April 29, 2009

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

April 23, 2009

I'm Glad I'm a boy: I'm glad I'm a girl

One of my facebook friends stumble upon this blog and it has a horribly offensive children's book in it... it's pretty funny because it's just so bad... and offensive

Check it out yo!

April 15, 2009

Blog 10: portrayal in the media

Shows like, Star trek: Next generation, Battlestar Galactica, Family guy, and South Park all portray race, gender, class and sexuality differently. Sci fi shows like Star trek and Battlestar Galactica has a very distinct way of their portrayal of gender, race, class, and sexuality they tend to subtext a lot of their social commentary. These shows have the freedom to create their own world and comment more freely on the true nature of the problem. For example in Star trek: next generation one can make an argument that the "Klingons" are a caricature of the stereotypical view of African-americans. Worf's struggle of his identity since he was raised by humans and is a Klingon can be seen as issues that were raised by political figures such as malcom x and Martin Luther king. He constantly struggles between being accepted in the federation and within the Klingon empire. These Sci-fi shows also tends to give a fair amount of agency among women. They are more effective in portraying women in a more atypical gender role. In battlestar galactica the mayor and many of the lead fighter pilots like starbuck are always placed in roles that are more typical of men. They are constantly in situations where they have to embody very "masculine" rolls like a political leader or an aggressive need to fight for acceptance. I really like these characters like starbuck because battle star tends to show them not only as strong women but as weak and their weakness is not due to their "womanhood" but a more universal weakness like the over zealous pursuit for power or "paradise". I think portrayal of these factors in sci-fi tends to yield more positive than many other forms of media because of their ability to create their own world.
On the other had comedy shows like family guy and south park are very hit and miss with their portrayal of race, class, gender, and sexuality. South Park has done various shows that seems to try to send a positive message. One of the most recent episodes of south park try to create a caricature of how hypocratical men's construct of what is acceptable really is. They start out with how men think farting is funny and cool and how shows like terrence and philip profit from it. But then they introduced the "Queef sisters" where queeffing is introduced and the men in the south park world starts to think that queefing is disgusting and the women start to think it is hilarious. At the end of the show the men finally get queefing banned but also finally realize the hypocracy in thier actions and try to get it unbanned. The episode tries to present a very positive message but ends up shooting itself in the foot because they tend to show that at the end only men can correct the mistake... which seems that no progress is made in the first place.

April 14, 2009

Identities in TV Shows- Blog 10

I think that it depends on more than just the genre of the television show about how it portrays race, gender, class, and sexuality. Some TV shows purposefully address some issues and avoid others. In a show like Everwood, almost all of the characters are white, except for the bus driver and second husband to Edna, Irv. The town of Everwood is extremely small, and that is emphasized in the initial lack of acceptance of the interracial marriage of Irv and Edna. However, in the daily life, his non-white status is a non-issue. Class is rarely discussed, and only hinted at in the beginning with Nina being a surrogate mother not only for the woman who wants the child, but also to help make money to bring her travelling salesman husband home more often. Andy Brown, the free doctor in town, also has occassional experiences with varying classes because some patients choose his service because they like him the best, others cannot afford to pay a doctor.

The marginalization of each identity listed is shown in at least one episode throughout the run of the series, but most are not constantly addressed or dealt with in the show. Heterosexuality is the only form of sexuality shown throughout the show and expressed strongly by Ephram and his infatuation with Amy, who is in love with a boyfriend who has been in a coma for 6 months. Gender is rarely discussed, but Delia, the little sister of Ephram and youngest daughter of Dr. Brown, is often quite the tom boy. She also befriends a bully in one episode who, as it turns out, loves playing with dolls and dressing up in dresses. We find out later this boy was actually an intersex baby when he was born and his parents decided to raise him as a boy.

So as a drama, Everwood discusses various identities throughout its episodes, but it picks and chooses which identity to discuss and when the discussion is important. I think that most dramas acknowledges marginalization and privileges related to race, gender, class, and sexuality, but they are not often the constant center driving the narrative of the shows.

April 7, 2009

Mothers in Media- Blog 9

I think that motherhood and mother figures are portrayed in an ever expanding way in media and pop culture. You can start with your stereotypical mother figures like those housewife, picture perfect, moms on Leave It to Beaver, and progress to mom's closer to the 21st century like Roseanne and Amy from Judging Amy. In music, you have moms like Gwen Stefani who still go out on tour, make music, and raise their kids at the same time.

