December 2011 Archives

Ask Me Now What Justice Is

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After completing the course, I'm still unsure as to what justice is. Personally, I would say that justice is thinking of everyone as equal. Everyone is normal and there really isn't a category of different. This is a problem because although we should treat everyone as equals and be kind to everyone, some people need more assistance than others. Considering them equal would remove the assistance that they need to survive. Although we should see disabled persons as equal, we define them as disabled for a reason - we know they need more help doing certain things than the rest of us. If we consider them equal and remove that assistance, they won't make it because the rest of us will "run them over" in the "race to survive", so to speak. Because of this, justice isn't seeing everyone as equal. Justice is... giving everyone what they need to be equal. Yet, even that has its flaws - you can't just give people anything they need. Although I feel I have the right idea of justice, I don't think I can define justice.
I do feel that I have a better understanding of justice than when I first began this class. Looking back at my previous post about what justice is, I don't think I really had a grasp on the concept. Especially not like the one I do now. Maybe someone out there can spend their life creating a million page document that defines justice... maybe. I, however, cannot. My best, yet flawed, answer would be "treating everyone as equals". Or maybe "seeing everyone as equal".

Final blog about justice

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In this semester I have the GWSS class, in the past four months this class gave me a lot of knowledge about different part of justice in the world, and also gave me the big challenge and the refresh about my old ideas, when I walk into this class I can feel my eyes open, and our focus is on the most important point of this world.

I really interested in the terrorism and gender topic, because I never learn and talk more about these topic in China, the movie in class was really attractive, I never watched the movie can touch my heart so much, when I watched movie about terrorism, every seconds was a kind of baptism and shock for my heart. The freedom of media and speech also makes me feel comfortable, I can talk and watch any kind of movie about sensitive topic I want, the professor gave me the respect as a Chinese international student. I did not found the Discrimination against Chinese. This make me feel really good.

For the justice, at the beginning I think justice topic is really far for my life and is really boring, in Chinese culture justice is the topic that American always argue about and not have any practical significance, but when finish the study my mind changed and I really like to talk about the justice, I realize injustice and justice in the daily life. Talk about justice with my friend, not only the American friends, but also the Chinese friends. I think the day when I go back China this class will always influence me a lot, I will try my best to fight for the justice in China. This is I never image before the class.

For me justice is : equal, balance, life, education, brief, and the pursue. This class changed my world and open my eyesight.in the end I want to say "Justice is for every one ,every time. "I really love this class!

Ableism

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I think the ableism is kind of insult to the disabled people, the disabled people always living in the low self-esteem and the world they think is dark and unfair, "I can't have the healthy body like others? Why I was disabled by this kind or that kind of reasons? The world is unfair to me " these sentence it seems always said by the disabled people.

In our primary school the teacher want us to give the respect to disabled people and know the world they life in, so she let us play a game, she bounded some classmates hands, use the scarf to covered others eyes and plugged the ears, suddenly the world was changed, we can't do anything like usual, and the easy things like eating, walking, talking was really difficult for us, somebody can't heard each other, somebody crashed to the shelf or desk, somebody cannot ate cookie without hands' help, everything at that time are difficult for us, after 30 minutes when the game finished, we back to the normal state, all of the classmates thought it is lucky to be a normal people, the disabled people world is really difficult , we should try our best to help them and give them more respect. For that time the non-ableism is stayed in every classmates mind.

At now, when I see the disabled people need help, I will try my best to help them, because I know they really need help and also need respect. I think in the future I should also try my best to let all the people know everyone is equal, the ableism should disappeared in everyone mind.

The Terrorism

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No one could forgot the 911, the black day in the American history. The whole world was shocked and sad when the 911 happen. The terrorism give thousand and thousand family in America the deep hurt, and give the whole world a big challenge to solve the problem about terrorism. The murder aim to the specific person, the political assassinations aim to the government, this kind of crime can be called the crime which have the reason, but the terrorism is the crime which have no reason. Aimed to the innocent people, this kind of crime should be despise or everyone. I never image the someone will kill or hurt others without any reason. But the terrorism make me believe, the extreme people can do anything beyond you imaginations, and break your perception of crime. In the class video, the crime and violent give me the deep feeling. The poverty can cause a man a city or a country get crazy and do anything no matter how violence it is. it also make me think about the gap between poor and rich. If these people have no pressure about housing or food, what is the result? I am fully convince that the terrorist have their own reason to become a terrorist. These reasons I think is all about the material. Life is the most valuable thing, if someones life faced challenge or can't life, The power he or she can break is really big and the desire for survive can lead he or she do anything, the crime or terrorism is the worst. For my opinion solving the problem about the terrorism is found the deep reason why the terrorism happened and what the terrorists want before they become the terrorists. If can know these things I think the thousands of people can be saved.

Human trafficking

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I can't imaging the human can be a commodity, in our history test book, we know the black triangle marketing about the human trafficking, the African young men are like the commodity which be sold by the white men, lots of people died in the long sea trip. The sharks always followed the ship how do the Human trafficking, because the sharks know the food was come, the trafficker will throw the died people body in the sea, and these died people will become the sharks dinner. It really makes me feel scared and angry why the horrible things happened. In my opinion the human trafficking deep reason is the money, the huge interest makes the trafficker do the trafficking without any guilt feeling. The human trafficking is not only happened in black and white people, but also the male and female, lots of female are sold to the different part of the world, their poor life began at the time when they were sold. In last year I went to a small village in Veteran, some strong people like the football player asked me to bought a young girl, I never had this kind of experience before, shaked my head and drove away quickly. Now I know this is a kind of human trafficking, and it is also real happened in the world. But these kind of horrible things should disappear in the world, let us us our own power to resist the human trafficking.

Gender identity

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When talking about the Gender identity, as a Chinese it is very embarrassed, because in China the Gay and Lesbian is the sensitive topic and I don't think In China the Gay and Lesbian have their rights like America Gay and Lesbian have. In Chinese culture it is hard to accept the man or woman become a gay or lesbian.if someone become a gay or lesbian, other will look he/she very uncomfortable, and he or she maybe become the topic that all the people talks about and will have a lot of troubles when he or she working in the office with others. Although choice the lifestyle is every ones freedom, but when choosing the gay and lesbian, it will face the big pressure. And the pressure can make someone get mad. I can't understand the reason why the people become gay and lesbian, but I think the treatment Chinese people for gay and lesbian is too serious. The gay and lesbian always live in the dark and didn't have any connection with others. How poor they are. In the recent years, because many young people go to abroad the concept about gay and lesbian is changing, more and more people are try to accept the gay and lesbian. The gay and lesbian are not like the strangers in the past, maybe in the future the Chinese can totally accept the gay and lesbian gay and lesbian will find their rights which are coming late.

