Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Teaching the Conflicts - Connections

Meredith A. Love and Brenda M. Helmbrecht
Teaching the Conflicts: (Re)Engaging Students with Feminism in a Postfeminist World

While reading this article I was instantly drawn to Love's discussion on page 46-47, titled "post what?" as follows: 

"We have found that, at times, statistics can be an effective persuasive strategy when discussing the need for continued attention to gender and women’s issues in the U.S. As many feminist instructors (ourselves included) have learned, some students, particularly “traditional,” younger university students, believe that there is no reason to fight for a feminist agenda anymore—a sentiment students freely express in our women’s studies courses. We sometimes attribute this resistance to students never knowingly experiencing discrimination."

This quote, especially the bit about never knowingly experiencing discrimination, brought me back to the very first blog I wrote in response to Johnson's reading "Privilege, Power, and Difference." I remember feeling diassociated when reading his points on privilege and their relation to race/gender/etc. As Love/Helmbrecht would define it, I am part of the so-called "third generation movement" where the same issues do not necessarily apply to people my age as they did people growing up in the 70s for example. I obviously cannot speak for women, but I can see where racial discrimination and sexual bias has come a LONG way. I am from a more tolerant and accepting generation when it comes to that.

Women are still sexually exploited in all avenues of media by being expected to dress in nearly nothing, wear far too much makeup, act sexy, and appear submissive. One has to ask themselves, why is she doing this? Women are strong and, especially American women, are not afraid to speak their minds, so its easy to see they are, like all of us (lets be honest), motivated by money. Sex sells and offers an other wise uneducated, attractive woman, opportunities to make a lot of it. You better believe - if women desired sex as much as men and were willing to pay for naked pictures (Playgirl) or buy sex off the street (prostitution), there would be men lining the street corners peddling themselves for extra cash. Men, like women, are not above selling sex  for money. Hell, most men give it away for free anyhow (myself excluded).

It is fair to say women don't earn as much as men, as Love mentioned, and in that right women are not equal and that is not fair. In my opinion, people should be compenstated based on merit and performance only. However, as far as money goes you are only as priviliged as your superior sees you. If a white man arrives at a job interview and is interviewed by a black (yea I said it so what) man his as Johnson calls it "born privilege" really means nothing. Let's face it people are more concerned with actually getting money rather than how or why. We need to change our greedy, self absorbed, perception and start caring about morals, values, equality, and acceptance in order to embrace feminism. We're not there yet, and I don't see people ever getting there. As long as money rules the world we will all do what we have to do to claim our piece. Sex, steal, lie, step on people, etc...

This may be a little off topic, but a great show nonetheless. American Greed, CNBC, 10 pm.

Sex sells - for both men and women - in advertising.

In class tomorrow I would like to bring up this question. Would you be more (or less) likely to buy something if the salesman was of a different....(fill in the blank)?  If you really wanted a job who what would your ideal supervisor or ideal interviewer look like?  Do you feel nervous going into an interview when you see someone of a different race?  How do you feel about the HR always handing out voluntary racially identifying forms?  Just some questions I had in mind that I wanted to share.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More pictures from Occupy Providence

Occupy Providence pictures.

Here are the rest of my pictures from Occupy Providence.  Thanks for your help Eva.

It's About The Change In You! Part 2

Occupy Providence

Sorry about this not being attatched to part 1.  My computer doesn't want to work for some reason.
Continuing on my visit to Burnside Park, it was very depressing to see the living standards and lack of necessities in order to survive.  My question is are they really accomplishing equality and economic injustice during this cold season?  I see the focus on their living conditions and people feeling bad for these people on what they have to endure day in and day out.  They have alot of pride but I didn't see many of them actively fighting for this cause.  In one instance right when I was about to leave around 2, they were going to protest at the Capitol building about blocking the Achievement First Campaign.  As Shennen had told me it dealt with the conditions of Providence's public schools and quality of education along with the position of teachers in the mix.  Thanks Shennen.  What do you think about Occupy Providence?  Is it successful?  Are they making headway?

While reviewing the Occupy Providence's website I found some rather interesting information on what areas they support and are against.  You can actually follow them by signing in and see what they're up to by the hour.  They have schedules of places they are going to meet and what they're fighting for.  Here are some guidelines I found interesting on the website.

