Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Talking Post #7 (Bittersweet moment)

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

Can't believe this is the last blog! I did every type of post except for the extended comments topic so I picked Mike's post to do this post for.

Mike started off his post saying that he didn't feel that this reading really went along with everything we read during this short "semester." But I think I'll have to disagree with him. What Love and Helmbrecht were saying throughout this reading is what we want to get out to the kids. They're basically saying that women need to be empowered and feel like they can be on the top of the totem pole for once. They argue that media although may be trying to set a good example to girls and women to be themselves, they end up contradicting themselves and in the long run they are just trying to get these girls and young women to buy things. They argue "do young women still dream of being world leaders, or have their ambitions been curtailed in lieu of the smaller achievements they can make with their buying power?"
Mike then goes on to discuss the 3 major people and things from media that Love and Helmbrecht use to show the effect media has on girls and young women: female pop culture icon, Pink, Dove's campaign for "Real Beauty", and the film The Devil Wears Prada. 
"We want women to understand that they do have power and agency and that they are strong and capable... we want students to see a difference between feeling empowered because the media says they are, and actually being empowered..."
This quote really explained how Love and Helmbrecht felt about Pink, Dove's Campaign and the film.

Discussing Pink, Love and Helmbrecht say that although Pink has this song about women not feeling like they have to dumb down to be considered beautiful and not being a "stupid girl", they felt like she herself was being exactly who she told the girls not to be. Pink is telling the young women not to worry about image but she's presenting herself "exploitatively and commercially." Love and Helmbrecht said it was a form of resistance to the second wave of feminism
Then they talked about how Dove contradicts themselves. The aim that Dove had through their Campaign for Real Beauty was "to change the status quo and offer in its place a broader, healthier, more democratic view of beauty. Dove has the "real" women as their models and they supposedly don't airbrush or alter the image of any of the models on any commercials, magazines or billboards. Everything is fine and dandy up until now, real women show real beauty, right? The WHOLE campaign becomes contradictory now: the products they sell include "firming lotion, moisturizers, and self-tanning lotion, each of which presumably helps the wrinkled, flawed, and oversized..." If you are going to talk about how these "real" women have true beauty and basically tell us that they are beautiful just the way they are, why try to have products that change that? That's the argument Love and Helmbrecht are trying to bring up.
I must admit, The Devil Wears Prada, is probably one of my FAVORITE movies. It's about fashion and I love fashion but I never took it for what Love and Helmbrecht made me see it as. (Talk about pleasure vs. critique.) What Love and Helmbrecht tries to get us to understand is what the movie is actually saying. Andy, a journalist with no fashion sense accepts a job at Runway, THE BIGGEST FASHION MAGAZINE, although she KNOWS she can do better and deserves better. Miranda, her rude yet fashionable editor. Basically long story short, Andy transforms into this very fashionable women, who loses her friends and boyfriend. Andy becomes the bitch she always told herself she'd never be and Miranda ends up loving her. After looking in the mirror and seeing Miranda in herself, Andy quits the job, gets a low paying job at a local newspaper and gets her boyfriend back. It's kind of a message behind a message. What I had got out of this movie when the numerous times I seen it was that Andy realizes what truly makes her happy and does just that. But what Love and Helmbrect has pointed out is that it's saying that "women can be financially successful only by paying the hefty price of personal unhappiness." Which makes perfect sense. But it SHOULDN'T be like that, and as much as I'd like to think it's not, it is.

Mike did a reflective piece on this post so he didn't go much into those 3 things from media but he ended his post strong and it relates to this reading as well:
"One day Cindy was watching Ellen DeGeneres with her daughter and her daughter said something like "Mom, doesn't Ellen like other women?" Cindy said yes and then her daughter asked her "Could I like another women?" Cindy said to her daughter "If that's who you fall in love with." I think that is the perfect answer to give a little child. It lets them know they have the freedom to choose who they love and they don't have to fear backlash from their parents. That answer can be applied to different situations too. Girls should be told they can be scholars or doctors, while boys should be told they can be gymnasts or dancers. They can be whatever they want to be "if that is what they love.""
At a young age, we tell woman to become cheerleaders, dancers, or whatever girly thing they tell them to do now and we tell our sons to become fireman, athletes, businessmen and all these positions that hold high value. If we can teach girls from a young age that they can do whatever they want and help them to be the best person they can be, maybe it won't be such a surprising thing when we have women in high position jobs or women earning the same or maybe even more then men.

I found this article about women being leaders, thought you guys would enjoy it! 