What is Justice

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For my opinion justice is the balance in the social real life. It is hard to remove all kinds of conflict in the social real life, but it can found the balance to keep all levels people remained stable, and not have the apparent conflict. The balance I thought is the justice.it is also hard to give a destination about what is justice, because in the different values, the way to judge is also different. Because of the different values about the judgement the justice will be changed. Maybe somethings happened in America caused the citizen strong dissatisfaction and make the citizen think is injustice, but no dissatisfaction in China and maybe think it is justice. Although justice is the people's requirement in life, live better is an topic for every time, every one. Having a rule to regulate the way people found their better life is important, and this rule also can be called "justice", sometimes justice likes the air which can not be seen but does real exist. In the past 100 years China, the concept of justice is more and more clear in the citizen's memory, and requirement is stronger and stronger. The area that Chinese people ask justice is not only confined about their personal life, but also including the environment, national sovereignty and some big topic. The website is talk about the Chinese citizen ask the environment protection and resist the chemical factory in Dalian the city located in eastern China. And found their justice about living safety.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14520438

feminist blogging and disability

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I recently came across this really interesting post on the feminist blog Tiger Beatdown about disabled women and abuse. I thought it expanded from what we had been talking about in class in some interesting directions.
Also, I just think that Tiger Beatdown is a really cool blog and wanted to share it with all of you. I feel that I get a lot more from it from regular news sites because it's commenting, and outside of the mainstream.

gender justice

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For me gender justice means that everyone gets the same respect and opportunities regardless of their gender. It isn't just about male/female equality, but ending gender as existing as a categorical reason to be discriminated against. I'd like to see the concept of gender to open up, from the simple binary of man or woman to include bending, overlapping, transformative queer identities. The idea of justice based on gender doesn't make as much sense when gender is seen as an essential inherent trait.
I don't really know what I'm going to do to use what I've learned in this class. I hope to somehow work got social justice, but am not presently involved in anything. I guess I'll just keep on living and writing and try to create discussion around me.

A few final thoughts.

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The most impactful moment for me while taking this class has to have been the day I saw my ignorance and its hateful consequences thrust before my eyes. We had just finished watching the film The Aggressives and were discussing it afterwards. At one point during the talk I became confused as to Marquise's (I believe) gender. I thought argued that he was not transgender, but merely denying societal gender roles and norms as a female. Throughout the remainder of class I was stuck in that rut of a mindset; I justified it as ignorance on his part that he didn't know the proper terms that I (apparently) knew. I argued that not only was Marquise female, but that I was justified in determining his label since I was the "educated" one. I kept this belief throughout the day--partly out of belief that I was right, but mostly out of fear admitting I was wrong and had committed the same ignorant subordination that I believed against.

It wasn't until later in the day that I realized how wrong I was. I had spent the walk home constantly questioning myself whether I was right or not, but still a bit desperate wanting to believe I was. It wasn't until I returned to the dorm and struck up conversation about the topic that I began to really understand my error. I was so convinced that I had to put a label on each person so as to understand them, that I completely neglected the purpose of labels and the right of individuals to choose them. Labels do not define a person; rather, they offer some explanation to the life of the person who chooses them.

This whole situation was a bit of a shock to me; after all, I knew that I was more than just my labels and would speak out against those who would work to only see me as my labels and the believed definitive traits that come along with that label. So here I am assuming the role of the majority and assigning superficial traits to the minority based off my own ignorance and the subsequent fear of that ignorance. Because at that time I thought that if I could label them, I could understand them. And understanding means sympathy, right? Not when it comes through the denial of one's rights to self-autonomy.

Though I have learned many things in this class that have taught me about the injustices in the world, the one that remains the most potent comes from recognizing my own parochialism and the subsequent attitudes used to maintain it. In this world there are innumerable differences in each individual and each day an opportunity to go beyond the selectively viewed traits and see the real life in each other. And ultimately that's what justice is to me.

What is justice?

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What is justice? This is such a simple question, yet it requires the most complex of answers. I want to start out by telling what justice, to me, is not. I do not believe that retaliation in any way, shape, or form is justice. If someone does something to you, you should not look for any and every opportunity to get back at them. That is something that will only worsen the situation. One of my life-long favorite quotes has been, "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind," which was given to us from the heart of Gandhi. I believe it is wise to never retaliate, but to try and understand the motives behind the person who wronged you. I, also, do not think it is just to try and tell people what they are and what they are not. I think that the only person who has the ability to define an individual is the individual themselves. People who place labels or titles on people by just looking at them really get to me. I think people need to take the time to get to know people before making any statements pertaining to them. Now about what I think justice is... I think justice is present where respect, love, and acceptance are overflowing. If you aim to respect someone, you will not go tearing them down or telling them who or what they are or should be. I think that respect comes when you are able to understand something, so that is where acceptance comes in. You need to take the time to be mindful of what something, or someone, essentially is to be able to accept it. Once you are able to understand, then it is easier to relate, or to view things from that different perspective. It takes respect to accept something and acceptance, in turn, brings more respect. Where love comes in is basically all around and over the situation. I don't mean you have to fall in love with every person you meet or thing you come across, but I really believe there is power in being a loving person. I really believe that happiness stems from love and that acting out of love is the way to ensure peace.

Gender Equality

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I found this article very interesting and thought I would share it with all of you.
"Are Alpha Males in Danger of Extinction?
As male drive seems to be slowing down, women are becoming increasingly ambitious. Will the alpha female take over and how will that affect us? An investigation yields some startling consequences."
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-relationships/changing-gender-roles?cm_mmc=Twitter-_-womenshealth-_-content-sex-_-alphamales

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Final Notes on Social Justice

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cocoa cocoa baby.. group members.

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Since we could not include our names in the photographic blog that we used for the presentation. I am going to just post something new to ensure that you know who played their part in this group case study.

Cocoa Production and SAP's in the French Ivory Coast group members:
Erika Farrell.
Gabe Hilden-Reid.
Rebecca Mahoney.
Alyssa McCoy.
Aria Weatherspoon.

Human Trafficking - Mail Order Brides

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Human trafficking is a huge phenomena happening all around the world today. Often, we don't hear much about human trafficking so we assume it isn't happening in our country as well, when in fact it is going on here. Traffickers take advantage of women and their desire for jobs by tricking them into leaving their country forever and being trafficked in a foreign, scary place. Vulnerability is something that sex traffickers prey on because it is a weakness that allows those being trafficked to trust more easily because they have no choice, and this dependence is what makes them helpless. One type of human trafficking in particular that interested us is mail order brides. This is a form of trafficking, once again, that people in the US assume isn't occurring here, but actually many men order foreign, "exotic" women to be their wives.

The mail order bride business is thriving now more than ever due to the enhancements in technology and the increasing accessibility of the internet to almost anyone. Globalization has definitely played a huge role in the prosper of the mail order bride business. Even if someone doesn't own a computer, they can simply go to the library or a different public place and use the internet. Mail order brides are actually the most rapidly expanding transnational crime that exploits woman sexually.

The mail order bride websites tend to succeed because they target middle-aged men who have had trouble finding a wife or girlfriend. It is a cheap way of finding one because they do not have to pay for dates or anything of that sort. The average cost for the man to spend on everything during the process of receiving his mail order bride is somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000, which includes purchasing the address of the woman, sending letters, long distance phone calls, purchasing the catalog of the women, online website fees, airfare, and Roman Tour. Many men do not realize how expensive mail order brides are until they are already far into the process.