What to do if one or more people do not follow these guidelines:
  • It is the responsibility of the whole group, as well as the discussion group facilitators, to tell someone if they are disrespecting another person, to remind them to focus on commenting upon someone’s ideas and not upon their character or motivation.
  • Remember, you can always send individual emails if necessary, but the public discussion forum is not an appropriate place for personal or angry exchanges. Facilitators in the online discussion group should privately email people who are engaging in such activity and ask them to stop doing so.
  • It is the primary responsibility of facilitators not to end discussions, but to move them in a constructive direction in which all members are respectful of one another.

Here is one of the pictures I took of Occupy Providence at Burnside Park.  I have other pictures as well but for some reason they're not downloading but I'll get them up as soon as possible.


It's About The Change In You!

Occupy Providence Post

To start off I really didn't know what Occupy Providence was all about.  All I knew was what the school newspaper published on a weekly basis.  And I never really read in depth the articles they published.  I walked up to Burnside Park with a clean slate and left with alot of knowledge about what it is, what it stood for and the determination of reaching equality in many aspects.  I noticed the mass amount of tents, pallets(from sleeping on the cold ground) and tarps.  There were probably 20 people total that I saw walking around and conversing around this lemonad stand structure Mike(in class).  I met two people named Mike and Chuck.  Later I was joined by Shennen.  I didn't really know where to start and just started with the obvious question, "What is Occupy Providence?"  Mike had just been there for a week and explained to me that they were standing up for equality and the injustices the major corporations had been partaking in.  He said the biggest group they were protesting against were the politicians who were making thousands and not funding local businesses.  He kept on emphasizing greed and corruption against the little men.  He said corporate greed is at an all time high and many people feel the same as Occupy Providence does.  He said with the help of local markets, stores and general people with this concern, progress is around the corner. Mike was standing up for the agriculture businesses who were being put out of business by the bigger corporations.  The mom and pop stores being run out because the bigger agricultural companies had a patent on a seed where production could only be used by them.  Well with all of the lawsuits and attorney fees and court fees, the mom and pop agriculture companies didn't stand a chance.  Mike, like me, is from North Carolina, said there are bigger problems in the South due to the heavy agriculture business companies running these smaller companies out of business.  He said there were a number of causes they were fighting for in Occupy Providence.  I asked him what kind of protests did he partake in and he said a week ago the Providence firefighters and Occupy Providence marched to the City Hall to fight for the continuance of the firefighters pension plans.  I didn't know about this and it shed some light to me that not only Occupy Providence was involved but also the firefighters were in alliance with them. He also emphasized the importance of taxing the rich like the middle class families as well.  This I found very interesting because we had been talking about that in class and Warren Buffet is also a supporter of this.
  I asked Mike general questions about where do they get food, toiletries and locations of bathrooms facilities and the answers I got were very saddening.  He said there weren't any porter potties that you actually have to go to a restaurant and buy something in order to use the bathroom.  I then asked what about the homeless?  All he said was they make do.  Wow!  He said they get donations of food, clothing and blankets but that's pretty much it.  I then asked if the Salvation Army donates anything and he said he wasn't aware of any.  I then asked what about electricity or a generator?  No was the answer I got.  He mentioned that people do have jobs and houses and let the occupy providence followers use their resources considering they don't have any outlets for microwaves.  I can't imagine living out there with no power, bathrooms or the necessities to live.  I then asked if there were water fountains and he also said no.  Water and food is key for survival in these conditions yet there weren't any around.  It was a very depressing environment.  He then told me several people live out there a couple of nights a week and then go retreat back to their homes to stand up for the cause.  I noticed there was a sign that said no alcohol or drugs.  I asked him if he had any behavioral or intoxication problems and he said not very much.  I then asked him do you find alot of people taking advantage of the system by asking for donations, for example the homeless.  He said there's alot of people who take advantage of the system and their movement but yet they can't turn anyone down.  I met another individual named Chuck.  I think he was high or something because he looked under the influence of something.  He kept on repeating himself and made no sense.  While talking to him, he kept on shaving his face and I was scared he was going to cut his face or something.  I need a mirror when I shave, just a little necessity that makes a difference to me.  I asked Mike about local enforcement patrolling for any illegal activity.  He said if they do come it's usually around 4 am when everybody is sleeping.  I asked if there were any medical teams that come out to help and he said he wasn't aware of any.  I was mind boggled about the lack of everyday necessities one needs in order to survive in these treacherous environments.  I then asked him how much sleep do you get a night?  He said you'd be suprised by it but often he wakes up every 2-3 hours.  Crazy!  I asked him has he seen progress and he said he has.  That come Spring time he knows this movement is about to make a big push and fight for equality.  He said the timing could have been better but they got to do what they got to do.

