Hello people of the Universe!
Today was a lovely day. I woke up at 8 after a good night’s sleep, read a bit, checked what had newly happened on the online blah-blah-sphere and worked on my assignments. I spent several minutes looking at this beautiful blue sky and smelling wet grass before immortalizing this simple moment.
Yes, today was definitely lovely.
I went to university for only two hours and listened to a passionate teacher speak about Psychology. On my table, someone had written Sheldon in big letters and it helped me starting a conversation with the girl next to me. She told me she enjoyed The Big Bang Theory and I tried to speak about Mayim Bialik… and it worked. Well, I must say I was very happy to be able to speak about Mayim Bialik and Grok Nation. First because the girl didn’t know about her website and her Ph.D in Neuroscience, and then because I could express the nerd, feminist, and even culture lover parts of me without feeling awkward or boring. Maybe you don’t understand where I want to go, but the answer is coming.
Grok with us: Do you identify as a feminist? Why or why not? And how does that change your perspective on the world?
In her article, Mayim Bialik refers to her Women’s Studies class at UCLA. She tells us how it impacted her day-to-day life and vision of people because no, that class was not only about women but about society. She relates it to Feminism, a movement dedicated to empower people and not only women, to spread equality and respect towards one another. For those of you who already read my posts, you certainly know how much I care about respect and honesty. These values are vital to my well-being and my balance.
Contrary to Mayim, I can’t tell I went to Women’s Studies classes. I don’t even know if this kind of classes exists in France. I can’t tell I received a feminist education or was a witness of a visible disrespect towards women when I was a little girl. I grew up surrounded by adults who were always speaking of the world. With a diploma or not, they were all involved in the discussion. Around a table, eating chicken and potatoes, they were all equal. I grew up reading books, again and again, trying to escape thanks to Roald Dahl or Lemony Snicket. I created a bubble around me, full of amazing characters, boys and girls, without distinctions. In my bed, under my blanket, all the characters were equal. My bubble has protected me from the outside — I didn’t realize it at that time, but it is my armour. As a child, I didn’t support to hear others get belittled but I was too in my world to do something. Let me tell you I didn’t create my bubble by accident, but because I knew how other kids saw me and it was easier to hear what they thought when I was protected in my invisible sphere.
Teenage years are tough, we can all relate, and my bubble started to explode. Being an emotional person didn’t help but I was/am strong. Adolescence arouses my curiosity towards what it is to be different. In terms of sexuality, gender, political opinions, incomes, religion and non-religion, etc. As I was often alone — and I deeply enjoyed that–, I had time to think about issues of society. I met great teachers who, by simple words and sometimes without doing it on purpose, defended equality and not only between men and women. I also met classmates who were narrow-minded, racists and who loved to control others. I suffered a lot because of them. I suffered even more when I realized I had no power to make things change. The feminist in me was starting to wake up, little by little. At 16, I chose to pursue studies about economic and social sciences and I understood where was my place. I was fed with political decisions from all around the world, capitalism and public debt, Durkheim’s solidarities and Prix Pictet. I studied hispanic history and litterature and discovered Franco’s dictature and Darío’s melody. My English started to get better and I was able to listen to Ellen DeGeneres (yay for Ellen!) and read articles about what it is to live elsewhere. I opened my eyes, my mind and my heart to the world around me and I will never thank my teachers enough for that.
For a long time, I was getting more and more concerned about women’s issues. The idealistic teenage me was horrified by all I was discovering in classes and I was wondering why we didn’t speak about that more often, if I was the only one shocked and if people understood or, at least, know what was going on. And one day — I remember it as if it was yesterday–, the teacher presented us the French version of Women’s Lib and I found my place a second time. If you want to read more about this moment, click here. I started to think I could act on my own. I could write about equality, speak about equality. I could pronounce the word Feminism like Harry Potter says Voldemort — kind of proud of this comparison — and explain it with my own words, without getting angry, without trying to impose my opinion to others. I could generate debates, share ideas and let people make their own ones. I could act at my scale.
Today, I don’t wonder why I am afraid at night when I go home alone. I don’t wonder why my teacher wants to finish her class earlier, before the sun goes down, to let us go home safe. I don’t wonder why I don’t wear skirts or dresses. I don’t wonder why my parents ask if there will be men? I don’t wonder because I got used. Yes, I am used to being whistled or honked. I am used to being a woman in a world that sees my body and not my brain, even less my soul. Oh, and I don’t even wonder why a big person is looked up and down, why my friend who looks like an Arab but who is Indian is insulted when he can’t answer in Arab, why we need to precise that three women got an Emmy and, oh my god, they are black. I don’t wonder why because I don’t mind of the reason anymore, because the reason is not valid, not objective, even less respectful. I just care about how to solve those issues. How to make people understand we shouldn’t see each other as enemies, scapegoats, or savages. We are always asking for acceptance, we want to be seen as we are but we are always repressing what is different. How do you want to evolve if we all are similar? If we all agree on everything? If we can’t express who we are, what we want to see in the world and how we want to contribute to its change? Let’s accept diversity and you will find your peaceful place.
Did I correctly answer to Grok Nation’s questions? I hope so. I must say this subject touches me deeply, I find it very important especially in our societies that make men and women properties. Unfortunately, I feel like I don’t have all the cards in hands. I wish I could understand better what is going on — don’t forget I am a French white middle class girl, respecting a lot of beauty standards, atheist, well-educated, etc. I can’t deny I often feel illegitimate, I feel like I can’t represent those who really need help. But I know I am a member of the crew! I want to become a psychologist too. I am on my way to become a better person by opening dialogues.
Ps. I also wrote another post about The Image I (Shouldn’t Have) Had About Women’s Bodies if you are interested. Let’s grok the world!
Ps.2. Thank you Grok Nation and especially Mayim Bialik, of course, for everything you do. I admire your work, your honesty and I feel like we can accomplish a lot all together.