Saturday, December 04, 2004

elemental femininity

When I was first assigned to teach first year college students I was really in shock because a lot of people know that I do not take classes that are populated by first year and second year. The reason ‘culture clash’. I can’t read them and they cant read me. I can't stand them, they can't stand me. And for the nth time I have settled on the fact that I cannot and will never ‘jive’ with people under eighteen years of age.

Then came the assignment, as our class progresses I have noticed that, yes they have a culture that I cannot relate to, but what I have noticed is that they are famished in terms of learning. They ask a lot of challenging question and they don't have the pride of looking at the matters as if they paid for it (the class i mean).

The last lesson that I have conducted for this year proves to be remarkable, we talked about Muted Group Theory, a conjecture proposed by Cheris Kramarae, its entirety evolves on the role of women in the society and how misconceptions borrows reality.

A lot of them rebutted me on the concept of courting. Allow me to elaborate on what we have talked about-

1.According to my students it is a must for every woman to ‘test’ their suitors.
My answer: Why? What For? What will you gain? My students answered ‘so that he would be given a chance to prove his worth and his love for you’. Now this is scary. Why do men look at women as conquests? Should we feel bad that most men treat women as prizes or trophies? Truth, NO. We women pre-condition men, that if they prove their ‘worth’ or ‘love’ we will become the prize. We are not prizes!...put that inside your head. We are individuals with intellect, emotions and worth!...That is the reason why we feel neglected after we agree to become their gf's because they start to treat us like 'average' being. Or worst they treat us like a prizes, for display, no feelings, no intellect.

2.According to my students it is a must for every woman to be ‘pretty and presentable’ for the man.
My answer: When was the last time you put on something special because of the sole purpose that you want to please yourself…can’t remember huh? Yup, because you only get into something special if you know that you would see the guy you like and if he does not pay attention then you get sad, worst you feel rejected (when there is no act of rejection at all). This is even scarier than the first, your mood depends on the guy’s reaction, worst your self-esteem relies highly on the reaction of the guy towards what you wear or the color of lipstick or how tight your clothes are. I can’t even write this without shaking my head.

3.According to my students it is a must that a guy should carry their baggages (as in their bags, books etc.).
My Answer: Why? Don’t you have arms?

4.According to my students it is a must that a guy should pick them up and deliver them to their houses.
My Answer: Talk about the same scenario like a pizza delivery. And besides you have been going home to the same place for eighteen years, suddenly you need a guy to show you the way…hmmm…why not use a map, a compass or even begin to wear your clothes on the inside out just to be sure you won’t get lost.

5.According to my students it is a must that a guy tell them sweet nothings.
My Answer: Which is scarier ‘sweet’ or ‘nothing’? it means nothing and yet you want it to be sweet? Am I lost in translation here?
What is my point? I don’t know. I have been writing and battling this thing as long as I can remember.
The fact that we women want to be treated equally and yet we cannot even let go of petty traditions that we can truly live with out.
If we want to be treated equally as we claim and shout from the beginning of time we must be willing to fulfill our share of the bargain…we cannot claim equality in terms of conception if we hold on to the dogmatic beliefs.
Like what CS Lewis said ‘to be completely close , is to be completely wrong’. If we want it? We must not settle for a placebo.
So what happened to my students?
We had an hour overtime and a make up class because there are a lot of questions that needs to be addressed.

Grace Bible Church