December 2012 Archives

Blog 4 (Better late than never!)

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I noticed a lot of people wrote their blogs on Native American rape during colonialism. This is a tragedy, but the real tragedy is that nothing has really changed. I recently read an article about Native American rape in modern day. In most Native American reservations, the rape statistics are up to 12 times as high as in cities. One woman in the Navajo tribe stated that out of all the women on her reservation, she only knows of 1 or 2 that were NOT raped. What makes this into a double edged sword is the fact that the rapists are very rarely caught and sentenced. Just like with boarder rape, Americans are raping minority women and getting away with it. Why is it that this is ok? We need to do something to make rapists pay for their crime. Violating another person's body should never be an acceptable act.

disabling student parents

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As we have discussed in class, it is unfortunate that I often times feel that my being a student parent gives me a certain disability to function as a "typical" student. In fact I'm even considering taking my two year old son to my evening final just to prove a point. Unfortunately, I have a class which is held during the morning hours, but every exam is held at night, 7pm to be specific. I have also even heard other students complain about the test scheduling even though they don't have children, because they also commute. Given the fact that this very campus is always alerting us about its high crime rates, just imagine the stress someone like myself would encounter if I had to travel back and fourth to campus via Metro Transit, after having had to find ALTERNATIVE child care for my son, who's day care closes at 5:30pm.

Interesting Article

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Although our class is almost over, I came across this article tonight and thought it was worth posting on here. Take a look if you decide to take a quick study break!

http://thebluereview.org/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother/

Blog 6 - Ability

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So as I mentioned in our presentation, when we picked our subject of ableism, I spent a day pretending like I was in a wheelchair. I didn't use stairs for a whole day and always used handicapped entrances. What I found is that my day was totally different. Trying to find an entrance into Folwell Hall that was accessible to someone who had a physical disability was difficult.
Most areas around campus, such as ramps or entryways, that were made for those who are disabled seemed almost to be thrown in as an after thought. It seemed like the buildings were built for those who were able bodied, and people who disabled were only thought of after.
Not completely sure what to make this. Maybe our acceptance of all levels of ability has increased over time, so our buildings have changed as well. Whatever the case, hopefully in the near future all levels of ability can be accepted equally.

Political Mother (Extra Credit Blog1)

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Trailer

The above link is a trailer for the Hofesh Shechter Dance Company's performance of Political Mother. Please watch, so you'll know vaguely what I am talking about. :)

I attended this performance at the Orpheum Theater on November 13, and I must say it was one of the most phenomenal things I have ever seen preformed on stage. I felt as though I had seen something that had been written just for me. The subject matter so rich with thematic motifs alluding to the history of a people and the power relations surrounding civilization. An entire spectrum of passion ranging from love to rage was expressed without words, and I firmly believe that an attempt to describe performances like these with words dilutes the message. However words, although sometimes inaccurate and empty, are a completely necessary tool to describe to others.

I felt a personal connection to the piece as it described the motivations behind political movements, war, religion, and other arrangements of power. Aside from being very personally interested in this topic, I felt it had a lot of intrinsic value that applied very directly to this class.

So as not to give too much away (I invite you to watch videos of the full performance online) I'll connect one core motif from the performance to the class. Many times throughout the performance, in a drone of electric guitars and steady drums, there was a person placed above the mass of floor dancers. This was repeated often under different contexts, usually involving the exalted figure who would appear wearing Abraham-era priest garb, a cliche commander get-up, or one one occasion a gorilla mask. This character was always doing the same thing on stage, violently- or passionately, depending on your view- jerking about and speaking gibberish into a microphone addressing both the audience and the crowd of dancers beneath him. Now, where the connection can be made is in the relationship the dancers beneath him have with him. Several times the dancers would raise their hands in his direction, which can be read in a number of ways. When there were guns in the faces of the dancers, coercion. When there were bright lights and relativity calm music, worship/trust/respect. Within the context of the folk music that plays and the ethnicity of the dancer, I was led to believe that a narrative of the Jewish people was being told. This narrative is a rich one full of oppression, violence, passion, and energy that is the perfect mold for a commentary on the "mother of politics". I want to connect this scene of the exalted with our readings on "The Five Faces of Oppression". Although a relatively simple concept, it is this rudimentary understanding that flows with the context of all the readings we have done this far.

When I was viewing this play I believed I was playing spectator to a history of peoples, and when I realized that I could critically engage the piece by analysis on power relations I saw a greatly different piece than I would have just a year or two ago.

DISABILITY SERVICES AT THE U (Blog 6)

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"Insteaqd of asking 'how do you manage not being like (the non-stated) us?' (the negation argument), disability imaginareies think/speak/gesture and feel different landscapes not just for being -in-the-world, but on the conduction of perception, mobilities and temporalities Linton (1998a, p. 530) points out that the 'kin-aesthetic, proprioceptive, sensory and cognitive experiences' of disabled people as they go about their daily life have received limited attention. Nancy Mairs (1996) notes that a disability gaze is imbricated in every aspect of action, perception, occurrence and knowing." The Project of Ableism, by Fiona Cambell.

I chose this excerpt from the reading The Project of Ableism because I believe it points out just how out of mind the world view of the disabled is for able-bodied people, or at least myself.

This blog is about the University of Minnesota and the services the University provides for those with disabilities, both mental and physical.

Many are quick to criticize this University on it's presumed stance on accomodation of people with disabilities. For example, check out this article published in the Minnesota Daily in September.

http://www.mndaily.com/2012/09/25/navigating-u

Although this article is pretty useful in presenting a new perspective on the physical boudaries that are rampant at the University for people with disabilities, it is my opinion that the writer missed out on a better aspect of this University. Since the passage of the Americans With Disabilites Act in 1990 their has a been a substantial paradigm shift all across the nation, due in part to feminists, activists, and academics in the United States.
There is no doubt that the United States has one of the best stances on disability in the world. And this University is a great example of the change that is happening.

