It’s International Women’s Day. It’s a fantastic way to count – to take stock – of issues related to women around the world. Which opens all sorts of interesting tensions in the world of education around women, power, and who counts.
I embrace the idea that there’s no perfect feminist but believe that being in education and not embracing feminism is trying to hold on to the past while trying to influence the future. Some who struggle with the idea of feminism will use today and this month to appreciation and acknowledge women. Which is swell and great and lovely. But… does it count? Will it matter?
Best way to make it count is to well, count. Count every time you go to the movies. Consider the tally your $20 will count towards. Withhold your hard earned dollars if the movie was made without women’s voices or input. Use those twenty bucks to buy a DVD you may have already seen or have no intention of watching so that purchase counts. If you’re ever a Nielsen household, make sure women’s sportsball are on and tallied whenever you can find them on the proverbial dial.
Count the number of female faces in trailers. Mentally tick off the number of lines said by men or women of color in movies centered around the story of a white, male protagonist. Look in the background of your favorite TV show and count patterns. Haven’t heard a female voice? Haven’t seen a face of color? Stop watching.
Don’t go on Twitter without counting. Count who you re-tweet. Count who others RT. Look for patterns and then for evidence to disrupt the pattern. If none exists, speak up. Even if you’re told you’re wrong. (The irony being of course, is that if your avatar presents as a white male, odds are good that your followers have been socialized to accepted that you’re right. Even when you’re wrong.)
Want to make this day, this month count? Then start counting.