May 18, 2009

blog 5

The topic that I have the most lingering questions about are groupies and Riot Grrrl. I feel like groupies really were strongly influenced by the women’s movement and sexual liberation. I also feel that groupies really paved the way for the Third Wave feminists/the Riot Grrrl movement. Now, however, the Riot Grrrl movement is dead. Groupies were about having sex with men for your own pleasure, while appreciating the music. Riot Grrrl abandoned the need to have men make music by making their own music. What concerns me the most is that even after all this time, and all this rock music; there are still not that many female musicians. The same can be seen in almost every other entertainment industry. The absence of women who are serious actresses, women who are serious and highly regarded film directors, women who produce their own music, women who have work in art museums, women whose writing gets to bear the title of “Literature” and gets to be in the “Canon.” All these different types of art have an undeniable absence of women. And the talent has to be out there. This isn’t anything that the course could have covered; it’s just something that I notice in my everyday life. I think it’s a really potent commentary about something that is going wrong with how we are raising our daughters that there aren’t that many women who are being taking seriously with their art. Maybe it is just a matter of time, because women just haven’t had as much time to make art as men have had. I want to see a re-vamping of the third wave or even maybe a fourth wave of feminism that demands a valorization of art (and whatever other creative works) created by women, trans people, gay people, queer people, what have you.

May 17, 2009

Blog Five

Over all I really enjoyed this semester, I think I would love to have learned a little more about safe spaces. I was just interested in that topic and I think learning how to get more safe spaces on campus or what the politics surrounding the topic are. Before coming in to this class I had little knowledge about safe spaces so reading about them was interesting. I also enjoyed that you tube clip about bathrooms and safe spaces. I also really would have liked to learn a little more about the groupies because I really thought those lectures were fun and enjoyable. I think it is interesting learning about groupies as well as the female bands like Biki Kill which is am super interested in. Other than that I really enjoyed the class, it was eye opening and extremely enjoyable and entertaining. I am an GWSS minor so hopefully in classes to come we will talk about some of the same topics we did in this class. I really thought that sex was an act when coming in to this class, now understand sex is so far beyond that, so just learning that some of these everyday things are so different then what we learn initially is really important.


One week that really stood out to me as peculiar and interesting was when we began the discussion of Sigmund Freud and his theory of psychoanalysis. As a psychology major I obviously love learning about the various theories that attempt to explain why people are the way that they are. With this being said, as we discussed Freud further and further I began to realize how completely ridiculous his theory is. Concepts such as penis envy and the Oedipus complex are extremely odd and realistically there is absolutely no scientific evidence that such theories exist. The fact that he thought that all people innately want to kill the parent that shares their sex and reproduce with the parent of the opposite sex is quite frankly disgusting and weird. Freud even went as far as to say that if a child didn’t deal with the Oedipus complex correctly that homosexuality could be a consequence. How ridiculous does that seem? I know that Freud obviously had a tremendous impact on psychology as a field, but I’m not sure why. Perhaps I’m wrong but I believe that homosexuality is something that people are consciously aware of. For Freud to say that it was the cause of problems in the unconscious not being dealt with properly puts a negative spin on homosexuality that isn’t necessary; especially when he literally has nothing to back up his claims. I thought it was cool to learn about psychoanalysis because of how interesting/absurd it is, but with that being said, I don’t believe that it explains people (heterosexual or homosexual) correctly in any manner.

Blog 5

Gender and sexual identities are expecially important to parents. The thought of having an intersex baby is terrifying for some, which posses the question as to why this is? It is so interesting to me that some parents are so afraid of the fact that their child might be born much differently than the majority. People are so obsessed with being absolutly positive on the sex of the child; possibly because as humans we are very obsessed categorizing everyting. It is necessary for many to be able to identify as a male or female, not as both or neither at all. What is a child that is intersex supposed to be categorized as? Because of this question many parents are forced to choose what sex they want the child to be. Often times an intersex child grows up producing larger amounts of both testostrone and estrogen; much more than that the typical ratio between the two hormones in a normal sexed child. Because of this it is difficult to the correctly assign a sexual identity to a child. A parent may decide to raise the child as a boy, which would allow doctors to construct a penix and use hormone treatments to hopedully make that child really identify as a boy. The major problem with this is the question of whether the child will really grow up feeling as if he was a male or female.