I invite anyone interested in this topic to check out this link to the videos posted on the University's Disability Services website, as I believe they really explain just how well this University is engaged with current discourse surrounding disability.

http://ds.umn.edu/about-us.html

I would like to end this blog on a story. When I was at a hearing on the Disability Services, I talked with a retentive who told me about when the TCF Bank Stadium was under development. She had a somewhat humorous tone in her voice when she told me that there was much frustration on behalf of the developers because many plans were sent back to them because they do not accommodate the many body types that are at the University. She said time after time we argued on behalf of the students that this project needs to be a shining example of the University's acceptance of all students, arguing that it truly needs to be if the University is concerned about its image. For where else is the University's image better represented than on the football field. I liked her last remark for its tongue-in-check overtone, but I appreciate even more that the this University was able to make one of the most accessible stadiums in the Big 10 (see final link).

http://www1.umn.edu/news/features/2008/UR_CONTENT_088849.html


Group 4 PPT

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Group #6

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Translocal Analysis of Human Trafficking

http://prezi.com/soia0s4ae-mf/translocal-approach-to-human-trafficking/

Blog 6: Disability and Inspiration Porn

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Images of disabled people doing ordinary things are often circulated on social media websites for the purpose of inspiring able-bodied people. These images, also known as inspiration porn, reinforce ableist norms and objectify disabled people. Able-bodied people can look at inspiration porn and think, "If they can do it, so can I!" and "At least I don't have it that bad." This is damaging for people of all abilities. Those who are unable to pull themselves up by their bootstraps (disabled or not) are victim-blamed. Inspiration porn allows able-bodied people to celebrate the achievements of disabled people without being critical of society's willingness to accommodate for different bodies.

Group #8: Border Rape

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Ableism in America

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Prior to this course, I had heard of ableism but never really had a clear understanding of what it is. Now after reading the article "Internalized Ableism: The Tyranny WIthin" I feel as though I actually understand it and am able to identify it in daily life. The author describes that immediately after a child is born he or she is taught that to have a disability or to be disabled is to be a lesser person. The idea of a disability is constructed by society, to not have a disability would be to be "normal" and have a healthy body both inside and out. Because of these ideologies, people who are seen as normal walk around on pedestals looking down upon everyone who is "different" or "disabled". Often times the same people up high on their pedestals are also the ones encouraging those who are disabled to reached for the stars and achieve their goals, without assisting the right resources to help them. Society as a whole enjoys the idea of helping those who are disabled but when it comes to reality run in the opposite direction. People who are disabled are unable to embrace themselves because everyone else around them sees their disability as something wrong that needs to be fixed in order to be "normal". The idea of 'fixing' people has been present for many years, and I even admit that I have taken place in the idea of normality. People with disabilities are portrayed in the media as helpless (i.e. Soldiers coming back from war, M.S., autism, ADHD). The media portrays that a disability makes them helpless and is bad rather than embracing all the other things that are positive about the people.

Blog 6

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Recently we discussed Moya Bailey's article titled, "The Illest, " in which she talks about ableist language in hip hop. Then I got to thinking about how the music industry objectifies and exploits\ women and this doesnt necessarily need to take place in the lyrics, but it can also be in the music videos. I immediately thought of the music video for "Bat Country" by Avenged Sevenfold, which I've posted a link to. In this music video, there are women dancing around in lingerie and at one point, a women is covered in whipped cream. In another scene, they are on top of tables while the band members watch them. Later on in the scene, the music video shows two women licking eachothers tongue.

What scared me most when watching this video prior to having this class discussion was that it didn't really hit me that women were being exploited or objectified, which only meant that this happens so often that the majority of us dont even think about it.

Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHS3qJdxefY

Blog 6: Disability

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how the workplace becomes an institution where disability discrimination has not been resolved despite efforts. This discrimination has devastating impacts on the disabled community. While there are legal protections for workers from being discriminated against in the United States, discrimination continues to prevail. Currently through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it protects those with a physical or mental impairment that limits their major life activities. The act has a specific provision for employment, which states that individuals with a disability cannot be denied employment if they are qualified for the job. It focuses on things like hiring practices, job applications, workers compensation, etc. This broadening of the definition in 2008 lead to an increase in the number of disability cases tried in the United States. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency received a record 100,000 complaints of disability discrimination in 2010, a 17% increase over the previous year ("Disability Discrimination in the Workplace on the Rise," 2011). This is a significant problem, because employment is key to earning income. Without income individuals are more likely to be in poverty, because they cannot meet their basic needs. The impact is explained in Amy T. Wilson's essay "Human Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Developing Countries," "... Without access to vocational training and employment, people with disabilities are also more susceptible to becoming sick or injured resulting in a disability (232)." This is devastating, because unemployment creates a cycle of disabilities that is generational. In order to combat disabilities, the key is to make employment more accessible so that future generations are not also disabled. How do you think the ADA can adequately decide when a case actually has discrimination????? This would be the question I would ask my class. images-2.jpeg

Blog 6 Ableism

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The article we recently read in class called "The Illest" by Moya Bailey really stuck out to me. Bailey discusses how ableist language in hip hop is seen in the context of the disable, gay, race, and feminist eye. She argues that words like "dumb", "crazy", "retarded" reinforce negative stigmas in already marginalized communities. She even brings up in krumping, a style of hip hop dance. She says that this dance is associated with big movements and crazy movements. This kind of dance reinforces stereotypes of marginalized communities. It is a way for the invisible to be seen.
This part in particular really stuck out to me because I am a hip hop dancer and have been a part of this type of dance for many years. Krumping was always a style that was more difficult more me and the rest of my team members. We would try so hard to do it correctly. I always thought krumping was so cool and I wished I could be as good as the professionals. This article changed my view. At first, I was angry because I thought how could dancing, something so expressive and creative make someone marginalized? I don't consider myself to be someone who promotes marginalization and I was angry that Bailey was saying because I think this is an expressive style of dance I am promoting marginalization. As I continued to read I realized that this style of dance is crazy and associated with big movements. It really is a way to escape and forget about a bad situation. This article really changed my view on krumping. Currently, I don't know where I stand on the issue because it is such a change from my previous beliefs.

Blog 6: media culture & hip hop music

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Do you guys recall the Chris Bell article we read in class? It brings up the term "creeping" and "down low". Creeping refers to sneaking/sleeping around and down low mean keeping its the information secretive.

Here are two song from youtube where the word are used:


In this song, wasn't me by shaggy, he was "creeping with the girl next door".

this song, i dont wanna know by mario W. was the example used in chris's bell article.

