It is obnoxious that walkouts and the like are "the Knee-Jerk Liberal Cool Thing To Do" (though of course i know that ‘s not why everybody does it).
Sometimes my Women’s Studies class really makes me think, like when we discussed abortion and the professors pressed us to think about why this is such a divisive issue (can you be pro-life and a feminist?), how it used to be an issue of a woman’s right to control her own body and the “anti-choice” (i cringed) movement has made it into an issue of whether the fetus is alive or not, and we talked about the idea that that’s a value judgement and people don’t have the right to impose their values on other people. (We didn’t get into social construction and other cool stuff we’ve learned in Sociology of Crime class.)
But other times....
It is SO easy to bash capitalism, the U.S., rich white male patriarchy, etc.
How do people know so much? And how can they be so confident? I always find there’s more to know about every issue, and things are so complicated that it’s really difficult to have firm opinions.
At least Lisa was upfront about the fact that she was presenting globalization in a way that was not at all unbiased.
Here’s a synopsis of part of the lecture:
The UN is one country, one vote.
The UN is threatening because of that.
The U.S. wants more than one vote.
I thought about how the Security Council is 15 members and a resolution needs 9 member votes to pass but any permanent member (U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China) can veto a resolution.
I thought about how Libya is the head of the UN Commission on Human Rights. I thought about how Iraq was up for heading the United Nations Disarmament Commission this year because it rotates alphabetically.
I wondered where this “the U.S. wants more than one vote” thing came from (other than the obvious allusion to the 2000 election shenanigans). I need to e-mail she-who-looks-like-Jodie-Foster this weekend.
I thought about how Andrew Sullivan and others argue that the UN is no longer useful. I hadn’t really paid attention when i read about it in blogs because it seemed a side issue to the more central issue of whether we were justified in going to war with Iraq even without UN backing, but obviously nothing is ever irrelevant and i should spend even more of my nonexistent free time researching current events issues. (And i say that without sarcasm.)
Also from the lecture, in 1985 there was the Nairobi “racism is a women’s issue” thing, and the U.S. and Israel voted against the idea that racism is a women’s issue. Of course in the context of our class it sounded bad, but i was thinking about bloggers i’ve read defending certain American ways of looking at things, and i imagined that they would say that racism is everybody’s issue and would have intelligent rationale for why it’s problematic and ultimately unhelpful to call racism a women’s issue. I know very little about the Nairobi thing, so i’m not taking sides at all, i’m just saying.
I love that i have conservative voices in my head even when all i have in my classrooms are liberal voices. What i would really love, though, is if there were teach-ins or lectures or whatever which presented both sides of an issue, which gave the arguments as to why something may be good or bad. I know the point of teach-ins and lectures and all is to win people over to your side, but i think the point of information sessions should, sometimes, be give people information so they can make up their own minds.
Melissa Parham proves she can write intelligently.
An article on the “peace movement,” on the anniversary of Stalin’s death.
When i got to work on Wednesday, Bill asked me if i was going to walk out since i seemed a “proactive” type person. I said no, actually i wasn’t going to walk out. “You want Saddam to get his ass kicked, don’t you?” Well, yeah, i said. I always feel uncomfortable when people try to claim me for their side, though, because i tend to understand both sides really well (so the bashing of the other side makes me uncomfortable and i often fall more in the middle or something instead of solidly on one side or the other). Alexis complained that Smithies are protected and out of touch in their bubble, which is true to an extent but which i also think is a bit of an unfair accusation/generalization. He has dog tags. I didn’t ask if he had ever seen active combat.
I love Michael, and i definitely like that he’s so upfront about his political beliefs, though it starts to get on my nerves sometimes. We talked a lot in class about the power of the media to affect public opinion (and thus public action). This led to bias in the media. He made the very good point that everyone has bias, and newspapers shouldn’t pretend to be objective, because it’s impossible, and that you should be upfront about your bias, that "i hope, of course, that my own biases (which are obvious) are not simply dismissed by those who disagree with me, but that they are taken into account and recognized as biases (how could they not be) so that those who disagree know that i know we're in disagreement and can begin the conversation from that position of honest and principled difference."
From a discussion in Women Mystics class:
Are “conversations with God” really conversations with a Higher Power or just conversations with oneself?
If there is the divine in everyone, then does it really matter, is there really a difference?