Thursday, December 6, 2012

Media Matters

The article Media and Ideology was really interesting and there is a lot to be said about how much media impacts us as a society. I like the quote "Given that these kinds of media criticism are often well received, there is good reason to believe that large numbers of the public also perceive the media as purveyors of ideology—even if they don’t use the term. Media sell both products and ideas, both personalities and worldviews; the notion that mass media products and cultural values are fundamentally intertwined has gained broad public acceptance." As a whole we take what the media shows us and believe it instead of  stepping back and thinking for ourselves. Even though we know the media can twist things and make them not what they really are. We need to make them accountable for their actions as we would anyone who was lying or slandering someone or something. 

In other words, different ideological perspectives, representing different interests with unequal power, engage in a kind of struggle within media texts" this happens all the time! Just like we were talking about how Fox News was reporting different election night news than CNN or any other news channel. The people in control contort news so it benefits them, not us. This other quote from the text goes along with what I just said "The morality of abortion, homosexuality, or capital punishment is debated, often in very polarized terms, in the mass media, as cultural conservatives and cultural progressives alike use various media technologies to promote their positions." Each media group has their own hidden agenda and many people can't see that. They are all fighting for what they want not what benefits society as a whole. 

I found this article really interesting its about the media and politics and how certain media outlets are controlled by certain wealthy people who have their own political agenda. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Race and Womens studies updated*

I wanted to update this so I could speak more about the text since I already talked about my personal experience. I read Racism and Women's Studies by Barbara Smith. We had found out after the group read the article the woman who wrote it had written this after she was at a seminar on feminism and nobody had spoke about racism. Feminism is about speaking about all women being treated fairly so she was justifiably mad when it wasn't brought up. I think that the article we read called Oppression by Marilyn Frye she says "Economic necessity; confinement to racial and/or sexual job ghettos; sexual harassment; sex discrimination; pressures of competing expectations and judgements about women, wives and mothers (in the society at large, in racial and ethnic or other "minority" groups; the demands of self-respect and responsibilities to others. Each of these factors exists in complex tension with every other, penalizing or prohibiting all of the apparently available options." Frye means that these groups people are confined to one being by race is necessary in this society because it's how we operate there's no change because people are oppressed and don't believe it's possible for change and so we just let it keep happening. Oppression speaks so strongly to race and gender even stronger when both are combined.
The other text that connects to this is A Tsunami In History by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. While speaking about the first wave of feminism she states "One criticism of the first wave is that the women's suffrage movement didn't pay enough attention to social hierarchies other than gender, like race and class. Although women of all races were legally granted the right to vote, many areas instituted Jim Crow requirements, like poll taxes and literacy tests, specifically intended to keep poor African Americans from the voting booth". Racism has been a feminist issue since the first wave was started it seems race has been overlooked many times when fighting for women's rights and their needs to be more attention paid to it and how much the two issues intertwine.

This link is about racism seen in Disney since we've talked so much about Disney and girl culture it seemed fitting and also intrigued me. We already saw that Disney movies like to teach girls that they should be more focused on finding true love than finding a career path with a hint of sexism in there. They bring up a few movies such as Aladdin, Lady and the tramp and Peter Pan among others.

Social Justice Event #1 When Inequality Keeps You Safe

I thought that I'd use one day I worked at the liquor store as a social justice event. The class we had on economic justice we spoke about women being treated differently than men in certain work situations. What got brought up was girls having to either walk together late at night or having a co worker walk them to their car. As much as I'd love to say "I can take care of myself" I know I couldn't if I was up against a guy. When I was younger I said that probably 100 times because my mom wouldn't like me being somewhere. When that invincibility finally wears off, around 20 for me at least. I realized she was doing it for my safety and not to get under my skin because lets face it, everything your mother does is to annoy you or so you think. My mom did not like the fact I took a job at a liquor store but after explaining its a safe area and they've never had a problem she felt a little more at ease. There was one night that I was working with my manager and he had to run some stuff down stairs. I was just doing the usual ringing people out and filling shelves. I had a gentlemen come up to me and couldn't find something that was in the cooler without a second thought I walked in with him and pointed it out. As I'm walking out he starts to say you really shouldn't walk in the cooler with someone instead just direct them to it. He also explains he's a police officer and has seen a lot of things and that as much as you look at someone and think that they look like a nice person you could be completely wrong. It doesn't matter what someone looks like anyone's capable of hurting you. If that had been one of the guys I work with he would not have said anything and probably because they could defend themselves better and wouldn't be as easily targeted. I brushed off what he had said because I felt like people become a little too cautious but after talking about this stuff in class realized he was justified in warning me. And as much as we wanna get mad and say that we're being treated differently as women its not to do us harm but rather, keep us safe. I feel that the inequality we see at least in the situation is okay because people are capable of evil and if they see an easy target such as a young girl by herself they will take advantage of the opportunity.

Reflection after medical marijuana presentation

I've always felt strongly about legalizing marijuana it does a lot more harm being illegal. Funding drug cartels, putting away people who have charges related to marijuana sitting in jail on the tax payers dollar instead of worrying about the real criminals. Medical marijuana in particular has always been something I've spoken up and argued for. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia two years ago but have had it for almost 4 years. In those four years I've struggled on a lot of levels I've been on more drugs than I can name and had a lot of adverse side effects because of it. I could apply for a medical marijuana card but I choose not to because its just not for me but I think everyone has the right to make their own decisions. My friends father had multiple sclerosis and was using marijuana to help with the pain, it didn't get rid of his pain but it definitely helped it become on a tolerable level. I hate to see people suffer in such a way because I, myself, have to be on pain medication every day just to have a semi normal day I cant imagine how others who have it worse than me feel and if something makes it easier for them why should the government have a say? On top of all that there have been numerous studies done showing cannabis oil can cure cancer. This article is one of many that speak about it these two quotes show just how beneficial the plant can be.

