October 2011 Archives

Make up from 10/20

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From what I have heard about the speaker who came to class on Thursday, I am really sad I missed it. I was gone because I am a part of a student organization called Students Today Leaders Forever. One big thing that we do is take students on volunteer trips called Pay If Forward Tours. I was leading a High School tour that Wednesday through Sunday, and while on it I ended up thinking of our Media Literacy class far more than expected. Before I left, Melody asked if we would be dealing with any media and I said no because nothing came directly to mind. Once on the trip I realized that the things we learn about in class are unavoidable and can be found anywhere.
The first place where class came up was an activity called "Bus Idol". People get up and do a karaoke performance for the bus, usually while listening to the song in their iPod and projecting their voice into the bus radio. As students were coming up to sing, I found myself analyzing their songs and the messages I was taking from the lyrics. One song that ended up becoming a bus anthem was the Disney song "I'll make a man out of you" from Mulan. I had probably belted that song 20 times prior to hearing it on the bus, and had never thought about what it says. One of the first line of the song says "did they send me daughters when I asked for sons?" alluding to that they were "sissy", and not masculine because they were not good soldiers. It says that you do not possess the "strength of a raging fire", there is something wrong and you are not a "real" man. This song is problematic and in regards to gender roles, placing a narrow definition on what a man should be.
My bus ended up getting stuck in a Disney rut and yet another Mulan song came up. In "girl worth fighting for" the soldiers talk about what kind of woman they want. Some of them mention, good cook, or someone to adore their battle scars, but no one talks about personality or substance of their ideal partner. When Mulan attempts to bring this point up saying "How 'bout a girl who has a brain, who always speaks her mind?", the men respond with a quick "Nah". Through these songs I have realized what a strange case Mulan is in relation to gender roles and representation. She is a strong woman, fighting for her family and country, and has to deal with a lot of negative gender ideologies along the way. Ultimately the movie shows the power a woman can have, but these songs display a mentality that is extremely prevalent and perpetuates gender norms in order to get there.
In addition to these songs, Melody's lecture from Tuesday came up also. I'm sure I had heard the term "no homo" before class, but never was conscious of its use in society. While on this trip, a bunch of boys from the other bus became very close and were all spooning one another while in our celebration city. Immediately after they get up, one of them says "no homo". I immediately thought of class, and was glad to be able to enlighten this student as to the reasons not to say this.

Blog prompt for this week.

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And back to regular scheduled blogging.

You have two options for this this week:
1. You may post a 500-word analysis of the print ad you brought to class on Tuesday using the terminology we learn in the Williams reading
OR
2. You may post a 500-word response to "Killing Us Softly," which we will watch on Thursday.

Post DQs for Tuesday here.

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Thanks.

READING FOR THURSDAY

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Edit: Link e-mailed to you!


http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/the_book_club/features/2005/pornified_and_female_chauvinist_pigs/is_porn_really_transforming_our_sex_lives.html

Like I mentioned in class, this blog conversation has 6 entries--which is a lot of reading. Try to read at least two, whatever two most interest you.

Thanks!

Hi all,
So check this out! My co-worker just forwarded me this blog post about porn, pornified culture, femininity, and being sex-positive. It focuses a lot on how and why women dress the way they do. It is, at times, like our class all rolled up into one blog post. I would highly suggest reading it--I may even assign it to my next victims students in the Spring. I am happy though, that you can actually follow along with this debate now (whether it is worth your time is up to you). Would love to hear your thoughts, as always.

http://www.feminisms.org/3765/on-sex-positivity-and-misunderstandings/

Post Thursday DQs here!

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Thanks.

Also, congrats on last week's DQs---all of you submitted one. It is a record!
Don't forget about responding to your peers' blog posts. Statistically, that is the one that has the most missing from y'all

Racist Halloween

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Another point of discussion with Halloween; class content should give you some insight into this, perhaps.

racist halloween.jpg

NO BLOG PROMPT THIS WEEK

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Take a break, will ya?

We will resume blogs next week.

Post Tuesday DQs here

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Thank you!

KB Poster.pdf


Per our ongoing discussion of queer lives, intersectionality, and trans media representations--Kay Barrett's visit is all too fitting for our class. I highly suggest checking this out as a form of media (poetry, spoken word) that is truly counterhegemonic.

More details in the PDF attached here. Their talk is Nov. 16th!

Blog Post 6

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When I read Halberstam's article on transgender/transsexual people, I was confused with the way they kept calling these people "fluid." After Remy's lecture, I understood it a little better. He explained how transsexual people "flow" outside of the traits of someone of a specific sexuality. I thought it was very interesting how Remy thought transsexual people "transcended" the boundaries of specific sexuality, which is what I think Halberstam was talking about in their article. It's interesting how both of them talked about transgender people as though they were superhuman. The fact that Remy had a name for people like me, "cisgender" made it seem like I wasn't taking advantage of my potential. I don't have a problem with this, it is just a new and very different point of view I haven't been exposed to before.
I thought another interesting part of Remy's lecture was the different genders people are born with. I always knew about the variations apart from XY (ex: XXY, X, XYY), but I guess I never thought about how a person born with a different gender would be affected. Knowing about that makes transgender people seem more relatable. I always thought of them as sort of "alien" compared to "normal" people who stuck with the gender they were born with. After Remy's lecture, I feel like I'm more open-minded toward transgender/transsexual people.

blog respons 10/22

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1. What surprised you about the lecture and info you gathered from Remy's talk?
2. How did Remy tie Halberstam's theory into his talk?
3. What themes from our course thus far did you see weaving through our discussion on transgender media reps?
4. What are some other transgender media reps that we could have discussed? Talk a bit about the rep.
5. What is the most important thing you are taking away from Remy's visit?

I was surprised about how so many things go in to the classifications of gender, sex, and sexuality, before I know about the different types of genetic things like chromosomes xx, xy, xxy, xyy, xo, and so on but other than that I never really thought about the other things that went in to gender, sex, and sexuality. He tied in the reading with the transgender gaze and we also looked at the film boys don't cry to really get a visual about what Halberstam was talking about, and how that differs from the male and female gaze. That it is head for them to get good media depictions and that a lot of the stereotypes are just grossly over played and not accurate. We could have talked about how the trans gender is represented in nip tuck the tv show. In one of the seasons the son of one of the doctors falls in love with a transsexual and dose not find out till later in the season and becomes very distraught and this encounter leads him to committing a hate crime on a different transgender. I think this media could have been critiqued about how people react to different circumstances that happen and also it would give us a chance to talk about the different types of stereotypes about them and much like what Remy said that there is not just one surgery. The most important thing I received from Remys talk was there is and will always be a lot I am ignorant of and because of that I need to listen and learn before I judge or act.

Austin Enoch

Blog Response to Remy

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1. What surprised you about the lecture and info you gathered from Remy's talk?
2. How did Remy tie Halberstam's theory into his talk?
3. What themes from our course thus far did you see weaving through our discussion on transgender media reps?
4. What are some other transgender media reps that we could have discussed? Talk a bit about the rep.
5. What is the most important thing you are taking away from Remy's visit?


"You learn something new everyday" is the best way to describe how I felt after leaving Remy's lecture. I have to admit I have not had many courses with discussions of transgender and the ones that I have had did not go into much detail. It is always refreshing to learn something new that is interesting to talk about. What surprised me most was my lack of knowledge that Remy addressed on the biology human beings. Discussions on the combinations of chromosomes was something I have never even heard of before and I believe that information is important for everyone to know. His discussion as it related to Halberstam was also interesting as he tied in the gazes of transgender, male, and female. I would say one theme that we have discussed in class that related to this discussion would be the representation of counterhegemonic media. Something I thought about after the discussion was that I have been exposed to transgender media in another class. It was actually a spanish class and we watched a movie focused on a transgender relationship. My spanish teacher said that there are a number of films addressing transgender in spanish films. It is interesting that different cultures might view transgender as not so counterhegemonic. It would be interesting to dig deeper into the reason of why that may be. Additionally, I traveled abroad to Brazil in 2008. While I was there I had the chance to experience the night life and I was exposed, in the location I was living, to transgender, transvestites, and people in the process of being transexual. I had discussions on this while I was there and I was told that it was very common in their culture. Pimping was also very popular there, which was extremely eye opening to me as I have never been exposed to that other than watching a Snoop Dogg music video. The most important thing that I took away from Remy's lecture was that up to this point I have not been exposed to as detailed knowledge on the subject despite being exposed to it in life. The lecture was very well articulated and gave me a better understanding. But there is always more to learn and with anything it is important to avoid ignorance at all costs if you want to be a well rounded person.

The Remy Prompt

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1. I guess I had learned about the other chromosomal match ups in high school, but it is something you learn and forget. I was also shocked at how common it really is. I was also surprised that there isn't a straight up definition for transgender and transsexual.
2. Remy died the trans gaze into his lecture, first by defining it. Also he was able to offer a new perspective on the trans gaze, that as reader, I didn't see.
3. The idea of counterhegemonic media can be greatly seen in our trans conversation, and in the films talked about in the reading. Also looking at our discussions on masculinity and feminity it is interesting to relate those concepts to the ideas learned in our trans discussion. Also looking at the medias spoken about it is difficult for me at least to find the encoded message by the producer.
4. In the 11th season of America's Next Top Model, they had a male to female transgender compete against other women. I thought this sent a really strong message, and she held her own in the competition. Also we could have talked about RuPaul's Drag Race. This show is a completion between drag queens, in which the compete in multiple tasks that accentuate there inner drag. Lastly on Degrassi, there is a transgender student that represents the struggle of the transgender in everyday life especially at the high school age.
5. I am taking away that no transgender is the same. I was amazed that each individual defines themselves differently when it comes to expression and gender identity. I also learned that asking an individual is not considered offensive but making assumptions is.
After leaving I still had a couple questions. First would a show like RuPaul's Drag Race, but considered offensive to a transgender individual or would it be considered empowering. Second, transgender looks that the bathroom signs how do they choose which to enter, and is that one of the most difficult experiences? I just find it hard to imagine looking at the men and women signs and having to give it thought.

RuPaul's Drag Race Promo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTSwZcY5xXk

Remy Blog

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What surprised you about the lecture and info you gathered from Remy's talk?
2. How did Remy tie Halberstam's theory into his talk?
3. What themes from our course thus far did you see weaving through our discussion on transgender media reps?
4. What are some other transgender media reps that we could have discussed? Talk a bit about the rep.
5. What is the most important thing you are taking away from Remy's visit?

I have always thought that I knew what transgender entails and that I understood the concept until Remy's lecture with our class. One of the things that I found interesting initially from the reading and discussion questions was that there are so many different terms that are used, sometimes interchangably, to discribe transgendered people and instances. It made me realize that people are so confused about this topic and what the terms really mean. When Remy took the time to distinguish what each term means, it was really eye-opening to me that I should be more careful because there are definitely people in society that take pride in their stance/position on transgender. Another thing that I found very interesting was when he stated what terms he answers to such as "he, she, her, him" & "they, them". I honestly never knew that the topic was so in-depth and individualized. It makes sense to me though because I know that I definitely take my sexuality and the way that I portray myself as a female.

While reading the assigned reading and along with Remy's discussion with the class, I noticed that people try to portray (encode) transgender roles and the audience/people in society decode the messages and portrayals in their own ways which may not always mean that they understand or interpret the right message/portrayal. I honestly took a lot of infromation and knowledge from Remy's discussion and truly understand the topic of transgender a lot better after learning about this topic in class.

Blog Prompt- Remy's Lecture

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I really enjoyed Remy's talk. I think it's always refreshing for a class to have someone come in and speak on a topic we are learning about. I did want to ask Remy a question that I felt was kind of off topic for what we were discussing not to mention what little time we had. My question is how would a family deal with someone who is currently going through a transition in their life from wanting to be a girl to being a boy? My family is in this situation and I think it is safe to say it's shocking, especially for the older generation. We are a "traditional" family and have never had to deal with anyone being gay let alone want to change their gender. It's not like all of us are against what she is doing, at least I'm not, and won't accept her or as she now wants it, him. It's hard to take it all in when you have never been exposed to this. I over-heard someone say, they refuse to call her a him. For me, I can try to help them understand but older people are stuck in their own ways. If we don't get a grasp on this as a family we will push her away. I hope I'm not offending anyone by my ignorance but it's an honest question.

With that said I liked when Remy brought up the anxiety we feel if we see a man in a skirt. We look at it as if something is wrong with that person but in reality it's our own issue. That person feels comfortable with what they are doing otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. This goes back to what I said earlier. My family is looking at my cousin as if something is wrong with her, "maybe she should be in counseling or this will pass with time" is what they say. But the truth of the matter is, she is happy right now and it's their own anxiety that they are putting on her.

I also found it interesting when we discussed the media's views on gays and transgender people. If we put them on TV and not make a big deal about it people will come to accept that person for who they are. But if the media makes a huge deal out of it, like they do most of the time that's when the public steps in and is extremely opinionated and criticizes what they saw. This can go back to people's anxiety, the media plays a big role in that. They are reinforcing people to think or feel a certain way. Look at Chaz Bono, there was so much controversy when they announced he would be on Dancing with the Stars. He was the first transgender person and the audience members were iffy about it. But once the show started and they didn't focus so much about what he went through the past couple years, people were able to accept him and now he is a fan favorite.

All in all I thought Remy's lecture brought important issues to light. I found it interesting to hear his perspectives on this topic.

