Friday, December 2, 2011

Half the Sky

Ok people, calm down. So what if I'm madly in love with a 50 year old man I've never met. HE CHANGED MY LIFE. I mean really, I put him in my Self-Image project (see the video in a previous post). Nicholas Kristof, is, as my Women's Studies professor, Jill Shultz, would say, "my favorite straight white guy." I'm not kidding, his book, Half the Sky, changed my life; perhaps not tangibly, but my life is definitely different. I have always been a feminist. Always, since falling in love with "Margaritaville" because at the end he realizes it's his own fault rather than a woman's. Nicholas Kristof, though, was a tipping point. No longer can I just be a feminist; I have to be a feminist. If you aren't letting it inform almost all of your opinions you probably aren't doing it right, because if you're a feminist on one thing and don't give a damn on another you sort of negate what you're doing by allowing it elsewhere. That isn't to say you have to fight it on all front, or even be confrontational, but you have to recognize the gender imbued in everything. Jill Shultz said a very wise thing in my first class with her. SShe told us there was going to be a point when we realized we were angry, and that if we weren't ready for that we should leave, because once we got angry we would never not be angry again. Then, it seemed a tad exaggerated, but it isn't. All semester, she kept asking us if we'd had our ah-ha moments yet. Half the Sky, and many little moments leading up to it, were my ah-ha, and I'll never not be angry again. I frequently have this sense of confusion as to how anyone can be completely happy when they see all the terrible things going on in their world. In fact, I went to a current professor's office hours and posed a similar question. "How do we live in a world where we know so much is wrong?" She told me I had to pick something I was passionate about and work on that; also that I'm just a Freshman and, really, truly, I don't actually have to have my entire life completely planned out yet (I may still disagree about the second point, for posterity). I see so many happy people around me, fighting for the world I want. I fight, but I think I fight from that anger; the passion to me is the anger, the fire, the desire to get things done and make things happen. And how can we ever stop to breathe when there is always so much to be done.

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