues. I’m not a big Facebook aficionado anyway, but when the articles, news stories, campaigns, and requests for involvement from the remaining national and global organizations I follow are the only things that show up on my Facebook pages, then it’s time to take a break and put some control back into my own hands.

I don’t respect Facebook in general for their practice of automatically moving me to a Following position when I simply click Like on one article. Over and above that, constant updates and new posts begin very quickly to interrupt, irritate, and in general bring a degree of stress to my day. I feel pushed to be everything for everyone with a bombardment of information and links. I begin to feel overwhelmed and negative about many more things than feminist issues. These constant posts bring about a general malaise that leads me to feel that nothing is right with our society and I need that to end. I want feminism to be sustained and to make a difference. I want reproductive rights to be a given, not a constant battle. I want every single thing that is due, as a fundamental human right, to be unquestionably afforded to every person no matter their sex, gender, race, ethnicity, or belief system.

I do not, and simply can not, read every article about every item connected to feminism and gender as Facebook would like me to do. I have un-followed the remaining pages connected to feminism and reproduction within my Facebook pages. I have bookmarked original sites of these, and other relevant organizations so that I can visit, read, absorb, and comment on topics of import in my own time and without the stress and negativity constant Facebook links and posts seem to produce.

Now, when I do check my Facebook page I can do so knowing that the weight of the feminist world will have been eased a bit and that I don’t have to handle activism and change unless I choose to.

I want to end with some questions  for each of you to consider. Comments, as usual, are welcome.

 

Where do you get your information on feminist and gender topics?

Why have you chosen the sites and news feeds that you follow?

Are organizations who use sites like Facebook, etc., helping to bring awareness to feminist/gender issues or simply creating the opportunity for “trolls” to have an open forum for their hate?

 

**And, because someone kinda sorta asked about a paper I wrote on rape and rape myths in American society I have pulled it from the archives of collegiate research and will post it, for anyone interested, in the near future. I have to play with some formatting and such as it was written in Word and is now hanging out as a Google Doc and looks a bit off–also I don’t think anyone cares about 45 pages of double spacing or the running head: THE RIGHT TO RAPE AS A SOCIALLY ACCEPTED MYTH, which I will kindly discard for your blog reading ease.

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Feminist Friday: Seeking control to preserve my sanity, and; rape myth research”

  1. Thanks for the great feedback! I’ve been branching out, albeit cautiously, into the feminist blogging world and have found worthwhile results so far. I just hate feeling guilty for following someone and then going all preachy a week later because I am “overwhelmed” by my own inability to limit myself. It seems I have this need to please others…

    I suppose I am still too near the student realm and feel secure turning to that resource, but I think engaging in any way that is relevant is something at this point. I personally think FB is useless in general and utilize it for a personal check in with my kids, and if I’m going to be honest, a few games.

    Secretly I have one person still in my friends list, a lady who I have know for years, who has very differing views religiously, politically and with most things feminist and gender related. I really rather enjoy posting on these issues and not censoring myself. Wondering on her reactions is a personal form of amusement. She rarely comments, usually just spends the next day posting consistently about conservative Christians, the NRA, traditional marriage, abortion/pro-life and republican party agendas. I find this interaction immensely satisfying to the correctness of my opinions.
    Deb

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    1. Well, when it comes to “things I–as a feminist–wanna see fixed in the world,” the list is never-ending. Always will be. We are all doing that two-step-shuffle-shuffle dance: how much to commit, oops I overcommitted, pulling back, self-care, stepping into the fray once more.
      I find these issues exhausting to think about and write about; at the same time, the thinking and writing–in community with others doing the same–is life-sustaining for me, in the most literal of ways. Just gotta remember I can’t do this for the long haul if I burn myself out with any frequency!
      Glad tweaking your old friend on FB amuses you. 🙂 Those kinda posts would give me aneurysms, so I’ve blocked any friends or family who go there.

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  2. First, I agree it’s absolutely critical to finds ways of engaging and participating that reflect your own needs and personal resources. Blogs are my major resource–and reading them can sometimes be very taxing. That overwhelming feeling of “everything’s wrong, nothing’s right, might as well go suck eggs.” The past week, for instance, I have steered mostly clear. Because my own personal life plate was full (so to speak). Pretty sure my blog feed has passed 200 posts now waiting for me… (eep!)

    For feminist news, I follow a mixture of some big blogs with multiple authors and posts aggregating content from elsewhere (Feministing, The Feminist Wire, Black Girl Dangerous, Crunk Feminist Collective, Skepchick, etc.), some large community sites that are nonetheless highly centered on one person (Melissa McEwan at Shakesville, Jarrah Hodges at Gender Focus). and a whole lotta individual/personal blogs. I’ve been curating this list for probably the last 18 months or so, when I realized how much more vibrant and contested the blogosphere was–and how much more alive and relevant this feminism was–than what I was encountering in the books-only approach to reading (left over from so many years as a student).

    I don’t think commercial platforms and social media sites are anything more than a tool. You find the ones that work for you, and the communities that speak to your issues and concerns–and then you work to make that community everything that it can be. The trolls will be there too; they will be wherever we are–that’s their “game.” I know who I’m interested in talking to–who my ideal audience is–and I don’t engage with anyone else. Since Facebook is where I spend so much time, I keep my list of friends extremely clean–one iffy comment, two at the most, before I de-friend/block someone–so that I feel safe in any conversation, that the people I am talking to share my politics (in the broadest sense of the word).

    Hope this is the kind of answer you were looking for! 🙂
    best, alice

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    1. Well crap–I thought I replied to you under reply. Seems as if I placed my words in new comment form instead. Better stop the wine now before I do something far worse.

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