Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

These two areas are very closely related. Sexual abuse is a form of domestic violence and often occurs with what most people think of as domestic violence (physical abuse). I believe that the most important connection between the two is that sexual abuse has to do with power, not sex. We talked about this a little bit in class and I think it's important to note because many people believe that a rapist or child molester has some kind of sexual disorder; that they have these sexual urges that they try to fulfill by preying on vulnerable individuals. The reality is that most rapists do not even orgasm because of the lack of sexual pleasure involved.

The other connection between the two is that they both affect all kinds of people, across all lines of race, class, gender, sexuality, location etc. There is no way to identify a violent person based what they look like or where they live. I read a book in another class that discussed the flaws in the system that is meant to protect victims of rape. The overall flaw has to do with the fact that our laws are meant to protect people from stranger rape (Megan's Law, for example), when in actuality, acquaintance rape occurs far more often than stranger rape. I think part of the reason the stranger rape myth is around is because 1) people feel safer thinking that they can protect their families from strangers by keeping their children close to home and whatnot, and 2) stranger rape makes for great media coverage. A Dru Sjodin case attracts more interest than a friend-of-the-family case. I think the same goes for cases of violence. It is fairly rare to hear about domestic violence situations within the home, but it is common to hear of street/stranger violence. I think people are afraid to accept the fact that domestic violence/abuse occurs so close to us. There is still this idea of "what goes on in the home stays in the home"/ "public vs. private spheres." But we should really be paying more attention to violence within families/close associates and less attention to stranger danger. I don't know if anything has changed since I was in grades k-12, but I remember being told to not talk to strangers, to lock your doors at night etc. but there was never any talk about what to do about violence in/near the home.

Blog 15

When looking at the past presentations I think there is a relationship between the global sex trade and child abuse. These are serious that are happening in the United States. These problems are more common in females but are happen to everyone. We can look at these problems intersectionally because they can happen to any race, economic class, and either gender. One interesting statistic I found when I was doing our presentation on child abuse was that girls who were sexually abused were more likely to become prostitutes, which could lead to entering the sex trade.


When children are sexually abused they usually feel ashamed, embarrassed, or deny the fact that is happening. They usually face depression, which lowers their self-esteem. I did my mid term paper on the Global Sex Trade and found that some of the females that were involved were because they thought this was the only thing they had. They often were troubled women who experience hardships and felt that this would give them a better opportunity and life.


These are both serious issues that we as a society need to be aware of and provide resources to people that need help. We need to educate others on these issues to identify the signs of these events that are happening.

Extra Credit Response to mccar353- Week 15

I agree completely about abuse and violence not being isolated to one specific group in regards to victims as well as abusers.  People like to think that it couldn't happen to them as well as think that people of a similar social status, race, gender, etc couldn't commit such crimes as well.  I think you made a very valid point with the idea of "comfort because that concept plays a large role in people's opinions of people's opinions about such issues that were covered in a many of the presentations we had for class.


Take women in the military or in sports for example, the main reason that either of these issues are brought up is because the general public doesn't seem "comfortable" with women being in male dominated fields.  The same concept applies to women in industry in terms of women not being competent or "cut-throat" enough to do the same job that men do.  People also are not often comfortable talking about sex trafficking unless it is about that ever present "other" so they don't fear it would happen to them.


All in all, one way to help make steps in the right direction in solving the various issues that we have discussed in class is to continually talk about them and help educate others about the reality of these issues, rather than the sometimes off representation these issues receive in the mass media.  As always, education and "spreading the word" is something we can at least do on an everyday basis to help make a little bit of change.

Blog 15 Assignment

I would like to look at the presentations of women in the military and women in sports.   The major connection between these two are that they both deal with women in male dominated areas.   Also, women in these areas have to deal with sexual harassment on a daily basis.  I think some of the insights that we can gain from looking at both of these are how hard it is for women to break into an area that is predominately men.  As a society we need to focus on why that is and figure out strategies to make it easier for women to enter an area that consists mostly of men.  I think we have to start at the root of the problem, which are the men themselves.  We need to break that stereotype that men have of women, being that women can't do as much as men and so forth.  To be fair, we can't entirely blame the men.  This is how society has raised men and it's our fault we didn't do anything earlier to stop these type of ideas.  If we can make men change their ideas about women, then it will be easier for women to break into male dominated areas.  Men will look at women as equals instead of a "piece of ass."  This new true and new idea would be a major step in helping women break into areas such as the military and sports.  

Blog 15

Two topics discussed last week that are very similar are women in sports and women in the military. Women's participation in both these activities has been very limited until recently and women seem to face many of the same obstacles, the major one, of course, being the "good old boy" traditions that still dominate them both. Women have faced funding obstacles in sports because of the false belief that there is not an interest in watching women play sports. Women in the military face obstacles to advancement and are prohibited from taking on some roles within the military sole based on their gender. Although the military has said they are only trying to protect women, the lack of choice they are given and the idea that women "need" protecting shows the extent to which stereotypes are used to limit women in the military. I also found it interesting that both groups mentioned women being seen as homosexual because of their participation in these male dominated activities. I find it a strange association that just because women participate in activities that are often viewed as "unfeminine", they should be labeled a lesbian. Again, this just goes to show how deeply rooted our ideas about what is "acceptable" and "unacceptable" gendered behaviors.

Week 15 Blog Entry

I believe there is a large connection between the presentation on sexual trafficking and domestic violence in that they are both pervasive social problems that happen behind closed doors, and are therefore incredibly difficult to mitigate. Even when the issues are uncovered, sometimes more close to home than we care to think, the issues tend to get swept under the rug. For many different reasons, human trafficking and domestic violence remain invisible evils.


Another thing that really struck me about both of these presentations is the under-representation of males when experts discuss the topic. The underground sex industry has its share of young boys, but very little about them is mentioned in mainstream coverage of human trafficking. And, as the presentation discussed, when boys are found, it is assumed they are in the underground sex trade because the want to be.


The same thing goes for  domestic violence. Often times, it is assumed that the only victims are women and girls, and that boys stick up for themselves. But, as the presentation discussed, women can be abusers, and men and boys are frequently abused as well. Also, the consequences of violence in the household go beyond physical pain; there are emotion effects, and often when children witness violence they go on to repeat the cycle later in life.


Another interesting thing about these two issues is that the problems themselves are colorblind, but the coverage is not. When Elizabeth Smart went missing and subsequently rescued, media covered the story non-stop. However, many people go missing every day, but only middle class white girls are ever really represented.

Week 15 Blog

The presentation topics that I thought were similar were women in the military and women in sports. I though they both represent the idea that women don't want the same things that men do and that women need some sort of protecting from physical harm. Women in the military, for example, are not allowed to be on the front lines with men. Women's sports teams have a lot less money compared to men's teams.
If you look at these topics together, it is easier to see the differences in how women and men are treated and a supposedly equal society. Women are assumed not to like sports and get less scholarship opportunities to play sports in college. Also, professional women's teams are not heavily advertised like men's teams and have little national recognition. Women in the military do not have many high level positions or positions close to the action. Women are thought of as being too sensitive to play sports or go to the front lines. Looking at these issues interesectionally, it is easy to see that gender effects these two issues more than race or class because in sports talent matters most and it doesn't matter when you join the military. Class effects women in sports because less scholarships are available to women and women who join the military often don't have a lot of money and join up to pay for college.

Blog 15

I would like to compare the relationship between the Dove campaign and the cosmetics industry with the underground hip hop movement and mainstream hip hop culture. The main connection is resistance to the established degradation and objectification of women.  Obviously, there are huge differences. The underground hip hop movement is local and community driven, whereas the Dove campaign is national and based in a corporate ad campaign. But while they may have different goals and varying degrees of effectiveness, they face similar opposition.