Questions and Comments for class based on Andrea Ayvazian's article

Questions and Comments on Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change

I was wondering if anybody felt the way I did about the class Gender and Society being a requirement for all incoming Freshman and Transfers?  Also what would you do if you overheard someone being very cruel and see people being targeted by oppression?  Would you react or stand back and do nothing?  What do you think about interventions dealing with violent domestic abuse?  After visiting Occupy Providence would you get involved if a loved one were dealing with the same issues that Occupy Providence is fighting?  After learning of all the struggles they were dealing with I have participated by donating food and batteries to Occupy Providence.  If it weren't for this class, I honestly probably would of never visited Burnside Park.  It's time to make a change and it starts with me.

Some youtube videos I wanted to share.

Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change
Andrea Ayvazian.
Extended Comments on Mike's Blog: Youtube Videos

I forgot to include these on my blog.
Obama on PFLAG.
Cyndi Lauper and Straight for Eqaulity. I didn't know this!
Why are you gay?

The Role of Allies as Agents of Change

Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change
Andrea Ayvazian
Extended Comments on Mike's Mind

   I also found this article a very good read in the purpose in how becoming an ally a great way of diminishing the power of oppression.  Ayvazian describes an ally as a member of a dominant group in our society who works to dismantle any form of oppression from which she or he receives the benefit.  She discusses the dominant group, as white, heterosexual as the particular force and group to rid society of all the negativity that comes with oppression. But whites are not the only group classified as dominant.  Everybody has some sort of dominance within their genetic make-up whether it be gender, race or sex.
   As Mike stated in his blog, we learned in class that an agent is someone who stands up for someone who is being bullied, attacked and targeted.  Ayvazian goes on to say allied behavior is an effective way to interrupt the cycle of violence by breaking the silence that reinforces the cycle, and by promoting a new set of behavior through modeling and mentoring.  She defines modeling and mentoring these abusive powers by standing up and taking action to fight the cause of oppression.  When you see it happening, do something about it.  Silence is only adding to the problem especially if you are part of the dominant group.  She also made me realize that white, heterosexual males aren't the only dominant groups.  For example, when Kenneth Jones referred to allied behavior as "having my back".  That statement is so true because you are helping with the fight to rid oppression altogether when you were work together no matter what race, sex, or gender.  People of all colors, shapes and sizes bring more awareness to the table when we come together to fight the cause.  Jones is not classified as "dominant" because he's African American but he can talk to his fellow African American males because he is viewed as the same as them.  He later states he's reaching out to the group Andrea would have a hard time reaching out to because she's a woman and classified as less.  In return Andrea can reach out to the whites where Ken would have a hard time reaching because of his race, gender and sex.  That's the definition of "having my back" where if everyone took that approach we would have a fighting chance to rid the world of oppression or make a big difference in that aspect. 
   The quote is on the bottom of page 599.   "The anti-racism trainer Kenneth Jones, an African American, refers to allied behavior as "being at my back."  He has said to me, "Andrea, I know you are at my back on the issue of race equality-you're talking to white people who cannot hear me on this topic, you're out there raising these issues repeatedly, you're organizing with other whites to stand up to racism.  And I'm at your back.  I'm raising issues of gender equity with men, I am talking to men who cannot hear you, I've made a committment to combat sexism."
   I also agree with Mike that Ayvazian's article does relate to Johnson's "Privelege, Power and Difference."  Where Johnson states we need to step up and take a stand anf fight oppression.  Where if we just stand around and not do anything we are adding to the problem.  Also Yamato's article "Something About the Subject Makes it Hard to Name", sheds light to being aware and taking a stand on oppression.  We need to stop shying away from the problem and recognize what can we do to help and fix the problem.
  Overall great article Mike.  I enjoyed your comments and questions to share with the class.  It starts with the individual iside of us to diminish oppression overall.  By education, awareness, mentoring and modeling hopefully we will begin to make bigger strides in this area.  I also believe a Gender and Society class like this one should be mandatory in all college's as a Gen. Ed. requirement.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Economic Injustice

Economic Injustice.

