September 2011 Archives

Roseanne and the working-class

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Julie Bettie's article discusses a concern for the underrepresentation of working class women in television shows. She states that she found only 8 of 35 shows that represented working-class and only 4 featured working-class women. Of these 4 sitcoms, Roseanne was "the most successful and provocative of the working-class family." (pg. 130) Bettie discusses why Roseanne was such a success through speaking with the public audience. The most outstanding statement she received was that people liked that it was about "real people." (pg. 142).

The episode of Roseanne that we watched in class gave not only humor and entertainment but, through Roseanne, also gave the representation that women can have power. This was one of Roseanne's goals as stated in Bettie's article, "In my show, the Woman is no longer a victim, but in control of her own mind." The scene that stuck out to me was when Roseanne was on the phone with the power company talking about paying the bills. In middle-class shows it is usually the man paying the bills. But this is not the case in working-class families which is probably a reason why people could relate to it so well.

Bettie goes on to discuss how class is interpreted. She states that its not viewed only through race and gender but, "as a hierarchically organized difference of taste, moral behavior, lifestyle preference, and intelligence." (pg. 141). What stuck out in my mind was during the episode we watched in class when Roseanne said that her and a friend had been messing around with the mannequins in a store in an inappropriate way. I believe I viewed this from an alternative view. I found Roseanne's actions funny but a highly unacceptable action as an adult. I am sure this perspective is to blame on my background of growing up in a white middle-class family and may have been taught a different lifestyle of behavior. With that I may have proved Bettie's point when she goes to question "of whether working-class representations are inherently negative," (pg. 141).

As the show has proven to be extremely popular I believe one part of the article which describes Roseanne's character in the show is of key value. She says, "Roseanne is ir. peak form: refusing to be intimidated by middle-class authority, she has the last outrageous word with her bosses, she refuses to be intimidated by the principal at her daughter's school, or the IRS or anyone for that matter." (pg. 132) The key to the success of this show may lie here because it applies to the "fantasy response to working-class women's attempts to sustain self-esteem in a world where they have little control." The struggle of women is on-going and the success of the show is due to Roseanne's ability to apply "real people" scenarios to the show.

Men are told and slightly encouraged to uphold the tough guise probably because the majority of men are paranoid about how they are perceived by other men. Normally you would assume that men are worried about how they are looked at by women, but I think its a real fear for some men that they could be seen in a negative light by other men. So, if you have a bunch of dudes, all of them trying to look tough because of a paranoia about looking weak, then all you essentially have is the tough guise. It's way easier, for little minded and emotionally weak men, to call other men "fag'", "wuss" or "weak" to put them down. But in a sense, by doing that to another man, they are some how able to compare themselves. "If I think that dudes weak, and I compare him to me, then I know I'm not weak. I'm a man!" If that kind of stuff keeps going round, which it unfortunately will, then this tough guise persona will likely live on forever. The tough guise persona wont stop because too many men want to make other people look at them in a different light. That light being a "better" one. A "manly" one. It wont go away until those men start feeling truly better about themselves, and realize that coming off as a "man" (Man being most peoples ideological view of one) is not important, but rather the importance lies in becoming your own man by your own definition and not giving a shit about other mens self-definitions of manhood.

Tough Guise Blog

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What is tough guise? Tough guise is the front that men put up about extreme masculinity. Men learn throughout their lives, starting very early on, that they are suppose to be tough and not show emotion. Media has a very big influence on this. Movies like The Patriot, for example, give the impression that men are always seen as dominate and manly. Also, males get the impression that you need to have big muscles like in movies such as Hercules. This is seen in media, like these movies, and then portrayed within communities and families. There is little diversity of the perception of men in the media. Men are seen as being independent and strong and uphold this perception so that they can survive in this culture of masculinity. "Tough Guise" is also seems to vary across races, men of color try to uphold this performance to get respect, uphold their image, and be cool. This can be seen in various music videos and television shows. Other media give off the impression to men that showing emotion is being weak as well as interdependence, connection, and relationships. This gives the impression that "real men" don't need others, they can deal on their own and are invulnerable. One thing that I found interesting and very true about the Tough Guise video clip was that masculinity is also a public health problem because when men see and try to live up to this "tough guise" image they do things like binge drink and drive recklessly. That is very well known in our society and I think it's very interesting that no one has tried to avoid it in any way. Overall, that video really opened my eyes to the issue of masculinity and it's effects on society.

Blog Prompt 3

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Her Name is Roseanne Not Superwoman
In traditional television sit-coms women are portrayed in a 'superwoman' image. In Julie Bettie's article she explains this image as "a woman able to manage an impressive career, maintain a healthy family, have a loving marital relationship, and meet normative standards of beauty and tact" (Bettie, 135). In the popular show Roseanne the main character and woman in this show, Roseanne, defies this image. In this episode in particular Roseanne goes against the 'super woman' image when she is asked by her son what is for dinner. She replies that she was able to plan a menu as she looked for jobs all day. This comment was very sarcastic and then she gives her son pizza menus and tells him to find the best deal. If Roseanne had of been portraying the typical superwoman image she would have already had dinner prepared and ready for her son. She would have also spent the day in her office of her respectable upper middle class career. Yet in my opinion the most drastic way Roseanne projects a different image than that of super woman is in the way she dresses. One of my favorite television shows is Desperate Housewives, this show exemplifies the "superwoman" image. All the women on this show are able to juggle kids, jobs, love lives and are able to handle it all in stiletto heels and the latest fashions. Roseanne is the exact opposite in the episode, her children and her fight, she didn't have dinner ready, she hadn't paid the electricity and on top of it all she was wearing a very unflattering plaid shirt.
I understand the Betties argument is that the "superwoman" image is unrealistic. Yet I believe it is something women should aspire to. We should want to have it all, and be able to look good while doing it! In my opinion I would prefer to see images of women having it all and being superwomen rather than that of a disheveled Roseanne struggling through life. Her struggles are realistic and a true portrayal of class injustices, but to me this show creates an image of her that she is failing as a woman.
I think this image also ties into the way consumption is portrayed as a class activity in Roseanne. Bettie explains in her article that Roseanne portrays what consumerism is like for the working class. In the episode we watched in class Roseanne asks her daughter if she wants to go to the mall to soak up some electricity. Roseanne then reminisces about a time her and her daughter went to the mall and squeezed cheese logs. The way Roseanne explains a trip to the mall is very different than the way it would be typically portrayed. I would expect a mother and daughter on tv to go to the mall and buy a lot of clothes and leave the mall with many big bags and make credit card jokes. I think this sharp difference in consumer experiences shows us how invisible the working class really is in media. What other characters would go to the mall and not shop?
While personally I do not enjoy Roseanne and find the portrayal of the working class to be negative I think it is interesting to see representations of the working class in the media.


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What is "tough guise"? The tough guise is a mask that men wear or a front that men put up through violence to come across as masculine and tough. Men and boys are constantly being told, whether it is through media or from their background, to be tough, violent, strong, and confident otherwise they will be called things like "fag", "wimp", or "girlie", all words that signify they are less of a man. This refers to what Katz was saying about being kept in the box. Words like fag and wimp keep men in this box of what the dominant culture sees or expects as masculine- which is to be strong, independent, tough, and free of emotion, unless it is violent emotion. I agree with Katz in that media has a significant influence on what is see or defined as "manhood" only because in this era we are constantly consuming media, every minute, everywhere we go. However, I agree with (I think it was Michelle?) who brought up in class that we can't blame the media for the idea of what is masculine but in fact we have to look at our backgrounds and where we come from as well. I was particularly interested in the Marlboro Man argument that Katz brought up about the rugged individualist image that the Marlboro Man exemplifies - quiet, stoic, independent, doesn't need anyone else, has no emotions, strong, tough, manly, as so on. It is the idea that if a man is interdependent, he is weak. This made me question the men in my life (brother, dad, boyfriend) and their emotions. I think a lot of men believe that showing too much emotion is a sign of weakness, for example when guys cry. For me, I still don't see that many men who cry openly. I thought of my dad in particular who was raised with 4 older brothers, he was probably taught not to cry, to be tough, and if he wasn't he would be called a "wimp" by his brothers. I had never seen my dad cry until the day he dropped me off at my college dorm in Kansas when I was 18, and even then it was just one tear. I think this proves that this idea of men being masculine, independent, strong, tough (the tough guise) is still in effect (more of the Marlboro Man idea). And that men still view emotions and interdependence as weakness.

Furthermore on the subject of the image of masculinity, I agree with the argument Katz made masculinity being a public health problem. He talks about how men are always competing to be the strongest and toughest. He uses the example of drinking and comparing it to drinking and deaths- which I find to be a relevant fact because the statistics showed more men get in drinking accidents which can result in death. It is sad that men feel they need to prove their masculinity this way, and "who can drink the most beers" or thinking "I can drive, I can handle it." This also relates to the school shootings who usually kids who are being bullied or made fun of, so they come to school with a gun and kill other kids to prove they are tough. This is a horrible ideology, that men should and need to be masculine, tough, strong, and violent.

However, we cannot say we are completely innocent in this idea- while writing this blog post it made me wonder... what does this have to do with the idea of a "bad guy." Does this have anything to do with women who are attracted to tough, confident, men with that "bad guy" vibe putting too much emphasis on men being this way? Maybe men still feel like they have to act this way because it is what women like (kind of opposite the feminism arguments we talked about in class: women dressing certain ways because it is how men like them to dress.)

what is tough guise

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"Tough guise" is a persona that males are taught by the societal influences, that to be a man that gets respect and is revered he needs to have cretin traits, such as being emotionless and muscular, and with this also having a command of power whether that is shown through fear bay other people or attitude. Men are encouraged to up hold normative masculinity by having more violent acts like football and UFC, also when we see advertisements for protean and things that will make us stronger and give us more muscles. Some of the stereotypes is that am tough guy is muscular, good at fighting, emotionless. I think men of color try so heard to uphold the tough guise facade because they are in such a vulnerable position not having a lot of privileges, many grow up living in dangerous naborue hoods and if they show weakness they will be bullied and beaten up and even killed in some places. Another reason they up hold this image of being impenetrable and emotionless is because they see the rappers and other famous men of color in the media that have prevailed through tough situations and they want to be like them, also listening to the lyrics many of the songs that are popular glorify the tough guy/ violent masculinity. 90% of violent acts are committed by males, and the media continues to report genderless-violence for example when there where school shootings the media reported them as kids killing kids, instead of stating that young men or boys where going to schools and shooting there classmates. I think one of the major reasons for this is because the majority of our society is run my men, politicians, judges, and most major businesses are all dominated by males, because of this the people that are controlling the media, and influencing the people, aka us don't want men to be seen in a bad light. Some things that can help change hypermasculinity is having family's and people in authority over our youth be more excepting and comforting letting them know it is ok to show emotions, to have weaknesses.

Austin Enoch

Blog Prompt Three

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I think hyper-masculinity is very much alive in the media, however, I have personally noticed a change in masculinity in young boys compared to older men. The older generation of men seems to exude more of the "tough guise" Marlboro man image than the younger generation. I wonder why this is considering there seems to be the same amount, if not more, of violent, hyper-masculinized media available these days. Maybe the way we define masculinity is changing. I remember someone making a comment in class essentially saying that the macho man action hero, who a lot of times makes up for in muscle what he lacks in brains, is being replaced by the smart, slim almost nerdy guy who saves the day in psychological thrillers. I wonder what the causes of this societal shift could be. Katz argues that men portrayed as physically powerful and in control in the media are a "masculine identity validation" for the working class men in our society (351). Perhaps the working class man is becoming not so working class anymore. Maybe the ideals of the working class man are changing. With the constant upgrading of technology, perhaps there is less need for hard manual labor in the work place, and more need for less physical, cognitive labor. Since everything seems to be done using a computer these days, this makes sense to me because a majority of hard labor could by done by machines. So, the pattern of hyper-masculinity does seem to be changing in some ways. I think the "Marlboro man" era is on its way out and a different kind of masculinity is on its way in. I still feel society values and media perpetuates the "tough guise" image that Katz talks about in his documentary, I guess I just feel men have more options these days in the ways in which they are able to identify with masculinity. In the media, they still have the hyper-masculine guys that are emotionally detached, but they also show media in which the male is very much in touch with his emotions. For example, there was a photo shoot of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in GQ magazine. One of the photos showed him in the bathtub having a great time. Maybe this picture is representing the fact that it is okay for guys to sit in the bathtub and reflect on their day. Anyway, I guess the point I'm trying to make is I think the pattern of hyper-masculinity is changing. Before I stop writing, I would like to mention the term "metro-sexual." This is a term used by some people these days to describe a heterosexual man who dresses well and cares about what he looks like. I've noticed it's never used in a negative way, although I think it's a little ridiculous, personally. Why can't a guy just dress nice and care about his looks without being labeled because of it? I think this probably relates to the "tough guise" image and how for many people, subconscious or not, it's still the standard in which a man's masculinity is compared to.


In Bettie's article she talks about how the working class woman is invisible in television shows. Most women within the working class are stay at home caretakers and subordinate to their working husbands. The proletarian feminist is the woman who takes part in the working class. She is a woman who is exploited by industry being offered lower wages for the same work done by white working class men. Although she is suppressed, the attitude of a proletarian feminist is "rude, insubordinate, and [is] rarely a passive victim, on either class or gender grounds." (pg. 132) Her role is to provide a "fantasy response to the working-class women's attempt to sustain self-esteem in a world where they have little control." (pg. 132)

In episode of Roseanne that we watched during class, there was one line that stood out to me as a clear representation of the proletariat woman. At the beginning of the episode she is seen coming home from job searching. Although it was a difficult day, she was still able to find humor in it and joke about having to decline an executive position because she was allergic to batter. Roseanne's attitude towards this job offer does not only entertain, but recognizes that the proletariat woman still has respect for herself although she may not be economically respected by others. Roseanne's overall attitude throughout the show demands respect. She is outspoken and carries on the stories within the show. As Bettie goes on to state, many women watched Roseanne because it was "real" and because it talks about "the shit that happens to women at work." (pg. 132)

Aligning with the reality of the show, Bettie also makes an argument about the "superwoman" in Roseanne. The "superwoman" is a woman of the working class. She is able to balance her work and raising a family perfectly. Although Roseanne stands as a prime example of the proletariat women, she refuses to take on the superwoman role. Instead, Roseanne does the opposite. She is not as nurturing as the other women on t.v. and she cooks when she wants to. An example of this in the episode that we watched was when Roseanne's son comes downstairs to ask what is for dinner. She sarcastically jokes that even though she had been out searching for a job all day she still had time to plan out a meal for the family. She then tells her son to pick out the best pizza deal sent in the mail. This response makes the show all more realistic. Working mothers don't always have the time to be this "superwoman" that is portrayed on television. Roseanne understands this and fights for her sitcom to portray the struggles of real working class women in balancing work and their family duties.

Masculinity is a problem in society today because of the focus on womens rights. I believe women deserve the same rights as men but when you have 90 percent focused on men and 10 percent on women, if you were to switch that, men would be deprived. It should be equal. Women complain about how their portrayed to be beauty and in bikinis and such, The same applies to men needing to be the "Masculine" feminine type. Earlier we compared an action figure from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the original action figure and seen her breasts have grown abnormally big. With men dolls, we see G.I. Joe go from average joe to Joe on Steroids. The media portrays men needing to be emotionless and to be able to have their shirt off to show off their muscles. Because I do not style my hair, have a 6- pack and huge biceps I am not a good looking guy? Objectivity happens to men the same as women. Women may get more of the burden but overall we face the same problems. Men are considered "fags" and "little bitches" because they show emotions. Men are not suppose to cry in almost situations. Because I cried at certain events that wee detrimental in my life, that does not make me a little bitch and nothing close to that. Men are allowed to show their emotions on their shoulder and not be penalized for it. Masculinity is portrayed in the media very differently on different shows. Phil on Modern Family is considered masculine for how he is a great father to his kids. If you watch anything on HBO, Men are masculine due to how many hot chicks they can sleep with. On Spike, It is the most rugged activities you can do. On other networks, It is a guy who is hard headed, works a construction job, got some muscles on his body, no the brightest person and shows no real emotions towards most things in life. Masculine is a broad term these days but I would like to sum it up as a man who does his manly needs. Manly needs can be described by the male asking this question. If you feel like a man when you take the kids to the park and play with them, then go ahead. If you feel like a man when you take your girlfriend out to very nice dinner and a great date, all the power to you. Masculinity is all about what a man should be about. I believe it is what each individual does to make sure they feel like a man.

