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April 30, 2007

Jack Halberstam's lecture

I also attended the scholarly lecture given by Jack Halberstam on Thursday evening, April 26th in the Nolte Center.
After awkwardly making my way to a chair nearly touching the podium in the small lecture room in Nolte (too late to get an inconspicuous seat!), introductions to scholar and author Jack Halberstam were made. Maybe I’m sucked into grand introductions (usually not the case), but just by listening to the person describing both their own relationship with and the personal achievements of Jack, I could tell that he was special, and important. I learned that this influential transgendered author had done a lot of work at the U of M, but is currently a professor at the Center for Feminist Research at USC.

When he took the podium, I didn’t know what to expect; I also didn’t expect the person sitting to my right to be Jack himself.
When he stood at the podium, he had a presence that captured the audience. When he opened his mouth, I held onto every word. Aside from his unapologetic, strong attitude, I was struck by his vocabulary before I noticed anything else. It harkened back to many a conversation we’d had in class about feminist scholarship, and how many words get adapted and created- to note a few, I heard ‘transbiological’, anthropomorphizing, collective imaginaries before anything else. My instincts told me to listen as closely as possible and apply what he was saying to his subject matter. Now I sound clunky and foolish- what I mean to say is, his manner was learned and very smart.
I didn’t really know what sort of subject matter he’d be talking about; the info I’d gotten on the course blog suggested that he’d be discussing sexualities, norms, and ways of making change. To my surprise, these themes were explored using the lense of popular films and animation.
Jack used the term animation loosely- he construed it to mean any type of heightened, removed reality—although he mentioned CGI movies like Finding Nemo, TV animation like Spongebob Squarepants and claymation like The PJs, we first discussed the ‘collective imaginary’ found in the popular documentary ‘March of the Penguins’. Jack discussed the ways in which the film contradicted itself, how the Christian right grabbed a hold of this film that essentially preaches family values (according to Morgan Freeman’s narration) though may in fact not capture what the narration is attempting to portray. Jack discussed the inherent assumptions made in the narration about females vying for male sexual partners, about the tragedy of a small family unit of penguins being torn apart. By imposing heterosexual, “family? norms upon the penguins, “we? are seeing what “we? want to see, a collective imagined reality, as opposed to what might be occurring with the penguins (be it homosexual expressions or collective care of babies as opposed to couples alone).
Yet the ability of some animation to capture deeply entrenched norms wasn’t what Jack was truly getting at in his presentation- instead, he spoke about animation’s ability to break molds and fight against social norms by nature of being abstract expression. He discussed many ‘breakout’ stories, including Finding Nemo (father fish a mother character, Ellen Degeneres’) and ‘Seed of Chucky’. He discussed the fact that animation can in fact express radical, new ways of thinking to help us imagine a new reality in which heterosexuality, homosexuality and gender are not the rigid categories that they persist in being in contemporary times.
Jack talked about a host of subjects tangentially, all of which were very interesting (the politicization of the nuclear family, the ‘wrong’ thing being animated often when certain stereotypes are broken but others persist, especially racial stereotypes in animation; animating revolt in the mainstream). I came away impressed and very thoughtful, because the lecture was both understandable and accessible in addition to being very fascinating. I have a keener eye and understanding of the imagined realities that we find not only in animation but in any pop culture caricature, and the ways in which we can change these realities to stop reinforcing closed-minded norms.

Location Exercise

Organizing all of my paper work for finals and whatnot, I found the worksheet we did at the end of the class on priviledge titled "Location Exercise" I filled out most of it and intended to post my paragraph on here earlier and then realized I never did. Going back to it a few weeks later it is quite interesting to read what I wrote and to now reflect on it.

The part that surprized me reading back over it was question 8 asking when I first became aware of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion and spirituality? Race I recognized at a young age, I grew up in the St.Paul student housing and played with kids older, younger, both sexes and of all different races. White, black, hispanic or "tan" as I called them. I remember asking my mom about why they looked different and she gave me a vague answer of their ancestors came from a different culture but they were no different becuase of it. I played with all of them everyday and feel my open mindedness towards all people was shaped at that young age by my mother's comment.
Secondly class I noticed when it came to birthdays. I am not sure of what age this was at but for my birthdays my parents and grandparents totally spoiled me and my siblings. When we lived in Iowa City most of my close friends had huge birthday parties and got great presents, but I realized sometime in those few years that I received many more cards and gifts from family and friends. For the first time I realized that this special treatment by my family, although the tradition it was amongst my cousins and siblings, was definitely not the norm with some of my friends. My parents were by no means rich as we still lived in student housing, but our birthdays were always very special days. So maybe class wasn't completely known but I realized I was more spoiled than those around me.
Lastly I wrote a quite note about gender. In all of the student housing places we lived, many of them had a play ground or enclosed area where all of the kids played together. Most of the kids my age were boys and so I played with them and didn't think much of it. I grew up a tom boy with all of the influence from my guy cousins, but also found "boy" activities (sports, fishing, playing with cars and tools) more enjoyable than playing with dolls and dress up outfits like my sister did with her friends. My parents always thought this was cute, I had started my collection of boyfriends, but once I hit 5-6th grade they started to question me about all of my guy friends. Until just a few years ago, I have been told that I "like" all of my guy friends and I should just date them already. Now they just say, yeah she is just one of the guys and have reaccepted the idea that its okay for girls to play/hangout with guys just as friends.
In most other reflection exercises about such topics I generally write about the present ideas that come to mind or less detailed responses. I was surprized when reading my quick notes that I had such memories from my childhood that were first instincts related to these questions. As others have mentioned in other posts you don't really recognize your own priviledge until you really think hard about it. With these brief examples I realized the priviledges I have held my entire life being from a European American descent with well educated parents. I learned how they taught me to be open minded and accepting of all people despite their similarities and differences (since both of them worked in diverse work environments.)
It was fun to run across this sheet now at the end of the semester and I thought since I did I would post my few thoughts on here. :)

RACE- Respect All Colors Equally

I attended the Race Exhibit at the Science Museum March 9. I learned several facts about race issues that I never was aware of. I will share them here with all of you! A good starting definition of RACE is “respect all colors equally.? A part of the exhibit discussed how racism is in people’s heads. We are what make racism real. We, as a whole, can make a difference, but separating others out continuously does create true diversity- and can lead to harmful treatment. Why do we have to strive for diveristy when we are all the same?

Patricia J. Williams, a columnist and legal scholar wrote, “How can it be that so many well-meaning white people have never thought about it, when so few blacks pass a single day without being reminded about it??

Patricia was discussing how every day blacks are reminded they are black; whether it’s certain situations or ways they’ve been treated and that white people barely think about race every day.

In the context of this quote, I being white can agree that I barely think of racial differences. I am not trying to be one-sided or ignorant, but I am not affected by race as often– except in certain situations. I did think about it when I was in Chicago, because I was more of a minority on their “L-train? and it was interesting to be around people from the area.

Another quote said, “Labels don’t cause racism; they reflect it.? This quote is true as well, because saying someone is Black or Hispanic is not racist, but when used in derogatory ways – it can’t be hurtful.

“As long as the government keeps asking people about their races, Americans will always suspect that race plays a role,? Ward Connerly, chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute.

This has always bothered me. I never knew why anyone needed to know what race I was. In every questionnaire I’ve ever answered, even applying to the “U,? I never stated what race I was. I felt that I should be able to answer questions without people knowing what color of skin I have. Either I’m not going to be taken seriously because of my color, or my opinion is going to matter more than somebody else of a non-white color.

In the case of the “U,? I felt that I should be getting accepted based on my application and my grades, not because I was or wasn’t white. I know that the university was trying to be diverse, but accepting people based on color is a really crappy way of deciding who goes and who doesn’t go here.

Also, I’ve never understood why there is a scholarship for African-Americans (based solely on color) but because I am white, I am not allowed an application based on my color of the skin. These days, things need to not be so much about skin color. And I’m not trying to be ignorant in any way, things are unfair for everyone.

I know this was true because I know a girl who applied to the “U? and she didn’t get in because she got a letter stating they were trying for a more diverse university… meaning, it was color based.

Random facts that made my stomach ache were statistics on housing differences between blacks and whites. Between 1934 and 1962 (and I’m sure this statistic is different today) the federal government – through federal housing administration- insured $120 billion in new housing loans. Less than two percent of those loans went to non-whites.

I was shocked by the numbers. That means that white people were buying house after house between 1934 and 1962, and everyone else was merely paying rent somewhere.. or something else.

Also, the net worth of an average African-American family is 1/10 that of the average white family. This statistic shows that white people are still making more money and non-white people are still not living the same lives as white people.

A play I attended called “Voices Project? was a compilation of the Twin Cities youth’s perspectives, thoughts and words on race. Their debate was on what creates identity and told through their stories.

Many discussed several tribulations concerning how they feel everyday. An important factor was that non-whites did not recognize themselves on a day-to-day basis.

A fifth grader was first introduced to slavery in her history class and was angry that nobody else was mad when learning about the subject. Because it related to her race, she was completely distraught, but others in the class acted as though it was just another boring piece of history. This bothered the young student.

I’ll leave you with this quote.

“Most of the benefits of being white can be obtained without ever doing anything personally. Whites are given the privileges of a racist system, even if they’re not personally racist,? John A. Powell, legal scholar.

Race Exhibit

For my scholarly event I attended the Minnesota Science Museum Race Exhibit. When I was there, I noticed a few specific portions of the exhibit that I was really taken back by. I never realized how much I personally have created racial images and stereotypes in my own mind. I also was able to experience firsthand the amount of privilege I have as a white male. There was a wall full of pictures of people from various ethnic backgrounds, and I tried to determine what background each came from before I looked at where they really came from, and I was wrong with nearly every single one. I thought that I had a pretty good sense of where peoples’ ancestry lied based on how they looked. I was very surprised at how little I actually knew.

The second part of the exhibit that made me realize the kinds of stereotypes that I had created in my mind was a display that had pictures of twelve different people, and then it had them each say a phrase. For example, someone had a strong Australian accent, and there were pictures of blonde men as well as black, Hispanic, and Indian men. I immediately picked the blonde man out of the group as having the voice who said the phrase. The person who actually said it was black. I got only two out of six of each of the men and women within this display correct. Again I was shocked at the images and stereotypes that I have built up in my mind.