Response to Remy's lecture

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I really enjoyed Remy's lecture and found it very helpful to have someone come in and talk to us about the topics from the reading to better understand all of the information. It was interesting to see from Remy's lecture that there are so many different ways for people to identify themselves. I thought it was helpful to distinguish between sex, gender, and sexuality because it really helps to understand the bigger picture. I even learned a new word: cisgender, which means to align with the sex you were assigned at birth. You learn something new everyday! When Remy was discussing the difference between cisgender and gender conforming, which is to adhere to feminine/masculine standards validated by society, this brought up feminism and masculinity themes we have already discussed in this course. Remy discussed that not everyone who identifies as a woman expresses femininity, which brings us to our previous discussions about feminism and misogynistic feminism.
Other themes we have previously discussed that Remy's lecture touched upon were hegemonic discourses in society. I liked Remy's argument about seeing a guy wearing a skirt. When we see a man wearing an article of clothing typically assigned to women, it defies our expectations. He said it makes us anxious, which I agree. I think most people would do a double take of a man wearing a skirt because it does not follow the ideology that women wear skirts and men don't. I found it thought provoking when Remy argued that at what point is this my concern that a man is wearing a skirt? Where is the anxiety from? If I'm the one that is anxious about it, isn't that me and my problem, not theirs? They are doing what works for them, and I agree with his argument. It is interesting to think that people care so much about what other people are doing, wearing, presenting themselves when that is up to them, and they really are just doing what works for them. At what point does it make it our concern? This also ties into the discussion of having gender roles and expressions, which mean a system of meanings and symbols in the privileges, punishments, and rewards that are attached to them. This discussion about a man wearing a skirt affirms that when you put symbols (ex: the skirt) on bodies, it means something completely different.
Another important thing I took away from Remy's lecture was the portrayal of transgender and bisexuality in films and media. I thought it was interesting to point out that most of the representations of transgender in film takes pity on the character. His question, "Where is the movie of a transgender character who does not have to deal with their body and image but instead does something else, something "normal" in society and everyday life?" Another important point was when he said it is hard to assume someone's desires and identity just by who they are dating. I think is true for everyone, that you cannot assume things about others gender and sexuality just by looking at them, every person is much more complex and unique than that.
Lastly, Remy tied in Halberstam's argument of the disappearing narrative as well as the fantasy of flexibility. Remy discussed how in Halberstam's text that the fantasy of flexibility in terms of gender is seen as identifying with someone in the film, and/or seeing the characters on screen from the transgender view, or transgender gaze. These acts in the film "Boys Don't Cry" as well as the other films discussed in Halberstam's text are available to many different genders, which is why I found his question of who we identify with in the film so interesting. Although most people wouldn't feel comfortable answering this question out loud, it is something to think about personally and can also help you better understand the identities in the film as well as yourself.

Remy Recap

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I thought Remy coming to our class was very beneficial for the classes understanding and especially for my understanding. After treading the transgender article, I was very confused about a lot of the concepts. With Remy coming in, I was able to make a little light towards the article. Remy helped us understand the three basic concepts with sexuality, gender and sex. Sex is obviously Male and Female right? Well, It can be a lot more in his eyes. With XX and XY making up our males and females, He argued due to natural evolution that people are becoming also XXY and such which does not make them exactly just one. With Gender, It is what makes you who you are and how you act that defines yourself. With Sexuality, It is a combination of both. It was nice to have the conversation because I was always confused about what they were. With Talking to Remy in class, I was able to kind of talk about a subject that is very unknown to me. Transgender, Gay, Lesbian, etc. always used to be a tough area to talk about because I have not been educated in this subject. Remy kind of gave me a "how to not offend Gay people for dummies" tutorial lesson. We also watched a scene from Boys Don't Cry, which I see early before but could barely remember what it was about. Hilary Swank is a woman who portrays to be a man and has a pretty intense relationship with the other female supporting actress. The other actress finds out but still refuses to acknowledge that she is not a man. It was definitely an interesting movie to watch later because it really is a good but interesting movie to comprehend. It was definitely a lot different of a portrayal then what I am used to in movies. In Hangover 2, they show a transvestite and she is working with a lot of them in a strip club in Bangkok. The joke is that he/she had sex with him (Ed Helms/Stu). They made it into a disgusting, and funny scene, which is the opposite of Boys Don't Cry. Modern family shows a gay couple that just lives their lives and there is no problem about them being gay. It is ok for them on the show to explore their sexuality. Remy was nice to have in class because he opened my eyes to a broader topic and very interesting subject

Remy blog responds

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I thought the lecture/info with Remy was informing, especially with the topics of GLBT can be touchy for certain people and it's hard to talk to a person without the fear of insulting or arguing with another person. The only time I can ever talk about the GLBT topic is with my close friends who don't hold anything against homosexual or transgender people or during class when it the topic comes up.
I can't think of many transgendered characters in media since it's not a common theme to show because there would have some sort of controversies flying in the air. (I must admit, the movie I thought about the most when it comes to a transvestite theme is The Rocky Horror Show.) Most of the times when I watch movies or TV shows that contain the GLBT, it's usually gays and lesbians, such as Modern Family and Rules of Engagement. Otherwise, just like during the presentation, bisexual people are rather invisible since it's hard to tell unless outwardly spoken about it. I think the only time I have ever heard a character being bisexual is during a manga called Durarara!! and the character announced her sexual orientation out loud in class. I am curious about our presentation of the GLBT in the media currently compared to other media representations from the past decades ago. Because in Modern Family, the gay couple has a happy normal life with an adopted daughter and a steady job and in Rules of Engagement, one of the main character's (his name is Jeff) best friend is a lesbian and I found it interesting that his lesbian friend agreed to be the surgical mother for he and his wife's future baby. Because many of the times, gays and lesbians would usual not be a surgical parent. Do you think media representations of gays and lesbians are slowly changing to the idea that being homosexual isn't a big deal (or at least it's not as big of a deal as being heterosexual)?
I think Remy did a good job talking about how sex, sexuality, and gender intersect each other and that transgender is umbrella term for other meanings. I am curious how the term "queer" came to be. Because when you look in a dictionary it can also mean odd, mildly insane, worthless, and strange. And I don't find being homosexual or bisexual being any of those meanings unless you're a homophobic person who only watch certain media shows that have the gay or lesbian as the insane and/or antagonist.

Remy's Presentation

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I really enjoyed Remy's visit and his presentation. I've never seen the relationship between sex, gender and sexuality presented in such a way that is so interrelated and complex. In regards to sex, it is so true that society is still so ignorant about the number of people born with different combination of chromosomes aside from XY and XX. I am guilty of this too and was shocked when Remy stated that about eight intersex babies are born each day. For some reason, I just thought that occurrences of intersex births only happened once in a blue moon. And I only thought on intersex babies as those who have both genitalia. I never thought that intersex can also relate to other biological influences. It doesn't seem like there are many films or media showing intersex individuals. The only media example that I can think of is a film that I saw a few months ago. This film is an Argentinian film called XXY. It is a story about Alex, a 15 years old intersex person with both genitalia. The story talks about Alex's struggle with body image and having a love and sex life. Throughout her life Alex had been living as a girl and seems to have a longing to be loved by someone for who she is. However, her struggles with her own body hold her back from her happiness. Even when one of the male characters decides that he still wants to be with her after learning she is an intersex person, Alex's insecurities about her body still causes her to reject him. Throughout the film the audience gets to see Alex in both genders, the feminine side of her and her masculine side. It kind of reminds me about the flexibility talked about in Halberstam 's article. It reminds me of the transgendered gaze talked about in the article and in class through Remy's presentation.

Overall, it still amazes me that society is still so uninformed about intersex individuals and/or issues surrounding the GLBT community. I really think this is due to our inner discriminative nature that has been groomed by our social expectations. But when we think about how there are so many different combinations of chromosomes, it really just make sense that people are different from each other. It also makes sense and that although people are different from the "norm" it doesn't mean that they are abnormal. I really appreciate how Remy compared our sex, gender and sexuality to our fingerprints. Every individual has different variations of each. We don't discriminate others based on their fingerprints and so we shouldn't judge other based on their sex, gender or sexuality. I really admire Remy's strength, passion and comfort in his gender. I believe that taking on the "correct" gender role is a challenge for all because no one is truly masculine or feminine. Even though I am a straight female, I still am joked about because I don't perfectly follow my gender role. This doesn't mean that I'm transgender nor does it affect my sexuality. It's just who I am, and society especially the media should not be afraid of showing people as they are.

When it comes to what surprised me about Remy's lecture,it has to do with how passionate and eloquent he sounded through out his lecture,which I admire so much.It was surprising to me because it seems to be a "taboo" to talk about people's sexual orientations much like it has been our race relations .But there Remy was,enthusiastic,passionate and really upbeat about being an ally in the advocacy for Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) representations in the media.I was born and raised in a culture that does not encourage countering "normal sexual lifestyles" in any form or manner.But seeing Remy talk with such passion encouraged me to openly talk about it even here in the immigrant community that still think that these topics are "taboos".

In terms of tying Halberstam's theory into his talk,I think Remy corroborated Halberstam's presentation of the three case studies in the article stressing the meanings of masculinity in its dominant as well as other forms such as female and trans-masculinities as they seem to exist in subcultures which are also appropriate in the mainstream cultures.

One of the themes from the course that I noticed through Remy's discussion on transgender media representation was the probing analysis of the life and death of Brandon Teena, a young transgender man who was brutally murdered in "Boys Don't Cry". I realized that race and class are also unconscious frames that are used to also understand queer culture.

One important thing I took away,though, was the realization that there are more questions than answers in fully comprehending the sexual orientations of people in general.It's best if we leave them as they are and don't even attempt questioning people's sexual orientations especially if we don't intend offending them .

I found Remy's visit to be very interesting. I think since you don't often see transgendered people in the media, and when you do they're often portrayed in smaller roles or the content is not meant to educate, it helps to answer questions people have about the subject. Remy helped me clear up some of my own misconceptions. I was confused about the gaze concepts. I wasn't sure how the transgender gaze compared or contrasted with the male and female gaze. More specifically, I wasn't sure how the transgender gaze would apply to mainstream audiences.
After our discussion, I think I have a better understanding. It seems like a lot of films fail to sustain the transgender gaze. From what I gather, the transgender gaze, if done right, would not highlight the transgendered person's genitalia, but the person they see themselves as and identify with regardless of genitalia. We talked about flexible subjects. I think this is what it was called, I forgot the exact terminology. Anyway, the idea that having all of these gazes that allow the viewer to be able to identify themselves with a number of characters is also interesting to me. After our discussion today, when I got home I rented "The Crying Game" on Netflix. I think our class discussion allowed me to view this movie in a different way than I would have otherwise. I was able to see the transgender gaze and I also noticed when they took it away in the movie. All in all, my personal opinion is that it is a pretty good movie. I think Dil was portrayed as a very charming person, although slightly damaged. I think transgender people are portrayed as being damaged in a lot of movies. It would be nice if this wasn't the case. I feel since transgendered people are rarely even in the media, the public has a greater chance of believing what the media puts out there.
Remy also talked about the different components that go in to determining how a person identifies themselves. I did not realize there were so many determining factors that go in to sex alone. I found the triangle that he drew to be very helpful. There are a lot of components that go in to human sexuality that I was not aware of. I think it's important that we talked about this as a class because it helps to understand the material we are going over. I'm also glad that Remy went over some of the terms we are talking about. I think I had a better understanding of the readings knowing the meaning of terms like, transgender, transsexual and genderqueer. I am glad that Remy was able to talk to our class. He made me want to learn more about gender issues. It is a very interesting subject. Thanks Remy!

Remy Response

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I really enjoyed how Remy explained the terminology of gender, sexuality and identity of Thursday. I think it is really important that we understand that there are not two sexes. The realization that there are more than two chromosomal combinations creates an atmosphere where it is obvious that gender and sex will be fluid. It also squishes the idea that gender is binary. I think it was also really awesome when Remy articulated the difference between gender and sex. I think often we get these confused as the same thing and use the words interchangeably yet they are entirely different things. One is socially constructed while one is biological. In my own life I am cisgendered my sex and gender expression match up while I am not a transgendered person myself I am able to use a transgendered gaze to interpret media representations of transgender characters. To me it is very tragic that the majority of transgendered media representations focus on the characters 'secret' and the character telling or exposing this secret. I think Remy brought up an interesting point when he asked why we can have representations of transgendered characters telling other stories. To me this is a very strange and stupid move on behalf of our media. Characters should be able to tell stories about their lives; they should not be forced to tell one story based solely on their gender identity. I think by the media only telling this one story it forces movies with transgendered characters into a box. Audiences will automatically thik that these movies will be about them telling their secret. While this is an interesting narrative the first or second time it is done it will get old. I think in order to create transgendered characters which are relatable to audiences producers must find a way for them to tell other stories.
The other part of Thursday's class I found particularly interesting was when we watched the sex scene from the movie. I was moved by how beautiful the sex scene was. In traditional media representations of sex the focus is on the male and male pleasure. These scenes are often raunchy and hot and almost angry. The sex is portrayed as masculine. But I think here the focus on female pleasure feminizes the scene and a much different type of sex is represented. The scene oozes femininity obvious as a woman I think this is a needed representation but in the context of the movie being focused on a transgendered character I wonder if this feminizing of sex in a way discredits his masculinity. I think that since the movie's protagonist is a transgendered human being who identifies his gender as male then the sex scene should have been more masculizined. I think that by the directors producing a feminine sex scene it discounts his masculinity. To me it is like the producers will not let him sexually express his chosen gender, instead his sexual encounter must be feminized because his sex is biologically female. Overall I think we need to see media representations of transgendered characters which show the characters living their lives in the way they would want to be represented, telling their own everyday stories of life love and relationships from their chosen gendered gaze.

Transgender Blog 10/21

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The guest lecturer, Remy, was very informational. He was very clear, relatable and a great speaker. It was great to interact with someone like Remy from the GLBTA community who is open and educated. I don't usually get to do so. Therefore, to see a representative opened my eyes to the real situation. He talked about the different definitions and issues revolving sex, gender and sexuality. The triangle was a little overwhelming. However, once you get past all the complicated definitions and judgments of yourself and others, it is what it is and the triangle becomes quite simple. There are a lot more other things that people are worried about, so getting past all these assumptions, definitions, prejudice would be beneficial for everyone. If people could educate themselves on this topic then everyone else can go on with their daily lives other than wasting time misjudging others that don't seem "normal."
I really liked Remy's definition of Gender. He stated the definition as "A system of meanings, symbols, privileges, punishment, and awards attached to them." I feel that is a very correct way to define what gender is. Association with a certain gender comes with how the world perceives you and grants what you can and cannot do. Gender is more of a social aspect of defining yourself and others. It gets even more complicated once you add race and class into the equation.