This exact problem was presented in an episode of Private Practice. A baby was born intersex and the father was about to walk out on the family because he and his wife were unable to decide a sex for the baby. Also Addison, the doctor, was torn with the decision of letting the child grow up and have the decision of going through surgery to decide whether it was male or female or allowing the parents to decide the sex and go forth with a surgery. Eventually the parents decided to raise the child as a boy, but leave the genitaila as is and allow the child the real decision when they grew up. I find this a great option, yet unfortunatly we as humans are to interested in being able to distinguish ourselves as male or female.

Blog 5: Final Reflections

During the course, I thought that the topics surrounding the +5 system and the patriarchal structure of our society were what I took the most away from, and they were the topics that most changed and informed my views. For some time, I’ve held what most would consider feminist views. However, I hadn’t been exposed to the sorts of theories and discourses that can serve to found, explain, and validate those views. I think that understanding those discourses, critically analyzing and finding the common ground between theories held by feminist like MacKinnon or Hollibough, and knowing how to convey their ideas and findings to other women is a key step in working to further women’s rights on the level of the individual. Discourses that I cannot help but take issue with, however, are those supported by Katharine MacKinnon. I find it hard to believe that most any embrace of female sexuality is a self-oppressing act. If that were true, it would seem there were no ways out of patriarchal hierarchies but to be a completely asexual being. However, her theories about society being structured around patriarchal hierarchies do seem well based. Also, I appreciate her and Dworkin’s theories about pornography being an oppressive force towards women, but I cannot agree that a ban of pornography would be the best course of action. A ban on pornography would create a sort of black-market, beyond the reach of government regulation, that could result in detriment to the health and safety of the women involved in such markets.

Blog 5

GWSS 1002, Politics of Sex is something that I waited until my senior year to take, something completely different than my other Biology major classes, something for fun. In hindsight, this class is everything that I thought college would be before I started school. It changed my thoughts and beliefs on everything; literally changed my life on how I view the world. Looking at the scope of topics we have covered, it is difficult to choose just one thing that has impacted me the most. Being prompted, I would have to choose the topics from Week Ten on The Politics of Sexual Violence in Everyday Life.

The politics of sexual violence topic shocked me the most because unlike the obvious understanding of rape and the sexual violence more often forced onto women than men, the idea of patriarchy in my everyday life such as the idea of needing women to be submissive in order for men to be dominant challenged my views on how society works the most. Also, whether it come from the privilege of having grown up in a free country or ignorance on the topic, the entire knowledge of human trafficking blew me away. I had no idea the severity of the problem - the idea that it's the second most economical trade in the world (second only to weapon trade) and that it's more of a problem than the drug trade appalled me. The essays from Min and Chapkis contributed to my knowledge of the topic, but the conversations in lecture and discussion that were prompted by these pieces made more of an impact. Min and Chapkis made good points of the problems of trafficking associated with times of war- which as ignorant as it may sound, I expect that times of war often catalyze inhumane behavior. However, classmates brought up the issue of trafficking during all times, something that hadn't occurred to me prior to taking this class. I left that lecture stunned, angry, and ready to discuss it with almost everyone I knew who wasn't taking the class. The entire topic was such a trainwreck in mind; it is something so awful I don't like thinking about it, but it is something so awful that it would be irresponsible for me to ignore it now that I had been exposed to it. It is something I think about everyday; This class is something I think about reading magazines, watching commercials, walking down the street. It really changed how I view everything.

