Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Social Justice Event

For my second Social Justice Event I attended the screening of UnSlut. This was a documentary that discussed slut shaming and how young girls are affected by it and bullied in schools and how it must be stopped. The film director Emily Lindin started the UnSlut project after going through her own experience with slut shaming. She had been called a slut for I believe going to the third base with her boyfriend at the time in 6th grade. She had become very depressed from having the whole school calling her a slut and it really had a huge impact in her life. There were about 4 stories of girls who had been slut shamed and how it impacted them. One story was about a girl who had sent nudes to her boyfriend at the time and he had forwarded it to the whole school. As soon as she got to school the next day she was automatically called a slut, was harassed and judged. Nothing every happened to the boy who leaked the nudes. While she had to suffer in the school halls, became depressed and was even suicidal. There was another story of another high school girl who had gone to her friends house to sleepover and they ended up going to hang out with some boys down the street. They ended up drinking and while she was passed out drunk a group of boys brought her upstairs and gang raped her. She didn't recall anything until she woke up throwing up and banged her head on the window. These young boys took pictures of her and sent it all throughout the school out in the end she was called a slut and harassed. There were so many things wrong with this situation the boys were never bullied for doing this or called rapists, she was the victim and ended up being the "Bad" person. Unfortunately a year later after suffering through depression, changing schools and nothing working she killed herself. Her case is awaiting trial to see if the boys will be charged with rape, out of all of this the friend that was with her when this occurred claimed the girl gave consent to sex. Her definition of consent was that the girl wasn't fighting or kicking resisting while she was being raped. This lead realizing how little teenagers know about consent and sex in general. Most don't get proper training. There was one story of a woman who was raped and she was told that she was asking for it due to what she was wearing. Overall the documentary did stated that the problem can't be solved overnight but it starts with each person work on themselves and educating the younger generation. The goal is to take back the word slut to the point that it wont be an insult anymore. This reminds of the speaker that came to talk about sex positivity and showed the video of tea. That is a way in which you can teach students about consent and the other video of Amber Rose promoting sex positivity by being proud of the walk of shame instead of being ashamed. I also think of Generation M and how women are represented by the media and how we are portrayed as sexual objects and nothing else. It's a misogynistic society and it needs to be stopped.

Social Justice Event

For my first Social Justice Event I attended a talk hosted by the African Studies program. The title of the talk was "The Damnation of Black Women Critically Analyzing Policy's Treatment of Black Women", the speaker was Dr. Jordan-Zachery the Director of Black Studies at Providence College. This was such an informative talk. Her main focus was on how Black Women were disappearing from the academia and society itself. This talk of disappearance was also brought up by Rich when it came to Lesbians and this is what lead to Lesbian Existence. The fact that the academia is so selective with what they portray and allow others to learn is ridiculous. Lorde also discussed this problem and stated, "The same evasion of responsibility, the same copout, that keeps Black women's art out of women's exhibitions, Black women's work out of most feminist publications". She began with the incarceration of Black Women and the statistics, in 2001 1-19 black women are incarcerated, while 1-45 for Hispanic Women and 1-118 for White Women. As of 2001 Black Women were incarcerated 2.5 times the rate of white women. Most of these Black Women were in jail in regards to drugs and did the mandatory minimum. From this there's a chain reaction the black women does what she does to keep food on the table for her children but this then leads to her being incarcerated and her children in foster care; about half of the children in foster care are black. She then discussed pay equity, unemployment. One thing that stuck to me the most was that a Black Women whom is a High School graduate earns $30,450 while a White Male High School Dropout of 9th grade or less earns $32,675. This seemed ridiculous but accurate not only are we females we are black females which is the lowest of the low. Not even with more schooling do we get some sort of "equality". This brought me back to the article about the Land of Limitations which is true even with a High School degree she is still limited because of social class and the color of her skin.  In regards to us disappearing she talked about a study in which they showed pictures of different colored people and the black woman's face was not recognizable/remembered afterwards. For example they should a picture of a white girl a hispanic girl then a black girl in some order. They could list all but the black girl's face. According to this talk we are only visible when it comes to poverty, black people have the highest rate of poverty 25.1. Overall this was an eye-opening talk in which I left realizing how unjust our society really is (although I already knew this). I must fight or my own rights and for all the other Black Women. This is why I considered myself a black feminist. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Blog Post #12

Andrea Ayvazian "Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change" and Fletcher A. Blanchard "Combatting Intentional Bigotry and Inadvertently Racist Acts"


      Andrea Ayazian argues that allies are needed in our society to help fight oppression. In the paper she discussed who an ally is and how they can help. She provided various examples to show how diverse and interconnected an ally can be. One that that she was very hopeful towards was that it would help with violence in our society. According to her, "because members of the dominant group are conferred with considerable social power and privilege, they carry significant authority when confronting perpetrators of violence in their own group" (Ayvazian, 600). This seems logical but does it really work? There has been article that I have read in the past and one that I actually hyperlinked in one of my blogs discussing this topic; it mainly had to do with white people owning up to their privilege and starting to understand racism once they hear it from another white person. I remember reading that in a way they got to connect to the white person speaking of the oppression and how they are the oppressors then they actually look in the mirror. I guess in this way this is what she is getting at that they will "stop" and do better since it's coming from their "own" people. Overall this article was very hopeful in trying to change our society and making it a better place. Another thing she said that made sense and connects to her argument was, "it is hard for young people to grow up and fight racism if they have never met anyone who does". In this generation I have realized that most of us are afraid to fight for our rights and fight against racism. If it doesn't affect them directly they could care less, especially if people around them aren't either. It's sad but true in a sense. Allies could be a good thing and I have seen a couple great ones but I don't know if that's all it takes to fix our society.

