10 May 5 Friyays: May 10
Hey, all! Similar to Dr. Donnelly last week, it’s been a bit harder for me to write my Friyays today. It wasn’t a very positive news week and so it took me longer than normal to find my list. There’s a strong theme of telling women’s stories, which is always a goal of ours here at Abbey Research, with a dash of SNL hilarity thrown in. It’s not the most uplifting of lists, but they are important stories nonetheless.
A Fantasy Showdown
We’ll start with the hilarity, shall we? As a big fan of the MCU and Game of Thrones, I loved SNL’s cold open Family Feud from last week’s show. Leslie Jones’ Groot impression – ‘Bitch, I’m Groot’ – is my forever MOOD.
Photographing Native America
One of the best articles I read this week was the story of Matika Wilbur, of the Swinomish and Tulalip tribes of the Pacific North West, and her journey to tell the stories of modern Native America. She’s spent the last 7 years traveling the continent in an attempt to photograph every federally listed Native tribe. Through her work “She’s captured thousands of portraits from over 400 tribal nations so far, all with the goal of challenging stereotypes and shifting the consciousnesses of contemporary Native America.” Dr. Donnelly and I have both started to educate ourselves about the history of Native America, and the treatment of Indigenous people by the US government, and if you’re looking to do the same, you can follow Matika on Instagram or listen to her podcast.
Violence in Native America
In a similar line of education, one of the things I’ve recently learned is that women living on Native lands are murdered at an alarming rate – sometimes more than 10 times the national average. I’ve also learned that Native women have a much higher rate of disappearance, both off of Native lands and in US cities. This article from The Guardian details the complexities surrounding violence against Native women, the limitations and biases of the local and national systems, and what activists are doing to enact change.
Controlling Women’s Bodies Through Psychology and Asylums
The history of women incarcerated in asylums is too big for me to cover in a thousand Friyays, but I found this article about Irish women in the early 20th century to be fascinating. Sending independent, intelligent, supposedly ‘different’ women to asylums was often used to curb ‘abnormal’ behavior. It can be difficult to imagine a time when women were sent to asylums because they liked to read too many books, or wanted to work, or didn’t want to marry, but this article shows it was not that long ago. Considering how we’re still fighting, every day, for the right to control and make decisions over our own bodies, it shouldn’t be that surprising.
The Misogyny of Online Spaces
As my Friyays have progressed, they’ve gotten a bit darker. But since I know many women who have been threatened with physical violence for opinions they’ve posted online, I felt this article from The Guardian was important to highlight. Misogyny is a complicated concept, and in a society that struggles to deal with complexity – constantly insisting on framing things in black and white – it is difficult for many people to grasp. I thought this quote about its toxicity and how it can lead to violence against women, sums it up: “Misogyny in real life or online does not emanate from lone wolves or a few bad apples, it is part of a sustained effort to subordinate women. That is why it needs, so desperately, to take down any woman who is seen as powerful. This may happen in the “imaginary” world online, or it may use actual violence. It is done by creating spaces that are so hostile to women, few of us venture there.” When women don’t feel safe entering a space, then we lose out on their voices, their experiences, and their contributions. When we don’t regulate platforms like Twitter, then the spaces where women are not welcome continue to expand.
Apologies again for the only marginally awesome, somewhat sobering Friyays. Hopefully each one has given you something to think about! Dr. D will be back again next week – until then!