I must preface this post with the information that I am taking a gender studies class this term. I absolutely love it- it's filled with thought provoking questions and conversations, and very little lecturing. Now that's my kind of class.
Today we were looking back on the timeline of the feminist movement, and what it's all about. There were some very interesting points (more historical, the usual, etc) but what really got me thinking was this discussion we started about Paris Hilton. Now, I have no personal connection with Paris Hilton, I have never met her, nor do I really ever want to but I just had to bring this up in my blog.
As we were talking about Paris Hilton, one student mentioned that she has everyone doing her job for her, that she's stupid, and hurts humanity. Another student mentioned that she has perfume, but all male scientists making her perfume, and someone mentioned that it was just a name. Now, what I found fascinating about all of this is that these students were doing the same to Paris Hilton that many people do to each other, and maybe even especially towards women. If you prefer being a critic, expect to have critics come right back at you. I don't know what made my classmates think that they knew Paris Hilton well enough to judge her, her character, her business techniques, etc, but I think that whatever made them think that is the same thing that makes people feel like they can judge based on gender. Again, I have no idea what I think of feminism- I just have a whole bunch of questions, followed by more questions. But I think that when we are talking about someone, when we are judging someone, we have to expect that back in just the same way we dish it out. I'm not confident that this will change in the near future, but I hope people are aware that when we judge someone we don't know and label them just based on what the media presents or what their perception is, we're opening up the doors to allow others to do the same thing to us.