Blog 5

We spent a large amount of time in class speaking about different theories and studies on sexuality and gender. What I found most interesting was our discussions and readings on the medical community and their take on the subject. With the advances in technology and education, science has been known to find fascinating results and information on many matters of life. There are areas science cannot, and will never be able to, solve. By this stage of societal and intellectual development, people should have the general knowledge that multiple constructs affect human dimensions such as sexuality. Most theorists encompass more than a single “truth,” but most scientific studies stick to the “one-truth” concept. Making it even more unrealistic, studies often discredit other factors which could contribute. Humans are complex beings, and gender and sexuality are comprised of more than biology and environment alone. Each has multiple pieces and will vary from person to person. Scientific studies help fill the biological side, but some find it hard to see benefits of a study trying to prove the heritable nature of sexuality. People feel or place blame on some individuals when (homo)sexuality is considered natural. Many social and political issues rise from such ideas. Problems surely accompany other theories as well, but fewer theorists proclaim to have solved the puzzle completely. Studies such as the one done on the corpus callosum seem ridiculous to many, but the science community always looks for the hidden key to the door. What the masses need to understand is that science is only one of the many ways to talk about and study sexuality and is not the one and only “truth.”

Blog 5: My slice of the pie

Blog 5: My slice of the pie.
One side note I found to be of considerable interest throughout the semester was the reaction of previously marginalized groups once they achieved the privilege they sought. Though this may be more of a discussion topic for a sociology class, I believe the issue is relevant to the struggle for equality among gender minorities. Once a specific groups has the rights or privileges it set out to get, regardless of whether similar groups seek similar rights, they become complacent and stop fighting for equality.
As we discussed the colonization of less developed nations by European empires I was not surprised by the treatment of indigenous peoples, but I was unaware of the role European women played. Though they were being oppressed by the same system of male dominance as the native women, as long as they had a higher status they were satisfied. So long as they had more influence and were the ones to bear the legitimate children they were happy to keep the patriarchal system in place. Simply because they were given a small taste of power their men held they were content to do nothing to help fellow, lesser women in their plights.
I find it interesting that this same sort of thing is still being played out in the struggle for more wide spread equality for other minority groups. Even as gay rights groups were celebrating victory through the passage of SONDA, there were still more marginalized groups, transsexuals in particular, who still have less effective legal protection.
It would seem that no matter the group, as soon as they have some of the +5 power, they become a part of what they originally fought.

Blog Five

I really enjoyed discussing sexuality and the law. I had no idea that our society used to have such strict and specific laws regulating sex. They regulated who could have sex with whom and how those people could engage in intercourse. Why did these unjust laws exist? They were designed to keep the power in the hands of the upper-middle class white men. Relationships between two races were forbidden because the mixed children that were born proved to be a challenge to classify. Some children were lucky and were raised by the white families instead of being subjected to the horrors of slavery. Punishments for those accused of inter-racial sexual relations were very odd. If a slave girl was raped by her master she was at fault and was sold off. Women were sold for tobacco and were often sent to churches for up to five years! Occasionally the illegitimate children were also given away as church servants and spent up to thirty years serving the church.
Sex used to be pretty much only for procreation. In fact, sexual acts that did not lead to conception were outlawed. Last night I was watching The Duchess and in that movie sex was seen as almost a bother by the women. Their husbands did not care about the woman’s pleasure – generating an heir was the only goal. Technically oral sex or other techniques that may bring a woman to orgasm were outlawed so they were not even considered. I bet if you look in some of the old state records, some of these laws still exist but are sort of unknown. They are not enforced but they were never officially overturned.

Final reflections

“Politics of Sex” was quite the eye-opener for me in many ways and it is very difficult to pinpoint an exact week of discussion. The subjects discussed during classes have helped me put together and link various views and perspectives to my own and I was finally able to make sense of many things I have been struggling with throughout my life. If I had to pick, it would be the discussion surrounding The Law and Sex. Through this discussion I have come to the realization that society did not create laws to determine what is natural or not, it is those within the society, who rose to power, who decided and imposed these laws on the powerless. Laws were not to be questioned or argued against, it is to be accepted and practiced, and this became the law that society naturally accepts as traditional values beyond any doubt. In the case of homosexuality, the people in power in the past had determined it as unnatural, sinful and immoral. This is very true in terms of the current situation in Malaysia pertaining to the LGBT community and the discussions have helped me make sense of the construct of the Malaysian society and its vilification of the LGBT community.