Also, I had went to the showing of the documentary Hip Hop: beyond beats and rhymes.
It talked a lot about how we live in a violent culture. Hip hip is a man's game. there is a lot of talk about black boys going into "man hood" and how they must be tough, strong, "hard", get lots of girls and have lots of money. it mentioned that being soft or a pussy is a really big insult to your identity as a male. gun violence was prominent theme in all the raps, especially aspiring young artists.

also, the documentary showed how women are objectified and are called "B*tches and hos". some girls tried to say, " i know he wasn't talking about me", to shield them self from it. An example that stood out to me in the movie is that, " if (ex) president bush made an announcement about all the "N" word out there, black people wont be saying i know he isn't talking about me". The view of woman as objects and for sex is also very prominent. the video Tip Drill by Nelly was mentioned in class and the documentary because the way they display and treat women, and the incident where a credit card was slide down a girls butt. the documentary also said that black people don't believe black woman's rights was urgent, only problems like police brutality and racism are.

i also found it very interesting, at a certain time, some rich white guys had bought most or all of the record labels. they are the ones who choose what get accepted and what they want the raps to be about, which end up influence actions of the black community. such as how the movie Birth of a Nation created racist stereotypes and fueled the KKK to grow.


Protest Psychosis

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In our discussion of schizophrenia today in class, I brought up Jonathan Metzl's The Protest Psychosis, which takes a look at the evolution of the disease in how it's diagnosed. The term "protest psychosis" comes from the way in which psychiatrists attributed schizophrenic diagnoses in African American men to protesting in the civil rights moment.

I highly recommend reading the book, but if you don't have time here's a presentation by Metzl about his findings:

Internalized Ableism:The Tyranny Within

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As I read the article"Internalized Ableism:The Tyranny Within" some interesting things came up. One thing that caught me off-guard is when the author is describing when a child is born, she/he is taught to be disabled is to be less than others. Although we encourage disable people to accomplish their goals and go after their dreams, we do not have the tools or resources to aid them. We as society do not encourage the disable person to fully embrace him/herself because we want to fix this person because we see disability as something that has to be fixed or changed.The media bombards us with negative images of disabled people and this leads to disabled people to make destructive choices.

Disability in Hip Hop

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I had brought up Lupe Fiasco in class during our discussion of disability and disabling words and terms in hip hop music. I think that Lupe Fiasco is one artist that is very aware of the words that he uses and how he uses them, as well as the message being sent through his songs.

The song that I brought up is "Bitch Bad". The song is about how the term "bitch" is misused and how it means different things to different people. This song is not about disability, but it is about femininity and woman in general.

The song starts with the hook "bitch bad, woman good, lady better, they all misunderstood". He talks about how the word "bitch" is first introduced to young boys through music. In the situation that he makes, a little boy hears a song and his mom is singing along calling herself a "bad bitch", and he makes the connection that the word is an honor to how well his mother acts and dresses and carries herself. He also makes the scenario where young girls here songs where male rappers are talking about how they want a bad bitch, and they focus on the video vixen and what makes her appealing to the men (her skimpy clothes, provacativeness, et cetera), instead of seeing that she is merely a paid actress.

At the end of the song, the young boy and the young girl meet later on in their lives. The boy is disappointed because he feels that the girl is dishonoring his mother, who portrayed herself as a "bad bitch" by being independent and well put together instead of the ideal music video woman. The girl thinks that she is being a "bad bitch" by her actions and how she presents herself, and feels that that is how all men want their ladies to look and act; but their ideas don't match. Lupe uses the line "And he thinks she's a bad bitch, and she thinks she's a bad bitch, he thinks disrespectfully, she thinks of that sexually"

I feel that this song can show us a couple things.
1. Not very Hip-Hop or rap artist is ignorant to the songs that they create.
2. There are many types of words that portray a privleged point of view (sexism, racism, ableism, et cetera)
3. It is very common for artists to misuse words, and for these words to get passed down generations, which makes this type of vernacular so popular.

Within this, I have to admit that just listening to my music library on random for the past couple of days, I have come across SEVERAL songs that have ableist language.
- I Gets Crazy - Nikki Minaj
- Moron - Prof
- ADHD - Kendrick Lamar
- This Girl Crazy - Messy Marv ft. Lil Wayne
- Crazy 1 - Big Sean

Here is the link to the video by Lupe, please check it out!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3m3t_PxiUI

Group 5 - Human Trafficking in the Twin Cites

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Human trafficking is growing and expanding due to various reasons, and exists in every country, including the United States. The increasing economic and demographic disparities between the developing and developed world, the feminization of poverty, the marginalization of rural communities, the growth of internet connectivity and globalization, and the existing transportation infrastructure have all contributed to the increase in human trafficking (Shelley, 2011). Not only does sex trafficking exist in our own country, but sex trafficking exists right here, in the Twin Cities. Women all over the Twin Cities are being victimized as sex workers. In order to further investigate and raise awareness of the existence of human trafficking in the Twin Cities we examined two specific incidents of sex trafficking in Minneapolis and evaluated the victimization of the women involved. From discussions and articles we read in class, we determined if they were a victim and what made them a victim of sex trafficking.

Here is our presentation:GWSS Group Powerpoint - Sex Trafficking Minneapolis - with updates.pptm

Ableism

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Before taking this class, I had never heard of ableism. During lecture and our class discussions, I could immediately realize examples of ableism and why it is an important issue. Disability is a socially constructed issue, meaning if we didn't assume that a "perfect, healthy body" was normal and people who are different - either physically, or mentally were the ones who were different, the term itself might not even be a word in our vocabulary. I remember someone in class mentioning how the world is built for an "able-bodied person". At first, I was confused, but then I realized how much truth there is in that statement. There is an ideology that those who are able walk stairs, don't have to reach the counters/cupboards, or use the smaller bathroom stall. Why does it have to be this way? Why are their stairs when almost anyone can use a ramp? Why isn't every bathroom stall big enough for a wheelchair? I know there is almost no way to change the way we build our buildings - it's just been done this way for too long. If only everyone in the world had an opportunity to take a class like this! I know my eyes have be opened so so many new concepts. If we all had the privilege to learn theses ideas, I really think that everyone would think differently, heck, some of this ideologies that we've learned in lecture and discussed as a class might even start to dissipate.

Group 2: Mail-Order Brides/Grooms

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MailOrderBridesGroomsPPT.pptxMembers: Ashley Zuest, Vilma Topuzi, Lauren Williams, Hodan Jama, Molly Schloesser.
December 10, 2012
youtube video
First, we are going to focus on defining what mail-order brides are to give everyone a better understanding. We will then explain the history, and laws and policies surrounding mail-order brides, followed by a brief feminist analysis and a highlight on mail-order grooms to show that the mail-order industry is not solely isolated to just women. Our goal is to get everyone thinking about whether mail-order bride/groom agencies are just another form of human trafficking, which is overlooked in today's society. If not, when does it cross the line to become human trafficking?
mail_order_bride.jpg

If anyone is interested in taking an even deeper look into mail-order brides a full length documentary called "Bride Trafficking Unveiled" is available to stream for free here.
It focuses on mail-order brides in the UK. It is highly recommended if you want to hear people's real-life stories about mail-order industries and what personally motivates people to seek out a wife over the internet.