Two shows that come to my mind are Judging Amy and Grey's Anatomy. In Judging Amy, there is a house of three women, the grandma, the mom, and the daughter. It's been a while since I've seen the show, but I feel like at one point or another, they all end up taking care of each other, even the daughter helps her mom at times. This unconventional family leads to unconventional roles for all three of the family members. Both Amy and her mother go out on dates, but one always stays home with the youngest. Sometimes Amy's mother plays the motherly role for both daughter and granddaughter, but she can also spoil her granddaughter like grandma's tend to do. In Grey's Anatomy, Bailey has a son, but is extremely busy with her work as a general surgeron, and eventually chief surgeon. She wants to be there for her son as much as possible, but her work often works to tear her family apart and frustrate her husband because he often plays the stay-at-home dad. So in this situation, Bailey is shown as a working mom, who maybe cannot have it all, but she sure as hell isn't going to give up trying.

For Gwen Stefani, her private life as a mother seems to be mostly out of the spotlight. I have seen very few pictures of her and her kids or her entire family. I also don't hear much about it. I think that real life moms in pop culture tend to try to keep their family lives more private and personal. The same goes for other celebrities, like Gwyneth Paltrow. We here about her pregnancy and may see pictures of her with her family, but you don't hear too much about her life as a mom. On the reverse, some mothers do lend themselves more to the press, such as Britney Spears, who is often portrayed as an incompetent mother who cannot take care of her kids. I think it depends on the gossip and history surrounding various celebrities to how much their motherhood is criticized or talked about.

April 5, 2009

Blog 9: Motherhood and mother figures

Swiffer... when we were told to blog about how motherhood is portrayed in the media the plethora of swiffer commercials popped into my head. Procter and Gamble the company that is responsible for the line of swiffer products and by extension the advertisements associated with it has made a lucrative business selling to "mothers". The company typically uses one model for motherhood regardless of race. That is that P&G tends to market towards white middleclass stay at home mothers.
The company rarely wavers with their portrayal of motherhood in their commercials. I have included two of their commercials at the bottom of the blog post. One is of a black woman(but one could assume she is a mother) and the other is of a white mother cleaning after her child. Other than the color of the main actresses skin there is not much difference between the two commercials. Like a couple weeks before when we discussed how barbie offers a single type of an ideal to beauty and just uses different costumes and hues to mask the lack of different in the barbie dolls these P&G commercials seems to use just one type of an ideal to motherhood and just uses non meaningful changes to "fake diversity". P&G like many other companies like them tend to use this middleclass, white stay at home mom ideal of motherhood to structure many of their advertisements and campaigns. They rarely offer a different ideal of motherhood, maybe but very rarely they use the white, middleclass single mom ideal but other than that they hardly change.

March 31, 2009

Knitters unite.

I know I've brought this up before but JUST in case you're interested I have an email from the leader of the knitting club on campus. Even if you don't know how to knit, don't worry there will definitely be people there to help you learn. Trust me, it's a good time with good conversation and I've heard that the cafeteria in the basement of Nolte, where the meetings are held, serves really good vegan chili on Fridays.

Hello everyone!

I have reserved 120 Nolte from 12 - 1 pm for the 2nd and 4th Friday's of
every month for the remaining of the school year. The dates are April
10th, April 24th, May 8th, and May 22nd.

There is also a knitting group starting up on the St. Paul campus. They
will be meeting once a month from 12 - 1 pm in McNeal Hall. The dates
are April 15th, May 13th, June 17th, and May 22nd.

My goal is to have each of us donate one item by the end of the school
year! I have selected a local non-profit organization for us to donate
our scarves/other knitted goods to, Tubman Family Alliance. Tubman
Family Alliance is dedicated to preparing women and families to achieve
safe, productive, and healthier lives. To learn more about Tubman
Family Alliance, please visit:

Attached is a write - up that has the vision of the knitting group and a
poster that has meeting information on it. Please feel free to
distribute it to anyone who might be interested.

I found an interesting mathematical knitting website, , it has the patterns for
Fibonacci sweaters and socks!

I hope to see you all at the next meeting on April 10th!

Many thanks,

Laura Ihry
Program Assistant
Women's Center

If you want any more information or have questions you can ask me or give Laura an email at

Normative Sexuality aka Blog 8

When one thinks of women's normative sexuality we think of a heterosexual sexual relationships. It sexual relationships between a male and a female. It also is a sexuality where the male is typically the aggressor and the female is the passive one. In popular culture shows like Buffy, sex in the city, and charmed challenge this idea of normative women's sexuality by giving women agency and making women the aggressor. They poke at this ideal by constantly presenting women in different "light". In Buffy they used buffy to show a female character in a traditional role that is typically thought of as masculine. The show does it in a way where Buffy does not lose her femininity but her femininity is defined by her "masculine" role. Buffy's sexuality is defined with a mix of traditionally thought of normative sexuality and her more progressive gender roles. Josh whedon does a very masterful job of challenging "feminine" ideals through his shows like Buffy and Dollhouse.

