College Kills (Extra: Example of Why the World Needs Feminism)

So…I just wrote a ten page research paper in three days.

That basically explains where I’ve been this last week. It’s an online class, and my professor even posted where we should be with writing our paper every week for the last two months or so…I did mine in three days before turning it in a day early so I could start the four-page paper that is due on Thursday (which is stupid easy in comparison to the super complicated and formal paper I just finished) and hopefully be able to go to my boyfriend’s hockey game Wednesday night (I’d asked it off of work just to go) instead of sitting alone in my room desperately trying to make sure that everything I’m typing makes sense.

I wrote about sexism and women’s rights and genders roles for my Sociology Class (Social Problems) paper. I am a feminist. I have a lot of feelings about this. Usually, when I have a lot of feelings about a paper, I actually try to stay ahead of the game, and am typically pretty proud of my work because I’ve had the time to work on it and have my writer friend’s look over it and help me. I feel kind of disappointed in the paper I turned in, since I know I would’ve done better if I had actually planned more. But, I do have good news!

Because my professor was aware that “most of us” were going to submit a paper, he told us about how the sociology department actually has a research paper competition with a CASH PRIZE, as well as some other super near perks like going to an awards banquet and whatnot. However, I am a broke college student, so the money is the driving factor here. The best part is that the due date isn’t until January 30th, meaning I have two months to go back and shine my paper up to my heart’s content. Even better? One of those months consists of my winter break! (Only two weeks left till then!)

I also have some really awesome news that is not paper related: I am having one of my poems published in my school’s twice-yearly writing and art showcase. Actually, there’s a story behind that, since I was one of three people in charge of selecting the prose pieces. One of my closest friend was encouraged by our Creative Writing professor to submit a prose piece that another friend and I had both read and workshopped. Even though I told her that I wasn’t going to be able to speak about her piece during the selection meeting in order to avoid bias, I was sure that it was going to be picked.

Long story short, my friend wrote about sexual assault, and I think it made the other 2 editors (both boys) uncomfortable. They said something about “rape clichΓ©” and put the paper aside without any more discussion. I was a good little editor and held my tongue.

The bus ride back to my car after the meeting was hell. The kid that had said that lovely little phrase was actually sitting a few rows behind me. I was able to fake friendliness while we’d been waiting at the bus stop, probably because I’ve worked in customer service for a while now. The actual ride was an entirely different story. My blood was still boiling, my eyes were watering and I was feeling a little nauseous to top it off. I was beating myself up for not saying anything, realizing that I would’ve had the same thoughts about that statement regardless of who the writer was. I had no idea what -or if- I would tell my friend about why she hadn’t been selected. I thought that our friendship was over.

Before the kid got off the bus, the “clichΓ©” kid looks at me and says, “don’t look so grim!”

I doubt that I have ever wanted to punch a practical stranger more that I did when I heard that. I didn’t react, except for a laugh sarcastic laugh that I hope he’d take as friendly, since I had to deal with him more this semester and next.

I drove home carefully in the snow, changed immediately into my work uniform, and managed to only be a half hour late to work. It wasn’t busy enough for me to throw myself in like I usually do when I’m in a mood. I texted her during my break and told her that the meeting had happened.

I told my friend what had happened over the span of that night and the next day. She assured me that she wasn’t upset with me, even though she found the situation just as infuriating as I did. I reluctantly told her about how I’d gotten an email about my poem being accepted, and we both couldn’t help but notice the irony:

Her prose piece about sexual assault went to one female and two male editors and was rejected.

My poem about sexual assault went to one male and two female editors and was accepted.

I’m not going to force the point down your throat, but I think those two sentences say a lot. Luckily one of her poems also made it, and it’s message about the environmental destruction impressed our Biology professor so much she mentioned it to THE MAYOR (of the city she’s criticizing) and now he wants to read it and possibly have my friend read it at some kind of City Council meeting.

Somehow, that feels like the world balancing itself out to me.

Anyway, I know this post doesn’t have much to do with writing advice, but I promise I do have a lot of ideas up my sleeve for the coming weeks. I also might post a few pieces I submitted for my Creative Writing Class portfolio, possibly including the one getting published.

Until then,

Nicole

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3 thoughts on “College Kills (Extra: Example of Why the World Needs Feminism)

  1. That’s so exciting for you! πŸ™‚ But my gosh, that story makes my stomach twist around. How infuriating! That’s really interesting about male vs. female editors, even if it is a little disappointing. I’m hoping things continue to change and move forward.

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