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“Miss Representation”

6 Feb

Ladies! I wanted to let you all know, in case you hadn’t heard, that the creator of “Miss Representation” (Jennifer Siebel Newsom) will be lecturing in Pruis Hall tomorrow. The event is free and it starts at 7:30 pm. She will be discussing “Miss Representation” and the influence of the media. Hope to see you all there!

 

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A Letter to the Guy Who Harassed Me Outside the Bar

20 Jan

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There has been a trend in the past few decades…or, you know, forever, to see women as nothing more than sexual objects. It does not matter who the woman is, how smart she is, where she came from, what she does, if she is married, has children, is Jewish, is Catholic, worships the devil, those things do not matter if she is “sexy”. Emily Heist Moss wrote A Letter To The Guy Who Harassed Me Outside the Bar as a way of describing how many women feel on a daily basis. Is it fair that women are talked to, looked at, and described in this way?

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Rape Culture

21 Dec

Rape Culture

Men Getting Down & Dirty

9 Dec

Stay-at-Home-Dad-01Have you ever noticed during paper towel commercials, the smiling mother cleans up the spilled juice? Or what about when the wife sprays Mr. Clean on the mud that was tracked in by the dog? Well an article from the Wall Street Journal discusses a change to the way household chores are marketed. The new target audience is the male viewers of these advertisements. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the amount of time a man spends cleaning the house has increased. This article is hopeful that the media is realizing women are not longer the designated “housewives.” I think women will enjoy this marketing towards the new improved “househusband.”

Not Afraid to Say It

9 Dec

I am a feminist. However, when I talk to my friends and tell them how much I enjoy my women’s in politics class they give me a weird look. I think it is unfortunate that there is still a negative connotation with the term “feminism.” So when I found this cartoon clip I thought it was humorous and true.

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Defined by Marriage

9 Dec

A woman keeping her last name is not radical but makes a statement of being true to herself.

signature(1)“A wife should no more take her husbands name than he should hers. My name is my identity and must not be lost.” Lucy Stone was the first woman in the United States to refuse to take her husband’s last name. Although her idea was in the 1800s, American women have not come a long way since then.

A person’s name is not only their label, but it defines who they are. The value of a person’s name is respected in the majority of cultures. In China, parents hope for a baby boy in order to carry on the family’s name. As for India they treasure their names in respect of their ancestors. Unfortunately American society disregards a woman’s name.

Women’s identity is determined not by her accomplishments or career but she is defined by marriage. Once she makes the decision to utter the words “I do,” she is no longer referred to as her own person, but her husband defines her.

The (Edited) War on Men

8 Dec

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When Fox News released an Op-Ed, called the War on Men, it became an anger-inducing, viral sensation. The author argued that women don’t get married anymore because men are pissed off at feminism. Specifically, men feel that “women aren’t women anymore.”

She argued that in order to get married, women needed to surrender to their femininity and assure men of their bread-winning status. She states that, “the so-called rise of women has not threatened men. It has pissed them off. It has also undermined their ability to become self-sufficient in the hopes of someday supporting a family. Men want to love women, not compete with them. They want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them.”

Understandably, the article made a lot of women upset (me included), so the author recently posted an article to clarify what she had meant. She argues that men and women are fundamentally different, no matter what feminists say. A woman’s success in the workplace does threaten men, so don’t brag about it. A man can’t get pregnant so success in the workplace is all he’s got, allow him to provide.

“Just because you make your own money doesn’t mean your guy can’t pay the bill. Just because you value independence doesn’t mean you can’t take your husband’s last name. Just because you can do the same job a man can do doesn’t mean you need to let him know it.”

She goes on to say that surrendering to your femininity means being ok with the guy being in charge. We’re equal, but he doesn’t need to know it. Even though this article isn’t as provocative as the first, I’m still dissatisfied.

Women can play whatever role they want to in a marriage, and if the guy is truly right for them it shouldn’t cause friction. A wife being happy about a promotion or excited about a project at work shouldn’t damage her marriage. Neither should the decision for the wife or the husband to be a stay-at-home parent.

The same argument is at play: that the woman shouldn’t express her desires or successes if she wants her relationship to work.