The final portion of the exhibit that left a glaring image in my mind was a portion that brought out discrepancies in healthcare and insurance and education between different races. I was standing in front of a screen that was flipping to a new page periodically and showing statistics based on some of these different aspects of systems that exist in America. As I was standing there, I was next to an African-American couple. As each new page appeared I saw myself as a white male at the top of every list, and the couple next to me was saying, “oh look, we’re at the bottom of the list again.? I was at the top of the list of who is least likely to not have health insurance, who has the highest life expectancy, who makes the most money, who has the highest scores on standardized tests. In every category I was at the top and the couple next to me was at the bottom. As I stood there, I couldn’t help but feel the amount of privilege that I was able to experience as a white male. I left the exhibit feeling somewhat bad about who I was. I know it is ridiculous, but I felt like I was somehow responsible for and I felt bad for being privileged. The exhibit really gave me a glaring example of how minorities in this country really feel on a day to day basis. In that moment in front of the screen with the statistics, I was the minority and I felt as though everyone was looking at me for a reaction. I had none. I just shook my head and walked away.

As a business and finance student the final portion of the exhibit that I noticed was the financial condition of families and people of different races. There were stacks of dollars that showed the net worth of Hispanic, black and white families…

Invisiblechildren.com Displace Me - Chicago


On April 28, I went to Chicago’s Soldier Field for an event called Displace Me. Chicago, being one of the 15 cities across the U.S to take part in the event, had almost 4,000 participants. Displace Me was sponsored by an organization called Invisible Children, which is trying to open the world’s eyes to the heinous crimes that have been committed against the families and children of Northern Uganda for years.

The Invisible Children started with three traveling filmmakers in their early 20’s from San Diego, California who set out to Uganda in the summer of 2003 in hopes to capture a story about the truth of Africa. They first found themselves in a desolate Uganda taking video footage of termite hills, fighting wild snakes, and throwing up from dehydration. This was until they met a 9 month pregnant woman in a neighboring village named Jolie. Jolie did something that broke the societal norms of her Ugandan community. She informed them about a silent secret of Northern Uganda. Jolie drove the young men to a Sudanese refugee camp in Gulu, Uganda and here is where they uncovered exactly what they wanted to document and show to the world.

Gulu is home to the Acholi tribe who is under direct attack and constant fear of the rebel army, the Lord’s Resistance Army. In this small town hundreds upon hundreds of boys and girls, ages ranging from about 5 years of age to 12 years, travel here to find shelter to sleep at night in local hospitals, churches, and bus verandas. These young, innocent victims leave their families at night and travel to a more populated area because they are targeted by the LRA. The children are big enough to carry guns and young enough to brainwash, so the LRA abducts the children, influencing them, and convincing them to fight for their cause.

Families are forced out of their home by the Ugandan government and into Internally Displaced Camps where they are forced to live in extremely harsh conditions in order to keep safe from the LRA. The 21-year long Civil War has been kept a secret for so long and the Invisible Children aim at raising awareness about the war and increase efforts of creating peace treaties and getting the U.S government more involved in spreading the word in order to aid these displaced people.

The event was, as you could probably guess, to show Americans what it would be like to live in a displacement camp for 24 hours. All I brought with me was a sleeping bag, pillow, saltine crackers, a liter of water, and a few cardboard boxes for shelter. People all across the Soldier Field parking lot built temporary cardboard tents and homes to sleep in for the night and the Invisible Children crew of Chicago put on a few different events, including screening of the Invisible Children video, a simulation of how Ugandan people can get food and water (including having the women stand in line to get some water for our group and men standing in line for crackers to provide for the women), writing letters to government officials, 21 minutes of silence in honor of those affected by the 21-year long war, and a guest speaker, which was what I chose to write about for my Activist Event.

I felt lucky and excited when Jolie, the lady who took a stand and went against societal standards to share with the filmmakers the story of the civil war in Uganda, came on the stage to speak.

Jolie began her speech with sharing her gratitude for the Invisible Children and for everyone who showed up to the Displace Me event in support of the IC efforts. Jolie is a mother of three who has not seen peace in her life since she was 18 years old. She spoke to us about how most people in the displacement camps in Uganda have never seen peace; this is their way of life and this is all that they know. She explained how women often have to walk three miles every day just to find water for her family and can only obtain one liter at a time. In the Invisible Children documentary movie, the boys interview and talk with some Ugandan children about the war. One boy said that he had been abducted by the rebels and escaped and now can not show his face in public because the LRA is searching for him by name. The children pleaded for the filmmakers to show Americans the footage of their time in Uganda because they knew that there is nothing that anyone can do over there, but that Americans would be able to help. Jolie reiterated exactly that, but she was not afraid to speak out. When she goes back to Uganda, she is going to to be targeted by the rebels because she is seeking help. The main slogan for the event was “Every War Has an End.? Jolie played off of that, and said “It is true. Every war has an end. But the question is when will it end? It is not fair that so many people will never see peace, will never know what it is like to be free and young and actually be able to act like children.?

I feel like Jolie played such a huge part in making the Invisible Children happen. The campaign has been centered around raising public awareness in the U.S. in an attempt to spur youth into action and to change the current policies of both the American and Ugandan governments, who have largely let the conflict fester. 9 months pregnant, she still led the American filmmakers to a secret that no one dare to speak of. She knew that they would be able to make a change. And because of her, so much money and awareness has been raised for the cause and already, so many lives have been saved and changed. It was an honor to hear her speak in Chicago on Saturday and I encourage you all to look into the cause. Visit Invisiblechildren.com for more information!

Voices from the Gaps

Last Thursday my roommate and I went to a Voices from the Gaps 10th Anniversary reading. I didn’t really know what to expect from this reading, all I knew was that there would be two minority women reading excerpts from their work. The two readers were Latasha Natsha Nevada Diggs and Ana-Maurine Lara. Voices from the Gaps, or VG, is a web based organization who’s goal is to recognize the works of women artists and writers of color that might not otherwise get the recognition they deserve. The website was started here at the University of Minnesota by the American Studies and English departments in the College of Liberal Arts. However, tens years after its beginning the organization has stretched its reach far beyond the University. It reaches the public domain via the Women’s Prison Book Project and reaches out to high schools and the community through literacy and learning programs. The website (voices.cla.umn.edu) provides links to biographies about the different artists that have been featured, events that are up and coming, and a blog that discusses the different projects, authors and works on the site.

The first of the two artists to read was Latasha Natasha Nevada Diggs. She is an artist from Harlem. She is a sound artist and a poet who writes about anything and everything. At the reading on Thursday she organized some of her works into three categories T.V. (or pop culture), language and dealing with a death in the family. In her first reading she used the black face characters from Pokemon and Dragon Ballz to make observations about the representations of blacks in the media whether it be in cartoon form or real people. In another selection in the pop culture grouping, she discusses and pokes fun at the Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, scientology and daughter Suri media bit. She covers the ridiculousness of Tom Cruise’s behavior to the ridiculousness of Tom Cruise’s behavior. The Language grouping uses pieces of languages ranging from English to Spanish to more unusual ones like a native Cherokee language or oriental dialects like Japanese. It was interesting to hear the different tongues put together to make different pieces of work. She provided translations to these readings after each one, but I think to really understand what statement she was trying to make with these one would have to sit down and really look at them because just listening to them and a quick translation could leave you kind of confused. The last works were deep and moving. Talking about the different things we go through when trying to deal with the death of a family member. She covered murder, slow peaceful death and unexpected occurrences. She was a great presenter who really evoked emotion into her reading. It’s easy to see why the women on the VG board selected her as one of the artists to be honored at the 10th anniversary celebration by presenting some of her work.
Unfortunately I was not able to stay to hear the reading of novelist Ana-Maurine Lara, but they did provide some background on her and why she was the other of the talented artists to be selected for this celebration. She is an Afro-Dominican writer who was raised in East Africa and Mount Vernon, New York. She graduated from Harvard University. Her breakthrough novel, Erzulie’s Skirt, is about growing up in the Caribbean. While this is her major breakout piece, she has also had fiction writing and poetry published in journals. Lara is a writer and an activist working to improve things for women and especially women of color.

Jack Halberstam

For my activist event I attended the talk by Judith/Jack Halberstam. This event took place at 6:30 on April 26th in room 125 of the Nolte Center for Continuing Education. This talk was sponsored by the Global Sexualities Research Collaborative of the Institute for Advanced Study and the Transgender Commission.

Going to this event I didn’t really know what to expect my first thought was that it would just be a boring lecture. At first it was a little slow with the other people introducing Jack. However once Jack took the podium it was very interesting. He discussed how the how movies and more specifically animated movies portray sexuality. She also explained what she meant by animation. Since her first example was The March of The Penguins would not typically be thought of as an animation.
The way The March of the Penguins becomes an animation is through the narration of the story. The Penguins go about doing whatever penguins do while the narrator suggest what the Penguins are doing. In this sense he is guiding you to think of the penguins actions in a certain way. He talks about the male penguins courting the females however without the narration the penguins may not have been seen as either male of female since the all look very similar. Jack talks a lot about penguins and even suggest that there are a lot of lesbian penguins. This is because even penguins have a hard time distinguishing between male and female penguins. There are also more females penguins so if there are not as many male penguins then the other penguins are female.
Penguins also have to work as a collaborative whole to keep the eggs from dying. Even the penguins who are not breeding that year still have to help keep the babies warm.
The other movie Jack talked about was The Seed of Chucky. In this clip the possessed doll Chucky and his wife have a child. Their child has been working in a freak show and now it is searching for and has found its parents. When the doll finds its parents it revives them. Once the parents are alive again they are shocked at how ugly their child is. They can’t seem to tell whether they have a son or a daughter. They make his drop its pants to find out. They still can’t agree on the sex since the doll is not parts. The mother wants a daughter and the father wants a son. Then they go on to kill people.
The talk was very interesting and brought up a lot of things I probably would never have thought about or considered. I never realized how our society shapes things to conform to such stereotyped roles of gender. People just assume that penguins and other animals behave in a heterosexual way similar to the majority of humans. However they don’t even consider that these may not be the norms for these animals.
At the end of the talk there was Jack answered questions from the audience. Some of them brought up some good points and one talked about another show she had seen about penguins where they were not gendered in the same way as they were in The March of the Penguins. I think this talk was really interesting and informative. It was easy to understand even though Jack did use some jargon that was tricky at times. When I went to the talk I didn’t really know what to expect. There were a lot of interesting people who were there a lot of them looked like older people and not like students. The talk ended up being really interesting.

Race is Not a Card!

