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"For anyone who imagines that welfare policy pormotes improved economic well being and security, opportunity, self sufficiency and hope for poor women and their families, this book is a wake up call"

just take a look @ this book

I choose to write my critical book review on the Battered Black Women and Welfare Reform book by Dana Davis. I agree with Davis about the ultmate goal of meeting "self sufficiency" is flawed and will never actually be met. There are two many overlapping factors that shape and determine the status of these women, almost like a domino affect. In order to maintain assistance and aviod being sanctioned, reduced benefits and elimination of benefits these women must have jobs. But before we can even talk about applying for jobs, we have to consider the fact that the majority of Black women who recieve gonvernment assistance such as welfare are dealing with an abusive relationship causing and unstable home enviornment. In certain domestic violent cases women aren't even allowed to leave the house to go to work, which dismisses obtaining and maintaining employment. Second the women who are in these abusive relationships are taking the first step by leaving, this is a major change in direction considering the fact that the abusvie men relie on these women. This impacts their ability to work. Working is half the battle but finding employment that will ultimatley allow these women to be completely self sufficient is highly unlikely, becasue of the lack of education but also becasue of the several diverents that are placed in the way becasue of race, gender economic status. Even if these women do indeed find work what about their children and child care? If there is no access to proper child care, than a mother has to choose between going to work or stay home and watch her children.All of these factors are just a few different types of barriers black women have to face in order to recieve and maintain assistance. 

On top of all that the children and finding proper childcare.

Power & Control Wheel

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Physical Abuse- I think that creating positive touch would empower many individuals. Just like so many people are kinesthetic learners, many people feel love by positive touch whether that be hugs, massages, or respecting ones space. Also in employment or school settings it would benefit our bodies if we participated in activities that better our bodies; such as having a health day event that includes yoga, healthy eating and relaxation. Activities such as these have the capability of rejuvenating an individual. 

Emotional Abuse- Treating everyone equally but also respecting their differences. Being kinder to others in general is a form of postive emotional interactions. The media plays a large role in how we interact with others. I believe that gossip television and reality shows with catty and physical fights create a negative image of how we should interact with others.

Economic Abuse- National Health Care, Affirmative Action, Welfare and also more programs that help individuals find a job or find resources that can better their career and financial stability. 

Threats- Instead of employment agencies threating to fire an individual, helping that individual better its current situation and understanding their current situation. Obviously an employer cannot keep an employee if they are not doing their job at all but often there is a story behind the lack of motiviation. For example my best friend's sister was fired from Dairy Queen after years of working there because one day one of the top business men of the company came in and she was not friendly enough. Her cousin had recently been shot and her grandmother diagnosed with cancer. 

White Privilege- White people need to use their white privilege to help others without this same privilege. Not only volunteering their time but also educating others around them that might not be as aware of others' stories. Just like we talked about yesterday in class, we need to bring these issues where they are currently not spoken of. 

Using Children- Honestly, race should NOT play a part in a child's life. It is ignorant to think it does not, but it shouldn't. Every child regardless of race or of their family background should be treated in the same way in the education system. Each child deserves an education that will better their future and allow them access to higher education, employment and a successful and happy life. 

Intimidation- Creating optimism and positivity can be so powerful in an individual's life. Take for example Barack Obama's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize. He was chosen as the recipent of this honor back in February before he had served barely any time as our president. He was chosen for this award because of his ability to create optimism amongst millions of people. 

Sexual Abuse- Sex and sexuality needs not be taboo. It is a normal part of everyday life and should be able to be discussed. Saying that though, it should also be available to be private. Individuals should be able to decide whether or not they can express their sexuality publically and if they choose to, we as a people need to try to eliminate judgement.

 Isolation/Exposure- Police need to be evenly distributed and made sure that they are treating people of all backgrounds fairly and respectfully. A friend of mine from Northeast Minnneapolis was recently complaining to me that not until Northeast began to be more populated by white people did more police come. Even with these new police though they are not rolling through the white neighborhoods, they are in the lower socioeconomic neighborhoods that include predominantly people of color. There are police at almost every corner but when my friend's mom, who is Latina, called due to commotion she heard at her neighbors house, the police never came. The police seem to have a certain agency in this neighborhood that does not actually help the people living in the neighborhood. Police need to be in more communication with the area they are serving. Like in some of the programs we recently read about in class, individuals can be served properly and empowered when they decide what they need.

Alright, so I'm not sure if this is the way we were supposed to go about this but this is what I did: I went through each section of the power and control wheel and made lists strategies to mitigate the forms of oppression and abuse through positive means.  I found that many of the sections overlapped in the ways that they were heavily exacerbated by poverty.  Its a bit disorderly and I'm not sure how realistic all of these suggestions are, but they are nonetheless suggestions.  

