I'm Urte. Lithuanian-American from PA, studying International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. I like politics, history, philosophy, and baby animals.
Thomas Jefferson, to his Son-In-Law and the future 21st Governor of Virginia, Thomas Mann Randolph, as Randolph began his studies at the University of Edinburgh (via maxwellgreenberg)
Besides Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, Greenland is the only nation in the world with home rule/devolved government.
It was a Danish colony until 1953, then became an equal part of the Danish Kingdom.
Home rule was granted to Greenland in 1979. Cool connection: A referendum on Scottish devolution was also held in 1979, and though it passed, wasn’t put into effect because the majority didn’t constitute 40% of electorate.
Really remarkable political similarities to Scotland! Similar devolved powers. Struggling with national identity and a fledgling independence movement, though strong support for Danish crown. Highly protestant. Currently ruled by the Inuit Community Party which is a separatist party primarily concerned with Greenlandic independence. Struggling with the inclusion and promotion of a Greenlandic language, used primarily in rural villages.
On 21 June 2009, Greenland assumed self-determination with responsibility for self-government of judicial affairs, policing, and natural resources. Also, Greenlanders were recognized as a separate people under international law. Denmark maintains control of foreign affairs and defence matters. Denmark upholds the annual block grant of 3.2 billion Danish kroner, but as Greenland begins to collect revenues of its natural resources, the grant will gradually be diminished. It is considered by some to be a step toward eventual full independence from Denmark.
Both Kalaallisut (Western Greenlandic) and Danish have been used in public affairs since the establishment of home rule in 1979; the majority of the population can speak both languages. A debate about the role of Kalaallisut and Danish in future society is ongoing.
In 1985, Greenland left the European Economic Community (EEC), unlike Denmark, which remains a member. The EEC later became the European Union (EU, it was renamed and expanded in scope in 1992). Greenland retains some ties with the EU via Denmark. However, EU law largely does not apply to Greenland except in the area of trade.
So, I recently watched some episodes of the show Girls, mainly out of curiosity about all of the buzz surrounding it. I didn’t like it per se, I found the humor to be bland and a lot of the situations in the show exceedingly cringe-worthy, but I did have the vague sense of understanding why the show would be attractive to many young women. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I think I’ve finally figured it out.
What I struggled with in understanding the show was that it is marketed to be a show that is uniquely centered on women and “the female experience” and empowering to girls, but so many of the characters’ problems and aspirations seem to be remarkably conventional.
I guess the argument is that by portraying the worries of young women living independently and struggling to form their identities (even if super privileged white women), it is addressing struggles of modern, empowered females. BUT to my view, the show does nothing to challenge stereotypical and demeaning perspectives on what young women are and want. When I wanted to be rooting for these girls and feel like the show had strong female leads which real-life girls could aspire to, I came away really disappointed. Thought the message of the show overall was super reinforcing of conservative gender stereotypes/gender roles in relationships.
It features an excessive amount of the girls over-analyzing every interaction with a guy, only worrying about their sexuality, being “overly emotional”, blah blah blah. Hannah pretends to not care about having a boyfriend and want an aloof or uninterested man because she doesn’t need a relationship to define herself, but then constantly has breakdowns about not having a faithul, nice guy who constantly thinks only about her and treats her like a princess. Marnie gets fired from her job and then decides to take a job as a hostess because she’s “pretty enough’. Or when she breaks up with her boyfriend she sits in bed for days eating ice cream and stalking him on FB. Shoshanna is portrayed as a stereotypical dumb, bubbly girl who is only worried about people liking her.
So here is the conclusion I have come to, which I think makes a lot of sense. The show is not actually about an agenda for women’s empowerment at all. The show is marketed towards a demographic of educated young women who have been told all through college that they should be empowered, independent, and secure in themselves, and they know they should be and want to give the world that image of themselves. Yet, they are actually incredibly insecure about their lifestyles because they feel like deep down they want a life/relationships and act in ways which conform to traditional and regressive views of women, like the situations above. So they are unsure of how to feel about that and whether they should be ashamed and try to change themselves or allow themselves to act in these ways.
The show is appealing because it shows a bunch of young women struggling with the exact same issues and contradictions in their values, and it portrays that as acceptable and even praise-worthy. It’s like a safety blanket, showing that young women’s secret normative desires are shared by other young women, so don’t worry. I feel like this demographic is huge and draws tons of viewers, and also can be somewhat falsely but also semi-convincingly marketed as super pro-women.
I do not like this. We need more shows/songs/media products/etc that challenge traditional perceptions and gives young women inspiration, an ideal to live up to, that makes young women WANT to be truly independent and empowered. That doesn’t mean they need to show women who fit into stereotypical gender roles as despicable or anything like that. But they should further a progressive image, so that young women struggling with some of the above issues will think, you know what, yeah, this is the kind of person I want to be! It should not allow us to feel comforted and comfortable in our socially constructed regressive model of “femininity”. Anything that does that is not new or innovative or praise-worthy.