There have been many good outcomes that result from mail order brides, but there have also been many horror stories. One in particular that is very famous is the murder of Anastasia King - the "murdered immigrant" is her nick-name. The media paid so much attention to it because her husband had apparently abused a different mail order bride before. Because of this murder, as well as many others, the US made a law prohibiting men to order mail order brides without having a complete background check. For the victims that do not get murdered, Civil Society, an NGO, provides many services to mail order brides such as shelter, and medical and psychological care.

To explain human trafficking, one has to understand the idea of exploitation. Women are promised a stable job in a foreign country but end up trapped in the sex trade. As discussed in class, justice as revitalization would be something that could help enact justice in the lives of those effected by trafficking. Although by revitalizing justice, people must take into account the culture and history of the people being victimized as to not try to rule by our American Exceptionalism that was depicted in an essay by Lucinda Peach.

mail order brides

Some websites of mail order brides are:
Russian Brides: http://www.russianbrides.com/?afid=15497
American Brides: http://www.rosebrides.com/american-brides.html

Shannon Conroy, Connor Wright, Megan Harris, Brenda Sokup, Anna Pereira

Genocide-Blog Post

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Attached is our groups prezi on the Genocide in Rwanda.

Our group focused on all the areas of life that the Genocide effected, the lack of involvement from the international community, how the people tried to gain justice for themselves, and the hope that is now occurring through the land.

http://prezi.com/atir8bqxehel/edit/?auth_key=yaixcnx&follow=hf40h1h2mn22#1_22276424


Laurie Hanson
Chunguang Zhu
Jennifer Randall
Jessica Sieg
Alison Berkas

Final Blog

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I am so happy I decided to take this class this semester. Before taking it, I discovered that I had a very limited knowledge about justice. In one of my first blogs I mentioned a quote from the U.S. Department of Justice that gave a very dry and typical explanation of what justice is. It essentially states that justice is achieved through punishment. However, this class has made me realize that there are so many ways in which people are treated unjustly and that there are many ways to treat people with justice. I've since then taken a look from many different perspectives at issues in our society. From discrimination, marginalization, and gender inequality, I have had a whole new perspective. The most important thing I learned this whole semester however, was that when considering what is just, I must consider the conflict from all angles. Never before had I thought of gender other than being male or female. Although I've always been a supporter of gay rights, I had never taken such a close look at how unjustly the GLBTQ community is treated in most cases. I had never thought about gender as being anything else besides male or female. And that's not because I was certain that there is only male or female, it was because I had never been challenged to think that way. I am also much more aware of white privilege and this knowledge has changed my political and social opinions very much. I am glad that I am no longer ignorant of how some of my opportunities were possible because another group of people was being oppressed. Overall, this class has made me feel more connected with the global community. I was challenged to look past the commonly taught idea that the United States is the best country on Earth and that we can never be wrong. I was very honored to be in this class and to work with so many people with different backgrounds and ideas. It is one class that has changed my perspective of the world and of justice in many ways, and I am certain I will remember it and most of the lessons learned, my whole life. Thanks to everyone for making this such an amazing class!


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As civilians, we trust the government and police force to keep us safe from wrongs of the world. However, for the minority groups in France there is a much different truth. Their truth involves their police officers using force and violence against them and in turn causing potential for bigger issues. When order is shattered with brutality, especially by the ones who are supposed to be maintaining this order, it is not surprising that the people being affected will react violently and angrily.

France has been known to pride itself on the equality and the idea that there is no such thing as racism in France. After so many minority groups fought in wars for France, they were placed in suburbs and poor ghettos. This created segregation between classes. Police were then given permission to expel any immigrants who failed to show proof of employment and housing. On October 25th, 2005 a group of boys of African and Arab descent, living in Paris were stopped by the police on their way home from playing soccer. They were told to show their identification papers. All of them had identification papers, however they had forgotten to bring them along. So instead of being honest with the officers, they fled in fear of what their punishment might be for forgetting their papers at home. The police chased them and cornered them into an electricity sub-station. While inside, the boys came in contact with a highly electrified piece of equipment. One of the boys got away, but with severe burns all over his body, the other boys were electrocuted to death (Schneider, 135).

This sad news carried further remorse for these communities because the officers were told they were not at fault by high standing officials, in particular, Nicholas Sarkozy (Schneider, 135). Not one of these officers was charged until they were indicted eighteen months later, and thus causing a major outrage in the community (135). There was three weeks of violence; cars being torched, buildings damaged and police officers wounded. The reason being that the government supported its officers in behaving violently towards the minority groups in France; this in turn made the people feel as though they had no other options than to act out in an outrage.

Neither group can really say that they found justice in these actions. The police officers used brutality through following orders, and pursuing the peace. The minority groups felt nothing but pain and suffering, even in the midst of receiving revenge for the wrongs that had been done to them, and publicly displaying the grievances they had experienced over the years.

The people are wary of everything in France and the major reason being that the police and government will not take responsibility for it. Mostly, families in these minorities groups now want justice for the two innocent boys and an resolution to keep the community safe from habitual police harassment. For theses minorities now, getting justice sometimes means more or, indeed, less than getting revenge. One thing that is seen as admirable, if not impressive, is the class solidarity and unity that is now formed amongst the repressed, politically isolated, and racially stigmatized by those who suffer at the hands of the French police and officials.

The issue of state-sponsored violence and police brutality is a major issue for GWSS because it is greatly influenced by oppressive ideologies. In resolving the issue, it will also return a balance to the communities effected.


Cassara Harmelink, Bessie Browne, Hannah Hill, Simar Warraich, An An Hua, Michelle Williams

Final Blog

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When I started this class, I was not really sure what I was going to learn or what justice really is. This class has been not only one of the most interesting but one of the most eye-opening. I supposed I never really looked at situations from so many perspectives or point of views. I did not realize how injustices are actually occurring all the time across the spectrum and this class definitely brought them to light. I really appreciated the way we all had open discussions in our class and were able to really hear different perspectives and insights on the material we were learning. From learning about the privileges that white people may have unconsciously from Peggy McIntosh to opening up yourself to new understandings of others and finding pleasure in everything you do from Leela Fernandas. I think this class allowed many of us to look at ourselves and ask ourselves what are personal contributions albeit good or bad that we are making towards the fight against different injustices.

For me justice is something that can and will be defined by each person differently. It comes not only from our environments and experiences but HOW it has been experienced in situations around us. To me, justice to be means being fair, aiming to reach equality, and standing up for what you believe in. I think in this day and age, it is impossible to get away from all the different social classes and wealth barriers from all the different groups because all of our perceptions are different from one person to the next. What we do need to do no matter what color we are or how much money we have is to accept those around us for who they are.