Economic Abuse

Socialism! OR affirmative action, financial reparations, highly progressive taxing, creation of more affordable housing, accessibility to owning property, more flexible terms on welfare, more financial support from welfare, extended period of time allowed for welfare, revolutionizing the way public education is funded, more scholarships available for people of color,


Hey 3590 classmates!
I have a really good event some of you may be interested. It's the U's Social Justice Leadership Retreat. It's an amazing experience. I've attended multiple versions of it as well as facilitated it and I can assure you that it will open your eyes to a lot of issues, as well as make it more personal for you. Issues you will learn more about: white privilege, personal experiences as they relate to various identities, how stereotyping holds our relationships back, how to use these ideas in activism, etc... I'll let the link tell you more:
Also, if you wouldn't mind passing this to other classes, that'd be awesome!
This semester I'm taking a few GWSS courses, two of which have very different approaches to feminism and activism. One of them (the one that's not this class) is very theoretical. We are always critiquing ideas, theories, and ways of seeing the world. It has a decidedly post-modernist and post-structuralist tilt, one that constantly emphasizes complications. I enjoy this approach - it is, after all, one approach that I learned early in my years at the U and one that challenges my assumptions. But, as many students complain, it does get a little removed from the real world. I can see both sides: it's important to view our world in new ways, but what about what's happening, day-to-day on the ground? We can say with full belief that gender doesn't have an essential component but that idea plays out every day in our real lives. And the "real world" needs to be discussed as much as our theoretical progress does.

In this class (3590) I am enjoying the "real world" component. I work at a women's shelter, so our recent discussions on violence are extremely applicable to what I do with a good chunk of my time. It's important to sit down and work through examples, like we did with different types of violence and the restrictions particular women face when they try to exit or deal with a violent situation in their domestic lives. This spurred an interesting discussion at work about why we receive the types of women we do and why certain demographic are simply missing from our shelter. Are there services for these women? What are the constraints that are placed on us, or what do we do ourselves, that is limiting our ability to assist women in all situations? I'm looking forward to continuing this discussion in the classroom and in my everyday life.


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Thus far, this class has been extremely interesting. This is my first time truly being exposed to information on multicultural feminism. Therefore, there have been a lot of new terms, however it's a new perspective to understanding issues regarding class, gender, minorities etc.


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Hi Guys... please bear with me, as this is my first attempt ever at blogging (Facebook is the closet I've ever come, and I maybe do a "status update once every 3 month!) and,currently, I feel awful.  Boo!

Anyways, one aspect I'm really excited to continue to explore through out the semester is intersectionality.  It is such an important element to consider, as we need to be conscientious of the multiple "layers" that surround different people (of all genders) to better understand situations and/ or viewpoints.  It reminds us that although we may have the best intentions in mind, speaking for, or on behalf of a group we personally are unable to fully represent (due to different cultural, sexual or gender affiliations) may often marginalize people even further, by essentially creating an "other" group, however unintentional it may be.  I'm completely on board with the idea intersectionality, because it seemed as if early feminists only focuses on what the upper-class, white, straight women was interested in at the time, and that proved to only further polarize women since only a certain group, or idea was accounted for, and considered the 'norm.'

As someone pursuing a double major in GWSS as well as Sociology of Law, Criminology and Deviance, it's interesting to me to see how the two different majors have put a somewhat different spin on the topic.  Although they share major similarities, the concept of intersectionality through Sociology (where it was first presented to me) has been a bit different, so I'm looking forward to learning more on the topic, and the perspective through GWSS courses.

Zenzele mentioned in class that Black and Hispanic men are the most likely to be sentenced to death by our legal system.  Adding to this concept of intersectionality, I wanted to also lend support by sharing a fact I learned in my Race, Class & Gender course that pertains to the death penalty.  That is 92% of the people currently on death row are below the poverty level.  To me, this shows a clear correlation between race and class, and makes it undeniable that the law is colorblind, or dissuaded by funds, as it tries to present itself. 

Examining these issues further by peeling back the layers continues to expose and enlighten me to issues regarding not only race, class, gender & sexuality, but also the law, politics and policies that continue to disadvantage certain groups of people.  I personally feel outraged at things I've learned through class, as well as things I've learned via my own research.  Undoubtedly, this has contributed to my desire to be a lawyer who focuses on human rights and activism issues, and I feel grateful to have a much sounder concept of intersectionality, and at the same time, understand that I have much, much more to learn.


an issue

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First to echo what others are saying about the class-- I am excited about this class.  It seems as if this is one of the only classes that will be a breath of fresh air.  Now on to the good stuff... :-)

Case studies--I am not a fan.  First, case studies give us a very limited glimpse of a person story or situation.  They also seem to take an air of objectiveness, which I think is impossible.  The narrative comes from a third party (like a police report or social worker), I would rather hear from one person or multiple people.  It seems almost impossible to deconstruct because it lacks so much.  Also, case studies address the individual level within a systematic issue.  That in and of itself is not problematic but when we start to offer up solutions based on the individual that is where it becomes an issue.  Of course options are need for those who need immediate needs but those options lack solutions to systems of domination.  How can solutions come from institutions that answer to and are funded by the system?

Women as victims--- they are not the only ones.  I felt in our discussion that each deconstruction of the case study revolved around the woman or femininity as the victim/survivor.  To me we cut ourselves short when we stop the discussion there.  How about the men or the way masculinity functions in our society?  Men are taught from the get go to act and move in the world in certain oppressive ways.  Whether that is to show no emotion, to be hyper sexualized, violent, misogynistic, etc... they are constructed as much as any other form of oppression that exist out there.  So we want to look at things in intersectionality, then how do we deal with masculinity?  Black masculinity?  Working class masculinity?  Feminine masculinity? in relation to all the other forms of oppression?