I would have liked to know more about the surgeries that transvestites undergo to change their bodies into becoming of the opposite sex. Remy mentioned that there is not one single surgery that a person can get to change. It'd be interesting to know what drives them to do so and how they determine what will give them satisfaction and assurance of becoming the opposite sex. Transvestites are always portrayed negatively in the media. They are always seen as freak shows, hookers, etc and never wanting to reveal their "secret." I watched a documentary on Asian girls in Bangkok and the sex industry and it focused a little bit on transvestites. The reason for their choice to get surgery was because the sex industry is so big and women make a lot of money off of it. The country is very poor so men would go through the transition to becoming a woman in order to gain a decent income in the sex industry. The media never really shows transvestites in a positive way, being normal people or their reasons for going through with an operation.

One thing important that I will take away from the lecture by Remy is when he talked about seeing another person on the street that may appear to be a man in a woman's skirt. Instead of its meaning being negative towards him, Remy stated that it is probably a judgment on yourself for thinking that way. And I believe that to be definitely true. The society sets the norms in hegemonic media messages. However, those brave enough to go against it shouldn't be hated and discriminated against.

- Submitted by Chua Xiong

Transgender Blog 10/21

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The guest lecturer, Remy, was very informational. He was very clear, relatable and a great speaker. It was great to interact with someone like Remy from the GLBTA community who is open and educated. I don't usually get to do so. Therefore, to see a representative opened my eyes to the real situation. He talked about the different definitions and issues revolving sex, gender and sexuality. The triangle was a little overwhelming. However, once you get past all the complicated definitions and judgments of yourself and others, it is what it is and the triangle becomes quite simple. There are a lot more other things that people are worried about, so getting past all these assumptions, definitions, prejudice would be beneficial for everyone. If people could educate themselves on this topic then everyone else can go on with their daily lives other than wasting time misjudging others that don't seem "normal."
I really liked Remy's definition of Gender. He stated the definition as "A system of meanings, symbols, privileges, punishment, and awards attached to them." I feel that is a very correct way to define what gender is. Association with a certain gender comes with how the world perceives you and grants what you can and cannot do. Gender is more of a social aspect of defining yourself and others. It gets even more complicated once you add race and class into the equation.

I would have liked to know more about the surgeries that transvestites undergo to change their bodies into becoming of the opposite sex. Remy mentioned that there is not one single surgery that a person can get to change. It'd be interesting to know what drives them to do so and how they determine what will give them satisfaction and assurance of becoming the opposite sex. Transvestites are always portrayed negatively in the media. They are always seen as freak shows, hookers, etc and never wanting to reveal their "secret." I watched a documentary on Asian girls in Bangkok and the sex industry and it focused a little bit on transvestites. The reason for their choice to get surgery was because the sex industry is so big and women make a lot of money off of it. The country is very poor so men would go through the transition to becoming a woman in order to gain a decent income in the sex industry. The media never really shows transvestites in a positive way, being normal people or their reasons for going through with an operation.

One thing important that I will take away from the lecture by Remy is when he talked about seeing another person on the street that may appear to be a man in a woman's skirt. Instead of its meaning being negative towards him, Remy stated that it is probably a judgment on yourself for thinking that way. And I believe that to be definitely true. The society sets the norms in hegemonic media messages. However, those brave enough to go against it shouldn't be hated and discriminated against.

- Submitted by Chua Xiong

Remi Blog Response

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I truly enjoyed and benefited from Remi's talk today. I was left a bit confused on the difference of terms in regards to sexuality after reading the article but Remi cleared a lot of that confusion up. The triangle in how all three of the topics connected together. I also did not realize exactly how much of what someone was classified as was their choice. I find the whole thing confusing in how close some of the words are in meaning to one another, though now I see the slight differences. I think too often people make inferences into another person's sexuality without asking them or really even knowing enough about them to be educated on their sexuality. I also thought it was interesting how a person's sexuality can change over time. It makes me wonder if your experiences in life can affect your sexuality. I think this whole topic is very interesting.

Blog Entry Remy's Lecture

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Remy's talk in class today was so interesting! I'm so glad he was able to come and speak to us because I learned so much that I had no clue about before. I really liked how at the beginning of the lecture Remy took some time to demonstrate to the class the difference between all these confusing terms i.e. transgender, transsexual, transvestite. The way he drew out the triangle of gender, sexuality, and biology made me realize how extremely complicated these things all are. Before today I always considered there to be only two sexes, but after Remy explained all of the different scenarios there can be I have a much better understanding. Something else that surprised me that I didn't know before today is how flexible the terms transgender, transsexual, etc can be. I didn't know that it all depends on the person's preference of what they want to be called. One popular transgender media representation we did not discuss in class, but I still think is important, is the movie Transamerica. This film stars actress Felicity Huffman who plays a pre-operative male to female transsexual who has to take care of her rebellious teenager. I have not seen this movie so I'm not sure how great it is at actually representing the trans community, but I think it would be a good film to analyze and critique. I wish we had more time to talk about this subject. I didn't know much about this subject before and would like to learn more about the culture. Something that I took always from Remy's visit is to just be more open-minded about the whole trans culture. When people don't know about something they tend to judge based on preconceived notions. That is exactly what I did and I'm so glad I know better now. The trans culture is so interesting; I hope more people take the time to learn and understand more about it. After all, in the end we're all human.

Remy Response

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What surprised me the most about Remy's lecture was the variations between gender, sex, and orientation, as the triangle on the board represented. It does seem like many different combinations can be conformed out of just these three. There are females that have female gender roles, female sex organs, and have heterosexual orientations. Men, defined by sexual organs, take on certain gender roles and have certain sexual orientations. There are of course people that describe themselves as Transsexual and may undertake surgery to change their physical sex organs. Then there are Transgender people whom cross gender roles. There can be many combinations of these three as Remy said in the lecture. I think though what I would have liked to get more into in the class discussion though would have been the gender roles that Transsexual and Transgender people take on and how this affects their mental health. Remy said that we could go very in depth into certain patterns that are common amongst the Transgender community, however this would take up more class time than what we had today.

I would think that there would be certain reoccurring metal health problems that affect Transgender people. The media seems to portray them in a certain way in Boys Don't Cry and The Crying Game, although these representations might not be accurate and could be over stated just as with any group there can be certain problems. We see with old women in working class or poor communities having high blood pressure and also women after pregnancy having problems with "postpartum depression". Although, I think the films representations of the emotions of Transgender people could be accurate. They must live in a society as almost a minority and have to deal with certain stigmas that have to somehow affect the emotions of a human being. Relationships as well could play a part in the mental health of Transgender people. We can see for example that Brandon and Lana's relationship has an effect on his mental health. Although, there probably was not enough time for Remy to cover this big topic, I think it definitely has a part in Transgender society.

The most important thing I learned from Remy's lecture was that as a society we should not spend our time trying to decipher people's sex, gender, or orientation. Although, I have been guilty of doing this at times just as everybody, I will work hard in the future though not to judge people. I do not often judge people based on the fact that I have my ways of doing things and it works for me just as it probably works for someone whom does not follow my lifestyle or beliefs. If, the other person's lifestyle or beliefs is not affecting my life then it's rather a waste of time to judge or critique them. The instance Remy discussed where traditional gender roles make some people turn their heads, such as a man wearing a skirt. As Remy said it all has to do with taking offence to those types of things, if you make the choice not to take offense then I think personally you are being a stronger person

Remy's discussion in class today really made me re-think my perceptions of gender, sex and sexuality. When he talked about sex and gender he made it very clear how broad the terms actually were in relation to sexuality. What stuck out the most was the different genders people are actually born with. In previous biology classes I have learned that there are many different sexes that people are born with, not just the typical xx, xy scenerio, but hearing it again and re-emphasizing that fact in relation to sexuality really stood out. Remy's discussion really opened my eyes to the LGBT community because it made me realize that that community is not the "other", but just a community willing to be open and express themselves. I think that media representations of the LGBT community play a significant role in heterosexual opinions because it portrays that community as being the outcasts in many situations. Today, there are many more representations of lesbian, gay and bisexuals, however transgender representations are far less visible. The media has began to accept lesbian, gay and bisexuals, however the idea of accepting a transgender person is a lot harder. I think this is because like Remy said, when you see a male on the street dressed in a skirt something triggers in our brain that recognizes that person as different and not acceptable. Something about seeing a male in woman's clothes does not fit properly into our typical perceptions of gender roles and gender expression. Just hearing Remy talk and listening to his description of all of the terms regarding sexuality, sex and gender made me more open to transgender sexuality. In my electronic media class we are learning about visibility in media representations and how just seeing different groups of people represented in the media makes us less prejudice against that group, which is called parasocial contact. I think that is definitely the case here. I think that many people of older generations are prejudice against transgender people for many reasons. First, many people didn't get proper education on the many different sexes that people are born with, not just the typical xx, xy, male female sex. Because of this, older generations don't understand how someone who is born female would want to become male, when in reality they were necessarily born female or vice versa. Second, the media has not portrayed LGBT people until recently, thus they did not receive parasocial contact until recently and already have prejudice against them that have been instilled for many years. I believe that younger generations are more accepting of the LGBT community because we are more educated about sex, gender and sexuality, and because we have received more parasocial contact.

Remy Blog Response

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When Melody and Remy asked us who we felt we could identify with in the sex scene in "Boys Don't Cry" I thought to myself that that deserved a little bit of thought in order for me to answer honestly. While biking home I quickly realized that no one single part of that question, nor the questions that can stem from it, deserves any bit of though at all. As a straight male, of course Im going to identify with Brandon's character! Despite the fact that Brandon was, as Remy would have said, assigned to the female sex at birth, the fact of the matter is is that Brandon is preforming sex in such a way (putting penis in vagina) that I myself would with a straight female, the same as I would. If I were to sit down with the real Brandon and a straight female friend, and asked him who he would identify with as far as sexual activity goes with another woman, he would identify with me. It would be a mutual understanding in the exact same way as if I were to have this discussion with any one of my straight male friends. Basically, despite Brandon's assigned birth sex and not having a real penis, Brandon is a man. Furthermore, I feel like, and this may sound ignorant, that every single person has an answer to that question. How can you not identify with one of them, not just in sexual activity with another person, but in life in general?
Also, while Remy was explaining the triangle extravaganza of SEX, GENDER, and SEXUALITY I felt extremely overwhelmed. That feeling was because I knew right away where I fit in in that triangle. However that triangle may or may not deserve a lot of thought for other people. Identifying where you fit in in that triangle, if you are not simply straight gay, or lesbian could be pretty overwhelming. I think? Being what you want in opposition to what you really are or are assigned to, is a stressful thought for me. At what point does someone throw up their arms, says who gives a shit about terminology, and does what they want as the person they want to be? Or is there a certain level of comfort in fitting into a category? Also part of me wonders why all the terminology even exists at all. I mean I know why, but its one of those deals where in the perfect world they wouldn't be needed because people that "fit" into those categories would be portrayed in society as what they truly are, completely normal, just the same as how the majority of society views heterosexuality. Sometimes I hate the world.
Super cool class today!

Transgender discussion

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I found this topic & Remy's lecture very interesting in that it seems to deflate these bubbles we place masculinity, femininity, gender-roles, sexuality, and even sex in. The point and most important thing I have taken out of the lecture is the same which I think Halberstam was trying to make--that the fluidity of gender/sex/sexuality is often invisible and that society reaffirms through most media, the binary perspectives of man or woman, female or male, and heterosexual or homosexual. I think the production of media making transgender-ism visible is very important in progressing society's perspective on gender, sex and sexuality.
While listening today I kept thinking about a class I took a few years back called Sex and Gender in Society and learning about Kinsey's Continuum of Sexuality and Klein's Sexual Orientation Grid. I remember taking that class and wondering why on earth this information was not given earlier in life--for example in high school. Obvious reasons would be that many people may argue it "inappropriate" or something kids that age shouldn't worry about or shouldn't think about. Kinsey & Klein's grids/scales display the variation and complexity of human sexuality and gender--and I think would help many people to A.) understand their own identity better and B.) be less judgmental and misunderstanding of others' identities.
Because media is so present in our lives and shows us (literally) how to act, be, think of ourselves--we can't help but repetitiously be reminded of "correct" gender roles... and (to reiterate Remy's preferred definition of gender) the privileges, punishments, and rewards of identifying a certain way.
The transgender gaze through media not only allows us to understand what it means to BE transgender, but to relate to aspects of what it is to be transgender--like what Remy & Melody were saying about identifying with one of the characters during Brandon & Lana's sex scene-- one can examine their own sexual/gender identity vicariously. Media like this gives us the ability to accept differences that are typically labeled "taboo" and to create normalcy & inclusion in our thought process.
Another transgender media representation I was thinking of was Elly Jackson, the lead vocalist from the British pop band La Roux. She is quoted saying "I don't have a sexuality. I don't feel like I'm female or male. I don't belong to the gay or straight society, if there is such a thing. I feel like I'm capable of falling in love with other people. I'm not saying I'm bisexual, I'm just sexual!"
I think that's really interesting- her explanation that she does not conform to any particular gender/sexuality... she identifies with pieces of both. Again, this shows the fluidity of sexual identity that a person can have. In her music it is not clear either whether she is singing from a typical male or female perspective/gaze. I am not quite sure if anyone in class has heard their music but a couple of La Roux's songs got pretty big; "Bulletproof" and "In for the Kill". They sort of blew up in Europe a couple years ago and I haven't heard much of anything new about them. After they got big, Elly Jackson was interviewed often and questioned about her sexual orientation and identity. I wonder if her answers have anything to do with La Roux's decline in the spotlight... up for debate.

an interesting slideshow arguing perhaps the male gaze it gazing upon itself. fitting for another course reading on "the gaze"

http://www.details.com/culture-trends/critical-eye/201111/new-ideal-male-body-obsession#intro

POST THURSDAY DQS HERE!!!

