Thursday, October 29, 2015

Blog Post #4

Nicholas Kristof, U.S.A Land of Limitations

Why/how is economic inequity a feminist issue?

At first it took me a while to understand this as to why it is a feminist issue but after class I got it. In the article Kristof talks about how the "American Dream" is all lies and the USA is really made up for the only the rich to succeed. As to why it is a feminist issue it goes hand and hand the main thing we are fighting for is equality and "justice". We fight for those who aren't equal those who are below and have no power or no say. In the article he states, "A child born in the bottom quintile of incomes in the United States has only a 4 percent chance of rising to the top quintile, according to a Pew study. A separate (somewhat dated) study found that in Britain, such a boy has about a 12 percent chance". Doesn't this seems ridiculous? Well it's the truth. The system is made that those who are the bottom are trapped at the bottom. I mean as an individualistic you might say "Oh that's ridiculous, I know someone who made it out and so will I" well good for you however as a country and for the other 96% of those at the bottom quintile that's not the reality. He then begins talking about his friend who, “What distinguished Rick wasn’t primarily bad choices, but intelligence, hard work and lack of opportunity." Rick was someone in school who had and attention deficit disorder and was suspended which then lead to him dropping out. It was unfortunate because his mother had died young and he basically had to take care of himself and his siblings. He had to deal with plenty of economic inequity due to the fact that he was a dropout because no one cared about his learning impairment. He eventually died due to a disease and not taking his medication for it because he couldn't afford health care but also because he had given the money to help his ex wife. This is why he says, “They grow up not in a “land of opportunity,” but in the kind of socially rigid hierarchies that our ancestors fled, the kind of society in which your outcome is largely determined by your beginning.” Rick was just an example of a lot of Amercians who are just "stuck" in the system.




Lisa Maria Hogeland

"Fear of Feminisim, Why Young Women Get The Willies"

This essay focused on the younger generation's fear of feminism and tried to justify it. One of the first quotes is when she explains her motif, "This essay is an attempt to trace out what that "of course" really means; much of it is based on my experience with college students, but many of the observations apply to other young women as well". She has to define her meaning of "of course" because that was her response when her former students told her their students were afraid of feminism. To her it makes sense and throughout the essay she has reasonable facts one which was, "young women may believe that a feminist identity puts them out of the pool for many men"; she means that in this generation the definition of a feminist isn't as clear and those who aren't educated just assume that we are man haters/anti-men which is not true. The point is to fight the inequality between genders not bash the opposing gender. Another quote which basically says its okay to be afraid and I understand why you are. On the last page she says, “Women have real reasons to fear feminism, and we do young women no service if we suggest to them that feminism itself is safe… to stand opposed to your culture, to be critical of institutions, behaviors, discourses- when it is so clearly not in your immediate interest to do so-asks a lot of a young person…”. This is true not everyone is up for the movement and change is scary. However one thing she doesn't do is say they shouldn't be feminists she encourages them by saying the good things of feminism. The whole essay she explains a woman's struggle of identity, political place, etc. Then she explains the benefits of feminism and how it is intimidating but worth it.

Although I am very late with this post I agree with the author it's tough trying to be a feminist in this generation when you aren't educated on the subject or when you are in a society when its hard to find yourself. However I don't think it should discourage the younger generation to be part of the movement.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Blog Post #6

Gloria Anzaldua, "La conciencia de la mestiza: Towards a new consciousness"


This was a very hard reading for me due to the fact that she would mix in spanish, which would throw me off a bit. But overall this reading focused on mestiza, which is a woman of mixed race especially Latin American and Native American. The first quote I would like to talk about explains a mestiza; on page 377 she states, "... la mestiza is a  product of the transfer of the cultural and spiritual values of one group to another... the mestiza face the dilemma of the mixed breed: which collectivity does the daughter of a darkskinned mother listen to?" The author is talking about herself she is mixed her mother is native american (darkskinned as referred to the quote) and her father is spanish. These are two different cultures that she is torn between. Late on she goes more into depth about her dilemma and the different views the cultures have and opinions she gets. She does explain a common denominator though which is the white culture, because both mexicans and native americans have been attacked by the whites and devalued. The next quote I would like to discuss relates to the white culture owning up to what it's done rather than ignoring it. On page 384, "We need to say to white society: we need you to accept the fact that Chicanos are different, to acknowledge your rejection and negation of us. We need you to own the fact that you looked upon us as less than human, that you stole our lands, our personhood, our self-respect." There is a lot more that goes along with this quote but it is basically saying that whites should accept that everyone cant be like them and respect other cultures rather than trying to colonizing them and make them indifferent and devalue them. By saying this she believes that by owning up to this it will help educate them and help this world. By being ignorant to the situation no one is benefiting from it but the whites so by educating them and making it relevant it will help the Mexicans regain their dignity and self esteem to prosper and be prideful in their culture. She then says that we must also become aware of other cultures and their history which will help us in becoming united. According to her, "awareness of our situation must come before inner changes, which in turn come before changes in society. Nothing happens in the "real" world unless it first happens in the images in our heads" (pg. 385).  For there to be a change we must first rationalize our problems and realize what is going on then by doing this we make it a real problem and change it. Overall her what I got from this text was her struggles as a mixed lesbian woman and ways in which we can change it. Although I didn't use any quotes discussing her sexual orientation she does discuss it and how that also makes her feel out of place on top of being mixed but also part of something because every race has lesbians.

I chose this link because  although it isn't necessarily talking about this piece it is talking another one of Anzaldua's pieces which is discussing the same concept and it goes hand and hand with this article.

I understand the struggle of being torn because of being a mixed race, I'm cape verdean which is a mix of African and European descent however I claim that I'm solely African because that's the one which I can relate to the most since my country is in Africa. It is a struggle because of how light skin I am when I say to others that I'm black.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Blog Post #5

Adrienne Rich, Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

   When I first started reading the text I was confused because she kept mentioning compulsory heterosexuality I wasn't quite sure what she meant. When she stated, "... to encourage heterosexual feminists to examine heterosexuality as a political institution which disempowers women- and to change it." I began to get an idea what it could mean. She kept mentioning heterosexuality as a political institution and that is what I think she means by compulsory heterosexuality. One example that made me understand compulsory heterosxuality was when she said, "Compulsory heterosxuality simplifies the task of the procurer and pimp in worldwide prostitution rings and "eros centers", while, in the privacy of the home, it leads the daughter to "accept" incest/rape by her father, the mother to deny that it is happening, the battered wife to stay on with an abusive husband". It is "the way" it should be, heterosexuality is the only sexuality while homosexuality is "deviant". With that quote it just goes to show how the girls are brought up that men are in control and that they must please them. This leads into lesbian existence which is, "... both the fact of the historical presence of lesbians and our continuing creation of the meaning of that existence" (pg. 90). It is to talk about the existence of lesbians from the very beginning. It isn't just a "phase" that just started lesbians have been around for a very long time but as stated in the article it has been erased, made into something bad and abnormal in this society. When Rich talks about women resisting men to show proof of lesbian existence she links it to love connection between women and women. On page 91 she says, "... central to lesbian existence" the erotic sensuality which has been, precisely, the most violently erased fact of female experience". Which is just an example of compulsory heterosexuality and showing how mandatory it is.