This challenging of the sexual normative is not only done in tv but music also. Song writers like India Arie, Lauren Hill and Erikah Badu all contain themes where they challenge the typical ideal of beauty and sexuality. They call for a more progressive way of thinking when it comes to dealing with a woman's sexual agency and sense of self. They bring ideals where the belief of one's self is more important than a societal view of one's beauty. They continue to redifine and challenge women's sexuality through their music. One of India Arie's songs "i am not my hair" challenges the way society views of women's beauty. She states that her definition of self is not solely defined by how others view her but how she views herself.

March 30, 2009

Sexuality and the City: Blog 8

If I were to take a stab at the phrase "normative women's sexuality," I would assume it means the most often thought of, privileged, form of sexuality for women as heterosexuals, engaging in relationships with men. Homosexuality does not yet find itself in the "normative" category in American culture, unfortunately. Yet in popular culture, the ides of normative women's sexuality are rearranged and "reinvented." In the example of Sex and the City, the women maintain heterosexual relationships with men, mostly focused on how good the sex is, less about the emotional relationship. The women, Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha, use each other for their emotional support and gain pleasure from the discussions they have about the sex they had last weekend (Gerhard). As Gerhard says, this was typical in the gay and lesbian communities, but not as much with straight women, so it really opened up something new for straight women. I found it interesting in the way the show is described as walking a fine line between keeping the four friends as an emotional, but heterosexual, support system for each other that would be there unconditionally, and falling into a show about lesbians. However, the women obviously enjoy sex with men, no matter how much they need each other.

Another way to think about the normative women's sexuality is to see women as passive in their sexuality and allowing men to control the situation, not necessarily granting them sexual pleasure. Sex and the City definitely breaks this barrier with the necessity of sexual pleasure that the women discuss about their sexcapades. Another popular show that puts emphasis on the need for women to partake in sexual pleasure is Grey's Anatomy. It depends upon which characters are being discussed, but many of the women verbalize their need to be pleased in bed, such as Izzy, who tries dating, and sleeping with, her best friend, but the sex is terrible, which ruins the relationship. These examples break through the idea of a passive women's sexuality as the normative.

March 24, 2009

Luda and the Commodores- Blog 7

Whenever it comes to music, I am such a perfectionist at picking the right song. This blog was no different, it has taken me forever to decide which songs I wanted to blog about. I thought about "Fat Bottomed Girls" by Queen, "Independent Women" by Destiny's Child, or "What it Feels like for a Girl" by Madonna, and I went through virtually all of the songs in my iTunes to see if any of them were worthy of this assignment. In the end, I struggled with how I defined a song as positive or negative. For example, if I chose Baby Got Back, would it be positive or negative? However, I stopped overanalyzing that aspect, deciding that it was completely up to me if the song was positive or negative. SO, that being said, I chose the song "Brick House" by the Commodores as a positive song about women, and "Nasty Girl" by Ludacris as a negative song about women. Here are the lyrics of each song:

Commodores- Brick House

She's a brick house
Shes mighty mighty just lettin' it all hang out!
She's a brick house
The lady's stacked and that's a fact,
ain't holding nothing back.
She's a brick house

We're together everybody knows,
an this is how the story goes.
She knows she got everything
a woman needs to get a man, yeah, yeah.
How can she lose,with those things she use?
36-24-36, what a winning hand!

She the one, the only one built like an amazon!
her moves The clothes she wears, her sexy ways,
make an old man wish for younger days. Yeah,yeah.
She knows she's built and knows how to please
Sure 'nuff to knock a strong man to his knees!!


Shake it down, shake it down now (repeat 7 times)

Ludacris- Nasty Girl

A lady in the street but a freak in the bed
Lady in the street but a freak in the bed...
Lady in the street but a freak in the bed
Lady in the street but a freak in the bed

[Chorus: Ludacris]
See she makes her own money, pays her own bills
Always stays fly, keeps it so real
But behind closed do's she a nasty girl (yup)
Behind closed do's she a nasty girl
She got a crazy little figure, nice round ass
Walks so proper, talks with such class
But behind closed do's she a nasty girl (yup)
Behind closed do's she a nasty girl