Today, there are many things far more unnatural than homosexuality. Today, every single second, someone in this world is taking medication to improve their health; someone in this world is having surgery, an operation that could save his or her life. We all know of someone who wears eyeglasses, and everyone around us is wearing clothes. Do we also find the need to debate if amputees or those born with missing limbs be left without a wheelchair, crutches or prosthetic limbs, because all these are unnatural? We do not, because they are all good, because unnatural as they are, they make people’s life better .Society is selective in their opinions of what is deemed natural or unnatural and their persecution of acts that they deem an “abomination.

The current structure that runs the human’s social thinking is society itself, when instead in principle, it is the person’s own mind that should regulate his or her thinking in a social or individual frame. It is this ruling society which had determined that all babies at birth are by default, heterosexuals, until they grow up to ‘decide’ that they are not. Although to a certain extent, sexual orientation does indeed develop fluidly across a person’s lifetime, one does not ‘decide’ on it consciously. If it is that simple to switch sexuality, then it does not need a thunderous prayer, a conversion camp or the death penalty to force homosexuals to abandon their sexuality and lead a life under cover, never to truly be themselves.

Remorsefully, homophobia exists not just outside of the LGBT circle, because in actuality, there are so many homophobic homosexuals who have not, and probably will never come to terms with their sexuality. There is nothing worse than to be afraid and hateful towards your own self. Society has made many homosexuals feel this way towards themselves, but society doesn’t pay the price.

Blog 5: Violence and Sexuality

One topic that we covered in this class that I think requires further comment was regarding the connections between violence and sexuality. Before taking this course, I never realized violence had become so sexualized in our society. The readings we did for class, as well as the discussions that took place during lecture and discussion, made me more aware of the ways in which violence has become part of sexuality. There were one or two students who brought in advertisements in which sexuality was portrayed in a highly-violent manner. It was surprising to me that the companies that were putting out these advertisements were usually high-fashion clothing lines. The companies had to believe that these advertisements were going to work to sell their product, which implies that our society accepts (or perhaps even embraces) a connection between violence and sexuality.

The manner in which violence is sexualized in our society has some obvious consequences. In the Cameron/Frazer article, they discussed the connections that some serial killers (particularly Ted Bundy) have made between the violent portrayal of sexuality in different forms of media (in Bundy’s case, pornography) and their own violent actions against women. Cameron and Frazer concluded that the relationship between media portrayals and an individual’s actions is not a direct cause/effect one, but they also theorized that media portrayals could offer individuals scripts to play with. I think the “scripts” that our society has offered to individuals through violent portrayals of sexuality in media like advertisements, Hollywood films, and pornography, has contributed to the high statistics of rape and other forms of sexual violence in our country. It is important that we advocate for less sexualized violence in advertising, and are careful of how we interpret sexualized violence in all forms of media.

Blog Five

While I enjoyed learning about all of the topics we covered, and was able to expound upon the subjects of law, pornography, and the groupie phenomenon in my comparative and response papers, I did not get a chance to express how much I appreciated the unit on feminism and science. As a former chemistry major, I have always put a lot of stock in the scientific establishment. My first major issue with feminism is that there was no proof of what they were saying: all their claims of equality just boiled down to opinion and conjecture. Even as I embraced feminism, it was sometimes hard for me to reconcile my objective, scientific background with the more subjective tones of feminist texts. The Kessler and McKenna reading, as well as the Fausto-Sterling essay, were both instrumental in my bringing these two viewpoints together. Now I realize that nothing is REALLY objective. Though science puports to be, It's important to remember that its research doesn't happen in a vacuum: its findings should be contextualized to the social climate the researchers exist within. Similarly, the readings on early psychological discourses changed my point of view on that field of research. I am a psychology major myself, and reading Freud has really changed the way I perceive psychology on a whole. I am now much more apt to think critically about what I'm taught in my classes. For instance, many times this semester I encountered views espoused by evolutionary psychologists, which seemed to me to be thinly-veiled sexist beliefs and explanations for sexist behavior. Thanks to the weeks we covered feminists criticism of the medical community, I now take scientific "truth" with a grain of salt.

