Easter has almost come and gone and I am once again reminded that I walk a thin line between my religion and my feminism. For the last month, I have been doing a lot more thinking about how sometimes my religion and my feminist beliefs conflict. I find it hard to believe that my God loves me but also doesn’t believe that I am a second-class citizen. Feminism and Religion have long been on separate paths but it time to see that the two can and should work together.
I would like to note that I don’t have many experiences with other religions besides the one I was raised in, which is Catholicism. I will try my best to bring in other religions and if I get something wrong please let me know.
Get this. A feminist walks into a bar, face smudged with ash, thick Carhartt bib overalls, long hair tucked in a cap, perfectly manicured nails, and a strapping fellow by her side. They order two steaks, a beer each, and she has a salad, no dressing. She fidgets as she tries to adjust her thong underwear. When the check comes, he pays. He holds the door as they walk out of the bar, and she climbs to a diesel pickup pulling a trailer full of wood. He drives.
This time last year, I was finishing my first Women’s and Gender Studies class and had learned so much about things I never knew about. I went into the class thinking I was fairly well-versed about the issues surrounding people within different intersections of identities and came out realizing how much I needed to learn. While I’ve always felt strongly about the things I believe in, I never wanted to go to demonstrations or start any sort of movement on campus for fear of stirring things up or making changes in places where I thought were not all that necessary.
After that first class, I studied feminist theory and started reading the news as often as possible. I was getting a more in-depth look at different aspects of feminism while reading in the news about unarmed African-Americans dying as a result of police brutality, about women being sexually assaulted on college campuses and being ignored, and about a presidential candidate who said women who have abortions should be punished. By the end of the Spring 2016 semester, I was fed up with the state of things in our country and decided I would take even small opportunities to do what I could to make a difference and positive changes in my community.
I’m taking a class on Women and Poetry, and while it is by far my favorite class, it’s also made me feel like a bit of a failure in terms of both poetry and feminism.
I’ve been working on an essay analyzing June Jordan’s poem, “Case in Point,” while also reading Sylvia Plath’s Ariel; both poets were highly influential in making a name for women’s poetry. Their confessional styles were often mocked and not taken seriously, but these are the poems that got them noticed, and more importantly, got them noticed as three-dimensional, subjective human beings. Their poetry allowed all women to step out of the univocal space they had been given, and into their multitudes.
Sayantani Dasgupta is the author of Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, & the In-Between and The House of Nails: Memories of a New Delhi Childhood. Sayantani is an award-winning essayist and fiction writer who received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho. To read more about Sayantani, please visit her website. You can purchase Fire Girl hereand The House of Nails here. Hear Sayantani read from her debut collection of essays and get your copy signed at 7:30 PM on September 27 at Book People of Moscow. Continue reading “Fire Girl: an Interview with Sayantani Dasgupta”→
A note about a note I wrote in the empty Saturday/Sunday space in my planner: “Now I take notes all the time, but I couldn’t say why exactly, except that maybe after you become conscious of how you see the world — not from outside yourself, telescopically, but from painfully within — the intent will always be to analyze it.” Several months ago, after discovering a deep and unexpected love for creative nonfiction, I found this essay by Lucy Morris, and started obsessively collecting notes. I’ve always written things down—usually on receipts or mostly surrendered them to lost-ness in pockets or messy desks almost immediately after setting my pen down. I’ve become somewhat more dedicated in my note-taking these days, or at least I’m trying to be; I’ve made an effort to write down everything (a note I found from a tipsy and warm past self, quoting my best friend: “I finished my wine and simultaneously farted. It just happened.”) and tuck it into my journal for safekeeping. These weird saved moments don’t usually go anywhere, but I can’t help but want to keep them. Continue reading “The Give and Take of Writing and Womanhood: An Introduction”→
This story is the first part to a series that will be revealed each day, for the next three. The story’s chronology moves backwards, and please return tomorrow for what happens next.
She dressed the brimming apples with buttery lattice-works and cinnamon. Her thumbs smoothed the dough into the edges of the pan as she cooled her breathing. Her lip quivered when she rounded the edges and waited for the other baked goods to finish in the oven.