Marilyn Wann said “A nicer, more polite way of saying something that’s offensive” was the best definition she had heard for “euphemism,” so i became the English major for the night.
She told her “Space Alien Billboard” story. In San Francisco there was a billboard for a gym that had space aliens hovering over a city and it said “When they come, they’ll eat the fat ones first.” Angry, she rallied a whole lot of people to demonstrate outside the gym with signs that said “Eat Me!”
She had us do this interactive exercise where she wrote “FAT” and “THIN” on the white board with a line drawn down the middle between the two and had us brainstorm words and phrases we associate with each of those. Afterward she said “It’s not fat people against thing people, it’s all of us against that line. No one feels comfortable in relation to that line.” I thought that was interesting.
Math-major-Emily gave me a ride home, and i learned that Bard was worse than Smith for stuff like everyone talking about their “feelings” in class. This frightens me.
The only thing that really made me twitch during the talk was near the end when people started talking about capitalism. I decided not to come out as a capitalist in the car ride home, but we did talk about how talking about big abstractions (capitalism, society) often becomes a defense mechanism so you don’t actually do anything.
We also talked about those people in classes who never shut up and how it’s great to feel empowered, but the next step should be feeling confident enough that you don’t need to make everyone listen to you about everything, that you can actually shut up at times. (And then tonight Emma and i talked about privilege and guilt and "oppression" and so on. Whee.)
bullet list of issues i think i want to be involved with next year:
- body image
- self-injury (mental health)
- political diversity
It would be really cool to do a fat-positive workshop (i definitely need to do more research over the summer to reground myself in all this) and i need to e-mail Hampshire-Toby about what Flaunt It is doing and i’m refusing to use the word “coalition” but yeah, i’m interested in working together with other people, other groups, other campuses.
I definitely want to educate myself on more trans stuff over the summer, to better ground myself if nothing else. And i really do wanna be more involved in education and stuff next year, feel bad that i really haven’t done much this year.
Self-injury and the broader issue of mental health issues is something i really should be more educated on, and hopefully next year i will actually have the time to get involved with stuff. Should e-mail CV to see who’s taking over next year since she’s an ‘04.
I have a feeling i won’t really wanna deal with politics, but i am interested in more dialogue about issues, that isn’t attacking but is actual dialogue. And i’m interested if Anna Rule’s group managed anything this year and if i wanna be involved next year.
In other not really unrelated news, Shawn running for SGA President. Smithies are talking about how it’s deeply important to them that here one can always say “she” when referring to the SGA President (unlike everywhere else, yanno, where the big bad men run everything) and apparently alums are spamming the Jolt and threatening to withdraw donations. Shit like this makes me wish i had gone co-ed. (Hmm. Am bookmarking this for reference for my future magnum opus.)
This is not to say i don’t love Smith, of course. I heart upsidown’s response to this survey:
The average Smithie waffles between being too PC and being too blunt, whines about homework but loves the challenge, is way too over-committed, has at least one "pet" issue, is loyal to one and only one acapella group, has an Irish-level of warmth and hospitality (especially towards prospectives and confused first years), is addicted to ethernet, has been told by public safety at least once to put clothes on, worships at least one professor unconditionally, gets very emotional and worked up about something on a regular basis, lives for 11pm and the Daily Show, watches TLC with one eye out for anti-feminist sentiment and the other for cool styles, does nutty things for "the house," has taken at least one course completely unrelated to the major, has whined about getting a B, goes to Drag Ball in full glory, and could succesfully organize and run the entire world and be home in time for Friday tea.