yes and yes: WWOOFing Your Way Around The World →
This time around we have time and wanted to a) see how people really live outside of a ticket-seller’s booth and b) pick up a different kind of story or two. I had been working a desk job and wanted to get out from under the computer and air conditioning. Imagine having decisions that are no more taxing than whether to have a beer or a shandy over lunch?! Plus we (I) don’t have much (any) money and we (I) suck at budgeting. With these points in mind, a chat with travel-y friends and a clickity-click of the mouse led us to www.wwoof.org. Why, hello there Willing Workers On Organic Farms! You want us to work for 5-6 hours a day, 6 days a week in exchange for food and accommodation? To put the savings account on hold and providing a cracking story to tell at the next youth hostel? No worries, so where’s the dotted line?
"Since Roe v. Wade, use of contraception has increased, and abortion, unplanned pregnancy, and rape have all decreased. Allowing women to control their own bodies gives them agency, and the changing indicators above prove that things for women are better when we are in charge."
"I do feel that the core of the feminist experience is that women are expected to be full people independent of their gender, and that it really is about having the same high expectations of everybody in this kind of an environment,” she said. “I think the idea that nobody gets cut any slack because of who they are is just as liberal and feminist as the idea that everybody needs special dispensation. You better be a badass no matter what you’re doing."
"Pregnancy is hard. It is uncomfortable. It is awkward. It is painful, emotional, exhausting and often vomit-inducing. I was able to work through all of those bad times, which, again, is a majority of pregnancy, knowing that this is what I needed to do to have the addition to the family we wanted so badly. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to have to experience all of those moments – the sickness, fatigue, elbows and feet in my bladder, or the even worse issues I managed to avoid like diabetes, preeclampsia, or even bed rest, all while not wanting the child that was living inside of you. To be forced to go through the pain, the stress and the sickness not out of joy, but because you had to, because someone else made that decision for you, because someone else wanted that baby and that person’s opinion, wants and needs mattered more to the world than what you wanted for yourself. Pregnancy didn’t change my views on abortion, but made them stronger… Just as pregnancy and motherhood made me more adamant about a woman’s right to choose for herself, my miscarriage also reinforced my beliefs. That I needed medical permission to remove it was galling to me. The baby was dead and my body had betrayed me. Now I had to undergo surgery just to make it end. No one should ever lose a wanted pregnancy. Although the physical pain was minimal due to the D&C, the emotional pain was nearly viscous. No one should be forced to carry on with something unwanted inside their body, asking for permission to have it removed, to have your life back to normal, to start again. I want to be in a world where everyone who wants a child can have one, and no one who doesn’t want a baby ever gets pregnant. But until that happens, I need to fight for a world where abortion is an option, because pregnancy should belong to those who want to be pregnant, and not be forced on someone against her will because she has no other options."
"Luckily, there are some great, easy ways to start! Is there a girl you know who regularly has consensual, healthy sex with other unattached and willing participants — with no “drama,” nobody hurting anybody or “dicking anyone around”? Do you sometimes think of this girl as a “whore” or a “slut,” even while thinking that the men she’s sleeping with are just “getting lucky” and “hey, good for them”? You should really stop this. You should stop thinking it, and you should especially stop saying it to other people.
In fact — and this is for the white boys in the audience, mostly, but I trust you’ll all get the point — you should think about it in the same way you do “the n-word.” Look at that! I can’t even write it out, as I am theoretically talking about it! And this is a good thing. Mainly, what I am saying here, is that maybe one day, you will think of these words as the “w-word” and the “s-word” and you’ll be uncomfortable ever using them at all. You’ve just got to work at it."
Growing up, some of the men in our lives were the best examples of feminists we could have asked for. Particularly a certain Leonard Commet Krill, English teacher, step-father, and role model to many. Well, this weekend he blew our minds with this video, which, it turns out, he’s been using with his high school students for years.
The video looks at the Whorfian Hypothesis—the idea that languages affect our understanding of the world in such a way that speakers of different languages think and behave differently because of it—and how it applies to the way we speak (and consequently think) about gender.
We wish we could get Leonard to give the presentation himself, because he does it so well, but here’s the gist: English has evolved so that linguistically, women are clearly a subset of men. Where humankind was once “humanus,” now it is just “man.” And where men and women were once “masculus” and “feminus,” now we are, obviously, “men” and “women.”
And file under, DUH, why didn’t we ever think about this, Leonard points out that upon marriage, we are pronounced “man and wife.” The husband keeps being a “man,” while we become “wives.” Likewise, words once associated with female power are now derogatory: mistress (formerly the feminine mister), witch (female wizard), madam (female sir), and so on….
Leonard says that his students—both male and female—immediately get all of this. We’re bursting with pride that our dear man is setting off so many click moments for his young students. And also sorta wishing we’d studied linguistics.