Christian Feminism, Voting, and Slacktivism

Posted by blatantblithe on May 10, 2010 Blog posts | Feminism | Music | University | Zines | | No comments

Sorry for the long break in updates, but I was dithering about updating for a while because I didn’t think I had anything interesting to say!  I know I have things to say, I just find it hard to push myself to write it all down, especially as I’m still dithering about what direction this blog should take.  :/

I came back to Nottingham last week, and after a few intense days of essay work, things are going well.  I’ve finally handed in my last essay of year 2 of my degree, and am now in the process of revising for exams and sorting out my dissertation title for next year – eek!  I’m really nervous about next year, because there’s just so much work to do.  As well as my 12,000 word dissertation, I’ll have to write 9 essays over the year, do an oral presentation (ARGH), and sit a little 1-hour exam.  I’m also concerned because one of the modules I’m taking – Determinism and Free Will – looks really difficult, and I really don’t want to do it, but since the department offers so few modules I have very little choice in the matter.  Eep.
I’m very worried about my dissertation too, naturally.  I’m going to write it on feminist theology, but at the moment I’m still trying to decide what area of feminist theology to look at because it’s such a big area, and I haven’t studied it academically before.  I’m considering discussing something about whether it’s possible to be a Christian and a feminist, an issue that I’ve personally struggled with for years.  As a liberal, pro-choice, third-wave feminist, I disagree with a lot of things that go on in organised religion.  On the other hand, I do believe in God, and I want (need?) to worship Him properly, and sort out exactly what I believe in.  The whole situation makes me feel very uncomfortable.  I am particularly annoyed about the hypocrisy of the religious right, who call themselves ‘pro-life’ and argue that they want to ban abortion in the interests of preserving life, and yet try to deny us contraception (that would prevent pregnancies, and therefore prevent abortions) and decent childcare and support for mothers (that would give women an incentive to keep children)!  I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I hate how they only care about life while it’s still in the womb.  It’s ridiculous.  I know the religious right is more of a  pervasive force in the US than the UK, but it still goes on over here.  The number of anti-choice MPs in this country is quite high – the Lib Dem candidate in my constituency in Nottingham is anti-choice (a fact I found out after voting for him, although he didn’t get elected anyway).  Over Easter,  I saw a bunch of anti-choicers put up posters at the side of a busy road in my hometown Llanelli, reading “ABORTION IS MURDER”.  I was very annoyed, but since I was driving past in the car I couldn’t do anything other than glare at them and rant to my mum.

</ abortion rant>

Yes, as mentioned above, I voted in the General Election!

(very disappointed that my constituency has a BNP candidate, although I’m delighted that there aren’t any BNP MPs yet)

It was the first time I’d ever voted, and it felt awesome.  I’m disappointed by the outcome of the election, of course, and surprised that the Lib Dems didn’t get more votes and seats – I swear 90% of my Facebook friends voted Lib Dem, but I guess a bunch of students does not a movement make.

A few hours after voting, I met up with one of my friends, and I found out that she’s a Tory!  We had a long conversation about politics, wherein she explained to me a lot about the Conservatives that I didn’t know, and all of a sudden I realised that I knew nothing about politics.  She asked me why I voted Lib Dem:

“Well, uh, I did a quiz that matched me to the Lib Dems… and I agree with their policies… *blush*”

It was embarrassing.  When I asked her why she voted Conservative, she started talking about specific policies including Trident (is it just me, or does it sound like something to do with toothpaste?), benefits, pensions and crime.  All of a sudden, my mind went completely blank and I completely forgot why I hated the Conservatives so much.

“I, uh, heard that they weren’t very supportive of women… there was this, uh, survey… in the EU, about women, and loads of Tories voted against it…um…(What is wrong with me?)”

“Actually, they’ve got all-female shortlists!”

“Oh.”

It was awful.  Not her fault, of course, she was awesome about it all.  She even criticized David Cameron for being a weak leader, something that she thought would be a problem if the Tories came to power.  I just felt so small and stupid for not knowing enough about politics to have a proper conversation with her.

I don’t mind being ignorant about things that I’ve never been involved in, like economics, but I consider myself to be a somewhat political person.  Not that I claim to know a lot about politics, but I am a feminist interested in women’s issues and LGBT issues, and I thought I was making an informed decision when I voted.  Now I think I barely know anything about politics.  Is it better to cast an uninformed vote, or not vote at all?  I don’t know.

Having said that, my self-doubt creeps in when I’m talking about anything, including feminism, theology, and music… so I’m not sure how much I know really.  I need to get more involved with politics and find out what I can do to help advance feminist and egalitarian causes in politics, rather than sitting at home scowling about it all.  I’m sick of being a slacktivist – signing internet petitions and joining Facebook groups might be a start, but it’s not exactly very pro-active.

I could rant about this all day, but I think I’m getting boring now.

Zine Update: I’m currently working on Here. In My Head. #5, and have just finished the Spring issue of Artemis, which will be available to read online and in print by the end of the week.  I’ve been getting lots of lovely compliments about Here. In My Head. #4 – thank you all so much! :)

Music Update: You remember I mentioned that I am being featured on the compilation CD “Sanity is Slavery”?  Well, machineKUNT have released a number of “Sanity is Slavery” pre-order bundles, which you can check out here.  If you’ve got the money, a donation would be awesome, as it’s a great cause.  I’m also in the process of building a nice new website with the help of my lady of awesomeness Sarah – we’re hoping to get it finished by June.

101 Things Update: As well as voting, I read Jane Eyre, one of the ten ‘classic books’ that I want to read, and I read Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Person’s Guide To Why Feminism Matters, one of the ten feministy books that I want to read.  I really enjoyed them both, and am planning to write a review of Full Frontal Feminism and a few other feminist books for the next issue of my zine.  I also wrote a better CV and distributed a few copies around at home in my attempt to  find a summer job.  I failed a few too, including regularly updating my blog and paper journal.  Pah.

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