What is "Tough Guise"?
From the video,I think "Tough Guise" is a mask that men wear as a disguise for being tough . In the video when Jackson Katz asked young men what it meant to be male,he got replies like, strong, physical, independent, in control, powerful, athletic, tough, tough, tough, stud. And when the men don't conform, they are called, weak, whimp, emotional, women, queer, fag.

That is why Katz argues that such a masculinity is a "public health problem" because it brings about widespread violence in American society, including the tragic school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and elsewhere.

Men perpetrate 90 percent of the violence in society, and the society (the entertainment media especially) tends to focus on the subordinated groups, not the dominant ones.

And I think the Media are crucial to constraining men to seeing violent masculinity as the cultural norm because there is a growing connection in society between being a man and being violent as lots of statistics about men being the violent ones were cited in the video such as 85 percent of murders are by men; 95 percent of domestic violence is by men; 99 percent of rapes in prison are by men, etc.

Therefore,although it seems to be an educational video geared toward college and high school students to systematically examine the relationship between pop-cultural imagery and the social construction of masculine identities in the U.S, grown up,married,divorced and even separated men of all sort need to pay careful attention to this video.

That societal norm that urges men to be tough,independent,never being emotional needs to be critically looked at and take a step back.I am a man ,but I'm very emotional although growing up as a kid my mother told me never to show public emotions.I have literally shed tears on occasion while watching movies home and my wife keeps telling me, "I know men don't cry but my husband always does when he sees some movies ".

I know that many men live and act according to this societal expectation.However,there are still many great men out there who don't ascribe to this concept.Yes,we may act big,bad,strong, and independent,we are human beings,too with emotions and empathy.We are not from Mars!

Blog #3

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Portrayal of masculinity in media is a topic that is so frequently brushed over, because it is often overshadowed by the ways in which women are represented. This lack of attention is why the issue for males is of such great importance. Similar to the notion that the first step to fixing your problem is to know it is there and acknowledge its existence, there is not a male equivalent to the feminist movement or well known group like feminists pushing for more accurate representation for males in the media. This issue has had to be adopted by these feminist groups, because there is a void in society of a voice for males who do not fit in the narrow stereotype of a tough, rugged, assertive man. Putting race aside, males have dominated society and always had representation. They have historically been the group in charge so why would they need to have a group or movement of their own that fights for positive, unbiased representation of their gender? Because of this our society has now run into a problem. Men are being told through media what is "manly" and what isn't. If you do not fall into the narrow definition that equates to being a "real man" you are made to feel inferior and like you need products and programs to help you change this. Even if you are biologically a man, and feel like a man, you must possess a few distinct characteristics in order to actually BE a man. Men are rarely shown as being individuals with feelings or emotions, as this is labeled as a feminine characteristic because men that do get emotional are labeled "pussy" or "sissy". Often in order to fit into society you have to struggle to maintain this facade to fit in with friends and peers and this intern becomes a cycle of perpetuating stereotypes. At what point do you cross the imaginary line that says you are strong enough or have enough muscle or exude enough manliness? In the video "tough guise" they talked about the changing images in toys and how what used to be the super hero, strong, muscular body had now been amped up to unrealistic proportions, literally. The GI Joe's biceps have grown to a point where they are proportionally significantly larger than even Mark McGuire's. This is a dangerous and slippery slope for society to be on. These images create a culture in which people never feel good enough. If you are not okay the way you are, when will you ever be? This issue exists within both genders and definitely needs more attention on the male side, because the stereotyping of anyone is an issue that affects everyone.

In the episode of Roseanne that we watched in class, there was a great representation of what a real life working class mom has to deal with while trying to support her family. Roseanne comes home from trying to find a job and DJ asks her what is going to be for dinner. She turns to him and says "Oh yeah while looking for a job all day I was also able to plan our dinner tonight." She then gives him the ads for the day and tells him to find the two for one pizza special and that is what will be for dinner for them. I am sure to other viewers they see this as an unprepared mother who does not have her priorities straight, even though she was looking for a job to be able to pay for bills such as their electric bill which also gets turned off in this episode. The "superwoman" mom that is shown in a lot of television episodes is does not interpret the normal everyday mother of the working class. Most woman are not able to either have a full time job, attend every sporting event of their children's, have all the laundry done, house spot less, have a gourmet dinner on the table, and have all the bills paid by the time her children get off the bus. Then after the children are home spend the entire time with them and not have a chore to do otherwise. This is not realistic when it comes to being a mother. I am a mother and a lot of times I wonder how people can think this is normal. Like on Teen Mom, why are none of these teenage mothers working? First of all that puts the image that for young mothers don't need a job and/or that the man is suppose to supply for them. I get so heated when I see this because I was a Teen Mother and I worked all through my pregnancy and had to return to work 2 weeks after my daughter was born to pay for my bills. I think that Roseanne showing the realism of motherhood and its every day difficulties is needed. It might paint over the fantasy life that people desire but it LIFE and how things are. I have also found another show that I think represents a good real mother. I have recently started watching Parenthood on NBC and the Character Julia who is the Bravermans daughter shows a different and more realistic mother. Julia's husband had recently been laid off and has picked up the task of what a stay at home mother would do. Julia is an attorney and is the bread-winner in the family. She has switched the normal roles that we see on the television, while she misses and wishes she could do more in her daughter's life. That is more of a mother approach than the always doing everything and being SUPERWOMAN. Its just not realistic in the working class mom.

Suck it up.
Boys don't cry.

Those crude comments are what boys and men hear if they're not "tough" enough. The "Tough Guise" refers to the façade that males exploit in order to avoid any risk of standing out from the crowd, or norm. Katz believes the media has a major role in contributing to this "tough guise" and expressed many facts supporting his idea. In his article, Katz discuses some masculinity stereotypes that are highly popular and probably easy for most to concoct. Some of the stereotypes include violence, power, control, and lack of soft emotions. Males are taught to hide their own soft feelings because they are told that men should appear with the intention of not having any. If they dare express them, they risk being judged. This reason is why most males tend to uphold the "Tough Guise" Performance. The Marlboro Man is a very interesting ad to look at when talking about these stereotypes because when looking at the advertisement, you do not see an ounce of him evening considering having a soft side. The Marlboro Man exudes this certain demeanor that he is the man of all men and that he can do anything and everything. To the Marlboro Man, and most men who immerse themselves into the advertisement, there is nothing that he cannot accomplish or conquer. When males view this advertisement, along with many others that portray the same image, they begin to believe that they should act the same way because they are partially who they look up to. Their real-life role models were too taught that way and that is how they have continued to teach. This "Tough Guise" is expressed as being very unhealthy, especially since it begins at such an adolescent age. Everywhere you look, there are advertisements geared towards men and they all uphold a powerful scene or outlook. Whether it is a movie, television commercial, or an advertisement in a magazine, men are infinitely displayed as strong, powerful, violent, or intimidating. This can become exhausting for males because it is almost as though they are acting (to a certain extent) in order to uphold the "correct" image. Is this image really "correct", or is that what they were told is correct? Thinking about masculinity almost saddens me because I wonder what many men truly do think, but are too afraid to express just because they would not fit the norm/common stereotype of a "man". Jackson Katz holds media responsible for the connection between males' masculinity and violence and he has many great reasons to support his thought. Between advertisements and the people who allow them to shape their character, boys and men have a lot to sort out in order to find who they really are and want to be.

Men of Color Tough Guise

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Why do men of color try to uphold the tough guise performance?
This question really stuck out to me because in my opinion, out of all races I feel the tough guise influences men of color the most. Even though technically white people are a minority in America, they are still considered the dominate culture. Because of this, men of color feel a certain need to use a hyper masculine attitude in order to gain respect and create a sense of fear with the dominate/ white culture. There was a clip in the Tough Guise film from a film with two Native American men on a bus. One of the men said to the other "You gotta look mean or people won't respect you. White people will run all over you." This quote really exemplifies the fact that men of color know that they are not the dominate culture in American society, so in order to obtain some sense of control they feel they need to put on a mean and aggressive façade. A lot of this hyper masculinity from men of color also comes from a mechanism of survival. I think it stems from the biology of men and survival of the fittest. For thousands of years it has always been the strongest and most dominant males stay alive the longest, get the most food, and mate the most. It is still somewhat true today that the males who are the most fit and most aggressive get the most ahead in life. White men do this but it can be said that men of color feel they have to show their strength more because they know they are the inferior culture in American society and also many men of color come from a working class background which means they do not have as many opportunities in getting a good education and finding a decent career. Because of this, as Katz states it becomes much more about using their bodies as a threatening device to gain respect among others. Since many men of color think that there is no hope for them to move beyond their lower class status, many will use their hyper masculinity to their advantage by crafting use of it to gain respect and status in their own culture. Because of this, these tough guise images among people of color have become mainstream and now carry a sense of glamour and idealization of what a real man should be and act like. Now even men who do not live in an urban setting are trying to emulate this urban style hyper violent male persona. This is not the right kind of thing we want our young men of society to try and be like. If we want to make a shift the media needs to create more positive male role models of color. The more positive male role models of color we see in the media, the more our perception will change and hopefully will not be so centered on the negative stereotypes we see in today's mass media.

Tough Guise

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What is the Tough Guise? It is a mask that men wear to shield their vulnerability and hide their humanity. They put up this front to show how tough they are so they feel they can be accepted. They only show parts of themselves to prove how masculine they are or how manly they can be. They do this to get power and respect from other, especially other men; because if they don't act a certain way they will be made fun of and called names. They have to constantly prove and one-up each other to prove their dominance. The stereotypes that men have to be tough, strong, independent and respected is what keeps these men in a small box that doesn't allow them to go beyond that to show themselves. I think today the tough guise stereotypes go into a little more detail and delve more into personality. To be masculine you have to not care much about anything, have the attitude of arrogance or showing you think you are better than others. The bigger the better is something that comes to mind with today's Tough Guise, bigger muscles, bigger cars or trucks, bigger ego and bigger material objects like televisions. Also I think it has to do with what you do as a man, today it has become acceptable for a man to wear skinny jeans and tight clothes but still be accepted as masculine because they can own what they are doing, if you own who you are and walk with pride then you are accepted, having doubt makes you "weak". Violent masculinity is something that will always be prevalent in society and I believe its because its one of the only way men know how to really show their dominance. They are brought up to be tough and have muscles for what reason other than to use it to their advantage. Also I was enlightened this week by a friend of mine, we were at the bar and he saw someone he has "beef" with, he immediately wanted to get physical and talked about how he wanted to kick this other guys ass. I got him to leave before anything happened but I asked why he felt the need to get physical. He said its because when you get hurt emotionally, that stays for ever; but physically hurting does both emotional damage and physical. Also he thinks that being physical will send the message better, to not mess with him. He is a tall lanky guy that doesn't look scary but he puts himself out there like he is a force to be reckoned with. I used this interaction to think more about this weeks topic, and got some real insight to why violence seems to sometimes be the only answer. They want respect from other men and to prove they are a real man. They keep up with this Tough Guise to show they have power and dominance in society. Men are not suppose to be vulnerable with emotions or talk about feelings, so their only choice to say how they are feeling is by being physical. You can't expect men to not be violent when they are constantly told not to express their feelings. It's all bottled up inside them.

What is a Tough Guise?

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The Tough Guise refers to the front that males put up, particularly youth that make them a real man. As discussed in Katz article, Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity, As well as in the movie Though Guise, A "real man" is defined by his masculinity. Masculinities are adapted by men through all aspects of the media, which portray many stereotypes of men being violent, powerful and in control. The movie tough guise represents how youth have been impacted through the stereotypical Tough, aggressive, emotion free man. While in there adolescence, and especially in high school, males are looking for acceptance and are expected to act tough or violent in order to avoid being seen as an outcast. This is especially harmful when men are portrayed as being emotion free and needing to put on a "guise" to act as if nothing can hurt them, whether it is emotional or physical. Adolescent males being expected to conform to a violent powerful being inevitably has its consequences, which is exemplified in Tough Guise through high school shootings. The Men involved in these shooting felt powerless to their tougher male classmates and were sick of being teased and bullied for their more "feminine" qualities. These young boys felt as though they needed to exert a powerful act in order to prove themselves, they were no longer the wuss or the fag, they were powerful and violent, which is exactly how society portrays "real men" in the media
By looking at advertisements, you can see how the media is telling youth to uphold the "though guise". Almost all advertisements that are targeted towards men portray a sense of violence associated with their masculinity. The people representing products in advertisements are typically male, with an aggressive attitude and clearly in shape. Men, and especially youth, are being told that the normal male physic is very muscular, through advertisements and what Katz refers to as "cultural imagery". Advertisers target many products that supposedly enhance muscles for men, which make men continue to strive to be better than the best. Even the men in the advertisements who are already in shape are still striving to get the biggest and most defined muscles, which inevitably means you are a real man and will succeed in life.
Katz blames the media for the connection between masculinity and violence, and for good reason. The media plays a significant role in male's perception of himself, and often look to television and magazines for what is accepted in society as normal, even though what is being shown is an extreme disproportion of what is actually attainable.

A Tough Guy's Tough Guise

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A "tough guise" is a front that men put on through violence. Men put on these shows of being such a tough guy. As Katz states it, a tough guise is a "mask to shield vulnerability and hide humanity." Men face a lot of pressure to conform to this act. It's what they see all over in their cultures, in the media, in their families and in their communities. They are told to be tough, independent, strong and invulnerable. Also to show no emotions or only those emotions of anger, rage, and keep a nonchalant structure. They don't want to be seen as girly, emotional, or a fag.
Men continue to uphold it because it's all they've ever known. It's a norm that is taught to them by their families and is continually grows through messages in the media. The tough guise is continually being glamorized in the media by our movies, music, advertisements and other media texts. One thing that especially promotes the tough guise is through hyper violent, hyper masculine hip hop and rap music. These artists are shown as living the high life with power and control. They show the world they make it through being a tough guy; getting shot, running the streets, being independent to get girls and to get where they are now. That is what boys and men want. While this image is evident in "urban Black street style," it has also made its way to the suburbs. White guys are also buying into the masculinity presented in Hip Hop.
The 'tough guise' is more pronounced with men of color; especially those of the working class. They want respect and power from a world they feel inferior to. A lot of this has to do with images in the media. Some stereotypes that Katz mentioned were of Hispanic men typically being associated with a boxer and Asian men associated with martial arts. In addition, there are Black men associated with being gangsters, thugs, prison, etc. Many men of color come from poverty-stricken areas and that leads to them having to toughen up at a young age because of what they are exposed to. A lot of men of color that I know feel as if they have to be strong for their families and the people they represent, which are the underrepresented. They want that respect and power, and will try to take it any way they can.

Submitted by Chua Xiong

A Tough Guy's Tough Guise

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Blog Prompt- Jackson Katz Video

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Why do men of color try to uphold the "tough guise" performance?
This question was interesting to me because society tends to look at men of color as threating when they see them walking down the street "posing" as Jackson Katz would call it. But we never stop and think why they put on the "tough guise" front. Katz explain that men off color tend to do this to gain respect from other people, he feels they were stripped of that by the dominate culture, dominate being white. They do this to protect their manhood. " Poor urban black males don't have access to a good education, expectation of a good career, not a lot of status in the community. Social and economic structure have denied them access the middle and upper class take for granted". They use their bodies to scare people and put on a front to gain the respect they want. According to Katz respect is linked to violence and he talked about how black culture has influenced young men through the media. Rappers (urban black street style) have become glamorized and idealized in the media. They have become powerful images that people of all race and class see. They look at this hyper violent activity as a model to emulate. I would have to agree with Katz fully. If you think about boys back in junior high, they never looked up to the guys from Backstreet Boys it was always men who had more of the tough guy image. For example, Dr. Dre and T-Pac. Boys never felt like they could identify to the pop culture because that would require them to be emotionally sensitive and in our society that is not ok. Look at the young men from Katz's video, if you showed any type of sensitivity you would be called a mama's boy, bitch, fag and soft. To be a real man you must be strong, physical, independent and powerful. Music is just one medium that Katz talks about regarding violence but it seems to be a huge influence most young men, not just men of color.