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Sorry for the delay in this entry

Blog prompt for this week

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I am very excited that my friend and colleague, Remy, has agreed to come to our class on Thursday. He is going to talk to us about transgender media representations and potentially his activist work. He also knows our reading for Thursday very well, so make sure to read it closely!

Thus, your blog prompt this week is to write a response to Remy's guest lecture/discussion. You can write about whatever you want, but if you need some guidance, here are some writing prompts (you do not have to address these if you don't want to):

1. What surprised you about the lecture and info you gathered from Remy's talk?
2. How did Remy tie Halberstam's theory into his talk?
3. What themes from our course thus far did you see weaving through our discussion on transgender media reps?
4. What are some other transgender media reps that we could have discussed? Talk a bit about the rep.
5. What is the most important thing you are taking away from Remy's visit?

POST TUESDAY DQS HERE!

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Thank you.

http://flowtv.org/2011/08/lip-service/

blog respons

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When I was thinking of what media I was thinking about what personifies the types of masculinity that was discussed in the article that would also show the violence, and after that I was thinking about a lot of the games I play, gears of war, cal of duty, resident evil, and so on that all had a main character that was showing the masculine thoughts of the article, next I was also thinking about how the supporting characters often would show what was talked about with Jerry McGuire how they show emotion and are a little different but also this was not looked down a pone by the main characters. I had played the game Gears of War 2 before and knew the story line so I was fairly familiar with the media. I chose masculinity because I am a male and though this was something that affected me and pertained to me more than other media criteria. Some of the challenges I was facing was really trying to convey my message but not stray of subject and talk about other thoughts.

Austin Enoch

I wrote my paper on Masculinity. At the time I was thinking of examples for this paper, I was also talking about The Sopranos in one of my other classes. I thought Tony Soprano's character touched on a lot of what we discussed in class regarding masculinity.

1. How did you choose the media text you wanted to analyze?
Like I stated above I was in another class when The Sopranos were introduced to me. I saw Tony Soprano struggle with a lot of the issues we discussed in class in having to be masculine. There was not a doubt in my mind, Tony would be the perfect person to analyze for this paper.

2. Did you already have familiarity with the media text?
I never was a subscriber to HBO so seeing The Sopranos in my other class was my first time ever watching an episode. I knew it was a popular show but never went out of my way to try to keep up with it.
3. How did you choose what course readings to use for your paper?
I choose to use Jackson Katz's reading and documentary as my course material. I felt he talked a lot about what men have to do to earn respect, especially when they are in the minority. Tony Soprano had a vulnerable side that he refused to let anyone see, he was always playing along with his tough guy image, which was a huge point Katz tried to make. Tony Soprano, reading and the documentary fit in nicely together.
4. What were some of the challenges of writing this paper?
This paper was a challenge for me because I didn't know too much about The Soprano's. I learned everything about Tony's his character from critiquing an episode in my other class and doing our readings. However, it also helped me because I wasn't invested with Tony and the show so I was able to pick his character apart more easily without making excuses as to why he may act the way he does. I saw the episode for what it was.
5. If you used any outside sources, how did you find them?
I had to use a couple outside sources, since I wasn't familiar with the show I wanted to make sure I had some of my facts straight instead of assuming I was correct. I found my sources on Google and also used the U of MN database to get some information on the impact of masculinity on men's health.
6. What would you change about the paper if you could?
If I had more time to write this paper I would have liked to bring in more scientific research on how masculinity has impacted men's lives. I know the media plays a huge role in what they see to be masculine but it's also people around them as well, so I want to see what research has to say about how family and friends play a role.
7. Advice for others writing this paper?
This paper is not something you can put together in two hours, it takes a lot of thought and hard work. Start as early as possible.

Feminism and Sex and the City

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I wrote my section two paper on the representations of feminism in the show Sex and The City. I brought up three examples of how the characters' lives and personalities reflect feminist thought. I chose Sex and The City because it is a favorite show of mine because the women in it are strong, sexually uninhibited, and because I think it is very different from a lot of media representations of women (i.e. Desperate Housewives). I re-read the course readings on feminism/antifeminism etc., and mostly used them as a way to frame my thoughts in my paper... I tried to look at my argument from the different authors' point of view. I chose another outside source as a reference to help me frame my thoughts--it was a book on feminism and what third-wave-feminism is. I found it by wiki-ing "third wave feminism" and looking at their works cited. I have found that way of finding outside sources works really well. If I had to change something about the paper it probably would have been to spend more time on it--it is hard to make concrete arguments in 3-4 pages because you I am always looking for ways to make my sentences more concise yet still get the point across. I felt like too as I wrote, that even though I've read quite a bit about the topic of feminism in this class and others--I still cannot grip all of it. It feels like a slippery topic with so many avenues of thought--making it hard to pick just one.
Not that I'm advocating longer papers ;)
My advice for someone writing a paper like this would be to re-read class readings on the subject, watch an episode or two and let it ruminate in the mind for a day, then get to writing. I tend to do papers all in one day and it takes a ton of time because I think as I go. Making an outline is always a good idea too and helps with making stronger arguments because the bones are all there - filling in the details with thoughts and examples is the easy part.

Blog post #5

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I wrote my first paper on the reality TV show The Bachelorette and how the producers encode and the audience decodes the show. I also wrote about ideologies about the idea of love and marriage. I argued that The Bachelorette is a convincing example of a TV show that encodes unrealistic ideals to an audience who decodes with a dominant reading that perceives these ideals as achievable. I chose this media text because it exemplifies many of the topics we were talking about in class, feminism, masculinity, ideologies, political economy, etc. I admittedly watch every season of this show and when I had to think of a media source to analyze, it seemed like the perfect fit. I thought there would be plenty of examples from the show to choose from to support my argument. I chose the readings from class by Stuart Hall regarding encoding and decoding because this text supported by thesis statement. I also chose to use ABC's website (the network that airs The Bachelorette) because it had the premise of the show as well as the goals of the show which also supported my argument. While writing this paper I had a hard time narrowing my topic and argument because the show had so many examples to choose from that related to topics from class. I ended up choosing encoding and decoding, but I also had a hard time coming up with examples of all three types of decoding. It wasn't until after I had received my 'revise and resubmit' draft back from Melody where she had commented I could choose just one type of decoding and elaborate more on one to make my paper stronger. This helped my grade significantly and also the quality of my paper. My paper had started out very strong, with clear supporting examples but I ended up trying to rush through the paper and put confusing arguments at the end of the paper. I revised the end of my paper to focus on one type of decoding, the dominant reading, in order to argue a clear, thorough, argument with supporting examples. If I could change one thing, I would change the way I approached writing my essay. I just sat down and started typing due to poor time management. For my next paper, I would like to sit down and outline my points that I want to make with what sources I will use to support each part of my argument. This will make it easier to write my first draft. Also, what I have found helpful in the past is after making the outline and typing the paper, print it out on paper and read it through. It seems easier to me to see the mistakes and then I can write in the margins about what I want to go back and change. For people writing this type of analytical paper for the first time should make sure they really understand the analytical framework they are using as their argument, for example if you are arguing something related to feminism, make sure you really understand the topic first before you start writing your paper.

One thing we did not talk about in class is when people use the word rape to describe something that is not rape. "Ohhhh, the bank raped me with all their fees!"

Just ran into a blog post about Johnny Depp using the word "rape" to describe photo shoots: http://www.theawl.com/2011/10/celebrities-and-the-rape-of-photography

What do you think? Does using this word inaccurately diminish the word's actual meaning? Is it no big deal? Maybe just a bit immature, akin to "that's so gay!"? What if you used the word around someone who was sexually assaulted?


So for my paper, I wrote about how masculinity is portrayed in todays culture through men's rap music. Most male rap songs are about money, women, and cars. All three of them have some sort of influence of masculinity. Men are supposed to be car experts because only men should info about cars. Men should be the only breadwinners in the relationship. Men should be the dominant force in most activities today. These are common ideologies in rap music. I chose rap music because I listen to it pretty hardcore. It may make me a hypocrite for saying most male rap music is hyper masculine and I like the songs but it is what it is. I chose the Katz article because it really stuck out to me on this section paper and it was the one I could relate to the most. It was a good opportunity to say what I want to say about how I feel about a lot of rap music today. The challenges in my paper were pretty simple but it was to find lyrics from todays rappers that exploit women, cars, and money and use them in my paper. Most songs are about these three things in the title. There are some lyrics in there that would shock most audiences. Songs about how women get treated like objects and worse, beat and hurt severely songs. Eminem raps about how he wants to kill his mom and his ex girlfriend. Kanye talks about hitting women in his new album on different occasions. Then you have the people who objectify women and the people who just rap about sex. Worse song I can think of for this is David Banner - Play. That song is one of the most absolutely grotesque song I have ever heard. Here are the lyrics http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/davidbanner/play.html
And they spelled the first word right for that song too. Songs like this are just not needed in todays society and I do not understand how rappers get praised for songs like these. You also have rappers who just like to swear the entire time too. MY favorite example is The real n**** roll call by Lil Jon. http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/real-nigga-roll-call-lyrics-lil'-jon-the-eastside-boyz/caf9b59b38da988a48256f4b00085614
This song as a swear word every 2 seconds I feel. What is the point of doing that. I believe rappers are trying to make a point about this and I think it has to deal masculinity. When you are mad or feel passionately about it, you need to swear to make sure it is known? Sad concept but that's what I get out of it. Rap music used to be so different back in the day. I know I am 21 years old and saying that but it is true and I used to listen to them. A tribe called quest, too short you name it. I still listen to it everyday and it is making my life harder to defend the songs I listen to everyday.

Blog Answer 5

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1) I wrote a paper about there are feministic representations in the song "Stupid Girls" by the singer Pink. It's a song about how girls nowadays tend to worry about their appearances. The music video shows over exaggerated scenes how what is considered "sexy" isn't that sexy. For example: getting overly tan in a tanning salon, huge breasts, and plastic surgery.
2) I was familiar to the media text. I knew about the song for about an year but I didn't go through an analysis for the song when I first heard it. I thought it was an interesting song that was really clear about what the message is.
3) I choose this song because I thought it would be a perfect song for an analysis on feministic pop songs. Pink asks what happened to girls that have ambition, intelligence, and unique qualities instead of girls that focus on their looks and act like those stereotypical dumb pretty girl that you see in sitcoms. She also sings how girls that worry about their body types is a growing epidemic that won't stop.
4) It was a challenge because papers are not my strong point. I have the information in my head but converting it into a paper is difficult because I tend to leave out certain information or I don't connecting the information together without realizing that I've done that. It all makes sense in my brain but when other people read it, it sometimes confuses them.
6) If I could change something about the paper, I would have asked a friend to read it through and help me edit it and discuss about it (so I can get deeper information and opinion about the contents). I also wish I could study more examples of feminism and media because sometimes the readings takes a long time for me to figure out what they are trying to say. Sometimes the writer over explains it and I have trouble finding the main point because I'm the type of person that loves summaries.
If I could, I would love to change the vocabulary because I'm pretty sure that the paper is rather redundant. I wish I had amazing grammar skills...
7) My advice is to talk to people about it so you could bounce out ideas back and forth to one another.

For the second section paper assignment, I chose to do my paper on Masculinity. I was very excited to write this paper and found it to be a great experience. My paper discussed things that we talked about in class such as the "Tough Guise". In my paper, I also made sure to talk about hyper-masculinity.
While writing this piece, I was already familiar with the media text that I chose. Recently, I have gotten into watching the television show, Glee, and one day I was watching a certain episode that I felt went very well with what we had been talking about regarding Masculinity. The episode that I chose was Season One's, Episode 6, titled Preggers. In this particular episode, Kurt feels as though he needs to put on a "tough guise" for his father in order to make his father proud of him. He also realizes how poorly he is being treated just for not being the Norm.
I also took into consideration the course readings that spoke of Masculinity and violence such as the article we read titled, "Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity," by Jackson Katz. Inside of the reading were some pretty straight- forward opinions that I deemed helpful in my paper.
One of the challenges I encountered while writing my paper was my organization. I had so much that I wanted to put into the paper, but with a paper so small, I could not include all of it. I decided to keep it short, and to the point. I wanted to explain what needed to be elaborated more. Another challenge that I found while writing the paper was putting my thoughts onto paper (or the screen). Sometimes I go through things so quickly in my mind that it comes out all discombobulated.
Something that I worked hard on throughout this analysis was my wording and vocabulary. I used the Internet in order to find the Glee episode that I wanted. Of course, the Internet was extremely helpful for me.
If I could change my paper in any way, I would have made my paper more concise. I explained myself well, but often I do not do it in a short enough manner. I also would have spent more time on my paper. I know that no excuses should be made, but between school, homework, and work, time gets a little chaotic and although it may forever stay constant, it always seems to move faster than expected with each passing day.
A piece of advice that I would give to a person writing this type of analysis, would be to take your time and to not get hasty. Writing comes out best when you can work at it.

Blog Entry #5

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This week I want you to write about your own research for this class. I want you all to see what each other is doing for the section papers and also have you think through your research process. You may choose either your work for the Sec 1 or Sec 2 paper to blog about. Here are some questions to prompt your writing, but feel free to expand beyond these. You do not have to answer these all:

You must first tell us what you wrote your paper on, just summarize it in a sentence or two.
1. How did you choose the media text you wanted to analyze?
2. Did you already have familiarity with the media text?
3. How did you choose what course readings to use for your paper?
4. What were the challenges of writing the paper?
5. If you used outside sources, how did you find them?
6. What would you change about the paper if you could? (the text, the time you spent, etc. etc.)
7. What advice would you have for people writing this type of analytically paper for the first time?