Below is a picture of the Amnesty International Symbol. I believe they are the epitome of the words, fighting for justice.
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Group 5: Gender Justice Blog

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We examined how society, not only the media, has created and fostered a strict gender binary in our world, and especially in the United States. Even the smallest aspects of life, like public restrooms, affect those who do not identify with the typical male/female gender roles. We live in a place that unfortunately does not provide a place for the transgendered and disgendered people who choose not to conform to the stereotypical idea of what it means to be a boy or a girl, a man or a woman. Many people are still very uncomfortable with the idea of a person not conforming to the gender that matches with the sex he/she was born with--the story of David Reimer (David vs. Brenda) and his parents' decision is a perfect example. This polarized gender binary is so prevalent that even kids around the ages of 3-4 already have firm ideas about what it means to be a boy or a girl (which can be seen in this youtube video).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWc1e3Nbc2g

This is an article about Taco Bell and a discriminating radio ad that offended many transgendered, and eventually led to a law suit.
http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/0/24/Transphobic_Taco_Bell_Ads_Still_Running/

However, between universities and organizations like the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition (http://www.mntranshealth.org/) taking steps to provide resources for the transgendered and disgendered members of our world, we are slowly taking steps towards becoming a more open society in which people will no longer have to fear being ostracized and isolated, but instead can thrive. They may only be baby steps, but every little bit counts.

Engaging Justice Reflection/ Final Blog

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I did not really know what to expect from this class, nor was I sure I would get much out of it. Nearing the end of the semester and looking back, I would say that I got twice as much out of this class than all of my others. The material we studied challenged a lot of viewpoints on different cases of injustices, and opened my eyes to completely different perspectives that I previously categorized as "against the grain". It was very interesting for me to be in such an open and expressive learning environment--especially coming from a private Catholic school. Hearing many different voices and reading such alternative views to what I am used to helped me to challenge my own perspectives to grow in my view on injustice, and what I wish to change.

Reading about "white supremacy" heightened my awareness on so many privileges in my life that I have never questioned. It was hard for me to accept, because I realized that all that I had wasn't all fairly gained. But once we had read Peggy McIntosh's article and further discussed this issue, I was unable to forget the realization I had had. It is one thing to abstain from discrimination or judgment, but it is another to acknowledge certain privilege and the advantages/disadvantages across race. In furthering our study on Racial Justice in reading about racism and racial wealth divide I was alarmed in the fact that I was just now realizing the extent of these issues. While racial wealth division and "white supremacy" exists in thousands of ways in my everyday life, I failed to see it. And how will there be progression on these issues if so many cannot even acknowledge their existence? The topics of gender justice and marginalization were also very big topics of that required me to take large steps out of my normal realm of thinking and try and see things in a different light, in the way people who are at the other end facing the discrimination identify and view justice. The further global studies were not just explored internationally, but by connecting them to U.S. issues and history, the topics were made much more relevant and pressing to me as an individual.

Leela Fernandes wrote, "..the provision of spiritual strength to individuals deeply committed to social justice is more necessary than ever in a world racked by immense hatreds that feed on each other in endless cycles of retribution, always in the name of 'justice.' Finally, a spiritualization of social movements can provide a means with which to break from these cycles of retribution which perpetrate multiple and linked forms of oppression so that social movements continually find themselves appropriated by or circumscribed within the very structures they have tried wholeheartedly to resist." In this description, Fernandes gives the reader a look into the complexity of justice and the means of addressing it.
Justice embodies many things. It is allowing for all to be able to feel recognized and represented--and not feel embarrassed or scared to do so. It allows many different beliefs, knowledges, and practices to respectfully coexist. Justice refutes violence and discrimination and provides all an equal privilege as a human being on this Earth. My view of justice has been challenged, morphed, and reevaluated throughout the course of this class. It is hard to put into words my definition of justice, because I feel it cannot be fully addressed in a sentence or strict definition. But what I feel is most important, is the concept that justice enables any person to freely achieve affirmation- as Abby puts it- in their life.

Final Blog on Justice

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This semester has been a really eye-opening journey for me when it comes to understanding the meaning of justice and, more specifically, gender justice. One of the definitions for justice that I created myself is pretty encompassing of our main ideas discussed as a class: I think justice is the ability to recognize the oppressive forces in our society and putting forth the effort to eradicate these forces as well as the institutionalized ideas and norms that created them. The most important, and probably most challenging, aspect of creating justice throughout the world is this idea of preventing our institutions to hold as much power in creating our society's idea of what is normal.

Things that are "traditional" and ideological in our society include heterosexuality, patriarchal values, white supremacy, and able-bodied people. And these things we hold valuable to our belief system today come from a long history of the same thing. To eradicate social hierarchies we must fight against the existing power structure and social institutions that hold much of the power.

Everyone struggles with being a minority at some point in their lives. Although I am white and do not suffer from being economically or physically disadvantaged, there other other areas where I sometimes feel marginalized and oppressed. The best we can do is look on the bright side and appreciate what we do have, as well as find the courage to stand up for ourselves and others against the majority when we feel like justice needs to be accomplished. I will engage myself and others in jumping across boundaries of injustices, and reaching a point of developing proactive ideas and putting them into action. I wish to create a life for myself that is predicated upon finding justice, and I will encourage others to do the same as well

Final Blog entry

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So when I started this course my women's studies had largely been what I like to call "white-bread feminism." A lot of it was the history of first and second wave feminist movements, which were mostly made up of white, straight, able-bodied women. In the second wave, other minority groups were able to join in but much of that was due to the civil rights movement.
I feel like this class gave me an education for third wave feminism. Intersectionality and finding justice for all groups facing injustices are the most important points for the new generation of feminists, which I consider myself part of. Of course the same issues--reproductive rights, equal pay--still have clout, but as a middle class white woman I need to learn to view them from the lens of someone who has historically suffered more injustices than I have.
Justice is more than someone being punished for their misdeeds. It is actively working to repair injustices of the past and present and working for equality for the future. In this course I have learned about injustices, some known and others unknown to me. And in learning about injustices that might be invisible to us we can begin to fix them.

And now Ruth Bader Ginsburg!

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Final Blog

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Justice. That one 7-letter word carries an incomprehensible amount of weight. Coming into this class, I had a very uninformed, vague definition. After the first day, I knew right away that I really had no idea what I was talking about. I imagined justice to be a blissful peace where everyone was happy and got along. Now, I realize there is so much more that goes into a just world and achieving justice. So what is it? For me, it is a level of respect and dignity that accompanies being a human being. It is a standard that we need to hold the world to, a standard of fairness and equality that has unfortunately never existed. It is a system of beliefs that values and respects each individual's choices and values and beliefs. Justice, to me, should be our common goal as a world, something we are always striving to reach, something we are constantly seeking to improve.


Unfortunately, because only seven letters are used to encompass such a large and complex idea, not everyone has the same view. There are people, however, that are passionate about the importance of bringing issues to people's attention, and thus, little by little, the world can gain a greater understanding of what needs to be fixed so that we may one day live in a peaceful, fair world.

