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!
The F-Word is a documentary on defining feminism and focusing on how to continue the movement. If women forget we will take a step back in history. “No one has ever given away power voluntarily.”
Have 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.”
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.
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.
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.
As the red, white and blue flyers begin to be recycled and the repetitive politician commercials conclude American women can still feel victorious about the results of the 2012 Election.
The 113th Congress will acquire multiple firsts for women. The New York Times confirms that New Hampshire was the first state to send all women delegates to Congress. There will be 20 female senators, which, is the most in U.S. history. The first out lesbian woman and the first disabled woman will serve in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately women make up 51 percent of the U.S. population, yet in politics they are the minority.
Lieutenant Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, is quoted in the film Miss Representation, explaining that countries known for rejecting women’s rights had more women in their government compared to the United States. Newsom said, “If people knew that Cuba, China, Iraq and Afghanistan have more women in government than the United States of America, that would get some people upset.”
According to New York Times female congress members only hold 20 percent of the majority rule in Congress. However, even though women hold less than a fourth of the voice, they still do not speak as frequently on the floor compared to men. Female congress members use only 60 percent of the time on the providing their perspective compared to a male representative.
Americans continue to witness misrepresentation repeatedly in the American government. Women were granted the right to vote almost over a century ago, but if women continue at this consistent rate “women may not achieve parity for 500 years” reported by Miss Representation.
Carolyn Shafer introduces her piece by explaining a lesbian does not exist. There is not definition for this type of woman. The author resorts to looking up the word lesbian in multiple sources even well known dictionaries yet they define a lesbian inaccurately. She takes a small example of how even the Webster dictionary cannot define a lesbian and stands back to take a glimpse at the larger picture. Women do not exist. “The word ‘woman’ was supposed to mean female of species, but the name of the species is ‘Man’.
Shafer goes into detail of the different ways and tactics lesbians and women have been oppressed but in the conclusion she grants hope for them. She wants women to understand there is power in defining who you are and there is power in oppression.
The conclusion of the piece relates back to the activity performed in class. The Politics of Reality states, “The woman, feeling herself seen, may learn that she can be seen; she may also be able to know that a woman can see, that is, can author perception (p 172).”
As our class was broken up in groups we were arranged in different environments: the stage, the outsider and the observer. As women we fulfill all these roles. We were placed on the stage and we felt ourselves being on the spot light. We also were oppressed when we were placed outside of the classroom. But once we were moved back into the room as observers we felt empowered. Shafer wants women to know when women are seen (on stage) they have authority and oppression actually benefits women because it eventually leads to liberation.
This is Tavi Gevinson’s TED Talk about her website Rookie, and her relationship with feminism. She talks about the struggle for teenage girls to find media that gives an accurate portrayal of what their life and they themselves, are really like.
My name is Claire and I am studying Political Science and Communications at Ball State University. I have been an intern with the Indiana Democratic Party since January, and I’ve loved every minute of it.
What are your future goals and aspirations?
After I graduate from Ball State, I want to earn a graduate degree in Communications, and I want to focus on feminism and media. I want to focus on women in the media, more specifically female comediennes. I want to analyze the impact that humor has on the television industry and on society as a whole. I eventually want to become a professor, and teach communications at the university level.
If I could change one thing in the world…
That’s a tough question because there are many things I would like to change in the world, but in relation to this class- one thing in the world I would like to change is the negative perception of feminists/feminism. There are so many negative terms/words/images that come to people’s mind when the word feminism is used, and most of these things are brought on by a stereotype that was created in the 1960’s. Many people believe that if you are a feminist that you are a radical, and that you have short hair, and dress in men’s clothing. This is not the case. In this third wave of feminism, feminists are encouraged and encourage others to be themselves. If you want to wear pink and glitter and bows in your hair, you can. If you want to wear men’s clothing and have short hair, you can. If you would like to combine all of these elements, you can! This is what I love about feminism. Don’t get me wrong, feminism isn’t all about clothing. Feminism strives to break down stereotypes about women and men. Feminism fights the hegemonic ideas about gender that we have learned from our culture. I want more people to understand that feminism is not only good for women, but it is also good for men, and members of the LGBT community. Feminism is not just for girls, it is not just for lesbians, it is for anyone who believes that every person has a right to be themselves.