I had the same problem as Shennen, where I tried to leave a comment and it brought me to a blank page.  I hear alot of negative thoughts, backlash and criticisms on Obama and his whole administration.  I was suprised and enjoyed his speech on taxes.  I also agree that the wealthy should pay the same taxes as the middle class. Obama said it best when he said we know its right. its time to do whats right.  Obama has alot of momentum on this subject and I hope his administration runs with it.  He stresses the importance of this issue falling on our children's laps. Hopefully this issue can be resolved in a matter of time, as I will be teaching fulltime in the near future.  I completely agree with Jose's comment that the wealthy have more money than they will ever use.  They drop a million on a week long vacation when that money could do so much for the education systems.  Just think how many computers, books, and resources you can equip schools with a million dollars? There are some schools where children have to share a MATH book.  I'm just saying.

Responses to everyone's comments, posts, and blogs. Part 3

Responses to everyone's comments, posts, and blogs.  Ariel Sansone

In response to Shennen's post, I was also labeled as middle class after playing Shintz or Shag.  After reading the breakdown of my choices, I noticed some of the items or furniture I picked was considered lower class.  But that wasn't my motive for choosing the item, some of the items were horrendous.  So I picked something that wasn't country or ritzy.  The items I chose were still of lower class.  The game was so biased and stereotypical in every aspect.  After playing the game several times, I purposely picked several items to see what the characters would say.  No surprise to me, it classified me not only as lower or higher class, but it revealed very stereotypical comments.  Great post!
   In response to Vanessa's blog about Adrien Rich's article, I definitely agree with the fact that lesbians and their existence, should provide insight to society that and it needs to work on accepting homosexuality and not just classifying it as a male existence.  Vanessa said it best when she said that one's sexual preference should not make them an outcast in society. Nice post!
   In response to Eva's blog, I hate it that six year olds are getting exploited like that on TV.  Someone told me that one of these girls dressed up as the Pretty Woman actress in a performance.  Who does that?  I can't believe the mothers actually let this happen.  It's sick and degrading.  It's all about capitalism these days.  Mothers are making money off of their own children dancing, singing and whatever else they do on those shows.  Crazy.
   In response to Andrew's blog, I also agree with you that money equals power.  The more money you have the more possibilities you have.  You also control those around you as well.  Money influences everybody and it also means trouble.  Money makes you act and behave differently than you normally would.  It is very true that all of these commercials involve money and are controlled by businesses who are swimming in millions much less billions.  Nice post.
   In response to Mike's blog, I agree with you when you say we live in a material world and we are run by money.  I have a friend that came from nothing and long story short is doing very well for himself.  Well he came home for Christmas with expensive gifts for his family and it created a big fight resulting of some family members leaving early.  My friend's family felt he was showing off by buying them expensive gifts, prettty much showing off.  Well that wasn't his intention but rather share his success with the ones that matter the most. Family.  They took it the wrong way and it reminded me of the movie "Welcome Home Roscoe" with Martin Lawrence and Cedric The Entertainer.  Money is a powerful thing that can bring happiness or alot of negativity.  Nice post!
   In response to Merylda's article, I totally forgot about that song until you posted it.  That's the theme song for our class.  It's so true about the message it depicts about men and women.  Internally and externally.  It's also funny that at first you thought Ginny was like a gold-digger but then you saw it from another perspective.  I read it again after you mentioned it and it made me realize the same thing, that maybe she was taking advantage of that situation and making the most of it.  Nice Tupac videos.  OLD SCHOOL!
   In response to Annisia's blog about economic inequity and feminism, I agree that there's always a constant fight against someone else.  It shouldn't matter the color of your skin, race and etc...  Everybody should have an equal opportunity in everything they do.  This is America isn't it?  Social class is always going to be around.  Annisia said it best when she said the upper class doesn't even bother considering what the low and middle class goes through.  And the lower class still struggles to hold on and live for the next day.  I like that picture of the man and woman arm wrestling. Nice post.

Responses to everyone's comments, posts, and blogs. Part 2

Responses to everyone's comments, blogs, and posts.  Ariel Sansone

As stated before, my computer is still being complicated.
In response to Fallon's questions and comments for class, I do also agree that people take advantage of the system and it's not fair for the families who really do need it don't have access to it.  I also understand where people have so much pride they are not willing to accept government assistance.  They think it's shamed upon and are less of a person to receive it.  People shouldn't label or classify people based on monetary value but what's inside the mind and body.  It's sad but it's the truth.  And sometimes the family suffers the most.  On another note, I hope that liquor store picture was a joke!  That discredits the whole welfare system if they accept foodstamps for beer/liquor!

