Feminist free association

Interesting, right? (Love that Nona.)

I think free association is one of the most interesting ways to detect bias and get someone’s subconscious talking. So much of the unfinished work of feminism dwells in subtleties–the assumptions we make about people, our daily expectations of women vs. men, our own internalization of limitations put on us by a society that still isn’t truly liberated. This kind of exercise points towards a sort of unearthing of some of these deeply buried biases and insecurities. So often people are able to intellectualize gender issues in a way that ignores the emotional truths and lingering subconscious biases that they still operate on.

Thanks to Cassie for the heads up.

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  1. Posted August 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    It would be interesting to see how this exercise would have gone in a place not nearly so Feminist-friendly. Where I grew up, I am sure many of the answers would be offensive.

  2. Posted August 13, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to see a version of this in specific communities, like frat houses, sororities, inner-city black neighborhoods, rich suburban neighborhoods, blue collar and white collar, etc. It’s interesting the only African-American man in the selection said: woman = ass, man = black, feminist = fucking ridiculous. I’d like to know if those prejudice points of view are common in the African-American community. Also what’s with mister “feminist = opposite of woman”? I should use this free association with everyone I meet to see if they are even worth my time!

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