Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’

This is the second post in two days written by me. Why? Because I am supposed to be writing a paper on not being born a woman and another on linguistics, and read two Raymond Chandler-novels. And as you may know by know: I am the queen of procrastination.

Right now I’m in the library with a friend, and I must say: I love Tromsø! This is the best library I’ve ever been in, and the view is amazing. But do you know what isn’t amazing? Writing essays.

I wish I could write this paper in a more humoristic way. Seeing as it is a paper on philosophy, and I am supposed to show my own opinions and views in the writing of it, I guess I could write it like that, but it is supposed to be in preparation for my exam, and I most certainly can’t do that when writing my exam, so I guess I should just get used to it right away.

My last post did actually get comments, so I guess I should write about radical faminism more often. So now I will write about it some more.

The Simone de Beauvoir quote that I ended last blog-post with is the quote I am writing an essay on. And it is found in her most famous book: The Second Sex. This is actually two books, published as one, with many parts and chapter. It’s huge!

I haven’t read all of it yet, and maybe I never will, but I am reading the chapters on gender vs. sex, and how girls are treated differently than boys, this resulting in the different qualities that are associated with the different genders. It is an evil circle of girls being made submissive by the society, and therefore the society continues to expect girls to be submissive.

I was never brought up to be like that. My mother, being the strong and wonderful woman that she is, thought me to stand up for what I believe in, and she allowed me to dress in the way I wanted to and play with the toys I liked. There was no question of forcing me to wear dresses and pink, I got Legos and toy-cars when that was what I wanted, and I climbed trees and had playfights without anyone telling me that it wasn’t “suitable for a girl”. For this I am thankfull.

This doesn’t seem like a very radical up-bringing, I am sure, but I am also sure that my mother and fathers liberal gender-views were important for me to become the woman I have become. No-one ever told me I couldn’t do something just because of my sex, and so I never believed it to be impossible for me to do anything. And yet many girls and women react to my way of being, and even become biased towards me because of it. Do I view myself as any less of a woman for it? No. I know that I’m a woman, I even want to be a mother someday, I just don’t believe that women are naturally more “soft and fuzzy” than what men are. Men are just as capable of love, wimsiness and care-giving as women, and women are just as capable of entrepeneurship, intelligence and sexuality as men. And yet these qualities are still by many linked to one gender alone.

I say to hell with genders, we are all humans. The only thing different between women and men are reproductive organs, hormone-levels and muscle strength. Doesn’t seem quite as important as the human qualities of feelings, intelligence and sexuality, does it?

-Frida

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There are two significant causes leading to me writing this particular entry on this particular evening:
1) In less then two weeks it will be the 8th of March, also known as the International [Working] Women’s Day.
2) I am currently writing my first essay in Feminist Philosophy.

The past years I have been active in the planning and celebration of the International Women’s Day in Bodø, so it felt natural for me to be active in the group planning the celebration “Ladyfest” in Tromsø. (That’s right: Tromsø have enough people to actually have an entire festival… In Bodø we had a march for women’s rights and hardly anything else…) I’m glad that I joined the group to plan it, especially because the other women in the group are incredibly nice and supportive.

So, why do we demonstrate for women’s rights? A lot of people ask me about it, and especially in Norway where women are supposedly equal to men. And yet they make lower wages, work more part-time, are the victims of nearly all sexual assaults, have higher rates of eating disorders, and the list goes on. These are some of the reasons why I feel it’s important to keep working for women’s rights, and what’s more: It isn’t all about the norwegian women. It’s called the International Women’s Day.

Let’s face it: This is a man’s world. The dictators in Egypt, Libya and the rest of the world are men. The people who will get the power when these dictators are gone are also men. And they will decide the faith of women in their countries.
In South-American lands such as Nicaragua and Venezuela women are denied abortions. Even if they were raped, or victims of incest. In U.S.America Justin Bieber says to Rolling Stones-magazine that abortion is murder, while rape happens for a reason. Chavez [Venezuela] and Ortega [Nicaragua] are men. Justin Bieber is supposedly male. And they still get the right to speak about and rule over women’s bodies, rights and reproduction, when the women themselves aren’t granted the same chance.

Simone de Beauvoir, one of the best known feminist philosophers, critiqued psychoanalytics (such as Freud), scientists and biologists for using the male as the rule and the women as the exception. Freud even went as far as to say that all women at some point in their life feels like a mutilated man, and that something is missing about them. This is the well-known theory of “penis envy”. [Oh my god, she said penis, right?]