Question for class:
".. they learned that fewer women hold powerful, decision-making positions in higher education than men and that women tend to earn more bachelor's and master's degrees than men, but hold fewer PhDs. And they were shocked to learn that women who work full-time still earn only 77% annually as much as full-time male workers."
We hear stuff like this all the time! We're given stats after stats after stats about women not earning the same as men in the same position jobs where the women is more educated than he is, but what are we as women doing? We can't forever make excuses for everything in our lives. What can we do as women to change this? This is when an individual change won't be enough but it might just be a start. Would the world be different if women were the dominant sex in the workplace or anywhere for that matter?

Occupy Providence

Okay so I was freaking out to go downtown to Burnside Park, but let me say it was definitely an experience to remember forever. I went with Kayla, Ethan, Stephanie and Annisia. I don't know about them, but I enjoyed meeting everyone that I did.
BTW, I sooo didn't get anyone's name but I did meet the same guy from North Carolina that Ariel met, Mike. We only talked to two guys really, well 3 but the 3rd one was a bit weird and I didn't understand much he was saying.

So when we first got there, it was definitely an interesting set up. There were tents everywhere. We saw a bunch of guys just standing around in a circle. They had just finished a meeting and some of them were heading out.
The first guy, who was our main "speaker" so to say, he asked us if we knew much about Occupy Providence.
"Occupy Wallstreet was the first, it started off as a call to oppose the gross economic injustice, massive foreclosure , the banks robbing people, the government giving millions and millions of dollars to banks that have mismanaged their funds."
He told us how there were about 1500 locations around US. Ethan asked if they were willing to stay here as long as it takes and he said that they're willing to stay there as long as it takes, that they might not necessarily there but they'll be in different places taking action.
They started tenting out in Burnside on October 15th after they started Occupy on October 1st. Four times a week they have meetings, which is kind of like their town hall meeting where people are able to voice their opinions, proposals, vote on things and basically talk about issues on site.
Although alot of people aren't always physically there because they do have families or school but they do support the movement.


He said we looked cold and tried to move us towards the sun to talk to us lol, and Ethan called him a warrior for standing through this kind of weather. He said everyone just bundles up really warm and the cold isn't too bad. I for one hate the cold! Idk how they do it.

They had this big box in the middle of Burnside, they called it an info booth. It's kind of like a chill spot, he said they listen to beats there sometimes. I noticed they had brochures for visitors and snacks and stuff for the people staying there.

"Welcome!! The Occupation Belongs to Everyone! We are the 99% Occupy Providence is a 24 Hr a Day Protest of Corporate Irresponsibility, Mass Economic Injustice, & Wall St. Crime"

"The richest people pay the least percentage of taxes, but if anything they should be paying the highest percentage." I know a lot of the stuff he was saying is things that are pretty obvious, but just like this class, it's things we dismiss, we just say "well that's what it is" but it shouldn't be like that. 

"There's jobs now but can you raise your family working at Walmart? It's all about getting a dignified job that pays a living wage...Nothing wrong with working at Walmart but if you have 3 kids and a $1500 mortgage, how are you supposed to raise a family getting $9/hr?"

He told us a fact that I didn't even know. With women accounting for more than half of the population, only 1% of the land in the world, which boggled my mind completely!! 

He asked us what we learned in class and after we told him, we basically summed it up that everything we discuss in class, is exactly what they are fighting for. Equality for everyone, women being recognized as powerful and knowledgeable human beings, and realizing that we have to be the change we want to see.

Ethan asked him for one last thing to leave us with, to bring back to class:
"The fight for economic and social injustice is everyone's fight and I believe it's something MLK Jr. said, "An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'

I don't know if Occupy Providence is working, I don't know where they started and how much of a change has already occured, but what I do know is that these people are sticking together in a place that is there home right now to fight for something they all believe it. They're TRYING, which is better then a whole lot of us. So why knock their hustle, ambition and motivation to make a change?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The N word; Tim Wise

Talking post #6

Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change
Connection with Allan G. Johnson: Privilege, Power, and Difference

First I'd like to say how this was my favorite read! Probably because it was the only single digit reading I had the  whole "semester." But to what the post is actually about lol....