What does the Marlboro Man teach people of men's emotions?
When I look at the Marlboro Man I never really saw him in the same light as Katz did. I saw him as a man in an advertisement. But once he started digging into his argument as to why his image was a negative model for men, I was very curious about his perspective. Katz believes the Marlboro Man "embodies the idea of a real man, quite, stoic individual that doesn't do much talking or relating to others". His message is, connection and relationships is a sign of weakness and if he doesn't make it on his own it's his own fault. This message is extremely powerful to young men who look up to the Marlboro Man (maybe not so much now, but back in the day when he was popular)and see him as a role model. Its messages like this why boy's actions are so disturbing. Like Katz explained, they feel like they have to fit into a narrow box that defines manhood and the second they try to escape these stereotypes of what a man should be, they get ridiculed for it by society. It's extremely unfair to them. After watching this video I have more sympathy for the pressure they are under to "be a man".

Blog post 3

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"Did you read Roseanne as an "alternative viewer," as Bettie puts it?
I agree with Bettie that Roseanne is an alternative viewer, both as a show and a character. The character Roseanne Conner is an "oppositional" decoder and very sarcastic. As a show, Roseanne defies the stereotypical sitcom by showing a working class family and a female lead character. They eat take out dinners, have their electricity shut off, and Roseanne isn't the do-it-all mother. The show is realistic and relatable to the lower class of America, which makes it an "alternative" to all the other sitcoms on TV that only the middle class can relate to.


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Why is masculinity a public health problem?
I believe that most of the public health problems are related to deaths when it comes to masculinity.
The stereotypes of masculinity are listed: quiet, independent, mentally and physically strong, rough, and tough; with those common stereotypes, most likely society will respect and value that part of a man. If a man isn't strong inside and out, then there's a higher chance that the boy/man will be teased and be called a wuss and a weakling. This could cause bullying and sometimes make something snap inside, like the examples that the video, "Tough Guise", was showing some school shootings that happened and all of the attackers were caused by boys. In the video, there was a comment how the boy said that violence was cool. I believe that boy that shot his peers and made that comment must not respect himself or other people around him. Because of that lack of respect, that boy must have thought that using a gun is the only way to gain respect for himself, like in those action movies that has a badass character that doesn't care what other people think of him just like the Terminator. The boy who did the school shootings at school who hurt and/or killed many people and caused a wreck in his own future is a public health problem.

There's the idea of gang violence and most of the gang violence are from non-white males. Most likely the non-white males wouldn't have as many expectations, education, and social respect, the men would have to resort to using a tough attitude to gain respect and survive.

The video also talked about how most violent activities are caused by men. By using physical power, it gives out fear and respect of the enforcer so men might use it to gain that respect. It could also be a problem with domestic violence when the man gets extremely frustrated and takes on his wife or possibly children. This is not only a public health problem for men for families and their lives. If a beating were to happen, that too could also cause death among family members and it could have been prevented if the man was man enough to go and get help.

There is the idea that manly men don't talk about their feelings. That can cause a problem in mental health. I read an article about how men in the army that commit suicide had PTS and they didn't go get help from a therapist. If they got help, most likely they wouldn't feel like death is the only way to escape it, but because of the stereotypes of masculine men being stoic, many men are too afraid to get help. In the article it talked how women were more likely to go to a therapist to go and get help compared to men and men were more likely to do and die from suicides.

Check out this analysis of masculinity on a new CBS show with "its overt and unapologetic sexist stereotyping." Would love to hear your thoughts on this--also a fine paper topic. Super appropriate for our discussions (and kind of uncanny!)

Masuclinity DQ

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In the article "Ralph, Fred, Archie, and Homer", Butsch talks about how major television networks such as ABC and CBS produce multiple series that generally follow the drama genre because they have seen that this mold works and do not feel as though with the amount of money at stake they can take risks. However, in my own personal experience I have seen a lot of shows come out that are very similar to CSI: Las Vegas, the number one program on television for a number of years. CBS even duplicated the hit series with the spin offs CSI: Miami and CSI: New York. I do not watch any other series that are even closely related to the Las Vegas version of the show because in my opinion they are never as good and quite repetitive. So I guess my question is, does this model work? Or would it possibly be smarter for these corporations to further expand their reach in television and try out some different genres for their audiences?
Jace Frederick

"To survive the truly hostile environment on set, I started to pray nonstop to my God, as working-class women often do, and to listen nonstop to Patti Smith's People Have The Power. I read The Art Of War, and kept the idea "He that cares the most, wins" upmost in my mind. I knew I cared the most, since I had the most to lose. I made a chart of names and hung them on my dressing-room door; it listed every person who worked on the show, and I put a check next to those I intended to fire when Roseanne became No 1, which I knew it would." -Roseanne Barr

HIGHLY suggest reading this:

Feminism commercial

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This commercial demonstrates what we talked about last week

Manly Men

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In the movie Tough Guise we see the image of the Marlboro Man. This guy is the lone ranger, he doesn't need anyone else and is completely independent. This is showing men that emotions are nonexistent. Men should be strong enough to handle everything on their own and the only emotion they should demonstrate is strength.
Men are being raised to believe that emotions are just for girls. That they should be strong and independent without showing any weakness. When it comes to men in sports, when they experience an injury they are told to walk it off. Even in my life I witness event that are reinforcing the idea of living with out emotion. For example, at work a co-worker was upset that he was scheduled on his birthday while complaining another co-worker said to him, "Dude, clean the sand out of your vagina!" I guess I don't know what the sand has to do with it, but the fact that him being upset was reason for him to have a vagina. Really?!? Not to mention, when I was playing sports and had a minor injury my coach told me to "man up." Men's emotions are suppose to be a limited range of anger, strength, and power. Words that aren't in a man's vocabulary are sad, crying, and fear.
It is hard to say what would stop the "manly" stereotype we have. First would have to address the fact that both men and women are perpetuating the stereotype. Men raise their boys in the way me should behave. Women also raise boys to act like men, they raise their boys to believe that they have to be the head of their houses and that they have to be in sports. To stop the hypermasculinity, the way boys are raised will have to change. Mothers and Fathers should encourage their sons to do what they want whether it be dance or football. Also houses should have open dialogues with everyone's feelings so that boys know that it is ok to feel. If these changes are made at a household level I believe that society will change along with it.


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Also: I include "tags" for these posts so if you scroll down on the right side you will see "DQs" as one of the tags. Instead of scrolling through the blog to find these posts, just click on that and it will take you to the most recent blog posts with the "DQs" tag. Same goes for the blog prompts. Should make it easier for you to navigate this thing!

Link to Tough Guise

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Katz describes how the media portray to men that they should be "tough" almost emotionless human beings and if they have any of these emotions that they should "bottle them up". They should become "stoic" as he describes the persona of the "tough guise" through-out the film. This in-turn has created a social problem of many men suffering depression, because they are not more open with their emotions. He also states that psychological therapy is portrayed as weak and feminine and should not be pursued by men.

Although Katz makes some really great points about media portraying men in a manner of not showing emotion that in-turn is making men sort of emotionless. I would argue that all the blame should not go on the media. Yes, many of the claims Katz states about masculinity and male emotions being portrayed negatively in the media has an effect on male depression and violence. However, society at large does have its role that it plays into building the "tough guise".

Any adolescent growing up in a certain culture is going to be introduced to certain decorum and also traditions by their parents and the local culture. Children are taught traditions by parents regardless of gender, if there is an older brother or sister they must "watch out" for their young sibling or siblings when the paternal figure is not present. A young boy might also be called upon to be the "man of the house" in the case of his father passing away. Another tradition is that its acceptable for a young boy to show his emotions by crying up to a certain age and then it seems that parents want him to find other ways of dealing with his emotions. Fathers tell their sons to "stand up" for themselves in the matter of being bullied at school. The media did not create these traditions they have been passed down through generations. They do however, perpetuate them to the audience.

Today the media ties into our local culture. There is more stress that men have to face in their daily lives which can lead to depression. The traditions also hurt man upon trying to continue their masculinity and not being able to show their emotions due the traditions and media context that have created these ideologies. I like how Katz gives detail of how some men have changed their own perception of what being masculine is in a cultural context. He uses Mark McGuire as an example of this counter to hyper masculinity that has been adopted by culture and the media. He describes and shows how Mark McGuire at a press conference started to cry and was very emotional while announcing he was donating a million dollars a year to sexually abused children. McGuire wanted to support these children that are dealing with these horrible problems and he was not afraid to show his emotions. He was not seen as less a man for this. Another instance about McGuire that Katz does not describe was that he admitted to using steroids. I think that has a lot to do with the proper masculinity our society should encourage, if you make a mistake own it and put your life back on the right track instead of denying and continuing the vice.


This week, I will have discussion questions to accompany our in-class screenings. These in-class DQs will be the basis for your blog post this week.


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Blog #2

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"When you find yourself choosing what the patriarchy promotes, it's worth asking yourself if it is really a choice." (B &R Manifesta) This quote, presented to us in class, beautifully sums up the main arguments within our readings this week. Particularly in the "Girls Gone Anti-Feminism" piece I thought the author pointed out some interesting things about feminism and the evolution of that word and society. The author's main argument is that we are very much still in an age of vast gender inequalities, sexism is still prevalent in society, with the patriarchy controlling much of the cultural influences.

She supports this argument with statistics about top jobs for men and women as well as pay discrepancies to challenges the myth that the genders are now equal. The media is talked about as giving women an allusion of power, a fantasy driven by marketing. Enlightened sexism is perpetuated throughout the media to pit women against one another by showing it is through outward appearance that one acquires power. It is all about getting men to notice you and women to envy you. The author mentions how this seems to support women's equality, but is also dedicated to undoing feminism. She gives several examples from television like The Bachelor, America's Next Top Model and My Super Sweet 16, and show the motives behind these productions and how they push this idea of enlightened sexism.

I agree with Douglas's main argument and the majority of what she says in her article. When she talks about irony in our television shows, I agree with the notion that we are getting more from some programming then we probably realize. I do not think all of these shows are inherently bad or that people should necessarily stop watching them, but recognize that they are presenting certain messages and you cannot help but to absorb some of them.

I really enjoyed this weeks discussion. The readings were intriguing, and I felt it was very helpful in my understanding of feminism and the complexities that exist within it.

Blog week 3

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In Illyka Damen's piece Feminism, the Mainstream Media, and Pop Culture, she is trying to expose the tendency and blindness of labeling feminism incorrectly. She argues that even though feminists in the 60's and 70's "pressed for sexual liberation" it is not mutually exclusive or a direct causation of the self-objectification some women choose today.
She uses the examples of actresses and media icons such as Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears as more of a catalyst for young girls to dress scantily than it being a direct result of feminists, say, burning their bras.
Damen also uses the example of the show "Charlie's Angels" and that feminists were outraged, not supportive of, the exploitation of women in it.
She makes it very clear throughout her writing that pop culture and mass media today are not children of the feminist movement... Rather, they are far more complex; placing blame on the fight for women's equality for the "raunch culture" we see, is ignorant.
She also mentions several times opinions of conservatives. An irony that I thought was quite perfect for her argument, was about girls boycotting a shirt that said "who needs brains when you have these?"and that those girls were "sneered at" by conservative and libertarian men... Whom are apart of the patriarical habit of objectifying women.
I think that Damen's arguments were very to-the-point and valid. I find her research/opinions convincing because in small ways she displays the complexity of the overt sexualization in the media today. If she had included even more examples of what early feminists goals were, it would disambiguate the connection of pop culture to feminism even further.


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In "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist", Susan J. Douglas argues the point that now that women have finally reached a close situation in equilibrium in regards with men, there is no reason to be feminist anymore. Douglas states, "Because women are now 'equal' and the battle is over and won, we are now free to embrace things we used to see as sexist, including hypergirlyness". Susan J. Douglas supported her argument using happenings in mass-media and even in our society. Even though there have been many women who have run for major political titles (such as Sarah Palin running for Vice President in 2008) and other major women creating history, Douglas does not believe that it is good enough. Susan J. Douglas believes that because woman have come this far, that women believe we have gained equilibrium and therefore can forget about feminism. To support her thinking, she talks about the top jobs that women uphold today and the rank of them on the career ladder--which still remain pretty low-end.

I believe Sarah J. Douglas's research convincing to a certain extent. I liked how she put in the top jobs along with the year, I thought it was good to give people that insight and it allowed people to connect to the article. It also allowed the reader to envision a large gap between the "women's jobs" and the "men's jobs" at the time. Even though I thought it was a good add in the article, I think an actual chart including the year, top jobs, and the number of women enrolled in those occupations would have been good to see. Without having seen the chart, I cannot tell whether or not it would support or counter Douglas's argument. Yes, lower end jobs may still up on the board, but are the numbers for higher-end jobs increasing? I think it would be interesting to see.

Douglas also talks about major "reality" tv shows that are not helping the feminist movement. She speaks about shows like "The Bachelor" and "Flavor of Love" where the women are just there to compete over men. Douglas states, "What so much of this media emphasizes is that women are defined by our bodies". This particular section of the article is where she began to speak of enlightened sexism (or where women feel as though they have made it so far through history that they do not need to be feminist. For this to run through media, it shines a certain light onto women (women being objectified, sexualized, spoiled...etc.) and Douglas feels like it shows a great deal of anti-feminism. She also feels as though it makes a wider space between women and men.

I consider "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist" by Susan J. Douglas a very good, informational, and easy read. She made a very clear argument and supported her opinion using a range of evidence and research. Certain research included real people in our society such as political figures, and also the mass-media, including "reality" television shows such as "Flavor of Love". To Susan J. Douglas, happiness has not yet been fulfilled in seeing women being viewed as equal as men. What are your thoughts?

week three respons

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Girls gone anti feminism was ok. Duglus talks about how the media is trying to make the feminism movement be over and show how women are equal with men when she dose not think they are quite yet. She talks about how they are doing this by placing or showing women in high paying jobs like layers and them being the bosses of men and in tern are making men look bad. Then she go's on to complain that the media should not be ding this because women have not achieved this and gives statistics like how women after 10 year of having the same job as a man will only be receiving 69% of the wages as the counter part man would be making. She also is trying to make a point of that now that we can function with out the feminism movement that women can use there selves as sexual objects in order to get the needed attention and that they are doing this knowing what they are doing and knowing the effect they have on the male viewers. I think she has some valid points but I think she over steps the bounds of what she is saying. I think that women should be making just as much money as men but if women really want to have every thing equal then they need to start thinking about the negative responsibilities like being eligible to be drafted when the nation is in need. Also I think when throwing out statistics she needs to look in to why those statistics are caused. Next I disagree with her thinking that the shows which having women as presidents and high officials should not be played, I think that is a great way to billed the female self esteem and give them the dreams to achieve the goals to become female presidents and have high powered jobs. To support her argument I would have placed the definition of feminism in the article because most people now think of feminist as women that are wanting more rights then men and are trying to over achieve what they should be and there for I think many women try to stay away from the label of feminist.