One would think that more than 50 years later this will be better. That the woman is an equal, and not just seen as a secondary creature with a secondary nature, but no. Today, if a woman chooses not to give birth (like Simone de Beauvoir did herself) she is often spoken down to for it. And if a woman, or a girl, chooses to speak up for her beliefs she is automatically labeled a tomboy or a problem child.

The problem I see with the world, and that Simone de Beauvoir also saw, is that women are confined to a certain way of life and thought that people try explaining with science, but that really is nothing more than a social construct. And men uses this social construct to keep their power. This is gender, not sex, and women who don’t fit in are pushed out and away. No wonder it’s hard being a teen-age girl, right?

-“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
-Simone de Beauvoir
And now I’ll return to my writing.

-Frida

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So, It’s been a little while since I’ve contributed. I’ve been working on this on and off for a little while, (mostly as just thoughts and notes so forgive me if it is a little disorganized) and I figured I would share with you lovely people. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately. I’ve discovered more things about myself in the past 6 months than I think I ever have. I feel more in control than I have before also. But I’m not going to be speaking about me, it’s about something more.

Each and every one of us, whither we believe in God or not, have two things that connect us. That bind us. The first is love. The second is suffering. Ultimately these two are connected also. Not one of us is capable of escaping them. We can try, and we can come close, but even if we escape one for a moment, the other takes us hostage.

There is no escape from suffering when it comes to love. And no love without suffering. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart is sure to ache, and possibly even break. The only way to keep your heart safe is to give it to no one and nothing. You must lock it up and hide it away. To love is to suffer, and to not do so eventually results in damnation. You shouldn’t avoid love for fear of suffering though. Its better to remove all armor, take all risks, and be reckless in love. For pain is much better than to feel nothing at all.

There is something else we all have in common. We live in a world that is desperately seeking a reason, a purpose, a meaning for living. Our nation was even founded with the right to pursuit happiness. I think it’s important that it was worded as such. Happiness is actually easy to come by but hard to grasp. By that, I mean that happiness is something that happens, not something you can reach out and take.

There is a lot to the statement that once you reach the top there’s nothing there. Have any of you heard that? It basically means the enjoyment, the challenge, the beauty of life itself is in the climb to the peak. There is not much at the destination but the footprints following you back through your life. The destination is the end, the destination is death

The way I think of life is a huge open area of land. Your accomplishments and goals in life are marked by small hills. Gradually the hills increase in size. And off in the distance is your mountain. The mountain marks the biggest part of your life, your purpose. You want your highest aspiration to be the peak of that mountain. The more impossible the goal the better. Because once you reach that peak… there’s nothing but the view and then the descent back down…

Now, I know I’m not very old, but the more I grow as a person the more I’m coming to realize the purpose of life. For me, that path leads through knowledge, wisdom, love, and honesty. For you, it may be something else entirely. But those are the things that, to me, I yearn for and always want more of. I want to be wise. I want to learn as much as I possibly can while I live. I want to have a love like in stories and movies (Silly I know lol). And I want it to all to be honest, real, worth it, earned… Now I know I might not obtain all of those to the extend that I would like. But that’s what I want out of life. Life is so short, and at the same time long. There is so much to gain and lose, so much to give and take. There is so much to experience in life. What do you want to experience the most out of life? Can’t think of just one? How about the top 5 or 10 things you want to experience out of life above all the rest?

Look, if through reading all this, (Which I really appreciate if you read it all :] ) you don’t take much away from it…. at least take this. Find someone, something, anything… in this world or otherwise. Once you find it, Love it with everything you have. Love it till you can’t love anymore. It seems to me the question that can’t seem to be answered (What is the purpose of life?), should only have an answer that can’t be explain; love.

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The more I think about it, the more I realize that morality is mainly a conditioned response.

From the time we are children we are “taught” right from wrong. When we do something socially incorrect, we get punished, when we do something that is acceptable in society, we are rewarded. The way we are taught right from wrong isn’t much different than how a scientist conditions a rat to push a lever. If a child was raised without ever being taught right and wrong, or being punished for actions, I highly doubt they would have much of a “conscience,” which could also be described as the internal response to our moral choices.

If what I say is true, then the belief that humans are naturally good is foolish. More accurately it should be described as “humans are naturally bad, but taught and raised to be good” Humans are naturally greedy, selfish, seeking and doing what profits them the most, the countless wars of history are proof enough for that. It only makes sense then that the world is in such an awful state because there are currently more people alive than there have been those who have ever died.

Hmmm… That’s all I have for now, food for thought, though.

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