I have never been as aware of how much injustice there is in this world before taking this class. Each of these readings opened my eyes further to how even the simplest things really do affect people. Every day, I notice injustices that I had never really paid attention to. Now, however, I am making a conscious effort to no longer perpetuate the vicious cycle and I am trying to no longer just accept white privilege and such. It may sound small, but I think that in this world, even the littlest action that helps to eliminate any present injustice is helpful. I want to help unite our world, equally. It may not always be an easy journey, but it will forever be worthwhile and meaningful.

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Final Blog

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Over the past few months, this class has given me a bigger perspective of the world. I was really fascinated with the readings because they brought insight of how some groups’ are oppressed and marginalized. I thought feminism was just about women taking actions to gain the same rights as men. I did not see how this can be applicable to our current, modern world. This class has taught me about the privileges that people can have base on race/class, ableism, sexism, and gender. I have also learned about how social hierarchies, genocide, war, violence, colonialism, and imperialism have contributed to oppression. I never really thought about the privileges I have as being a female with no disabilities and growing up in a middle class family. Even though I am African American and know the history of marginalization against my race, I do not let that define me as a person. I am proud of the social changes that occurred in the past and do not want to be a victim of the negativity. I like the social changes that are occurring with the LGBT community. Many people are becoming aware on how others want to live their life and hopefully this will result in legalizing gay marriage in the US.

I define justice as fairness and equality among human beings. Also by having love, compassion, and respect towards others who are different from you. Before this class, I always associated justice with the law. I strongly believed that criminals going to jail or dying on the death penalty was justice. I liked how this class opened my eyes and shown me that there are other elements to justice than the law. This is great for me because now I can be more open in my future studies since my major is political science.

Justice-Final Blog

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This class has truly been eye opening. I came into this class not really knowing what to expect except for information on the word justice. I thought i knew what justice was, that it was just fairness and equal opportunity for all. Now 3 1/2 months later I am completing a class with a whole new understanding. This class has given me insight to justice, but also to different people who are faced with injustice. Through our readings, class discussions and blog posts I have been able to create a whole new understanding of topics such as racism, feminism and gender justice, all topics I thought I knew a lot about. Also it has given me a whole new understanding of topics such as ableism, human trafficking, marginalization and globalization, that I had never spent much time thinking into, but only of the definition. I really think I am able to have this understanding because of the way everyone was able to share personal experiences involving either themselves or someone close to them. Learning through experience gives such an insight on topics that you know only from an outside perspective. This class has taught me to think of these issues as being more then just a definition. I left this class everyday and brought the topic discussed to my friends or family members. I was sometimes mad, mad at how brutal the world is, mad at my classmates for some of their thoughts because I didn't agree or sometimes mad at myself because I started feeling guilty because I didn't know how horrible some of these things were before. I began to realize this was good though, this meant these subjects were getting through to me. I now have so much realization into the importance of justice for so many people that have it so much worse then myself. I also now can realize injustice a lot more on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, because it is everywhere.
Just as i defined in one of my first blogs, justice doesn't have a clear definition because it is given different in all areas of life and different to all people. Now more though I understand that if justice had a definition this class wouldn't exist, because it would mean everyone is getting fair opportunity, but this class taught the exact opposite of that, that injustice is everywhere. Justice to me means recognizing everyone for who they are, whether who they are is by choice or not. It still means giving equal opportunity to all but not because we have to, but because we must.

what i know..

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Justice is..
Life.
Beliefs.
Education.
Acceptance.
Males.
Females.
Revitalization.
You.
Me.
Action.
Sacrifice.
This course has allowed me to look within myself to see how I can help bring justice out. There is still no real answer of what justice is for me, and despite all the readings and discussions I still do not have one set definition. What I know is this.. injustice is many things but "othering", for me, is the ultimate source of injustice. To put humans in a sub-human category and treating them as though they are less than human is the ultimate source of injustice in my opinion. Could it be because I am African-American and know what it means to be viewed as sub-human? Possibly. Could it be because GWSS 1005-001 gave me a platform to analyze how so many groups of people have been "othered"? Yes. I can acknowledge that I am privileged despite the fact that I am underprivileged and categorized. But when it comes to justice I have to be comfortable with stepping out of that privileged space and see what others endure. This means going out of the country and experiencing life outside of the United States. Fighting for other groups' justice as well as my own.
When I think of justice I think of me, because it begins with my ability to sacrifice harmful ideologies and privileges that perpetuate cycles of inequality, violence, and reinscribe stereotypes (among other things). I want to see many injustices that plague society right now subside before I leave this planet. And it starts with me. Justice for me is getting the stigma and hate surrounding HIV/AIDS to vanish. To heighten the awareness for this virus and disease. And to get funding the help treat this virus and disease. I will dedicate my time to ensuring that these things get set in motion. Justice to me is being able to walk into a store and not be followed. Justice to me is not categorizing the blind man on the street, or the autistic child in class. Justice is you and me, because together WE make things happen. WE can change the plight of generations of ethnic groups and people who have been labeled as "other". WE can affect change. This course gave me the insight and hope for a better life and a world where I can affect change. I am hungry for justice. I want it, and I will do my best to uphold it and embody what it means to be just.

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Final Blog

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Coming into this class, I had a very different view on justice and what it means. I learned this semester that justice starts inside the self. I learned that justice is to have an understanding that everyone is an equal to everyone else, regardless of who they are on the inside, or what they look like on the outside. Justice is to be fair. To ensure that everyone is treated equally and that everyone is treated well. This semester we discussed topics that I am not comfortable with. We discussed topics that made my heart ache and we also talked about things that gave me hope. I learned that change comes from within us, and that to achieve it, we must first take a step back and look at ourselves. A lot of terrible things go on around the world that I had never stopped to look at. Not because I don't care, but because I feel like there is nothing I can do to fix such big problems. This class has taught me that I was wrong. That I can change the world, even if it starts just in my own community. I learned that Justice is about togetherness. We need to stick together as humans and realize how amazing we each are as individuals.

Final Blog

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As many others have stated, this class was truly eye opening and I feel as though my outlook and perspective on the world has changed immensely. Coming into the class I had really no idea how to define justice to encompass the many faces of injustice that we talked about during class. I thought that justice was merely something that was found in courtrooms and something that the police or government had control over. Taking this course has made me realize that everyone can live a life of social justice and advocate for others that are less privileged. Justice can then be identified as the willingness and actions to enhance the lives of others by breaking down societal norms and models that are oppressive.

Before this class started I thought a lot differently about the world because I was ignorant. I was living proof that "ignorance is bliss." Although I knew that there was an inherent privilege that was something about white supremacy, I felt as though I was not "a player in this game" because on one hand, I didn't exactly know that this "game" even existed, and on the other hand I did not see myself as racist. As Kevin Graham classified the three types of roles played in of white supremacy , I fell into the passive role, the one that benefits from the oppression of groups but does not support it. I now know and understand why I played that role, which makes it possible for me to change.

