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.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Blog Post #8

Peggy Orenstein, Cinderella Ate My Daughter


       As soon as I read the title I knew this would be an article I would love. Growing up I was in love with everything pink. I loved all the disney princesses but Cinderella and Ariel were my favorite ones. In high school is when I was first exposed to the "hidden truth" behind the princess stories and how wrong the messages are to young girls. This leads to my first quote which is based on a conversation between the Author and Andy Mooney a representative of Disney about the hidden messages in the princess stories. On page 16, "He had a point. I have never seen a study proving that playing princess specifically damages girls' self-esteem or dampens other aspirations. There is, however, ample evidence that the more mainstream media girls consume, the more importance they place on being pretty and sexy." Her point being that all the princesses are valued for their beauty and nothing else. Their whole story is based on their looks and the need to wait for prince charming to rescue them. By little girls watching this they believe to think that is all that matters, they just need to be a pretty princess and they will live happily ever after with their prince. Another quote that ties in with this quote focuses on female bonding, "Let's review: princesses avoid female bonding. Their goals are to be saved by a prince, get married and be taken care of for the rest of their lives. Their value derives largely from their appearance." In the text she links this to an argument her daughther had with one of her friends that there can only be one princess. It is true in this sense because there is no female bonding there aren't princesses that are bff's and hang out. They are usualy on their own, Cinderalla her step sisters didn't like her so there was no bonding, as for Snow White her step mother hated her so no bonding there either. We are never taught how to help each other but instead how to compete against one another. The last quote that stuck out to me was another conversation but this time between the author and a sales rep at a Toy Fair in New York; "'Is al this pink really necessary?' I asked a bored-looking sales rep hawking something called Cast and Paint Princess Party. 'Only if you want to make money,' he said chuckling. Then he shrugged. 'I guess girls are born loving pink.'" It's weird to think that pink was enforced on girls as a business sheme. I loved pink growing up and it makes sense now, all my toys were pink most of my clothes were pink my diary was pink, my playing table was pink. There was pink all around me so it makes sense as to how we love pink so much.