Both mainstream industries offer negative illustrations of women. The woman in the hip hop video is completely sexually available and submissive to the power of the man. The woman in the cosmetics ad is unattainably flawless, making every non-airbrushed person less than beautiful.  Both represent an ideal woman, in the music video she's ideal for a man and in the advertisement she's ideally beautiful among women.


Part of the flaw in the Dove campaign is that they are just trying to replace the current ideal. It is a step in the right direction to put larger women and women of varying skin shades in their ads, but it has to go beyond just making a slightly larger, darker ideal. And as was pointed out in class, the shapes of those women don't really vary all that much, even though they vary somewhat in size. And they all have flawless skin and teeth and nice shiny hair. So, they do conform to some standards that I'm sure we could all attain if we would just use Dove products.


Another similarity between the mainstream hip hop and cosmetics industries is their relationship to social hierarchies. The hip hop presenters pointed out that knowledge of that art serves as cultural capital. This capital is used to establish hierarchies. In a similar way, makeup represents a woman's position on the established social hierarchy. Higher class women can afford expensive colors and cosmetic surgery, whereas lower class women are limited to cheaper brands and can't afford to go under the knife. On the other hand, makeup is also presented as a means to moving up the social ladder. If you paint your face in a certain way, you can fool the people above you into thinking you are one of them.


Although it certainly isn't perfect, the Dove campaign for real beauty represents a larger trend of women rejecting the unattainable and undesirable mainstream ideal of beauty. The underground hip hop movement, with its roots in political resistance, also rejects the mainstream norms of degrading women for male power. Female fans and performers are changing the image of hip hop, just like real women are changing the image of female beauty.

Extra Credit Post

Another interesting thing about the women in sports presentation. I found it very interesting to see how when funding is used for women sports its labeled as taking funds and unfair for the men sports. Its real interesting to see how when funding is cut from men sports its looked at as a unfair and wrong. But when the situation is the other way and women sports don't receive funding there's no problem at all. Its just shows how we live in such as patriarchal society.

Blog Post 15

Two of the presentations that stuck with me the most were the Dove Beauty campaign and the hip hop music presentation. The Dove Beauty campaign was topic is very interesting because the of the way they examined the techniques and strategies they used to gain awareness about the issue of body image, while still gaining business and earning money by the profits generated. The Hip Hop presentation was interesting becasue of the way they dug deeper into they lyrics of the songs, and took a closer look at rap music here in MN. Whats interesting is the way both theses topics analyze the female image and identity that's assumed and portrayed. The dove campaign does a good job of changing the "ideal" image and promoting unique beauty that says everyone is beautiful, in order to start a change from societies ideal image. While in the Hip Hop industry and music women are portrayed in such a negative connotation on so many occasions. Both these presentations take a closer look at the identity of women, and how it presumed, portrayed and defined. This is so key in society because all these key factors play a role in the way society judges and identity the type of woman a female is.

Blog # 15

The last presentations were all interesting, however the two that I think had the most material to compare and contrast were the issues of Hip Hop music and Domestic Violence.  Sure there is some Hip Hop that isn't misogynistic, however . . . too much of it is.  And yes, we do have freedom of speech . . . however, at what point does Hip Hop become inflammatory and incites violence towards women?  I know the comparison of racism has been made to sexism in the past but it bears repeating -- if the "N" word is off limits to the majority of the population why isn't the "C" word off limits to men?  What purpose does it serve?  Is there ever really a reason to use it?  It's not okay to discriminate, to use disparaging language, to incite violence towards women )or anyone)through action or words. If we accept violent misogynistic Hip Hop we are essentially saying, it's okay that we demean women in mind, body and spirit.  Women aren't worth the time or the effort if would take to consider the repercussions of a social mind set that listens to Hip Hop and then accepts domestic violence as a natural consequence or necessary evil in this culture to keep women down and in their place.  Okay, maybe it's the mood I'm in. Hip Hop isn't the enemy, however . . .


Extra Cedit Response to brunn064

"And while abuse is obviously real in the so-called real world, I think that the big question is: what is the reality of the abuse depicted in hip-hop work?  Does it have a strong affect in influencing potential/existing domestic abusers? Or does it just provide a mean-world syndrome where people just think that there is more violence than there actually is, just because violence is so prevalent in the media?"



In response to brunn064's question above,


It is absolutely obvious that abuse is a real thing happening in the real world everyday and I think that it's going to continue to happen no matter what. I think it is good that people are acknowledging the abuse and violence issue. If people are more aware that it's happening, they may be more willing to do something about it or try to help.


I don't listen to much hip-hop music but I would think that a lot of people in this world look up to the hip-hop artists. They have a lot of power over their fans and I think that they could use that power to get the message out that the violence is a negative thing and needs to stop. However, if they are sending the opposite message, that power can also have a negative affect on the fans.


It is unfortunate that the media is the way it is and only seems to focus on the most negative things in the world. I often times don't even want to watch the news because it is so depressing. I hope that most people understand that the news is this way and that they are showing all the violence in the media because it gets more attention than a light hearted positive story does. The media is often more concerned with numbers/ratings than they are with sharing factual information.

blog 15

The two presentations that really stood out to me were the presentations on the global sex trade and the dove campaign for real beauty. I think often times women's insecurities lead them to make decisions like becoming involved in occupations that involve selling their bodies because they are looking for acceptance and appreciation. The dove campaign for real beauty captures women's insecurities and embraces them as something they should find unique and beautiful about themselves. Something that also impacts the global sex trade I believe is the very provocative advertisements that show women advertising certain products. Images of women half naked dripping wet adorn bus stops, billboards, TV screens, and magazine pages. Women are depicted as sex symbols, giving the idea to young minds that women are supposed to be these extremely sexual beings. In the dove campaign people of all genders, ages, and ethnicities are able to see an advertisement of what being a women truly means.


When we begin to address the way women are depicted in society, we are able to change the way society sees women. Through this we can change the way women see themselves and hopefully put an end to the degrading work of the global sex trade.

Week 15 Blog

The presentations of sexual abuse and domestic violence are very closely related. Stereotypes have a large impact on both of these issues. It was clear through both presentations that the media plays a very powerful role in reinforcing the stereotypes that society has created.  Most people want to believe that abuse/violence only happens to a certain "type" of person completely different from them however this is far from the truth. These issues occur among all different kinds of people no matter what race, class, gender etc. they are.


Society seems to want to believe that women are always the victims and that men are masculine and would never be the ones being abused. I think comfort plays a huge part in these stereotypes as well. People only want to think about what the norm is and what is comfortable so, the truth is not always what we see. It's important in both of these issues to be aware of what the truth is and what the media is portraying because these can be two completely different things.


The bottom line is that abuse and violence are not isolated to one very specific group of people. It is happening everywhere across all types of people whether we want to acknowledge it or not.


Among this two week's presentations, I would like to talk about women in sports and women in military. Traditionally, sports and military are dominated by man. Women were sometimes forbidden to serve in the two areas. However, during the last decade, women have increasing involving in the two fields. I think the way that women status changes in the two fields can fairly express the women's status in the society. Although women status has been improved, there is still more to work on.

In women in sports' presentation, it is mentioned that although the condition and benefit of women's sports players has been increased, there is still some gap between male and female athletics. Even though the passage of Title IX has recognized and helped to increase the right and freedom of women, there are still limitations that hinder the gender equality. WNBA and NBA has drew my attention that regardless how many effort has put to increase the equality between the two gender team, there is gap between's the earning and popularity. It is like in the current society, although there are continuous efforts to improve the equality and people are educated about the equality of genders, there are still some undermining problems.

Women are stereotyped to be physically inferior to men and that had been the fundamental discrimination that happens within the military. In the presentation, it is mentioned that women are treated somehow differently in the military. They are not allowed to serve on the front line because there are gender stereotype in the mind of the military men. In other word, one would say that they are being "protected" and has a lesser opportunity to take up a high risk job which would hinder their performance in the field.