For my scholarly event I attended a talk called “Race is not a card? by Tim Wise at Mondale Hall from 7-9pm. The talk was witty and compelling. Tim Wise used statistics and personal anecdotes to portray the national problem of white privilege. The most important part of Tim Wise giving the lecture is that he is a white man, a white man that grew up in the south. He spoke about how colored people have been bringing up the same issues of racism for years, but until the white majority accepts it as an institutionalized problem, the battle will continue unsolved. The problem back when the civil rights movement was in progress was not that the whites were uncaring or unsympathetic, it was that they really believed what they said, such as 87% of white people thought that black children had equal education opportunities. This is obviously untrue only to the people who have been educated about the inequalities in the United States and elsewhere. If we are never told, how are we supposed to know? There needs to be a widespread dispersal of this knowledge. This is why we are so thankful to have Tim Wise come and speak. He has spoken in 48 states and over 400 colleges. This is a profound statistic, so why is racism still institutionalized?

One of the most important ideas that he portrayed in his talk was that the white majority didn’t suffer at all if we were in denial. We could look blindly through the problems of racism without any consequences. We are not tested if we know their reality. Colored people in America are tested on our history though, on our music and our culture. By dismissing the problems of racism, we accept the responsibility of being overprivileged. Overprivileged is not a word that people recognized, but we should. Overprivileged is the white societies’ term if the colored peoples of America are underprivileged. You cannot have one without the other.

We are not taught about our privileges, just about their disadvantages, which inn reality were created and repeated by us. This privilege has created a comfortable bubble for white folks. We were not taught to give up the good things we have in life, we were taught to take advantage of them. Tim used the example of if you were a young child at dinner and your parents told you to eat your peas because there are dying children in Africa, they tell you to have seconds, not to box up the peas and send them to the children. Though it is very unlikely that we even could send our loose peas, the problem here is that we are told to take more of our advantages. We are told to take it for what its worth, rather than sharing the wealth.

I really appreciated this talk. The audience was really interactive and receptive. I believe it does send a different message when coming from a white male, rather than say a black female. I do not believe that this is how it should be, but that is what we need to work to change. In order to make change in our society we need the white majority to accept racism as a systemic racism and realize that without working together, people of all colors, no significant change will be made. In many stories racism ends in death, so literally this problem is a life or death situation for many people. This is their reality, but we need to make it known in our realities also. By educating people about racism and institutionalized racism we can make a difference. One of the most profound statistics that Tim told the audience was that when asked if racism is a significant problem in the United States, only 6% of whites said yes. This is what we need to change.

Please check out Tim Wise's website if you are so inclined. Enjoy, Learn, Teach.

April 29, 2007

Science Museum: Race Exhibit

I attended the Race Exhibit this weekend at the Minnesota Science Museum. I was really impressed on the variety of areas of race that were covered. They had little exhibits explaining the science part of race to psychological part to the historical parts. Because I am a science major, I was really fascinated on learning about race and the human body, but also liked how it reflected much of what we have been learning in class and the issues with race today.

The first exhibit I went to had about 20 people’s faces of all different types of races and backgrounds. They asked questions about yourself and then you could see which other people had those traits in common. I was surprised that there was no correlation between race and things like fingerprint pattern, blood type, and height. They explain that traits are inherited independently and that the frequency of a specific trait in a certain population is the result of evolutionary responses to various environmental conditions. A good example would be skin color, one major factor that categorized people, which is related to the intensity of the sun in that area of the world where a group of people lived. I also learned that the geography of the world keeps people apart. Mountains, deserts, and oceans keep people from moving around and mating with other people. Culture also had a great deal in separating people as well.
Another part of the exhibit presented the net worth of the average African American family is about one tenth that of the average white family. This is due to the differing rates of home ownership between these two groups and to the generally lower values of homes blacks own than homes owned by whites and the gap tends to be passed down from parent to child. They also explained that it is much harder for African Americans to get loans approved than it is for whites. I was really interested in the display bounded dollar bills representing the home ownership rates according to the US Census Bureau, where Caucasians and Asians had much higher stacks than the Latinos, African Americans, and others. I also was interested in a large picture of about ten people from different backgrounds. They had plain white t-shirts on with a certain year and then a description on how they were categorized on the US Census for that year. It was interesting to me because the descriptions changed for each year they had. An example would be a woman with the year 1900 Indian, then 1980 Eskimo, and then finally 2000 Alaska Native. I noticed that there are more and more types of races on the Census now then one hundred years ago, but it is still hard to classify someone just on a few choices. The Census race categories basically tell Americans how they are expected to think of themselves and of each other.
I was surprised on how much of the exhibit related to our class discussions. They touched on white privilege, marketing “white? products including toys, television shows, and beauty products, medical research for whites and colored people, and many videos that we have seen in class. It seemed like the biggest question asked throughout the exhibit is “What is race?? There really isn’t a clear-cut answer, but it is society that makes race a distinct category to place people in. It is good for people to know their entire background, and to force society to realize that there really isn’t much of a difference between people of different colors and cultures, and that just because they have dark skin, doesn’t mean they have to be categorized as African American. I think this exhibit was really good because so many people have access to it and it was for all types and ages of people. I would defiantly recommend this for everyone in the class!

Unbelieveable...Integrated Prom in Georgia

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So many of you may have heard about this on the news but I have been under my nursing school rock and just read this tonight. Apparently this high school in Georgia had its first integrated prom! I guess I didn't realize that there were places still in the U.S. that had a white prom and black prom (or white and black anything)
AND the crazy part was that it took a majority vote of the students to make it happen, the faculty and teachers haven't made the decision to bring all the students together, it took the students to bring them together and start a "new tradtion"...duh? most of the country has been doing this for many decades.

"I've asked, 'Why can't you come?' and they're like, 'My mommy and daddy -- they don't agree with being with the colored people,' which I think is crazy," she said. A quote from a white girl that attended the prom.

Just unreal...says alot about south Georgia...but hopefully this will bring some change for the school and the community since they are apparently behind the times.


April 27, 2007

Sexual Violence- The Aurora Center

This past week, I attended the sexual assault presentation in the basement of Coffman Union. Since April was awareness month for domestic violence, the Aurora Center had plenty to share about spousal abuse, rape, and other instances of violence occurring in relationships. They also had plenty of handouts targeting each category of domestic violence, and were encouraging onlookers to fill out a question about prevention to be eligible for an ipod and other prizes. The Aurora Center is a sexual violence program that got its start after a case where three UM basketball players were convicted of rape. The president at the time wanted quick action so the students would feel safe. Since being founded, the Aurora Center offers training to volunteer peer advocates who also run a 24-hour crisis line. The center has worked in conjunction with the Hennepin County Sexual Violence Center and the University hospital, which contacts the Aurora Center every time a victim goes into the emergency room. Many times, a victim of assault or rape is often confused and doesn’t know where to turn, especially since they may be college. The Aurora Center along with the UM police offer transportation to the emergency room and to court for orders of protection. The University has established a sexual assault victims’ rights policy, and was actually the first college in the country to form a campus safety improvement program that perform safety inspections for all campus buildings. Other services provided by the Aurora Center include: arrangements for different housing, some tuition advice, classroom safety arrangements, filing complaints, and additional walk-in services.
The Aurora Center’s booth focused primarily on the feminist theory of abuse that I researched. The theory was that abuse is a demonstration of the structure of power created in a relationship. The victim is the passive, weak partner usually characterized as the woman, whereas the man is the superior, dominant perpetrator. This form of feminism also believes women’s position in society is based on the oppression from the patriarchal society. Essential to this belief is that women are dominated in all aspects of life, and men are looking only for control. The flyers that I received focused mainly on prevention tips for men such as: understanding the effects of rape, confronting sexist or racist jokes, not buying magazines that degrade women, supporting political figures that care for domestic violence, don’t exploit women sexually, etc.
Since I happen to be researching on domestic abuse, I thought it would be nice to share my opinion on how I could prevent violence; yet, I found it very hard to describe what I would do in the small space provided. As a guy, I think the first step in preventing abuse is by becoming aware of it. A class such as this allowed me to see the female side of current events, and really made me understand what they have to go through. After learning about power structures and patriarchal societies, I think it’s only appropriate for a guy to share what they’ve learned with their friends. This doesn’t have to be in a classroom type of setting. It can be in a bar, at a party, or at any game; sexist comments are commonly heard at these places, and they offer a good chance for a man to stand up against the sexist remarks. I think every guy should take the opportunity to either take a women’s’ studies class or attend an event sponsored by a sexual awareness group like the Aurora Center. I think their relationships would most definitely improve as the sex barriers representing control and power are broken down.

April 25, 2007


When we had the discussion of globalism yesterday, I don't think I had really thought of what globalism means to me and the rest of us in the classroom. I get so caught up in my own life and forget to think about society in general as a whole. We are very much an individualistic society, but through a common thread we have been able to expand this country's power and morals: capitalism and mass production. The idea of globalism is one that may not seem so bad to a large majority or everyday citizen. There's McDonald's in every corner of every country, making it seem like you (the tourist) can always feel comfortable with what you're familiar with, even in an unfamiliar place.

I see globalism as a threat to our own individual culture as well as many other countries'. By selling American culture to other countries, we have made others assimilate and see that their own is not even worth remembering and practicing. Westernization of ideas such as feminism, democracy, and others that we hold so dear intrude into other countries and become victims of the plague we bring. Globalization makes those with high positions of power become even more powerful and that starts to bring a big ego with it. America does not have the right to go to another country and tell them how their government should be just because we think it's the best and capitalistic way.

I feel that in this space and time, feminism has been a more or less positive movement. However, feminists and scholars need to understand the boundaries and limits that opinions have and should only go so far. Western feminists have no right coming into a country and try to free all women because a person or group may think they are being mistreated or violently beaten. There are many things Americans still need to learn and yes, we are still very ignorant of other cultures.

Globalism is both a blessing and a curse. But if swayed too much to the side of the curse, it could become a worldwide threat for all people.

April 23, 2007

Bodies of Characters

A few weeks ago Kevin and I went to the screening of a documentary entitled, “Ferry Tales?. Cutely named for sure, this film explored the unmentionable realm of one powder room shared by many-a-woman. The viewer is able to witness a miraculous bond that has been developed between these women. Leaving the age-old divides of race and class at the door, there is a force that can only be defined as absolute unity.

