Humans of New York and A Room of One’s Own

Humans of New York and A Room of One's Own

“I work so many hours at the factory. I need to find a way for my daughter to live a better life than me.”
“How do you do that?”
“I’m not sure. No time to think about that.”

Writing and thinking about the conditions that enable one to “think” and participate in the production of knowledge, I found this post on Humans of New York very interesting.
It’s obviously not directly talking about the literal or figurative “room” that Woolf argues for, but the conditions that allow one to think outside the everyday need to make ends meet seem to remain relevant today for both sexes.

What Makes a Film Feminist?

What Really Makes a Film Feminist?–The Atlantic 

I ran across this article today and thought that it was raising interesting questions about what makes something “feminist.” As we were thinking about women’s voice and their representation not only in political and economic terms but also in cultural terms, I wondered what it really means for something to be of “women’s voice” or “feminist.”

This article  explains a new rating system that evaluates a film’s feminist-ness and exposes the potential problems with labeling a film “feminist” that might be useful for us when thinking about La Nouba des Femmes du Mont Chenoua and Woolf.



The Population Problem and the Third World

In Sen’s discussion of the current population problem, the third world is considered to be the main ground of contention. She talks a lot of the measures taken in the developing countries designed to curb the rapid growth of their population and goes on to talk about the different measures such as coercive and collaborative approaches. In comparing and contrasting the two different approaches, she points out the restrictive and possibly manipulative nature of the coercive and seems to encourage the collaborative approach.  The collaborative approach, described by her, would provide individuals with “expanded choices and enhanced security, and encouraged by open dialogue and extensive public discussions” which will eventually (and naturally, it seems to assume) make birth control possible. In this sense, it seems a bit almost condescending to have the problem framed that it is almost their ignorance that is the cause of this “population problem.”

It’s also interesting to note how the grounds for this issue/current phenomenon is established as a “problem” without much justification. Throughout history, as noted by Sen, there were several other periods in which population saw significantly rapid growth. Industrial revolution was one, agricultural revolution was another. If the sudden growth in population has had a pattern in the past and we’ve apparently survived those revolutions, why is it suddenly a “problem” to deal with, especially by educating the third world? Why do we label it a “problem” and is the ground for this phenomenon to be label as such well-established?

Who determines the right number of children to have and what gives them the right to do so?