Final Blog!

The topic that I found most interesting this semester was that of sex in the scientific community. As a science major, it was very interesting to learn about how others, especially feminists, view research that is being conducted to study gender and sexuality. At first, I had a very hard time taking anything they said too seriously, if not for the simple fact that they were trying to argue against such specific and, seemingly concrete, results that have been determined through scientific research. While I understand that science should not be the only discourse that society uses to formulate opinions, I do not believe that It should be disregarded as completely as some feminists would like it to be. The feminist writers seemed to make it appear that anyone could simply publish any findings that they had discovered. While, technically, this is true, it is not the norm. Much work goes into a research project to ensure that biases and variables are left out so as to make it as accurate as possible. Furthermore, scientists often go to extreme measures to make clear that their findings are not inclusive for everyone but, rather, fit a certain situation and a certain person. They try to stray away from making broad claims. So, to suggest that it would be more beneficial to get our information from other discourses, such as magazines and TV seems absurd to me, as this media often does try to make brood claims so as to attract and relate to as much of society as possible. While I understand that science cannot explain everything regarding gender, sex, and sexuality, I feel that it should be used as a firm starting ground to be built up with other discourses.

May 16, 2009

Pushing the Boundaries of the Binary Sex System: Intersexuality

Our culture is currently denying accepting intersexuality. Could a fear of diversity and change be an issue on this reluctance? Our society’s need for classifying everything that moves struggles to wrap their minds around a separate gender that is appearing, they must be asking frantically, “What box do we place them in?!”, but why do we as a society feel the need to categorize? The emergence of intersexuality would jolt the hierarchal social pegging order that is in place and confuse the system entirely. In “The History of Sexuality Vol. 1”, Foucault tells us not to think about sexuality as an act—but the social hierarchies it entails. In other words, intersexuality is not about what is happening between people, but what that physical body form translates to in a social power standard, what benefits, or discriminations, or social standards are placed upon you as a group? The “+5 System” as described by Allen Johnson, positions race, gender, class, sexuality and geopolitical categories cumulating to a total number that an individual embodies, in order to classify them in a simple social system. In the formation of an intersex gender, the kind of language and discourse around the topic of intersexuality must be taken into strong consideration. How is a language developed to identify an intersex person? Will a certain intersex person want to identify as male or female, or will they ask for a lingo similar to ze/ir/they/them, as in transsexual identities? What precautions would need to be made to make room for a third category for gender? Would it be only one category, or is the intersex spectrum too vast to make distinctive separations? But again these questions reflect our cultures “need to know” basis of understanding other people by seeing their bodies and setting them apart from the normative.

May 15, 2009

Blog 5

For my final blog entry, I wanted to voice my opinion on a couple of things. First of all, I thought that the feminist view on research and scientific inquiry was radically extreme. Arguing that we shouldn’t even consider research as a viable source of information about sexuality because they believe it’s biased or not objective enough or doesn’t take into consideration deviant or non-normative forms of sexuality is absurd. Research plainly states what its objective is, who it is studying, and why it’s focusing on that group of subjects. There is no all-encompassing research endeavor possible to incorporate every type of sexuality. Data from any project that tried would be completely unreliable because the connections among the thousands of variables could never be explained or documented. Even feminists should realize that research provides valuable information; however, just like any other discourse, it should be taken with a grain of salt. The motives and people behind each project influence how the research is conducted and how the results are presented. This is just like any other type of text, conversation, web-cast, or magazine. I believe that research is essential to discovering things about human sexuality. If nothing else, it tells us what doesn’t work. The studies performed on human brains detailed their processes in extracting information. They were largely inconclusive, but there is a huge benefit to performing those studies because it helps other, future researchers to avoid the mistakes of their procedure. It also gives them a stepping stone from which to expand upon that research. In the end, I strongly feel that all research should be considered and supported, with the stipulation that its origins are understood.