When first attending the viewing, I was a bit surprised to see that 5 people (Kevin and myself included) had shown up. As a side note, there was candy…and I ate a lot of it. Keeping this in mind, I will plug the Office of University Women and unashamedly say: got to more events; there will be candy and interesting topics.
Moving on…?Ferry Tales? explores the conversations and relationships of women traveling from Long Island to Manhattan via the ferry. This is about a 30-minute ride that most people use to dope up on coffee or pass out for one last spell of sleep before the drudge of work consumes them. However, the women documented seek out their ever-present sisterhood they rely on every week morning. Barely touching on how this gaggle of girls became, one can assume that it took on the effect of a snowball: members infiltrating in and out of the powder room until sooner or later they have the tight-knit group shown in the film.
Interestingly, these women only rely on seeing each other on the ferry. Mentioning the need to attend to their busy lives as wife, mother, worker, cook, etc., they rarely have time for anything else. They look forward to their 30-minute retreat; it’s a release from their usual life, which allows time for themselves. Of the footage shown, it seemed that this was the time to let everything off their chest, and bitch to people who will confide all information. Because they are not involved in one another's lives outside of the ferry, these women are unbiased to the stories shared.
This trip is a sort of retreat from the women’s busy worlds, which, at times, feels dull and monotonous. The water dividing Long Island from Manhattan serves as a sort of transitional body between homemaker and career woman. The central focus of the movie was the makeup these women applied between their “life shifts? (…if you will). That makeup carries a symbolic reference to recreating oneself and becoming some other character within, in this case, becoming a professional woman.
After viewing the film, Joanna O’Connell, a University Professor, led our discussion. While discussing many relevant issues within the film, I really focused on the interpretations of makeup. I began to wonder about the burden a women carries of proving herself to the rest of society, not only as an adequate mother, but also as an adequate worker. There are so many roles a woman is expected to fulfill, that it seems natural to put on a different costume for everyone.
In an effort to prove our existence in the workforce, we must prove to the male-dominated realm of professionalism that we belong. There is a certain way to dress, a certain way to wear your hair, and a certain way to apply makeup. If we deviate from these social norms, we risk not being taken seriously. If we are not taken seriously, we lose credibility in our position, and so it goes for being a wife and a mother. Women have certain guidelines to live up to within various facets of their life. Each role they attempt to take on carries certain restrictions and penalties for ignoring those restrictions.
To me, the ferry ride was an escape from all these roles. It gave a chance for the women to forget cultural demands and societal pressures and just be women. Talking about whatever they want, forgetting the façade of differences, for 30-minutes they allow themselves to take a break. Upon reaching Manhattan, they are different characters, ready to take on a different world.

April 22, 2007

The Vagina Monologues

For the artistic event, I too decided to attend the Vagina Monologues Play. Without knowing what it is really about, I had dragged my boyfriend into going. We went to the show on Feb 27 at the St. Paul Student. This program was sponsor by they Minnesota Public Interest Research Group and its main purpose is to raise awareness to end violence against women.

At first, we thought that it was just a play that we were seeing. But to my surprise, the Vagina Monologues is actually about the many realistic views that real women share with their audience on the issue of vagina. This is illustrated by a variety of different monologues throughout the production. The topic includes every aspect about the vagina whether it is sex, love, rape, menstruation, mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the variety of names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the female body. Overall, the main focus of the play is to promote the idea that the vagina should be considered as a tool of female empowerment and that we as whole need to put away the taboo that has been haunting it for many years.
There were many different monologues throughout the productions. While some are purely funny, others take on a more serious note. Nevertheless, whether it is humorous or somber, each monologue does focus on the many problems of vagina that women have to face. One of the amusing monologues that I remembered was called My Angry Vagina, in which a woman humorously rants about injustices wrought against the vagina, such as tampons, douches, and the tools used by OB/GYNs. Before attending this event, I have never considered items such as tampon and douches could anger my vagina!
Also, besides the many entertainment monologues, there are two serious topics that struck me the most. The first one is about the women in Juarez. This monologue discussed about the increasing rate of women being abused and mysteriously disappeared in Juarez. Most of these women were factory workers who had to endure through harsh living conditions. The majority of these disappearance and murdered cases took place during the time that these women travel to work. Furthermore, another topic that I was very taken back by was genital mutilation. In certain cultures, women were forced to mutilate their vagina as a right of passage. The reason that both of these monologues really had an impact on me because these are the topics that I have been recently researching on. Initially, my interest on these two topics began when I was watching the Opera Show. The first topic on the disappearing of women in Mexico was documented by Lisa Ling. The information provided from that documentary was very shocking. I was surprised by the numbers of women that have been murdered and raped. I was even more astounded by the fact that none of these cases have been solved. The local authority did not take this matter seriously at all. What is even worse is that no security measure has been established to prevent these tragic incidents from happening again. Up until today, women in Mexico are still facing the dreading fear that they could be the next victim.
Last but not least, the other topic that was also showing on Opera is female genital mutilation. The cases that Opera presented during her show were girls in South Africa. It is believe by that culture that it is only natural for girls to mutilate their vagina as they approach womanhood. Mutilation of the vagina is seen as way for girl to preserve their purity. It is because of this ridiculous belief that had caused many deaths in these innocent young girls.
Overall, I really enjoy the show. In the beginning when the show first started, I was afraid that my boyfriend would not like it. I was prepared for him wanting to leave. However to my surprise, he really liked it as well. We had a good discussion about the topics that were presented during the play afterward. In the end, we came up with the conclusion that while some of the terms as well as issues that were demonstrated might be a little overwhelming at first, they really bring forward the real challenges that women are facing today. People who come to watch the play need to keep an open mind and be accepted of the play’s blatant method of delivering its content. It is only through this that one can really grasp the important message that the Vagina Monologue is presenting.

AIDS Action Day

On Tuesday, March 6, I attended AIDS Action Day 2007 at the Minnesota State Capitol. I have been working on my senior thesis entitled: AIDS, Ethics, and Accountability: Local Activism and Global Politics, and I decided attending this event would give me insight into local AIDS activism. AIDS Action Day is organized by Minnesota AIDS Project, (MAP), and it serves as an opportunity for the community to personally lobby their representatives and senators about policy issues. This AIDS Action Day, volunteers came to lobby for the Senate initiative S.F. 678, (House initiative H.F. 942) regarding the MAP AIDSLine. The AIDSLine is a vital resource for Minnesota as it is the most recognized comprehensive source for AIDS-related information and medical services. In recent years the AIDSLine has experienced drastic cuts in funding that resulted from cuts in federal HIV prevention allowances. Lobbyists came to participate in AIDS Action Day to lobby for public health by advocating increased state funding to keep the line in operation.

I arrived at the capitol building at ten am and went down to the Great Hall to check in. I introduced myself to the MAP interns that were orchestrating the event and talked with them about my thesis and my particular interest in HIV/AIDS. At 10:30 a MAP lobbyist gave a half-hour lobby training session and then we were off in groups to our respective constituent meetings. My first meeting was with the DFL representative Phyllis Kahn at 11:00 am. Representative Kahn’s office is located in the State Office Building. I was with four other constituents and we briefed our representative on the upcoming bill and asked for her support of the AIDSLine. Representative Kahn expressed sympathy for our cause and informed us that she would support the upcoming health bill.
After this meeting I returned to the Great Hall with my group to eat lunch and photograph for my activism exhibit. (This is currently in progress- on display at Cupcake off of University ave.) I will include the photos from AIDS Action Day that I used in my exhibit.
After lunch I had a meeting with DFL senator Lawrence Pogemiller at 1pm. His office is located at 235 in the Capitol building. My group met first with his secretary and then with Senator Pogemiller and again, briefed them on the upcoming bill and its importance. This meeting lasted for over a half-hour and we were promised the support of the Senator for the upcoming health bill.
Upon my return to the Great Hall, I wrote thank you cards to the legislators I met with. I completed two meeting reports and an evaluation for MAP and said my goodbyes to those I had met. I am so glad I attended this event because I had the opportunity to have a voice in my government and experience activism first-hand. AIDS is a political issue framed by race and gender politics and thus such activism is essential for feminist theory and gender, race and culture studies.

April 20, 2007

Events April 23rd-26th

April 23rd-26th


Take Action against sexual assault! You can learn about ways to end sexual assault in your community! At this event, enter your idea of how you will effectively prevent violence to win the grand prize of an iPod Nano, gift certificates from UDS and Chipotle, or First Avenue concert tickets concert tickets for First Avenue

11:00am-2:00pm each day
April 23rd & 24th @ St. Paul Student Center
April 25th & 26th @ Coffman Union

Both events are free!

April 18, 2007



Today, Wednesday, April 18, 2007 I attended the RACE exhibit at the Science Museum in St. Paul. One of the main things that stuck out in my mind was the many billboards that showed the history of whites and how whites are endowed with an “invisible backpack? of unearned privilege. I think that the unearned privilege of whites is extremely prevalent in our society, as exemplified by these billboards. It made me think more about how many aspects of my life are made easier for me just because I am a white female, and then I tried to imagine what life would be like if I were a white male or a person of color. As McIntosh states in her essay White Privilege and Male Privilege (Feminist Frontiers 9-15), “I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious? (10). We are taught to recognize the disadvantages of people of color, but we are never taught to recognize our unearned advantages due to the color of our skin. Maybe we need to start recognizing those privileges in order to better appreciate all that is available to us in our society, and it will help us address and hopefully change the situation of people of color.

Another facet of the exhibit that impacted me was the station where there were flaps with different pictures of people on top and their respective races underneath. I think this exposed the flaws in racial stereotypes, especially since I incorrectly labeled many of the pictures. There are so many categories of each race. For example, there is a clear difference between the “light-skinned? African-Americans and the “dark-skinned? African-Americans. Sometimes these variations within races causes there to be discrimination within such races. For example, in Frontlines and Borders: Identity Thresholds for Latinas and Arab American Women in Feminist Frontiers (17-30), Lopez and Hasso share the story of Teresa, a light-skinned Chicana, who was called a “white bitch? at a party (21). Teresa was more offended by being called white than being called a bitch because she was being stereotyped based on her skin color and was not recognized by the race she identifies with.

The board with the high school mascots was especially interesting. The exhibit reminded me of how our society ostracizes American Indians and labels them as violent or drunks. There were pictures of different Indian tribes that were used as mascots by different high schools across the country. It was easy to tell how the use of the tribes can be and is seen as offensive by each Indian tribe. I think this conflict could be solved if permission was granted by each tribe and guidelines were outlined so that the tribe was represented in ways acceptable to them. Otherwise, high schools can simply change their mascots to animals or non-denominational people. For example, my first high school’s mascot was the Patriots. We actually ran into trouble with that because the PTO thought it was too violent, especially since our mascot featured a gun. My second high school’s mascot was the Ramblers, which resembled a homeless person who rambles from place to place. Any time one thing is used to represent another, problems arise in translation.