"The study concluded that via the same biochemical process THC could terminate multiple types of cancers, affecting various cells in the body. Other studies have shown that cannabinoids may work by various mechanisms, including inhibiting cell growth, inducing cell death, and inhibiting tumor metastasis."

"What is amazing is that while cannabinoids effectively target and kill cancerous cells, they do not affect healthy, normal cells and may actually protect them against cellular death. Moreover, cannabinoids are also researched for their pain-modulation and anti-inflammatory abilities as they bind to special receptors in the brain, much like opioid derivatives that are commonly prescribed today."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Feminism and Sex

In the article 8 Ways to be Positive you're Sex Positive Rachel White talks about "slut shaming". Slut shaming is  making someone feel guilty or inferior for engaging in certain sexual behaviors that are not the "norm". Which is a huge problem in this society. The Washington Times article hits it right on the nose with the quote "Values are as individual as a fingerprint. What is taboo for one culture is norm for another." How can you shame one person for something you don't approve of, we are all different and we should embrace it not draw negative attention towards it. When you do something like that you are making it okay and also giving others permission to do the same thing to you. The other quote I like from the article is "Everything is a lifestyle, and the sexual activity of a woman is not to be questioned by anyone" it is direct in the point it is making and I completely agree with the statement. 

I think her seventh point "just because it doesn't turn you on doesn't mean its wrong" goes with the point she made above. Theres too much judgement in this society we all think our opinions are the right opinions but we need to step back and accept that we all have our own likes and dislikes. If someone has differing likes and dislikes as you doesn't mean that they're the weird or unusual. I never read the book 50 Shades of Grey but I've heard plenty about it I have felt like since this book has come out woman now think it is more accepted to engage in bdsm and other things that they may not have had the guts to talk about before which is a positive thing. At the same time I have to think why does a fictional book now make something more accepted? Why should it take a book to make more women outspoken on sexual desires? In this post he speaks about 50 Shades of Grey and how feminism ties into it. Thomas Patrick says "As discussion has raged about the merits and flaws of the book, some women have found a new way to express what might have been a previously awkward subject of sex and sexual desire.." I also feel the media dictates what women are supposed to like and dislike. We feed the monster that is the media by going along with it and not sticking up for individuality. 

Talking Point #2 Oppression

I decided after reading this excerpt that I had a lot of personal connections to this text. There were a few parts that seemed to fit into past experiences and things I deal with to this day.

When Marilyn Frye talks about "....neither sexual activity nor sexual inactivity is all right. If she is heterosexually active, a woman is open to censure and punishment for being loose, unprincipled or a whore......On the other hand, if she refrains from heterosexual activity, she is fairly constantly harassed by men who try to persuade her into it.." I'm usually a very private person but for the benefit of connecting to the text I will be open when I was young I had very little interest in being sexually active so I was called a prude, bitch and uptight among other things. For the most part these were things coming out of boys mouths and like many girls I felt pressured into things I didn't feel comfortable with. I was 18 when I had sex for the first time and shortly after was being called a slut and a whore how does someone go from being called a prude to being called a slut it doesn't make sense. Sexually inactive or sexually active I never felt comfortable either way and its because of all the stigma you cant win either way. I feel like its something women just have to deal with or ignore it and not let it bother you.

She also talks about how the parents who would be disapproving of sexual activity may be worried by inactivity. I think there are ALOT of girls who feel the way I do in that when you're young you're terrified to bring a boyfriend around so I just hid it for the most part. I wouldn't bring around someone I was dating or I just acted like they were a friend. But because I did that my parents thought I was a lesbian. Once I finally brought a boyfriend around my mom constantly gave these sex talks. Once again you can't win!

Frye also states "If one dresses one way, one is subject to the assumption that one is advertising one's sexual availability; if one dresses another way, one appears to "not care about oneself" or to be unfeminine." It seems that if a girl dresses one way she's looked at as "high maintenance" and if they dress the opposite they're a slob. When I was in high school I really didn't place much importance on the way I dressed but over time I felt the pressure to dress better. It was actually after I got my job at Nordstrom if you didn't have the latest fashion or top name brands on not only would the people you worked with judge you but even the customers would as well. Customers will not trust you to dress them if you yourself don't look well dressed. Even after I stopped working there I felt the pressure to dress well and still do to this day and every once and a while I catch myself criticizing the things people wear I know its not okay but yet I still do it.

There's all these things we get criticized for but no happy medium. There's this helplessness that comes along with oppression that you just let it go on because you don't feel you can change things.

This article speaks about the same things that I covered. Dr. Marty Klein writes "Today's woman is supposed to be sexy, but not too sexy. She's supposed to be responsive enough to validate her partner, but not too aggressive or hard to please. Sexual, but not lusty. Not frigid, but not quite red hot. Her sexuality should express love, not lust." 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Compulsory heterosexuality link*

I found this funny since I used to watch this show all the time and recently watched a few episodes never once picked up on how much this speaks to compulsory heterosexuality.