Welcome everyone to the Spring 2009 blog for Pop Culture Women. During the semester this blog will be another outlet to start dialogues, continue classroom discussions and keep each other informed about interesting websites, community and campus activities. A goal of this course is to develop a critical feminist eye when looking at the world reflected through popular culture mediums.
May 6, 2009
Last Blog 12
Ok, I have no idea if I did this post for the right week. Oh well! Anyway, the most important thing that I've taken away from this class is the diversity within feminism itself. I used to strictly define a feminist from a non-feminist. Now, I'm less focused on drawing the line and more in tune with what everyone has to say, whether they are or are not a feminist. There is a book that I think everyone should read. It's called "Random Family" by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc. It's one of my favorite books and I tell all of my friends to read it at least once. I could go on and on about this book, but I'm not going too. Trust me, just read it! And let me know if you liked it. I don't know how you couldn't, but I guess it is possible :)
I wouldn't say that "Random Family" is explicitly feminist. However, after reading over and over again, there are definitely some controversial feminist topics presented. Ok, well I don't know what else to say. Check out the book!!
Sorry I didn't post this earlier. My internet cut out on me last night and, of course, I don't do anything ahead of time so it's late.
I think the most important thing I'll take away from this class is the breadth of feminism. It is really an all-encompassing, inclusive philosophy, which I have believed for a long time. Studying such a variety of feminisms, however, reveals just how expansive it is. Personally, I see feminism as so inclusive that I have a difficult time understanding why anyone could not be a feminist, though I understand people may have their reasons. The other important thing I will take from this class is the ability to use feminism to critique what I see in my culture, popular and otherwise. I already did this before I took the class, but as this is the first GWSS class I have taken at the U, it has helped refine my critical vocabulary and has introduced me to more feminist theory so I am able now to make a more nuanced critique.
I know I am a half an hour too late to receive credit for this blog, because I totally forgot due to end-of-the-semester madness, but I did still want to post this.
This class was my first GWSS class and for the first time in my life I feel like I have had the opportunity to communicate openly and honestly with other feminists. It has been hard to "grow up" in a college environment where my anger and passion about feminist issues have gone completely unnoticed among a lot of my friends.
Though I feel as if I have called myself a feminist for a long time, I have noticed so many things that I don't think I would've noticed before this class. For example, this past week/weekend when I was sick with a flu, I watched a ton of episodes of "Boy Meets World" (please don't laugh) and all I could really focus on were the bizarre gender roles that were apparent in the show, all the weird little gender-"things" that almost dominated the storylines. While I wouldn't say that these entirely diminished my embarrassing enjoyment for the show I grew up with on TGIF, noticing these things is EXTREMELY important, despite my friends' little eye-rollings at my protests for ridiculous pop culture representations of men and women.
It has been so nice to roll my eyes at gender-stereotyped media with ALL of you this semester. This class has been so much fun, so intelligent, and so inspirational. I know I haven't participated orally as much as many of you have, but I have enjoyed every minute of the classes. I am graduating in a month, and I can easily say that this class has been my favorite of any class I have EVER taken in my four years, and has even made me regret my decision of major (I would LOVE to have double-majored in psychology and GWSS, or at least minored in GWSS!). This is also probably the only class that I have actually done *every* reading for.
I have to say the reading of "To Be Real" has been one of the biggest things I will take away from this class. I have often felt guilty for things that I believed/participated in while also trying to be a "feminist", and this book helped me realize that there are SO many viewpoints of feminism and so many different ways to BE a feminist. In a lot of ways I am a "stereotypical" feminist, but in some ways I am not. Reading about other women's and men's experiences with feminism has been great in helping define myself and figure out exactly what it is that I believe in as not only a feminist, but an individual.
I want to thank you all for the incredible and intelligent discussion you have brought to the class, for the blogs you have all introduced me to, and for all the conversations we have had. I do feel close to all of you in a way, and I wish everyone the best of luck in their feministing journeys!
Final blog and I almost forgot... I think I'm a couple minutes late
I really liked this class.. It was a pleasure working with this group of people. It was a little awkward being the only guy but it's probably all good for me anyways. I found a class that I could bake cake for and that's cool. I really enjoyed the readings that we were assigned and the discussions that followed. I really enjoyed the examination of popular culture. I normally am disappointed in how my other classes treats pop culture. They treat it like it doesn't affect us and is irrelevant but I liked how this class delved into these issues and related them to past problems other generations have faced.
I have to admit the hooks piece, thalmier and gina dent piece were stand outs in my mind. I really like the discussions we had on desiring the other and issues with labels and such. I was a little dissappointed that we didn't get to talk about the hetero normative sex articles that I spent time to read but that's just a minor problem. Over all I really liked the environment of the classroom it could be the group but I think it's Mashinda's awesome teaching and tattoos. It was fun and everyone have a good summer
I’ve really enjoyed taking Pop Culture Women this semester. Everyone in our class has made the classroom an open and friendly environment (all the better for being filled with conscious pop culture junkies). I LIKE coming to class on a Thursday night, EARLY! That is no small feat. We should be proud of ourselves for being so awesome.
