Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. A holiday based upon food, awkward family interactions, and getting a few days off from school. At least, that's what it always meant to me. I've spent many a Thanksgiving eating myself to sleep in my most comfortable sweat pants while actively trying to ignore the conservative jargon that is thrown around my family's dinner table. However, for many, Thanksgiving isn't about grabbing all the rolls before one of your other siblings can. It's a reminder that the history of our county, like anywhere else, isn't always completely factual. So many things that we're taught growing up are sometimes left unquestioned, but this Thanksgiving, maybe it's time to think about what you're really celebrating.
I was taught that Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks (duh) because the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for having the Native Americans bring them food to survive the winter. Even if this story was completely factual, and the Native Americans and Pilgrims did sit around a giant wooden table covered in green bean casseroles and canned cranberry sauce, this brief hiatus in their conflict wouldn't have last long. In fact, in some Native American cultures, Thanksgiving is a day of morning for their ancestors who lost so many so the early English settlers could prosper. In this sense, is it right to celebrate this holiday by having a third piece of pumpkin pie? The Native Americans who tried to help the settlers were often shot, clubbed to death, or wiped out by disease. They lost many while the settlers thrived.
Think about it tomorrow so you're sitting down to a delicious meal. I'm certainly not saying to stop celebrating Thanksgiving (it's my favorite holiday), but maybe as you're giving thanks for your friends, chocolate, family, and health, think about all the Native Americans who lost their lives for you to be here... then eat enough mashed potatoes to feed twelve people.

No comments:

Post a Comment