By looking at the two issues together, we would think that stereotyping is the main concern. Women are always stereotyped to be weaker and more subordinated although there are many campaigns and laws about gender equality have been carried out. I think race does not play an important role here, but classes and gender do.  Military targeted at the lower class poor people and usually recruit their force from the lower class people while sports are usually played by some wealthier people.  Also, women in the two fields are always being discriminated because of their physical ability. Men think that women are inferior to them and this has further hidden the road of gender equality in the two fields.  In order to achieve the full gender equality, I think there is still a long way to go.

blog 15

A connection that jumped out at me was the similarities between domestic abuse presentation and some of the issues that lie with hip hop representation and lyrics.  For example, in the domestic abuse presentation, it was discussed that domestic abuse is tolerated much more among younger women.  Hip hop also conveys this as the "abuse" portrayed in lyrics and in music videos almost always features young attractive females. Additionally, the bottom line is that domestic abuse is about power, not sexual preference.  In my opinion, a lot of the negative actions that go down in hip hop lyrics or videos are about power as well. It's about being the best, the most masculine, the wealthiest, the most badass, etc. 

I think that insights we can gain from these two presentations is that abuse, and more specifically, abuse of power is prevalent everywhere. It's in the home behind closed doors and it's also in the public via mass media forms such as the radio, television, and internet.  And it transcends to everyone regardless of class, race, or gender.  Abuse happens to those of lower classes, but it also "exists" in the world of wealthy rappers whose work depicts it. 

And while abuse is obviously real in the so-called real world, I think that the big question is: what is the reality of the abuse depicted in hip-hop work?  Does it have a strong affect in influencing potential/existing domestic abusers? Or does it just provide a mean-world syndrome where people just think that there is more violence than there actually is, just because violence is so prevalent in the media?   

Extra Credit: An extra thought

I wanted to use an extra blog post to talk about something I didn't get a chance to mention during the hip hop discussion. I've listened almost exclusively to reggaeton music for about 6 years now (reggaeton is basically latin/Spanish hip hop)...and when I listened to it before there were songs that were somewhat degrading to women but never to the extent of calling women "bitches" or "ho's".  The music videos were incredibly rare and also rarely featured women. However, I have noticed that as mainstream American hip hop has become cruder towards women, so has reggaeton. I feel like the American culture has an incredible impact on other cultures, whether it be consciously or unconsciously.  Now I watch reggaeton music videos that are almost complete replicas of hip hop videos. Over the years, they have become more graphic and more degrading to women. They feature the same types of women that appear in hip hop videos, all with hardly any clothes on, shaking their asses. I've also noticed that a lot of videos feature men "on top"...meaning that the men are somehow elevated (I took a Chicano studies class where we studied this theory of men being positioned higher than women especially in videos)...and I started noticing this even more in reggaeton videos. For example, one video features the two singers standing on top of a car while the women are dancing around the car, and they proceed to point at them as if to give them the okay to do their best moves one by one. While reggaeton has not hit this "low" that I feel mainstream American hip hop has, I fear that it soon will.  I started looking up the record companies to see if that was why these videos were tied, possibly they are produced by the same companies, and sure enough I found the record company that produces Snoop Dogg also produces one of the most famous groups in reggaeton.  So not only are we affecting other cultures unconsciously, but we are telling them that sex sells and they should produce videos to match our hip hop. 

Blog 15

I chose to analyze the hip hop presentation and the beauty industry presentation.  I feel like one can use an intersectional analysis to look at money and media as the underlying factors (and problems) for both of these topics. When the beauty industry campaign began I remember feeling completely thrilled that new types of female bodies were portrayed and that things were coming to light that could change ideals. I am definitely not a thin woman, and I was excited at the thought of how my values of loving myself regarding my size, could be matched by women and men everywhere.  But what the presentation showed me was that while this was a wonderful campaign, money was an underlying factor influencing the effort put into the campaign.


The money made from the Dove campaign was astronomical and it seems to me that there are so many women out there waiting for the time when ideals will change, that when they finally seemed to, it was almost a let down to know that the individuals behind these ads may be behind them solely for monetary gain.  But in reality, why should anyone be surprised at this? Mainstream media is completely obsessed with monetary gains, it is practically an ideal ingrained in all of us. Money is everything, money will get you where you need to go, money will provide for you what you cannot have otherwise. And it feels like the hip hop industry uses the exact same ideals.


The hip hop industry is infamous for demonstrating to all of us that only those who have ridiculously expensive cars, large houses and lots of material possessions, are the only ones who are worth anything to this world.  It is entirely about who has the most possessions, who has the best possessions and who is making the most money.   The women in both presentations play an important role, while one attempts to distribute beauty between all sizes, the other presents beauty as one look.


I also want to note that not only do these factors play a role, but race, class, and gender definitely do as well.  The part that shocked me most was the gender differences by the same company, between Dove and Axe.  While Dove is portraying women coming in all shapes and sizes, Axe is completely reversing these images and showing that all women must be sexually available, sexually promiscuous and a size 0.   I think it was MTV that had a program about the women dancers in hip hop videos, and one woman said she could not afford to pay any bills, had no options left, until she was introduced to a woman who danced for hip hop videos.  The woman told her she had the "look" they wanted in their videos, someone attractive, thin, beautiful, and that she could make an impressive amount of money in that industry.  She said she tried out and eventually started working on videos with huge hip hop artists, but after a while she said she felt degraded and singled out as the producers of the videos later on in her career, would look at her and say "no thank you, your hips are too big", or "no thanks, you've put on some weight lately". Race is important in understanding the differences in the woman that each industry aims at, while Dove tries to portray black females, they leave out a wide array of women that are not black or white.  At the same time the hip hop industry, most often, portrays black women, occasionally white women, and also ignores the entirety of other races.


While money is the bottom line in any sort of business, it's impressive to me that Dove was one of the first companies to acquire money while supporting a positive campaign. I think that although the company produces opposite ads for Axe, the important factor is that women need to learn to believe in themselves and feel secure regardless of size, shape, weight, etc. and THAT is what will lead them to leading a happier life.  I don't think it's completely about disregarding men's opinions so much as showing women that the confident woman is the one that will reach her goals in her marital life, work life, and social life.  I have to say that while the money is the main goal it is somewhat disheartening, but I still say thank you to Dove and continue to show women that we can be secure and confident.




Answer to Gomol003's Question, Blog 15

 Hi Gomol, in response to your question, I personally believe that you answered it yourself by stating that you understand that it is a long-term goal. As mentioned in my blog, I concluded that we as individuals all do conform to these ideologies. As much as we may try to avoid it there is no escaping it. We see it on a daily basis from advertisements, to billboards, and commercials. Capitalism has done wonders in making sure that everyone knows exactly what they need to make them "feel better" or "be better". Who doesn't want to fit into that ideal beauty type?

 If you read The Culture Industry Enlightenment as Mass Deception by Adorno and Horkheimer, you'll realize that from our very decisions to what we do, it has been instilled on us through culture, we have become objects ourselves, and there is no sense of individuality.  Adorno and Horkiemer states that "Through manufacturing the desire and need for 'art' and 'entertainment' the industry is able to assign ideological codes and meanings into these commodities...through constant repetition, the culture industry hypnotizes the unknowing masses, who are "helpless victims" to what is imposed on them". So in response to your question to reject the Dove campaigns? Even if we try, there is still no way in which we can ignore these ideologies. My point that I was trying to get across when stating that Dove is still a part of these ideologies is that no matter how hard we try, we can't escape what culture and society "assigns ideological codes in". I may sound fatalistic, but I guess I can blame that on the Cultural Studies department here at the University.  

