It’s Tuesday night after a very full International Women’s Day, and I don’t know what to write.
In fact, I don’t know what to think.
Partly, the day has made me afraid that things are worse than ever for women. Shannon Dea’s story about the events at U-Waterloo is sickening. On the other hand, I am watching that story go viral, thanks to our good friends at jezebel.com.
Back on the one hand, Margaret Wente tells me I belong to “the freest, most educated, and most affluent group of women in all of human history,” if also, as a result of reading her column, the craziest. On the other hand, the 176 comments following her column mostly call her out as a delusional, propagandistic git.
Good news: facebook feeds full of International Women’s Day greetings, pub invitations, re-posts of feminist speeches, songs, and performances. Bad news: you’d never know IWD has socialist roots.
Fail: Texas. Win: Planned Parenthood Truth Tour.
Epic Fail: my friend Sue walks into a safety training session this morning and one of the men asks, “Are you the coffee brewer person?” Epic Win: use of non-sexist language.
What’s a feminist to think?
Here in the academy, where we think for a living, things seem even murkier. We have a woman President, a woman Deputy Provost, and lots of women Deans …. but does it make a difference? StatsCan’s newest (Feb 2011) publication on Doctoral Students and Teaching Staff reports notable gains by women in doctoral programs ….. just as the academic job market appears to be imploding. (Note: women are still underrepresented at the doctoral level by comparison with earlier education levels – well, you can read the report for yourself if you’re after the full nuanced picture.) Women still do disproportionate amounts of teaching, mentoring and service ……
because we think and we know it matters.
As I reflect on the 100+ posts in Hook and Eye (woot!), I am struck by how many thorny old feminist issues – double shifting, chilly climate, inequity, unpaid emotional labour, differential rewards, work/life balance, dislocation, the cult of youth, the beauty myth, racism – persist. But I am equally struck by the thoughtfulness, resilience, commitment, respect, creativity and just plain smarts of this community. Who’s “this community”? Our bloggers and commenters, for sure, as well as everybody who drops us a note offline, posts H&E on facebook, links to our blog from your blog, recommends H&E to their friends/partners/colleagues/mothers/kids, teaches it in their class (!), or tweets our stuff – but also, and crucially, to each of you who find the time to read our blog in addition to the teaching, mothering, mentoring, feministing, writing, befriending, researching, administering, yoga’ing, studying, cooking, cleaning, ranting, railing, and standing up to the bullshit of everyday life. The biggest affirmation of Hook and Eye for me?: the sisterhood owns the internets.
When we started this blog back in September, it was with the conviction that we needed a faster feminism. We’re more convinced of that than ever.
Look out, because we are up to speed.