I’ve appreciated readings that deal with accepting oneself as a feminist, while simultaneously embracing “girliness” as well as products and institutions that could be considered part of the cultural problem. I know that I have a lot of conflict over my feminist beliefs and my addiction to America’s Next Top Model, for instance. This class has helped me to make peace with these kinds of disparities.
I have also enjoyed reading theories that are applicable to pop culture phenomena that we have grown up with and can relate to; this practice makes the theories seem vital, relevant, and fun. I’ll take away a much deeper understanding of feminist theories applied to real pop culture subjects, from Desperate Housewives to Girl Power and Nickelodeon.
Thanks for a great class, everyone! I’m going to really miss this group once our course is finished.
The main thing I will take away from this class is being able to analyze our pop culture media and implement my findings into critical analysis' of society. I have learned more about how our mainstream media shapes the way we think about ourselves, minorities, and government. I am curious to study more "reality TV" and makeover TV and how it influences and affects our economy and decisions about ourselves, careers, and over all goals for life.
I have learned more about being a "feminist" and was introduces to the "feministing" blog for the first time.
For my group project we read "I LOVE LED ZEPPELIN." One of the articles (which I have chosen as my paper topic) is about the Service Industry. We see a fair amount of movies and television that revolve around a restaurant scenerio but very little give is a complete glimpse into the life of an average waitress/cook/host/bartender/etc. I think that "Waiting" (a movie) does a good job with this and so does this website
If you work in the service industry (or find tales of moronic idiots funny) check it out. I had a lot of fun with this class and was introduced to some great shows like "Buffy" and "Desperate Housewives" which I had really never watched until class and will look to continue to watch outside of class!
As many before me have said this was my first GWSS class and I can say I did learn a lot from the class. I look at things differently than I did before. I've got my second class all set up for this summer now. I guess that means I liked my first one. I still don't know if I fully identify myself as a feminist but my eyes have been opened to more issues involving women than I can say I was aware of previously. I think more about issues that women in other countries face which I never really thought much of before. I also react to issues more than I did before. I believe I was what one would consider passive in the way women are portrayed in the world and media. I can say I'm not as passive about it as I was at the begining of the semester. I have learned to pay more attention to my surroundings as far as lyrics to music, topics on television shows anve become less judgemental towards people as a whole. Even though this class was on a Thursday night and I don't enjoy night classes I can honestly say I did enjoy my time in it and met some really great women....and Dunstan.
First, I would like to say that I'm glad that I took this course because I was able to use my pop culture knowledge as an academic tool which is rare in any of my other classes. I love talking about media, especially television and music, and this gave me an outlet to discuss that side of my personality that I don't get to express as often.
I have to say that the main thing I'll take away from this course is my impression of my semester at the U of M. My second smallest class has 180 students so I got to know you all more than any of my other fellow classmates. All of you are very beautiful and unique and I am so glad have had the opportunity to share time with you all. When others ask me about my time at the U, I'll be thinking of you all when I give them a positive review.
I feel like I have learned so much and had so much fun throughout the semester with this class that it is difficult for me to think of only one thing that I will take away. I now have an addiction to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City, and Desperate Housewives, all shows that I thought were either in my past or shows I'd never seek out. I cannot wait to start watching Battlestar Galactica now, too. So maybe the biggest thing I take away from this class is a new found addiction in television shows, and a new appreciation for their complexities beyond the surface. I used to scorn TV shows as a waste of time and brain cells, but now I see much more value in various shows. I had also never seen Maude before, but found myself laughing during most of the show. I still do not have any interests in the Disney Channel shows like "That's So Raven," but at least now I have a better appreciation for them.
One other thing that I just cannot leave out is my groups graphic novel, Invasion of the Dykes to Watch Out For. I loved it and thought it was extremely witty and entertaining and would recommend that anyone who has not read it or heard of it should pick it up.
I had never taken a GWSS class before but most of my classes focus on the media and pop culture so I gave this one a try. One thing I was surprised by in this class was the role of race in feminism. So many of the articles we read discussed race as a major factor in shaping the form an individual’s feminism took. I had thought of feminism as focusing on gender much more than race but the two are equally important when you’re working towards equality for all, which is a driving force in feminism.
Different definitions of feminism and how I define my own feminism is something I hadn’t discussed in depth before this class. I think it was really important for me to begin to really look at where I stand on these issues with a group of mostly women. This class helped me think about my own feminism in ways that I hadn’t before and the exposure to other opinions helped me to begin to define where I stand. This class is one of the most thought provoking classes I’ve taken thus far and I hope to take more like it.