As for your last question I find myself a bit confused. I am not all too familiar with hip hop and its origins to what is originally rapped about, (as well as the general population), so I find the "newer form of rap" as the only form of rap that I know due to mainstream media and culture. A misconception? Perhaps, but this allows me to be a perfect example for you. Seeing that I have no idea about the "remnants of the social and political resistance it once was", I myself have conformed to a stereotype that hip hop culture is simply based on black men rapping about "money, cars, and hoes", because that is what is produced to the masses.

Basically you could use the same answer I have just written about earlier. I have no control what so ever in what is and what is not allowed. I simply believe that due to culture and society, ideologies are created and thus cannot be changed. What I call for is just an awareness of what is going on, that what looks like "change", only carries over into what they are trying to change. 

Blog 15

I would like to connect domestic violence and sexual abuse. Both of the issues are related because they deal with stereotypes, first of all. Most people believe that victims of sexual abuse are young, white children. This has to do with the media portraying images such as these and not telling the whole story. This relates to domestic violence because often times the only victim shown in the abuse is a woman. Media plays an influence in reifying stereotypes in this situation as well. Both issues ignore the fact that there are a wide variety of people who are affected by both cases of abuse. Putting race, class, and gender issues aside, these occurrences affect everyone.

Both issues also involve the downplaying of female perpetrators as well. Often times with domestic violence, women who hit their intimate partners are looked at as less serious or as a joke. The same goes with sexual abuse, we never hear about women perpetrators, even though they do exist. This, I believe, has to do with gender roles and the fact that the media and the rest of society are trying to protect the "femininity" of women who could not be capable of such evil acts.

By looking at both issues, one would begin to realize that such incidents are not isolated and that often times the media plays a false role in portraying who is really effected. An intersectional perspective would help someone see these connections by looking at the problems that people face across race, class, and gender.

Extra Credit Response to Yangx467 Blog 15

I also chose hip-hop culture and women in advertising for my two topics to compare and analyze. I enjoyed reading your response, and I think you put more eloquently what I was trying to say about the comparisons between the two, in terms of the American woman. I definitely agree that in both instances, women are frequently objectified and portrayed negatively. What I struggle with is the decision to dismiss as a whole both Dove's campaign, as it still conforms to the ultimate message (like all marketing campaigns I'm sure) that one needs to beautiful, and mainstream hip-hop. I think you took an incredibly decisive perspective, choosing not to buy into the idea that women should ever, under any circumstances, feel that they need to subject themselves to such standards, or beauty standards at all. I understand, and I think that is also an incredibly long-term goal. My comment more so regards what you think should be done. Do we reject the campaigns, such as Dove's, because it still buys into the system in which women are fed an idea of beauty, even if that beauty ideal becomes more inclusive? And do we allow the culture of hip-hop to be swallowed up in this newer form of rap - one that is only about money, cars and hoes, even though there are still remnants of the social and political resistance it once was?

Final Blog-Blog 15

After listening to the presentations over the past two weeks, I chose to write about the similarities between Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence.  As presented, incidences of Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence know no boundaries - it occurs to victims regardless of economic class, race and gender. Both are widespread problems with long term effects to the victim and respective family members. Luckily, with an increase in awareness of the problem and education on available help and assistance, more battered women and children are coming forward and reporting their abuse and abuser.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior not a single incident. Each incident becomes more severe and more frequent. Domestic violence can take many forms, including sexual abuse.  The abuser often assaults the victim sexually in which force is used to obtain unwanted and undesired sex.  Domestic violence also takes the form of physical, assaultive behavior. It can take the form of emotional and psychological abuse where the abuser afflicts fear in their victim through intimidation and controlling or domineering behavior. In many cases of domestic violence and sexual abuse, the abuser, in many cases the man, has an overwhelming desire to overpower and control the woman and children in the household. The man is the head of the household and may result to violence and abuse to reinforce this status. Any forced act of sex, physical assault, and intimidation are acts of violence.  The majority of reported cases usually involve men as the abuser and the woman as the victim. Many times, incidences of domestic violence and sexual abuse go unreported. Shame, secrecy, and feelings of isolation are reasons why the victim will not report the act of violence against them. Fear of more severe abuse and violence if reported is another reason why these acts of violence go unreported. Children often won't report their abuse for fear of repeated abuse, fear of others not believing their story or because their abuser has threatened them or family members if the child reports the abuse. Abuse and violence against boys and men often go unreported for similar reasons, but also because of fear of being viewed as being "gay" if the abuser was another male or fear of being weak if the abuser was a female.

Unfortunately, society in the past believed it was okay for men to use whatever force was necessary to control the behavior of women.  In addition, society perceives the care and responsibility of the family, including the care of the wife and children rests with the head of the household. As a result, society hesitates to interfere with the family unit when domestic violence or sexual abuse is involved. In addition, since abusers often repeat learned behaviors, there are times where the abuser does not feel they are using excessive force or acts of violence to get their point across. Alcohol abuse and mental illness also contribute to domestic violence, often leading to the victim feeling somewhat responsible for the abuser's abuse of alcohol.

Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse have many common factors. In addition, in a majority of domestic violence cases, sexual abuse is common. As noted above, abusers often repeat a learned behavior. Adults abused as children have an increased risk of becoming abusers themselves. Even as witnesses (versus being the victim) of abuse and violence, women and children can be affected in the same way as people who are physically and sexually abused. Children of domestic violence may believe that is the way to show affection or respect.

Continued education and awareness of the growing problem is needed to break the rapidly growing problem. As noted, individuals in differing economic classes, race, and gender are not immune to the problem. Unfortunately, the media tends to focus on stories of abuse and violence of white, upper-class girls leading to the public's perception that abuse and violence among minority and lower-class is more common.  Domestic violence, in which sexual abuse is very common, is a wide-spread problem.  It will take abused women, men, and children to come forward and tell their stories before this problem can be brought under control.


Blog 15

The apparent lack of overlap between the representation of women in the beauty industry as portrayed through the Dove campaign as well as the way women are portrayed in mainstream hip hop culture is where I am choosing to draw my analysis.


Both mainstream hip hop and beauty/cosmetic advertisements offer up images of the ideal woman. Regardless of color, she is impeccably flawless. In mainstream hip hop music videos, those women are there to service the male figure in the video in whatever fashion they so choose. She is there to be the ideal for the male. In beauty advertisements the ideal woman varies perhaps in her age and color only, but even that is severely, severely limited. However, she too is made to be the image of perfection. She is there to be what every woman "should" aspire to be.


In both instances, what we are teaching society at large is the same. There are serious restrictions on what we can qualify as beautiful, and beautiful is what you should want. 


What the Dove campaign has been trying to do is recreate the image of "beauty" as it is portrayed in advertisements. I tend to commend them for their attempt, despite the obvious contradictions within the campaign itself. They profit from it, and regardless of their seemingly good intentions, they are still marketing a brand and a product, and in order to do so, inevitably must convince their audience that they are not perfect, and need the product.

In a somewhat similar vein, while I don't see much in the way of improvement or attempts at change in mainstream hip-hop, the roots of hip-hop are that of art as a form of social and political resistance. The local hip-hop scene in Minneapolis is a shining example of such, and the talent belongs to men and women of many races. As a means of social resistance, I think that hip hop presents an opportunity, a vehicle through which to change mainstream culture as a whole.

While these comparisons seem vastly different, I see similarities in the way the Dove campaign approaches an inherently morally bankrupt institution, and the way in which local hip-hop revamps the mainstream hip-hop scene at large.

As I said earlier, I tend to commend Dove for their efforts. I tend to believe that some effort to change the way we see beauty is better than no effort at all. I think that the local hip-hop scene offers a beautiful and refreshing look at diversity in a culture that has largely removed its original message. I think something is better than nothing.

