May 24, 2007

If You're Reading this blog...

This blog is a course blog for GWSS 1001 - Gender Power and Everyday Life: An Introduction to Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota, Spring 2007.

The course has ended.

Please feel free to browse the site, and remember blogs happen in reverse chronology, so if you want to start at the beginning, click HERE and scroll to the bottom, or browse the links on the right-hand sidebar.

Enjoy!

May 13, 2007

Women in the military

I find it to be too bad that women are not allowed in combat in the military. If a woman is capable and willing to go into combat and fight for her country, than she should be allowed to do it. The army should have its best fighters go into combat, and we don't even know what women could do and how much of a help women could be if they were allowed to in combat in the military. I feel this is reflected of our patriarchical society where men are supposed to lead and women are supposed to follow.

GWSS 1001

I found it disappointing but representative of male gender roles that there was only a small number of males who were in this course or what take women's studies courses in general. I think many males would really find this course very interesting but would probably never take it because they don't want to be known as a guy in a women's studies class. I think there needs to be more males who try to take women's studies courses, and more males who are aware of feminism and what it really is.

Comcast Commercial

I remember seeing a commerical for Comcast a few months back with Jessica Simpson as her character from Dukes of Hazzrard. She mentions a feature to the package that is being advertized, and says that she doesn't even know what that means, but she wants it. The commercial puts across the message that women are stupid and buy things that don't understand what they products they buy do, nor does it matter. I thought that this commerical was relevant to the class because of the way it portrays women as stupid and gullible.

My friends and I were hanging out a few nights ago, and the topic of boys crying came up. Two of my friends, one being a boy and one being a girl, thought that it was weird for boys to cry and that they should not because it is uncomfortable when they do. I thought this was an interesting conversation because my two friends have both apparently decided that boys should be tough and should fight the urge to cry. I thought this was a good demonstrating of genderization.

Extra Event Posting

On April 28th, my friends and I attended the Young Women's Leadership Conference in Duluth. This program is sponsored by the Feminist Majority Foundation. The program begins at around 10:30 and ends at 5:30. This one-day conference focuses on issues important to women and the often overlooked connections between reproductive rights and health, sweatshop labor, HIV/AIDS, slavery and human trafficking, foreign policy, women in conflict, and violence. The program’s main focus is to promote the idea that women, especially young women, can change the current state of the world if they can only grasp how the problems are interrelated.

Continue reading "Extra Event Posting" »

May 12, 2007

Kiss My Fat Ass!

This video makes me think...
- if a supermodel like Tyra Banks can find a way to still love herself after a million eyes critique her, than so can I
- hmmmm...Tyra is not fat, how is she plus-size?
- what's the deal with Top Model? All those girls are really kind of...perfect. What message is that show sending out to all the young impressionable girls out there?

This video makes me...
- cry
- grateful for strong women, especially women of color who rock
- wish my little sister didn't have to put up with a double standard every where she looks
- annoyed with the media, Hollywood, celebrities, men and women who don't use their resources and influence to make the world a better place. Instead the media creates a model that no one can fit or should be able to fit, while Hollywood is just in it for the money, so many celebrities become as superficial as their characters, and a lot of men and women don't fight the system - they just perpetuate stereotypes, internalize oppression, and continue pass on sexism to our future generations. GRRRrrrrr.....

A Girl Like Me...

This video makes me think...
- that we still have a long way to go in erasing racism from our society
- i cannot believe that the studies still had the same results as years ago - it's just sad!
- that this world is really a sad one, all the internalized oppression that is still going on today is horrible
- the media as a lot to do with oppressing and helping people internalize oppression

This video makes me...
- feel the pain of years of internalized racism
- cry when the young beautiful girl was conflicted about which doll looks like her or which one she wants to associate herself with
- sigh with just being tired of social injustice and wanting racism to be over and done with
- wonder which doll I would have chosen

Kanye's Workout Plan...

This video makes me think...
- Kanye sings about the hypocrisy of gold diggers, but I wonder what kind of women are flocking around him night and day
- Why is that a fat, old, ugly man can have all the beautiful women, as long as he is rich and famous, but the double standard dictates that old, bigger, and not so pretty women definitely does not get to roll around with beautiful men – even if she is rich, there she is still not has “cool? compared to a man.
- Who wants to be a video girl? How do you get in a position that you are willing to sell your body to be the woman of the day for a rapper or actor's entourage...it's demeaning
- I understand what Kanye is trying to say about trophy wives, but I want to know where the hell are his songs and videos are pointing out the hypocrisy of men. What now, Kanye?
- I think that this song trivializes everything that women go through: For example, trying to support a child, a family, fighting for self confidence, going against the media and the negative body images they present and competition against other women which is in no way productive to anyone.

