Sunday, April 20, 2008
Summers' Feminism Lecture
I also went to Christina Hoff Summers' lecture on feminism last Thursday. Her anecdote about The Vagina Monologues vs. The Penis Monologues was interesting, and I quite agreed with her point about the double-standards surrounding the plays/events/mascots/etc. I also agreed with her points about gender war propaganda (e.g., "men are from hell," "men are 'potential rapists,'" etc.), that propaganda makes the aberration the new norm and, thus, is a bigoted institution. Additionally, Summers drew an interesting connection to the "white man's burden," perhaps without meaning to do so: She said that the current societal discourse is that we have to "rescue boys from themselves," from danger and self-destructive behavior. Thus, by bringing the "white man's burden" discourse into the discussion, Summers also drew a connection between feminist/gender theories and post-colonial theory, and I thought this was interesting, as it shows how the different literary/cultural theories can go hand-in-hand. Finally, I agreed with Professor Salisbury's points that Summers' speech/work seems racially and socially biased and that she uses too many generalizations (e.g., how BOYS and GIRLS play). Overall, it was a good experience, and a heated one at that!