December 20, 2007

Blog #4

According to the Bejing Platform, there is a strong correlation between domestic violence and violence in war. The main factor is power. Men that oppress women through violence usually react out of a power struggle, which is the #1 reason for why countries go to war. Now as far as domestic violence, the connection is clear. In society, men dominate over women, and the men that commit acts of violence clearly do it to remain in control and in power. Men, or society for that matter, expects certain things from women because of how they are biologically constructed, and that's the cause of abuse at times. For instance, some men decisions over a women's body for her and determines what the outcome of a situation is, such as pregnancy. Forms of violence that aren't as obvious, but violence non the less, are forcing women to be pregnant, and even making them have an abortion. This shows the connection of how society makes men the dominant force as well as the connection of how women are subjected to it, not only in public society, but also in the privacy of their own homes.

Gender, Sex, Race & Art

Idealistically, anyone should be able to be considered an artist. Art is created based on different ideas from all types of people, which is why art is a widely used term, because anything can be considered its on art.

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December 18, 2007

blog #4

Public violence and domestic violence take a lot of cues from each other. Violence spotlighted by the media is exposed to us at high volumes and at very accessible levels in our homes, on our televisions, and on the front pages of our newspapers. Much more attention is paid to stories of violence than to "good news" stories, and these stories are glorified to the public in order to create national moral support for wars. While this goes on, in the home domestic violence is as big of a problem as the violence of warfare. We as citizens are trained to identify violence as necessary to survival, and it has become naturalized in our lifestyles as an acceptable way of dealing with conflict. This is translated to dealings within households between members of a family. A lot of people grow up in households that go along with this perception of violence, and violence in the media affirms decisions to use violence to deal with conflict.

blog #5

I took a class on cinema and media culture last year, and one of our lectures was about who we allow to be artists and performers. Anyone can be an artist, but to be a culturally acknowledged artist, there are a lot of politics involved. If you look at the aspiring artists at MCAD and even in the UMTC art and design programs, you see a very gentrified demographic. The kids you see are predominantly white, and they tend to go for the same sort of style. The existence of an art "degree" excludes a lot of people from achieving success as an artist, leaving mostly middle-to upper class people with the opportunity to get the art degree. This has become a common stereotype and hinders artists who don't fall into this category, or who wish to be taken seriously outside of the art school construct. Further, culturally there is a lot of study and recognition of white european and western artists, but little mass representation of racially diverse artists. I don't know about sexuality...in a lot of ways it seems like sexual ambiguity and experimentation is accepted and well acknowledged within the art world, but for its controversy and daring suggestions.

blog #1

Peggy McIntosh outlines in her article on white privilege the many assumptions people of privilege have about social constructs. She also talks about how that privilege is taken for granted, and cannot be seen unless you don't have it. The need for this awareness is very evident in the Combahee River Collective statement. Black feminists belong to two different struggles, both the feminist movement and the civil rights movement, however, even in these groups, they have little agency and are further void of privilege. They wrote the Combahee River Collective Statement to point out what Peggy McIntosh points out in her article, that although both civil rights activists and feminists were lacking privileges, they were also privileged themselves if they were white feminists or black males, leaving the black feminists with little ability to effectively organize. In their statement, they called out these assumptions and privileges by saying, "Feminism is, nevertheless, very threatening to the majority of.people because it calls into question some of the most basic assumptions about our existence, i.e., that sex should be a determinant of power relationships." They, like Peggy McIntosh call their readers to question their own positions, to get uncomfortable and ask themselves why this makes them feel that way.

December 16, 2007

extra credit #2

I think the fact that this legislation passed is a big step for our country, but that we have a long way to go in terms of equal rights for everyone. Yes, it’s important that it’s now illegal to discriminate against people because of their sexual identity but it’s also important to make sure that this new law applies to all people, including transexual and transgender individuals. One of the founding values of the United States is that all (wo)men are created equally and that every individual has certain inalienable rights.
It’s a great step that business are no longer allowed to discriminate against people because of their sexual identity, whether it be heterosexualism or homosexualism, but if a new law completely excludes another group of people..is it really that much progress? It’s absolutely ridiculous that people could be turned away from openings in the workforce because of their sexual or gender preference, which is a part of their personal identity. This has nothing to do with the way they perform their job, and therefore should not be taken into account. when being interviewed for the job. It seems that if America is as advanced as it’s supposed to be, this law should have been passed a long time ago. Nancy Pelosi said that ‘small and difficult steps’ are the way to civil rights, and I understand this, but it seems that the steps our country is taking are much too small.

December 11, 2007

extra credit essay #1

Stephen Ohlemacher's article about the income gap between black and white families blew my mind. I knew our country has not overcome racial discrimination, but I didn't know that it was this bad. For a nation whose government is based on equal rights, median black incomes should not be a mere 63% of media white incomes. If black women's incomes hadn't increased over the last several years, this gap would be even bigger. Black women have to fight against racial and gender discrimination, and while it seems like they're making a little headway on gender discrimination, racial discrimination has a long way to go.

Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League says that the disparities are due to inadequate schools in black neighborhoods, workplace discrimination and too many black families with only one parent. Families that have only one parent are going to have a lower level of income, which forces them to live in less affluent neighborhoods. This is a nation where the education system is funded off of property tax, which puts kids from lower-income homes at a dramatic disadvantage. Schools in areas like North Minneapolis are completely different than the ones in Wayzata and Edina, and provide their students with different opportunities. With inadequate education, kids are going to have a harder time advancing in the workplace, and are less likely to attend college. With the lack of higher education, well-paying jobs are going to be hard to come by, which means the income gap between races isn't going to change by itself. Our country needs to do something to provide everyone with equal advantages and opportunites, no matter what their race or financial situation.