My Last Thoughts....

There have been many different topics throughout the semester that we have discussed, some being more controversial than others. While reflecting on what to write about, the first thought that came to mind was when we talked about transgenderism in America and the impact it has on the ‘normative’ cultural practices. Before we had discussed this topic, I thought that the people that identified as transgender really had the same rights, if not more, than the rest of the queer and normative community, but it turned out to be the complete opposite, as expressed in the article by Dean Spade. I was more shock/astonished at the realities that this community faces and how truly misinformed I was. My thought process about this was that they are people that appear to mold themselves and practice the heterosexual lifestyle more than other queer people, due to the fact that they transform themselves, physically, and are able to marry their partners, legally (which are in most, but not in all cases). So they put forth the image that they are upholding this ideal of the ‘couple’ by making it be between man and women, not man and man/women and women, like lesbians/gays/bisexuals do. But in reality, they are seen as these ‘freaks’ in the eyes of most heterosexuals and homosexuals within the American society. This leads me to the question of how do other cultures view transgenderism. I know that the sexual procedure is as normal and readily available to most Asian cultures, as the face lift is in the American culture, so why is it that we are not able to change our thought-process to that of other countries, even though for centuries we have pushed our ways and belief systems on them? It just seems like we push for this global ideal that we are the “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”, but the bravest of all people within our very own nation are the ones that receive the least amount of freedoms. It is this topic that has influenced a new way of thinking about my own freedoms (as being white, homosexual, middle-class, first world, female) versus those of others that really should be able to have the same privileges, if not more, than I do living day-to-day in America.

May 13, 2009

Blog Five: Celebrities

Over the course of the semester, the topic that I found to be most interesting was our discussions of sex and celebrity. I must admit, I’m one of those people who enjoy looking at US Weekly or People just to see a few pictures of celebrities in their private lives, but I could never comprehend why. But now after discussing the star system, I now have somewhat of an understanding. It is the public/private relationship that makes them a star, hence why US Weekly sells hundreds of thousands of magazines each week. Obviously, the public life that our idols live is a constructed one, fueled by a publicist and brought to us via films and TV appearances – not what we want to see. The scandals and rumors are what sell magazines, so once the public/private relationship leans further to the private life, the celebrity’s popularity explodes. Take for instance, the train wreck also known as Lindsay Lohan. Once word got out that:

A. she might be doing drugs
B. she might possibly be a lesbian and
C. she’s an alcoholic

people went crazy. A similar situation, as we all know, was with Britney Spears. The difference here is that her personal failures were corrected, which gave us a guide by which to understand “our world”. As Dyer discusses, celebrities have the ability to compensate and shift our attention from a threatened value. Spears was an alcoholic, but she set an example of how to recover. Now, I don’t analyze every magazine I read these days, but after this class, I certainly see them differently.

~Blog 5 My Final Reflections

I was very interested and intrigued by our last article "Sexualities Future, Present, Past...Toward Transsectionalities" by Jeff Hearn. With reading the article, and also the topic of our last quiz, I have come to the conclusion that I think that sex=life/existence. This article was perfect to conclude this semester, because it made me review all that I have learned and a lot of what I still need to learn.
The title of Jeff Hearn’s article emphasizes the past, but it never blatantly says anywhere in the article what in the past is important. I guess I am interested in trying to dig into the past and also the essential material before the creation of the concept, to just plain “life,” or “existence.” I re-read the article with this mindset of Sex=Life/Existence and searching for all of the theories and meanings of what sex is. It put an interesting spin on what Hearn talks about. He has many points showing how sexuality, gender, gender roles, and how sex itself will continue to change over time. What he doesn’t mention however, is the question of where these things began. Isn’t sex a created concept? And if so, who created it? Gender, for that matter is also a created concept, and who decided that? Yes, he states how things have been, how they are at the time the article is written, and also where he sees things heading, but what is behind this and who invented the concepts his article is based on? I think that is the root of “what sex is.” Even by taking this and other classes around the discourses of sex, gender, and sexuality I don’t think I will ever be able to know what exactly sex is. Throughout this semester I feel like I have learned a plethora of information around the topic areas, but I have still come up empty handed in the category of “what is sex?” It’s something I will continue to wonder about and that is why I continue to pose that exact question to myself and others. Through reflection I have decided that for now, I will settle for my opinion of its meaning to be that Sex=Life/Existence, and that there is an overabundance of history and meanings that stand behind those words that I simply do not know... yet! :)

