Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jajargon

Is all the academafeminist jargon getting to anyone else? It's so frustrating to start out an article about girl's websites and suddenly find myself "negotiating" the murky "discourses" of "actualized" and "idealized" spaces....bla! Like seriously did Reid-Walsh and Mitchell have to spend an entire two pages comparing websites to Foucalt's idealized spaces? Like are Foucalt's guest room anecdotes really relevant, or are they just convenient scholarly analogies?
To respond to what they had to say, though....as I was readding I found myself feeling left out of these independent online spaces for girls. I was entering my junior year of highschool when my 13 or 14 year old friend made a myspace page for me, and then I never really personalized it. I was definitely fascinated by the myspace world, though, and the way other girls made a space for themselves and used it to interact with people from all over.
Finding girl-made websites through this class is the awesomest thing to me. I wish I had known about them earlier. Even the Girl Engineer website, which isn't made by girls but targets them in an interesting mentor-y way would have had a positive impact on me. To slide into the good girl/bad girl---geek/bimbo discussion, I had to do science fair for three years at my middle school. The first year, I put together a rockin' project with some big help from my senior biologist aunt and went to regionals. Then in seventh grade I decided going to regionals was "way too much work" and when I got to the judging decided it would be a great idea to sabatoge my own project. I had a crush on this boy Tony who was like one of the smartest guys but always always dated dumb girls. I combated my over-nerdiness by stealing (borrowing) my older sister's cute clothes, and convincing the girl sitting next to me at the science fair judging to trade places with me when the judges came my way. She thought it was funny and went along at first, but then when the judges caught on I slid back in to rep my project, laughing hysterically and giving ditzy brunette answers. Pretty ridiculous. It's almost unbelievable to me now how media pressures and peer pressures and boy pressures combined to make me act in a way that was pretty much against my ethics. And yet in a weird way I think I was kind of awesome for acts of rebellion like that. Anyway, the moral is, I could have used some girl scientist inspiration.

1 comment:

Sarah Wissig said...

It's really sad that you seem like you were at least somewhat really interested in science, but then felt like you couldn't be. I was never a "science person", but did well in school in general and definitely remember feeling ashamed and embarrassed at points for being "the smart girl" and like I should pretend I wasn't or something. Other students would compliment my work and say they were jealous, and I never really actively tried to appear ditzy, but I do remember trying to seem somehow less smart and more normal, whatever that meant, so as not to be the freak-of-nature smart girl. Encouraging girls with natural interests in science , or any subject really, to feel good about it and continue is really, really good.