Friday, February 15, 2008

From Northern Lights to Feminism to the Botanic Gardens

I just started reading The Northern Lights (aka. The Golden Compass) and it's so good. In fact, I love it. During all of the hype about how parents shouldn't let their children watch the movie or read the book, I had loads of fun reading other people's responses, but I didn't think I'd get so into the book like I am right now. I wish I was in a book club to start a discussion about the symbolism and deep dark meaning!!!

Jason just brought home a new book from the library for me. . . and yes, it's another book on feminism. It's a reader with essays and articles and poems. . . and I can't wait to get started. I was enjoying my reading of Feminism: Issues and Arguments written by Jennifer Saul but we had to take it back to the library before I finished so I can't wait until it's free again. I'm pretty sure it's a text for a class at the University and if that is the case I'd love to sit in on some of the lectures. There are so many different strands of feminist thought and this new book will get into that. Even after reading much of Saul's book and listening to some lectures on feminism from a professor at Stanford University named Estelle Friedman, I still don't understand why women would shy away from the word when discussing women's right to be treated equal and often say things like "I'm not a feminist, but. . .."

I know it's a complex word with meaning that changes with topic and time but as I was reading from the Saul's book I came across a wonderful definition of feminist thought. Since I don't have the book on hand to quote word for word the underlying argument is: a focus on womans' rights and questioning any conditions, laws and culture that cause subordination based on gender. This always rings so right to me. So clear. I love being a woman and promoting womans' rights to fulfill life as they dream and desire. So many myths float around in politics and everyday life that are not at all how I see feminist thought. It's such a shame.

The text also confronts the tendency in society to value what a man does more than what a woman does and questions why? It does not suggest that a woman should work outside the home or in the home but it does call for equal recognition for the work a woman chooses.

I love Jason and love that he loves feminist thought as well. He just read a book entitled Misquoting Jesus that discusses how the original texts which came to be included in the New Testament were changed by scribes over time. One section talks about how some of the writings of Paul, which are usually pointed to as teaching a subordination of women (such as that women should not speak in church), were altered a hundred or so years after they were originally written so that they would include those teachings. In the earliest and most reliable manuscripts they were either not there, or they indicated more of the roles that women played as teachers in the church and leaders in the Christian movement.

. . .On a lighter note--we went to the Botanic Gardens today and I have to say that the sun outside my window was oh so deceiving. I needed to wear my winter coat but instead just took my light spring coat. Soren and I still had a wonderful time and frolicked through the indoor gardens imagining they were jungles. . . and the flowers were better than a dream with bright pinks, purples, yellows and more. I have a love for orchids and want to share their beauty with you. Tah-Dah!!

A little live Georgia O'keeffe


So lovely-- little cabbage patch kids were about to pop out!



The dance of the Orchids


Almost cuddly. . .


so yummy and cute and sassy. . .

The is one of my favorite plants because the leaves turn to vibrant colors towards the middle like a flower but the texture is still leaf-like.

15 comments:

Stephanie said...

What a fun day. I love the monkey backback.

Pat said...

The orchids are beautiful !! I'm glad to see Soren has accepted the monkey on his back. We can look back and laugh now at the hard time he gave us when we tried to get him to wear it !

charles said...

I wish I'd known about feminist theory earlier. I didn't really find my bearings until post-college.

Almost cuddly plant-fo' sho'!

I'm so glad that we can talk on the phone again!

Ring! Ring!
Phone calls are better than bling!
Soren sings to me!
A-B-C!

Jason said...

I'm the same way Charlita!

Cammie said...

That was me.

SummerChild said...

I wish you were living here in New York so that we could have a book club together about feminism! It is something that I think about constantly-- I love being a woman, and I love advocating for women's rights, and I love how women are so different and not just one can represent all of us!

I love botanic gardens too!

Michelle said...

So great to have spouses that support feminism. I love your flower photos we are need a trip to an indoor botanical garden!

Elizabeth said...

What great photos. How fun to run around an indoor garden together.

Meaghan said...

I love all the flowers. We love going to the botanical gardens in Encinitas.

I took a feminist theory class in college and loved it!

Cammie said...

Meaghan, that is so cool!

Bridget said...

It has taken me all of my married life to be where I am. I am a feminist. How can I not be with 2 sons and 2 daughters? There has to equality in my home or I am a liar. I love you. You say things so well. xo

charles said...

so true, bridget!

mere said...

A few nights ago I finally realized why it bothered me when people say flippently, "oh staying home is the most important job in the world..." I felt like it was lip service but I couldn't pinpoint why I felt that way. Then it hit me. When I tell people Cory stays home with Dotty, I always have to qualify it with "well he's in school, so it makes sense" like otherwise it would mean he was a failure. When really he is so great at home and I really believe that Dotty will have such an advantage from having such a strong and real relationship with her father. If staying at home were so important, why isn't it a success when men do it?

Cammie said...

That's such a good point Mere. I find myself having these types conversations too. One of the reasons I love feminist thought is that it isn't just questioning points of society that are unjust to women but it questions unjust laws based on gender in general. I think you would really like the book I was reading. . . and so good to hear from you! Your little girls is so cute and I love her name!

mere said...

I'm totally going to read it!