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"Recognizing the power of the erotic within our lives can give us the energy to pursue genuine change within our world, rather than merely settling for a shift of characters in the same weary drama." -Audre Lorde

Disability Final Paper and Blog

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Group Members:
Nicole Nottingham
Minjay Lim
Aly Fenlon
Samantha Alisankus-Baumgartner


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On January 8th 2011 a gunman shot 19 people in Arizona. One of these people was Arizona state congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The injuries she sustained from the shooting caused her to be hospitalized for brain trauma, and separated her from her role in congress. Since the shooting, there has been considerable coverage by the media of the Giffords situation. Much focus has been placed on Giffords' recovery and possible return to congress. Although such coverage provides information on Giffords progress and status, the true value of the media's light on Giffords' situation, is that it causes society to face their own prejudices. Every person who views the Giffords situation will naturally form an opinion about Giffords new potential. It is this very "naturalness" of opinion forming that, again, lies at the heart of ableism. Ableism is our everyday assumptions as to what should "naturally" be, what is "normal", and therefore when something deviates from this "normal", we find it to be a debilitating factor to our lives. Generally, disability is looked at only in regards to physically apparent handicaps. While disability does describe physical handicap, it also describes the mirage of identities that work to define the personal "self" such as race, gender, and class. These identities can also work to disable a person in life. As seen by Peggy McIntosh's essay on White Privilege, there is an obvious disability to being a historically discriminated against race, with implications extending into the prescription of a person's social class. McIntosh reminds us that no discrimination exists in a vacuum. Race informs social class, and social class can modify gender. If any, or all, of these factors can modify a person's ability to achieve "normality" than these factors can be a disability. Therefore, ableism is the pinnacle of social discrimination. It encompasses all forms of discrimination and is the process responsible for the labeling of a person's status in society. The great paradox of ableism is that it is self-perpetuating. As long as society continues to deem certain factors "debilitating" these certain factors will actually become debilitating. If society is to find any form of relief from this plight, it will first need to find a way to annex the very foundation of ableism; the structure and ideology of "normal".

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Getting "Better": http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/gabrielle-giffords-interview_n_1094044.html

Final Blog

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From this class, I have learned that justice is not easily defined and everyone has a different take on how to create and carry out justice. We have discussed many different issues I have never thought about prior to this class, that will ultimately shape the decisions I make in the future. I will now stop and wonder whether or not I am inadvertently causing someone else an injustice by the things that I buy or the simple decisions that I make, that I would have never realized before.

Gender justice is the equality between all people regardless of their gender or sexuality. Equality does not mean that everyone needs to act and preform actions like the dominant group; it means that the differences between individuals are accepted and appreciated. These differences are all considered equal; no one is better than the others, they are all of the same caliber but they just differ between groups and individuals. Gender justice is also feeling free to express yourself in the ways that you want to without the fear of being judged or considered inferior to the major groups of society. Feminism is the fight for gender justice of all people who are considered other and inferior to other groups in society across the world. It is a life style that does not discriminate or marginalize any groups of people while trying to reach their own equality. Feminists are people who do not voluntarily take part in industries that exploit others; they are aware of these industries and work to ultimately change the way society operates, since currently it only advances using the exploitation of certain groups of people.

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Uses of the Erotic

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I really enjoyed this reading by Audre Lorde because of her extremely creative writing and insightful points of view. One of my favorite quotes from this piece was "the erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings". I really liked how she made something so immeasurable, such as our feelings, and turned it into something tangible for the reader to understand. The erotic is something that is personal for each individual that gives them a unique sense of fulfillment that can change the way they experience and look at the world around them.

This goes along with another one of my favorite quotes, which is: "But when we begin to live from within outward, in tough with the power of the erotic within ourselves, and allowing that power to inform and illuminate our actions upon the world around us, then we begin to be responsible to ourselves in the deepest sense." I found this quote to be very motivating and inspirational. It is saying that if we let the outside forces guide our lives and decisions, then we will always have limitations and boundaries that set by this external force. However, one you come in touch with and use the erotic, you can begin to feel whole without the unnecessary material goods and without the negative feelings towards others and your self.

Final Blog

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I'd like to define justice as being fair, in other words, responsibility for one's actions and protection of the future. However, there are always occasions that the fairness can be interrupted, consequences that must follow, and punishment that must be imparted. If someone has knowingly caused damage then it is clear that restitution should be sought in the form of goods or services. Of course, it has different forms in each nation or society. However, there is always common virtue of morality that every human being should keep track of. To prevent the possible corruption of the morality, there are so many tools available such as education and imprisonment, etc. There are many chances for people to be provided if they caused trouble in the society. However, the chances are given after measuring the price that society has to pay to rebuild the damages. If the probable price is higher than society expects then either the criminal will have to contribute to the cost of his own re-education or he will be removed or killed. Justice is the last thing to be implemented for those who are against the society for the good of majorities.

Through this course, I could see the issues more objectively from different perspectives. It was really interesting that there are many different point of view on the subject. And I came to know more about feminism in the States and I could compare the feminism in the States with that of asain countries.

Final Blog

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When I first came into this class, I expected feminism to be men vs. women. Now that the class is coming to an end, I have learned that feminism goes beyond that. It incorporates racism, ageism, ableism, and much more. With those in mind, I have realized how privileged I am to be getting a higher education and how "abled" I am. So overall, I believe feminism is beyond men and women, feminism is the fight for justice in every way possible.

This class has also changed my opinion on what "justice" is. Before, I was completely for the death penalty because I thought it brought those we suffered from the person "justice." However, after our class discussions and readings, I've realized that this form of justice is not spiritually or ethically correct. The only way to achieve a sense of peace or justice is by incorporating Leela Fernandez's spirituality; love, compassion, forgiveness, and harmony.

What I first thought coming into the class:

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For the Laughs.

Final Blog :)

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Well this semester has definitely been an eye opener for me and many others I'm sure. I have thought about things in ways I didn't know you were able to think about them! Starting with the first article about white privilege and continuing on through today's article Where there is love, there is pain. I had previously never stopped to think about the unseen, unearned privileges that I have had my entire life but never realized. There are many things I have taken for granted, like the inheritances that have been passed down for generations in my family that others may not have. After being in this class I have been able to have deep and meaningful conversations with my friends and family members about some of the issues we discussed in class. I hope that I can use my knowledge about these issues to help raise awareness of what has happened in the past that has shaped the way our society is today and to help make an effort to bring about the change that our society needs to see. We are the key to making the future better. We need to start to redefine justice and expose the "injustices" all over. Justice to me is that everyone has the same opportunities and the same privileges and the same abilities and is seen as the same and as equals. In a just world no one can take advantage of or belittle another because everyone is as great as everyone else. We need to change the paradigm of our world to achieve justice. After all isn't that was America was made for? Wasn't it made so that there would be peace and justice for all?
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Defining Justice