Responses to everyone's posts and/or blogs

To start off, my computer is not letting me open up anybody's comments referring to various blogs, so I came to realize this is the only way to respond to everybody's blogs, posts and comments.
   In response to Ryland's blog, it is very true that there is a strain because one always has preconceived notions about the other social classes.  People are quick to label others as higher class considering their "luxaries," house, car and clothes.  Everything has a monetary value on it and that's when we start stereotyping people in different classes.  I liked the fact that you brought up the whole caste sysytem because it's true, you determine your worth by comparing yourself with your neighbors or peers.  Great post.  Nice pictures as well.  That's so true and they speak for themselves.
  In response to Kayla's Social Class ans Feminism, I totally agree with the statement, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, has to do with the imbalance of power and lack of opportunity and resources the poor have access to.  When I went Occupy Providence today, I spoke with a gentleman named Mike, and one of his biggest arguments were the rich get richer and etc..  How the little men don't receive no where near what they are supposed to.  That it's all about money, and with money comes power.  I've also ran into people who refuse to receive welfare because they're better than goverment assistance.  But yet there life and family are destroyed by poverty.  I also do hear stories where people take advantage of the system and double dip from the government.  I also enjoyed your videos as well.  I never heard that Pink song.  Pretty depressing but true.  Nice.
   In response to Ethan's post, I definately agree that people should also remember the women leaders who fought for equality for themselves and others.  Women have come a long way from 60 years ago and I can only hope that one day it can be achieved.  Hey we've come a long way since the harsh days of racism, I along with the rest of the nation need to realize equality is a right and is mandatory for all sexes and races.
   In response to Yemi's Martin Luther King speech, I was wondering who was going to post his speech.  Nice.  I had heard it last semester when one of my classmates did a lesson plan on racism.  It gives me chills everytime I hear it because we've come a long way and if we can achieve racism like we have, we can overcome economic inequality.  Great video.
   In response to Brandon's questions and comments for class, I think the individual would benefit more from growing up in a middle class or working family because there are three options. 1 is becoming more succesful, 2 is staying in the same class and 3 is sinking to the bottom.  In your friends case they had 2 options, staying rich or dramatically dropping one or more classes.  I've also had friends who have taken their parents fortune for granted and have sunk to the bottom.  When life is great and you don't care about when the well is going to run dry, something bad usually happens and you sometimes don't see that until everything's gone.  I enjoyed your post and agree with you that many people don't believe class exists and don't care.  That's called shying away from the problem. Also on Family Guy, Lois' parents are a prime example of the rich get richer effect and I noticed how snobby they are in every episode especially Lois' dad.
   In response to Stephanie's blog about families not accepting his or her daughter's spouse because of class is an outrageous, feminist issue.  Social class has nothing to do with LOVE.  That story was absolutely ridiculous and it bothers me that still it's only a story, there are real life families who partake in that kind of activity.  I have friends whose family acts just like that.  It's absurd.  It's alot more common than we hear about and it's disgusting.  Nice post.
   In response to Chris's blog, what stood out and is true, is that we rarely ever hear people talking about the social class they're a part of.  We really don't because it may seem as if we are "bragging" or come across as "conceited."  I asked a couple of people about this and they pretty much had the same perceptions of coming across as better than the next person.  Chris had a point where he stated we tend to hang around the same group of friends, wear the same things and hang around the same places.  I stepped back and I can innocently relate to it.  Nice post.
   In response to Jose, I didn't know that about Pepsi.  What a shame?  I quoted you on my post about the difference between men and women's salary, $30,000.  I definitely disagree with the fact that with the same educational background women get paid less in every situation.  It also creates a social class between men and women in the workforce, where men are always on top.  Nic epost.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Assignment #5: People like us and The Center for Working Class Studies. Blog