The danger of scolding Dove's self-esteem campaign removes the possible good that it is doing. Of course it's good to question the motives of marketers. But it is also good for young girls to be exposed to the possibility that beauty does not have to be as narrowly defined as it currently is. I think it is equally good to support the local hip-hop scene. Hugely different, perhaps, but I feel that I can't criticize and analyze the way women in mainstream hip-hop are portrayed without at the same time realizing the amazing work that female local hip-hop artist, Dessa, has put out, and the way in which she portrays herself. Or the positive ways in which Atmosphere treats the idea of women in hip-hop. We can critique and rip apart every institution in the world today, but occasionally it may be good to commend those who have taken steps in a more intersectional direction.

Sports and the Military- Blog 15

Women in the military and women in sports are related because both issues relate to areas that have been dominated by men in the past, or solely available to men. Women are criticized for being in sports and the military because they are "too masculine" or they are not places for women. Women have had to fight hard for equality in both sports and the military, and we still have a long way to go. By comparing these presentations, we can see the struggles women have gone through to enter into male-dominated areas. At the same time we can see similar discrimination regarding sexuality ("Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and stereotypes of female athletes as lesbians). By using an intersectional perspective, we can see the similarities between the military and sports on many different levels in regards to discrimination and fighting oppression. For both sports and the military, there is an assumption of physical health and abilities. One area that these issues differ is with the level of poverty. Typically the more impoverished kids and communities have less opportunities to play sports, while for the military, recruiters try to recruit below the poverty line because those communities have fewer options for their futures.

I also think that women in the military are in the media more than women in sports, and are often involved in more scandals than we hear about women in sports. The military puts women in more unique positions outside of the country, which women in sports do not experience in the same way. Each of these issues has different effects on the mental health of participants as well; the military can often lead to mental health disorders such as PTSD and depression, when these disorders would not be considered side effects to playing sports. I am not sure if this was mentioned in the military presentation, but I do not think the military has any spending differences with men and women recruits, nor do they have any gender quotas to fill. The military is also a more unique experience because men and women work side by side, whereas sports are still separated by gender for the most part. It would be interesting to try to integrate men's and women's sports, but I do not foresee that happening in the future beyond intramural and club sports. I know little about how high the levels of interest for women in the military is compared to the interest of women in sports, I think that this would be interesting information to compare the two issues as well.

Final Blog

For my final blog entry I am going to discuss the intersectionality between trafficking, child abuse/domestic abuse. 

It was not a surprise to find out in when doing the research for my groups trafficking presentation to find out that many individuals who are trafficked were/are abused in some form as children.  Children who experience abuse(sexual/physical)at the hands of someone they know or do not know are placed into a lifelong pattern of enduring pain that is known to be responsible for destroying not only their childhood, but the remainder of their own life as well as those in close relation to them, as well as their own children. This is the cycle of abuse that is talked about. 

If a child is fortunate enough to get away from an abuser and being abused there are invisible scars that will remain and more than likely resurface at various times in their lives. 
There are stories everywhere that are heard of children who were abused or came from homes where domestic abuse was evident where they have forgotten or repressed many of those traumatic memories only to have them haunt them later in life in countless ways.

As well as the child who will have a long road of healing.  Possibly at various points in their life, individuals who are trafficked experience  much of this same trauma.  If a child is being abused by someone they are related to and/or live with they are dependent on that person in every way possible. They are at the mercy of their abuser.  Trafficked individuals also depend on those who are  trafficking them for their basic life needs.

Abuse and trafficking, which is a form of abuse is about having and keeping control and power over another person(s).  This is not only done in a physical way.  it often starts out as emotional, psychological & verbal abuse. Their is an unequal hierarchy in these relationships, which can vary from all areas of race, class and gender. 

Abuse and trafficking happens right in front of our faces.  Becoming educated and learning the signs to watch for is a first step towards awareness.  Becoming involved, making it your business instead of it being a "family problem or societal/racial problem" is like failing to report a crime you know is being committed.  It might feel intimidating to step outside of our comfort zones and take our blinders off when we are aware of someone being in any of these situations but the fear that we might temporarily feel is really nothing compared to what that individual who is being abused or trafficked is living on a daily basis. 
Often times it is known that victims/survivors are not believed or taken seriously.  Women might be seen as just being overly emotional or exaggerating their situation.  Children might be seen as having an overactive imagination.  Taking someone's claims seriously is the first step in breaking this devastating cycle. 

Final Blog

The connections I am choosing is between girls in sports and the cosmetics/beauty presentations.  Both groups talked about how corporations and industries make Americans believe what should be popular and what the norm is in this country when it comes to women.  In both presentations media/advertisements make women believe that their bodies should be a certain way or their behavior should be a certain way.  Like girls should wear makeup to be a lady and not be in sports.  Or if you are in sports try to convey feminity, because that is what our society is expecting. I think both presentations talked about intersectionality very well.  Cosmetics spoke about how most advertisements leave out other races besides white, and other body shapes besides size 2. In sports, big networks like ESPN are not showing as many games for womens' sports as they are for men.  Therefore it ties in that these presentations are talking about women getting misrepresented.


For this blog post, I want to look at the relationship between sex trafficking and sexual harassment/child abuse.  Both of these topics are very serious problems in our society.  First, sex trafficking is a problem with younger and older girls/women in all cities and countries across the world.  Sexual harassment relates to sex trafficking because both of these issues can happen to anyone.  Intersectionally, sexual harassment and sex trafficking can happen to both males and females but mostly it happens to females.  Both of these issues can happen to people from all sorts of socio economic backgrounds, from lower to upper class.  Both of these issues can also happen to any ethnicity.

I chose to take a closer look at these issues because I think we often stereotype victims of sex trafficking or child sexual abuse.  THE IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW IS THESE THINGS CAN AND DO HAPPEN TO ALL PEOPLE.  The best thing we can do as a society is be aware of these issues, identify the early signs of someone experiencing these problems, educate the community, and also provide SAFE and PRIVATE resources for all people to access if they need help.  In many cases, victims of abuse feel embarrassed, guilty or ashamed and never tell anyone about their abuse.  This cannot happen because it is a vicious cycle and victims experience many behavioral, emotional and physical problems and also perpetrators continue to abuse other victims.  As a society we need to make changes to protect the lives of all individuals and help stop sex crimes.


I agree with your analysis of how these two presentations are interconnected due to the fact that they are male-dominated fields. The one thing that I beg to differ on is when you said that "To me, there are too many centuries of gender discrimination backing sports and the armed forces that complete equality will never be achieved." I think that this is something that can be changed. I think that it has to start with an overall re-structuring of the thought process that society has on each gender,  but I don't think that it is something that seals the fate for all generations to come. When you look at history, there were many things that people have achieved when the majority said it could never be done. For example, when my mom was a child, she told her teacher that someday we will land on the moon. She was scolded and put in the corner for what the teacher thought was such a radical thought and possibility. But we made it to the moon and back successfully since the first landing numerous amounts of times. I just think that we should give humans more credit than what appears to just be the inevitable due to the fact that we are becoming more liberal-minded as a society. I think as soon as the generations of more conservative and republican-minded individuals die off, it will leave room for the more democratic and open-minded people to make changes for gender inequalities.

Week 15 Blog Assignment

The two presentations that I chose to analyze and draw connections between were the Women in the Military presentation and Women in Industry.  The reason that I chose these two presentations is because there is a blatant and direct interconnectedness between them since both deal with the careers that women hold and how they are treated in those careers.  Women working in the industry deal with sexual harassment and the denial of some of the same opportunities that are given to men working in the same industry, which keeps many women stuck in their positions with no chance of promotion.  Though the military does not have as much of a wage gap as many "corporate" type jobs as described in the Women in Industry presentation, the military does seem to have stricter requirements for women then men to join in the first place, which means that many women are overqualified for their positions and making the same amount of money as their less qualified male counterparts, which is very similar to not being paid for the same work since higher qualifications should warrant higher pay.


