name is Laisa and I just discovered your web site
on the Internet yesterday. I am a second year
law student at Emalus Campus at the University
of the South Pacific in Port Villa Vanuatu. As
a feminist I would just like to congratulate you
at Feminist.com on the fine work that you are
doing in creating awareness for women's issues
and in particular women's rights, I too am doing
my best to educate my peers on women's issues
and to shed light on topics regarding the validity
and reasonableness of the cause.
sometimes it's really hard to do this as the countries
of the South Pacific where most but not all of
my colleagues come from, are patriarchal, and
therefore men are more respected and given more
freedom, rights and privileges than women. Its
even harder to create awareness when women themselves,
generally speaking in the South Pacific believe
that it is right that men are respected more and
given more opportunities than them. How can I
succeed in educating men and trying to help them
understand the whole concept and purpose of feminism
when women themselves are refusing to accept the
idea? But I will not rest.
are women in History who have fought long and
hard, who have sacrificed time, wealth and energy,
so I could have the privilege of being educated,
the privilege of having a hopeful career, the
privilege of having a voice and having that voice
heard. There are women like you and I who continue
to work and fight so that women in parts of the
world that don't have this privilege may one day
be able to enjoy it, and there are women who come
from confined and restricted cultures that have
totally and out rightly refused to acknowledge
women and give them equal respect, and these women
may never ever have their voices heard. I feel
that I owe it to all these women to stand up for
the feminist cause and women's rights and every
other principle that may fall within these categories,
I feel I owe it to all of them, to all of you,
to continue to voice my opinions on gender equality
and respect for women.
you so much for the tireless effort, the work
for the recognition of women's rights and creating
awareness regarding women's issues, it is one
of the worthiest causes any woman could ever pursue,
it is after all directly related to her identity.
I congratulate you and I pray that we all be given
the divine strength to continue to work for those
women who are less fortunate than us.
days ago, a friend of mine who studies Medical
Law challenged me on a particular issue regarding
surrogate mothers. The lecturer of the course
who majors in this field and is a male, told the
class that in opting to have surrogate mothers,
working women are actually saying to the world,
or implying, that it is a burden to have children
because they take up valuable time that could
be spent in furthering a career. In my friend's
opinion, surrogacy was just another excuse for
women to further their fight for women's rights.
I have rebutted these views extensively, but I
would like your opinion incase I have missed out
certain issues essential in the better understanding
of the topic and the comment made by the lecturer
as well as the opinion upheld by my friend.
glad that we could provide some sense of comfort.
I want to assure you that living in the U.S.,
which is also a patriarchal culture, doesn't guarantee
one any easier time. In fact, I think it's harder
because in other cultures, I think that there
are at least some traditional practices that honor
women's participation, but in the U.S., with the
exception of Native American tribes, there is
no tradition of that -- so we have to start from
scratch. This isn't meant to be so discouraging,
but to say that no matter where we are, there
are people addressing these issues and working
on solutions and thus we really need global connections.
the issue of surrogate mothers -- every instance
that I know of aren't "selfish career women,"
but people (younger) who have been trying for
years to get pregnant and can't. Surrogacy isn't
an easy decision and people take it lightly. The
other people I see choosing it are people who
are challenging traditional family models -- for
instance, lesbians, where one partner has her
eggs implanted in another. Or when people can't
have children and they want to have their genes
recreated somehow. I hope that helps -- try Nancy
Lublin's book Pandora's Box -- a look at medical
interventions in the womb from a feminist perspective.
Good luck with continuing these challenging conversations.