I thought the piece on trans' was very interesting. I guess I have never thought about the lack of tran's represented in the media. The only transgendered person I can think of was the character on real world. This caused an up rise with some of the other characters and a lot was said behind her back, and this only happened because she was trans. When trans people do come into the media their identities are all about, "the man in the dress" (p.86.) The stereotypes that people use to classify each other are the ones that advertisers use to target their buyers. Tran's don't have certain distinct characteristics to be classified by. Its not like they all walk around in hyper feminized outfits to reveal that they are trans. No, even Serano said that the reporter got mad when she showed up as a normal guy, wearing a t-shirt and jeans. When looking at trans in the media, they are commidified as hyper feminized sexual individuals. It's sad that Julia Serano had been asked to be in so many interviews and documentaries, but only of interest to show the transformation process and not the politics of what it's like to live in a Tran's world.
Our discussion of food policies in class and after the screening of Food, Inc. has been a really interesting topic to me. I'm someone who loves cooking and I'm always trying new things in my food habits and recipes. In fact, part of my Saturday morning routine is watching cooking shows on pbs. I realize that this tells you more about me (nerd) than it does about society in general, but what and how we think about food is central and personal to all of us.
I find that we always run into the same conundrum when we talk about food in America. Questions like "Why don't people know what's going on?" and "Why don't they insist on change from legislators and corporations?" seem to constantly plague us and mire the issue in unending complexity. My theory is that deep down, most people do realize that there are problems in the way our food system works, or malfunctions. Denial, however, is a very powerful thing. Food is central to so many aspects of our lives, most major events center around food, so we take it personally when someone suggests we're doing something wrong.
I was a vegetarian for 2 years, and though I'm not really one anymore, I remember whenever I told someone I was vegetarian, there was this strange reaction. Usually there was a defensive, semi-diatribe about how they would never possibly be vegetarian don'teventrytoconvicemeI'mnotlisteningLALALA. The thing is, I never wanted or tried to vilify anyone for their eating habits, or even change their minds. I hate being painted into a corner without any say and quite honestly, I didn't go veg because I wanted to make a point, I just thought it was the best choice for me at the time.
The problem that food activists face, (is that the right term to use? I'm not really sure) is the culture of fads we live in. People become concerned when there's an outbreak of E. coli in spinach, but when they can be convinced that it's "fixed" their outrage disappears. More recently, there was a public backlash building against High Fructose Corn Syrup which is now being combated by the Corn Refiners Association in commercials saying it's "fine in moderation." Even these commercials acknowledge that the way to convince people is to play into their denial, and encourage them not to ask questions, surely business has their back. I think that public discourse in general has to change in our country in order to make significant strides, especially in food. People need to be willing to be vigilant about this not just when it's convenient or socially acceptable, but all the time.
I found our discussion in class surrounding the question about the differences between a male and female traveler very interesting. More than anything, I think I realized the extreme carried by some of the typical gender stereotypes, even in my personal views. Enloe discussed the context in which a female traveled to be very group orientated or involving mission work of some sort. Women require a male protector or at the very least to be abroad to participate in an NGO. Males on the other hand are socially exempt from the stigma of traveling alone. There is an inferred "right of passage" for men and need for new experiences. All the while females are viewed crazy or unsafe. A female's self discovery is to be conducted in a spa; following prewritten narratives. Not to mention the class and race disparities associated with female travel. The woman's safety is outwardly of the utmost importance where in reality there seems to be discretion placed on the specific kind of women receiving that concern; typically the white upper to middle class woman. Tying back to sex travel, female travelers become instantly associated with sex workers. The female is assumed to be willing to pay for her ride somehow or another. The overall concept is very interesting as well as indicative of gender inequalities.
From our discussion on the globalization of sex, we began the unit with an interesting reference to Adrianne Rich and her idea of "systematic prostitution". According to this theory, marriage is based solely on political factors and financial needs. The wife accommodates her husband's sexual desires in return for living essentials. At the time, this proposal was seen as very radical and caused many women to reevaluate their current relationships. Moving on to later feminists movements, we have Gail Ruben critiquing the kinship structure as well, speaking specifically on the comodification of women. Ruben notes women's value as once being equivalent to sheep and more modernly on their abilities as a wife; deeming them either a good or poor laborer. From both of these feminist perspectives, the totalizing effects of patriarchy are being emphasized while the female role of agency is neglected. More than anything, I found each very interesting and overall thought provoking. Rich's more on the side of shocking, even today. I think it can be difficult to have an entire institution (i.e. marriage) thrown into question, particularly to the extent she suggests female sub ordinance. Ruben, on the other hand, provides more historical context, however is still proposing wives as nothing more than an employee of sorts/dowry. I would argue both to be extreme, yet again interesting, and certainly important steps to obtaining gender equality.
Do you think the way we look at 'domestics' has changed? I was reading the essay on rethinking the globalization of domestic service, and why do you think it is that Taiwanese employers mirror the rhetoric of government officials and legislative member, who consistently call attention to the undesirable difference of foreign workers.. do you think this is fair?
Dear GWSS 3406ers,
Welcome to our new class blog! This blog is meant to serve as a private community forum for members of our class to share information pertaining to the subjects we discuss, to continue in-class conversations, and to post questions or comments about topics/themes unanswered/unexplored in class. While the use of the blog is entirely optional, it's a great way to up your participation points, particularly if you're someone who doesn't feel comfortable talking in class. I look forward to reading your entries! Enjoy!!!