Austin Enoch

I believe the article, "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist" by Susan Douglas is an interesting article to say the least. Douglas writes about how media today does not portray women accurately. She is trying to show women that the media is trying to kill off the feminism argument by having shows where women are the lead roles with big occupations. She talks about enlightened sexism, where in the end results are women can objectify themselves because the feminism movement was over. She mentions how Sarah Palin ran for vide president and that Hilary Clinton ran for Preisident of are nation. She brings up how women get too much attention which hurts the view of men. Douglas counterparts by saying that certain women jobs were not on the top 5 list.
She then talks about the media, my favorite topic. I absolutely agree with her when there are shows out there think that women have to be on. Most People believe that when you hear it on the television then it must be true. When you have shows like extreme makeover: cut your face up edition where they say, you have a little bit of love handles on your body, let cut that off and your nose is kind of big so lets take a nostril, etc. The show makes everyone who watched it feel like they are not good enough to anyone standards, especially women. Women get this message of I need to do this to look beautiful which relates to what GUYS think are the most attractive features of a girl. I absolutely agree with her on this argument. One thing I still don't agree upon is when she brought up shows where davis is president and women are lawyers that those shows need to stop. Why? Because they are saying that feminism can come to an end because women are doing the same jobs as men now. She brings up women are not even paid equally to what men do to do the same job. So she wants those shows gone because they are not true. I am surprised she didn't advocate to put the shows on ScyFy for crying out loud. What bothers me about this article is because she assumes everything should change overnight. She mentions how feminism has changed dramatically over the years but then she forgets and writes this article. She cites the about 2 million women are assaulted every year by a husband or boyfriend. And 18 percent have "almost" been raped. Susan, Would you like a show about that then to be placed on the prime time network. To show people how hard women actually have it. I believe the only difference you would see is about 4 million assaults and 36% rapes. All you are doing is promoting it in a way. You never mention it, but I assuming these victims are scarred for life and that they cant bounce back in life. That would be a great TV show. You bash shows that have women in lead roles. There are women who are doctors and lawyers and sooner or later presidents. Don't knock them down because not a lot of achieved that role.
I agreed for the most part until the end as you can see. She brought up some facts to counter her arguments and in the end, women are still being objectified by men to look prettier, sexier, and make men happy in all way possible

Response to Blog Prompt

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Girls Gone Anti-Feminist
I think Douglas' argument in this article is that the media is sending messages to young women that women have maintained equality with men so feminism is no longer necessary, in its place the media is sending the message to young women today that enlightened sexism will give them power. First I must preface this by explaining what enlightened sexism is, Douglas' describes it as a response to the threat of a new gender regime, and because feminism made so much progress it is now okay to once again take part in sexist stereotypes of girls and women.
Douglas' supports her argument by using pop culture examples where enlightened sexism is present. First Douglas introduces the reader to the idea that a feminist agenda has been achieved. She cites that in the 2008 election women ran for both president and vice president. She also cites antifeminist writer Christina Hoff Sommers who claims in her book that girls are getting too much attention which is in turn then hurting boys. But Douglas' does not agree with this point so she then rebuts it by telling readers the list of top jobs for women, and noting that CEO, surgeon and attorney didn't make the list. She also states that women still face wage inequalities in the workplace. Her evidence which rebuts the idea that feminism has attained all its goals leads into her discussion about the media's new messages of enlightened sexism. In order to support her argument Douglas gives readers a plethora of media examples where enlightened sexism is showcased, these include: makeover shows, match making shows, modeling shows, baby and motherhood shows. She explains that enlightened sexism has been manufactured to make us feel like consumerism and turning ourselves in to sex object will give us power, it is a marketing strategy. In order to combat readers who may claim they are above this enlightened sexism Douglas' brings in a new element to the discussion. She claims that enlightened sexism is ironic, where the viewer knows about the sexism and makes an effort to judge it and laugh it because they themselves are above it. To prove this point Douglas brings in more examples from the media including the popular reality Tv show My super Sweet 16.
Finally to conclude her point Douglas uses a metaphor, she compares the media to a fun house mirror. Explaining that the media is giving us a distorted view of female reality. Her message is simple, Women have not yet achieved all their feminist goals and the empowerment which the media feeds you is merely a mask in which it is desperately trying to sell you products.
Personally I find Douglas' article very convincing because she explains both parts of her argument clearly with many examples from the media. I think the fact that her evidence is current and popular make her argument strong since it is obvious after reading this article that her points do exist in our everyday lives. However I think her argument would have been stronger if she had of given other types of media examples. She does not mention fashion, fashion magazines, or movies in the same prevalence that she mentions reality TV In my opinion the phenomenon of enlightened sexism does not merely exist in TV it exists almost everywhere in our society. I believe her argument would have been stronger had she capitalized on this point and given readers a selection of more diverse evidence.
Overall however I think it is important to note that Douglas has done an exceptional job in my opinion on making two points that 1. That the feminist agenda has not yet been attained and 2. That the media has created enlightened sexism as a way of creating fake empowerment of women to induce them to buy commercial things.

-Teesh Cole

Blog Entry Week 3: Feminism

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Susan J. Douglas- Girls Gone Anti-Feminist
Douglas is trying to argue that feminism is over, we have achieved much of what feminist have tried to achieve throughout the last 50 years. Now we must focus on sexism. Instead of using professional roles such as careers and equality within intellectual roles, women are now using their bodies and images to prove equality and power. Douglas supports her argument by using examples such as the movie Legally Blonde, where the main character Elle Woods wins a lawsuit because she was aware of the process of perming a woman's hair. Especially in media, we are seeing that woman are being portrayed at only succeeding because of their looks or their stereotypical "women knowledge". Douglas terms this concept as enlightened sexism, saying that it is constantly produced by the media and incorporates "anxiety about female achievement, renewed and amplified objectification of young women's bodies and faces, dual exploitation and punishment of female sexuality, dividing of women against each other by age race and class, and rampant branding and consumerism". I think that Douglas points out a very evident concept in today's society, especially in media. Also, I think that her evidence and examples are very convincing among the topic and accurately portray what is going on with the era of anti-feminism. I think that generally if you look at the roles that women play in media at this time you will find that most of them are exploiting that woman's body and sexual appeal. For example, I could name a few of the most popular shows on TV right now amongst young women and they all deal with fashion, looks, competition, sex, beauty, etc; shows such as Keeping up with the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, America's Next Top Model, Gossip Girl, etc.

One good example of anti-feminism that we saw in class was the video of Lady Gaga addressing controversy of her using sexual connotations in her performances and songs. She is arguing that women get much grief for showing off their bodies and being sexual beings whereas a man would be considered a "rock star". I think that Gaga's example does point out that men and women are still being treated differently regarding different blunt topics such as sex whether it is ok to talk about it openly. There is already much controversy about how men are not frowned at when they have multiple sexual partners and talk about it openly but if a woman were to do the same she would most likely be referred to as a "slut" or other similar names.

I am just wondering if women are choosing to be active "anti-feminists" by using their bodies and sexual appeal to get ahead in different areas, as media insists? If so, and many women are appalled by the effects it is having on our gender and the way we are being perceived, is there something we can do about the media and how it's affecting this era?

Blog Prompt- Feminism

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I really enjoyed reading Susan Douglas's article "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist". Her main argument was women now think we no longer have to fight because we have conquered what we have worked so hard for. But hold on a minute, Susan brings in some really good examples to show us that we may not have come as far as we think. She talks about stereotypical job that women have held for many years, are still the same. You rarely walk into a company and see a woman as the CEO. Susan also talks about how women now think they are as equal as men are however, their pay does not reflect their argument. "The national median income for women in 2008 was 36,000 a year, twenty three percent less than their male counterparts". Even after two women ran for president and vice president, we still have a male president. She feels woman are over represented in the media and that gives the wrong impression to young girls. Some characters such as Buffy and Xena give us a feeling of empowerment, we can do whatever we want and not have to worry about a man standing in our way. However, Susan's argument for that is, it's all marketing. She says "Aren't many in the media, belatedly, simply addressing women's demands for more representations of female achievement and control? Well, yes. But here's the odd, somewhat unintended consequence: They are media created fantasies". This can also be tied into what she says about the media giving the impression to young girls that they no longer to work hard to keep up with men. Now all they need to do now is spend the "bulk of their time and energy on being hot, pleasing men, competing with other women and shopping". We take one step forward and ten steps back. "Now that women allegedly have the same sexual freedom as men, they actually prefer to be sex objects because it is liberating." I feel that woman don't use their sexuality because they love it (I rather be at home in my sweats) they do it to try and get ahead. That has been the case for a long time and I don't see it changing just because "women have made it"

I find Susan's arguments extremely convincing. Her whole article is a slap in the face to those who think "woman have made it". She uses such strong examples that are hard to argue unless you have done your own research and find different statistics. Women have come so far. You didn't see a women making $36,000 in the 1950's but I also don't think we have come to the point where we need to throw in the towel and call it a day.

It would be interesting for her to follow up on this article in 10-15 years to see what has changed regarding women in the work force and see how the media's influence has changed.

Blog Prompt -Anti-Feminist

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Girls Gone Anti-Feminist by Susan J. Douglas.
The author's argument is that we have already achieved feminism back in the 1990's and the problem that we should be dealing with is sexism. Susan says that currently we're experiencing enlightened sexism and it is defined by how women are equal and women can now become hyper feministic with their physical looks.
The support for her argument is that there are women who are in power such as CEOs, Lady Gaga, and Hilary Clinton who is trying to run as president and there are jobs that women expand to instead of the stereotypical jobs that women used to do like a child care worker. Now women can wear sexy clothing without getting objectified and it can be a sign of power. Susan was talking about how in media you see many girls that are beautiful, sexy, yet strong such as Xena and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She also said that the power is something that men will not resist and will be embraced so there won't be any resistance from the opposite sex.
I find Susan's research convincing because nowadays you see a lot of shows that have a female main character(s) that can kick butt or is extremely smart, just like Charlie's Angels and Unforgettable which is shown on TV. She was relating how in shows there are many girls/young women that love shows that obsessed with relationships, status, looks, and pleasing men. Even though many girls/young women love those kinds of shows, Susan says that they judge and mock the people in those kinds of shows. Susan also talks about how we "no longer have to exhibit traditionally "feminine" personality traits such as passive, helpless, dumb, over emotional, etc." And now women exhibit hyperfeminism physical traits. I agree today because many of my friends love to look sexy such as wearing a short skirt /shorts yet they are completely head strong about they like, beliefs, and they are independent.
The other evidence that convinced me was because during class, I was talking to the group about one of the questions we were discussing about which was that "is post-feminism new?" and we were talking about currently the issue is more sexism rather than feminism since the general public still doesn't think about getting a housewife and throughout history. Also nowadays both genders still want to be presentable for many people. The article reminded me about this old article about how women are most likely graduating from college. This especially is one of the proofs that women are now socially equal to men because a few decades ago many women didn't go to college because it was expected that they would become a wife/housewife. A famous woman that uses sexuality as a form of power is Lady Gaga. She does wear all those strange outfits whenever she pleases but it never let her down. People accepted her as powerful even though she is a woman, this is also a good example that feminism isn't needed.

Blog Post 2

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In Ariel Levy's article, "Raunch Culture," she argues that today's "post-feminist" women are serving the patriarchy under the guise of being "liberated." She uses countless examples to support her argument, from Girls Gone Wild to Playboy. The women on these programs/magazines see their behavior as something like rebellion, and they see it as empowering. They think that by being more sexual, they're equal to men, when in reality they're just objects for "the male gaze."As Levy says, you don't see men saying "what the hell," let's be in Playgirl!

Levy's research is very convincing because you see it everywhere: in advertisements, magazine covers (for men and women!), television and movies. Soft-core porn has become the norm in the media. In fact, the volume of her research surprised me; I didn't realize that there were so many examples of raunch culture everywhere. However, it must be noted that this article was probably written in the early 2000s, and a few things have changed since then.

As much as I would like to say that the raunch culture is going out of style, it seems that now it has gone even more mainstream. I've noticed that since the early 2000s, movies have less female nudity for adolescent-boy shock value. Now movies and TV approach sexuality with a bold frankness that can be even more shocking. Now sexuality isn't just used for shock value, it's something that's expected. A lot of modern media can be used to support Levy's argument, such as the new crop of disgusting American Apparel ads, and pretty much everything on HBO and Showtime. Not to mention new tv shows like Mad Men and The Playboy Club that are set pre-feminism and are now being touted as empowering. It's like feminism never happened!

Blog Response #2

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In the article, "GIrls Gone Anti-Feminist" by Susan J. Douglas, she argues the post feminist era and if women have truly reached a point of equality. She speaks of how the idea that women have gained great power is simply a fantasy, as they still possess similar positions of work that do not provide much authority such as secretaries and nurses. She then speaks of enlightened sexism, where the idea of women in power is comical in the media industry. She provides examples such as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" where the female in control's role is to slay vampires, and in "Legally Blonde", where a bimbo blonde cracks the case because she knows about hair products and perms. This sense of enlightened feminism makes it "acceptable" for women to flaunt their bodies to gain power over men. She speaks of how feminism has become a dirty word which means a woman is a man-hater who is simply focused on herself. This definition has lead to the downfall of feminism and taken the issue the opposite direction.
I tend to agree with the idea in this article that states that feminism has turned into a bad word that women do not wish to be associated with. I do not however, agree with the fact that media programs where women are in leadership roles are negative in any sort of way. Even if they do not always hold these positions of power, it cannot be a bad thing for people to watch shows with women as leaders. If anything it seems to me that the more people watch women in power, the more used to the idea they will become.
Jace Frederick

The more that I read Susan Douglas' article "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist" the more I realize that her main argument is in the title its self. However part of me really wonders if she's arguing that feminism has simply turned in to enlightened sexism and disagrees with that. Douglas, who is clearly an unashamed feminist, would likely prefer the term feminism simply because she does not believe the "fight" is over. Furthermore she clearly does not agree with what enlightened sexism embodies because it makes it seem as though women are now equal to men, which unfortunately they still are not. Her argument is clearly stated when she says, "It [enlightened sexism] insists that women have made plenty of progress because of feminism-indeed, full equality, has allegedly been achieved. So now it's okay, even amusing, to resurrect sexist stereotypes of girls and women" (3). So if that's what enlightened sexism is to her, then its clearly obvious that she disagrees with what feminism has allegedly achieved for some women, and that if enlightened sexism is some sort of an achievement, then that's bullshit. Douglas supports her argument simply by explaining only a few of the inequalities between men and women. But even more compelling is the evidence that she provides of women feeling "on top" (2). She uses "On top" when explaining that a bare breasted women was at one time simply objectified, but now that feminism's fight is "over" they are no longer objectified but rather have chosen to be sex objects which makes them feel some sort of power over men. Unfortunately, that is the key to "power" over some men, which makes the argument that women have an equality in strength over men a real argument, but to skew objectifying sexuality as if its some sort of tool for equality, is not a respectable vision of what equality really is. Her argument is extremely compelling as well as convincing. Whether or not a reader agrees with her, she does do a good job of at least getting one to think and realize that there is something odd going on, and what ever that something is, its not good. It would have been amazing if some how all readers of this article were able to watch the Gaga video that we saw in class. It sums up everything that she has to say in regards to sexuality as some sort of beneficial power to all women. In that video Gaga indirectly proves to us that people are scared to be, and use, the term feminism because it is still a very real movement with very real justifiable causes. Gaga is a prime example of using sexuality as a tool to embody what power women have, even though that power, which as I explained is a real power (unfortunately) over some, is not a respectable sort of power that embodies equality. Furthermore, When Gaga says, "I'm not a feminist! I hail men!", she proves to real feminists that she doesn't even know what it means to be one. In that statement she rounds down feminism, and feminists, as a movement of women that disapprove of men in one regard or another. Which it clearly is not what its all about.