     Fletcher Blanchard argues the lack of knowledge in regards to racism and the illusion that racism on campus isn't as bad anymore now that it's being taken care of with school policies. This paper was written in 1992 but is still so relevant now just to show what he is arguing about. One study he had done on his college campus showed that when it comes to race people follow the "trend" whether good or bad; "After hearing someone else condemn racism, college students expressed anti-racist sentiments much more strongly than those who heard someone express equivocal views. However, students who first heard someone condone racism then voiced views that reflected strong acceptance of racism" (Blanchard 605). When it came to racism the students were completely oblivious. He talks about how many white students are inexperienced and aren't around black students or other people of color until college. This then leads to the people of color suffering and there not being sufficient consequences. One of the main problems with all of this is how people of color are underrepresented in colleges. We are then harassed and traumatized and feel alone with nowhere to go to discuss these problems and stabilize ourselves. I agree with his suggestion to conquer this problem, "until inexperienced students master the behaviors that reflect their egalitarian commitments. we must maintain havens for minority students that protect them from intentional harassment and naive disrespect, including cultural centers and organizations for particular minority groups" (Blanchard 608). The least the school can do is have a place where we can go and see people like us and feel like we belong.

How do you guys feel about allies? How can we help end racism on campus?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Blog Post #10

Ann Ferguson, Sex War: The Debate between Radical and Liberation Feminists


When I first read this article I was trying to figure out which feminist "group" I fell under the Radical or Libertarian. As I read the article more in depth I realized that I was neither one and that the author's argument is just that. Ann Ferguson stated, "Both sides are working with a number of philosophical assumptions about the nature of sexuality, power and freedom that have never been properly developed and defended". This makes sense it can't be a valid argument if all they are relying on are assumptions. As I read why they felt so strongly about their views on sexual privilege I realized that I agreed with a little bit of both. So where would I stand if I am in between? By saying "feminists should be free to choose between basic and risky practices without fear of moral condemnation from other feminists." This makes more sense and helps people like me who agree, "the ideal sexual relationship is between fully consenting equal partners who negotiate to maximize one another's sexual pleasure and satisfaction by any means they choose". I believe that we should embrace our sexuality and our sexual urges. She claims that both feminist groups are arguing things that aren't mutually exclusive. In the reading she proposes a "solution" to the problem between the Radical and Liberation Feminists, "I argue instead, that we should develop feminist erotica and sex education that aims to make people conscious of these contradictions in order to encourage new forms of feminist fantasy production". I don't really know what she means by "feminist fantasy production". I would like to know what it means to try to understand her "solution" to this problem.

What does sex positivity mean to you?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Blog Post #9

Michael Kimmel, "What are little boys made of?"
Jackson Katz, Tough Guise 2

      Issues of men and masculinity are feminist issues because as feminists we believe that men are also being misunderstood and unjust by society. One quote by Kimmel which can explain why issues of masculinity are a feminist issues is, "Feminists imagine, and demand, that men (and boys) can do better. Feminism offers the possibility of a new boyhood and a new masculinity based on a passion for justice, a love of equality, and the expression of a full range of feelings". Feminists don't blame it on biology they believe that our young boys are raised in this society in which masculinity in enforced upon them. The definition of masculinity by our society are guys who are tough "macho" do not show emotion or fear, are violent and straight. One example in the movie of this type of masculinity was when talking about the wrestlers and superhero's bodies. Now the wrestlers bodies are very muscular and they don't really look "normal" and the superheros compared to the originals in the 40's/50's are "ripped" as well very muscular. Kimmel stated, "If it's all biological, why is the slightest deviation from expected manly behavior so cruelly punished? Why aren't Norwegian or French or Swiss boys as violent, homophobic, and misogynist as many are in the U.S?" I was once told by my professor that America's problem is that it censors sex more than it does violence as opposed to Europe which censors violence more than sex and it makes a difference. As the this quote suggests boys in Europe are far less violent, homophobic and misogynist than boys in the U.S, the video games and shows play a role in this. In certain countries in Europe they ban video games if too violent they don't do that here. I am not saying it's all the video game's fault but as mentioned in the film there are taught behaviors. They talked about the impact of violence in the media on children in the film and it's all taught behavior which makes sense. The film shows a scene from Full Metal Jacket to tie into this sense of masculinity , "we must contend with the "culture of cruelty" that forces a boy to deny emotional neediness, "routinely disguise his feelings" and end up emotionally isolated." In the film he talks about "tough guise" and how boys must learn to become this way and not show any emotion. It's not known or obvious how to be a "man" but you must act like it and figure it out.