I chose to write my paper regarding race and masculinity. To be more specific I chose to look at how Black fathers are portrayed in the media and whether or not a "masculine" stereotype has affected this. I decided to do my section 2 paper on this because it interested me. After reading "Critiquing Reality-Based Televisual Black Fatherhood" it spiked my interest to further analyze the reality TV shows addressed in the article using the information we have discussed in class and other outside reasources. I did already have familiarity with this topic because I have seen both Run's House and Snoop Dogg's Father Hood. Before even taking this course, I have thought about how Run's House portrays a different view of a Black family and wondered if this was because of their economic and celebrity status or if this is actually common in Black culture. I obviously chose the reading that I did because it directly compared to the topic that I chose to address and had a lot of good information on Black fathers and how they are portrayed in media. I think that the challenges that I found while writing my section paper were to find a legitimate argument that made sense and then making sense of it while making sure to stay on topic. The only thing that I would change about the paper is that I wish it would have been easier for me to find an argument. I found it hard to concentrate on something that was meant to build off of the class reading and discussions held in class. I think that I wanted to make it more original and interesting than it was actually meant to be, in other words I think I started to over think it. One big piece of advice that I would give to others trying to write similar papers is to really brainstorm a topic and find what's most interesting to you about it. Then just start writing and your argument/thesis statement will likely just come to you.

For my section two paper, I wanted to analyze a show that I felt like I had a lot of information on, so, when deciding which media text to use, I picked a show that I frequently watch; Millionaire Matchmaker. The reason I chose this show is because when I do watch it, I feel like I criticize a lot of things that are going on. When choosing what class readings to use, I looked at what weeks we discussed Class Representation, the framework I chose to analyze my media text through, and then re-read the articles for that week. While reading, I keep the show I was analyzing in mind, and tried to find examples from the show that matched similar ideas in the reading. When the article had specific definitions of terms that related to the show, I would sometimes incorporate that into an example from the show. When incorporating examples from the show, I often found that other types of critiques were needed, such as feministic and post-feministic viewpoints were taken by women. Then, I would re-read the articles from the week we discussed those topics and often found good examples to incorporate into my paper. I tried to find outside sources for class representation, but good find anything credible with the type of information that I was looking for. The challenges of writing this paper was finding good credible information outside of the classroom readings. Also, class representation is hard to critique because the working class is so underrepresented which is what we mostly discussed in class. If I could change one thing about my paper it would be the main framework I used. In the future I plan on picking a media text that better represents fully the framework I choose to analyze it under.

1.When I am trying to decide a topic in which I either write my papers on or even ask questions about, I always try and make sure that I am doing it on a topic of interest. Since being in my 5th year here at the U, I have had to write many papers on topics that make me want to sleep. Those papers I never feel have the passion that I could put into them because I have not interest in the topic. So I try and write about things from class that I enjoy. So for section the 2 paper, I chose to write about feminism. I had taken a female pop culture class, which I really enjoyed so I knew I could actually write about the topic.
2. When writing my paper, I knew that I had some information already from my Women Studies course packet. I know that finding some extra academic sources can be difficult sometimes because not everything is at your fingertips plus having to read a bunch is not always the most fun. I also knew the brand/topic I chose to write on. I was able to use YouTube videos as my reference point and to view my media selection a few times.
4. There were struggles with writing a paper. I did not want it to be a completely opinion viewed paper. I wanted to add in my outside sources, but felt that at times it was difficult to fit those in and that I was rambling more than I should. I don't feel that I analyzed my media to a full potential and that I missed large points because I was being much to simple with what I saw. I think that since I used a television commercial I could have just focused on one or two of the topics and not the entire commercial. I think that one of my challenges was getting to the big picture and not just the small things. Those could cause confusion to my readers.
7. Some advice that I would give to a person writing a paper like this for their first time would be find something that interests you. Don't just write on the first topic that you see on the assignment sheet because you will be doing a lot of either readings or viewings of your media and you will have to be interested to see hidden messages or points of view. You will need to dissect different elements to get down to the real reason or view that is given. You can't be one sided the entire time and need to go into it with an open mind. Write and then rewrite and then let it sit and think about it some more. Its not something that you can just write the night before and think its great.

First paper

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My first paper was on ideology. I examined the different propaganda and advertisements put out in the U.S. during and after World War II in relations to how they portrayed women.

I started out with explaining Hegemony and how Gramsci had elaborated from Marx and Engles' oppression of the proletariat. Gramsci speaks directly about ideology when he talks about how the ruling class not only controls the material force of society but also the intellectual force. The rule this intellectual force by manipulating and projecting ideologies onto the working class. Soon this ideology becomes "common sense" and "as is".

In my examination, I compared the ruling class to that of the U.S. government and big corporations. The working class, in this case, is everyone else especially American women. I talk about how the government and corporate America manipulated the ideology about the place of women in society during the 1940s through 1960s. As many of you know, many women entered into the workforce for the first time during the war. Previously their place was in the homes and caring for household chores and children. The term, "feminine" was used to defined someone beautiful and someone devoted to their family. This ideology held true for both men and women. However, the war disrupted this prominent ideology associated with being a woman and created a new mindset for the working woman. The United States put out many propaganda to change the ideologies around women entering the work place. Examples of such propaganda was "Jenny on the job" or the famous, "Rosie the Riveter". These propaganda preached the ideology that the woman can and should support her the men in her life by assisting the war efforts. I examined this particular picture of Jenny:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_czwmRTJIoWM/RfbXtfBGrII/AAAAAAAAAIE/YaqE8AWGxy4/s400/ww1645-15.jpg

This particular picture is very interesting. It shows Jenny dressed in her work uniform on her lunch break. In her lunchbox we can see a letter probably from her husband overseas. The message, "Jenny on the Job eats man size meals" indicates that a good american woman is someone who has a job, gets a lunch break and thoroughly support the men in her life that are away fighting. No longer is her place in the home. Her place as a woman is at work supporting the war efforts.

After the war when the men returned propaganda directed at women began to change again. The U.S. wanted women to return back to their homes instead of competing with men in the workforce. The images similar to that of Jenny and Rosie disappeared. Advertisements that showed women back home regained its usage and popularity.

An example: http://www.foundshit.com/vintage-schlitz-beer-ad/

The shift in the portrayal of women between the 1940s and 1960s definitively shows the changing ideologies of the time. It shows the attempts of the government and of corporations to move the woman out of the workplace and back into the home.

"Jesusland"

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I wrote the first paper on Ben Folds' song "Jesusland" which addresses contradictions in religion and society. Ever since we first received this assignment, I had been racking my brain thinking of potential paper topics and media texts to analyze. I get really anxious when picking paper topics, because I hate picking things I am not excited or interested in. It is typically a long process and in my usual fashion, I had enlisted the help of my roommate. She helped my brainstorm some possibilities, but we didn't spend much time as we had tickets to the Ben Folds concert at Orchestra hall that evening. As we were sitting there, jamming out, he started to talk about his song "Jesusland" and the various reactions it has gotten from audiences. He talked about the ways in which he intended the song to come across and how some people have skewed his actual meaning. This was a fantastic "Aha" moment (for all you Oprah fans), when I realized this was exactly the encoding and decoding we had talked about in class. I love Ben Folds' music, and knew this song would be a fun choice to examine readings of text and religious hegemony. I thought hegemony might be an interesting addition to my paper, aside from just encoding and decoding, since we defined American hegemony as straight, white, males without any mention of the religious orientation of the individuals we see power. I decided to use this song and its counter-hegemonic message to explore this concept. I knew I needed more than just the song itself. The lyrics are descriptive, but the video does a great job complimenting the song and reinforcing folds' message through its imagery. In addition to the video, I wanted to find an interview where folds himself described what he was thinking in writing this song. This proved to be more difficult than I thought, but eventually stumbled upon a Relevant magazine article titled "Dogs, Dogma, Jesus and Ben Folds". It complimented my paper and was an expanded and citable version of what he said during his concert. I had a difficult time balancing my analysis of the text and supporting details of my claims. I originally thought about including much more evidence about why religion is a hegemonic factor, but in the end omitted it because it veered too far from the text. It was very helpful to write it, get feedback and make the necessary changes. If I were to give any advice to someone writing a paper like this, it would be find your topic, and write this paper early. Papers like these need a lot of brainstorming, editing, and revision which can take some serious time.

For my first paper,I wrote on Hegemony, and particularly focused on Media Hegemony.I was able to research Cable News Network (CNN)'s dominance, power, and influence it has had and continues to have over other news media in the world of communications.It has been able set the agenda for debating many political,social and even religious issues .My analysis of CNN projected that although CNN has even influenced decisions of foreign and public policies,its influence and dominance is gradually dwindling. I was able to easily choose the media text to analyze because I am a news and information conscious person,which means I often watch Television news channels more than I do entertainment channels.Therefore,deciding on CNN was an easy pick since I have followed CNN's influence in news dissemination for a long period of time. In a way,I think I already had familiarity with the media text,but I was not obviously conscious of it until I began this course.This has helped me a great deal in being able to easily critique not just television news,but online as well as print, and radio broadcast news items. What helped me choose the kind of course reading for my paper was the realization that some of the articles we have discussed in class previously had insight into the media text I am analyzing.For every article that we discuss in class,I choose the major point over the minor and store those on my desktop with the author's name,date, and title of article we discussed.So when I'm about to do my paper,I review what had been discussed cognizant of my pending paper analysis.This is helping me a great deal in my other courses. Some of the challenges included finding credible primary sources for my assignment, and the Wilson Library online was very efficient as I was (and still am) able to access online databases even from the comfort of my home anytime and anywhere having internet access. Another challenge was personalizing my paper by injecting my own opinion on the analysis of the media text.This was a bit difficult because I have gotten used to citing sources more than my own opinion.As a result,I used too many outside sources with my personal opinion almost non-existent .However,it's becoming better with every assignment. If this is your first time writing such an analytical paper,it would be a good idea to start early if you are submitting the paper,say,in two weeks' time.Starting early and being organized will be very helpful since you have many papers to write especially as the mid-terms and finals start to overwhelm us.I did not start my first paper early,consequently,I made some minor mistakes such as not proofreading,not arranging references properly-things that should be easy to do with any paper if you prepare well and remain organized.

Media Analysis Blog

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For the Section 2 Media Analysis paper, I chose to analyze representations of feminism through an unlikely text. The media text I used were two specific songs by an up-coming rap artist, Wale (Wah-lay): "The Ambitious Girl," and "Ambitious Girl 2." I used these songs as counter-hegemonic examples of what we have read in Susan G. Douglas' article, "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist." Such issues involve capitalism, sexual liberation, and woman companionship. His lyrics demonstrate a form of woman empowerment through ambitions and education. I knew I wanted to write about feminism and anti-feminism/enlightened sexism because I could not completely connect with one or the other but it is a very important topic for me. Then I looked into my everyday life and uncovered different representations of feminism I interact with everyday. I am very familiar with Wale, he's a very popular struggling artist and just got a big break by being signed on to Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group label. He just came out with a new mix-tape to get his fans hyped about his sophomore album being released on Nov. 1, 2011. So, when I was looking for some inspiration to write my paper, I turned to the songs I listened to every morning to give me motivation for the day. (Mainly "Ambitious Girl 2" because it has more of a beat to it.)
I faced quite a few challenges while writing this paper. Not only the music, but Wale as an artist has many interesting characteristics that could relate to feminism and counter-hegemonic messages in the media. There are many messages that I could take away from his lyrics and also the making of his songs but it was just too much to put in a three to four page paper. I like Wale because he isn't the typical hardcore rapper that sold drugs, got shot and never finished high school. He actually went to college on some football scholarships, so when I listen to the song "Ambitious Girl," I know he's legit and tries to inspire the aspiring college students. He also has made some rap songs revealing the flaws in the college and pro football leagues. I was very familiar with the media text I worked with because I am an avid listener and can relate to his lyrics. However, I could not fit everything I wanted into one paper.
I chose the course reading by Susan G. Douglas because she has a lot of depth in her article. She had very specific details and you didn't have to get lost in a long story to find her main arguments. I also agreed with her analysis of media representations of Enlightened Sexism and I think those representations need to be changed.
One advice I would give for people writing an analytical paper for the first time is to take time to brainstorm and brainstorm a lot. It is helpful if you make a list of what you want to mention about your media text, and make a list of what you want to mention from the course text. Then you should find a way to connect the two lists together and clean it up. Once you have all your main ideas put together, it will be a piece of cake while writing the paper.

-Submitted by Chua Xiong

Blog 5: My Paper

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For my research paper, I decided to research Seventeen magazine's website and how it reflects post-feminism ideals. I thought this would be an interesting research project because of the demographic that Seventeen is targeting. It has a fan-base that consists of teenagers to young adults. When I was a teenager, and I'm really dating myself here, I had a subscription to YM magazine. I thought it would be interesting to see how marketing to young girls has changed, and if the website promotes in anyway post-feminism ideals or presents content containing enlightened sexism.
While I was researching Seventeen, I went through the content on their main website. From the readings we went over in class, I found the article by Susan J. Douglas titled "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist" to be helpful. I also used Ariel Levy's article "Female Chauvinist Pigs" as a research tool. If I was doing this project over again, I might consider bringing in a third source that might represent a different view of post-feminism or enlightened sexism, maybe some sort of statistical reference. Also, whenever I write a paper, I find that it helps whenever I do an outline. It helps to organize my thoughts and my writing.
I would say one of the hardest things about writing this paper was the fact that it was a website. I have never researched a website before so it was something new to me. I was concerned that the content would change or update before I was done writing my paper. Also, if I would have had the actual magazine, I feel there would have been more to read. A lot of the content on the website was a hybrid mix of text and video. There were a lot of pictures as well. However, I feel this was advantageous because I had a variety of media to choose from. I thought it helped to have a more interactive perspective. On the other hand, there was so much content, it was hard to narrow down what I wanted to write about. I didn't want it to be too broad and all over the place. I guess that is where the outline helped out. If I was to do another paper like this, I might consider adding more sources. I also might consider having another source to compare to the original media text I was researching. It would have been interesting to find one of my old YM magazines so I could compare the two. Unfortunately they stopped printing the magazines in the early 2000's.
All in all, I found my media choice to be a very interesting topic to research. I'm glad I used a website because I feel it gave me more options and topics to write about. I found it easier to come up with material to write about because I had a lot of media to examine.