  • "An ally is 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."
  • "All of us are part of the problem.... a way of thinking about the trouble that has the potential to help us become part of the solution by getting us unstuck."
In a way Ayvazian and Johnson want us to do the same thing; they want us to be the solution to a problem that we are part of. Johnson says that if people don't feel the power of oppression then they won't feel the need or ambition to try to change the system. In order for change to occur they must first change the way they think, which he says the first step is admitting that their is a such privilege. This is similar to allied behavior i believe, Ayvazian says that allied behavior is a behavior that "challenges prevailing patterns of opression, makes privileges that are so often invisible visible. and facilitates the empowerment of persons targeted by oppression. 
Ayvazian and Johnson both talk about the privileged group, which is the "one that receives the unearned advantage, benefit, or privilege." The group that isn't privileged, which Johnson describes as not being white or  male or heterosexual or of a privileged class and Ayvazian calls the group that isn't privilege, the targeted group who is denied the advantage, benefit, or privilege that the privileged group receives.

She talks about the dominant group being "whit people, males, christian, heterosexuals, able- bodied people, those in their middle years, and those who are middle or upper class." This reminded me a lot of Leslie Grinner and SCWAAMP: Straightness, Christianity, Whiteness, Americaness, Able-bodiedness, Maleness and Property Ownership. 

She also talks about an African-American named Kenneth Jones who was an anti-racism trainer. It's funny that he called being an ally, being at someone's back. Which is exactly how we defined it in class. Thought that was interesting.

I found this website called Lipstick and Politics which is women addressing issues in society that limit women in our society and they had a post about allies, so check it out here, I found it very interesting! Intelligence is Sexy.

Point for class:
I found this following quote really strong, it summed up a lot of points we made in class so I want to discuss it in class:
"I believe that it is difficult for young people to grow up and become something that they have never heard of. It is hard for a girl to grow up and become a commercial airline pilot if it has never occured to her that women can fly jet planes. Similarly, it is hard for younger people to grow up and fight racism if they have never met anyone who does."
This quote talks about privilege and how we don't try to change it. It talks about sexism through jobs. If we don't step up and show kids how to make a change, they won't try to make a change. You can't tell the younger generation to fight for something they believe in if you don't fight for things you believe in. Especially younger girls, we can't let them fall into these "women" jobs. How do we as adults change this for the younger kids?

Bob Marley

“Until the philosophy which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned... Everything is war. Me say war. That until the're no longer 1st class and 2nd class citizens of any nation... Until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes, me say war. That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race me say war!”
― Bob Marley

Occupy Providence: does anyone want to go together?

Ummmm I might be late, but does anyone want to go to occupy with me? I have a feeling of I go myself, I'll get a bit scared, chicken out, turn around and go home lol

Sunday, January 15, 2012



It starts off with Christina talking about woman not being able to have opinion and how when woman voice their opinion we're called bitches. She also talks about how men think women are just something to look at, to just look pretty. She then talks about the double standard that women have to deal with when it comes to the partners they have; a men can have multiple partners and be called the man but f a girl does the same she gets labeled a whore. 

Next female rapper Lil' Kim comes in and talks about the whole double standard thing. After she talks about how she'll have an idea and then a guy will take it and try to take the fame for it. That happens everywhere, school and in the workplace. Just listen to the song and the lyrics on the song!! :) 

So, what am I not supposed to have an opinion
Should I keep quiet just because I'm a woman
Call me a bitch 'cause I speak what's on my mind
Guess it's easier for you to swallow if I sat and smiled

When a female fires back
Suddenly big talker don't know how to act
So he does what any little boy would do
Making up a few false rumors or two

That for sure is not a man to me
Slandering names for popularity
It's sad you only get your fame through controversy, so sad
But now it's time for me to come and give you more to say

So, what am I not supposed to say, what I'm saying
Are you offended with the message I'm bringing
Call me whatever 'cause your words don't mean a thing
'Cause you ain't even a man enough to handle what I sing

If you look back in history
It's a common double standard of society
The guy gets all the glory, the more he can score
While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore

I don't understand why it's okay
The guy can get away with it, the girl gets named
All my ladies come together and make a change
And start a new beginning for us, everybody sing

Check it
Here's something I just can't understand
If a guy have three girls then he's the man
He can even give us some head and sex her raw
If the girl do the same, then she's a whore

But the table's about to turn
I'll bet my fame on it
Cats take my ideas and put they name on it
It's aight though, you can't hold me down
I got to keep on moving

To all my girls with a man who be trying to mack
Do it right back to him and let that be that
You need to let him know that his game is whack
And Lil' Kim and Christina Aguilera got your back

You're just a little boy
Think you're so cute so coy
You must talk so big
To make up for smaller things

Said you're just a little boy
All you do is annoy
You must talk so big
To make up for smaller things