Re: Re: Gender Equality

Kirsten Sutherland (DWDSUT7@UCHIMVS1.UCHICAGO.EDU)
Fri, 17 Oct 97 11:47 CDT

Kirsten here. Alan I like the way you restated Sheri's point about
examining ourselves in the context of our relationship to others in our
community, but I also found myself asking the same question that that
Joe articulated: What would that look like in its most concrete form?

The Chicago group was recently brainstorming about creating a role for a
"J.C. advocate" for our founding process--something along the lines of
a mentor--someone to help with the after effect of a sentence--to help
reintergrate them into the community. It became quickly apparent that
this role would not work. If people want to confide in someone or seek
solice they choose those they trust most (co-offenders, dogs-- dolls,
friends...) the chances that a community designated "mentor" would be
the chosen person are less than Zero. If anything someone "official" is
that last person you want to see after a J.C. encounter. We discovered
that we were getting into the ushi-gushi territory of "awareness" and
emotional depth and we didn't belong there. Certainly not as a group or
an emerging legislative body.

For me the interesting question is not, "Is the SVS model supportive of
feminisim?" it's "What does feminism mean in the context of real
democracy and freedom?" I think Mimsy helped me most in finding some
answer: girls--like boys do alot of crawling out of their shells. It
is a competely individual act, done with the timing, and motion that
only the individual can determine. The community is set up to support
individual growth. So what does that mean for feminism? If feminism is
defined as a special need that is externally determine (i.e. girls need
3 hours a day with only girls, or they all need daily activities with
strong "successful" female role models or lessons on pioneering women
throughout history) then the bottom falls out. If feminism is defined as
the growth of the individual set only from an internal gauge to her/his
greatest potential (which I think we must assume all individuals strive
for) then no educational model could be more feminist.

Another interesting question is, "Would boys pursuing their freedom
intersect in some unhelpful way with girls pursuing theirs?" If the SVS
model did not have a J.C. that was controlled by the community that
could be a risk. Theoretically if the community was controlled by a
majority of masagonist (sp?) the girls could be overshadowed, but at
that point so would the democracy. Interesting. -Kirsten