Feminist Blog

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In Marlo David Azikwe's "More Than Baby Mama's," she argues that women in Hip Hop do not bring enough attention to Black mothers in today's society. They are embracing their sexuality along with their lyrical abilities and using it to compete in Hip Hop's hyper-masculine industry. They have an "I don't give a f---" attitude and using their sexual agency to empower themselves to be confident and independent all the while creating this new sort of Hip Hop feminism. However, these women rarely vocalize on how they "perceive themselves as being mothers or as potential mothers" (Azikwe, 138). She argues that the new Hip Hop feminism is creating a backlash "against feminism among young, intelligent, progressive black women" (Azikwe, 138). Azikwe brings up Black mothers in a historical lens of how Black women were being used to provide a slave labor force by bearing more children to fuel a plantation economy. However, in recent times, with the high numbers of Black men in prison more than Black men in college and high numbers of Black men and women with low income jobs, there is a the stigma of Black mothers raising children to fuel the "prison economy or low-wage welfare economy" (Azikwe, 139). So, Azikwe argues that women in Hip Hop shy away from addressing Black motherhood. Instead, they exploit their bodies and womanhood with sexual freedom through Hip Hop. However, Lauren Hill is used as a counter example. She embraces and defends the female body and sees it as a blessing. She explores the power of being a Black mother and giving birth to a brighter future for the Black community. Lauren Hill definitely holds her ground when it comes to creating a progressive future and protecting her own when it comes to her children and other Black women.
I found the evidence and research to be quite convincing. I do realize that many women in Hip Hop don't address the issues of being a Black mother in their music. Their music mainly consists of being in love, or you've got the "sexy MC's" that talk about buying shoes and purses, sex, drugs, hoes, etc. We never really get the sense of how they feel about motherhood and procreative choices. People could argue that it's not only a problem in Hip Hop music, but all music. However, I believe the problem is different for every race/ethnicity/culture. There is a huge stigma towards Black mothers and that's why I think the author was so focused on that one niche. Many people living in poverty-stricken areas don't have resources for birth control and safe sex or they aren't sexually educated. Many of those living in poverty are African Americans and they create generations are recycle itself. Therefore, it is a controversial issue that Azikwe wants more Black women to address. She questions, "...where [do] issues of motherhood and procreative power stand among young women today?" (Azikwe, 138). After a history of being exploited, having children at a young age with men that are not ready to be fathers, and struggling to survive poverty, Black women are progressing and the stigma was starting to go away. However, the new Hip Hop feminists aren't doing much to help the progression.

Submitted by Chua Xiong.

In Marlo David Azikwe' article entitled "More Than Baby Mamas: Black Mothers and Hip-Hop Feminism" she addresses the Hip-Hop Feminist movement and criticize the lack of attention hip-hop feminist give to their reproductive power. Azikwe points out that although hip hop music has a history of violence and degradation of women, many black women are able to "navigate the conflicting, inconsistent gray areas of hip-hop to stand up and be heard." (pg. 137) Women such as Lil' Kim, Missy Elliot and Eve are popular figures in the music industry that use their music to "vocalize their independence, sexual agency and lyrical mastery." (pg. 137) However, Azikwe states that this isn't enough. She states that this type of feminism can be viewed as the sexual objectification of the artist and can even increase racial tensions stereotyping Black women as ghetto princesses, club hoppers, baby mamas and so forth. As her article continues, she goes on to state that female rappers rarely speak about procreative issues, not so much about abortion, fertility, birth control, pregnancy and childrearing, but about the act of mothering. Throughout the rest of her article to talk about Lauren Hill and how her music reflects her thoughts about becoming pregnant at a young age and becoming a mother.
As I read though Azikwe's article, I find her statements to be true, not just within the Black community but all over the world and across all nationalities. If you think about it now, how many recent mainstream songs are within the "white" community or other ethnic groups that addresses the strength and beauty of motherhood? I don't hear Ke$ha (I had to spell her name with a $), Lady Gaga, Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus singing out praises to motherhood. Even with the Hollywood baby crazed going on for the past few years, no white pop princess or girl punk rocker has addressed motherhood in their music. The only song that I can think of at the moment is Colbie Caillat's "Capri" which is about pregnancy and motherhood. However, this song, although included on her album, was not featured as one of her single to play on the radio. As an Asian American woman, I don't know of any mainstream songs within the Asian American community that relates to motherhood and this includes music from overseas.

I think that if Azikwe focused on the general population, not just the Black community, she would have been able to find more evidence supporting her argument. Yes, very few musicians mentions motherhood in hip-hop but there are also very few that talks about motherhood in other communities. And even when co, Azikwe could have also argued that songs regarding motherhood they are never played on the radio where most impressionable young kids, especially girl, come to hear the latest top 40 songs. Instead of being encouraged to love and find strength in their body's gift to bear children and experience future motherhood, these girls are encouraged to dance on a pole, wear nothing but g-strings, and jump into bed with the first man-boy that utter those three "special" words to them. There is strength in motherhood and in each woman's body. Young girls today aren't learning that at all, instead they are learning how to put their "hands up" in submission to patriarchy and "party in the USA."

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In Susan J. Douglas's essay, "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist," she argues that post feminism is really a form of sexism being perpetuated by the media. She uses various television shows that feature strong women in powerful roles as an example. Her problem with this is that while these shows may be good for women's egos and self-esteem, they are unrealistic and statistically inaccurate. While it's great in theory, Douglas points out the facts. Women make significantly less money for the same jobs men do. Through media, women are getting the message that, yes they can be powerful, but only by using their sexuality as a weapon. She also points out that this kind of power is mutually beneficial for men and women. Women are wanted by men, and men don't feel threatened. I think Douglas makes a lot of good points. The kind of sexism that is portrayed on television manipulates women in to buying what they're selling. It puts sexism in a good light. Such a good light, you don't even realize it's sexist. As Douglas points out, our society is patriarchal and capitalistic. You can look at enlightened sexism or post feminism as a product put forth by our patriarchal society disguised as a new ideal for capitalistic gains. For me, this is most apparent in commercials encoded to attract women. Clothes, makeup, perfume, hair products, all these things to make women more attractive so they feel more confident, and in turn powerful.

In "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist", Douglas argues that some women/men believe that the feminist movement is over and that equality has been achieved. They now believe in a movement Douglas calls enlightened sexism, which she refers to as a response to feminism, as taking the progress we've made in the women's movement and still defining themselves by their appearance. In other words, she argues that it is outward feminism, or being hypergirly because the women choose to be, not because of the inequality between men and women and how men see women as desirable. She is arguing that enlightened sexism is women seeing themselves as equal to men, but still project themselves as sex objects because it makes them feel empowered.

The author supports this argument with recent media examples, such as the Spice Girls and their "Girl Power" motto. She uses other examples like Hilary Clinton for president, TV shows such as Super Sweet 16, Lady Gaga, America's Next Top Model, and more to show how women are still fixated on the idea of looks, and empowerment, and equality. She also uses strong facts to support her arguments, for example: women getting paid significantly less than men in a workplace to create a powerful argument that women are still not seen as equal to men. She goes on to support this argument by providing a list of top jobs for women in past decades to further emphasize her point.

I found all of the evidence Douglas provided to be convincing because the points she used were relevant to me, as the reader. I could relate to what she was saying about the recent media examples because I was familiar with them. She connected all of her main points about fantasies of power, to women in workplaces, to feminism in the media, to the irony of the entire enlightened sexism/feminism argument. I also think her almost sarcastic tone grabs the attention of the reader and makes you realize how ridiculous some of her facts were about how women are still not seen as equal to men.

For my own personal contribution, I was watching Modern Family tonight and a commercial came on with Sofia Vergara about her new clothing line at Kmart. It relates perfectly to our discussion about feminism and to the Douglas' reading.

Here is the link to the commercial (on YouTube).

I think the commercial is saying that women should "flaunt what they have" to feel sexy, powerful, and confident, not because it is what men want (although the commercial does not overtly state this). I think the commercial compliments the reading very well and supports Douglas' argument of enlightened sexism that the feminist movement is not over.

Susan's argument in the "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist" is that the media are promoting false images of the power of women, suggesting that women's equality is now achieved. Therefore, there is no need for women's equality advocacy.
She supports this argument by citing examples such as the "Buffy the Vampire letting us pretend, if just for an hour, that only a teenage girl can save the world from fang-toothed evil, or an underdog law student, dismissed by her fellow classmates as an airheaded bimbo, winning a high-profile murder case because she understood how permanent work, as Elle did in 'Legally Blonde'". Additionally, she made reference to Brenda Johnson on "The Closer", playing the boss of a man saying "well, if you don't like the way I'm doing things, you are free to take your balls and go straight home", in response to the man's statement that this is "just not the way we play ball". She suggested that these are only possible on TV and not in real life. And such projection undermines real women's progress in the advocacy for women's equality.
I think I find these examples convincing as they are pretty obvious (we see such shows on TV daily although they are not proportionate to the ones with men power), especially if you contextualize her argument that the media are promoting false images of women power when that is not the case in real world circumstances. But even with my subtle admission, I would have loved to see media studies, researches, or data analysis of the total number of TV shows or even movies in which women power is at work or shown rather than the few shows she mentioned.
Having said that, however, I find it totally misleading and somewhat opinionated, given her status as a professor of Communications at the University of Michigan, when she informed us under the sub-heading "Fantasies of Power", that "in 1999, one year before Sommers' book came out ....the top five jobs for women were secretary, nurse, elementary and middle school teacher, cashier and retail salesperson", without citing her source or reference at the end of her of article. While that might be empirical, it takes away her credibility, in my opinion, for not substantiating her claim.
I could have brought in statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics using their figures regarding the top five jobs for women in 2007, if I were her.
On a personal note, although the fight for women's equality is not yet over as we still have a mountain to climb, we have made strides, and we will improve and become better with time. On the political leadership of women, there have been over 50 women around the world either acting as president or elected as president in over 50 different nation-states
This suggests that feminism around the globe is not in vain and there is no need to toy with it. There are still many challenges that we still face, but apportioning blame on some segment of society will not help the fight. Just in 2006 in Liberia West Africa, Africa elected its first ever women president. The fact that United States has yet to do so is no reason to sound pessimistic. Pretty soon, we have our own woman president,too.

Response- Week 9/20 and 9/22

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In "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist," the author Susan Douglas is trying to inform the women of this generation that we have lost sight of what feminism is. The original fight of feminist was for gender equality. Women wanted to vote, to receive equal jobs, to go college, and be able to dress how they wanted. By the 1990's these goals have been well over achieved so women found their new "girl power" to believe in. Within the article Susan Douglas points out those women think the new feminism is dressing in risky clothing, buying what they want, and dominating the workplace. She calls this enlightened sexism, the power women are claiming to possess is becoming their down fall. Women own their new position that has been handed to them by society. The new enlightened sexism is an entire ironic circle of looking for independence, power, and workplace equality while looking for consumer goods and dressing so that their lady bits are hanging out.
I think her arguments are strong, and the majority of them are pulled out of the main stream media. She uses example from TV and movies, which demonstrate the new women's role that women today have. These arguments are strong but they do require us to make some assumptions about the media they are in. Susan Douglas also uses statistics to prove that women have not actually advanced that far. This was a really strong argument for me because I had been lead to believe that men and women are equal, and to see that we only make 75 cents off of every dollar a man makes is astounding. Also the statistics about physical and sexual abuse really put a knot in my stomach.
I do find her evidence convincing, but I am coming into this paper with some knowledge about this issue. If I was the new issue however, this article seems like an angry rant. She does use statistics but they are extremely one sided, and I have learned that statistics can be manipulated to prove a point. As a reader with some background, after reading this I am convinced. I especially like her reference of The Devil Wears Prada, women often act like that boss because they think they need to in order to earn respect. This was convincing because in any professional environment I see this happening.
In support you could find some testimony of female bosses and the workers around them, see if this Devil Wears Prada boss is the real thing. My counter argument would be that society in general has become more concerned with consumption, not women alone. The article says that women now have the "purchasing power," I feel that money alone has the purchasing power and I have seen men that are either equal or more likely to purchase things because they can.

Feminism DQ

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Can there be a happy medium between the feministic ideals of the 1970's and the Snooki's from Jersey Shore who just want to shop and get with guys? is that medium evident in society today? Once that medium becomes the norm, will the issue of feminism disappear?

I found a rap song that not only doesn't refer to women as "bitch" but he addresses the fact that other rappers do. In Lupe Fiasco's "Hurt Me Soul," he says

"I used to hate hip-hop... yup, because the women degraded
But Too $hort made me laugh, like a hypocrite I played it
A hypocrite I stated, though I only recited half
Omittin the word "bitch," cursin I wouldn't say it
Me and dog couldn't relate",

it came up on shuffle on my way to my next class, good timing Lupe

Feminist Shift

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In the article "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist" Susan J. Douglas brings up many instances in our society and in mass-media in which there has been a shift from feminism to anti-feminism. Anti-feminism is described as women having advanced further in society than past generations, so therefore there is no need for women to be feminist. Douglas argues that this is not the case and that women are still marginalized. She believes that since the United States had a woman, Hilary Clinton, run for President in 2007 and another woman, Sarah Palin, run for Vice President in 2008 that the media wants to stray even further from feminism. She goes on to describe how this is not good for women as a society, because they are still marginalized in society and further more in the workplace. Douglas does not believe that anti-feminism is the exact way to surpass the marginalization that women have been fighting for years.
Douglas describes how an anti-feminist such as Christina Hoff Sommers believes that boys are being punished harshly in school while girls are being coddled in school and were advancing to college while the boys were not so fortunate. However, Douglas retorts by stating that women today still do not have financially lucrative careers and are still greatly under paid compared men.
Maids, child workers, office clerks and hairdressers. Not CEO or hedge fund manager in sight. And in the end, no president or vice president in 2008. But what about all those career-driven girls going to college and leaving the guys in the dust? A year out of college, they earn 80 percent of what men make. And 10 years out? A staggering 69 percent (Douglas).
This is a very convincing statement, because it's almost common knowledge today that women receive a significantly less salary than men in the workplace. Hoff Sommer's belief seems like possibly a certain instance in some school. Maybe upon further reading of Hoff Sommer's book one could find that this is a common instance in American schools. However, the whole point is that it's common knowledge that this marginalization occurs very often in American society.
Douglas continues in her article to suggest that the move from feminism to anti-feminism has created a sort of "fantasy" of empowerment titled "enlightened sexism". This is where women feel that since they have come further than past generations that they do not have to be feminist any more. They bring back past ideologies that were seen as sexually degrading to women and use them in this certain "fantasy" of empowerment or "enlightened sexism". This creates a certain objectification of them as women to men. Douglas is very convincing in her argument with examples of shows such as "The Bachelor" where women compete for a man and "America's Next Top Model" where they compete against each other. One could argue the on the opposition though that "The Bachelor" is not of this "enlightened sexism", because there is a show "The Bachelorette" where men compete against each other for the woman.
Douglas makes some great arguments about why women should not stray from feminism. This morning in-class when we were shown the Halloween Costume blog, and upon reading Douglass's article it seems that this anti-femist movement is to bring back old sexually degrading ideologies for "empowerment". Teaching young girls at an early age that wearing scantily clad clothing is somehow empowering is just disgusting in my opinion. I have a niece that is seven and I cannot even image her wearing that type of clothing Halloween costume or not. Instilling values in young girls and describing to them the inequalities they will face in the work place and what it means to be a woman in American society seems much better for their future.


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Thank you.

^^^^ To fill in my brief explanation of racial issues with Beyonce's video. We can touch base with this during our race/ethnicity section, too. ::::

I ran into this blog post about the sexualization of girls' Halloween costumes. A perfect example of exposing the male gaze! This blog post will also be relevant for our discussion on post-feminism on Thursday. Also, this is a great example of analyzing media through a feminist lens. If any of you want to analyze Halloween costumes for your next paper, that would be great!

This week, the authors we engage with are making strong arguments. Their arguments are supported by different types of research and evidence. This week, I want you to pick one article (and any media we look at in class connected to that article) and discuss the following:
1. What is the author's argument?
2. How do they support their argument?
3. Do you find their evidence/research convincing? Why/why not?
4. What other evidence/research could you bring in to either support or counter their argument?

Lastly, if you want to discuss your personal feelings about the week's discussion, you may do so. But that should be no more than a few sentences.

Looking forward to your responses. This prompt is crafted to get you thinking deeper about your own writing and how other writers try to convince you to buy their arguments.


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Thank you.

DQ- For Tuesday 9/21

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I appreciate the fact that Lauryn Hill is a proud black mother. I am only having an issue in understanding; what the difference is between just being a mother and being a black mother?