Group 5 Sex Trafficking in the Twin Cities

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Human trafficking is growing and expanding due to various reasons, and exists in every country, including the United States. The increasing economic and demographic disparities between the developing and developed world, the feminization of poverty, the marginalization of rural communities, the growth of internet connectivity and globalization, and the existing transportation infrastructure have all contributed to the increase in human trafficking (Shelley, 2011). Not only does sex trafficking exist in our own country, but sex trafficking exists right here, in the Twin Cities. Women all over the Twin Cities are being victimized as sex workers. In order to further investigate and raise awareness of the existence of human trafficking in the Twin Cities we examined two specific incidents of sex trafficking in Minneapolis and evaluated the victimization of the women involved. From discussions and articles we read in class, we determined if they were a victim and what made them a victim of sex trafficking.

Here is our presentation: GWSS Group Powerpoint - Sex Trafficking Minneapolis.pptm

What is considered rape?

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There is a difference between rape and genocidal rape. Rape is a crime against a victim; genocidal rape is used as a weapon against a particular ethnic or national group. Rape can affect anyone of any age, ethnicity or gender. In dealing with native's and sex workers, rape is questioned. Many wonder if it is still considered rape if the act is performed on native people or sex workers. The answer is absolutely. Rape is still rape no matter who the person is. It is said that native and sex workers bodies are "dirty" and therefore they are rapable because the rape of bodies that are "dirty" does not count. Who is the one to say it does not count? How can it be that different. It isn't different in the slightest bit! I think we need to start paying attention to the people rape is affecting. The media focuses mainly on the differences of rape between different races, but in fact, we need to start worrying about the different types of people. Sex workers may feel just as vulnerable after they are affected by rape, and maybe even worse because they don't get the emotional help and care after it happens.

Discrimination

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I recently found an article about a lawsuit filed against a Minneapolis cop being accused of discrimination. It was filed by 5 other Minneapolis cops who are all African American, and they all have at least 18 years of experience. Apparently they have been disregarded for promotions, not received over time pay, and they have been unfairly disciplined. The commander has not actually been charged of anything yet, but even the city has addressed the issue. While reading this article I was reminded of the cases we read about of racial discrimination while arresting people. It's often prevalent because the officers are allowed discretion. Apparently, it's the same even within the police department. I'm glad to see this issue being brought to the surface, but it's a difficult one to deal with because it's hard to prove anything with this sort of problem.


Am I disabled?

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In 8th grade, I slowly lost vision in my right eye. Over a couple months a black shade descended upon my eye, yet no one believed me when I said there was something wrong. Eventually, my mom took me to the eye doctor, who referred me to a retina specialist, where I learned that I had a detached retina with several tears. Damn, I thought, no more performing in this week's show choir competition. Unfortunately, that wasn't the only thing I had to worry about. I had to have surgery--and more surgeries since, because apparently my retina doesn't want to stay attached--and was out of school for a week. At the time it was just annoying, especially because I had to miss school and lay on my left side all day long. My mom kept saying things like, "You'll have to wear sports goggles for volleyball," and "Well, your vision might never get better in that eye" in solemn tones. More annoyances, but nothing severe to me. I really didn't feel anything until I really learned the difference between ability and disability.

The first instance was on my first day back to school. For health class, we had a project for learning a bit about how hard it is for some people to live with a disability. Students had to "live with a disability" for an entire day: use crutches or a wheelchair, wear a blindfold, put on noise canceling headphones, or just not talk. I had missed my day to be disabled, so my teacher suggested that I use my surgery as a disability and write about my problems. It would be an easy A grade for me, so I didn't really see an issue with it. A year later when I got my learner's permit, I was forced to get a couple restrictions--I would always have to have side mirrors and a rearview mirror. A few more years later when applying for colleges, my mom told me to see if there were any scholarships for disabilities related to the eye.

"Mom, I am not disabled." "Yes you are," she said. "You have to compensate for not having perfect vision, don't you?"

I was frustrated. I didn't want to be treated as someone who overcame adversity to live life as a normal student, nor did I want to look like some snotty kid trying to take away scholarships from blind people. The only real disability was the fact that I had to be more careful when driving. But that's not a disability, right?

I found the Fiona Campbell chapters to be very interesting. I never noticed how people strive to say that they are abled, or, as Parsons puts it, "...we are much more likely to hear people with disabilities talking about pride in themselves despite their disability." We all try to ignore any differences in our bodies so that we can achieve the normative stance of ableism. Those who become labeled as "disabled" must face society's belief that they must be fixed, and if they can't or choose to not receive assistance (e.g. cochlear implants, prosthetic limbs, etc.), they must be pitied and further marginalized as disabled.

I have always hesitated to call myself "disabled" because I never felt that my eye problems slowed me down; and yet, we are quick to call people without a limb "disabled" regardless of how they get around. I like the proposed notion of dispelling able/disable dichotomies. We all have our ways of classifying people into either, and the subjectivity of it hinders us. We must continue to accomodate people who have a hard time getting around, learning material in class, and so on, but we should not put that as the exception. We all have tics with our bodies, and therefore the "normal body" should not be the "able body." Campbell says "Disability cannot be thought of/spoken about on any other basis than the negative, to do so, to invoke oppositional discourses, is to run the risk of further pathologisation." This must stop, and we must stop subjectively deciding whether one has a disability or not.

While I still refuse to apply for any eye-related scholarships, I'm okay with knowing that my right eye is horrible. I also have a better understanding of what it means to be disabled. I fully embrace the fact that I, like most everyone else in the world, have something that makes me different, and that difference shouldn't be treated like a problem. The normative stance should be "I'm able-bodied," it should be, "What makes me different?"

Our group's initial topic was Mental Health -- which was, unfortunately, far too broad to do any reasonable analysis. Eventually, we broke it down to one mental disorder: Schizophrenia. We discussed it a little in class, but not only are an incredible number of people ignorant as to how schizophrenia works and even what it is, but far more are ignorant of the vast intersections of class and mental illness (in this case, we specifically touched on schizophrenia only, but also covered some of the reasons as to why they intersect so broadly that carry to other mental illnesses). The stigma surrounding schizophrenia is perpetuated by social indifference or intolerance and even Tim Carey movies, and if we are ever to attain social justice of mental health, our first stop must be education.

