As we come to a wrap with the end of this year, I am reflecting on how this class changed my perspective on women and gender studies issues. I was fortunate enough to be in a class this year that initially talked about safe space versus brave space. Our safe space was free from bias, judgement, conflict, criticism, or potentially harmful comments. I honestly felt as if I was able to be my “true self,” as in sharing my opinions fully heartedly, and knowing that I wouldn’t be critiqued for my voice. As for the brave space, it taught me that it is okay to challenge and be challenged by the audience. They were the first two topics taught in class, and @sarahjeanmay if you’re reading this, those changed my life.
(Picture: Reflective, Website: army.mil)
As we continued in the year, I got more comfortable around the people I was around. My writing partner @standtallstaystrong made a huge difference in my work. Helping out, not just grammatically, but if she felt that I needed to add my personal account in my writing it was advised perfectly. We stressed to our professor enough that we didn’t want to change writing partners. Once our bond was made, to weekly read the most personal of each others thoughts, it then became apparent that a match was made instantly. This class wasn’t all just easy discussion, though. Looking back at my writing, I do believe I improved. My first pieces of writing seemed to lack my personal narrative. That could have been due to the fact that it is hard to let people in, but throughout this course it seemed easier to want to have people read my story.
(Picture: Book Read Learn, Website: Pixabay.com)
When I lead my first discussion, that’s when I completely felt in control of my thoughts and knowledge about the topics of Disability Diversity and Toxic Masculinity. The readings, in different ways, connected to me personally. My dyscalculia taught me to fight back the urge to call myself “stupid,” and instead say, “Numbers can be challenging, but I’ll work through it.” As for toxic masculinity, it was a nice self check to remind myself to not make men feel as if they have to always prove their masculinity by making comments like, “Aww, that was cute.” Being a discussion leader allowed me to take a more active role in ShoutOut!, and I cannot be more thankful for that opportunity.
The final memory I have from class, wasn’t even set in class, but at TDU in Madison Union. Sarah encouraged our class to attend or participate in V-DAY, an event held to bring about awareness of violence on women, and ways to end the abuse. Through this, there was poetry slam being done by @livinghumangirl, @merm4idfeminist and @w0kewarrior, a wonderful singing rendition of Quiet by @endlessripples9205, an intense raffle for a dope sweatshirt from @godisawomannn, and I can’t forget about the chance I got to MC the event with a @tiredandgay. Listening to everyone speak brought tears to my eyes, mainly because it amazes me that we have all been silenced for so long… Yet the words we share are so powerful. V-DAY, Vagina Day, Victory Day, Valentines Day, whatever people wanted to call it… Became a day to remember for the rest of my JMU career.
(Picture: V-day-logo, Website: Wikimedia Commons)
So, now why is this blog post called Good(bye) Friday? Is it because it’s my last blog post? Is it because it’s a play on use of words for Good Friday? Well, all of those maybe valid reasons. But for me, it’s because this isn’t goodbye. ShoutOut! Has given me a space to keep all of my thoughts in transit, all of the bad-bitch rants in one spot, and all of the people I’ve looked up to this past year, in one contact list…
So for me, well, I’m just getting started on my journey of feminism. (Picture: Journey Travels Road, Website: Pixabay.com)
Featured Image: Cross Easter Good Friday, Pixabay.com