December 18, 2011

Snap. Crackle. Pop.

It’s the end of the semester, so I won’t be writing about anything profound…not like that’s an exception for me or anything.

Over the last few days, I’ve had some really interesting discussions about all kinds of social issues from religion to a Facebook argument regarding the role of women in corporate America. Our discussions were always classy, but seldom uneventful….there’s nothing like being called stupid when you’re arguing about issues that will never be resolved in our lifetime. It really made me think, WHY IS THERE NOT MORE OF THIS?

Why is there not a discussion group that talks about things other than LGBTQA topics? I mean, these discussions happen a lot, but I would LOVE to see something more organized and facilitated. I can’t tell you the last time I had a discussion about religion with a bunch of people I barely knew—like an hour designated to talking about nothing but religion; or women in corporate America; or women in the world; or politics; or all of these things!!!

I’m talking about real deal stuff, like common ground once a week or once a month, stuff. Lets talk about the f-word, the b-word, the n-word, the other f-word, all of that! It could be like a GOP debate, but with smart people! (Lolz I’m a registered independent, but I just like to throw in some provocative stuff)

I would love to see the Center host this kind of thing: A place where people can get flustered, passionate, and even downright angry. A place where all kinds of opinions are valid, but attribution is non-existent. I admit to being ignorant about so many things, but I just can’t find enough people to tell me that I’m wrong…these discussions could fix that!

Can we set this up? Pleeeeeeeease, can we?!

4 comments:

  1. http://www.facebook.com/groups/socialjusticehouse/

    A few friends and I applied for a house because we wanted a safe space to discuss controversial issues without judgement. We would love to have people who want the same thing! =)

    -Helen

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  2. To any undergraduate reading and agreeing with this - a critical part of this will be making sure that Janie, Jess, and everyone at the center knows how important such a space and such events would be to you and your classmates. When the West Union closes for renovations, the Center will clearly need to be elsewhere. When West Union re-opens, the plan is for the Center to not be there, though there is not as-yet a clear plan for where it will be. Make sure to communicate to Janie, Jess, or any of the folks on the task force just what it is the Center does - and could do given specific greater resources!

    For any faculty or staff reading this - there's a task force in place to look at what the Center is and could be for you, too. Please stay tuned for more on that later!

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  3. I think there is a fair amount of this actually, it is just underground and not always in the Center's backroom. (Or when it is taking place in the backroom, it is clearly, clearly, and I mean very clearly, dominated by men, who never realize they are dominating the women who might else have spoke up against sexism.)

    It's hard to feel safe for me to speak about sexism at the Center when the gay male community can be so sexist.

    (note: Kory this comment is not directed at you, it is directed to others, though.)

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  4. To anon 2:27,

    I'd like to caution against calling the gay male community sexist. As a gay male, there are times where I've been in the Center and despite there being more men there, there was still a lot of input from the women there, too. The conversation was pretty balanced in respect to genders participating. It was actually really enjoying to have. I'd like to ask that if it happens again to you that you speak up. If you feel discriminated against, then please say something. I feel comfortable in saying that anything said by the gay men that you felt was sexist or dominating of women was not intended to be so. It's probably just a misunderstanding. But we can't settle that if we don't know.

    Also, I'd like to say that women can dominate a conversation just as much as men. I've been in conversations full of women and felt threatened to say anything for fear that I would get attacked. There was a lot of man-bashing going on in the conversation and I sat there and endured it. Eventually, I did speak up and say something and from then on, the conversation was much more amiable. I'd probably go as far to say that I've been in the Center a number of times where a group of women were talking and if I, or any male, entered, I was greeted with glares and silence. It's to the point where if I don't see other men around the Center, I will leave because I feel victimized for not being a woman. I feel as though I'm the root of all evil and I am not welcomed.

    I don't think it's fair to call the gay male community sexist. The vast majority of us are no more sexist than the gay female community. This fighting between the genders in our community has got to stop if we want any real progress.

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