Blog Post 1

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I believe that I consume my media in both a hegemonic and counter hegemonic way; I mostly think this because my personality tends to go along with the dominant. I often don't know how to verbalize what I believe in or really know what I believe in. I want someone to tell me what is right and what is wrong, I want someone to kind of guide me thru life. I want to fit in sort of speak. So when it comes to media I either don't form an opinion or go along with the opinion that is at hand.
One form of media that I focus on are gay characters in television and how they are portrayed. I see most of the time a gay character will be what is considered masculine, well dressed, fit and very good looking. This to me shows that to be acceptable in the world gay men have to act like what the media shows as a real man. Also gay characters that are portrayed this way are taken more series; they are not a joke or ridiculed for the way they are acting. At the same token I see gay men being portrayed complete opposite. They are what people say "flaming", over dramatic, energized, bitchy, queens or over sensitive. These characters most of the time are put in the show to be funny, they're not taken seriously most of the time and tend to have a lot of attention drawn to them. Seeing these two different sides make me focus on these types of men in the community. I tend to think there are one or the other and no in between. I know there are many different types of gay men out there, but when media only shows two sides, it make me think that's what everyone else is thinking. I see shows like 'Desperate Housewives', 'Modern Family', and 'Will and Grace' that have two gay characters, whether they are friends or in a relationship, and each one takes on one of these identities. 'Will and Grace', you had Will who was a lawyer, well educated and most of the time under control, where as Jack was over dramatic, butt of all the jokes and not taken seriously. Same with 'Modern Family', Mitch is a lawyer and Cam is a stay at home dad. Again with 'Desperate Housewives' Bob is lawyer and Lee does realty and he is a lot more flamboyant. There rarely is a show that will have two of the same identities.
The ideologies of these gay characters represent how gay men should or shouldn't act in order to be accepted or be taken seriously. Why not have men on a show and be gay that don't need to fit one stereotype. Have a neutral gay character that neither draws too much attention or not enough. Involve the gay character in the show not because he is gay but because of whom he is as a person. Society wants to accept homosexuality but how can the majority of people whom disagree, which only see these figures in public accept what is just reinforcing their beliefs.

James Lull defined Hegemony as "the power or dominance that one social group holds over others". (Lull, pg. 33) Living in a country where capitalistic ideals are glorified it is extremely difficult to avoid media that are hegemonic. Most media are closely intertwined with big businesses that make up the majority of the "ruling class" who ultimately decides on the content goes public. Although there are many counterhegemonic media, most of these media are unknown or less accessible.
Although I want to say that I consume more counterhegemonic media I know that I would just be lying to myself and my classmates. Hegemonic media is so prevalent in our society and culture that it is difficult to ignore or say that you consume less or no hegemonic media. Sometimes hegemonic media can disguise themselves as counterhegemonic media. For example you might have gone to a movie theatre a few years ago and seen, or rented, a "counterhegemonic" film by Michael Moore called, "Capitalism: A Love Story". This film is a documentary which examines the impact of corporate dominance on the average American and the rest of the world. After watching the film you might have been disgusted with capitalistic ideals. However, you probably didn't think about the fact that the film you just watched gross over $14,000,000 in profit. The film production itself is ruled by capitalistic ideologies prominent in the "ruling class". Another example of hegemonic media that disguises itself as a counterhegemonic media is NPR and PBS. Although these organizations structure themselves as member supported organizations many of their donations and grant monies come from corporate sponsors. According to a recent NPR chart, 23.3% of NPR's funding comes from corporate sponsors. A recent PBS convention listed Sony and Canon and some of its sponsors. I'm sure these sponsors have a great deal of influence over what is broadcasted on radio or television shows.
One source of true counterhegemonic media that I consume has to be avant garde films such as "Mothlight" from Stan Brakhage. Artists such as Brakhage create films as a means to artistically represent the world or to simply give us a new visual perspective. These films not only challenged contemporary cinema structure and storyline, they sometimes challenged our culture and our ideologies.
Another source of media that I consume is music. I'll admit that most of the songs that I'm exposed to are catchy pop and hip-hop tunes on the radio as I drive to school each morning. I've learned to ignore the lyrics of most hip hop and pop songs that I hear on the radio and focus on the beats. However, times when I pay attention to the message presented, there seems to be endless references to commodities, drugs, alcohol and sex. It isn't surprising to see these "music artists" advertise and endorse products along these lines. Songs like "Airforce One" by Nelly, or "Forever" (Double Mint gum) by Chris Brown are made to endorse and promote these products. After a celebrity endorsement, sales of those products usually increase.


Blog Post 1

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Hegemony and ideology are things I'm starting to notice more and more in the media I consume. I watch all different kinds of TV and movies, although I stay away from reality TV as much as possible. Above all, I love all things fashion. Unfortunately, fashion programs and magazines are the perpetrators of the most unrealistic standards of beauty in hegemonic media. I recently watched an ABC news special on the lives of runway models. Most of the time, they are broke and struggling just to buy food, yet in their work they encode messages of glamour and excess. Many women who strive to look like fashion models are unaware that the models can be as young as twelve years old!
One of my favorite examples of hegemonic media is Seventeen magazine, a lifestyle and fashion magazine for young girls. When I was in middle school, I read Seventeen like the Bible, accepting all of its dominant messages without question. When I look at Seventeen now, I can see the prominent ideology, and sometimes contradictory messages encoded in the magazine. There will be an article on how you should love your body the way it is, and in the SAME issue, a workout routine to "flatten your tummy" and "tone your thighs," not to mention countless advertisements featuring thin, busty, airbrushed models. One of my favorite features, however, is the "Clothes for your Body" article. It shows girls of all sizes, ranging from "boyish" to "curvy," and shows them what clothes they can wear to make them look more like the ideal image of beauty. The "boyish" girls should wear ruffles and embellished pockets to make their chests and rear ends look bigger, while the "curvy" girls should wear wraparound sweaters with "slimming" lines and wide-leg pants. Seventeen offers advice on how you should lie down on the beach to look thinner (that was a real article!), then preaches the dangers of eating disorders; it tells you where to meet random cute guys and how to stage "the Perfect Hookup," then warns against STDs and starting relationships with strangers. I would offer citations for all these examples, but I don't know which issues they're from specifically. I'm thankful that now I can read media like this critically instead of taking it at face value, and my mind is boggled on how many contradictory messages are encoded in just one issue of Seventeen. No wonder middle school was such an awkward time!

Blog Entry

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I think of myself as being more of a hegemonic person, although I do consume a small part of my media from counterhegemonic sources. I like to try to follow some media that isn't main stream; however in the society we live in today it is almost impossible to be completely counterhegemonic. Most of the time, I'm sure we don't even realize when we are being influenced by a hegemonic source. In many instances what we think is a counterhegemonic source could very well be a hegemonic source.
The main hegemonic media source I consume on a regular basis is women's magazines such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan. These would definitely be my guilty pleasure. Although I don't have a subscription to any magazines, it is not uncommon for me to go to the store and buy one of these magazines geared towards women once or twice a month. These types of magazines are appealing to many types of women for all sorts of reasons. In a single magazine one can find out the latest fashion trends, diets, celebrity gossip, and if that guy down the hall has a crush on you! Of course none of the things in magazines like this are really important; one could still be a perfectly functioning woman of American society without the knowledge they provide, but the people at Cosmo and Glamour want you to think otherwise. The way the journalists write these articles are really quite good at making woman think they must do certain things in order to be the best. Truthfully Cosmo is probably not going to help you get the love of your life or give you the best pick up lines but that's what they want you to think, and sadly many women actually fall for it. These magazines are feeding women unimportant information and convincing them that it actually is important information that they need to know.
One media I consume that I would think to be more on the counterhegemonic side is the music I choose to listen to. I'm not going to lie and say I don't listen to any mainstream music, in my eyes that is almost impossible, but the majority of music I listen to happens to be underground/indie artists. Musicians that are signed by a major record label are under such a large contract that often times they have many restrictions in which that have to work within. The label execs are the patriarchal figures telling all of the musicians what they can and cannot do. Not to trash talk mainstream artists, but I feel many of them these days are sellouts; they would rather have more money than more creativity. On the other hand, the artists who are independent or on a small local label have more creative range, allowing them to produce better quality music. By better quality I mean the smaller artists are under less restrictions, therefore they can be more creative which in my opinion allows for 'better' music.
A lot of ideologies I see in the media I consume is women being portrayed as sex symbols. For example, the women's magazines are constantly putting women on a lower pedestal than men. They do this very effectively and implicitly. It is almost guaranteed that there will be an article on how to please your man or best date outfits. How come there is never an article like this in GQ? Also in the mainstream music scene the record companies are always concerned with selling music. With this comes with selling the artists. Look at Brittney Spears or Rhianna; yes they are both talented individuals, but I really don't think they would be as successful if they weren't beautiful and young women.

Media Consumption

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I think I tend to consume media in a more hegemonic way because most of the TV shows that I watch, or radio stations I listen to or even magazines I purchase, all tend to have one thing in common; the main characters or topics of interest include white males or females who are good looking, in shape and tend to make a lot of money. These portrays of characters are all people who our society has come to accept as the desired class. An example of this is one of my favorite shows, the bachelor pad. Although I do consume a lot of hegemonic media, the way in which I critique these shows is often very counterhegemonic. For example, while watching the show the bachelor pad, I often find myself asking myself, how much do you think this or that person was paid to say something extremely ridiculous to another character. On the season première of the Bachelor Pad, one of the characters who was previously on the show The bachelor came onto the show and his ex fiancé was there too, with her now fiancé Casey. What the show is trying to do is make the audience think as though there is going to be immense drama filling the entire 2 hours the show is on, but really I feel as though it has come to be extremely fake. I feel as though I use this media to show others how unrealistic reality TV really is. But producers do what they need to do to make shows popular, and clearly it has worked, with the show taking up 3 hours for its season premiere and finales, and 2 hours for its regular time.

As for using media in a Hegemonic way, I tend to do that as well. Thinking in terms of how I choose my personal style, those ideas didn't just come from thin air, I had to have seen them somewhere, like magazines or TV shows. I think I get my style preferences mostly from magazines, primarily People magazine and Cosmo, because of the ads they chose to place in all of those magazines, which often have models with the newest styles and top trends. Its fun to look through these magazines and see what types of outfits and shoes are going to be popular for the upcoming season, but Its also coming to my understanding that these magazines are trying, and succeeding, in making me believe that my clothes are not in style at the current moment and that the ideal body type for my age group is tall, thin and beautiful. I wish that media wouldn't be such a dominant part of my life in that sense, however when I think about how I, or anyone for that matter, would decide what to buy without the media so prevalent in our lives it would be hard. People would be bombarded with new and interesting products and clothes and would go for their first instinct with what to purchase. Now this may seem like a good thing, however with the criticism many people would receive for poorly purchased items, I think that a lot of what consumers would buy would end up in the trash.

Blog Entry #1

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I am finding that with age, the less hegemonic media I consume... yet, if I take into account all the media I come into contact with or seek out on the regular--it tends to be mass media. I read Glamour, Women's Health, and the New York Times for most of my fluff-reading/fashion updates and news, respectively. I do not own a TV and do not plan on purchasing one. I don't watch a regular TV show online either, I have never been into watching TV because I'm really impatient with commercials and am always the one in the room saying things like "Why are they making people sit through this?"... and I annoy the crap out of my friends. So no TV for me. I believe that would be a counter-hegemonic way of using/not using media. I do analyze the media I consume, but some ideologies are ingrained in me so deeply that I often do not realize I am subscribing to them and truly, living them. For example, in the magazines I read, one cannot find an advertisement or article featuring an average-looking woman/man unless it is
A.) about becoming thinner (i.e. Molly's Weight Loss Success- from fat to FAB!)
B.) about how to dress your not-so-perfect shaped body.
The reiteration of how important it is to be thin and "stylish" and made up and young and fake..... yet I purchase these clothes, and I diet, and I buy from Sephora, and I think I have wrinkles.
I have to list Glamour's cover stories--
MEN TELL ALL--The #1 Thing He Craves in Bed Tonight Is.....
Could You Be making More $$$?
Your Weight--8 Foods that Keep you Full (And Thin) Plus the secret celeb butt workout
Free! The most popular beauty products in America
500 Fab Fall Outfits! How to Flatter your Shape
and of course..
It's Our September MEGA issue--Fashion, Beauty, Guys, Health, Celebs & Lots more

What more could a girl need to know, right? I think that is what the editors of Glamour want us to think to ourselves. *If I buy this magazine and purchase these products then I will be all of these things that are apparently important to my ideological happiness. * Hm.
One of the counter-hegemonic ways I use media is by being very informed on health issues. Ever since taking microbiology and anatomy and physiology courses I have been extremely aware of the ways in which mass media covers health in general. The coverage of such an important topic is so subjective and skewed a certain way it makes me sick. For example, in this same Glamour issue is a story about the Mirena intrauterine device (a contraceptive placed internally for women that contains hormones and lasts for 5 years). There is not a shred of information on the possible (and likely) bad side effects of this contraceptive, which are very present. In fact, none of the media or information readily available on this device explains the side effects that are most commonly associated with it. Probably because Mirena pays people off to advertise in their favor. The same goes for food ads, OTC/RX medication, health procedures. Our society places such high value on looking good and being healthy yet we consume products and employ information that is directly detrimental to this ideal... all because of capitalism and this idea of hegemony. I'm guilty of it, but I'll continue to work on that!

Entry 9-16

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As I think about the types of media I watch, I come to find that I am very much consumed with both. I love watching hegemonic shows but then I'm watching the counter-hegemonic ones also. I think that hegemonic television shows are clever with the way they present there information... (Encoding and Decoding) but what I don't understand with myself is why I continuously watch these shows. I have recently been obsessed with the Kardashian sisters and watch all of their spin offs. I totally understand that their show has no informational value to myself and is really not even that good, but I love watching their lives and how they live it. I fantasize and wish I could live a life like theirs and spend money without questions and get $2,000,000 engagement rings. Or like the Real Housewives of New Jersey and the amounts of money that are being wasted in those homes. And how us as consumers are encouraging them to live lives like that and continue to spend money on mink coats and Louis Viton heels. I know that I have used hegemonic media often in the things that I purchase for clothing or around my house. I asked for the Kardashian Sisters book about them because I was so intrigued with their lives, when they have really not done a lot in comparison to other famous people. I have found myself desiring the brand name clothing and items just because that is what is determining the "class" of people. If I look like I have a lot of money, I feel that people will think I have money and I will be okay, but in the long run I am a college student who is broke and has been taken over by the advertisements and Ideologies of the television shows that I watch every night. In all realities, I can not afford the clothing and dinning that other people can, but I feel that so many people are consumed with name brands because of what they are seeing on the television or in the magazines, they believe that is what they need to wear. Another show that I find myself watching without anyone knowing is 'Say Yes To The Dress'. This show is on TLC later on Friday nights. It is about women who are trying to find their perfect wedding dress in a high price salon in New York. There are woman on the show that are coming from all over the country to find a dress just from that store because it is on television. They could get the exact same dress at the stores in their state, but because it is a Klienfields dress it adds the value. That takes away the beauty of the dress and puts the ideology out there that because this dress is from that store, it is better and people will like it more. In all reality no one will ever know where the dress came from and why you go it. That is something that the media has put into young vulnerable brides minds like all the ideologies, that is making people think they need something but they really don't.