As a journalism major, I never thought would end up taking a GWSS class. Little did I know that I would find a class that would spark my interest: this one. I never really thought I would be sitting in a class full of women (and Dustin) discussing our own personal opinions and viewpoints of gender differences, the articles we have read throughout the semester and watching Desperate Housewives during class time.
One of the most important things I will take away from this class is the importance of what it means to be a female. I have grown up my whole life surrounded by stereotypes, and still to this day, they exist. However, by reading some of the articles, I was able to put aside those stereotypes. For example, one of my favorite articles was the “Black Beauty Myth.” Although some of the pieces we were required to read were confusing and at times, dry, I thought that the discussion we had was far more interesting above everything else. I may have not said much, but I can attest that what my classmates thought of and brought to my other peers attention was very thought-provoking to me.
I am not really sure if I would label myself as a feminist, but I would, however, consider myself somewhat changed since taking this class. This was my first GWSS class, and hopefully not my last. It is empowering to sit in a room filled with women (and Dustin) and talk about issues that arise, what it means to be female, and the stereotypes that are attached to what it means to be female.
Needless to say, I will also miss doing these blogs. I was forced to blog for my news reporting class last year, and it felt as though it became a repetitive process of writing about stories that had no meaning to me. This class, however, I am able to be more opinionated in my writing as well as viewing what my peers have to say.
This class engaged more personal discussion, which, is sometimes hard to come across in most of my classes. For that aspect, I am grateful.
To end, one of my favorite Spice Girls song (I swear, they will NEVER get old):
Not to mention, I thoroughly enjoyed our discussion about cougars; I’ll miss that. Growl.
As someone else posted before me, even though this class was on a Thursday night, I found it to be rather enjoyable. When it comes to things that I have taken away from the class, I would have to say that I took the most away from all of our discussions than from theh readings themselves. Although, I did find most of the readings to be entertaining, I found the discussions that we had afterward to be far more thought provoking. The discussions helped me to pull more away from the readings than I originally had just by reading it myself because it presented other ways to read and interpret the articles that I had not considered. More specifically, the main thing that I took away from the course was that there are far more interesting outlets and discussions out there that deal with the popular culture of women.
So, wow, it really feels like this class shouldn't be over! Women in Pop Culture was my first GWSS class and I think that saying it's been my favorite class at the U is a safe statement. While I have been critical of the media for quite some time, I feel like this class has given me a more developed lens for dealing with the media.
I can't think of a time when I wouldn't have defined myself as a feminist, I think I can thank my parents for that, they always told me I could do anything I wanted as long as I worked for it. I know that I've always been more of a girly girl and for a long time I felt like that took away from my feminism, I worried that I wasn't feminist enough because I liked traditionally girly things. This class helped remind me that anyone can be a feminist. I feel like I've made some good friends in this class and I really hope that they aren't lost, I want to say that I really think you are all amazing and have enjoyed our time together.
I enjoyed the readings, for the most part. I definitely consider myself to be open minded but I think that some of the readings gave me perspectives I hadn't really thought about before. I read my first graphic novel, La Perdida, and while I honestly don't love the format (my imagination runs wild when I read, I learned that with so many pictures I can't do that!) I enjoyed the book. I also read the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert for my paper, and I highly recommend it to everyone. It's a great story about a woman's journey of self discovery, I laughed and cried and loved every minute of it, if you're looking for a good book I highly recommend it!
As a closer to the end of a great semester I am going to have to say that despite this class being on a Thursday night I had a lot of fun showing up.
I learned a lot from everyone and although I think I've always have come to media with a critical lens this class has taught me to perfect that and to be even more critical of the pop culture that I tend to love and love to hate.
As for materials and what not I think all of those who enjoyed reading their graphic novels should most definitely check out the "Life is a Bitch" book (or the Bitchy Bitch series) it's great and has a very interesting perspective, it helped me get an idea of why people react and think the way that they do, and I enjoyed it a lot.
I also recently started the book "...and his lovely wife" which is an interesting memoir about a woman whose husband decided to run for senate and what it was like being his liberal feminist wife. I haven't finished it yet but I definitely think it is worth a look.
I hope everyone has a good rest of the summer and good luck on the finals!!!
When signing up for this class at the end of last semester, I didn't know what to expect. I've never took a GWSS class before, and to be honest the first couple classes I did not know what to think. However, this class has opened my mind to a whole range of different feminist perspectives. The book, "To Be Real", has probably had the biggest impact on my new way of thinking about the male dominated world around me. I've realized, through reading the book, how much empowerment and respect has to do with one's attitude. This class also brought to my attention, how frequently the media uses the female figure in order to sell their product. It's something that I never really thought about before this class, but now I actually look at the ads and the message it's sending to young girls. This class has also made me realize that I am a feminist. The definition of feminism is the idea that women should have political, social, sexual, intellectual and economic rights equal to those of men, but hearing different perspectives in our class has taught me its so much more! I had a great time in the class and I can honestly say I learned alot about not only feminism, but myself.