This video makes me...
- laugh. The whole process of making yourself grade A 'le boeff" (name of Parisian girl in the video, which means "the beef") is down-right ridiculous
- annoyed at the double standard for men and women, especially as portrayed in the media
- wonder why Kanye's videos and songs such as 'gold digger' and 'workout plan' address issues in a way that targets women in such a negative light but never men. How is it always a woman's fault
- annoyed at Kanye

Be A Mindsticker...

This video makes me think...
- If I am to be a “mindsticker? I have to have a shape he can’t forget
- That guy is so creepy! Like a stalker he watches her from afar
- A perfect shape is like an tab bottle. Hmmm..I can drink sugar-free, great tasting cola and use the bottle as a measurement for how my body should look. After all, when he is away I want him only to be thinking of me. Bullshit.
- That woman isn’t really playing tennis, she is just walking around looking pretty in her really short tennis dress…

This video makes me...
- almost glad I didn't grow up then, granted, it was a simplier time...but still...
- wonder why it is her fault if he cheats on her. If she didn't have the perfect shape is it okay for his mind to wander?
- tired of sexism
- annoyed with how advertisements like this are still visible today in our media, just a little more subtle, but still

Listen

This video makes me think...
* of all the times men in my life told me what to do and what to think and how to do things
* that sometimes I really do feel all alone and that no one will listen to me, and if I do speak, I can't help but be passionate and emotional about it which is not okay to the men in my life and that frustrates me
* that my daughter will not have this problem - I will make sure of it
* that sometimes I am helpless and can't say what is on my mind because of internalized oppression and I hate it!
* the reason I identify with this song so much is that sometimes I really am not at home in my own home. I come home thinking I am safe and put my defenses down, but no, have to keep those walls always up - you never know where the comment, "Man up!" or "stop being so emotional - it makes you weak!" comes from. It just kills me inside that my own brothers - the three men in my life who I love the most and really look up to would say something like that to me.
* Why is emotion so bad? It is just another level of communicating with someone...I don't get why it is disgraceful
* my crossroads are: 1) either close myself off to the comments and just keep silent, because that is a woman's place or 2) share my emotions, thoughts, opinions and be labeled a 'femi-nazi' or a 'lesbian.' Because, after all, what am I fighting for? Women can vote! The war is over...I am 'fighting for nothing.'

Listen I am alone at a crossroads I'm not at home in my own home And I've tried and tried To say whats on my mind
There was someone here inside Someone I thought had died So long ago Oh I'm screaming out And my dreams will be heard They will not be pushed Aside or turned

This video makes me...
* cry with regret that I had to fight so hard to gain control of my life
* bitter because I am not in total control of it
* sad that the men in my life, some of who I love deeply still don't understand, respect or listen to me
* hopeful that maybe one day I will find my own voice...my own complete voice...one that is all mine
* conscious of all the work I have to do to get over my bitterness and to use my experience to continue to grow and improve myself
* simultaneously tired with having to fight every battle because of my two strikes, (being a woman, and being a Woman of Color) and passionate to continue the fight - because I have to do it for my sister, my daughter, my future generations.
* wonder what it would be like if I didn't have to go through my experiences? what would I be like? my experiences cause me to grow, but the journey, it is so painful and heartbreaking. It would be nice to have the choice to step back from the war every once-in-a-while...

But now I got to find my own - my own

To wear Hibjab, or to not wear Hijab...

This video me think...
* of my Christian friend who lives in Pakistan and has to lie about her religion everytime she leaves her house and all her problems with her father that she has had
* uh, I wonder why a man is speaking about a Muslim woman's choice, "you know what I am saying?"
* I do like the whole idea behind the Hijab - a person looks at another based on their mind or personality versus their outward appearance. I also like the arguement that there is a double-standard: Nuns vs. Woman who wear Hijab - why is the later viewed as oppresson?
* of all the ways religious practices, rituals, customs, and strongly suggested rules are oppressive of woman
* that people are relgiious when it is convenient...it is so funny!
* think of all the American feminists, documentaries, and the US media, that feature Arab woman as oppressed and Islam as a negative relgion

This video makes me...
* laugh at the small truths in this video: I have totally witnessed women who choose to wear their Hijab inappropriately or incorrectly.
* wonder what I would do if I lived in a household or country that required or strongly suggested that I wear a Hijab
* agree with the author of this video - there is a difference between culture and religion and I hate that most people confuse one with another or insist that both go together
* ponder on whether or not Islam is oppressive of women, or Christianity for that matter
* consider the difference between culture and religion and it's affect it has on American feminists - viewing Islam as oppressive or Muslim woman as oppressed, maybe it is just a different culture? or maybe we should not judge...we have our own oppressive vices here in America, who are we to say another culture is wrong? But what if it is oppressive...? I am really at a crossroads here. I was raised experiencing four religions: Christian (me), Muslim (dad's side), Jewish (godparents, best friends, community, etc...) and Hindu (mom's side). Which is right? Are they all going in the same direction?