Hegemony Blog

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I watch a decent amount of TV i would say. And I believe I consume hegemonic media from the news more than anything else. When you watch things such as fox news you consume often Republican ideas and those viewpoints on certain issues that are meant to make an impression. You can then see such different ideas on other news sources. They always seem to take stances on reports versus simply reporting the news from a non-biased standpoint.
Commercials always seem to push an agenda on the audience as well. It is a pretty blatant attempt to push their product and I do not think the audience is oblivious to this fact. It is mainly through television that I do in fact consume media and hegemonic ideas.
Personally I cannot say as though I utilize hegemony through media, I never see something on television and think that I should do that or anything of that sort. However, I do hegemonically absorb news. I use information on the news when it comes to looking at products, understanding things that are occuring in the world, and even gaining information about potential candidates in elections.
I believe most everything on television is hegemonic. Everyone has an agenda and when they have a stage on which to present their ideas or push their issues, they are going to use what is at their disposal to do so. This is why those who have the most access to the media outlets are the most powerful people as they have the most power to sway the way people think and act.
On television programs they generally push ideals or values into the minds of their viewers. For instance on the television program Modern Family, meant to be a comedy, always portrays the importance of family. It also consistently points to the acceptance of gay people in the community. These values are strongly pushed onto the audience. I believe moral values are most commonly pushed onto viewers through television programs.

Hegemony Blog

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I am a very busy college student so I do not get to watch T.V. too often or listen to the radio, etc. But I do like to keep up with latest news, fashion, celebrity gossip, etc. So, when I am actively seeking to consume media, I usually find hegemonic media then search for the counterhegemonic message. However, I mainly find the former. I usually go online to watch everything from my favorite shows, (How I Met Your Mother) to watching the news online, and anything else. My guilty pleasure is Worldstar Hip Hop, which has some very cool/crazy/bizarre videos. While I am searching for the latest news or watching shows, which would mainly be hegemonic media, I always want to find out who is playing Devil's Advocate or who is against it. For example, recently, I watched the Miss Universe Pageant that was hosted in Sao Paulo, Brazil. As I was watching it, I thought to myself, wow these women are such great role models. They are so goal-oriented, they've got great stage presence, they want to improve the lives of others and they are all so gorgeous! That's the hegemonic message that the producers wanted people to think. However, soon enough, I found plenty of arguments of how the show was racist and all the women that were in the pageant had "western" features. Which basically said all the women, even though they were from different countries, had similar features to a white girl. The Asians, Africans, Latinas didn't look ethnic enough and many contestants weren't even born or don't even reside in the countries they represented. There were also speculations of Miss China being favored by one of the judges because she was seen having dinner with him a few days earlier. But I suppose, the pageant is sort of like a reality T.V. show, and you've always got to question, is it really real? However, there will never be a beauty pageant with "ugly", uneducated girls, which would be counterhegemonic to the Miss Universe Pageant.

I use hegemonic and counterhegemonic media for my own guilty pleasures and entertainment. No matter how much I don't want to fall for hegemonic messages, I've got to admit, it does make money and money makes the world go around. I love listening to all types of music, hegemonic or not. I think if you can't beat it, join it or utilize it to your own advantage. However, you should not lose a sense of who you are or who you want to be.

In the media I consume, the main theologies I see are that of the American Dream. People want to see the classic Cinderella story because many can relate to that. For example, LeBraun James was an ultimate icon for his city. He joined the Cavaliers right out of high school. It was where he grew up and he had the whole state of Ohio on his side. People wanted to see him to stay in Ohio and take a win for his hometown. However, when he decided to join the Miami heat, many people were against him and it was like he went against his own. LeBraun James is a counterhegemonic example of that type of hero that people wanted to see. And let's face it, when it comes down to the final game, he doesn't have the ability for the clutch to win it all, as a Cavalier or with the Heat. ;)

Blog #1

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Last night as I was watching TV with my roommate, a commercial came on with a doctor talking about things that are bad for your teeth. As she was explaining the activities, I found myself saying "Yup, I do these things." Then she went on to show a picture of teeth that had depleted enamel from the things she mentioned and what could happen in you were to carry on without protecting your teeth enamel. I remember thinking, "Ah, this is me! Enamel doesn't come back? My teeth might look like that? I need this product!" Then I said to myself, this is exactly what we were talking about in class. I just accepted the dominant view the company and all of its marketers wanted me to. I had not done any research or had any idea if I even needed their product, yet felt compelled to purchase it because they had encoded that without their product, I would end up like that picture, with a nasty mouth full of nasty teeth. It made me wonder about all the different kinds of media I get every day and do not sit down to dissect.
I definitely consume both hegemonic and counterhegemonic media. I feel like a walking paradox, because I would call myself a feminist and yet I really enjoy a lot of music and television that is hegemonic and sometimes degrading. My mother would often hear the lyrics of the music I played at home, and say how horrid the lyrics were, but I just responded by saying that it was music and not to get so worked up. However, she had a point because within this music, are indeed messages of male superiority and dominance. One song that is an example of this is the song "Don't Trust Me" by 3Oh!3. The singer is talking about how this girl wants to get with him, but you can "never trust a ho". Near the end of the song they start chanting "Shush girl, shut your lips, do the Helen Keller, and talk with your hips." The interesting thing is that myself, my cousins, my friends all sing this song and it is completely normal. We are often desensitized and have consented to a dominant hegemonic ideology.
One show I have recently fallen in love with is RuPaul's Drag U. I would consider this show to be counterhegemonic as it consists of a bunch of drag queen's teaching women how to be more confident by transforming them into drag queens. It is all about empowerment of individuals, both the drag queens who get to do what they love and be themselves, and the women who they are helping. It is not your typical make-over show, because it focuses on inner self beauty and believing in yourself and simply owning who you are. Who better to teach lessons like that then a group of drag queens?
Another one of my favorite shows is millionaire matchmaker. Patty, the matchmaker, is constantly exclaiming ideologies of traditional gender roles in society. When she is matching heterosexual couples, she always makes the man plan the date, no matter who the millionaire is, because that is his job. In one episode a woman worked as a florist and thought it would be nice to bring flowers to her date. Patty took her aside and screamed at her "This is why you are single, let the man be the man!" I remember being completely taken aback by this statement, because she so deeply believes in her ideology that the man's role is to buy things for the woman and this should not change or you will be single and alone.
I watch a lot of TV and listen to a lot of music and looking for things like certain hegemonic ideologies is not something you necessarily think to do while kicking back and relaxing watching your favorite program or listening to music. As a consumer you need to be constantly aware of what media you are exposed to and what the information the people behind it would like you to gather from it. Whether it be subtle or overt, messages are being projected at us every which way. It is up to us as the consumers how we wish to decode them, and I am slowly beginning to take the time to assess the media I consume.

Blog Response 9/16

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Because of the volume of hegemonic media that is produced these days, I would have to say that I consume more hegemonic media. I have a few television shows that I watch pretty mindlessly. With these shows, I am shamefully aware that I am being manipulated, but like most people, I normally choose not to think too deeply on the matter.
I have noticed the majority of prime time shows have fairly equal amounts of hegemonic and idealistic material. The shows themselves do not differ greatly from one another in general. They are similar in casting, story line and theme. I notice if you flip through the channels during the week, you will most likely find a number of cop dramas, doctor dramas and undoubtedly a comedy in which a couple and maybe some single friends, are humorously trying to navigate the rocky road of relationships and/or babies. I think one of the hegemonic aspects of these shows is, yes they are on different network, but they are all essentially the same. They are all preaching the same ideologies. I also know that the majority of doctors and cops portrayed in the dramas on television are either ruggedly handsome and in shape or very attractive women who are equally in shape. Both look great in a uniform and whatever baggage they accumulate from their stressful yet rewarding jobs almost always makes them a better person. These are some core ideologies that the media is streaming. Everywhere you look you see and hear things that are telling women and men to be more attractive, younger, and skinnier. If you have a tragic past, it should make you a better person and if not, there is a prescription drug for that.
Even with all the hegemonic ways I consume media, I do also use it in counter- hegemonic ways. For example, Sesame Street is a great show for kids, totally hegemonic. Sometimes I like to go on YouTube and watch the funny videos of Sesame street characters doing and saying inappropriate things. I think you tube is a great way to contradict the intentions of certain media. Auto Tune the News is also a great thing on YouTube to counter act the intended message of the media. The great thing about it is it does it without changing a word. If you haven't ever seen it, you should definitely check it out.
In conclusion, I would say my intake of hegemonic and counter hegemonic material is probably less than equal, being probably that I consume more hegemonic material through unintentional osmosis and in my daily life there is just more of it.

Blog Response

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I tend to consume more hegemonic media. The ways I use media is mostly through television. The shows I watch definitely lean towards hegemony. One of my favorite shows in particular that I think is hegemonic is Criminal Minds. As Lull stated, "Hegemony is the power or dominance that one social group holds over others," and I believe Criminal Minds shows that definition. The show speaks that if you commit a crime, you will be caught. Also, the show's main characters mostly consist of dominant men. One of my favorite movies, "The Blindside" I believe is also hegemonic. That movie deals a lot with social class and what people truly do think about today's society.

An ideology that I see being perpetuated in the media I consume is that women are damsels in distress. Another ideology I see being perpetuated is the American Dream. Most of the movies I watch tend to have goal-oriented people who try to gain what the United State's Society claims appropriate. Society tends to force certain thoughts upon us and although people say money is not everything, in many aspects it is. In the Blindside, the upper class family does not have many issues at all and it shows them being content. These values are always coming towards us and it makes many people thirsty to succeed in their lives. As much as people would like to say that the media has no effect on them, I truly think that it is hard to break away from the constant "expectations" or the norm. Is the "norm" really what everyone thinks it is, or all we all just nodding our heads because "it sounds right" or "that's what people say is right, so it must be"? I think today's society tends to lack in allowing individuals to formulate opinions in some areas because in many ways it is already done for us.

My style of music is also hegemonic and very safe. I typically listen to acoustic music like Ray LaMontagne , Jack Johnson, or Amos Lee. They usually stay within boundaries that do not make people jump to their feet with head-turner reactions. Their songs are simple and light such as Jack Johnson's, "Better Together".

Although I typically stay on the safe side with all types of media, sometimes I do listen to rap and I think that is an example of counterhegemonic media. Certain rappers tend to push the envelope on what they think about society. A certain song I remember that caused a lot of controversy was Brother Ali's, "Uncle Sam Goddamn". Brother Ali does not sugarcoat any of his thoughts and he's not afraid to push his them onto others.

Given the pluralistic society that I live in, I think I am a consumer of both hegemonic and counterhegemonic news media. Let me commence by commenting on the hegemonic media that I have been consuming and always do. The first example is the recent controversial healthcare reform bill undertaken by the Obama administration in Washington, D.C. The various mainstream media that have been showing strong support for such a reform bill controversially called the "Obama-care" by opponents of the healthcare reform bill that has already been passed in Congress, are in essence hegemonically supporting the government. I have watched MSNBC's "The Ed Show", "The Rachel Maddow Show" and even Chris Matthew's "Hardball".
One thing I see them do is a continuous rebroadcast of these shows with supports and advocacy for the healthcare reform bill without active and continuous education and evaluation of what the bill is all about and its implications. Even CNN's Wolf Blitzer in "The Situation Room" and Anderson Cooper's "AC360" have had personal comments and opinions, rather than researched, and investigated news stories, reporting hegemonically supporting the government .In most cases when I see such hegemonic media items, I consume them as information-gatherer (whether they are accurate or inaccurate), a critic of the news items or an admirer of them.
Most often than not, I tend to consume them with a critical mind rather than information-seeking mind. After I do, I listen to, watch news broadcast, or read websites of other competing international broadcasters like the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), or even Radio France International (RFI); and compare what I have listened to on America's Mainstream media. I tend to see and read more credible and researched news items about us on international media than on our local American media.
Not surprisingly, I have consumed and still am consuming more counterhegemonic news items from FOX's News especially since this president has moved to the White House than any other mainstream media that I know in America. It has been and continues to be counterhegemonic in media when FOX News have been documenting, opinionating and questioning, sometimes by way of verbal tantrums, the government's involvement in healthcare overhaul and inference that we are reeling into socialism.
In all of this, the ideologies that I see on display are in the forms of "wake-up" calls to action, call for change that can "better our country", "reclaiming our American Dream", " Change we can believe it" and many others. But I think it's a good and a bad thing to have both worlds. Good because it helps me (and some others) have a clearer understanding of how we imperfect humans, like nation states have our own individual interests and we can and would do anything humanly possible to protect those interests. Bad because it sometimes leads (and in most cases, to suppression of press freedom, and free speech in authoritarian regimes) to lack of trust and credibility from the consuming general public.

blog question answer

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I believe I equally consume hegemonic and nonhegamonic media. First most of the media that I interact with tends to be anime cartoons and American entertainment tv shows. The anime cartoons tend to be nonhegamonic in respect to it is of another nationality and there for not being controlled or heavily influenced my the ideals of the government which I live in and tends to be much more critical and willing to addressing how the united states seems to be over milleritrized and seems to interject in places they should not. For example in the anime Code Geass Britten had taken over the US and was using the expressed over abundant military supplies that where acquired from there to attempt to take over the rest of the world and although the us had been taken over it was still subtle expressing how they thought the united states had an over active and oversized military. That being the opposite of what people see at the movie theater before the film and the National Guard and Army are playing their commercials about being an army of one. Where as the other TV shows I watch like fringe, is close to the opposite in respect to the government has created an agency that is trying to protect the people unknown terrorist organization in the first season, having a very hegemonic view making the government ideals the heist priority and portraying the government as infallible in its efforts to protect the people that live in the united states. And although both are fictional stories they allow the viewers to fantasize that the government conducts itself in the mannerisms described.

Blog Prompt- Response

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When I think about media, I think about how much media we consume each day. In the last 24 hours, I have consumed media through television, radio, magazines, and the Internet. I watched one my favorite shows on TV, listened to music all day, read a magazine, and used social media sites online. Through all of these media sources, I would consider the media I consumed to be hegemonic, with aspects of counter hegemony.

I'll start with the Glamour magazine I read at work. Throughout the entire magazine there are constant messages of what is in fashion, what is beauty, how you should look, dress, and act. There is still the ideology that skinny is pretty, long hair is more beautiful, you need perfect skin, and need to be at your ideal weight. All of which I have probably been guilty of consenting to at some point.

Then I watched the TV show Parenthood, on NBC. It is a show about a family in California; the grandparents, their 4 children, and the grandchildren and how the family works as a whole. The show emphasizes the conflicts each of the kids have, typical struggles in marriages and relationships, and also in teens and children. The passive ideologies in this show exude an emphasis on family roles, and the stereotypical image of each character. There is a single mother, who's ex husband is an alcoholic. Her daughter is a rebellious teen who is against going to college and wants to live on her own. She would be an example of a counter-hegemonic aspect of the show because she is resistant to the idea that all high school graduates should go to college. Then there is the ideal suburban family whose daughter starts to date an African American boy who is an alcoholic and then gets arrested for assault. The son, who is Autistic, is a constant struggle in the family because they are trying to learn and adapt to his needs. The show really focuses on the idea of family and the ideological importance that through all the hardships, they stick together.

After I watched this TV show, I went online to check my social media sites. On Facebook, there is a constant hegemonic ideal being displayed. Everyone wants to look like they are living that "perfect" life. From status updates, to pictures, to wall posts, to their friends- we are trying to portray that our life is everything we are told it should be. A ruling class of sorts (the idea of hegemony) is reiterated on Facebook because most people you see are going to college, traveling or studying abroad, are in a loving and happy relationship (or want to be), had the best weekend ever which you get to see through pictures, got a great new job, new house, etc. These are all ideas that we ourselves did not construct, but are consenting to. These ideologies of being educated, traveled, and successful is dominating.

When I was finished online, I listened to my Pandora radio station for country music, which I love. Country music is a great example of hegemonic media because almost every song that played, the lyrics spoke about a girl and boy in love, being betrayed by someone they love, ideas of the American dream, and being young, wild, and carefree. For example, in Carrie Underwood's song All American Girl, there are several ideologies being expressed (these are emphasized if you watch the music video too). One idea is that the All American Girl falls for the All American boy, who is the captain of the football team. This is a common ideology being that football is the all-American sport, and the popular boy in school plays sports and is good looking, emphasizing that an all American boy must be outdoorsy and masculine. Then there is the ideology of the all-American girl who is blonde blue eyed and loves pink.

There are many more hegemonic and ideological values I found in my everyday media, however these were the ones that stood out. It's amazing that only after two weeks in media literacy class, how much more I notice about the media I am consuming.