Schizophrenia.pptx

The term Prison Industrial Complex describes the intricate system of power within the Judicial System of a society of neoliberal values and a capitalistic obsession. What can be meant by this is; while the Judicial System exists to provide a service to the society it exists under, it is by the privatization of Judicial entities such as prisons that creates a sense of monetary value on criminality, therefore creating a demand for criminals as an economic input for a return, or profit. This is problematic to say the least, as statistical data will show, within recent years there has been an increase in the United States in the inmate population due to the intertwining interests of the federal government to increase capital gains and to stimulate the commerce of goods or services within the American economy. The American Government increases their capital profit by criminalizing and imprisoning minorities, who are often those who are within deemed problematic spheres of society such as lower income or unemployed or simply victims of the criminal stereotype attached to an ethnicity that the PIC itself perpetuates by producing the data to show that minorities are imprisoned. Under the guise of equality and lawfulness for all the Judicial system operates as an entity that can imprison, police, and enforce laws in a way that perpetuates racial stereotypes and other social oppression.

The classification of what constitutes a disability can sometimes be difficult to outline. What is clear is that what is or is not a disability is constructed and perpetuated by society. While from an individual perspective a person may not feel as though they are disabled, their classification is insignificant in the face of societies. For example, having a speech impairment, a physical handicap, being gay, being a woman, etc. may earn an individual the title of disabled despite personal perspectives. This has two implications. First, that there is an association with being an "other" in society and being disabled. Secondly, this title is a result of how social institutions respond to and treat these individuals. If institutions did not treat these individuals vastly different from others, then they would have not been seen as disabled. Focusing on family, the workplace, media, and school, what is clear is that these institutions are involved in the perpetuation of the association of being disabled with being "different", and the negative impacts associated with it.

today-is-the-day-we-take-the-stairs.jpg

Disability.pptx

Degrees of Discrimination and Oppression Olympics

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After our discussion last wednesday, I did a lot of thinking about the ways degrees of oppression affect people, and came to a conclusion: While Devyn was absolutely right that trying to identify and quantify degrees of oppression, I think it's a very important concept to take into account when we evaluate others' opinions and thoughts.

After all, a 250-lb woman may have experienced more hatred and discrmination than a 300-lb woman for her size, even though she ways less. Possibly because she looks more fit, or possibly because she just grew up in a less accepting environment. Oppression Olympics, however, comes into play when we attempt to place a number on the validity of one's opinion. For example, some play the game from an intersectional standpoint: "I'm female AND a person of color, and therefore my opinion is more valid than yours., etc." While others call on personal experience.

Not only is this not a productive way to go about this, it belittles others' opinions and past experiences. However, as I noted above, everyone has a different story and different experiences -- and being aware of the idea of degrees of oppression as opposed to acting on it is actually very beneficial as it keeps us open to everyone's opinion.

Pop Culture Lampooning Disability

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After our discussion about disability in class, particularly in music, I particularly started to listen for offensive lyrics in songs. I find it hard to believe that songs like "Let's Get Retarded" by the Black Eyed Peas even exist. People who suffer from an actual form of retardation get degraded by having a song celebrating and telling everyone to "get retarded". Even though the connotation of the word is obviously different in the song, it is still nonetheless incredibly offensive. Pop culture is very effective when it comes to influencing people, particularly the younger generation, and if younger kids listen to this, they could very well adopt the word "retarded" into their normal vocabulary and start using it regularly. This is a huge issue because that word should not be used to describe something that is stupid or dumb, because that relates it with people who actually are retarded.

Anything related to this song certainly is not helping people with disabilities integrate into society. Using words like "retarded" as a normal connotation for something that is not desirable makes it seem like retarded people are not desirable, which in turn continues to "other" them and separate them from the able-ist community that we live in. This is very counterproductive to what needs to be done to advance our society into an era where people who suffer from any range of disabilities are not "othered" but are accepted just as everyone else is, free of any sort of discrimination.

Who is considered disabled?

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When reading the articles on ableism before discussing in class, I had a preconceived notion of people who are "disabled". When I thought of the word disabled I thought of someone in a wheelchair or someone who had a mental disability. Although I am aware that people's definitions and perceptions of the word disabled vary based on their experience with disabled people or lack thereof, I have taken into account the fact that there is more to "disabledness" than physical and mental disabilities. In the article "The Project of Ableism" by Fiona Campbell, she wrote "Everyone is virtually disabled, both in the sense that able-bodied norms are intrinsically impossible to embody fully and in the sense that able-bodied status is always temporary, disability being the one identity category that all people will embody if they live long enough" (p. 13). This quote has helped me realize that there are many ways people can be disabled and in return, many people are discriminated or stereotyped due to their disability. In class we had a discussion on who we consider disabled and my eyes have been opened to different categories of "disabled people. I didn't really think twice about how our society is set up for able bodied individuals and what we do not accommodate people with disabilities. Personally, I would not consider myself disabled in any way, and that is why I haven't thought much about ableism. With that being said, I believe that anyone can be considered disabled because societies' definition of able is nearly impossible to accomplish and to achieve.

The Implications of Words

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In our last class, I was surprised that we never discussed the word "midget." I have Turner Syndrome, a condition in which females are born with one x-chromosome instead of two. Small stature is one of many symptoms. Needless to say, I did not have to endure near as manny struggles as little people do. However, before I took growth hormones, I would get harassed in school and called "midget" in a derogatory way. Hearing that word to this day makes me cringe. Not many people realize the implications of that word, but after being called that word for years, I know how much it can hurt. I would not be offended if the word was used in a positive way. I become offended when people use the word to tease other people. I have attached videos of a little girl named Hayley, who gives her perspective on the word, and how people treat her because of her height.

Group #7: Prison Industrial Complex

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Our group project is going to be about the Prison Industrial Complex. We will explain what it is, what led to creation of the PIC, what fueled the PIC, and we will talk about how the PIC is a new modern day form of slavery.

prisonindustrialcomplex.jpg

We will presenting the rest of our presentation on Prezi.
Presentation here

Blog 7

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I never heard about ableness until we talked about it in the lecture. I have never thought about how blessed I am that I never looked different from other people, what society calls us "normal people". However, I don't understand who is included to "normal people"? No body is perfect; everybody is somehow different from each other. But, as we all know, society plays a big role in everything such as defining normal people or people with disabilities. Even though, many people are not blessed and have disabilities, there exist many places and many opportunities for them to have a normal life, still harder than normal people. They have same opportunities as everybody else, even though it is harder for them; still they are not separated from society. I think the society plays a great role in accepting people with disabilities.