The RACE exhibit definitely opened my eyes more to the problems with race in American society. I now have a greater appreciation for people of all color than I did before. What really tied the knot for me was where you were able to see the skin of different races under a microscope, and it all looked the same. This reminded me that deep down, we are all human beings, and deserve to be treated accordingly.

April 17, 2007

4/19 Queer Artistic Event: Underground Transit

"Underground Transit" performance by Scott Turner Schofield!
6 - 9pm
Room 140
Nolte Center for Continuing Education, Minneapolis Campus

ABOUT UNDERGROUND TRANSIT: Transgressing, undressing, digressing: go underground with an almost-Homecoming Queen turned gender renegade. This edgy yet accessible spoken word roll through one Southerner's budding trans identity set against the cityscape of the New York City subway features rock n? roll with a touch of drag, and incredible poetry that draws you in for the ride. ABOUT SCOTT TURNER SCHOFIELD: Scott Turner Schofield is a performance artist from Atlanta. Even more improbably, he's a Female-to-Male (FTM) transsexual with a queer, transgender identity living and working in the South. Aside from producing the fabulous work of other gender-focused artists (S. Bear Bergman, Athens Boys Choir, TEAM GINA) Schofield tours two original solo performances "Underground Transit" and "Debutante Balls" to colleges, festivals, and theaters nationwide, and has lectured on living realities of gender theory at over 30 universities since 2001.

4/26 Scholarly/Activist Talk: Judith/Jack Halberstam

6:30 to 8pm

Room 125
Nolte Center for Continuing Education
Minneapolis Campus

Halberstam examines the narrative and visual transbiological leaps that we have made in our understandings of terms like heterosexuality and homosexuality, male and female, and individual and community in an age of artificial insemination, transsexuality, and cloning. Halberstam proposes that popular culture has already imagined multiple alternatives to male and female, masculine and feminine, family and individuality, and that contemporary popular culture, specifically horror film and animation, can provide rich archives for an alternative politics of embodiment, reproduction, and non-reproduction. It is important to imagine such alternatives if only because the "transbiological" is all too often absorbed into new formulations of the same old notions of kinship, relationality and love. In other words, while it is true that reproduction and kinship relations become more and more obviously artificial, the concept of the "human" tends to absorb the critique that inevitably follows of the natural and it does so because we reinvest so vigorously and so frequently in the scaffolding that props up our flailing humanity. Judith/Jack Halberstam is Professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California.

This talk is sponsored by the Global Sexualities Research Collaborative of the Institute for Advanced Study and the Transgender Commission

Institute for Advanced Study, 612-626-5054

4/27 Scholarly Event: 'Spanish, Spanglish, and Other Latino Language Varieties: Challenging the English Only Paradigm in the USA'

4 to 7pm

Room 5
Blegen Hall
Minneapolis Campus

rofessor Ana Celia Zentella, anthropological linguist at the University of California, San Diego, will present the third lecture in the series: English Only? Assessing the Many Varieties of English in the United States.

Professor Zentella is nationally recognized for her studies of US Latino varieties of Spanish and English, bilingualism, "Spanglish", language socialization, and language policy. Her linguistic ethnography, Growing up Bilingual: Puerto Rican children in New York City (Blackwell 1997) won the 1998 Book Prize of the British Association of Applied Linguists and the 1998 Book Award of the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists. For her scholarship and activism on behalf of Puerto Rican language and culture, Professor Zentella was honored with a "Foremother's Award" at the conference on Women and the Legacy of The People of Puerto Rico into the Twenty-first Century (University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, Oct. 1, 1998). Professor Zentella's recent research involves a quantified sociolinguistic analysis of interdialectal contact, based on an analysis of pronoun use in six varieties of Spanish in NYC (Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Colombian, Ecuadorian, and Mexican).

Professor Zentella's lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with University of Minnesota experts from the Departments of Anthropology, Chicano Studies, English, the Program in Linguistics, and the School of Education.


4/26 Scholarly Event: "The Nagging Jewish Mother" Lecture

7:30 to 9:30pm

A colossal figure, intensely involved in the lives of her children, the Jewish mother is one of the best-known figures in popular culture. This talk investigates the reasons behind the caricature's enduring (un)popularity, and explains its continuing---more positive--reinventions. Joyce Antler, Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture, Brandeis University, author of You Never Call! You Never Write! A History of the Jewish Mother. Lecture Series made possible by ROBERT AND JANET SABES, SABES FAMILY FOUNDATION This event is also co-sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women: Greater Minneapolis Section; Brandeis Women; Women's Philanthropy of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation; Hadassah of the Upper Midwest

Center for Jewish Studies Community Lecture Series
Room B'Nai Emet Cong. 3115 Ottawa Ave S, St. Louis Park
Off Campus

Center for Jewish Studies jwst@umn.edu, 612-624-4914

4/21 Scholarly Event: New Directions in Latin American Feminism


8am to 5pm
Room 125
Nolte Center for Continuing Education
Minneapolis Campus

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota cordially invites you to join faculty and graduate students for a one-day workshop to discuss the new challenges and new directions that the pluralities of feminisms are taking today in the Americas and how are these challenges are shaping new theoretical approaches. Participants will engage in dialogue with four distinguished guest panelists and with each other as we address recent perspectives on feminist cultural theory in/about Latin America and discuss the new directions that Latin American(ist) feminisms are taking or need to take in the re-articulation of feminist practices. Sara Castro-Klar?n, Johns Hopkins University; Jean Franco, Columbia University; Amy Kaminsky, University of Minnesota; Cynthia Tompkins, Arizona State University

Contact: spansport@umn.edu for more information

Activist Event: Clothing Swap

uesday, April 17, 2007
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Bring all the clothes that you never wear anymore and exchange them for "new" clothes. This can include scarves/hats, purses, belts and shoes, etc. Even if you find stuff that doesn?t fit- you can use our fancy sewing machine and make it fit! And this is not just for women, men can come too! Snacks and a good time guaranteed!!!
Cost: Free!

Room 202
Coffman Memorial Union
Minneapolis Campus


Science On Screen Event: Selling Sickness

Selling Sickness
Thursday, April 19, 2007
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

This documentary film examines the consequences of aggressive drug marketing through the story of "Deb", who had never heard of social anxiety disorder until she saw an ad for Paxil on TV. She diagnosed herself and started taking the drug because she was getting nervous at job interviews. Now, she can't live without the drug, and has joined a lawsuit against its manufacturer. Dr David Healy comments on the potential risks of mass marketing medicines. (52 minutes)

$7, $5 students, seniors and museum members

Room Auditorium
Bell Museum of Natural History
Minneapolis Campus

Bell Museum of Natural History 10 Church St. SE Minneapolis, MN 55455 www.bellmuseum.org registrations@bellmuseum.org 612-624-7083

Artistic Event: A Women's Journey with Cancer

Nancy Manahan and Becky Bohan
Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully: A Journey with Cancer and Beyond

Friday, April 27, 7 p.m at

Amazon Feminist Bookstore
4755 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis 55407

When diagnosed with breast cancer, Diane Manahan decided to share her entire journey openly. A professor of nursing, married to a doctor trained in both conventional and holistic medicine, Diane integrated complementary therapies with orthodox cancer treatments. She enjoyed a full, vibrant life for the next five years. This inspiring story describes her cancer years and extraordinary death at home and ends with a glimpse of Diane's ongoing journey as friends tell of comforting lessons offered by her enduring spirit. A supplemental guide at the end of the book offers practical suggestions for dealing with a life-threatening illness or death.

"Sharing the wisdom from a terminally ill nurse educator's journals, this book enables Diane Manahan to convey her final, greatest lesson: how to live fully until—and beyond—death.... It is a priceless template for patients, caregivers and loved ones who seek a holistic, sacred approach to a serious illness or to end-of-life care." —Mary Treacy O'Keefe, Co-founder and Executive Director of Well Within

Artistic Event: Book Reading

Ana-Maurine Lara
Erzulie's Skirt
Wednesday, April 25, 7 p.m.

Amazon Feminist Bookstore
4755 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis 55407

Set in the age of urbanization in the Dominican Republic over the course of several lifetimes, Erzulie's Skirt is a love story between two women who travel different paths but share similar goals-securing the survival of their African birthright as healers and spiritual guides for the next generation. tale of how women and their families struggle with love, tragedy and destiny. Infused with the language of ritual and indigenous beliefs, Erzulie's Skirt takes us from rural villages and sugar cane plantations to the poor neighborhoods of Santo Domingo, and through the journey by yola across the sea between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. It is a compelling love story that unearths our deep ancestral connections to land, ritual and memory.

Ana-Maurine Lara is an AfroDominican American writer and organizer. She was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in East Africa and Mount Vernon, NY. She received her BA from Harvard University. Ana-Maurine's poetry and short fiction has appeared in several literary journals, and she has received awards from the Puffin Foundation, the Brooklyn Arts Council and PEN Northwest. She is co-author of bustingbinaries.com: a web site designed to assist in building a community of resistance by addressing the binaries in our social justice movements. She currently lives in Austin, Texas working with The Austin Project, a collective of women writers, scholars and activists of color and their allies creating and performing in the jazz aesthetic.

Activist Event: Book Discussion on Transgender Rights

Discussion and Q&A with Paisley Currah, co-editor of Transgender Rights
Friday, April 20, 7 p.m at
Amazon Feminist Bookstore
4755 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis 55407

While the transgender movement has achieved visibility and victories in the last thirty years, violence and discrimination against transgender people continues to be a significant problem. With analysis from legal and policy experts, activists and advocates, the essays in Transgender Rights bring transgender people's activism into view, articulate the challenges they face, and offer perspectives and strategies for future action. Examining crucial topics like family law, employment policies, public health, economics, and grassroots organizing, this groundbreaking book is an indispensable resource in the fight for the freedom and equality of those who cross gender boundaries. Moving beyond media representations to grapple with the real lives and issues of transgender people, Transgender Rights will launch a new moment for human rights activism in America.

Paisley Currah is associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College, executive director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, and a founding board member of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute.

Artistic Event: Cd Release Party

Joanna James - CD-Release Party with the Chris Koza Band And Stook!
Thursday, April 26
7:00 pm
Varsity Theater, Dinkeytown

Artistic Event: April 27 - B-Girl Be Fundraiser

MOXIE HAIR-RAISING: A Benefit for B-Girl Be 2007
9 AM-9 PM Sunday, April 22
$30 haircuts :: DJs, MCs, B-Girls and Graff ladies all day!