   While exploring and, I noticed many feminist issues from an economic point of view.  One that really stood out was the fact that the only time women had any kind of status or money, it was when she was tied to a man.  All the stories dealt with women's struggles within societies problems within the social classes.  Also, no woman or women in the articles or stories or GAMES held a middle or high class position unless she married into the family or was a child from money.  Check out this video in economic inequity.
   In one story, Karen the Army brat, moves from one place to another because of her dad's committment to the armed forces.  She's of wealthy class in many places but it suddenly changes when they get stationed at the Pentagon, where colonels are a dime a dozen as they say.  She starts resenting and taking her frustration out on her dad because she's not considered one of the cool and wealthy classes where she was once before.  In today's society material things are a must to determine social status.  It creates your friends and your personality, for better or for worse.  It's not just girls but also for boys as well.  As a substitute teacher, I see it everyday and it can literally destroy a student's self-esteem if he or she isn't accepted into the cool group.  It's all about the latest fashion, electronics, etc...  This story about Karen really stood out to me because the blame falls onto the parents and it's not their fault.  Children usually think their parents are punishing for something they haven't even done by not buying the most expensive clothes, the latest Jordans, and the latest touchscreen phone.  It's absolutely ridiculous.  I can go on all day because I see it all the time.  There was another story about Ginny, whose oldest daughter made fun of her OWN mother because of her "trashy" ways.  I couldn't believe it, her own flesh making fun of her because she couldn't provide anything better.  I didn't hear her daughter asking "Where's Dad"? "Is he helping out with child support?"  I bet her daughter doesn't understand the whole economic inequity issue.  How women don't get paid like men.  Jose said it best on his blog, when there was $30,000 difference in salary between men and women with the SAME education.  Absolutely ridiculous!  I heard it from my mom and dad, "Oh you kids have it so easy these days, blah, blah.  And they were right but the children in elementary schools that I see today, Wow.  The parents spoil them so much that these other children compare themselves to their "rich" classmates, and view their parents as failures.  And that's sad.  They don't realize mom and dad are trying or that mommy gets underpaid because she's a WOMAN. 
  My brothers and sisters were very lucky to be raised by both parents.  Ones that were always were involved from PTA meetings, sports functions, band, graduation etc....  I couldn't imagine not having one without the other.  I feel very fortunate when I hear about single parent families and the struggles they have especially single women.  I believe Jean brought up the point of being a single parent annnnd pregnant.  I don't see men having to face what pregnant women have to face by themselves after the husband or boyfriend leaves them.  I couldn't even imagine trying to live that life, working or even trying to apply for a job nonetheless.  Woman are permanet fixtures in the lower class because of the lack of opportunities and the problems in societies social classes. Jean said it best when "Being a single mother can become a vicious cycle that keeps the woman perpetually within the lower class. "
  I, like Mike, headed straight for the games.  I don't know if anyone noticed , but in Chintz or Shag, there was blond headed gentleman who was of high class, and then there was an African-American gentleman who was of middle-class.  And then there was the red-neck grandma who was of the lower-income class.  I was not suprised since the topic of our blogs is economic inequity, a feminist issue?  Well it definately is, and it's not RIGHT!  I agree with Jose when he states, that economic inequity is a feminist issue dealing with stereotypes, statistics, dependency, and social class. 
   In today's time, do you think people discriminate more based on social class or race?  Would your parents be more upset if you brought someone of a different race or socio-economic status?  Would they even care?  Do you think that answer would change depending upon who you're asking?  For example, If you came from old money, would your parents be more accepting of someone of a different race as long as they were equally rich? Versus middle class parents who may be more interested in race?  Those are some examples.
   Here are some movies based on race, social class, and stereotypes.  Also just to let you know in general,  all of Tyler Perry's movies portray very important issues concerning alot of the topics we cover in class.  He's a very powerful director who brings sensitive issues to light.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rich: Hyperlinks

Adrienne Rich - Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

I found Rich's article on Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence to be very interesting and enlightening.   She explains that lesbians/homosexuals are being shunned out of society and not giving the right to choose their partner. Also that men use sex to control women as a way of dominance. Being a man I rarely look at the world through a woman's eyes.  This gave me the opportunity to do so. Where I may not necessarily agree with everything written, I definately agree that woman are exploited for sex and men are often guided by their smaller head.  There are men out there who use their male power in such manners as stated by Kathleen Gough, such as forcing sex upon women, denying them of their sexuality and using them as objects.  However, I'd like to believe these are the exceptions and not the rule.  It wasn't diffucult to identify and locate male egotism in the western culture. It took me only a three minute search to find this behavior highlighted on a popular day time TV show, Dr. Phil.  It's pretty entertaining garbage.  If you need a good laugh....

