Hello readers! As this is my first blog post, I felt that it would be best to introduce myself and explain why writing for Shout Out! is important to me. My name is Justin Grandinetti and I am a senior. I am a WRTC major and a Women’s and Gender Studies Minor. I am also a straight, white male with two post college educated parents. By all accounts, I am the mythical “normal.” Because of who I am, I don’t experience gender or racial discrimination. My life is full of privileged interactions.
It would be incredibly easy for me to ignore all of this and pretend that who I was born has no influence on my life. It would also be incredibly easy for me to consider my experiences as the norm for all people, and write off the issues of others as simple complaining. However, it is because I have this privilege that it is even more important that I do acknowledge it. Though it is impossible for me to truly “understand” the challenges of others, it is crucial that I try to.
So why feminism? And just as importantly, why do I want to write about it? The answer is simultaneously complicated and easy. I believe that feminism is incredibly misrepresented by both detractors and proponents. The reality of feminism is that being a feminist is incredibly easy. Do you believe that women should be treated equally? Then, you are a feminist. Being a feminist doesn’t require a full literacy in academic papers and novels. It doesn’t mandate organizing rallies and protests. What it does require is taking an active stance in acknowledging inequality and working to change that.
Taking a feminist stance in everyday life requires a different mindset (and in many ways, a sense of humor). Whether it means voicing support against laws which limit access to contraception or wondering why Bic feels the need to create a “For Her” line of pens, feminism is everywhere. Though there aren’t always clear answers to whether or not something is wrong, the important part of feminism is asking questions.
Since I’ve started to identify as a feminist, I have been questioning more and more elements of society, entertainment, and everyday life. Some answers come easier than others. Larger questions of women’s and LGBT rights are more easily answered. Questions such as whether or not I should still like the Game of Thrones books despite elements of sexism aren’t. However, I think that by writing out my thoughts and hopefully creating a dialogue, I can bring up issues that matter in one way or another. That is what I hope to bring to Shout Out.
I join the blog in a time in which issues of equality matter more than ever. The upcoming presidential elections will determine the direction of the country for the next four years. It goes without saying that one of the two choices is far less friendly to the rights of women and the LGBTQIQA community. In a day and age in which many believe that feminism’s work is done, it is important to continue to point out issues of inequality and work for change.
I hope that this post gives readers a look at why I feel the way I feel. I look forward to a great semester discussing the good, bad, and humorous on Shout Out!