Human Trafficking

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Since our discussion on human trafficking in class I've been really interested in the forces that drive the demand for this and what other factors contribute to trafficking humans. According to the Polaris Project's data, approximately twenty percent of all humans trafficked in the United States are trafficked for labor and the remaining eighty percent are trafficked for sexual reasons. The demand for the is triggered by lack of awareness of the issue and high profits. The Polaris Project website as a plethora of data and statistics on human trafficking broken down by the different types and by region.

http://www.polarisproject.org/state-map

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Language Awareness: a Conundrum!

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I've been interested and emotionally invested in language awareness ever since "Sojourn to the Past", the Civil Rights education trip that I went on in my sophomore year of high school. At one point of the trip, we gathered outside of Central High School, the place where the Little Rock Nine were the first African American students to desegregate a high school in Arkansas. The whole group of us were lead through a process where we evaluated the language we use and made a pledge to work towards eliminating racist, sexist, homophobic, derogatory, disrespectful language from our speaking.

I have had a great deal of conversations with friends and peers about the issue of language, in particular the nonchalant use of the N word (what with music and reclamation) and about how words have historical and social implications. While I have the option of asking friends not to use certain words around me (I really do get offended when people are blurting the N word out with no regard to its history), but it's a tricky situation. Different groups have different relationships with certain words. I couldn't go up to Lil Wayne and say, "Excuse me, do you think you could stop using the N word in your music?" No way. Not in a billion years. While I care extremely about negative language coming to an end, I also do not have the right to control groups who have reclaimed words as a form of healing and power.

Similar phenomena occur with the words "gay", "lame", "retarded", etc. These words keep being churned out in our vocabularies, and while there are always people making a conscious choice to try and use different words, there are also people who think that using ableist/racist/homophobic language is fine and defensible.

However, ableist language is something that I haven't seen reclaimed by the disabled population as much. As we discussed in class, there is a large difference between the Black Eyed Peas singing with ableist terms and someone who actually has a mental condition doing so, and I have not often witnessed the latter. Then again, how many celebrities/pop icons have disabilities? Or if they do, how many of them publicize them? And then reclaim ableist terms to create a positive image? It just doesn't ring a bell for me.

Because of "political correctness", stigma, etc. that come up around language (and whatever "ism" certain language is related to), it's hard to find feasible solutions for the future. Communities don't agree, and even having discussions about language doesn't seem to happen as frequently as it should, because people are concerned about "crossing the line". There need to be more safe, brave spaces for people across identities to discuss language and come to some clearer conclusions about how they want to address issues of language in their lives.

I'm concerned about younger generations. I brought this up in class briefly: When children and teens listen to popular music and don't have proper education about what words mean and what history is behind them, then we have a bunch of young kids using inappropriate language that is ableist, racist, probably degrading to women, without understanding why it's negative. Ignorant speech is never a good thing. There is always the option of trying to just eliminate words like the N word or the R word, but then we are shielding important histories and trying to cover up real problems. It's too bad that our language, which can be used for so much good, can also be used in not the greatest of ways.

It CAN be hard, though, to try and eliminate every word we've been taught for self-expression because it's not a good thing to say. If we substitute "dumb" for "lame", then what do we use to substitute for "dumb"? It gets complicated. This is a very intricate issue.

I hope that all of US are aware of what words we use, how our language reflects certain histories and social attitudes, and how we can make small changes in our vocabularies to promote social justice. If we self-evaluate and help others to become aware, hopefully we can work towards creating more just ways of speaking!

Domestic Violence in the US

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After reading the article "The Institutionalization of Domestic Violence Against Women in the United States", I was really shocked. One thing that really upset me was the story of Connie Culp. She survived a horrific event of domestic violence but was focused on in the media because she received a full face transplant. It is so devastating to me that a woman can go through such a terrible event and the media ignores the topic of domestic violence and how that is a growing problem throughout the United States, and instead focuses on how we are making such great strides in medicine. I believe that domestic violence is a pandemic and needs to be addressed quickly before it continues to spread. It has been shown that a child who has been around domestic violence is likely to become a victim or perpetrator. This will keep the problem of domestic violence present in the United States. I also thought that the discussion we had during class was very interesting because some children and people do not know that they are victims of domestic violence or committing domestic violence because they have been around it their entire life. They think that it is normal to be treated or treat someone in that way and do not realize that what is being done is wrong until they witness a healthy relationship. I found this to be very sad that people have been around it their whole lives that they do not even know how to be treated kindly without domestic violence. Domestic violence is a very serious issue that needs to be fixed in the United States. I think the amount of people that are abused can be lowered but it will take a long time unless more efforts are made.

That is so "crazy"

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After our class discussion on hip hop and language, I had to take a step back and evaluate the way that I speak. I so often use phrases such as "wow, that's so crazy" and I never thought to myself that that could be offensive to someone who suffers from a disability. Words like crazy, dumb, stupid, etc have somehow managed to become words that are expressing something positive as it is for me. As someone who will often say "that's so good it's stupid" I am starting to really realize that that is much more inappropriate than I have ever thought. Especially after taking this class, I think it is so important to be conscientious of how we communicate with others. I think the music industry absolutely has a impact on the way that people speak and I think its extremely important for people to think twice about what songs they are belting out while walking down the street (or maybe I am the only one who does that!)

I wanted to add this song that I think represents how lightly we throw around the term crazy. Here is Gnarles Barkleys Crazy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd2B6SjMh_w

Ableism (Create/Imagine a super-hero)

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super hero.jpgBefore, this course I had never heard of the word "ableism" even in my Abnormal Psychology class we never use the word to describe able bodied individuals. After the lecture on Ableism I started thinking of a disabled super hero and although it may sound weird it helped me realize just how much I disable an individual based off of what is "wrong" with them. After coming up with the perfect super hero I then told my boyfriend about the idea and this is how I described him/ or her; the super hero is mute, cannot hear nor see. With just those few words I could already see my boyfriend look at me and his face read "that is impossible how are any of those things going to help anyone let alone save someones life". After hearing his comments about my idea I then told him all of the other capabilities that person could have; although they cannot hear nor see they have a higher sense their surroundings and because they are mute they are a perfect super hero (he or she cannot boast about their capabilities so they remain humble). I challenge anyone reading this blog to imagine a disabled super-hero and after grappling with all the obstacles that would render him/her incapable think about all the ways he or she based off of their disabilities could become a better super hero than an able bodied individual. Please share with me your disabled super-hero in a comment.