Intermedia Arts is proud to partner with MoXie Salon again this year to
host our third annual 12-hour cut-a-thon benefiting the B-Girl Be 2007

Support B-Girl Be with a new look from MoXie Salon ($30/haircut!) on
Lyndale Avenue. Throughout the day experience live body painting from
B-Girl Be graff girls, enjoy live poetry and DJs, and make room for
sidewalk breakdancing by local b-girls with live Radio K broadcasting
from the street!

More than just a hair salon and art gallery, MoXie also supports its
community by donating time, talent and funds to neighborhood events.
MoXie Salon and Art Gallery is located at 2649 Lyndale Avenue South,
Minneapolis. For more information, visit www.moxiesalon.com or make an
appointment for the cut-a-thon by calling Moxie Salon at (612)

Schedule of DJ and Live Performance:
10:00 am-12:00pm Angentoranje
12:00-2:00 pm In-Salon Open Mic
12:00-2:00 pm DJ Drea
2:00-4:00 pm DJ Lady Luca
2:00-3:00 pm Rhythm Queens dance
3:00-4:00 pm In-Salon Open Mic
4:00-6:00 pm DJ Eve
4:00-5:00 pm Rhythm Queens and Universal Dance Destiny
5:00-7:00 pm Indigo, Karma, Maria Isa, Desdamona and Tish Jones
6:00-8:00 pm DJ Jennifer
8:00-9:00 pm Angentoranje

B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip-Hop is a multimedia festival
encompassing the four elements of hip-hopóMCing, DJing, breakdancing,
graffitióand more. The mission of B-Girl Be is to influence and inspire
leadership to change the perceptions and roles of women in hip-hop for
current and future generations. On June 28, 2007 B-Girl Be kicks off
with the B-Girl Be Summit, a multidisciplinary summit that brings
together international, national and local girls and women in hip-hop
to Minneapolis for dialogues, art-making, screenings, performances,
workshops and networking opportunities. This four-day summit (June
28óJuly 1) showcases women through live performances, fashion, films,
videos, workshops and panels.

B-Girl Be 2007 is presented in partnership with local organizations
Juxtaposition Arts, Nubia, and Emetrece Productions. For the most
up-to-date information about this event and other B-Girl Be events call
Intermedia Arts at (612) 871-4444 or visit www.intermediaarts.org.
Intermedia Arts is located at 2822 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis,
MN 55408.

"Women, Health, and Family Planning"

For my second event post I heard of a talk that was happening in St. Cloud. My sister and most of my friend go to St. Cloud state where they have a house up there. Almost every Wednesday from noon to one St. Cloud offers free lectures which they call “Women on Wednesday.? So I took a trip up there a few weeks ago to see a seminar titled “Women, Health, and Family Planning.? I had a couple of my friends join me for this hour and it turned out to be a learning experience for them.

When I first got there I realized that these seminars build off each other. St. Cloud put together a series of lectures, titled “Global Women, Transforming the World,? that would build upon the fall semester program of addressing women’s lives form a global viewpoint, with a clearer focus on international women’s perspectives and issues. The St. Cloud women’s center put together this series of lectures to show how international women have organized together to prove that anyone can help to improve lives of women and to fight the multiple forms of oppression.

The presenter on this particular Wednesday was Dr. Patience Togo. Dr. Togo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at SCSU. She holds BSW and MSW degrees from Carleton University in Canada, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining SCSU, Togo worked with diverse communities and underserved populations in Canada, Japan ad the U.S. She has experience working in domestic violence program management, curriculum development, training, and applied research. Togo’s research interests include anti-racist/anti-oppression pedagogy, multicultural education, community organizing, violence against women research in communities of color, and parenting practices among African immigrants and refugees. She spent a little while talking about herself, but then moved on to talk and theorize about the concept of family planning accessibility in Non-Western countries.

Her lecture was mainly about the extended family concept in foreign countries and the concept of placing western ideas on non-western families. I found it very interesting when she spoke about people who restrict their family size to mach or imitate foreign ideals. For example, having a limited number of children is alien to some Africans, where as, some couples try to have a fixed number of children. This plays into the concept of social norms. I have heard over and over again how the perfect family is a husband, wife, and 2 ½ children. I do not know what 2 ½ children represent, probably the perfect size, but obviously that is impossible. Togo showed how these families found it very important to fit to the society norm, especially immigrants trying to feel like they are equal in western civilization. This puts a lot of pressure on the women to keep control of her body and have the right amount of children at the right age and raise them in the appropriate age. This then brings up a whole different subject of contraceptives used off and on by the female to control the exact time they want to have a child. However, many of these things are not offered in foreign, especially third world, countries and come at a price.

Togo did not go into the contraceptive issue much, but I felt that it would have been very interesting and would have helped to get her point of view for our group’s reproductive rights project. My friends and I left the lecture talking about everything she touched on for hours and I am sure I will attend another lecture that would appear to be as interesting as this one turned out to be.


On April 16, 2007 I attended an Aurora Center sponsored screening of the movie Speak at the Oak Street Theatre. The event was organized to raise awareness about sexual assault. Sexual assault is any sexual contact (including, but not limited to sexual intercourse) when such contact is achieved without consent; or with the use of force, coercion, deception, or threat. Rape is a form of sexual assault. Sexual assault is a huge issue that needs to be addressed more seriously at the high school and college level. According to the U.S. National Institute of Justice, 1 in 5 college women will be raped or the victim of an attempted rape in college. Contrary to popular belief, men aren't exempt from this form of abuse. Approximately 1 in 6 boys are sexually assaulted/abused before the age of 16.

I found the movie to be very intense. The main character, Melinda, was a high school freshman who was raped at a party the summer prior. The plot followed her first year of high school, having to look her rapist in the eye every single day and not being able to tell anyone about it. In addition to this, she had lost all of her friends and was basically an outcast at school. At the end of the film, she realized that she couldn't run away from what had happened, she stood up for herself against her rapist, and she was able to open up and talk to her mom about it.

Following the screening was a short discussion led by crisis counselors. They started out by asking for reactions to the film. The first man to speak up brought up how the film really "shook him up". The man had been raped 20 or so years earlier and the film brought him back to his own experience. A high school teacher stood up and addressed how angry it made her that the girl had no one to turn to at school except for a friendly art teacher that helped her to open up. The teacher talked about how sick it makes her to think about how some of the warning signs are blatantly obvious at her own school and very rarely is anything done about it. Another audience member to speak up was a young woman who talked about how she had experienced something very much like in the movie and how it had taken her two years until she could tell anyone about what had happened.

This event was incredibly enlightening. Other topics of discussion included how we could help raise awareness about rape and help our friends and family members that have experienced sexual assault. We discussed ways that we could help rape victims to open up and how incredibly important it is for rape victims to be able to tell their stories. After attending this event, I know that we, as a society, need to join together to fight rape because there is power in numbers, and any form of sexual assault is not okay.

Filipino Female Masculinity in Global Shipping

On Monday, 4/16, I attended the Feminist Colloquium which was presented by Kale Batingue Fajardo.

Kale B. Fajardo is a core faculty member in the Department of American Studies and an affiliated faculty member in the Asian American Studies Program. Fajardo completed a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz in spring 2004 and joined the Department of American Studies in the fall of 2005. Fajardo's research interests include Filipino/Filipino American and Asian/Asian American seafaring; port cities (including for example, Manila, Oakland, Acapulco, and New Orleans); masculinities; globalizations; and queer of color cultural productions.
He read his article that will soon be publishsed in the GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. His essay was titled “Transportation: Translating Filipino Female Masculinity In and Through Global Shipping.

I must admit, as an undergrad at this talk, I did not understand some of the terminology or background that was assumed by the speaker. Past that, the essay was very interesting. The essay began with a personal experience while traveling on a ship with five other seamen. He utilizes the term seamen throughout the essay rather than the politically correct term ‘seafarer’ because that is the term used by the seafarers and within the shipping community. We begin by ‘seeing’ the group of seamen sitting around drinking vodka and watching CDVs from cock fights to soft-core porn. The level of community between the Filipino seamen was much higher than other nationalities on the ship. On the Prince, the German seamen would rather sit in their rooms than join the Filipino seamen for some drinking, talking, and CDVs. The main focus was on that of the tomboy within the shipping community. This concept of tomboy within the Philippines is very different than the American idea of tomboy. In discussion after the talk, one of the graduate students asked about the origin of the term tomboy since it was pronounced differently. Even though tomboy is spelled the same as in English, their meanings vary greatly. In the US, being a tomboy is something you grow out of as a teenager or you are just given the identity of ‘butch’ or ‘lesbian.’ Within the shipping community of the Filipinos, the term tomboy is utilized to describe a female masculinity. This is where the term becomes confusing. Many tomboys are either butch lesbians or are women who want to be men. Whether they are transgender or transsexual are included within the idea of tomboy. An interesting part of his voyage, was Fajardo’s identification as a tomboy and the seamen’s reaction. Because Fajardo could enter and maintain the masculine space of the ship, he was included into their community. As a result of this inclusion, the seamen were open to discussing the tomboys that they know or have in their family. The idea of tomboy is accepted within the shipping community and tomboys are viewed as masculine despite their ‘biological sex.’ Although the shipping community allows for the inclusion of tomboys, the Filipino government and normative society does not. Most tomboys are working class or poor and have to work abroad. Some jobs enforce a strict dress code based on biological sex, which would not allow for a tomboy existence. There is little room for their identity. An interesting aspect of those who study the tomboy is their forced identification of lesbian. Most tomboys are uncomfortable with the term lesbian (possibly since they do not identify as woman), yet many studies declare them as such. Tomboys, although they are accepted within the masculine space of the shipping community, they do not identify as man or woman. The same goes for the seamen; they do not use the term lesbian. In the Filipino language, the pronouns are not gender-specific so when a tomboy is being spoken to, there is no difference in speech. What I found most interesting about the essay presented, was how such a male-dominated area can be more open to gender queers than a government or society. I also appreciated the difference between the American vs. Filipino ideas of tomboy and what constitutes masculine.

April 13, 2007

Alanis Morissette "My Humps" video parody

I just saw this and I thought it was really... well I don't know. It is pretty funny and I think it is relevant to what we have been talking about. You should all watch it. You won't be disappointed.