Yeah, I met this girl named Keisha, she was so sweet (yup)
Nails stay manicured, pretty little feet (woo!)
Shoes so sexy, body so hot
Hair lookin like she just came from the shop
Legs so smooth, clothes so tight
Style so sexy, makeup just right
Never too much, never too little
Black lace bra, Vickie Secrets in the middle
Eyes so innocent, smile so bright
Works in the mornin but she'll party all night
All for her man, all cause she bout it
All cause she crazy in love and don't doubt it
Product of her birthplace, know about the streets
Clean in the workplace, dirty in the sheets
Keeps her own toaster, makes her own bread
Lady in the STREET but a freak in the bed, cause


Okay, okay, haha
I got a college girl who go to church e'ry Sunday
Had her sneak out of choir rehearsal to put it on me
But she's so innocent, when she ridin, mami
One thing about her, she get her own money
Gave it to her yesterday while she was doin laundry
Favorite chore of mine, it's my lil' bunny
Bowl-legged and classy, such a real woman
Sex all night, go to work e'ry mornin
Text me from work and told me she was horny
Text her back and told her, "Me too mami"
When you get off work, daddy gon' punish
You my nasty girl forever I promise


I got a doctor girlfriend that tells me, "Come home soon!"
She plays like my house is her emergency room
Tells me to undress and to lay on the sofa
Checks all my vitals like a doc's supposed ta
All white coat, all white heels
And nothin underneath so it's an all night deal
I'm her number one patient and delighted to be
And when she needs her medicine I give her vitamin D
But wait! I got a lawyer girl that's so wild
And every single night she wanna take me to trial
Said she needs some evidence, and to show her the PROOF
So I put her on the stand and I give her the truth!
Cause I'm hung like a jury (jury)
Judge Luda preside over your body and I'm never in a hurry
You may proceed, let the games begin
And if I call a mistrial we gotta do it again


Continue reading "Luda and the Commodores- Blog 7" »

March 4, 2009

Women With Vision Film Series @ The Walker

Hey! The Walker arts center has done this "women with vision" film festival every spring for a few years. This year it's running from March 6-21, and the series is called "Dimensions". There will be films from Bosnia, Israel, Korea, Iran, France and more. You can check it out here.

February 17, 2009

That's What She Said

Hey everyone, I just wanted to plug my upcoming show again.

Desdamona (who is an amazing female MC from Minnesota), Electronica musician Caly McMorrow and poets Jenn Sparks, Cynthia French, Inky, and myself will all perform. All of the show's proceeds benefit the poets attending the Women of the World Individual Poetry Slam. There will be an awesome silent auction during the performances as well.

DATE: Wednesday, February 25, 2009
TIME: Doors at 7:00pm
Show starts at around 7:30ish and will run to around 11:00
LOCATION: The Local Irish Pub (in the Hollow)
931 Nicollet Mall
PRICE: 7$ or 5$ with a student ID

Here is the facebook page if you would like to invite people to come or RSVP (or add me as a friend!)

If you are a swing vote and would like to check out Desdamona's work, visit her myspace:

Here is more information on the WOW Poetry Slam:
or if you are interested in the spoken word community/performances of the twin cities, ask me!

February 12, 2009

HEY ALL! Event tomorrow night, Friday the 13th!

If you like activism, workers rights, and sweatshop free clothing, you should check out this event.
This Friday the 13th,
MPIRG will be hosting an event called the Honduran Workers Tour, including
two workers from a Russell clothing factory in Honduras that was recently
shut down. Russell closed the factory because the employees tried to form a
union, and this is not only illegal, but it is also a violation of the
University of Minnesota’s code of conduct signed with Russell. The two
Honduran workers and the International Campaign Coordinator for the
Designated Suppliers Program will be speaking to students about these labor
practices and what can be done to help the factory employees. The event
will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in room 100 of the Bell Museum of Natural
History. Bring your Friends!

Free Peace Coffee will be served. Learn more about what MPIRG and United Students Against Sweatshops are up to around campus and get involved. :)

February 6, 2009

Link for the video talking about women and Advertising

Hey I ran into this video talking about women in advertising... It's very interesting and kinda lengthy but it's done very well....

-Dunstan "Chuck Johnson" Pinlac

February 3, 2009

Box o' yarn

Yeah... that's not a problem yo... you can give her my e-mail...

Peace and love!

-Dunstan "Chuck Johnson" Pinlac

Hey Everyone, come knit!

Inter-generational women knitting for a cause

Where: 120 Nolte Center
When: 12:00pm on Fridays, beginning February 13th

Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to knit, talk about current events, and share stories!!!

If you'd like more information you can E-mail Laura at

Dunstan can I get your E-mail to give to Laura so you guys can chat about your box of yarn?

January 31, 2009


I am posting the link to the GodTube clip we saw in class, courtesy of Dunstan. I encourage you all to post other sites, embed clips to the blog or post announcements you think the class will find of interest.