Decades have gone by since the civil rights movement and it's ludicrous that this huge income gap should still exist.

December 10, 2007

Black America

“I do not think white America is committed to granting equality to the American Negro... this is a passionately racist country; it will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.?
--Susan Sontag

Are the remnants of prejudice against blacks that existed in the United States from the late 18th Century through the 1980’s still lingering in today’s society? I am afraid so. In Stephen Ohlemacher’s Star Tribune article “Income gap between black and white families grows? he indirectly touches on the controversial subject of inequality in America, a nation based on freedom and individual rights.

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Essay 2: Extra Credit

Stephen Ohlemacher’s article, “Income gap between black and white families grows? exposes and goes into detail why exactly there is a gap between black and white families. We have all probably been aware that there is a rather unfair gap and Ohlemacher describes how the gap has actually been growing as of recently. Ohlemacher starts off by stating that incomes among black men have actually declined in the past 30 years and that they were offset only by gains among black women. One possibility for this is that more women than ever before are in the workforce. With more women in the workforce, that leaves for more opportunities for women to advance and, in turn, receive higher incomes. However, the shocking fact that still today, and for the past three decades, black men’s incomes are declining is enough to question what’s really going on. Ohlemacher spoke with Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, and Morial was quick to say that the playing field between blacks and whites has certainly not leveled; like many think.
Ohlemacher writes, “Morial blamed the disparities on inadequate schools in black neighborhoods, workplace discrimination and too many black families with only one parent?. This takes me back to Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack?, where she exposes the hidden privileges we take on simply by being white. In regard to the issue of “inadequate schools in black neighborhoods? I think back to McIntosh’s statement: “If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I want to live (McIntosh, 2)?. Black neighborhoods tend to not have the highest expectations, regarding both housing and schooling. However, since housing is cheap, it makes it the only possible route for, say, a single black mother, like mentioned in Ohlemacher’s article previously.
This gap between white and black families tends to go unnoticed, especially by white people because it really doesn’t affect them negatively. If it’s not getting recognized, how is anything ever going to get done to change it? If white people continue to not acknowledge the fact that this is still going on, blacks will continue to be at a disadvantage for years to come. Perhaps this study will trigger more studies and, in turn, more media coverage on an issue as pertinent as this; because I think that if we get this issue out and get society educated, things will get done more quickly to resolve it. However, it’s going to require some change; a change in various workforce policies and a chance in the attitude of all.

Extra Credit

In the opening of his article, “Income gap between black and white families grows,? Stephan Ohlemacher states “decades after the civil rights movement, the income gap between black and white families has grown? (Ohlemacher). The reasoning of this gap increase can be an inderect effect of society views.

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December 8, 2007

Income Gap Extra Credit Essay

“The income gap between black and white families has grown? in the past 30 years (Ohlemacher). This is due in large part to the trends of color and class as well as inequality in pay.

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December 3, 2007

Blog 5

Reshay Jordan

Blog 5
Gender, class, race and sexuality have a lot to do with who gets to become an artist. If you are a white male that is heterosexual and has enough money to make people listen, you can be an artist. This is apart of the power elite system of thinking, because the power elite has social, political and economic power in the world. Most of the people that have this kind of power are white males. I believe this because power elite is a hegemonic idea that feels white males have the privilege to say what an artist is or isn’t and unfortunately it leans toward the advantage of white males.

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November 30, 2007

Blog#5

Gender, race, sexuality, and class are what people use to determine who gets to be an Artist. If a person is a rich, white, straight male then they're more acceptable when it to being an Artist. In the past, straight, white men were more dominant, which made life for them easier and leaving females look up to them. The fact that the straight white men were rich gave better chance to improve their talent by buying expensive tools and taking classes that poor straight men couldn't do.

There are many cultural stereotypes about artists that either help order people in different identity categories from doing and being called artists. One example is Graffiti Artist, which are said to be done by low class artists. Another is "good' Rap Artist, to be consider a "good" Rap Artist an individual has to be a struggling African American male that later in his life served time in prison and on his albums talk about get money and women.

L. Dorsey

Blog 5

What do gender, race, sexuality, and class have to do with who gets to be an artist? Well, for many centuries, we have been taught that all great art was the product of men, and that art created by women was merely an attempt to copy the masters that came before. For many, many hundreds of years, women struggled to gain recognition as artists, and for the greater number of these years, they remained obscured due to the constraints of patriarchal society. Recently, however, in the feminist movement of the seventies, women have found a voice and a face and recognition in the world of the arts followed. Yet women today are finding that they have yet another battle to fight, one that demands that they be looked at as more than merely women artists in the light of feminism. They are individuals who create art in the context of their identities, which include “ethnicity, personality, life stage, religion, class, and politics? (Norwood, 1987 p. 4), as well as gender.

What cultural stereotypes are there about artists that either help or hinder people in different identity categories from doing art and being called artists? Several stereotypes exists surrounding the “artist? persona, ranging from the Masters of the past (Monet, Picasso, Michael Angelo) who’s art was precise and detailed, every stroke intentional, to anyone claiming self-expression. This broad spectrum of art (or what is considered art) allows practically anyone to be an “artist;? however, because skill level varies, and some people posses more “talent? than others, those who are less confident in their abilities could be hindered from doing art.

Blog 5

Gender, race, sexuality, and class all have some form of connection in one way or another; all of these labels largely impact who and what a person is within society. Judgmental decisions, such as biasness and instant conclusions about others are apart of America's culture. Gender and race affects who has an opportunity to be an artist because those specific characteristics can not be hidden. However, class and sexuality are not as apparently obvious and may not obstruct one's ability to become an artist as easily.

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