Prussian Blue: The Olsen Twins of the White Nationalist Movement

img alt="prussian_blue2.jpg" src="http://blog.lib.umn.edu/khanx089/mediajournal/prussian_blue2.jpg" width="300" height="300" />

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So these two blond-hair, blue eyed girls: Lamb and Lynx Gaede sound like the most naive and sad little girls ever! They are brainwashed by their mother, who exercises her right to teach her daughters at home, by instructing them that the holocaust didn't actually happen and that the best thing they can sing about is keeping their race pure. I love how they identify with the Nazi swastika, when the original use of a swastika dates back to being used by people of color – Indians, American Indians, Mayans, etc… I looked up their lyrics and some of their music videos and found a lot of odd little underlying characteristics that I wasn’t expecting. They epitomize all things beautiful, in varying shades of white and use darker colors and blackness to symbolize evil and malevolent. Ironically, their voices don’t match their angelic faces; their voices sound like grating nails on a steel board. Maybe it was that I have a general disdain for the meaning behind their music or I am apprehensive about what it is that these young ladies will do when they “enter the real world? and realize that the world, really isn’t the place they were brought up to think it was. I just didn’t like their music, their lyrics, their voices, or their mother...but hey, who said this little review was supposed to be objective? :-)

Continue reading "Prussian Blue: The Olsen Twins of the White Nationalist Movement" »

Drama

Drama by R. M. 7:38pm Saturday, Mar 3 2007

"Drama. It can mean passion, anger, confusion, and pain. It can be a club at school or a frustrating situation. I am choosing to address the type of drama that people experience negatively on a daily basis.

I think we can agree that a good amount of drama is instigated by those who are females. Although many females will admit this, I expect backlash from those who are too drama-oriented to accept the truth.

I have met many different types of women. There are those who can be around guys and just fit in, not seeking to be the center of attention or any attention at all. Then there is the polar opposite, the girl who takes everything you say the wrong way, twists it around and uses her limited, but well practiced, vocabulary to make your head spin.

I decided to make an equation for all of those guys out there are sick of dramatic women. Look at any girl, and run her through this:

C(M)=x

First, you evaluate how much clothing the girl is wearing. The less, the higher value C will be. Rate it on a level of 1-10. If she's wearing jeans and a tee, give her a 2-3 depending on how tight the jeans and tee are. If there is belly showing, add a point. If she's wearing a mini skirt and halter top, give her at least an 8.

Second, you evaluate how much makeup the girl is wearing. This is tricky because select few women are makeup artists, but they will be thinned out because they usually wear a decent amount of clothing. If the girl is wearing a little foundation and discrete eye-liner, give her a 1-2. If she looks like a stripper (as many girls do these days) she deserves a 9 or 10.

Run these numbers through the equation, and if the girl scores more than 70, stay clear. She will only bring confusion and anger to your life."

Continue reading "Drama" »

Pro War?!

One day I came across a pro-war group while browsing Facebook. I was intrigued and decided to investigate further, and upon doing so, I came across these three images that stood out ot me the most.

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* Did the creator of this image purposefully mis-spell Koran and force and mis-use resort? I guess I didn't appreciate this image at all. I do support "our men and women" over in the Middle East but there needs to be a point in time where "some people" realize that the majority of Afgan / Iranian / Pakistani / Egyptian soldiers are just fighting to protect their country as well.

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*Where in the Koran does it say that women are forbidden from receiving an education? I think this is a big indicator of the strong impact that the misuse of culture plus religion that has infiltrated our society. I won't deny that some Muslims have misused Islam to perpetuate their oppressive culture and some people of Arab descent have termed some cultural habits as religious rules...it's annoying! It has caused so much confusion and stereotypes that really hurt everyone!

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* Yay! I love the exotification of my culture! This picture is SO accurate, because you know Afgani people travel via magic carpet ALL the time! So this picture is so accurate in it's portrayal of the US military forces versus the Middle East armies - It's unfair, is what it is!