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I have been putting off this blog entry for a bit now because I am unsure of how I define justice. Prof Isoke made it clear to me today that you can't recognize/understand justice unless you are educated on injustice. Although, I am a major in GWSS and am very well versed in social injustices, yet the answer doesn't seem clear. I believe the trouble is trying to define justice within a nice one sentence package, such as something Websters' can achieve. Justice takes on so many forms, it is no wonder why this simple question is hard to define. Justice begins in education, only through this lens can we get a better glimpse of someone else's reality. Fighting the institutions which bring about injustices is a form of justice. Whether or not social justice is a passion for you or not, life is in the details and you can find ways to integrate the issue of justice in your daily routine. It could be going out of your way to understanding someone else more or speaking up within a conversation that is especially oppressive in language.
I use the material I learned in this class everyday. I never forget about the lessons of justice and the social inequalities that exist. The blatant disregard for these issues is apparent everywhere and when you learn about these issues, you can't avoid seeing it. I use classes such as this one to always challenge my beliefs and questions my own abilities to remain open minded. Liberty-and-Justice-for-Sale.gif
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Final Blog

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How to define justice...a question we have gotten so many times in GWSS this semester it should be as easy as one two three to answer. I personally define justice as treating someone as an equal no matter what the circumstance. Sounds simple right? WRONG. If justice was simple we wouldn't have discussed it so often. It is a simple concept- the golden rule! but it is not a simple thing to actually carry through. Justice should ignore skin color, race and class and treat everyone as if they are the same.
If there is one thing that GWSS has taught me it is justice. I started out GWSS getting frustrated every day because we talked about white privilege so often that I was getting frustrated. I felt judge because I was white. One day I was talking to another kid about the class and I was saying how it always made me mad that people said these things about white people and so on when he laughed and said I think you have a case of white guilt. I was, of course, quick to defend myself in the situation but after I thought about it I realized he was right, I did. I always thought of myself as not racist and one of the "good people" when it came to any talks about racism. GWSS taught me that although I didn't participate in anything racist I didn't do anything to stop it or do anything about it. That is what GWSS has taught me, you can act like you're not part of the problem but if you aren't trying to fix it, you are still part of the problem. GWSS also taught me about privilege. I never really realized that in order to be privileged someone had to be underprivileged. I realized that in a lot of situations I was privileged but in other situations, mostly dealing with men, I was underprivileged. GWSS has made me more aware about my life, my country, and my world. Although I can't say that I loved every reading we covered in class I can honestly say that this class is the class I learned the most about myself in, and so far in college is a class I will look back on and reference all my life because of all the eye openers I was exposed to.

Final Blog!

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Ways I plan to use the information I have taken away from this class, are difficult to name. There was so much info. that really had eye-opening effects on me. I'm going to try to be more aware of the people in my surroundings, not stereotype, and put myself in their shoes. I would like to speak up more when it comes to what's wrong and right, for instance white privilege, I will try to acknowledge. Along with acknowledging things, I want to try to acknowledge people's abilities/disabilities (different ableness) in life, and be more helpful to them.

Justice to me gives me a feeling of pride, happiness, and wholeness. Whether it's witnessing a wheelchair ramp being put up in a building, and seeing and differently abled person go on it, or if it's calling someone an identifiably correct term (correct in their senses of how they identify themselves). Justice is the action of doing right, and the examples of actions doing right have expanded in my understanding greatly.

Thoughts on Kum-Kum Bhavanni

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I just wanted to reflect on some of the things that were discussed last Thursday in class while discussing the Kum Kum Bhavanni article. I was really fascinated by this article and the context of it. Going from an upper class in India, to a working class status and lifestyle is a drastic change. I feel like this is particularly relevant in America today as Americans face financial struggles in many areas of life. Many businsess owners are having to face the facts that once being extremely successful, is not the same successful today. Many households are having to have both spouses find work, a lot of times not even that high ranking of a job, but just any job, to help get some more money around the house. I know a family who underwent an extreme change in social status like Kum-Kum. The father owned a few banks. They built their own mansion, the kids went to private schools and the mother didn't work, only carpooled in her escalade. Not even one year after moving into their house the banks went bankrupt and they lost all their money. Their house was foreclosed and they moved to an apartment and new public school. The mom and dad both had to find new work, anything to make ends meet. They struggled immensely. I feel like the story can't end there though. Just as Kum-Kum fought through her battles and worked to get her PHD, others who struggle in the working class shouldn't feel like they have to give up and accept what they have and not reach higher in life. I feel that everyone should be able to feel justice in the sense that they have the same opportunities to succeed even though they may be in a different class. Just as we discussed the definition of justice in Kum-Kums life as maybe the idea of willing and able to move across boundaries of ideologies, no matter what the social status is, should be achievable for all.
I just really find stories like this eye opening and wanted to share some thoughts on it. No one should have any excuses for not being able to be successful, there should be oppotrunity for all no matter where you are coming from.

Final Blog.

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This class has opened my eyes to many more areas to battle injustice. There needs to be a change in the ideology and approach to "justice." I have been inspired by this class to pursue some kind of graduate program that is centered around international relations and the governmental response to injustice. I hope that I will be able confront some of the issues that arise regularly because there is a lack of education and not enough attention given to issues that will be so important globally. There is a real need for educated, compassionate, ambitious people to unite against all forms of injustice and work for the betterment of the global society at large, and I plan to step up to that challenge.

Thinking of how I define justice now is still a difficult concept to grapple with. Although I have been taught through the readings and discussions regarding concepts of injustice, I find it difficult to come to a conclusive definition. Because justice morphs itself in each individual situation, I'm not sure there is one right way of describing it. I would have to say that justice is not vengeful of combative in nature, but is accepting, tolerant, and provides educational opportunities for all those whom subscribe to it's tenets.

Justice/Feminism Final Blog

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At the beginning of the semester, when asked to define justice, I defined injustice in order to explain justice. Now I believe that is not the correct way to approach how I define justice. To me, justice is more a way of thinking. Not only is it attempting to equalize the work, but it is also a mindset of not discriminating against people who are different than you. Gender justice, more specifically, is the mindset that once again is not only can women do anything men can, but also that people are viewed as "gender neutral". People should not be discriminated for their gender or lack of gender. We shouldn't look at a person who looks like they could be a man or woman and try to decipher it. We should just accept the person for who they are. Feminism is also not what I perceived it to be at the beginning of the year. I assumed it was just people wanting gender equality for women but it is much more than that. Feminism includes disidentifying from everything we know, such as colonialism and our ideologies. According to Lorde, it is "embracing the erotic" and a daily practice of non violence.

In my everyday life, I plan to try to treat everyone the same and focus on their personal qualities, not their outward appearance. Although it is almost impossible, I will also try to disidentify with oppression, white supremacy, colonialism, and ideologies such as sexism and ableism. This will help me avoid discrimination and lead me to the path of treating everyone equally. I also plan on embracing the "erotic" that Lorde discusses; I want to find joy and creativity in everyday life and simple moments.