While in America homosexuals fear being socially cast out, other cultures such as Islam, India and China, are not even allowed to recognize this as an option.  They experience significant marital disadvantages. For example, an article quoting the Koran states a woman must be readily available for sex with her husband whenever he desires or in China a woman is chosen based on her pedigree rather than love.  In India daughters are often promised to a man by her father at a very young age in hopes of elevating the family's social status and/or in exchange for money. As stated by Rich, these women are really not given a choice of sexuality as they will be cast out socially should they decide not to marry let alone love another woman. 

In conclusion, where I may not agree with Rich's theory on compulsory heterosexuality, I do believe every woman (and man) should live in a society where she is granted free will and not punished or criticized for his/her decisions.

In class tomorrow I would like to bring up Is sexual preference pre-determined at birth or a mere decision we all make at free will?" If the latter, at what age do we make this decision and do any of us remember doing so?  Exclude tramatic events, such as rape, that may have altered the decision by default and otherwise removed free will.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cinderella Ate My Daughter; ARGUMENT

Author: Peggy Orenstein
Title of Article: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

   This author, Peggy Orenstein discusses and argues that the segregation of boys and girls are pretty relevant through the commercializtion of Disney movies and toys in general.  Disney and toy companies are promoting gender roles as an underlying theme as to what boys and girls should participate and be. The perception of Disney movies creates what girls and boys should and should'nt strive for in society.  Orenstein proves that gender roles are created through the use of Disney movies. The one point I would like to expand and comment on is the commercialization of the Disney princesses Orenstein disccusses with her friends.
   I have watched a good amount of these Disney movies and I have noticed this continuation of beautiful princesses falling in love with their prince charming and having happily ever after moments.  If only it were that simple.  But there's one problem, it's a fairytale and these children don't know that.  And if they do, they still hold onto alot of those beliefs these movies portray
   Children at this age watch these Disney movies like we watch our favorite T.V shows over and over.  Orenstein points out the princesses' lives are being portrayed as to what these children see as a wonderful life.  The princesses have no flaws and are just made beautiful. These kids get brainwashed into believing I want to be a princess and be married to my prince charming.  These Disney movies do not portray the truth rather than just pure fantasy. Disney does put alot of focus on the flawless beauty of these princesses and our children become so saturated in that world is just like these Disney movies that it is actually setting them for failure.  Girls relate to these princesses and want to be just like them.  And when that doesn't happen they get upset and don't understand that, these movies depict everything that's wrong with society.  It creates an   atmosphere of not accepting yourself because you're not as beautiful as Princess Jasmine or you don't have the beautiful accesories like these other princesses.  These movies promote what these little girls should be defined as.  That beauty will get you anything you want and prince charming.  One might say that these girls are limited to what they can be later in life because of the influence these movies have on them.No where in these movies, shows an independant woman who strives for ambition and seeks out greatness for herself. Commercialization and advertising have huge affects on society but far more influence on children.  I thought the princesses were supposed to be perfect? Here is a video I found rather interesting.
   One point I would like to share is what is defined as Happily Ever After?  We see all of the glamour and happiness that these princesses go throughout the movies but I had a couple of questions while I was typing my blog. The Disney movies that I have watched never show what happens next. Maybe that would shed some light as to what roles women have after they have met Prince Charming.  Do they start and raise a family?  Do they become housewives and do all the cooking, cleaning, etc.. Or do they hire someone for all of the chores and raising of the little ones?  Just some questions to bear in mind that I found interesting. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

A movie I highly recommend.

While discussing several aspects of racism in this class this movie really stood out to me.  I highly recommend watching this movie when you get a free chance.  This movie deals also with the discussion we had today about targets, allies etc...  Overall a great movie dealing with discrimination.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


 Gloria Anzaldua. La conciencia de la mestiza: Towards a New Conciousness

All of us deal with discriminations and prejudices in some way throughout our lives.  I enjoyed reading Anzaldua's insights on what she had to endure.  We all need to be more tolerant and accepting of each other.  Not to sound cliche' but we could all benefit from taking a look in the mirror.


