Monday, April 20, 2009

The Feminism Block and the Lunch Table

Okay, so today we started the feminism block in our jurisprudence law. The philosophy of law applied to the genders. Very interesting. Liberal law theorists place emphasis on freedom above all else and fear annihilation. Critical Law theorists, represented by the minority, fear alienation the most. I felt fear with the mere mention of the word. You never want to be alienated. It was a great word. Every single time I'd been ganged up on verbally and argumentatively by a male population came to mind. More so than some I'm sure since I have never really hung out with my female peers as much. It was a sobering experience. It was true that a lot of the way we as females develop is to avoid alienation or ostracizing ourselves.

Then at lunch one of our plebes Joe was still making jokes about my sister's boyfriend, mostly to get under my skin. I laugh it off, but at the same time I snip back by accusing him of feeling insecure and being all talk and no action and the least violent loud person I know. Joe called the guy an "air-stealer" and someone taking "resources that could be used by [him]". I retorted,

"Joe, you seem to be projecting, are you going through an identity crisis with your manhood right now?"

Joe: "No one else even gets your joke!"

And everyone started laughing, which I felt was sort of unnecessary, after all it wasn't a bad insult even if it was a little bit high-brow? Not even really, but that's not the point. All of a sudden 'The boys' decided to reference a joke they thought was funny that morning and started to pretend they couldn't understand me and telling me, "No, Taco Bell isn't open right now!" ha. ha. ha. I don't mind Mexican jokes, or woman jokes, but it gets a little annoying when they use it as a way to shut you up. So, maybe I was a little riled up from the feminism block but I rolled my eyes and there was more than a little edge in my voice as I commented,

"Ha ha. You guys are so funny. You know Mia I think it's so funny that I use a joke a couple times in a row and the guys are all over that, but they say the same joke over and OVER and think it's funny every time!"

The boys were still laughing and Mia says to my surprise,

"I know it's that same double-standard you know the one where a girl is slut if she sleeps around but a guy is a player."

And all the guys change their tune, "WHOA! Emmy where did that come from? Left field?"

They are defending themselves and saying that taco bell and this double-standard business are two different things. I quiety try to diffuse and tell Emmy in a lower tone,

"It's okay Mia, I understand where you're coming from. I get it."

And J. says,

"Yeah, but it's completely unrelated. [my name] is laughing at you now Mia."

Now it's too late for the boys to undo what they've done. I look at J. funny, because the boys would defend each other to the death just based on the fact they all have a Y chromosome and I don't mess with that. I also was going to just let the situation simmer down, but when he tried to turn me against my female compatriot... I felt irritation well up inside me. This was alienation at its best, they were even trying to get me another female to alienate Mia.

"Well, no she has a point, there is a double standard, and I'm not laughing at Mia."

And out of the corner of my eye I see S. say to Joe something about making fun of Emmy the next time she talks and I catch his eye and shake my head but he nods gleefully and I say loudly,

"No you won't do that, let's have it out now, if it's such a funny joke about Mia, let's hear it now."

Then Joe starts to say,

"I can't even talk without the women's right activists here arguing against me--"

and he's holding up a cup of gatorade for emphasis or something and I grab the cup and slam it on the table and a good portion of the contents sloshes onto the table and into his clam chowder. I am clearly irritated to the point where it's no good for anyone. He gives me a dirty look, but everyone realizes things are heading too far and everyone starts to pipe down including Joe. I rattle off one final pointed question,

"What about women's rights Joe?"

J. interjects and says,

"I think we should call a ceasefire on that topic for now."

Which makes everyone laugh, including me, I have been looking for a moment to laugh and move on ever since Mia made her point, which I agree with but know there is no solution for at the moment. Still I was glad that I hadn't turned against my sister at arms. It wasn't the best outcome but it was nonetheless a better outcome than if I had stayed silent or worse called her out.

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