April 12, 2007

Office Of University Women - GREAT INFO

OUW Weekly Bulletin, April 11, 2007

View the details of this bulletin at: http://www1.umn.edu/women/bulletin.html

• REEL Dames Film Series – Mohawk Girls

• Sexual Assault Awareness Month Events – The Aurora Center
• New Directions in Latin American Feminism
• Women and the MBA Event
• Revolutionary Art Thing (RATH) 2007
• Tucker Center 2007 Spring Distinguished Lecture
• Film – Body and Sold

• Film – Border Echoes: The Truth Behind the Juarez Murders
• Women’s Club of Minneapolis – 2007 Diversity/Inclusion Series
• Asian Women & HIV/AIDS: The Looming Crisis
• Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) Meeting
• OutFront Minnesota JustFair Lobby Day
• Play – Journey to Safety
• 17th Annual Young Women's Issue Forum: An African American Perspective

• Scholarships to the US Social Forum

• Education Coordinator – U of M Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
• Director, Diversity & Equity Programs – Duke University

View the details of this bulletin at: http://www1.umn.edu/women/bulletin.html

April 12 - Writers of Color Reading

Carol Connolly Reading Series
Thursday, April 12, 2007
7:00 PM at Patrick's Cabaret
3010 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis

Free and open to the public


TERESA ORTIZ: Soy una poeta, educadora, activista y madre mexicana. Nací en la Ciudad de México, vine por primera vez a Minnesota en los años '70s, y he vivido además en los estados de California y South Dakota, en Guatemala, Centro América, en el norte y en el sur de México. En este lugar, en el estado de Chiapas, trabajé con comunidades indígenas y recopilé testimonios para un libro: "Never Again a World Without Us, Voices of Maya Women in Chiapas, Mexico", EPICA, 2001.

ANA VITE-MELCHOR: I am Mexicana. I am 20 years old and have lived in the United States for 11 years I like to write because I find myself within my poems. My poems say everything and, at times when I feel sad or angry, I breathe through my words. My culture has a strong base in the arts. Its influence has reached my generation from my ancestors to my grandparents.

This Carol Connolly Reading is sponsored in part by Patrick's Cabaret.

April 11, 2007

"Race: Are We So Different?"


I attended the Race Exhibit in St. Paul on February 20th and I found it very interesting. It had many different displays which made it appropriate for many ages. There was a little play area with dolls with different ethnicities for the kids, a locker display created by high school students from St. Paul’s Central High School, and also different displays for adults. A particular part of the exhibit that I found rather intriguing was a mosaic of skin tones that guests to the museum made by taking a picture of there skin and comparing it to the pictures.

I did not know what to expect when going to this exhibit but I was pleasantly surprised. The exhibit covered many issues including biracial couples, statistics for certain races, displays concerning the civil rights movement, etc. The exhibit was RACE: A Story with Three Themes: the science of human variation, the history of race, and race in our culture.
The exhibit shows how “economic interests, power struggles, scientific research, and even popular culture have informed the American understanding of race, and have provided a sturdy framework for discrimination?. Although it was difficult to read, I found the portion explaining the civil rights movement fascinating. I new a lot of this information but it was very effective to have actual signs and artifacts from when this actually happened in our nation’s history. Overall, I was very pleased with this exhibit and I think it is an important for more people to attend this event and learn as much as possible. While this exhibit asserts that race is only an idea, it also acknowledges that race affects everyone!

April 10, 2007

4/12 - Ana Castillo

Thursday, April 12, 2007
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Room Campus Club - West Wing
Coffman Memorial Union
Minneapolis Campus


Poet/novelist/artist/xicanista/public intellectual, Dr. Ana Castillo is one of the most prolific Chicana feminist writers of our time with more than fourteen published books in circulation. She has received an American Book Award, a Carl Sandburg Award, a Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, and has been interviewed on National Public Radio and the History Channel. Dr. Castillo is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in fiction and poetry.

A Reception will follow the reading Sponsored by the Office of Equity and Diversity, Department of Chicano Studies, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, Global Studies, Spanish and Portuguese, American Studies, and the Morton Zabel Fund of the Department of English

Miguel Vargas 19 Scott Hall 612-624-6309 chicstud@umn.edu

Gopher Rapes on Campus

Three University of Minnesota football players were arrested Friday on suspicion of raping an 18-year-old woman, University of Minnesota police said.

Alex Daniels, 20, Keith Massey, 20, and E.J. Jones, 19, were taken into custody after an initial investigation, university officials said. They had not been formally charged as of Friday evening.

READ the full article in the Pioneer Press

Read the Online Petition (and sign, if you desire)

To: University of Minnesota Administration and Board of Regents

Dear University of Minnesota Administrators, Faculty, Staff, and Regents,

We the undersigned are University of Minnesota students and non-student community members, as well as their supporters nationwide. We are also allies in the fight to end sexual and gender violence in our communities. In light of recent sexual assault charges brought against three University of Minnesota football players:

1) We are supportive of all victim-survivors of gender violence, including sexual assault. We recognize that sexual assault can happen to anyone and that both victims and rapists come from all social, economic, cultural, and age groups and can be of any gender identification or sexual orientation. Coming forward about sexual assault is a difficult choice to make, and we support those victim-survivors who seek help as well as those who suffer in silence.

2) We are outraged at media comments stating “support? for the accused players made by football coach Tim Brewster and members of the University of Minnesota Athletic Department. Of the players, University Athletic Director Joel Maturi said, “It's our responsibility to stand by them and their families." We disagree: If the University, which is supported in part by state and federal dollars, signs your paycheck, you have an obligation to remain neutral in the media.

3) We are unwilling to be associated with a University system that permits athletic staff to make media comments that perpetuate rape myths. By repeatedly stating support for the accused players, athletic staff sends the message that while the players are “innocent until proven guilty,? the victim-survivor is somehow guilty until proven innocent.

4) We are dismayed to be associated with a University system that permits undergraduate athletes to make media comments about ongoing investigations, particularly regarding sexual assault. Many survivors of violence fear physical and social repercussions for seeking help and reporting the crime committed against them. When athletes make media comments vowing to unconditionally “support [the accused] because we are brothers,? victims are sent a clear message: If an athlete rapes you, it is your word against the entire team and its fans.

5) We are supportive of the work of the University of Minnesota Police Department and the discretion and standards of the Hennepin County Prosecutor’s Office. Both of these agencies worked diligently to locate the evidence necessary to hold the men in question on charges of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree and to set bail at $100,000 for each man. The severity of charges and the high bail indicate a wealth of evidence in support of the victim. Furthermore, we commend Chief of Campus Police Greg Hestness, who used an interview opportunity with the Minneapolis Star Tribune to remain neutral and professional about the case while debunking several general rape myths.

WE THE UNDERSIGNED demand that the University of Minnesota:

1) Submit to the media a public apology for all statements of support for the accused rapists made by University staff and athletes.

2) Demand 100\% adherence to and enforcement of university policies of media neutrality, particularly in regard to criminal investigations. Coaches, student athletes, and athletic department staff are known and respected across the state and country. As representatives of the entire university, these members have a responsibility to all members of the campus community. Their comments and actions carry weight, and influence public opinion.

3) Scrutinize and work diligently to change the culture among student athletes that permits and normalizes rape. While we don’t blame the football team for the crimes committed by three players, we recognize that there exists among university athletes a culture that normalizes and conceals sexual assault, which is a crime against the state. An appropriate response will include:

*Mandatory annual training for all athletes about the intersection between power and control, sexual assault, and relationship violence.

* Immediate and permanent loss of athletic scholarship for any athlete found guilty by Student Judicial Affairs, or convicted by the state of Minnesota, on charges stemming from a complaint of sexual assault.

* Permanent status of University of Minnesota Athletics ineligibility for any student found guilty by Student Judicial Affairs, or convicted by the state of Minnesota, on charges stemming from a complaint of sexual assault.

4) Recognize that sexual assault is an issue that must be solved by working together as men and women, athletes and non-athletes, administrators, faculty and staff. Continue to appropriate funds for offices already working on this issue, and increase funding for offices providing advocacy and counseling services to victim-survivors affected by these issues.

This is an important opportunity for the University of Minnesota to separate itself from other universities whose reputations have recently been tarnished by inadequate responses to similar crimes. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.


The Undersigned

"Nigger-Brown" sofa

Read the article HERE

April 9, 2007

Call for Essays

Just Like a Girl: A Manifesta!

The latest offering from GirlChild Press is intended to be a rough and tumble, sassy, wickedly clever kick-ass anthology.

Where Growing Up Girl: An Anthology of Voices from Marginalized Spaces was a meditation on the state of girlhood; Just Like a Girl is meant to highlight the clever girls, the funny girls, the girls who don’t ask for permission and take up as much room as they damn well like. She is the girl who knows there is no sin in being born one; and that in spite of all evidence and current belief systems girl/woman does not equal weak.

Said girl doesn’t have to be a super hero, but she has hit a few balls out of the park, cursed out a couple trash talking construction workers, and took a few racist, homophobic, misogynistic folks to task. Ultimately, she knows how to pick herself up and brush herself off.

She’s a feminist. 2nd Wave. 3rd Wave. No Wave.
She’s high maintenance.
She has read the Patriot Act. She understands it.
She recognizes that people’s lives fall apart, but with time and some Elmer’s glue it all works itself out.

She’s an urban girl. A country girl.
She lives in a square state. A blue state. A red state.

She seriously ponders what are the SAT scores of those girls grinding in the music videos. She is the girl in the music video.

She has the perfect plan on how to break up with a boyfriend and how not to lose her cool when her 38 triple D bra snaps in the middle of a cocktail party.
She’s a 25th century girl.
She knows the words to Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly.
She secretly pinches her best friend’s bratty three year old.
She is a cashier at WALMART.
She’s the second chair flute in her 8th grade band.
She marches on Washington
She makes fun of vegans
She has 6,000 friends on myspace.com
She still hides the tattoo that she got at senior beach week from her mother – she’s 42.

She writes for herself. She writes for her sister. She writes for the girls still not born.

Think of Just Like a Girl as a travelogue for the bumpy, powerful, action packed world of girlhood.

Tell a secret.
Reveal a lie
Go tell it on the mountain.
You get the point.
So cast a net and see what the day’s catch brings

Submission Details

Deadline: September 30, 2007

The anthology is open to any subject matter.
Work is especially welcomed from new and emerging writers.
Contributors may submit up to three pieces.
Essays and short stories should be no longer than 3,000 words.
Poems should have the contributor’s name on each page
Sci-fi is encouraged!

Electronic Mail
Send your work to girlchildpress@aol.com
Attachments should be titled with your name and the email subject should be Just Like a Girl.

Snail mail
Michelle Sewell
GirlChild Press
PO Box 93
Hyattsville, MD 20781

Please include a brief bio and a mailing address.

Contributors will receive a copy of the anthology and the opportunity to read at the official Spring 2008 booksigning.