In regards to looking at these two different issues from an intersectional perspective, one of the most important insights shown from analyzing both issues together has to do with not only accounting for and recognizing our own personal biases in regards to race, class, and gender in the work place, but also recognizing the affect of being in a doubly (or even triply) disadvantaged and what the affect that that has not only on your career choices and opportunities, but also on the way that you are perceived by your employer, whether it be the military or a more corporate job.  Though being more disadvantaged does obviously correlate with having less opportunities and a higher likelihood of being discriminated, I still feel like gender plays the largest role in regards to male dominated fields, such as many corporate cultures and the military.  I feel that many businesses are more likely to hire a minority male than a white female, given that they have similar qualifications.

Blog 15

I have chosen to write about the intersections that the issue of women in the military has with women in sports. I think that they are connected in numerous ways that reflect the overall societal view of them. They are both fields that are dominated by male influence and leadership, but this can transcend to any field that a person can look at within American society due to the fact that we live in patriarchic society. For this reason, women are always deemed as being the weaker of the two sexes and are pushed to live up to those standards through laws and regulations that are set to make sure they do.

This can be shown through the 'risk rule' within the military, that was discussed in the presentation, that says that women are not allowed to serve on the front lines due to fear of imprisonment and for their overall protection from having to be forced to do so. In sports, this 'risk rule' can be seen when women were only allowed to do certain types of sports, mainly cheerleading, before title 9 was enacted. In both cases, these rules made sure that they were to stay within their gender normative roles that have been set by society; to not get dirty, to look cute, and to support the men in all that they do-quite literally.

Even though women were given more rights and freedoms after title 9, there are still limitations on women within what is seen as overall-male dominated fields. One clearly displayed example of this is women in hockey because "After the 1990 Women's World Championship, body checking was eliminated because female players in many countries do not have the size and mass seen in North American players" ( This gender discrimination is something that begs me to question: Well, then are American men able to check in hockey because across ALL countries, they are the same size and body mass? I beg to differ. For example, if you look at the height and weight of men and women from Asian and American societies, there are clearly major differences in height and weight of individuals, so shouldn't this rule also apply to men's hockey? This lack of physical contact has lead the popularity of women's hockey to drop because we are a society fixed on seeing things in confrontation and without checking, there really are no other opportunities for 'legal' contact for women in hockey. This can be connected back to how women may lose interest in the military due to the fact that they are unable to 'get down and dirty' with the men on the front lines. Overall, there are laws set in both fields in order to 'protect' women, but who says we need protection in the first place?

Another issue that arises in both of these fields is the stigma that is set by the men in society that women are trying to take away their jobs as men and leaders. This notion has been seen across all of American history, dating back to the civil war. Women, when men left for the war, were put in the role of being responsible for the upkeep of the home and family while the men were away. This meant that they had to take over the male-dominated fields in order to keep them intact for when the husband came home. Then, after the war, women's freedoms were restricted back to only involving work within the home. This was due to the fact that the men were there, so why should the women have the right or responsibility to take care of the 'manly' duties. This same kind of thought process can be seen through women in sports because of the effects it had on the number of sports that men had after title 9 was enacted. More sports were opened and created for women to participate in, but then the number of men's sports decreased, so there has been a lot of controversy with this issue. In the military, there can be this overall notion that if women are able to be on the front lines, then they are taking away the more 'leadership' types of roles that men have had for so long. Both of these situations exemplify this issue that men have over women if they are able to have the same rights.  

            Overall, an intersectional perspective has allowed me to see all of these issues within these two fields as connected by looking at how gender plays a large role in keeping women in a more subordinate role than men. I think that race and gender have some grounds for qualifying as reasons to why there are so many differences (like for the reason why women are not allowed to check in hockey), but I think that gender is the one facet that overshadows all of the others. It is something that cannot by biologically changed, but the ways in which the views and norms are perpetuated for each gender within society should and can be changed because it is a societal construct.


blog 15

Between last weeks and this weeks presentations, I've decided to talk about Hip Hop and Women in Cosmetics. These two are related in one obvious way and that is the emphasis of women in American culture.

I may be over generalizing, but focusing in on mainstream Hip Hop and their videos, African American women are always portrayed as sexual objects and are exploited. From Hip Hop lyrics to barley there bathing suits in videos, bell hooks states that, "the black female body gains attention only when it is synonymous with accessibility, availability, and when it is sexually deviant"  (66).                                                                         

As for Women in Cosmetics, it's apparent that representations in media to advertisements seek a specific type of women to represent what every woman should aspire to. Either a size 0, blonde, with perfect boobs, or an exotic other, with perfect skin, hair, and bone structure. Cosmetic surgery is available for those who can afford it, while others develop eating disorders to fit into a number that the average American woman is not. While Dove is a step in the right direction, the controversy (Axe spray "Bow chicka wow wow") around it still addresses its flaws. As a classmate in class had addressed, these women that are suppose to represent all women still have perfect hair, teeth, and complexions (not to mention that their bodies are proportionate with no rolls/love handles showing). Dove in the end is still a beauty product used to "better oneself".

The correlation between the two is that women are either oversexed or not perfect, and they are objectified and constantly judged in how they look. By looking at them together, we can see that society still upholds the standards of beauty and the lack of respect for women. Popular culture is perhaps the main contribution to these forms of thought, and we all unconsciously conform to these ideologies.

With an intersectional perspective, we can see these connections in many ways. As discussed in the presentations, race, class, and gender all come into play. For Hip Hop in it's mainstream, African American women are usually the models. They are "aspiring" models that hope to get discovered. For women in cosmetics, surgeries are for those who can afford it. Cosmetics from Christian Dior to Mac usually run between $60-$100 dollars, clearly not affordable for those who are low income, and so you have your generic brands at the local Wal-Mart. Let's not forget our Cosmo girl who trains in "looking like she's rich to catch that man". The message? In order for you to be good enough, objectify yourself and conform to societies ideas of beauty. 

Works Cited:  hooks, bell.  Black Looks. Boston, Ma: South End Press, 1992.


Blog #15


The two presentations about Women in Sports and Women in the Military are connected because they both deal with issues about women in men dominated areas. While women do not compete directly with men in most cases, they are participating in a field that is traditionally dominated by men and therefore traditional gender stereotypes are present. Women are considered to be "weaker" than men in both sports and in the military. The fact that the military doesn't want women fighting against men on the front lines can be equally compared to women not competing against men in sporting activities.  The issue of mental toughness also comes up in this situation. The military states that women are not mentally stable enough to withstand high-stress situations like combat, etc. This idea dates back hundreds of years about "women's constitution" and the like. Women are sometimes accused of being less mentally tough when it comes to competitions as well. It is often thought that women just do not have the desire to compete that men do.


My personal opinion is that in regards to intersectionality, race and class have a minimal impact on the gender divide in male dominated fields. While class may affront women in the military higher rank, and race may be stereotyped in the field of women's sports (black athletes, etc.) I think that the issue and problem of gender is so large that race and class can be easily overlooked. To me, there are too many centuries of gender discrimination backing sports and the armed forces that complete equality will never be achieved. As someone mentioned in class about the women in sports presentation, you can't just change the status and levels of representation of women in sports, instead, centuries of social thinking has to be addressed and changed. 

Week 15- Final Blgo Assignment

This blog post is due Friday. I'd like you to select two of the presentations we heard this week and last week and draw connections between them. How are the issues related? What insights can we gain into both of these issues by looking at them together? How does an intersectional perspective help you to see these connections?

No blog due 12/15

No blog post due Tuesday 12/15. 