Blog Prompt - Matthew Rubbelke

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I believe I watch a lot of television and some movies with hegemonic traits taking place. I do like to think that I try to get a healthy dose of each though somehow in my life through articles on the web and other movies. When I talk about movies, I watch most movies out there. I do not have a preference of type because I like to sit and down and analyze every movie. Whenever I know a good movie with a good plot is taking place. I will go and see it because I enjoy those types of movie. Movies with hidden messages about deeper meanings are movies I love to analyze. I do, however, like to watch movies where they are stupid and demeaning. Anchorman, Superbad, American Pie, etc. These movies are hilarious to me but they do make women look like the lesser sex because the males see them as objects instead of actual people. Anchorman is not that bad but the whole movie reiterates the fact that women cannot be a lead anchor. Superbad has 2 geeky kids doing whatever it takes from them to get laid. American Pie, they make an oath to get laid at the beginning before they go off to college. They all have a good ending, like women can do what men can and women are actual human beings too. I consider to watch hegemonic media but try to get a dose of counterhegemonic in my life as well by reading articles about fairness in equality and such like that.

A lot of Ideologies that take place in movies are the current one we face today in society. Race, Gender, Class, and more. One that really bothers me is television shows about beauty and self-image. Extreme makeover: cut your face off edition and the biggest loser are just two that really upset me. People thinking they need to restructure their face because it will make them "beautiful" is pathetic. I have mentioned biggest loser before about how they portray these obese people on the show that have had a tough life so they can get the pity factor to the show. They cry about how life has treated them unfairly and they deserve to be skinny. Then they show them how to lose weight that is very unrealistic. No way in the real world are you going to be able to take care of your kids, go to work, clean and what not and still workout and eat the same foods on the show. The ideology of beauty is on the outside is one you see a lot in pop culture. You even see it with movie stars. It is hard to name one off the top of you head. Even Jennifer Hudson (American Idol loser and Academy Award winner), a female with an above average weight as even lost weight so she could be more marketable. I understand to lose weight to make yourself healthy but to do it because society tells you too is a different story.

How often do you see a black man in charge on a network show? Very rarely and if they do, they have a white male counterpart considered the same level as them. You even see it in sports. White athletes are considered naturals and praised for their talent but black athletes are mostly considered to be blessed to be in sports and that it is a "natural" talent for them. Racism is everywhere in media culture. Class is another huge ideology. Whenever you watch the news or something lower class people are never portrayed in a positive light unless they have moved up a class. Gunshot in this neighborhood and robbery in this lower class community and then in this upper class area, local town has a blood drive. Lower class are depicted as worthless until they make something of themselves like a rags to riches type of story. They know that will sell because everyone is looking for a feel good story and want some own hope for them. Gender is the biggest one I mentioned earlier. Women are not considered equals in todays media. Women are depicted as sex symbols instead of people. It is starting to get better by having television shows with lead women actresses and movies too but overall women are just feeling the wrath of men in media imagery, which I hope changes very soon.

Blog Answer

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I believe I tend to lean towards the counterhegemonic media.
For counterhegemonic media, I like to watch and/or read different media that contain more of the strong, smart, levelheaded women instead of the stereotypical damsel in distress. I get extremely annoyed whenever I watch a Korean drama that many of my peers love to watch. Usually the Korean drama has the typical bad girl that just antagonizes the main character constantly, the main girl character who acts like a pure innocent naïve girl. The constant melodrama and misunderstanding just gets me irritated even though it's extremely popular to watch among many girls that I know. I tend to enjoy superhero movies that have a guy who is cocky, well toned, and have a nice face, for example the movie Iron Man. I know that if I ever meet a cocky type of guy in reality, I would either ignore him or just stare at him strangely, but when it comes to movies the cocky attitudes gives out a comical sense instead of showing power and confident.
There is also this one TV show called "Modern Family", which does contain both counterhegemonic and hegemonic. In the comedy "Modern Family" it has a rich man who already had grandchildren, named Jay, get married to a hot woman who is about the same age as his children, named Gloria. Jay's daughter thought that Gloria was a gold digger and disliked her at first. But when she found out that Gloria is extremely loyal to the people she care for, willing to give up any luxury to stay with her husband, and actually fell in love, she started trusting her new "mother-in-law" but not as a mother but more like a friend. This counters the idea that when an older rich man gets married to a very beautiful woman who is at least a generation younger than he is, the woman must be after the money. The other example has Jay's son who is gay, he has a partner and they both adopted a baby girl. Showing the counterhegemonic fact that there is a gay couple raising a child together.
In "Modern Family", there are many hegemonic scenes. One of Jay's granddaughters is the most popular girl in school and she's pretty but not intelligent while her younger sister is extremely smart but is constantly called a nerd by her peers. In the show, the gay couple tends to be feminine by their actions and words.

One of the media I tend to consume is video games. In the news or classes there's the one subject that comes up in mind is do video games influence violent behaviors? There is so much talk about that topic and many times when there is some sort of shoot out in a school, the perpetrator used to play violent video games. But there is some people who question about that, they often ask if violent video games actual help release stress or does it help people feel more compassionate about lives. With these other variables hanging in the air, I believe that violence and video games is one ideology that is perpetuated in the media I consume.

Weekly Blog Response

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I feel that I consume a good mixture of both hegemonic and counterhegemonic media. Let me first start out with movies. One of my favorite movies is the Blindside, which is a good example of hegemonic. If we look at the characters in the movie they fit the perception of what society thinks a family should be. Tim McGraw, who plays that Dad, is the breadwinner of the family. Sandra Bullock, who plays the Mom, is your typical house wife. She takes care of the kids, does the laundry and goes out for an afternoon brunch with her rich friends. The kids are your "perfect kids", they don't do anything wrong and always listen to everything their parents have to say. I have to wonder though if Sandra's character could be considered somewhat counterhegemonic, yes she did everything that is expected of a house wife however, she tends to not let people push her around. Throughout the movie she was very opinionated and was not afraid to let people know it. She wasn't a pretty face that just sat back and let people have their way with her. She stood up to others, even the men, which is not typical of female characters.

I would have to say the music I listen to is counterhegemonic media. I seem to listen to artists that push the envelope and gets people's attention through their lyrics. The first song that comes to mind is Katy Perry's "I kissed a girl". When that song was released the public was out raged because of the message they thought it would be sending to young kids. It's not what people consider to be appropriate because of the particular standards we have set for our society. But now if you look at an artist like Taylor Swift, she is the definition of hegemonic media. She never crosses a line that makes people turn their heads, her music is very safe, it seems to be all about a young girls fantasy. She sees a boy she likes and by the end of the song she has him. Taylor's image is very girl next door unlike Katy Perry who's hair is always a different color, she wears clothe that make people think "what the hell?" She's always trying to reinvent herself unlike Taylor whose image is always the same.

A lot of the ideologies I see through my media is wanting to be a part of the American dream. For example, the Blindside, they are an upper class family that drives nice cars, sends their kids to top of the line schools and has a very expensive house. Money is not an issue for them. It seems like this is what people value in life. Maybe not to be loaded with money but we all strive to be successful in our own way so we can have nice things and not have to worry about how we are going to pay the bills. These values and beliefs are constantly being reinforced through movies like this one. I find it's hard to escape because the media is telling us this is what we should have.

Response- Week 9/13 and 9/15

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To begin this assignment I started off by making a list of my top ten favorite shows to watch. In doing so, I have been able to look and objectively analyze my favorite shows. (Please don't judge me based off them)
1. Law and Order: SVU, I think this show is definitely hegemonic. The victims are all women, children, and homosexuals; while the men are tough cops. The show is slightly counter hegemonic with Olivia being a badass female cop and the tough male cops also have a sensitive side, especially when Elliot gets to talking about his kids.
2. Degrassi perpetuates all the high school clichés with the popular kids, the geeks, and the Goths. They make attempts at controversy by the cheerleader getting pregnant and the football star getting in gang fights.
3. Jersey Shore is the definition of a walking hegemonic media example, the men are ripped strong and the girls are dramatic.
4. The Daily Show is definitely counter hegemonic; the entire show is making a mockery of our current news system. Enough said
5. Project Runway follows the status quo the majority of the time; there is very rarely a straight man as a contestant on the show. Along with that, the models are normally dressed in small tight cloths and when the clothes are loose they are either boyfriend pant or grandpa sweater. They are counter hegemonic with the fact that most of the contestants are underdogs in life but they are able to come on the show and be appreciated for what they can do.
6. Toddlers in Tiaras, is a ridiculous show, and it completely embraces the idea that women and girls are suppose to be prissy in pink. All the little girls are learning at a young age that all you have to do is whine to get what you want.
7. Criminal Minds is hegemonic in the sense that if you are bad and commit a crime you will be caught; unfortunately that is not always the case. There are only two hardcore chicks on the show, and one was assault and one was killed off, showing that women just can't protect themselves.
8. Always Sunny in Philadelphia is counter hegemonic to the maximum; there is no topic that they will not make an episode about. With episodes called "The Gang Finds a Dumpster Baby," "Sweet Dee is dating a Retarded person," "Who Pooped the Bed," and "The Gang Gets Racists," this is made very clear. Dee is always chasing a man and Denis is a complete womanizer, which is pretty hegemonic.
9. True Life, this show dives deep into the "true lives" of the people on it. It is very good at demonstrating that everyone, even those who fit in the hegemonic society, has very counter hegemonic things going on in life and not everyone can fit into a cookie cutter.
10. Scrubs is a little bit of both. The geek, JD, is always getting girls with his fumbling cute demeanor which is counter hegemonic. Most of the doctors are men and the two female ones are given a bad name. Elliot is a ditsy blonde who got most of her schooling paid for by daddy and Dr. Maddox is a complete bitch, which is hegemonic.

I guess I tend consume more hegemonic media. The media I consume perpetuates the idea that ALL men need to be sex hungry and chasing women. Most of the shows perpetuate that women are damsels in distress. I do like a touch of sarcasm and satire in my viewing which allows me to get away from hegemonic society. My shows perpetuate the ideals of the patriarchal society that the United States tends to demonstrate.

Responding to Semantics

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It's interesting that Sematics brought the fact to light that non of the main stream media go in-depth into the new heath care bill. If, they are a "conservative" station they mostly oppose the bill, however, if the broadcaster is a "liberal" station they are generally in favor of the bill. We do not really see a middle ground until we view outside main stream media sources. Where they actually describe what the bill entails and give us a retrospect on how this bill effects America.

I found it interesting that Fox News could be seen as counterhegemonic. It's a "conservative" station that is syndicated on cable television in a media landscape that has be described as "liberal". However, when one takes the medium of radio into consideration. That particular medium has been described as "conservative". Could a more frequent listener of radio see a "liberal" radio channel as counterhegemonic in this regard?


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Reply to this entry with your DQs.

Also, check it out! Stuart Hall just wrote a new piece on the ideology of neoliberalism.

I know the stuff we read of his is rather old, so wanted to show you something more recent he did.

See you tomorrow!

Hegemonic Society

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I would like to believe that I consume more counterhegemonic media than hegemonic. However, I cannot force myself to believe that counterhegemonic media dominates my consumption. Reading a certain literary book that goes against a generally held belief in society could be seen as counterhegemonic. However, the author of the book may have created a persona within their writings that does not reflect their true views. While at the same time the book was published from a billion dollar agency that would be consider a "ruling class". Therefore the intent of the literature might be counterhegemonic, however, the author and publishing company turn the medium itself into a hegemonic source.

Music is another way that I consume media. Although, I like to listen to all forms of music from classical to heavy metal I would like to think some of my choices in music are counterhegemonic. When we here commercial music Popular, Rock, Hip-hop, I believe our initial reaction to the music is that the music itself is going against societies values and that therefore the artist or artists of the music must be counterhegemonic. However, I would disagree that any mass-distributed music is counterhegemonic.

I really liked Lull's reference to Rock and Hip-hop music as counterhegemonic. These forms of music were created to conflict with society. The musicians do not smile in photography. They have tattoos and piercings all over their bodies to show they do not follow "Corporate America's" clean and proper image. They do not wear suits and ties or business skirts. They instead wear tank tops, leather spandex, and face paint. Their hair is not properly cut or is very long. At the initial beginning of these genres they were meant as a social rebellion or an anti-hegemonic movement. However, now that these artists seem to be multiplying and the genres are mass-distributed they do not seem to be counterhegemonic media.

These genres seem to be more of a fabrication today. If, one is a fan of Eminem or Marilyn Manson they may think that they naturally fit the type of a Rock or Hip-Hop star. However, it seems that they have created a persona with their music that may not necessarily reflect their true values with a similar fashion to the author of an anti-hegemony book released by a billion dollar publisher. These musicians are able to release their albums through giant record labels such as Universal. Therefore the music we listen to may seem counterhegemonic, however, it's not counterhegemonic.

The ideologies of popular music seem to fit the plot of the musical genres which we consume. The ideologies for my favorite genres of music would be seen as counterhegemonic. Popular music's ideologies of partying and dancing at a nightclub do not seem to follow normal society. Rock music with load guitar riffs and "dark" looking musicians does not follow society. Hip-hop with loud bass and angry lyrics also do not follow society. However, billion dollar record industries have managed to mass-market, distribute, and sell all of these genres. Therefore, they are not counterhegemonic. The most counterhegemonic band one can see is playing at a downtown nightclub and they only perform for enjoyment, not for financial gain. I have never been, however, I want to go to this nightclub!

Phone Story

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A possible text to analyze. An iPhone app which exposes the "dark side" of your phone (if you look closely, you will notice one of the app's photos is referencing the factory suicides I talked about last week).
I heard the Yes Men are behind this (a group we may discuss during Culture Jamming).

If this strikes your fancy, let me know. Would love to read an analysis on this.

See you Thursday!

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In talking about hegemonies, Lull brings up the point that through their control of mass media markets, certain groups have the control to get their messages out and in a sense control the way the public thinks through their consumption of this media. But with all the different corporations with multiple views and interests on issues that have access to media outlets, doesn't it appear as though consumers of the media often get both sides of every argument or issue? And if different views of an issue are not directly given to them is it the responsibility of the consumers to critically analyze the media which they are consuming?

Post your DQ here for the readings due to Tuesday.

You must leave a comment on this post by Monday at 6 p.m. to receive credit.
You can post one on Wednesday for Thursday's readings.



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Due by 6 p.m. on Friday Sept. 16
Roughly 500 words

Please answer the following questions:
Do you tend to consume more hegemonic or counterhegemonic media? In what ways do you use media in hegemonic and counterhegemonic ways? What ideologies do you see being perpetuated in the media you consume? Give examples for all your answers (at least one per answer).


If you would like to post a DQ for tomorrow, please do so here (leave a comment). Totally optional, but would be good to see what questions you all have before class.

See you tomorrow. Enjoy the weather!



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Welcome to Media Literacy. I am excited to teach this class and to get to know everyone as the semester progresses. We will be using this blog in three ways. 1. You will be posting a discussion question (DQ) once a week about the readings; 2. You will be posting a blog post once a week in response to a prompt I provide; and 3. You will be responding to one of your peer's blog posts once a week (this peer can, and should, rotate).

You can expect me to create a DQ entry a day before class in which you will leave a comment with your DQ for the week. I will make a DQ entry on Monday and Wednesday, but this can be changed per class request.

You can expect me to create a blog prompt each Monday for you to respond to by that Friday. Blog prompts will vary throughout the semester. One week I may ask you to watch a short video and apply the readings to the media or I may ask your opinion on a controversial element of our class. The purpose of the blog posting is to keep you writing, keep you thinking, and allow another way to share your thoughts and opinions.

You should get in the habit quickly of checking this blog often. It should become part of your internet routine, if you have one (i.e. check email, check Facebook, check class blog, check bank account). Due to the large amount of participants on this blog, content will change fast.

Lastly, feel free to share this blog with anyone you like. We will be talking about some interesting things on here that your friends and family may want to discover. This blog is a public publication.

Looking forward to the semester.


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