My argument is that traditional gender roles shouldn’t dominate the success of a marriage. The love and commitment of the two partners should.

Marriage: what’s the big deal?

7 Dec

Occasionally, and with all due respect, I find topics of feminism frivolous; it’s a waste of energy. Lots of energy.
For example, this past week when we discussed marriage and the implications of last names, rings, etc, I thought is this really that concerning? Why are you so willing to wear the ring? Because it’s shiny? Also. why are there women looking down on women? So what if a lady wants to be married and take her husband’s name. How can a woman judge her?

In my opinion equality is meant to ensure that all people have opportunity to pursue happiness and fulfill ambition. If a woman does not share in your prerogative, she cannot be considered wrong for it is her equal right to be different.

Lisa Miya-Jervis, editor of Ms. Magazine, is married. As a ringleader of feminist thinking, several readers, upon learning she had a husband, stopped subscribing. In her article Who Wants to Marry a Feminist,  Miya-Jervis (apparently her husband and she both hyphened their last names) tells her thinking behind marriage, emphasizing that the traditional concepts of marriage are not that big of a deal, in the grand scheme of things.

Politics of Reality Response

2 Dec

The author starts her piece by claiming that the word lesbian does not actually exist. There is not an accurate definition for a lesbian in many reliable sources. They don’t exist to some and are oppressed in society.  She goes further to infer that Women do not exist in today’s society to an extent. “Woman” was a word that was meant to describe that we are the female of the species. However, there is some sexism involved in this because the species is termed man. She goes on to explain the different forms of oppression that lesbians and women in general have received throughout time. She tries to explain that she feels women will always be oppressed in some way. She feels that women are not valued for their individuality, character, and accomplishments. They do not receive credit for the things that they accomplish. She believes that women will always be perceived as inferior to men to an extent because men have the need to exert dominance. Women are always subjected to negative attention and ridicule in the media and by society. She claims that men believe that they cannot understand women and therefor only seem to recognize their physical existence. However, the author wants women to empower themselves and stand up for themselves. She believes they should fight the oppression.

The activity performed in class reflects many of the aspects of the article. Those who were made to wait outside the room were oppressed (possibly the lesbians). They do not have voice that is taken seriously and they remain effectively unseen. They are not properly represented and are ignored. Those at the table represented those who are constantly scrutinized and the observers were the ones who sit back and watch this oppression happening and could possibly create controversy about the others. I think that women do fill these roles in everyday life. There are some women who do not empower themselves and have no voice. They let others dominate them and do not reach their full potential. There are also some women that are constantly under a spotlight and are critiqued. They feel pressure from others to be a certain way. They can sometimes have low self-esteem because of what others say about them. Some women also play the role of the observer. Women are very critical of other women. Women can sometimes be the ones to create the controversy about women.  I think that these types of behaviors must stop in order to cease the oppression of women. If women do not ally together and respect each other, how can we expect men to respect us? Working together to empower women and stop this negative imagery of women is the only way to advance the position of women in society.

To see and be seen: Politics of Reality Response

2 Dec

“To be and be seen: The Politics of Reality”, begins by stating that lesbians do not exist and explaining why this can be argued as the truth. Since there is no definition that can be found that explains what this term means, the author explains that men have made sure this term does not describe a real characteristic.

This article applies to the activity in multiple ways. On the one hand, I think it would be easy to argue that the men were the group in the spotlight and the women in the shadows. This would leave lesbians as the group out in the hall and therefore counted as “out of the group”. However, I looked at it a little differently. I think that the men represent the group in the hall. They are oblivious, or at least ignoring, the existence of the other groups. Out in the hall, whatever they believed to be going on could be made to be the truth. Since that group had little knowledge of what was actually taking place. Women as a whole would represent the group in the spotlight at least in this context. The article discusses the lesbian group “looking” at the group of women and thus proving their ability to be seen. This would leave the lesbian group to be the one in the shadows which is still an accurate depiction of the group. They are the onlookers, hoping to be seen by the other groups, but at the same time, helping women as a whole to be empowered and gain the knowledge that they are actually being seen.