Final Blog

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As the case for most people, this class has really opened my eyes to a lot of the injustices present in the world today. For me in particular, I was really struck by a lot of the things talked about in this class. I'm not going to say that I didn't care about issues that have been brought up in class prior to this semester, but they definitely were not on my mind nor did I think of them as really being pressing issues. Now at the end of the semester, I couldn't be more thankful for having taken this class. Not only has it opened my eyes to new issues but also has changed some of my views and perspective on things that I thought I knew about. I don't think that I will take another GWSS class, but what I have learned this semester will carry on throughout my life and I believe will have a lasting impact. The biggest thing that I will take away is knowing how privileged I am. More specifically being a middle class white American citizen. I never saw myself as this nor was I ever really forced to look at myself through a gender/race/economic lens.
I don't think that this class has inspired me to become an activist or anything like that but its effects on me has been drastic and I will hopefully continue to be aware and open to learning about injustices going on. This class has helped me further understand the world we live in and not to be so narrow minded. This information is implemented throughout my day to day life and I believe has made me a better person.
Justice for me now has a new meaning. At the beginning of this class I would have defined it as being something along the line of everyone being treated equally. I would now define justice as education. Being aware of things and people around you and how they are being treated and also having others being aware of you and hearing your story. It is unjust how we can live in a world where it is so easy to pretend that everything is alright. This is above all else what I have taken from this class.

Final Blog

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Throughout this course I have learned a lot about all kinds of justice and social issues. It made me aware of the different types of oppression in our society and how there are so many different applications of justice. Justice isn't just about giving punishment for a wrong doing, it is so much more then that it is the fair and respectful treatment of all people and recognizing injustice. It is respecting differences in people in our society and accepting everyone even though they may have different viewpoints. Justice is about equal opportunity and the push for these rights for all human beings. No matter what gender, class, or race you come from, we should all be treated fairly. I have a much larger awareness of the issues in our society and with this awareness I plan to look at my own actions and their implications on other people. With the information in the course I am also more aware of the privilege I experience and plan to be more conscious of this and try to help others struggling that may not have started out on the same footing as myself. I hope to open the eyes of others, as this class has opened my eyes.

Throughout this course, I have become aware of many social injustices around me and also became aware of social norms in our society which are engrained in our heads, unconsciously teaching developing children to stereo type and discriminate. There are so many things within this course which I have become more aware to it is ridiculous. Such as how much our society discriminates against minorities, how women's voices are practically never heard in other countries, how things such as bandaids and barbies are showing children what color our skin should be and what a typical man and woman should look like, and much more. Now that my eyes have been opened to this whole concept of unconscious in justice and discrimination, I feel it is my job as an individual to open the eyes of others, and take more time to actually think about the situations and lives of others before making any sort of judgement. I feel that if I open the eyes of others to the idea that not everyone is raised the same way which we are will help people to understand the concept that other than someone just being recognized as a "mexican man" or a "muslim man", people will begin to understand that they are people too who have families and love and hurt just like any of us.
Throughout this course, I have learned quite a detailed definition of what "injustice" is , but I have had a hard time grasping what justice actually is. Figuring that injustice is someone not given a voice or all of the same opportunities as another within society, it is easy for me to imagine that justice is exactly the opposite. Meaning that, justice is making sure that everyone is given the same opportunities as the person next to them, they are not looked at twice when they walk into a shopping mall, and that they are recognized as an individual, not just a gender or a race.

Human Trafficking in the US

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After class articles and extended research on human trafficking, I have been amazed at how unaware I was of an issue that is so destructive and important to address, and is going on in my country--even in the city where I live. When I read about the sex-ring in Minneapolis that was busted last fall, I was completely blown away. This is an incredibly harmful issue that is hardly being acknowledged at all.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/us/24gang.html?pagewanted=all
New York Times- Article on the sex ring in Minneapolis

It is a very hard situation to deal with, especially because of the inexperience our own authorities and gov't have in handling these types of crime. The lack of updated law and knowledge on the issue is making it very difficult for progression to be made on the fight against human trafficking in the US. There needs to be more research, heightened awareness, and action taken by gov't and law enforcement to begin to tackle an issue that is spreading so rapidly, yet so quietly across our country.

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2011/05/sex-trafficking-201105
This article in Vanity Fair is the story of two girls in Connecticut who are sucked into the underground sex-trafficking world, and does a very good job of showing how the government struggled to handle the case as it was slowly uncovered. It is very scary to think about, but this "business" has been very appealing to many because of the demand, profit, and because of the low risk of being caught due to the lack of awareness in our country. I highly suggest reading the article, it is a little long but it is a very interesting story and gives you a look into the world of sex trafficking that is being carried out in our own backyards.

Final blog post.

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The information,readings and discussions we had in this class were powerful. I have read several of the assigned readings but every time they are different because of the differing people in the class, and the variety of understandings.
Each time, I gain something new,or realize it applies to something I have seen, heard or done recently. It is eye-opening every time, some were new- like the Ableism articles, which have allowed to more fully critique and realize my own complacency in oppressions that are often an afterthought, yet are deeply connected to my own life. Ultimately, learning helps me to take my life in my own direct- as Audre Lorde would say-incorporate the erotic- in my life and future. It gives me courage to live my life for convictions that are my own, not those predetermined by society, and to speak out, even when I may stand alone. And " not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe". How that will play out in my life has yet to be seen, I hope it means using what I know to have the patience to listen, decolonize my own life and mind and work toward a more peaceful country& life...whatever that may look like.

In terms of the definition of "justice", that is still hard for me to define. I suppose I am most apt to define it in humanist and universalist terms- the creation of systems that are malleable, defy violence in all its forms, and makes space for multiple forms of knowledge and truth, not simply the truth of those who are strongest. Justice is enabling everyone to access a life of affirmation. Leela Fernandez's writings on spirituality and life of non-violence closely capture what I imagine as a pathway to justice. Maybe creating a strict definition is not in the best interest of the word...maybe leaving it open to a variety of possibilities and meanings will in fact serve us all for the better.

Globalization & Conflict Metals presentation blog

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Attached is our presentation which we created on Prezi. We examine how globalization has impacted the longstanding conflict in Eastern Congo, and how we can imagine justice in the future.

Project by:
Alex Moore, Stephanie Nwaudo,
Mckenzie Purtell, and Abby Schanfield


http://prezi.com/dih2pnpradsj/conflict-metals/

More on Justice

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The curriculum of this class has opened up a whole new perspective for me. I've been running around all these years largely blind to white privilege, structural racism, the capital-driven wealth divide, neo-colonial practices, gender dimorphism, patriarchal power structures, and a great many other of the prolific injustices flying around these days. I can't say it's driven me to go be a GWSS major and activist, but exposure to these iconoclastic notions will doubtlessly lead me to make more informed decisions about my consumption habits, relationships with other people, and life perspective. As it stands, I'll probably grow up to be an economist and go work for one of those evil NGOs like World Bank or the IMF, but I've always specialized at fighting the man from the inside.

My definition of justice hasn't been largely altered by this class. It's still an amalgamation of fairness, civility, and "doing the right thing." It has, however, taught me to value diversity in a way that I hadn't before. Being "colorblind" or "genderblind" isn't as helpful in appreciating a person as embracing identities and celebrating new perspectives and approaches. Now that I've learned to address my imprinted norms, I can push them aside to see the real value in people. That's justice, too.

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