Blog Post 5

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My first paper was on section two, I analyzed Kanye West's music video for the song "Monster." I had already listened to the song several times because I'm a huge fan of Bon Iver, but I had never seen the video. It was actually pretty hard to find, there is only a fuzzy, low quality version on YouTube. I Googled it and found the video on the Rolling Stone website, along with a bunch of critiques calling the video "misogynistic" and "vile." I was shocked when I saw it for the first time, as I really like the song and it was nothing at all like I pictured. This video was the first thing that came to mind when I started writing my paper. The only article that was really relevant to my subjects was "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist," because of both the presence of Nicki Minaj in the video and the fact that this was even released. I used a couple of outside sources from entertainment news websites though they both said pretty much the same thing. It was hard to find a critic who actually liked the video! If any of you want to listen to a really good song and watch a really bad video, here's a link:
http://www.rollingstone.com/videos/new-and-hot/kanye-west-finally-releases-monster-video-20110606

Working-Class Men in Sitcoms

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I did my section two paper on the portrayals of working-class white men in network television sitcoms. The two shows I primarily focused on were All in the Family and King of Queens. I realized well I was thinking about my argument that I needed to find certain characteristics which the media always use for working-class white men. As the Archie Bunker example in "Class Dismissed?" highlighted, Archie Bunker was a white working-class man whom held racist beliefs. I then decided to focus on All in the Family as one of the media texts. As I continued to try and find working-class stereotypes I thought of how the media portrays working-class men as dumb or idiotic. While Archie Bunker could be seen in as such idiot, I thought I needed a stronger character and then I included Doug Heffernan from King of Queens in my analyses. I had familiarity with these shows and this helped me argue my point better, because I have seen many episodes of each sitcom.

I choose to use course readings for my paper only if, they made my paper better and highlighted my argument clear. I used "Class Dismissed?" and the Butsch article because they related directly to my point. I did not really have any challenges writing this paper accept at the beginning I could not decide what media text I wanted to relate to my argument. I used a couple outside sources in my paper. The first one was from an in-class discussion about class and stereotypes that related well with my argument. The second was a comment from a blog post about female misrepresentation in the media. The comment carried my argument of how working-class men are portrayed as inferior to their wives in more modern shows such as King of Queens. I found that source from just searching through the Internet with an idea of the kind of support I wanted relating directly to that part of my argument.

If, I could change anything about my paper it would probably be the comment that I used to support the part of my argument about working-class men being portrayed as inferior to their wives in sitcoms today. The comment was not scholarly, it came from a blog on a website. I would have much rather used a certain quote from an article from a journal, newspaper, or even a Television critic. The only thing was I could not find any specific article relating to the King of Queens and the gender roles that it portrays. The comment helped, however it did not really come with a level of credibility. My advice would be in the same circumstance of section two papers where we are given several topics to discuss is to pick one that is relatable to you. I did not do mine on femininity or race because I cannot relate to them as well as I can relate to class. I am working-class and my family is as well so it was very relatable.

Blog Response: Research

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I did my second paper on the portrayal of manliness in the UFC. My roommate is super in to it and one day I was watching the pre fight interviews between two fighters with my roommate. Thats how I got the idea to do the paper. The same week there was some big UFC fight night extravaganza that my roommate NEEDED to watch. So I sat done with him and did my research. I watched what these dudes had to say to each other, directly and indirectly, and it fit absolutely perfectly with the beginning statements of Jacson Katz's movie as well as his article that we had to read. The fun part about my research (drinking beer and watching people fight) was that I was initially just waiting for the fighters being interviewed to immaturely name call the other dude. That did in fact happen and it was then that I realized that they were making a very general statement about that person as it pertains to them even outside of the UFC. But not only did they degrade the other fighters personality, but they also attacked their skills as a fighter and that strictly pertains to their manliness within the UFC. So to clarify, it was interesting that they felt the need to put them down in respect to their life outside the UFC and within the UFC. So apparently, to a UFC fighter, another fighter really has nothing going for them. It was also fun to watch the one doing the most shit talking lose.
The next thing I did was watch a ton of pre fight interviews on you tube. Nearly every single interview I watched contained some sort of over the top and unnecessary trash talk that almost directly pertained to the other fighters manliness both inside and outside the UFC. It was actually really funny to watch grown men do this but it was also funny how much the content of the pre fight interviews dealt directly with Katz's arguments.

Blog Entry

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I decided to write my section 2 paper on hyper masculinity within the African American community. Specifically hyper masculinity within major rap stars and how these images of them portrayed in the media affect our perceptions of how African American men really are. I chose this topic because in my mind it is a very complex issue. There are many different theories as to why there is so much hyper masculinity in the African American community and I thought it would be a fun topic to critique and analyze. I do listen to some rap music for pleasure so I was already familiar with the culture. Also adding to that; I grew up in an upper class suburb that is predominately white so ever since junior high age I have found the African American "ghetto" culture to be quite fascinating because it is way out of my everyday normal life surroundings. I wanted to focus on how African American men who are hyper masculine portray themselves so I chose to cite David Katz since he talked a lot about the "tough guise" front they put on. The way I found my outside sources was just by typing in a topic to Google and looking for the most credible or reputable source. There were a few great sources I used when talking about counter hegemonic rap artists but other than that most of the information in my paper stemmed from my own ideas and thoughts. The main challenges I had when writing this paper was trying to organize it all. There was so much I wanted to talk about but I had trouble putting it all together cohesively. Because of this I felt like I may have left out some key points or issues. Something I would change about the paper is probably just spending more time on it so that I am for sure able to get all of my thoughts on paper the same way it's processed in my mind. I can have a great idea in my head but sometimes it is hard for me to translate it onto paper. A piece of advice I would give someone that is writing this kind of paper for the first time is to start early so that you have time to process all of your thoughts and ideas. These kinds of papers require a lot of thought and planning. Once you do that it's a lot easier to write a successful paper.

POST THURSDAY DQS HERE!!!

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Due Wed at 10 pm

Thanks!

Blog Entry: Paper 1

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I wrote my first paper on a political economy analysis of the television series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. My paper focused on the ways in which Hasbro's vertical integration allows the company to create programming which is essentially just advertising for their line of My Little Pony toys.
I chose to analyze My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic because I found the relationship between Hasbro owning the toy brand, the network the show is aired on, and owning the production company which produces the show interesting. I also thought it was a good example of political economy and how economics creates programming and content.
I first came in to contact with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic when one of my friends who is a self proclaimed 'bronie' made me watch an episode. I found the show really funny and cute and since then have watched in when in need of some good friendship advice. This show was also given as an example in my Comm3211 lecture as an example of vertical integration. By further analyzing this text I not only came to understand political economy but also came to understand the concept of vertical integration better.
For me the main challenge in writing this paper was organization and grammar. It was the first paper I had written since May. I felt like I had forgotten how to write a sentence over the summer. It was also challenging to know how to organize the paper, but looking back at the articles from our reader I was able to copy other authors and find a better way to organize my paper. I also found myself forgetting that the reader knew nothing of the subject. It was hard for me to remember to clearly explain all aspects of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and political economy. Yet I found that it was important to remember that this paper should be useful to anyone not just those familiar with the subject.
I used many outside sources in my paper. I find my sources by first going to a Wikipedia article about My Little Pony and then looking at the sources cited. This is often a way to find really good sources on a topic because someone else has already found these sources useful. While Wikipedia is not a good source itself, but the sources cited in its articles is often a really good place to start gathering information for papers. I also looked for blog entries on My Little Pony because it has such a high internet following there seemed to be countless articles on the show. Yet I had to sift through a lot of blogs about single episodes to find blogs which had interviews with the developer of the show.
If I could go back and redo this paper I would have spent more time editing it before originally handing it in. I also would have started my paper earlier so I could have talked to more people about it. I would have really loved to interview my friend who is a 'bronie', but because I did not start my paper soon enough I did not have time. I think interviews and interesting sources can bring a lot of different elements to papers, I hope that in the future I procrastinate less and have time to do this type of research.
To other students interested in writing political economy analysis of media texts, I would recommend doing a lot of research to fully comprehend the economic relationships which affect the production of the show. I had a vague idea of these relationships when I started writing my paper, but after doing substantial research the argument was looking at me straight in the face.

Hi all!

This week I want you to write about your own research for this class. I want you all to see what each other is doing for the section papers and also have you think through your research process. You may choose either your work for the Sec 1 or Sec 2 paper to blog about. Here are some questions to prompt your writing, but feel free to expand beyond these. You do not have to answer these all:

You must first tell us what you wrote your paper on, just summarize it in a sentence or two.
1. How did you choose the media text you wanted to analyze?
2. Did you already have familiarity with the media text?
3. How did you choose what course readings to use for your paper?
4. What were the challenges of writing the paper?
5. If you used outside sources, how did you find them?
6. What would you change about the paper if you could? (the text, the time you spent, etc. etc.)
7. What advice would you have for people writing this type of analytically paper for the first time?

POST TUESDAY DQS HERE!

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Due Monday by 10 p.m.

Thanks!

Sucker Punch

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Hey y'all

I watch this really good action film last night called "Sucker Punch" directed by Zack Snyder, the director of "300". It gives a really good representation of post-feminism. The main characters are all women in a 1950's mental asylum trying to escape. They do so by using their sexuality, but at the same time they follow a certain feminine code. There is also the same kind of representation discussed of "Charlie's Angels" where a man, The Wiseman, gives orders to the women to further achieve their escape. However, as much as he orders them around, he still helps them out and cares for them. Its a pretty good film and if you have the time I would suggest watching it.

Blog number 5

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My blog post for this week is in response to Danny's question about the American fetish with Asian American and Asian porn. I have to agree with you. I also do not know where I actually stand with pornography (well actually I am not really for it but I can't control other people), but what I have heard from other guy friends is they enjoy the Asian's more than other races. I have also noticed that these women are seen as a sexual figure "if" they maintain a small figure. I have also heard men who have never been introduced to Asian American women go crazy for them because they are different then what they have had in previous relationships. What I don't understand is why are these woman always seen as sexual objects and what changes the sexual object from the Asian American woman? When I have talked to some of my male friend, they have told me that girls who look like they are from an Asian country give off the sense of not being able to be touch so it makes them mystical and a fantasy so that is why they are attracted to them. My friend who is a complete porn freak told me that Asians have their own category on some sites. That gives men and women who are not Asian the sense that they are different and they are something to have a fantasy over. I remember watching Sin City and the woman that kills one of the "bad guys". She was presented as the quiet but sexy killer, with the power to use her looks to make it easier for her to kill the man. It was represented as if he was lost in her looks and seen as nothing more than a sexual object that he wanted to jump onto. What I don't understand is what makes different races more attractive than other and easier to categorize as sexy, slutty or nasty. Does culture have anything to do with it, or do the media and how they represent maintain it all change what we think of people?


Sorry this is late. I just now got home from work and posted as soon as I could!

Blog #5

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Question: Major rap artists like Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg use the terms bitches and hoes very loosely in their lyrics. Rose states that these men do not have the right to use these terms because they are no longer surrounded by these types of women. Being that Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg both are married; do you think these rappers are using these words in a matter of their own opinion, or need to utilize them because they feel pressure to maintain their gangster rap image?
Also, with the relative looseness of derogatory words such as bitches, hoes, and even the "N" word being used in most rap/hop-hop song these days it seems that people are much more accepting of these words being used in our everyday vocabulary as they have taken on a new cultural meaning. Children who listen to these songs are saying these words without knowing the true meaning and therefore are absorbing false impressions of the black community. It's probably almost impossible to ask these hip-hop artists to stop using these words in their song lyrics, but is there any way we could reverse these derogatory words cultural meaning to prevent future racial stereotyping issues?


I think that artists like Jay-Z and Snoop use these words in their songs because that is what they are known for, and feel they must use them in order to uphold their image. In the hip hop world, artists who do not use derogatory words like this are the anomaly. Even ones that don't use words like bitches and hoes frequently, music videos still have images of scantily clad women, because this is what sells. Tying to think of rappers who do not continually make songs using words like bitches and hoes is hard. Granted I'm more of an alternative and classic rock kind of gal, I do like my share of hip hop. Of what I listen to I could pretty much only come up with Lupe Fiasco and Minneapolis rapper, P.O.S. For the most part both of their songs are not littered with derogatory words and typically make political statements of some kind. Artists like them are tough to find, because in my opinion mainstream music has become such a factory and focused on cranking out artists and material. So many people we consider "artists" don't write their own songs. Clever music, that isn't about bitches and hoes, is frankly harder to come by because it takes more thought and time.

I don't know if you have ever listened to the "Bitches ain't Shit" but it is extremely graphic, but barely looked at twice because it has become so much the norm. This song is extremely demeaning and, as Dr. Dre says "As long as my motherf*cking pockets was fat I didn't give a f*ck where the bitch was at", is in addition a derogatory objectification of women. As a society, we have become desensitized to derogatory language such as this, and just accept that it is used to uphold an image and sell records. Ben Folds, actually took this song and more or less made a cover of it. He took the lyrics, slowed it down and put them to piano. This got people's attention because it was so very much out of the ordinary, they weren't expecting it. A white guy with thick rimmed glasses should not play a beautiful piano melody and set it lyrics that have words like that. It is something you never here in that genre, but something all too common in rap. I definitely think this has a negative effect on people and perpetuates many negative stereotypes about both the rap and black communities, and how women should be perceived. Unfortunately, I do not think major strides will be made in changing this aspect of culture.

Blog numba 5

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"In Esposito's article about Ugly Betty she talks about affirmative action and how "whites" have termed it "reverse discrimination". She explains that reverse discrimination usually occurs when a white individual feels unjustly treated because of the color of their skin. How has this victimized stance of whites further marginalize minority groups?"