Disability and Ludacris

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After discussing disability and hip hop in class, I chose to do some research on my own. It's funny because I would never look at a music video and see the disability in it. I of course see the sexism and racism, but disability? Usually never. In the music video for "Stand Up" by Ludacris, I have finally seen the use of disability for their benefit. In his video, he shows a significant amount of bodily impairments. In the video, there are two little people dancing, four wheelchair dancers (an individual woman and a trio of men), an "overweight" woman, and an image of Ludacris with a "club foot". Right in the beginning of the video he says, "Watch out for the medallion / my diamonds are reckless / feels like a midget is hanging from my necklace." In the video, however, the "midget" is actually an average-sized man, painted silver, bound and dangling at Ludacris's waist. Disability, is therefore, commodified for the hip hop industry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZG7IK99OvI
In case you want to watch the music video

Hey all!

Just read in the Daily today about an informational meeting regarding Sex Trafficking in the Twin Cities area tonight. The University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs will be hosting it. Sorry about the such short notice, but I literally just picked up the daily a few minutes ago.

The event is being held, like I said, TONIGHT at 4:30pm in the Humphrey Forum.

If anyone is interested, you should go check it out!

Disability

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I wonder, is me not being privy to disabled peoples struggle on a daily basis similar to whites not being privy to people of color's struggle on a daily basis? I still ponder this questions, because most times a disability, like race, can be seen and can't be hidden. For an example, I would never equate being a Homosexual with race, because you don't have to reveal you are a Homosexual. This is something that can't really be seen; but on the other hand race is something that most times can't be hidden. People of color can't hide that they are of color. I really want someone to respond to this post, explaining their take on this. I would really appreciate it, because I really want to understand this concept. Thanks in advance!

Rabbit proof fence

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I thought this movie was heart wrenching and really sad. When I watched the movie, I kept thinking about the Aborigines here in America, the Native Americans. I once met an Australian of Italian decent and he said that he thought the Aborigines of Australia were all poor, lazy, and don't try to do better. He thought that their race was unable to do better than they currently are because they didn't work hard. Then he equated the Aborigines of Australia to the American Indian situation in the United States.
I guess some in Australia still don't get it. If you start without anything and without support from society, basically it's very hard to pull yourself up by your boot straps, because like president Obama said some don't even have the boot straps with which to pull ones self up.

TRAFFICKING AND AIDS

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It wasn't a shock to me that trafficking and HIV were linked. It's obvious that when anyone engages in any sex related act, contracting HIV or AIDS is always a possibility. Everyone knows this; but what is funnier still is that I realized that whenever I heard the word "Sex Trafficking", the first thing that came to mine wasn't AIDS. The first thing that came to my mind was young girls from Eurasia, India to be exact, being sold to a pimp and made to performing sexual acts on American business man in exchange for money. Discussing sex trafficking in class was a real eye opener for me and helped me to realize that sex trafficking happens here in America, and It happens everywhere.

An interview with a mail order bride

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I am a member of an online forum called Reddit. Reddit is full of all different kinds of things, including pictures, jokes, interviews, etc. 5 months ago, there was an interview with a Russian mail order bride that was quite fascinating. Here is the link: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/w36pl/iama_russian_mail_order_bride_living_in_us_ama/ One of her responses was very interesting to me. She discusses how in Russia becoming a mail order bride is not embarrassing, but it you cannot make a successful life with your new husband, it is an embarrassment. This really shows how different the US's culture is with Russian culture. If an American woman was bought by a foreign man, she would have a lot of negative judgement. However, in Russia it is not looked down upon at all. She also talks about how a lot of Russian men treat women poorly. The men want young, beautiful women. Once a woman grows older, the men no longer find her attractive or marriage material. Fleeing to America with a man who is so attracted to you that he is willing to pay money for you is something of a compliment to these women.

Disability

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Stair.jpgPrior to reading the articles on disability and discussing disability in this class, I never truly thought about how much of a role society plays in the construction of disability. Nearly every physical and mental activity I participate in on a day to day basis is due to my ableness, and society's acceptance of my ableness. School systems, building structures, medical authorities, hospitals, laws, and transportation systems all contribute to what society members perceive as ability and disability. I am often a cog in society's ableness clock, frequently participating in these ableist norms with little thought. I walk up the stairs to leave my apartment building. I bike to and from school. I have no issue communicating and holding a conversation with nearly any individual. I see and hear almost perfectly. I think and understand with little to no interruptions. I have done these things daily for as long as I can remember and have never really thought much of it until recently. I have always thought of myself as blessed because I have these abilities - mental and physical - and have felt sorry that not every individual has been blessed in the same way that I have been. However, that thought process too is a result of our society and is simply another constructed ableist outlook. I would like to make more of a conscious effort to understand my actions in regard to society's construction of ability and disability, and to think of those who cannot do what is incorrectly considered "normal" as simply different, rather than unable or unfortunate.

Blaming the Victim: Deferring the blame from the Abuser

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After reading the text on Domestic Violence it stirred up some emotions in me because I witnessed domestic violence for a chunk of my childhood. I previously read an article about the social construction of mental disorders for battered women, and after writing my last paper on the social construction and privatization of disability it all resonated with me. I feel like it may be beneficial to briefly point out, to some of you, some of the ways these disorders are socially constructed. I also feel that it is right along side the 'domestic violence culture' I slowly see society taking on.

Many feminists have long debated that certain mental diagnoses for batter women are only figments that are socially constructed. Throughout the years battered women have been diagnosed with disorders such as, self-defeating personality disorder (SDPD), hysteria, codependency, and even masochism! These diagnoses have been attached to women apathetically as if these women either willingly cause their abuse or somehow sexually enjoy it. This is victim blaming on a whole new level, and is a serious problem. In order to explain domestic violence the people, who are constructing these disorders, are referring to a women's psychological state, rather than addressing the power and dominance that the abuser is trying to achieve through violence. Many women who are victims of domestic violence may legitimately suffer from mental disorders such as, major depression or anxiety disorder, but these are often times par for the course when living in such a hostile environment. For people to ascribe disorders like SDPD or masochisms onto batter women can lead to a very devastating effect and ultimately perpetuates the amount of abuse that is gotten away with. How can the problem of domestic violence ever be addressed properly if we blame the victims? Rape culture is a widely accepted concept, but I think we are starting to also take on a domestic violence culture, as well. It is quite clear when you turn the television on. Tune into WWE one night and take note of the amount of gender violence and sexism you witness. It is truly disgusting when people who are interviewed after leaving that event bluntly and enthusiastically state that "She had it coming!" or "She deserved that because she is a lying bitch!" What is this imprinting on society? Socially constructing mental disorders for batter women in order to 'solve the problem' of domestic violence is only a warped way of encouraging it further.

