26 March 2010

Feminism?

I'm quite pleased to live in an area that has regularly scheduled homeschooling programs in the local library as well as the usual preschool and toddler storytimes. Mind you, my children can't go yet; they get too overwhelmed. But it's nice that we have these regularly scheduled homeschooling programs, even if I can't make it there.

I asked the homeschool coordinator of our local library if I could do a presentation of some of the artwork I received from Picturing America. And she said yes! I was asked to do a presentation on the only two women whose works made it into the Picturing America portfolio, Mary Cassatt and Dorothea Lange, because March is Women's History Month.

Well, ok...

So I did some research. And naturally, I found that these were women who went against the cultural mores of the time. They were described as independent, stubborn... that sort of thing. More than one source I cited claimed that their works were instruments for social change, feminism, government intervention, blah blah blah.

So I presented that. Apparently reporting the facts that one finds... after being asked to do a presentation about these particular works... well, one reviewer stated that I was overly "politically correct" and had an agenda.

You heard it here first, folks. I am a radical feminist, and I was out to indoctrinate the little kiddies by telling them that sometimes ladies don't want to grow up, get married, and have lotsa babies and stay home. I'm almost sorry that I left out some of the more... interesting... facts, but sort of glossed over them in such a way that only the adults would understand if they were listening carefully during my presentations. I mean, I mentioned that Cassatt couldn't be trained in painting with men in art school because people didn't think it proper for ladies to see the "live models." Doggone it, but I *purposefully* neglected to specifically mention that the "live models" were butt-nekkid strumpets out to destroy the traditional family values we hold dear by allowing men to doodle their boobies, and I didn't mention that Cassatt must have been inherently evil for having any ambition whatsoever.

I was kinda miffed. The library lady who coordinated the presentation (did introductions, made sure tables were set up, that sort of thing) said to me later that as Christians, we would like the world to be a certain way, but sometimes we just have to go with where the facts lead us.

The facts (unfortunately, I guess) also led me to mention that there was this guy named Roosevelt, and this thing-o called the Resettlement Administration during the Great Depression, and that people were really starving and needed help. The background behind the picture I presented was really heartbreaking: a mom with seven children, and they've run out of food, and just sold the tires of their vehicle so the kids could eat, and now they're stuck. You would think if I were just a little more brazen, I'd have advocated for Obama personally popping into the ol' black and white photo to begin handing out unicorns and free pony rides and running up the national debt for these lowly moochers. The nerve of that hussy, photographing hungry people in the hopes that they could be helped.

Snippy little me thinks that when you get *too* extreme, you start to worry about whether the mom in the picture were picking frozen peas in a skirt and debating about whether it's proper for her to "work outside the home" at all, and ignore the fact that these people were hungry and desperate and likely didn't care where help came from if their children ate that night.

I told D about the bad review I got and he thought it was hilarious that I was called out for being a feminist. He's been calling me "Femmie" all afternoon. I'm not conservative enough to pass muster in homeschooling circles, I guess...

:P

9 comments:

  1. Oh yeah. I know EXACTLY what that's like. You just have to keep your sense of humor handy in situations like that. People who make those statements deserve a chuckle and maybe a little pity. They weren't so much listening to what you were teaching as they were looking for something to criticize. Kind of a witch hunting mindset.

    I've also been called a liberal a time or two.

    You get used to it. :)

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  2. I love ya like a daughter :)

    and I'm proud of you, you femmie you ;)

    I agree with Mary, some people just look for something to be miffed about

    presenting the facts, and being open minded, and having empathy for people and respect for history can never be a bad thing

    you made me laugh about Obama popping up and offering unicorns and free pony rides

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  3. Some people just can't appreciate the hard work you put in to make a thorough and accurate presentation.

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  4. The irony of this situation is so rich. You are a stay-at-home mom, which is the antithesis of what folks think feminism is. If you are such a radical feminist, then why are you home making babies? LOL

    Oh no! Charlotte Mason, my favorite educator, never married nor did she have children. She also was an agent of social change, trying to make education better for all children, including girls. She supported herself in an era in which proper ladies did not do such a thing. Was she a closet feminist? Let the book burning begin . . .

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  5. Ditto to all the above comments.

    I'd like to ban the use of the word "agenda", actually.

    PS: I am hosting a bra burning next week; I expect you will be in attendance.

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  6. That is so funny. If you are a radical feminist with an agenda, I shutter to think what I am and I am the most conservative person in my circles. I am still laughing. You did well--there is always someone who will love you and hate you when you make a presentation. It really doesn't matter. Good for you for helping with everything else you have to do.

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  7. I don't get it. Facts are facts [from she who's been known to be a little woolly with her facts]. I don't have to agree with what people do to appreciate what they've achieved. [At which point I always drag out Oscar Wilde whom I adore for the wit of his writing & deplore for a complete lack of morals ~ but hush. It's not PC to deplore his morals these days.] See I have to write drivel on your blog because the ginger cake in the oven is not doing what it ought & now I must worry about being too femmie, which is why that darn cake is still sloppy in the middle, never mind how many kids I have & that one cannot afford to not feed the cats. The critics are nuts. Give them the references & tell them to go check their facts.

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  8. "Femmie." [snicker] Oh my, Mrs. C, but you do have the best adventures [smile].

    ~Luke

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  9. Your presentation sounds great. Good for you for presenting the facts!

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)