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Rights Treading

17 Jan

Rights Treading

Supreme Court to hear Gay Marriage Cases

9 Dec


The biggest milestone of our nation will be heard by the Supreme Court in March. According to Time it is one of the fastest moving civil rights movement in American history. Both sides of the spectrum will be equally represented among the justices when it comes to discussing the issues. One interesting fact about this new push is that even if a decision was made, there is no guarantee that it would spark a final overall decision on gay marriage. The reason is because the justices are going to question if the cases have standing. There has to be a real injury to the plaintiff for the cases to be heard. If not then the cases will be thrown out. Its a wait that is both optimistic and uneasy on both sides. What do you think will be the outcome? Do you think the justices will further the cases and decide that they have standing? If so what do you think would most likely be the decision of most of the justices? Will history repeat itself on the stance of gay marriage, or will there be a new beginning to so many lives anticipating change, rights and equality?



7 Dec

Ellen DeGeneres is a lovable, quirky woman. Hardly someone that would be caught offending anyone.

The activist group One Million Moms have called this JCPenney commercial with Ellen Degeneres offensive. Why? Because Ellen is an openly gay woman.

The content of the commercial isn’t an issue for One Million Moms, a group closely tied to the American Family Association, the group is offended more by JCPenney’s decision to hire her and feature her on commercials. Their complaints really don’t go beyond that… they are just angry that Ellen isn’t being judged, criticized, and outcast for her sexuality.

“Since April, JC Penney’s has not aired Ellen DeGeneres in one of their commercials until now,” the group said. “A new JCP ad features Ellen and three elves. JCP has made their choice to offend a huge majority of their customers again. Christians must now vote with their wallets. We have contacted JC Penney’s several times in the past with our concerns, and they will not listen. They have decided to ignore our complaints so we will avoid them at all costs.”

One Million Moms has a right to be against whatever they choose to be. With the gradual changing of public opinion towards LGBT rights and the upcoming Supreme Court case on gay marriage, the country is clearly going in a different direction than they want it to. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad direction or one that we should not take.

Hopefully, in the future they’ll view Ellen based on her personality and not want her shunned for her sexuality. The rest of the country has.

A License to Marry

6 Dec


A license to marry: It’s official! was written and published this morning at about 1:30 am. It is about Washington state allowing Lesbians and Gay couples to legally be married. I really enjoyed reading about how excited everyone was, especially the couples who were getting married. Washington is one of seven states that allows same sex marriage. I for one am looking forward to seeing the progress that same sex couples have made. How far do you think that they will be able to go? Possibly making same sex marriage nationally recognized?

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.

The Politics of Reality Response

1 Dec

I would relate the reading with the activity in class by claiming that the lesbians where the people who were out in the hallway. The people who were in the hallway did not know what was going on in the room. The two groups that were still in the room, even though they were doing separate activities, both groups were together.

That whatever was considered “proper” or “real” is what the king or whoever was in charge deemed was “proper” or “real”. Since the king did not think that lesbians were “real”, they did not exist. During our activity on Monday it was rather easy to pretend that the group in the hall way did not exist.  It was easy to remember the other group when they are in the same room.

I think that the purpose of the activity in class was to teach us that there are some groups who are still considered outsiders today. These people are not really seen as existing or they are not really considered important. More towards the end of the activity my group and another group got to talk a little bit without the group in the hallway.

Another part of the reading that ties in with the activity is knowing that you can be seen. We had to stand up on a table with a spot light on us; we knew we could be seen. Another group watched us, and we forgot about the group that was not in our sight.  It is about how we are perceived and how we perceive ourselves.

Condescending World

14 Nov

We discussed THIS in class today and I said I would post it because it was something that hit close to home in a way. I feel like I’m always getting talked down to or having something explained to me in a different “dumbed down” version. I constantly feel like I am sticking up for myself and my ability to have an intellectual conversation without things having to be explained to me.

I was happy to see Tammy Baldwin stand up for herself. When Senator Ron Johnson tried to demean Baldwin, she shot back, “I was a double major in college in mathematics and political science, and I served for six years on the House Budget Committee in my first six years in the House.”

Interview with activist Erin Davies

4 Nov
 FagBug exclusive: Erin Davies

Students at Ball State University got to see a rainbow-colored Volkswagen Beetle called the Fagbug September 28. The vehicle may seem to be controversial to some but, for Erin Davies, it is a way to cultivate awareness. The vehicle was displayed on the east side of the L.A. Pittenger Student Center lawn. It is the topic of the documentary “Fagbug,” which was shown that evening in the Fine Arts Building on Ball State’s Campus. Erin Davies, the creator of the documentary, was to speak about her experiences and her travels after the documentary was shown to students. In April of 2007, Davies’ car was vandalized with the words “fag” and “u r gay”, spray painted on the side and front of her vehicle.  Instead of removing the vandalism, she traveled around the country to encourage dialogue about hate crimes and raise awareness about homophobia. Davies documented her journey in her film “Fagbug,” which has gone onto win more than 25 awards.

Event was sponsored by the Ball State Multicultural Center and Spectrum.

Samantha Ellison: On April 18th 2007, your car was vandalized? What was written on your car? And how did you first feel about this hate crime?

Erin Davies: Someone spray painted “fag” and “u r gay” on the driver’s side and hood of my car. At first I felt shocked. Then I felt ashamed. Then I thought to myself, “u r gay? No shit! Thank you for stating the obvious.”

SE: What were some people’s first reactions to your car? How did other students at your university respond?
ED: The first day I drove the car with the graffiti, I drove to my graduate school, Sage College, in Troy, NY. In one hour, there were fifty phone calls of complaints and I was asked to remove my car from campus. Rather than move it, I took the stance that homophobia isn’t just my problem. It’s everyone’s.
SE: How did you use what had happen to your car to create awareness for LGBTQ hate crimes?
ED: I used what happened to turn it into a statement. By not removing the graffiti, I externalized it and had a shared healing experience. People think this type of thing doesn’t happen because they never see it in a visual form. Everyone that saw my car with the graffiti in a year, could no longer say they didn’t think it was happening because they never saw it.
SE: How did you decide to come up with the idea to travel around the country? Where did you all travel to? What were some of your most memorable moments along the way?
ED: A friend of mine dared me to drive the car for a year and take it around the country. I traveled to 41 states in 58 days. My most memorable moment was getting an email from VW of America informing me that they heard about what I was doing and wanted to sponsor my road trip. Also, I had a male named Brandon Monson drive the ca rin Indiana for 3 days to document the differences with him behind the wheel versus me.
SE: The movie Fagbug came out in 2009, documenting your journey across the country? Why did you feel it was so important to document your journey and be able to share this will others?
ED: I felt it was important to document my journey so other people who go through similar things don’t feel alone when it happens. I wanted to give an example of how to be empowered by these types of events.
SE: How have you used your merchandise to educate people on the harmful impacts of homophobia in our culture?
ED: I have a fagbug sticker, t-shirts, toy bug, poster, and DVD. All the merchandise serves as a conversation starter. Two of my t-shirts are the exact graffiti that was written on the car. Since the car got redone after a year, the shirts serve as a conversation piece in the same way the graffiti on the car did. The merchandise keeps allowing the story to be retold.
SE: Now that you have traveled the country on a mission to raise awareness about hate crimes and homophobia, what are your next plans?
ED: My plan is to continue to do so until I no longer hear about stories similar to mine on a daily basis. Eventually I’d like to retire the original fagbug into a museum and complete a follow up documentary. This spring I am flying the car to Hawaii and taking the car to Alaska to reach my 50th state which is a huge milestone.

Watch Fagbug Documentary