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shainaagbayani's blog

June 27, 2011 Weblog:

Manizing Womanism

I wrote last week about my observation that women tend to voice their opinions less frequently than men in both educational and casual spaces, and are less assertive when they do voice their opinions. My musings for this week stem from a weekend outing in an all-female space that, for me, bore seedlings of problematic and potentially oppressive "maninzing" of conversation about sexual experience.

It is a common experience to, after reuniting with a group of girlfriends after a long period separation, converse about the nitty gritty of romantic life, which is precisely what I did over at Eat my Martini in Toronto over the long weekend (for Quebec) with a group of friends with whom I'd gone on exchange program to St. Félicien, in Northern Quebec, 3 years ago, as an awkward, green 16-year old seeking to improve her awful Ontario-curriculum-reared French.

Over in the Lac-Saint-Jean area as sixteen and seventeen year-olds, we were very much adolescently fixated with summer romances, and, in in our encounters with one another since then, conversation have oftentimes revolved around the romantic and, more openly and confidently as we strut into our twenties, the sexual.

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June 19, 2011 Weblog:

Women in Space

Second Wave feminism sought to address the dearth of women's presence in the public sphere, particularly in the workforce, recognizing that their bodies were disproportionately tied domestic work in the private space of the home.

So when Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to enter space on June 16, 1963, this majestic symbol of women entering a "space" to which only highly entitled - educationally and career-wise - individuals could access became a hallmark event for feminists. Since then, the types and amount of spaces that women occupy have increased to an extent which has encouraged the common perception within the non-academic-feminist Western world to be that Westerners finally inhabit a post-feminist era.

A series of conversations and experiences that I've had both (1) recently in academia and (2) over the entirety of my life elsewhere consolidate my belief that public "space" is still much more occupied by men despite the typical statistics that anti-feminists will cite, such as the fact that North American women presently comprise a larger part of the workforce than men.

I'll be referring to space in a most elementary form - conversation - although we could certainly cite how women are still more systemically occupy less space. A recent conversation with a "feminist" male friend was one of the many triggers of my reflection on the topic. He stated that , as someone understanding and supporting of the concerns of feminists, he still catches himself being more heedful of men's opinions that than that of women, for instance in environments of political activism.

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