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Sex and Sex Work in American Society

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I think that our discussion on prostitution raised a lot of questions for me. Prostitution is so stigmatized in American society. We tend to view people who engage (willingly) in sex work as dirty, immoral, and someone who must be "saved". I think that our talks about sex trafficking and victims really made me think, are there people who engage in sex work who are not victims? I guess I would have to say yes. There are people who willingly engage in sex work and some who actually find it empowering. I think that through our American lens we find it hard to look at it this way because we have been so socialized to think of it as a wrong and immoral thing. American is the most inconsistent country when it comes to their ideologies regarding sex. In advertising, movies, music, almost any type of media we see sex being used as a tool. Beautiful half naked men and women used to sell and glorify things. Imagery we see on a daily basis drives images of sex into our heads. But at the same time it is taught as something that we should suppress. Even in todays society there are some schools that still teach abstinence only, which from facts and statistics we know does NOT work. Sex is taught primarily from a christian standpoint. Sex outside of marriage is seen as a "sin" and those who engage in a lot of sex and enjoy it are stigmatized with labels such as "whore" and "slut". It leaves the people of our society with this unhealthy internal struggle with their sex drives- what is "morally right" vs. what feels right and natural. Bringing it back to prostitution I think a lot of other cultures that have a more consistent message of sex also have more control over the sex work happening in their countries. In places where prostitution is legal it is then regulated which produces a lot less victims. The prostitutes are free to do their work with less fear of being taken advantage of and if they are they are able to go to the police without fear of being charged themselves. I think that prostitution being illegal just leaves room for more victimization but if it was legal we could then regulate it and make it a more safe environment for sex workers to practice their work.

Misrepresentation of Black Men and HIV

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I was really appaled at when I read "Could This Happen to You?": Stigma in Representations of the Down Low. The idea that it was not long ago at all, I was in the third grade, not old enough to see the backlash, but most openly racial issues I presume to be become my time. I understand that their is still racism in society but I have always seen it as under the table or "hush hush" racism. Like people would worry or might nudge their friend on the bus to point out the one black male they find threatening, but no racist words ever used. To think that so blatantly Times Magazine, a very trustworthy source, printed such a one sided story that painted a very racist image is just unbelievable to me in this day. In the articled it does not refer to white men behind closed doors having affairs with men and exposing their wives to HIV, it just blames black men for spreading the disease. The aim of the article was not even to try to solve the problem, but yet to point out these men to society and stigmatize them. Which was especially a problem because homophobia ran more rampant within the black community. What they should have done is tried to make it seem like it was okay but that safe sex practices are always necessary and it is much better to just be honest with your partners. I also think that education in schools about acceptance of gay/bisexual/transgender people is very important. To have the next generation not see sexuality as bias for discrimination would be a goal worth working for. It would save lives and just make the all over life and experience of non hetrosexuals much better.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/03/magazine/double-lives-on-the-down-low.html

(sorry the linking didn't work, but this is the actual article from TImes Magazine that they referred to in "Could This Happen to You" its pretty interesting)

Group #8: Border Rape

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1. Our topic is border rape at the U.S Mexico border. We are going to argue that the U.S government does not do enough to stop this problem. Putting more guards at the border only exacerbates this problem even further. (In nicer words this is basically our thesis statement.)
2. Everyone needs to find an example of a case where a woman was raped at the border at the government took no (or very little) action. Once you find it, send it out over this email so we don't use the same ones and write 1 to 1 and a half pages about it. Have your part of the essay done by Friday December 7th. Over that weekend we are going to get together to write an opening, closing, and do our powerpoint presentation.
3. We are presenting Wednesday December 12th so if we can't find a time to meet over the weekend we could always meet Monday or Tuesday night as well.
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Disabled vs. Differenty Abled

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The words "handicapped" and "disabled" has always bothered me because when using it to describe people, it brings on a negative connotation. It makes people think that a person who is handicapped or disabled can't function like "normal" people when they very well can; they function differently, but they are functioning nonetheless. Just because you can't hear, see, or speak like everyone else doesn't mean that you can't communicate with people. Communicating with everyone is still possible, you just do it differently (Ex: Sign Language). I've always felt that we should change the words we choose when describing people who have these different ways of functioning and one day my friend told me about how her professor described it as differently abled rather than disabled. The root word of the prefix DIS means takes away or deprive of. I don't believe that just because people are different that it would mean they are deprived of something or they had something taken away from them. I found a picture that really emphasized what I was trying to get across.
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This picture shows that it's all about the perspective that you see things. The mother doesn't see anything wrong with her child, who is on a wheelchair. Her child doesn't walk, but he can still get to places. However, the other lady sees this as a tragedy and when she asked what happened the mother responds with, "He caught a cold" because nothing is wrong with her son except that he caught a cold. The way that we all see differently abled people is from the view of the other lady but I believe that the way we should see them is through the eyes of the mother.

Prostitution

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As I was writing my paper, I only then began to notice how much I was actually heated about the difference between prostitution and women in the sex trade. The two situations are so different and I cannot believe some people could get them confused. Being in the sex trade, you are forced to do so many things that women who voluntarily prostitute do not have to do. Such as seeing 10-40 clients a DAY. Also, women in the sex trade don't use contraceptives, their pimps usually do not allow it. So they get infected with AIDS or other STDs that can kill them prematurely. On the other hand, women who volunteer as prostitutes can take whatever actions they please to make sure they do not get pregnant or catch an STD. Also women in the sex trade have to give almost all of their income to their pimps, or pay for their bed in the brothels, or the PUBLIC street corner they work on. This leaves next to nothing for the women to actually accumulate. Because they are usually not citizens, they are poor, and usually drugged, these women cant do anything about their situation. Some die there, some are raised there. The difference between women in the sex trade and the voluntary prostitutes is so huge. Prostitutes can have a life outside of this profession, they are able to go to school and get an education and have a house to live in. Women in the sex trade are torn of all of those things the second they are kidnapped and sold. The difference between them is astounding and I'm glad we talked about it in class because to be honest, before we did, I was very uneducated in the topic, and now I can spread my education with everyone who is interested.

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