It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Hugo Schwyzer. In my facebook I plaster links of his blog all over the place. Though I’m recognizing that I need to learn to read him more critically, I find myself constantly re-assessing gender analysis with each new concept and thus making me more critical of feminism and arguments on gender.
Back in January 2009, Hugo wrote a post that hit particularly close to him here. He describes the need for peer mentoring of young Armenian feminists and very successfully uses the analogy of Robert Frost with the poem “The Road Not Taken”. The road less taken being that of the choices of young Armenian feminist. He describes the costs to their autonomy;
Some have found a way to move out without being married; some have bravely risked communal opprobrium and threats of being disowned. Some have majored in less practical subjects, dated boys who were Irish or black or Vietnamese. One or two have dated girls.
I think it’s very important to understand that these are very real consequences young women have to face while claiming their own autonomy. Issues of autonomy are often dealing with appropriateness of moving out of the home, concentration of education, and perhaps career. Often these issues of autonomy revolve around the significant others including the race, religion, class or sex of their chosen partners.
However while I do acknowledge skeptics of this blog will largely ask “How dare you encourage young women to rebel against their cultures?” What I do want to make clear is it is not the intention of this blog to encourage women to rebel against their their familial culture. As Hugo mentions about Armenian culture;
And to varying degrees, they have claimed their autonomy while struggling impressively to hold onto an authentic identity as Armenian-Americans.For the most part, they have not wanted to throw out the baby with the proverbial bathwater; rather they have tried to forge a new way of thinking about Armenian-American womanhood. They are trying to create a modern Armenian feminism that fuses two very different worlds. And it has been an impressive thing to witness.
The goal for this website is to fuse show the tools of how to fuse two very different worlds; the heritage culture and the host culture. It’s not about rejecting our heritage culture but to forge a new path. These women are creating a new type of feminism and it’s exciting to watch.