Extra Credit Comment to gomol003's Post- Week 14

I agree completely with your views in regards to education being the most effective long term solution to sex trafficking and sexual harassment, but as you said, it is a very difficult motion to organize.  In regards to what you wrote about sexual harassment in the workplace, a lot of the same type of information came up when I was doing research for my group project on women in the military.  There are just so many women who have been not only sexually harassed, but also sexually assaulted in the United States armed forces and don't say anything for fear of repercussion.  They usually end up coming out with their stories after they are already out of the military and it makes it so they have no legal means to press charges because the assault/harassment happened so long before it was reported. 

I think that what it comes down to is that there not only should be a more education to the general public about issues regarding sexual harassment/sexual assault in the workplace, but there should also be on-site sexual harassment training so [people not only have a guidelines for what is deemed appropriate and inappropriate, but also so employees can have more knowledge about whether they themselves are being harassed.  There is so much harassment that either just goes unnoticed or unreported because people think that that is just "normal" workplace behavior, when it really isn't.

Education on most of the issues that we have spoken about in class seems to be the answer to a lot of the problems that plague our society and women especially.  Maybe our government money should be used to implement more of these programs that we have talked about as opposed to what a majority of government funding is being spent on now. :p

Comment to ches0087's Blog 14

You bring up a good point relating job dependency in sex trafficking with sexual harassment in the workplace. But I would disagree that job dependency causes the more overt types of harassment found in blue collar jobs. I think women in white collar jobs, especially very competitive ones that require a lot of education, are just as fearful of losing their jobs as blue collar workers. The blue collar workers fear losing their paychecks, and the white collar workers fear losing a place in their field. So I don't think it's a matter of tolerance on the part of the women, but rather tolerance within a given occupation. That is, it might be more likely for a lawyer to be fired for some overt form of harassment than a construction worker, because it's inappropriate for the former but expected of the latter. I think we discussed the reasons for these differences in class. Men in white collar jobs equate their masculinity with the size of their paychecks, whereas men in blue collar jobs, which generally don't pay as well, make up for this lack with their physical strengths.

Extra Credit: Response to Bute0023

When I first learned about the amount of human trafficking that occurs in the United States and specifically in Minnesota was shocked, too. I am not sure why, but the issue is not addressed directly in the media. Unless you are aware of the problem and how it manifests, it is hard to identify even when the media does cover it. For example, there was a story in the Star Tribune last summer ( that discusses the bust a "prostitution ring." Once familiar with some of the common practices of traffickers, you can tell by reading this story that at least some of these women are victims of human trafficking. Here are a few key phrases from this story as an example:

·         "They allegedly recruited prostitutes, mainly from Mexico and Central America, and took their identification papers to prevent them from fleeing"

·         "A house at 3212 Cedar Av. S. in Minneapolis was the hub of operations, where prostitutes stayed while en route to and from the airport or moving from brothel to brothel"

·         "one woman was forced to provide sex to 46 'johns' in one night"

The first point is perhaps the most important...besides using physical violence and forcing women to take drugs, one of the primary ways traffickers make it nearly impossible for victims to escape is by confiscating their passports. In fact, a major part of the Federal legislation regarding human trafficking specifically addressed this issue by making it illegal in and of itself to confiscate and/or destroy passports, visas, or other forms of international identification.

For anyone out there who would like to get involved in this issue, I recommend looking into a local organization called Breaking is the link:

Comment to Bute0023 (extra credit)

When you mention that the two are similar because some women choose to enter into human trafficking, it gave me the impression that you mean women who are sexually harassed choose to be harassed as well. I think that this is an extremely problematic argument. Do women who are sexually harassed and do not report it or women who feel like they have no other options but prostitution truly making a choice to stay in their situations? Also, trafficking is a much larger problem beyond prostitution and I think it more greatly affects those who do not voluntarily enter into it, therefore separating the two problems further. I would argue that neither sexual harassment nor human trafficking are tolerable because they lead to depression, suicide, PTSD, and many other mental and physical disorders, which means that they were clearly not "tolerable." For some it might be seen as tolerable, but the only other option for people being trafficked for sex tourism is death. Given the options available, does it remain tolerable?

I also think we need to realize that sexual harassment and human trafficking involve men and women; women are not the only victims, although they are the majority of victims. Therefore, respect of women might not have anything to do with the problems; it might be solely about power and power differentials between victim and victimizer. Many women who are abused do not allow it because they do not appreciate their bodies, but they allow it because they feel worthless in their position, as wife, girlfriend, daughter, etc. They feel like they deserve it, and if they do better at what needs to get done, the abuse will stop. I think that the problems of domestic abuse go much further beyond abusers acknowledging what they are doing to their victims. Many abusers know what they are doing and need mental help to stop.

I really like the idea of educating the perpetrators of sexual harassment and human trafficking as well as penalizing them for their actions. It didn't occur to me before, so I thought it was a great idea when I read about it. Getting perpetrators counseling and educating them about the long-term effects of their actions would definitely be beneficial to helping to put a stop to these crimes.

Week 14 Blog

I think education on this topic is essential. The word needs to be spread that this is happening and these issues are real. People always like to think that terrible things do not happen to people like them because it is comforting to believe that. The reality is that it could happen to anyone. It was very productive for the groups to talk about what is going on in the communities around us because that hit very close to home. It made me realize that the problem is real and it's everywhere; not just overseas.

Perpetrators do need to be prosecuted however, no matter how many times someone is prosecuted; the issue will still exist somewhere. This is why I also feel that it is incredibly necessary to assist and help the victims. The groups discussed the negative effects sexual abuse and sex trafficking has on the victims that escape. After all the torture they are put through, they survived and deserve a shot at a normal life but they need help to do so.

blog 14

I think the problems of sex trafficking and sexual harassment are interrelated problems that must be adressed together.  Its absolutely astonishing to me at how many people are trafficked into the u.s. each year and that Minneapolis is a major hub of this sort of transportation.  My project was on sexual harassment and when coming across the statistics of how prevelent the harassment was I was turly shocked as well that in this day in age sexual harassment prevails in such high numbers. 

I think that when it comes to these two topics we need to not blaim the victims.  There needs to be prosecution and jail time on behalf of the perpetrators and not the women or children exposed to trafficking or women exposed to sexual harassment.  I think in terms of sexual harassment that companies need to be held somewhat liable in terms of the harassment, but that the perpetrators of the harassment should be prosecuted by the company as well as the law and the victims should never have to worry about losing their job or relatiliation.  i think the penalties for the harasser should be even stiffer if there is a clear sexual harassment policy in the workplace.  Sex trafficking should be more heavily policed.  The men/women who purchase the sex need to be the ones prosecuted and the women/kids who have been trafficked should be helped in returning home and some sort of psychological help.  The women/kids who are recovered in the sex trafficking could also help uncover larger operations which could then be taken down and have the people who run these larger operations being punished.  There also needs to be FAR stiffer penalties for anyone caught trafficking humans.  i found it absolutely ridiculous that you can get longer for trafficking drugs than humans.  That makes me absolutely sick.  Eiether way both of these issues deal with helping the victims of the crimes, and prosecuting the perpetrartors further and more severly.  Many changes in legislation needs to be made in terms of human trafficking and sexual harassment.

Blog 14

Sexual harassment and human trafficking are very difficult issues to address. Race, class, and gender do interact with each other to make women vulnerable to exploitation and discrimination. I believe that these terms such as "race" "class" and "gender" is a generalization that pretty much covers all aspects of the problems. Take for example the women that are forced into trafficking, it was noted that the majority of them are either sold off (which address's class, income, poverty) to either benefit the family, or help the family. When it comes to race, we learned that the majority of races are included in human trafficking, from Asian, Latino, white, and black, it just depends on what is in demand, and gender is obviously prevalent. Women are primary targets for sexual harassment and human trafficking. The education of a woman can definitely benefit a woman. When it comes to sexual harassment, being more familiar with laws to knowing ones rights in the states allows for sexual harassment to be address, knowledge is power. 