The Fight against Pornography

Throughout this semester, we have covered many different topics varying from the biology of sex to groupies and their overall influence over music. All of these weeks have been fascinating, but the two authors I was personally drawn towards were Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin. Both of these women have radical point of views about women, sexuality and our society. Although they seem radical, there are nuggets of truth within their findings. Dworkin was a staunch believer in the link between pornography and violence against women. If one stands back and looks at our society today, we can see elements of violence aimed towards women everywhere. They are the magazines we read, the billboards we drive past and even some elements in our textbooks. Many would say that people are looking for this violence and that it does not in fact exist. They also might say that we currently live in a society where a woman can get a top executive position and that a woman can achieve anything a man can. But is that really the case? If this is all true, that women and men are equal, then why is it that 1 in 5 college girls will be raped or attempted raped at the University of Minnesota within an academic year? Then why is it then that an estimated 1 in 3 women will experience some form of sexual assault in her lifetime? Dworkin has a background in the pornography industry and I believe that her point of view is the best that we can get on these issues. MacKinnon also gives a great perspective with her legal background on this issue. She pushes for the illegalization of pornography, but is that really that extreme? When these numbers exist in our society, it is hard to discern what is extreme and what is not.

May 10, 2009

Final Blog

Continue reading "Final Blog" »

Rock & Roll

One of the topics that I found most fascinating was our discussion of the politics of gender/sex/sexuality in rock culture as well as the concept of groupies. I had never really taken the time to critically analyze the sub cultural space created through this advent of “cool” and exclusivity. With the premise of rock “authenticity” falling outside of the mainstream, it becomes a method for critiquing and going beyond the typical status quo. At the same time, rock exemplifies the systems of normativity, arguably “Plus 5”, and patriarchy. Not to mention the roles in which class, gender, and race play into rock culture; particularly the dichotomy that is formulated between men and women. Considering rock is inherently patriarchal, the points of access allotted to women become undeniably limiting and often repressive. Women are either commodities, teenyboppers, or over sexualized fans; better known as groupies. Men, on the other hand, are portrayed as the authentic performer operating with an elevated taste. Women are primarily targets, the consumer base, operating as “the masses” and men become the arbiters of the rock scene. Ironically, however, is although women are repressed and placed submissively below men, they are essentially responsible for supporting their lifestyle. A second dichotomy exists between men and women as groupies. The role is extremely restricted to women, leaving male groupies scripted as ubber fans and crazy stalkers. In relation to Jackson and Scott’s discussion of historical precedents, the invisible wall between men and women represents the realm of sexuality in which men are unable to penetrate but which women are easily ushered through; as well as encouraged to embody.

Final Blog Instructions

The final blog is due next Sunday, May 17th, by 7pm.

Final Blog Instructions

Throughout the semester we canvassed a lot of critical territory. Chances
are there was a week that stuck out to you on which you'd like to do more
reflection. There might be an example we didn't get around to talking
about, a point of contention you'd like to voice, a theory you'd like to
advance in addition to what was already discussed, etc. For this blog
assignment, pick one week or one topic that we covered in this class and,
in 250-300 words, add your final reflections to that issue. For this
particular post, I will not be requiring that you cite specific readings
but will expect that you present an informed knowledge of what it is you're
blogging about.