The marginalization of minority groups is most definitely exacerbated by this "victimized stance" of whites. "Merit" alone, even in our world today, is not the sole reason for success. Whites have a privilege still, a leg up--and the failure to recognize that, talk about it, and deal with it-- that is what makes things even harder for minorities. Like Melody was explaining in class--just being a minority starts a person off with "negative points". Whites have the rules of which they must operate in society stacked in their own benefit and this does not allow upward mobility in society for many minorities.

Affirmative action and other vehicles instituted to produce equality are there to close the gap between races. However, there is a strong resistance to these policies--many whites deem them "unfair" (taking victimized stance). They justify their white privilege with thoughts that minority individuals are lazy, unmotivated, etc, and that drives discrimination. The idea of "color-blindness" takes effect here--which is the "belief that race should be ignored and that race-conscious practices and policies only foster more racism" (Race and Ethnicity in Society, 78).

Our reality is not that everyone is equal; everyone does not start out with the same opportunities. The access of education and jobs is still inhibited for minority races--BECAUSE of their race--not because of their culture, or "lack of motivation", which is the common perception of whites. Media portrays a different reality--fostering these beliefs, by showing minorities as successful musicians, or athletes we are led to believe opportunity is not based on race.
For many minorities too, they have to conform the way they dress, speak, and express themselves to fit the mold of whites. I would never want to change things about myself, that make me who I am, because it's the only way I can become "successful"--that would never make me happy. Perhaps that's a simplistic way of looking at all of this.
I believe that until privilege is no longer existent, until everyone is born with the same opportunities regardless of race--affirmative action and things like it are necessary.

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In response to the Alicia Keys video blog post, the video shows what interracial relationships were like in past decades, do you think much has changed from the 50's?
Another key point from the video is in the middle of the song, when the black men are beating up Chad Michael Murray's role, the music stops and the Alicia Key's characters brother says "She's MY sister." And Chad Michael Murray's character says "What? Am I not good enough?" This plays on the brothers looking out for the sister, would this be the same if it were the other way around and a black man was dating a white woman? What constitutes being "good enough"? Is the brother implying that if Chad Michael Murrays role were black then he would be good enough for his sister? Why do you think they emphasized this part in the music video?


Undoubtedly, much has changed since the 50's. Drake and Alicia Keys are perfect examples of that. In her article, it was pretty apparent that Thea Lim was encoding this video through an oppositional view. Something that she addressed in her article was an inaccuracy with the video. I have to admit I was on her side when she was talking about how white people were known as the intimidators and more dangerous in the 50's, not black people. It did seem like a misrepresentation of what things used to be like.

In the video Chad Michael Murray's friend gives him a couple nudges on the shoulder which I viewed as a "Hey man I got your back." It seemed his friend supported his desire to be in an interracial relationship. To be honest, I don't think this was very accurate for that day and age. This is where I disagree with the music video because it is showing how only black people regard interracial couples negatively.

Another example Thea gave her readers was that Drake and Alicia Keys are both mixed people. I am curious to know if people were insulted by the fact that she was basically taking away their "blackness" by pointing out because they were both mixed this completely contradicted everything the video represented. I thought the author was a little extreme in this judgment but it was questionable why Alicia Keys seemed to portray being more "white." I noticed that her hair was straight which I don't think was that typical in the 50's.

Lastly, it was addressed that Chad Michael Murray's character says "What? Am I not good enough?" The question behind this was, "Would this be the same if it were the other way around and a black man was dating a white woman?" The situation in the music video had to do with race most definitely. But in reality I personally believe this is just a trait that most older brothers carry. The big bother plays a protective role to their younger sister regardless of what race anyone involved is. "What constitutes being "good enough"? In this video it is clear that being white is what isn't good enough. They emphasized this in the video because this may be a struggle people deal with when people get involved interracially and that is what the music video was trying to address.

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Question:The issues this articles raises include, why would a company invest its resources, time, and money, to someone less qualified to look good on paper? Another, why would a supervisor end up offering a job to both? You'd be restructuring just to settle because feelings might be hurt. I feel as though I don't necessarily agree with that. If you want the business to excel and be the most successful, you would hire the most qualified candidate right? The decision shouldn't have to weigh so heavily on race, gender, or any other non-traditional person should it? "Postdiscrimination" anybody?

Answer: I definitely agree with the issue that people should not be hired to a company based on their race, gender, social status, or sexual orientation. People should be hired based on their qualifications for the job and their character. Unfortunately, some employers do not know how to look past some of these issues and judge someone's qualifications for the job based on something completely irrelevant like a person's name or their accent. It is ridiculous to think you can judge a person's intelligence from something like a name or the way they speak. On the other hand, I do believe that many employers do hire a minority to meet a special quota. I don't think a business would put their company in such jeopardy that they would hire a minority with no qualifications, but I do think that sometimes if there is a white person and a minority with practically the same qualifications and experience for the job that the minority would be the one hired. I wish that there was some way companies could do a blind interview so that there would be less discrimination when hiring potential employees. Unfortunately I don't think there is going to be any sort of revelation on this issue anytime soon. People will, and always will have their preconceived notions about certain types of people and we judge on a daily basis without even knowing it. The only thing we can do is try to become more aware of when we are judging for nonsensical reasons and judge someone based on their character and not their gender or skin color.

Part One: Why must we refer to race when decisions are made that matter most to us?
To answer your first question, I don't think we always blame race when a certain situation doesn't go our way. I do think we tend to blame other people despite race. It is easier than admitting to ourselves that we could have done something wrong. Here in America it's a bad habit we have, not taking responsibility for our actions. However, when race is a factor, for example in Betty's case, it is easier to put the blame on that. The roles could have easily been reverse if initially Marc got the internship and Betty did not. She could have said to him "the only reason why you got this position is because you are gay and gays have more of an advantage in the fashion industry". I understand in this episode Betty only got this position because she was Hispanic. I highly doubt in the real world that would be ok. I'm sure they are looking to me a certain quota but they are also looking for something that can help advance their company. This episode was extremely exaggerated but it did bring up valid issues.

Part Two: Should race be a factor of why to blame someone?
I don't think it is ever ok to blame someone else's success on race, gender or sexual orientation. I feel people have a hard time looking at the big picture and admitting that some people may have deserved what they have. Unfortunately it happens all the time. Take for example the presidential election of 2008 when Obama won. I remember people who were not a fan of him saying "The only reason why he won is because he is black" or "the only reason why someone would vote for him is because he is black". Truth is he ran a better campaign than John McCain did. I don't think people realize they play the race card as much as they do. It's apart of our culture to blame the minority. It's sad but a reality. North Minneapolis is a bad area in town and if you were to ask certain people why that is, more than likely they would say "because of all the blacks, they cause trouble and sell drugs". They refuse to see there are plenty of white people in that part of town that cause problems too. I don't think it is fair for those who truly work hard to get where they are to be put down because of the color of their skin. Why does the minority have higher crime rate and lower education? It's because the dominate group always put them down and does not give them the encouragement to get ahead because of who they are. Now when someone of the minority does become successful in a job, once again race becomes a factor because the dominate group thinks the only reason why they got the job was because of they are black, Asian etc. The issue of race is never going to go away there are always going to be people who put people of color down. It's sad but just the society we live in.

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My response to peno0005.

So the last question that was asked was "Do you think that part of the matter is that people see themselves as how others see them instead of through their own eyes and that puts a hault to actions they wish they could execute?" I think that actually that is what happens to most people that don't have the confidence in themselves and only know who they are because of what other people tell them. If you hear something repeatedly enough you start to believe it and therefore it hinders your ability to succeed. I think a lot of people struggle with the notion that the outside world effects how well one does. If someone constantly hears how good they are at an activity, of course they are gunna play harder or work harder so they can keep the positive feedback coming. On the other hand if someone gets called stupid or ugly enough, they believe it and they will think thats all people see them as and then thats all they see themselves as. For instance, For a lot of my years as an out gay man, I have been told I am one of the gayest men out there or I am extremely flamboyant. I know when I was younger I was immature and bouncing off the walls but hearing it so much in the beginning made me think thats all i was, so now I will play up how gay I am to get a rise out of people or because I think thats what people want; me to be extremely gay and the typical flamboyant kid that runs around. Trying to get away with that is hard, when I just want to be calm and relaxed, I get asked if I am ok, is something wrong or is everything alright. At a certain point you just get sick of living your life for other people. In Betty's case, she may have done the act and didn't really want to but she will do it again before she realizes she needs to live her life for herself and not for everyone else. People want to be different to a certain extent but really people want to fit it somewhat, otherwise how else do you connect on a personal level with others. I don't think what i am saying involves everyone, but I think at some point a person has felt this, that they couldn't do what they wanted because of what other people would say, think, or how people already view them. If someone tries to go outside the norm of themselves, they will probably get feedback from others that is not positive and encouraging. Betty probably didn't want people to see her as just Hispanic or of another race, but as a equal person and thats why she gave up the opportunity, that way the YETI program wouldn't see her as just Hispanic and the gay guy wouldn't see her as that either. We all make choices and decisions, sometimes because we wonder what other people are going to do or say, we want affirmation in our lives, regardless of how different we really want to be.

Blog post, response to DQ

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In response to moran243 discussion question, "Does the media sexualize a pimp or a thug, to please the audience's preference or set the audiences preference? Is the media giving us what we want or telling us what we want by sexualizing certain races and ethnicities?"

I think that the media constructs what we want, especially by sexualizing specific races and even genders. The media constructed the image of the pimp or thug by making it look glamorous and something we, the audience, would desire. The pimp or thug image is depicted in many rap stars, which is in turn seen as glamorous because we have the idea that all celebrities live rich fabulous lifestyles. So when we see these rappers being sexualized as pimps or thugs we almost see it as a cool, positive thing because they are celebrities so they have to be representing something good, right? wrong. When in reality, as Rose stated "pimp ideology and its expression in popular culture are fundamentally exploitative to women." This actually means that these women are being called prostitutes and whores, both have a negative connotation and people do not desire to be. However, the media can reconstruct this image, turn it around and make it seem positive and desirable by glamorizing the pimp/thug image. This can relate to feminism and enlightened sexism because some people will argue that the women, or "bitches and hoes" that these pimps control, aren't actually being controlled by the pimp/thug image. Instead, they actually act this way because it is empowering and liberating to them, and it makes them feel sexy. Yet some would argue they the media is constructing these images of the pimp and thug because sexy, which in turn makes women want to be their bitches and hoes. However, the pimp image is still being elevated and promoted. This can also relate to the political economy and the fact that the rapper lifestyle is so desired, this industry can make more money. Young men desire to be in the hip hop scene because of the fame, the money, the cars, and especially the women. And the women in turn desire to be part of this industry because they are seen as sexy, half naked, and powerful. As we talked in class, would the pimp/thug image be there if the women weren't? Probably not, because the women are what makes the pimp/thug image seem desirable. If nobody found Snoop Dogg and his thug image desirable, the women would not be hanging all over him and making the industry a huge success. I see this as one big cycle of interdependence. The media/industry needs the pimp/thug rappers who need the bitches and hoes women in order for anything to be a success. Why doesn't the media construct rappers to look like preppy, successful business men? Because it wouldn't be as successful and the wouldn't have a big audience. The media can construct the image of pimp/thug to seem desirable in order for the industry to be more successful.

In Esposito's article about Ugly Betty she talks about affirmative action and how "whites" have termed it "reverse discrimination". She explains that reverse discrimination usually occurs when a white individual feels unjustly treated because of the color of their skin. How has this victimized stance of whites further marginalize minority groups?

The first example of reverse discrimination occurs when Betty is expected into the YETI program because she is Latino. Marc clearly should have been accepted into the program because he had worked for month on his presentation, had a team and was far more prepared, but because Betty was Latino, she was accepted because the program needed to meet a certain "quota". Because Betty had such a close relationship with Marc, she found out right away about the unfairness of her acceptance into the program, although at first regarding it as her wanting the position more, she later learns that she indeed was chosen based on her ethnicity. In the case of reverse discrimination, Marc is the one being affected here because he is the white male who deserved the position, but was not given the position because of the companies desire to have a diverse group of interns.
Because whites have chosen to speak out about the unfairness of affirmative action, minority groups have become further marginalized. Every decision, according to whites, has to do with race/ethnicity. This makes race and ethnicity actually more problematic then it may actually be. Betty had to learn through Marc that she didn't deserve the position, but who says that she didn't deserve the position on the first place? Maybe she actually did want the position more, and thus deserved it more that Marc. Maybe her presentation wasn't as likeable as Marcs, But he was a Gay White Male in the industry, who actually are discriminated against as well in the work place.
However, the case of further marginalizing minority groups comes from the acknowledging that fact that businesses are looking at race or ethnicity when making a decision for a position. The acknowledgement of that and the assumptions that come along with it, make minority groups more aware of their race and ethnicity prior to going into the interview. Therefore, when a person from a minority group receives a promotion or gets that position when competing with those of majority groups, they automatically believe it had something to do with their race. This may be the case in some circumstances, however who is to say that they cannot do just as well as their competitors?
The victimized stance of whites has ultimately lead companies to not be able to higher people of minority groups unless their resume is above and beyond all of their competitors. If they were to higher someone without those qualifications, whites would feel they were wrongly discriminated against.

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In the article about Alicia Keys music video for "Unthinkable" the author notes that Drake wrote the song and sang back up vocals. If Drake had of been featured in this video with a white woman how would have the representation changed? Did the Alicia Keys video highlight black hate for interracial relationships because she is a female?

I was actually wondering the same exact thing after watching the music video, especially after our discussion in class about the meanings behind the video and the blog post. Personally, I think that if Drake would have been featured and would have been the one that was being threatened by his white girlfriend's friends and family, it would have correctly portrayed how this would have happened in the late 1950s. Historically, it was definitely a bigger problem when black men were seen with white women or even thinking about being with them. I think that maybe the producers involved with this music video didn't want to show the typical racist portrayal; honestly, I don't understand why though because now the video makes the black men involved look aggressive and threatening towards the white male. Whether we like it or not, black men are portrayed in the media as usually being aggressive and threatening so this is just reinforcing that stereotype, which is why I don't understand the producer's reason for doing this. I can't help to think that the reason that the producers would do this is to create controversy and exposure. I am well aware that a huge strategy amongst all types of media is to create any sort of controversy so that they will receive more exposure and more people will view their material. What I don't understand, is when someone like Alicia Keys would want to have this sort of controversy about a music video surrounding her, especially when it involves racism issues.

