The Stigma against Feminist Basket Weaving

The Stigma against Feminist Basket Weaving

A defense of Feminist Basket Weaving as a valuable skill and major

Scrolling through Facebook, I saw a post proclaiming that college students shouldn’t expect to receive financial aid, considering we’re squandering thousands of dollars on useless degrees, such as Feminist Basket Weaving. Well, I guess that means that I should be paying full tuition, given what I'm studying.

I’m planning on majoring in either Art History, English, or French. I’m sure the stereotypical parent would be horrified at my choices. How can I possibly expect to be hired after college with such a useless degree(s)? Haven’t I seen the economy lately? We need more majors in STEM!

Based on my superfluous choices in college, can one draw a line be drawn between making the baskets, pieces of art, and studying the creation of past basket weaving masters? Learning about women in art, and being a feminist?

I'd argue that art is an integral part of our lives. Sure, we could all focus on math and physics, which are admirable subjects, and my defense of the arts is not an attack on math/science. Indeed, it’s often these number-based courses working in tandem with the arts that creates the best masterpieces. So here’s a defense of practical applications of creative talent:

Without people majoring in theater, where would actors learn how perform?

Without Studio Art, where would the next Picasso learn how to hold a paintbrush?

Without music, where would the next Taylor Swift learn how to compose?

Without English who would write the script to the next La La Land?

The pattern quickly becomes obvious: we need the arts.

As for the feminism aspect of basket weaving, I don’t know anyone who has a major solely in Gender and Sexuality Studies (GSS). Everyone I’ve talked to, which, granted, is a relatively small sample size, has at least a minor in some more ‘applicable’ skill. The people that choose to study the social sciences know that the job market will be incredibly competitive for them, but the lessons they learn about discrimination and people are vital. If politicians couldn’t recognize the disparity between the sexes, the unfair treatment homosexuals are subject to, the racism and classism our society faces, then we haven’t advanced at all. GSS, English, even art, can teach us these lessons much more than organic chemistry.

In my English class this semester, an intro to the English major, the professor asked if people’s parent’s had an influence over their major. A fair number of people raised their hands. The concern is understandable, from a parent’s perspective. And remember that this was an English class, not a studio art class, where the choice of study might be even more scandalous. After all, the odds of making it big as a painter are slim to none.

To the assertion that feminist basket-weaving is a useless major, yes. If you take it literally, learning how to weave baskets while fighting the patriarchy seems a bit ridiculous. But if we’re taking this in the broader sense, then I guess I’m just one of those idiots who does what I love, with the cognizance that I’ll probably work some menial job after college, earning minimum wage. That doesn’t stop me from believing that the more people aware of the problems facing our society, the more people who demonstrate interest in creating things of beauty, the less of a detriment ignorance will be to our society.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.


I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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