The book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl published in 1861, tells the story of the struggle of Harriet Jones herself. From the beginning of her life in 1813 in Edenton, North Carolina to how she maneuvered through multiple slave owners, and the injustices she faced. Having to grow up by yourself after your parents pass at such a young age, while also having a younger brother to take care of as well as raise yourself, just goes to show that even from a young age, Ms. Jones was a very strong woman. When living with her mother’s mistress, she was able to be educated which many slaves at the time couldn’t even think of as a possibility. After the mistress’s passing, Harriet’s life took a turn for the worse when she went to live in the home of a man who would continue to sexually abuse her. She allowed herself to have an affair with her white neighbor to try to lead that to disgust her owner enough to sell her off, but it unfortunately back fired on her. She was finally able to trick her way into escaping, because she did not want her children to be susceptible to the same kind of unfair treatment she went through. After years of hiding out in an attic she’s able to escape to New York to try to be with her daughter, and that seemed to go well for some time because she was also able to find a job with a kinder family than most. Her previous owner followed her North and continued to try to pursue her, as well as endanger her children to be enslaved once again, which leads Harriet to escape to Boston. The Fugitive Slave Act passed during this time which made Harriet even more vulnerable to kidnapping and re-enslavement. When her previous slave owner passes away, his relatives try to make a claim on Harriet, but fortunate for her, her current employer bought her freedom, even though she was unwilling to be bought and sold again. After all was said and done, Harriet volunteered in the freedmen’s relief movement, by passing out food and supplies to blacks who escaped slavery or war. Eventually she also returned north to run a boarding house for colored Harvard faculty and students. Harriet Jones is a very resilient woman and her story and perseverance is inspiring.
I interviewed my paternal grandmother who in the 1970’s was living in Bangladesh. During this time period, there was a war going on between Bangladesh, which was then called East Pakistan, and Pakistan, which was then called West Pakistan, to be it’s own country. There were many women who were actually freedom fighters at this time, though she wasn’t one of them, she watched firsthand some of her friends become one. It was a gruesome war with many casualties and horrific sights to see. In such a time like this, it was really unusual for women to be anything but housewives, but to put themselves on the front lines of this war was a giant step for the feminist movement. It was a tragedy that it took a time period like this for people to see the full resilience and strength of a woman, but it slowly started to progress from then on.
I’ve been doing okay during this time, I work as a teller as Chase and since banks were considered essential I was still working for the most part up until recently where the branches in my district closed for two weeks. I feel grateful for still being paid for my time off and being able to comfortably pay my bills in this time of such economic distress. I feel like I’ve lost all track of time and I have this sense of I feel like I have so much to get done at home, but then I realize I can just get it done the next day because it’s not as if I’m going anywhere anyways. I also feel this constant sense of anxiety because I can’t wait for all of this to be over so normal life can resume. Hope everyone is safe and doing well.
The show I decided to watch is called Cable Girls, it is a Netflix series that currently has 5 seasons. It’s actually a Spanish show that gets translated into English, and it takes place in the 1920’s in Spain. During this period of time, Spain has just gotten their first national telephone company in Madrid. The main characters are the telephone operators, or known as the “cable girls,” who are four young women who get jobs at this company, but it becomes more than just work. It depicts a progression that’s being made during a time where women are starting to gain more equality with men. Throughout the entirety of the show, these women continue to break barriers and go against the norm of a what a “lady” should be or act like. For example, one of the characters Carlota falls in love with a woman named Angeles, who happens to be her manager, while she’s still in a relationship with a man named Miguel, which then proceeds to be an open relationship between all three of them. In order to continue her relationships, she defies her parents and moves out of her home and comfort and breaks societal rules to pursue her life the way she chooses it to be. Carlota and her partner Angeles continue to receive scrutiny from outsiders and get shamed for their love, but they continue to persevere, while also having the support of Carlota’s boyfriend Miguel, which was the shocking part of it all. As the show goes on, Angeles comes to the realization that she wants to go through a gender transformation which was also a very foreign concept during this time period. After much research, Angeles finds a hospital that was known to have done these transformations before, but after arriving there she was shocked to see that it was church members in disguise and they held her captive thinking they could “cure” her from wanting to change genders. This show relates to our class in the sense that it shows the difficulties women had to and still go through to justify their choices and their desires/aspirations. It also gives a look into how far we have come as a society now, but yet not too far because there are still people who judge and think the way the characters did back in the 1920’s. Women have the right to do whatever they please with their bodies, and who they choose to love or be attracted to. The show just goes to show that if not a specific person, that there were always situations that tried to control women from doing what they really want to do.
In a life without anti-racist activism as well as feminism being accepted as a normality, I would be able to walk down the streets and people wouldn’t be giving women walking in hijabs and burkas a side eye or assume they’re unsafe because of it. Women of color would not be judged by their skin. I would be comfortable walking down the streets alone at any time of the night, and I could wear whatever I wanted in certain parts of my city without fear that I will be looked at in a demeaning way.
I am interested in exploring issues of the women’s rights movements and the search for equal opportunities and rights as they are related to women, gender, and sexuality studies, especially the work of Gloria Steinem who focused on equal opportunities in work and education during the time period of the 1970’s.
Feminism means to work towards achieving gender equality. To believe that everyone is born equal, despite race or sexuality. Feminism is about working against the systems that are built to keep certain groups of people oppressed. It includes a fight for acknowledging how race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic statuses affect feminism. It allows people to look at how things not in a way of how it is, but how the world can be.
In order to write a post, first you have to click “add yourself” on the bottom of the home page, then you have to proceed to a plus sign which is on the upper part of the page and click it. After clicking it, two options come up which are “post” and “media,” so “post” must be clicked. This will bring you to a new page where you can start typing and then click publish once done.