Posts Tagged 'Kenyon College'



Five Really Good Things

look3

Festival of the Photograph

Last weekend my native town (Charlottesville, VA) was covered in urbanite photographers here for the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph. I’m not nearly serious enough about photography to warrant paying for some of the workshops or lectures, but I did manage to browse some of the galleries, and spend a wonderful Saturday night eating hot fresh doughnuts and watching the photographic projections at the Charlottesville Pavillion. I did take some notes during that event, so look for more on that soon.

(p.s. I yanked those images from the LOOK3 website, which didn’t have a photographer credited. But all credit goes to them and the site!)

Rhodia

Rhodia Drive Raffle Giveaway

I was lucky enough to be one of the winners of the Rhodia Summer Raffle Giveaways over at RhodiaDrive! I’m looking forward to a box of notebooks, stationary, and inks– what more could an art supply fetishist ask for?

 

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Financial Aid Increase

I received my financial aid package for this upcoming year at Kenyon– an event which, for the past two years, has ranged from “highly disappointing” to “oh shit I’m going to have to sell my eggs.” Needless to say, I spent much of last year pushing the school to give me the aid that I deserve– and it looks like it paid off! It’s not as though I’ll be financially comfy this year or anything, but it does feel SO good to know that my work has gotten some recognition.

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Leaving the Tiki Trailer

Some friends of mine are spending a few weeks in France, so I’ll finally be able to move out of the ugly tiki-decorated trailer that I’ve been inhabiting for the past two months. I’ll be taking care of their house and organic garden, the fruits/vegetables of which I can take freely. It’ll be nice to have some income, and to be a little closer to town. 

 

Virginia

Central Virginia Farms

I spent all day yesterday driving around central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, picking up food from the famous Polyface Farm, Cherry Ridge Farm, and others. Of course I didn’t have any camera except a phone on me, so the pictures are sub-par. At Polyface, we were lucky enough to arrive on slaughter day. I’ll elaborate more on this later, but if you’ve read The Omnivore’s Dilemma you know that this is a very fun day to visit. What Michael Pollan didn’t mention, though, is that the farming Apprentices aresome seriously handsome young men.

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If I hadn’t already fallen back in love with my homeland, I certainly did yesterday.

Earthfest 09: Baby Goats!

It’s been stressful for ECO members trying to balance exams with Week of Sustainability, and it makes me wonder how most people prioritize the big picture (global warming) with the small picture (a paper deadline). Luckily, we picked the first really warm day for Earthfest, and it seems like the whole campus was taking a deep sigh of relief. Most therapeutic were the baby goats (see bottom):

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Postscript to a Monologue

I attended Kenyon College’s production of The Vagina Monologues on Friday, and had an excellent time. When I came home, I wrote the following:

I can’t praise Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, enough. She has written one of the most culturally necessary performances in our society today. She renewed a sense of activism for a generation that is, on the whole, apathetic to the point of atrophy. And, she has a great haircut.

On the whole, I think Eve got it right. Feminism is still very relevant in the United States, not because women are treated as inferior citizens (though it would be unwise to believe that those issues have been resolved), but because we’ve largely abandoned the dialogue regarding the ways that gender plays out on a daily basis. In other words: It’s not that the United States hates vaginas; it’s that the we don’t want to talk about them. A friend of mine left the performance halfway through because he was bored– he had “expected it to be more outrageous.” It is precisely because female sexuality is so suppressed and controlled that the idea of merely talking about it seems “outrageous” to us. Referencing one’s cock, on the other hand, is fairly acceptable in the media and in most casual conversation.

So, in general, I’m pleased to support the cause by attending The Vagina Monologues. I get to spend two hours watching women in little black dresses confess, declare, rant, and have multiple orgasms on stage. I get to watch women talk about things that don’t get talked about. Hell, that’s worth two dollars.

I’ve seen The Vagina Monologues three times now, twice at Kenyon and once at Hollins University. And yet every time, I can’t help feeling that something is off when the latter half of the performance begins to turn primarily to issues of global violence against women. Performers throw out random facts and statistics about “female genital mutilation” (FGM)* and systematic rape in various parts of the world– areas that we often label “third world,” “undeveloped” or “developing” (as though these nations are awkwardly trying on their training bra for the first time).  It is precisely the practices and events that the Vagina Monologues denounces that we “first world” activists often use as evidence for the inferiority of those nations. Ensler’s script calls for action, yes, but it feels awfully like a white woman’s burden to me.

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* I prefer the term Female Genital Cutting (FGC) because labeling this practice “mutilation” assigns a judgment without acknowledging any cultural autonomy. I do believe that FGC is an issue that needs to be addressed, and I do believe that it is representative of systemized practices worldwide designed to control the female body (both in sub-Saharan Africa and the United States). If the script had only used the term “cutting” instead of “mutilation,” or if it had made note of the complexities involved in judging another cultural practice, I would have felt more comfortable.

Continue reading ‘Postscript to a Monologue’


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