As for policies that target both issues, I personally believe the each should be addressed individually. Both topics are serious and should be treated with the same amount of concern, but by having individual policies would make for better results. Rules that apply to one cannot always apply to another, so by have separate policies, both cases will have direct attention.

I believe in prosecuting perpetrators, assisting victims, and educating the population. I believe that if people were just to be more aware of what was going on, coming together, and fighting for women's rights, it would create change; however, that is easier said then done. Living in a patriarchal society, it is difficult to change culture completely, or find that support. Unification of women and men who support women is a way to address issues at bay. But I guarantee you that there are still men out there who believe women are below them, and that form of thought allows for sexual harassment, and human trafficking to persist. There is a reason as to why this underground industry is so successful, there is no respect for women, and even I see it on a daily basis. My Uncles still hold on to traditional values in which women are to cook. At my Grandpa's funeral this past summer, we women were not even allowed to sit at the table with the men because according to my mother "it's tradition, and because we are women, it is not allowed". It drove me insane, and if we (little sister and I) gave anyone an attitude, my mother gave us the dirtiest look because we would then be viewed as "rebellious daughters who shames the family". My point here is, cultural beliefs in other countries make it more difficult to address these issues because women are generally viewed as inferior, thus making them mere objects to be used.

Looking at the local aspects of these issues, I realized that even I was not aware that Minnesota ranked 13th in human trafficking. This just proves the lack of education for the public, I've asked several of my friends, and none of them had any clue as well. Questions as to how this goes about, to what kinds of signs to look for would be an interesting way to approach the topics. Law enforcements that specialize in "busting" human trafficking should definitely educate the public on what signs to look for. On a personal note, I actually had a friend who had work for a massage parlor in uptown. I remember her telling me that the men that came in usually talked dirty to her and she could not figure out why. One day her boyfriend came up to her infuriated because of what he had found. The company that she had been working for had an ad in the erotic section of advertisements in a local magazine! She immediately quit.This just shows us that some girls really don't know what they are getting into, and education is perhaps key in preventing such atrocities from happening. 

Blog 14

In trying to compare sexual harassment and human trafficking, my first thought was "well, they're completely different." I think of sexual harassment as strictly within the workplace and human trafficking as strictly an outside, crazy phenomenon. Then it occurred to me that the two are actually similar because some women actually choose to involve themselves in trafficking on the belief that they will make money from it and be able to leave whenever they wanted (like prostitution). They endure the negative consequences of trafficking in order to make some cash. Similarly, sexually harassed victims in the workplace may ignore harassment for fear of losing their jobs. In both cases, money and power are involved. Both involve unwanted touching and emotional pain. It seems that human trafficking is sexual harassment taken one step further. Neither are ideal but can be tolerated on some level.

The only common policy/strategy I can think of that would address both sexual harassment and human trafficking would be to have more general awareness of the effects of sexual abuse and what it means to harass/traffic women. I think we need to gain more respect for women; I don't have a specific solution for that, but I think that is a significant part of the problem. If women had enough self-esteem to appreciate their bodies enough to not allow anyone to abuse them, it may lead to a decline in women choosing to sell their bodies. Likewise, if men knew what kind of toll they were taking on women and were taught how to treat/respect women, it is likely that less men would participate in such demeaning activities.

I think we should focus on educating both victims and perpetrators. Prosecuting perpetrators is great, but it can be very difficult to change perpetrator's behaviors. Therefore, when they are free to go back out into the world, they will most likely re-offend. However, It may be beneficial to educate perpetrators after they are sentenced in an attempt to get through to them.

I was surprised to learn of the local human trafficking stints. How have I heard nothing about this until now? I think it is incredibly problematic that I am so shocked. Why is this such a seemingly-taboo topic? I definitely think we need to have some basic education around human trafficking, specifically within our local communities.

Sexual Trafficking and Sexual Harrassment

I was very surprised to learn about the high levels of sexual trafficking in the Twin Cities; I had no idea that we ranked so highly in the list of large cities. I've also never experienced sexual harassment in the workplace (despite working as a security guard for a summer), so it was really eye-opening to read this week's blog responses and hear about everyone's experiences. I think part of the reason sex trafficking and sexual harassment policy is so difficult to create and enforce is because things happen behind closed doors and few people are willing to speak out, and it's not something that can be easily spotted.


I think it is impractical to assume that a one-size-fits-all policy would work to curb either sex trafficking or sexual harassment because no two incidences are the same. I do, however, think that what needs to be consistent in these policies is victim protection. From reading through this week's blog entries, it's clear that polities to combat sexual harassment do not take the victim's privacy or comfort into account. I think this is because sexual harassment is an internal issue with companies instead of a legal issue. I'm not familiar enough with discrimination policy in the US to know how far the reach is of law enforcement and discrimination, but I am assuming that there is very little influence on how complaints of sexual harassment are handled within an organization. So, I think that laws need to extend the protection of victims of both sexual harassment and sexual trafficking.


As far as sexual trafficking goes, the role of protecting victims has really only been by third-parties, like this:

Sex Tourism and Sexual Harassment

The problems of sexual harassment and human trafficking are distinct problems that should be dealt with as such. Both problems do affect women and deal with typically unwanted sexual interactions, but the situations that make people vulnerable to these problems differ greatly. Human trafficking often involves a pimp and/or kidnappers to create the human capital for their business. Sexual harassment is usually unwanted sexual attention in a public setting like work or a bar, where the victim is not receiving any money for being exploited. Laws can be passed that address both problems, but I also think we need to be aware of the specific differences in each issue.

As far as policies and strategies go, perpetrators need to be prosecuted, victims need to be assisted, and target populations need to be educated. If we focus on one and not the others, someone is getting left out and the problem is not being solved as a whole; holes are still being left. If the target populations are not being educated, the perpetrators that continually evade the law will still be able to find victims who are unaware and vulnerable. If the victims do not receive help, it will be detrimental to their mental and physical health. Without help, victims might also go on to become the victimizers as we discussed in class. High penalties must be placed on convicted perpetrators as well because if they think they can continue to get away with harassing or trafficking people, they will continue to do it until they get caught and penalized.

In terms of sexual harassment, local laws and national laws are equally important for putting a stop to harassment. Local laws can force companies within the state and cities to educate their workers about appropriate and inappropriate work behavior. Victims of comments, touching, or innuendos that they feel are inappropriate need to understand the role that they play in stopping harassment as well. Companies need to have policies in place to protect their workers and avoid lawsuits.

In terms of human trafficking, the problem becomes transnational as many tourists partake in "sex tourism." Sex tourism complicates the local control over problems. I recently watched a Dateline story on sex trafficking of young girls in Svay Pak, near Cambodia. The main clients for the pimps in Svay Pak were from the United States. Some of the girls trafficked were as young as five years old and the police corruption often made it difficult for raids to be successful. Laws both in Svay Pak and in the United States need to address these sorts of situations. If U.S. citizens are caught in other countries partaking in illegal sexual activity such as sex tourism, they need to face severe penalties upon return to the U.S. The pimps and kidnappers of these children must also face severe penalties in their own countries. If the U.S. citizens did not provide the pimps with clients, no girls would be subjected to the terrors of sex tourism.

Blog #14

This weeks presentation were very eye opening for me. Something needs to be done in order to make sure that women and children are not being exploited against their will. I think i good idea would be to try and regulate the sex trade is a more humane way. This would mean that we could make prostitution legal. I believe this would be a good idea because then these women can still sell their bodies, but have the government help make it more safe. Not to say that women should have to sell their bodies to make a living, but this is just one way to make it safer.
Providing more education programs to women who come into the United States so they can get a job that doesn't include selling their bodies would also be a good idea. If there were more programs that received government aide, this would make it easier to come to the U.S. and make a legitimate living instead of being thrown into a sex ring.
Safety is the main issue here. There should be more education about how to avoid being taken into a sex ring so this would not happen in the first place.

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