The second part of this discussion question is very interesting to think about and I think involves the intersectional approach. I don't necessarily think that this video is only showing the dislike for interracial relationships because Alicia Keys is a female. I think that even if it were Drake as the main character in this video, the dislike for interracial relationship would still be portrayed in essentially the same light. Also, I think that in real life and in history whether it is a white man and a black woman or a black man and a white woman, the view on interracial relationships is very similar.

Hi all!

As I am planning our class for this week (yes I know, riveting Friday), I thought it may be a good idea to post some questions I was planning to ask you. Perhaps this may help some of you focus your reading. These questions only pertain to the SVU article b/c it is long and complicated in parts. You do not have to prepare answers for these questions. If you all like this, I can post questions for the disability article, too.

Look for an email from me soon about new office hours.

Thanks everyone!
Melody


What is this "new" feminism? (p. 124)

Why is the show misogynistic? (p. 124)

How does the show condemn the feminine?

How is feminism understood in this piece? (start with p. 117)

Thus, what are the feminist elements of the show? (entire piece)

How does gender and race intersect with the storylines?

How does SVU NOT glorify sexual assault and rape?

Is it the same thing for Rihanna and Eminem?

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Question:

The ugly betty article made me think and ask myself, what would it be like if we didn't have the affirmative action law but decisions like these were still made. Why must we refer to race when decisions are made that matter most to us? Is it only when something so important to us is compromised or not given to us that we blame the other if they are another race? Of course when you want something so bad and you don't get it, its only natural to blame everyone else but yourself. Should race be a factor of why to blame someone?

Answer:

In an ideal world I would say that race wouldn't and shouldn't be a factor used to put blame on people. However, we don't live in an ideal world. It is sad to admit that race is still a big indicator of success in today's society. Because of this people still use race as a way to blame others for not getting what they want. We are not living in a post-racial era although most of the media may portray it that way. I think that the Ugly Betty episode tried hard to state that we still have a long way to go. The character Marc, representative of the white person, is oblivious to his privileges and blames "affirmative action" for Betty's success. He doesn't realize that, because he is a gay man in fashion, he already starts out with many privileges. He was able to get people to help him on his presentation because of these privileges. Betty, on the other hand, had none of this. She started from below bottom and has to work hard to even be close to Marcs position. Yet Mark is still upset. I think the producers and director of Ugly Betty realizes that this attitude is prevalent among a lot of white people today who have termed affirmative action as "reverse racism". I think this is why they chose to approach the topic of affirmative action in the way they did. I think affirmative action is fair because it levels the playing field. However, I would argue too that society would be so much better without it if we just learn how look beyond race. I think that as humans we always dwell on each other's differences and never our similarities. This causes us to believe that we are so different from others and that we have little common grounds with people who don't look like us. Personally, when I think about the term "affirmative action" I am quite amazed that a lot of companies still have to oblige to that rule because we, as a society, haven't moved beyond that point yet. It is unfortunate that there are still "quotas" to be met. I guess the question is, will we ever move beyond that point? Will we ever stop blaming others for our problems? I don't think we will.

I really appreciate the exercise that we did in class and the explanation that Melody gave at the end about the scoreboard. As a minority woman, I know that I have less advantageous in life and know that I will have to work harder than if I was a white man. Like Melody stated, some people start out with negative points while others start out with lots of points on their plate already. Affirmative action is not "reverse racism", it is a way to give everyone an equal opportunity; something that should have been given to everyone in the first place.

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Peno0005's question: Betty almost closes the door of opportunity for herself because she is "different"; do you see a problem with that? Many people may argue that they are not looked at the same or do not have equal opportunity, but is it because it's what the majority acts on, or is it because not enough people have tried in the fear of people seeing their own fear (feeling different, looking different, acting different)? Betty stepped down because she did not feel as though she belonged. Because she felt different, she decided to close the door of opportunity instead of proving to others she was capable even if she didn't look like the stereotypical on-taker. Do you think that part of the matter is that people see themselves as how others see them instead of through their own eyes and that puts a hault to actions they wish they could execute?

There's nothing wrong about being different but there's the idea of adapting and fearing. I think you're right about how people fear feeling different, looking different, and acting different. I believe that people tend to pick on difference among people rather than the similarities when you first meet a person, for example that person has lighter skin tone than me or that person is using a wheelchair. I think the reason why people look at the differences, that can also cause ridicule since people sometimes rejects adapting to different situations that they are used to.
As for the other question about how people see themselves from other people's perspective instead of their own, I think it applies to different people. For some people it's just easier to act how other people view them instead of their own. While there are other people who don't have much care as to what other people say about them. I think people with less confidence, people who are pressured, culture, or people that don't care much about themselves; tend to act how they should act. I know for a lot of Asian people I know are pressured from their families to do well in school and that's why the stereotype of Asian nerd tends to pop out. For African Americans, it depends where or how they grew up because typically you hear the gangster kind of African American or African American who have an upperclass job such as a lawyer, mayor, or sports players.
When it comes to equal opportunities, I find that false when race comes into mind. Just like how we spoke in discussion, names and race gives you a higher or lower chance to get hired for a job (which I must say is rather sad). I think the reason why is because America is trying hard become diverse without being racist or unfair. In the end it's hard to please everyone because being fair is very difficult.

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Question:After watching the Alicia Keys video "Unthinkable" and reading the blog post by Thea Lim, I am wondering how the video would have changed if it would have been white men threatening and being aggressive towards a black boyfriend (given the woman singer would have been white)? Or how about if it were showing black women being aggressive and threatening to the white, woman singer? More importantly and probably more interesting, how would the argument change regarding the video?

I think that if the roles in this video were reversed the video would be more historically accurate, and send a stronger message about interracial relationships.

Firstly I think the video would echo history more accurately. To me the current Alicia Keys video is in some ways confusing because it is so historically inaccurate. I think most people are aware of the haunting stories about black men being lynched and harassed if they even looked at white women. Emmett Till's death is a chilling story of this reality and what it was like for black men who looked at white women in the 1950's. So it seems strange that Key's video shows the opposite of what we would historically expect. I think if the roles were switched it would be a more shocking video. Viewers would see it and be reminded of the ugly history of racism which this country has endured. This historical representation could bring Alicia Keys under a negative light. If she portrayed white men beating up a black man in her video I think she would be seen as racist by the white community. White viewers may think she was inferring they are racists. This would in turn make this audience feel uncomfortable. Since this music video was predominately played on cable networks I assume the target audience is young adults who have disposable income. A large percentage of this audience would be white, if the video showed white people as racists it would force viewers to confront their history of racism or encourage them to change the channel and no longer watch the video or the surrounding advertisements. But it is important to remember that whites are not the only audience who watches music videos. I think the current video would enrage people of color who know the history of racism or have witnessed racism first hand. Due to the historical inaccuracy they would change the channel. I also believe that an opposite more historically accurate depiction would be more empowering for the audience. Instead of hiding from our history we would acknowledge it, realize how wrong this violence was and thus work for a future without prejudices for interracial couples. I think that this representation would have been more risky from a political economy standpoint but it would be more moving and fit better with the song. The images in the video would truly be 'unthinkable'.
Due to the improved historical accuracy of this video I think the argument surrounding this video would also flip. I think instead of being ridiculed as focusing on 'black hate' and humping out racism, the video would be seen as a story depicting a harsh reality that existed in the past it would create awareness of the problem in the audience. I think Alicia would be praised for telling such a hard historical story to tell. But I also think the video might need more of a resolve in order to be played. In the current video over time it seems the problem is static, in each decade they are discriminated against. If she did flip the roles in order to not make viewers uncomfortable I think she could create the now day couple as being accepted. But then again the accepted representation would most likely be looked at as unrealistic and untruthful by bloggers like the one who wrote this article.

I thought I would post this blog as it is extremely pertinent to the class discussion and activity we did in class today. I learned of Tim Wise when I attended the U's Social Justice retreat. He is arguable today's foremost scholar on race and privilege. Check it out, some very interesting articles and arguments here, especially the post from September 25th. It is a CNN clip regarding a bake sale where the amount you pay depends on your race. One of the orgainizers of the event and Wise are both featured in a discussion over the controversy surrounding the sale.

Response to Stern161

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After watching the Alicia Keys video "Unthinkable" and reading the blog post by Thea Lim, I am wondering how the video would have changed if it would have been white men threatening and being aggressive towards a black boyfriend (given the woman singer would have been white)? Or how about if it were showing black women being aggressive and threatening to the white, woman singer? More importantly and probably more interesting, how would the argument change regarding the video?

I think this is very interesting question. When looking at a racially charged video i enjoy imagining the other directions it could be taken. I agree with the class discussion that if it were white men acting violent towards a black man, it would be too real. America likes to forget the shady things we have done. Also it would have been a bad choice for her to show black girls being aggressive towards a white girl because it would reaffirm the angry black girl stereotype.

In addition to these situations I got to thinking about other options. If men showed aggression towards the opposing race gender, then the whole concept of of the video would change from a race issue to an abusive relationship.

What if you read the video that the black men were only showing violence to the white man because he doesn't want anyone one dating his sister, and it didn't matter that he was white.

What if the video where of an Asian man trying to date a white girl, that would erase the whole issue of Alicia Keys being mixed race. Would that be a newer issue? I think anyways, at least at my high school whites and Asians were in constant fights.

Lastly imagine if it were a Mexican man dating a white girl (particularly a white girl who has family that hates "wetbacks"), that would be a current issue that I am sure people on border states have to deal with.

Of course these are all what if situations, but it does make you think how race can affect a entire story, and how it is read.

Hi all.
Thanks for the great discussion today. You all are so smart!

Here is a link to McIntosh's "Knapsack" piece that inspired the privilege walk: http://nymbp.org/reference/WhitePrivilege.pdf

And here is an article by Tim Wise that has some good stats about Affirmative Action: http://www.timwise.org/2011/09/getting-what-we-deserve-wealth-race-and-entitlement-in-america/

Hip-Hop and Words

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In response to taftx030, I definitely think that the older rappers like Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z are really only putting on a front for the audience to maintain their reputation in Hip-Hop. When they first started gaining attention from rapping they probably had some encounters with women that would be described as "bitches" however now I do not buy that they often encounter these types of women. We can tell from the video of "Sweat" that he is Appealing to his audience of fans. He is married and has three children and with working on his music and running the company that distributes his music, I do not buy the portrayal of himself within the video. He definitely does not pimp women to Prince Charles and Harry and the portrayal is almost absurd. I have not heard much of Jay-Z's music lately, however it also seems in his music that he presents a fake life style. He has many lyrics referring to himself being the owner of the New Jersey Nets professional basketball team. However, if one actually does research on this matter they soon realize that he actually only owns a small percent of the team and was really only brought in as an investor to bring publicity to the team moving to Brooklyn.

Although most rappers continue to portray themselves as pimps and thugs to up-hold their reputations, they are still creating new stereotypes while maintaining their reputation, to present an answer to the second question. The lyrics that are in most Hip-Hop songs such as "bitch", "Ho", "thug", and "pimp" all are decoded as to be referring to black people. When Hip-Hop artists first started using these words they were changing the meaning. The only thing was they were changing the meaning to reflect badly on black people. Before they used these words they were common words in society's vocabulary, regardless of how derogatory, images of race were never thought of with these words. However, once they began to be heard in Hip-Hop culture, which was predominately black, they began to be associated with black people. It's a sad scenario that occurred to give these words a different meaning, however if they were given these meanings, I believe the meaning can be taken away.

I remember hearing a upper middle class white man referring to a very nice object, such as a Rolex, as "pimpin'" at a mall. I think that in those instances the word was given a different meaning that is not bad. Another meaning for "thug" that rapper Tupac created was the saying "thug life" which is an acronym for "The Hate U Give Little Infants F's Everyone". This saying could be decoded as being directed toward racists giving hate to others, children, and in-turn creating a hostile environment. They teach racism their children will become racist, they hate others of different races, they teach their children to hate them. The meanings of words can be changed and this change can give the word a good or bad meaning.

Post DQs for Thursday here!

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New deadline for DQs is Mon and Wed at 10 p.m.

Hope the new deadlines help. Thanks everyone for your feedback!

BLOG PROMPT FOR THIS WEEK

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For this week I want you to take a classmate's discussion question posted here on the blog and answer it. Remember, the entry should be around 500 words.

NEW DEADLINE: Saturday by Noon
Have fun!

Blog post for Thursday

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Here is the blog post you have to read for Thursday (per our syllabus). Posted early for those who read early in the week.

http://www.racialicious.com/2010/05/25/mixed-race-mess-alicia-keys-and-unthinkable-interracial-dating/

Hi all,
If you want to cite chapters from the gender, race, and class in media reader for your papers (black fatherhood, katz piece plus many more this semester) here is the full citation:

Dines, Gail and Jean M. Humez eds. Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2011.

If you are unclear what chapters from our reader come from this reader, please ask me.

Hi all,
If you want to cite chapters from the gender, race, and class in media reader for your papers (black fatherhood, katz piece plus many more this semester) here is the full citation:

Dines, Gail and Jean M. Humez eds. Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2011.

If you are unclear what chapters from our reader come from this reader, please ask me.

POST TUESDAY DQS HERE!

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Thanks!

ideology in the media

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remember the example of race-based coverage of Hurricane Katrina victims? This example is even more striking. People across the country are occupying their cities in protest of the economic situation here (Minneapolis starts Oct. 7). As with most protests, the protesters are written about in poor light, and the police in a good light. Here is an amazing example of this, as the article written actually CHANGES:


20 min blame shift ny occupation.jpg

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