05/01/2014

2013 -14

Einstein, responding to a letter he received in 1946, offered advice to a young girl hoping to pursue a career in science. He wrote, "I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind. There is no reason for it."

I feel like this is very important in terms of equality as it's about not allowing arbitrary descriptions, like gender, define who you are or limiting your possible future. Since September '13 I've been back in co-ed! Which is a noticeable step when you've spent four years in your girls school and allowed that to define a lot of yourself. I'm not arguing against that, and girls schools are very important, Davison ex-patriots are (whether they'd willingly admit to this) surely somewhat happy to have gone to the school. No emphasis was put on our gender with an exception of pride mixed with generic school pride that's encouraged (the appropriate attitude of a young lady was thrown around a bit too much as an incentive to behave). It's very different in boys and girls mixed as a lot more conformity is accepted and there are those gender roles, I'd naively believed were outdated, still present. 


My main question was why doesn't my college in Brighton have a feminist society? So we started one. And we're popular and discuss topics like pornography and careers and education and reclaiming the night. I'm very proud and slightly pressured that it's a bunch of responsibility I took on because why not? Why shouldn't an opportunity be taken? We kept ourselves as Feminist Society because Feminism isn't something to be shied away from. It's gender equality and if that offends someone, then that someone is wrong. Culturally we are very accepting but there are times when we need to dare to be dangerous and contradict someone because some interpretations are incorrect.


I also got a job at an independent cinema in my town, it's very badly paid and I'm very passionate about it. I've slept on the sofa in the office, eaten (and given away free) enough popcorn to feed an embarrassingly large number of people and watched lots of films. I saw Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at the weekend and thought it was very good, although criticized for not being what people wanted - they wanted more about apartheid and less family drama - which I think I disagree with, but worry if that's because I can't stand the bleak reality of how recent these atrocities happened. I go to a creative writing club at my college, still go to my fair share of concerts (guess who broke her glasses in the front row at gnarwolves?), still spend more time on a train than not. I'm nursing a swollen ankle because I drank too much wine and fell over and I'm still clumsy and spending late nights in A&E, concussed. 


I would still rather be in over my head than not trying at all and fearing what social tropes I'm fitting into. I'm trying to keep my head down this next year and pass some exams and maybe not spend £62 on a skirt again. College is an awful lot better than high school. 

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