"These numerous possibilities leave la mestiza floundering in uncharted seas.  In perceiving conflicting information and points of view, she is subjected to a swamping of her psychological borders.  She has discovered that she can't hold concepts or ideas in rigid boundaries.  The borders and walls that are supposed to keep the undesirable ideas out are entrenched habits and patterns of behavior; these habits and patterns are the enemy within.  Rigidity means death."

This quote stood out because it's very true that we have to  basically change who we are for short periods of time when faced with different situations.  Anzaldua explains that minorities must be open and flexible to different ideas and customs other than their own as to show a level of acceptance.  The mestiza must be able to adapt and be very tolerant to their surroundings.  The mestiza's must not be set in their ways but rather understanding of new ideas.  I agree everybody should be more understanding and flexible not only mestizas.

"You're nothing but a woman" means you are defective."

It is assumed and proven that being a woman already discredits you from many things.  You are already at a disadvantage and beneath all men.  Women have to work that much harder to have even a chance of success.  The mestizas are at a disadvantage because they are not considered macho, as men are.  When men are born, they are already predetermined to be macho. As men develop depression and sadness, the mestizas endure the backlash of it, through violence, rape and discrimination.  I have witnessed that stress and poverty does affect men and their behaviors towards the family whether it was violence or drugs.  It still doesn't mean its right to use your loved ones as an outlet for your pain.

"This land was Mexican once
was Indian always
and is.
                            And will be again."

I enjoyed Anzaldua's poem because it summed up Anzaldua's true self.  In her eyes the land will always belong to the Indians. She's acknowledges that peace will exist somewhere down the road but there are big strides that need to be made.  She recognizes that the Confederates were inconsiderate and not accepting to the fact that the Indians did own this land first.  All five countries were fighting for this land and didn't care who got killed, as long as they claimed ownership of it.  Growing up amongst all of this turmoil helped shape her into the person she is today.  I wish one day that everyone will have the patience and tolerance to understand another's culture and race.

One point I would like to discuss in class tomorrow is the learning of different cultures through education.  What if people choose not to listen? I mean it is there right.  This is a very complex subject and it all starts with our own thoughts and perceptions.  How are we going to change each other's negative perceptions of different cultures.  All I know is we have alot of work to do.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Meet Me

A quick summary about myself. I've lived in three states, New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. Was adopted with my sister at the age of 4 into a middle class, white family. At the time of my adoption English was my second language. I've since forgotten my first language and unfortunately only speak English. I do not know my birth parents and am not ready to find them, if that's even possible. I live an active lifestyle and enjoy watching and playing basketball and soccer.  I love the beach and am ashamed to say I've never been to Cape Cod.  I'm one of the few people left not on Facebook.  I'm an Early Childhood Education major.  I love traveling and a couple of my favorite places include the Bahamas, Sin City, and Long Island.


Allan G. Johnson. Privilege, Power, and Difference.
It would be a lie to say I completely agree with Allan or that I can even relate to most of it. In my life thus far I can honestly say I haven’t been subjected to or in witness of much racial, gender, or sexual discrimination. Of course I’ve seen many Hollywood movies, such as Malcolm X, American History X, and Remember The Titans, portraying various discriminations and prejudices, but can honestly say I have not had the misfortune of being raised with it. I’m not ignorant to the fact racism still exists in today’s time I’m simply stating it hasn’t affected my life or shaped me into the person I am today.  Born in NY and raised in the public schools of NC, I met and grew fond of people of all color, gender, and sexual orientation. I accepted them all and still do. Each of my classmates succeeded or failed based on their efforts and not due to their “privileges” or lack thereof.
Now socioeconomic class is a different story. Allan briefly touches upon this but does not give it nearly as much emphasis as it deserves in comparison to the other privileges. In my generation (and opinion) socioeconomic status divides this nation more than skin color or sexual preference. The quote in the book, “Whites can assume that when they go shopping, they’ll be treated as serious customers, not as potential shop lifters or people without the money to make a purchase…”  is not totally accurate. For instance, let’s assume a middle aged, well dressed, professional, black man walks into the same store followed by a white, shabby dressed (baggy jeans, knit hat, Vans), teenager. Who do you think the store owner pegs as the biggest threat? Most likely the teenager. This immediate, instinctual, discrimination has nothing to do with race, but rather class. To rid this world of its discrimination and prejudices we must first consider how to rid the world of socioeconomic class levels.  Continuously discussing the race topic is like beating a dead horse. I feel like we’ve made great head way in changing our nation in that respect. Let’s now focus on the money.