For more information on Michelle Sewell and the press check out www.girlchildpress.com


TR - Adbust


Watch this clip:

JW - Adbust


April 8, 2007

April 27 - Race Talk

Race Is Not a Card: White Privilege, Racism, and the Culture of Denial

A lecture by writer and activist
Tim Wise

Friday, April 27, 2007
7-9 p.m.
Cowles Auditorium,
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
3011-19th Avenue South

Free and open to the public
Wheelchair accessible
Reception and book signing following talk

Tim Wise is among the most respected anti-racist writers and educators in the U.S., having spoken in 48 states and on over 400 college campuses. He has trained teachers as well as corporate, government, media, and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling institutional racism.

Wise has contributed essays to 15 books and is the author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son (Soft Skull Press, 2005) and Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White (Routledge, 2005). He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at the Smith College School of Social Work where he co-taught a master’s-level class on racism in the U.S.


women + energy + expression + hope + community + women + energy +

Are you a woman between the ages of 13 and 23? We don't check IDs.
Do you write, sing, rap, dance, take flicks, make art or want to?

Join the circle of ladies:
Articulating Our Voices
a space of hope, place and possibility

Join us THIS MONDAY, April 9 from 4:30 to 7:30pm

Hope Community Classroom
2023 Portland Ave S
just below Franklin in South Minneapolis
Walk through the brown arch, down the walkway & the clasrroom door is on the left.

We will meet selected Mondays 4:30 to 7:30 in April and May, and will meet weekly June through August.

Group Facilitator:
Plus many AMAZING guest artists!

Contact Rachel at raeone@gmail.com or 612-730-7365 for more info

women + energy + expression + hope + community + women + energy +



AL - Adbust


MN2 - Adbust


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KS - Adbust


TS - Adbust




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"We Are The World"


April 7, 2007

Reel Dames Film Series

On Thursday March 29th, the Office for University Women continued their series of documentaries of and by women with Ferry Tails. This movie was played in Walter Library on the University of Minnesota’s east bank campus. The event was free and a directed discussion was held afterwards with Joanna O’Connell, a professor from the University.

The documentary covers the lives of a diverse group of women in their daily commutes from Staten Island to Manhattan. The entire documentary takes place on the ferry in the women’s restroom (was known in the video as the “Powder room?). The ferry trip is quite short, only lasting about 30 minutes, but in this short time a group of women meet up in the powder room and experience something unusual. The women that meet up in the powder room are from all different backgrounds and social classes. Some are very wealthy while others are not. The women are from all different ethnicities and it seems they have been given a rare opportunity to come together in this tiny little room for 30 minutes a day.

The women all admit that they normally wouldn’t have sought each other out in their daily lives for friendships or companionship but they seem to be the best of friends when on this boat. They gossip, share ideas, argue and connect in many ways. They are support for each other and they all claim that these 30 minutes they get to spend in the powder room is the time they need to get through their day. Many of them are mothers and wives and they say that this is the time when they aren’t fulfilling a role (i.e. Mom, Mrs., Sweetie), but instead they just get to be themselves. This is ironic because the film focuses a ton on the main activity these women do in the powder room, which is putting on makeup. Some of them say, “I am putting on my face for the day?, and it is made clear that you cannot be in the powder room if you don’t have makeup with you. I think it is funny that get to be themselves on this boat, but the whole time they are preparing to present themselves as someone else or for someone else.

After the film, Joanna O’Connell led a discussion about the movie and what the purpose of the film might be. Many topics were discussed, but the one idea that really stuck with me was the unity these women felt together in this tiny little space for this short amount of time. It was very clear to me that some of these women most likely lived for these 30 minutes on the ferry. You could see how happy and fulfilled these women seemed to be in the presence of each other. We discussed how rare an opportunity like this one is in our society. It isn’t everyday or even in every place that a group of people that are extremely diverse encounter each other and get along so well. It was a very interesting dynamic.

What I noticed most about the film was that there was a very specific pecking order in the powder room. Despite class or skin color, there was a sense of seniority to the powder room which seemed to be played out daily. Certain women had special seats in front of the mirror and if one of them came in and you were in her seat you knew to get out. It was like a clique in high school that wasn’t very penetrable, and only certain people seemed to fit in. I thought this was interesting because it seemed that this pecking order ignored the class status and racial status that presents itself most other places in our society. I thought it was interesting that a pecking order was established in this “safe? room where only women could meet. Throughout history men have always dominated women and oppressed women, and not that these women were oppressing each other, but there is something to be said about their behavior in this room. It seems that they were acting out the same types of domination by making rules for being in the room (such as, you must have makeup and this room is not for using the toilets) and forming a hierarchy. But then again, I am not an expert on how groups of women function, and maybe this is the way it is done.

April 6, 2007

4/12 Talk: US-Japan Relations + Immigration/Race Problem

“The Clash between East and West: Pre-war U.S.-Japan Relations in the Context of the Immigration/Race Problem"

Tosh Minohara
Associate Professor, School of Law & Politics
Kobe University, Japan

Thursday, April 12, 2007
3:30-5:00 PM
120 Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 - 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis

Sponsored by the Department of History
Co-sponsored by the Dept. of Asian American Studies,
Dept. of American Studies and the Immigration History Research Center

Free and open to students, faculty, and the public

Questions/directions/disability accommodations/parking options
call the IHRC at 612-625-4800 or visit our Web site at
< www.ihrc.umn.edu>

Thursdays and Fridays: April 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 at 7pm

The Third and Final Chapter:
How Do You Torture a Woman?
20% Theatre Completes One-Woman series
with a visit from Joan of Arc

“So… how do you torture a woman? … Well – you can tie her up on the rack and rip her bones apart from the sockets… Or you can tear apart her mind and her body… Either way, it works out to the same thing: You stop the woman.?

The 20% Theatre Company, Twin Cities, completes its one-woman play series this spring with a visit from Joan of Arc… Or, excuse me, Jeanne Romée, which was the supposed Saint’s real name… Based on the transcripts of Joan of Arc’s 15th century trial, and written by lesbian actress, playwright, and activist, Carolyn Gage, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc gives Joan a highly feminist, often cynical and humorous voice with which to tell her real story to today’s society. Joan was anorexic. She was a teenage runaway. She had an incestuous, alcoholic father. She slept with women and fought for her right to wear men's clothing. She was defiant, irreverent, more clever than her judges, unrepentant, and unfailingly true to her own visions.

Full of conversational wit and gorgeously horrific imagery, the play animates Joan’s capture, imprisonment, trial, and fierydeath through the staging and voice of one single actress: Katie Kaufmann.

When: Thursdays and Fridays: April 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 at 7pm
Where: Bryant Lake Bowl – Minneapolis
Tickets: $12-$16 pay-what-you-can; $10 Fringe Button!
Special 2-for-1 with Code: "Friend of 20%"
Please call (612) 825-8949 or visit www.bryantlakebowl.com for tickets.

For more info, visit www.tctwentypercent.org

April 26 - Voices for the Gaps


Office Of University Women - GREAT INFO



• Sexual Assault Awareness Month Events – The Aurora Center
• New Directions in Latin American Feminism
• Keeping Our Faculties of Color Symposium
• 4th Annual Women’s Health Research Conference – Call for Abstracts
• Women and the MBA Event
• Revolutionary Art Thing (RATH) 2007
• Tucker Center 2007 Spring Distinguished Lecture
• Film – Body and Sold

• Film – Border Echoes: The Truth Behind the Juarez Murders
• Women’s Club of Minneapolis – 2007 Diversity/Inclusion Series
• Asian Women & HIV/AIDS: The Looming Crisis
• Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) Meeting
• OutFront Minnesota JustFair Lobby Day


• Education Coordinator – U of M Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
• Director, Diversity & Equity Programs – Duke University


Opportunites - Summer Fellowships

Midwest Coalition for Human Rights
Summer Fellowships- Summer 2007

Call (612) 626-7947 for more information

Click the extended info for DETAILS:


See the bottom of this email for details on how to apply

Fellowships open to upper level undergraduate, graduate, and law students, and qualified community members. (See each organization’s listing for specific requirement.)

Citizens Alert, Chicago
Coalition to Protect Public Housing, Chicago
Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, Minneapolis
Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, Lincoln
University of Iowa Center for Human Rights / Justice for Our Neighbors, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids


1) Location: Citizens Alert, Chicago, IL (http://www.citizensalert.org/)

Project: Independent Civilian Oversight of Chicago Police

About the Organization: Citizens Alert is Chicago's only police accountability organization working for systemic change in law enforcement agencies and humane, effective law enforcement while advocating for victims of police brutality and misconduct.

Stipend: $3,000
Length of Internship: FT, 8-10 weeks

Potential Duties: The Intern will help with maintaining the momentum generated at the Independent Civilian Oversight of Police in Chicago symposium by assisting in research and strategy aimed at bringing civilian oversight to Chicago.
The intern’s work will include:
• Assisting the three task forces formed at the symposium.
• Doing research and analysis of the civilian oversight programs now existing in about 100 U.S cities, to arrive at a model for Chicago.
• Developing political strategies for oversight reforms
• Strategizing about how to overcome the political barriers to reform provisions in the contract between the City of Chicago and the police officers’ union that might limit true reform.
• Working on behalf of victims of police misconduct, who most often are poor or working class, and usually are people of color.

Qualifications Required:
• Upper-level undergraduate, grad or law student
• Background in legal training preferred
• Ability to speak Spanish is a plus but not necessary

2) Location: Coalition to Protect Public Housing, Chicago, IL (http://www.cpph.org/)

Project: Housing is a Human Right Campaign

About the Organization: The Coalition to Protect Public Housing (CPPH) is an advocacy group of public housing residents, community-based organizations, religious institutions, businesses, and non-profit organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, Community Renewal Society, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and Metropolitan Tenants Organization all working to protect the rights of public housing and to ensure the future of public housing.

Stipend: $3,000
Length of Internship: FT, 8-10 weeks, late May through mid-August preferred.

Potential Duties:
• Outreach to other housing organizations
• Planning and coordinating human rights trainings
• Work with other CPPH staff to facilitate human rights trainings

Qualifications Required:
• Upper-level undergrad
• Strong desire to be part of a team
• Forty hour work week preferred

3) Location: Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, Minneapolis, MN (http://www.mnadvocates.org/)

Project: Shadow Reporting for the Convention Against Racial Discrimination

About the Organization: Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights is dedicated to the promotion and protection of internationally recognized human rights. With the help of more than 600 active volunteers, Minnesota Advocates documents human rights abuses, advocates on behalf of individual victims, educates on human rights issues, and provides training and technical assistance to address and prevent human rights violations.

Stipend: $3,000
Length of Internship: FT, 8-10 weeks

Potential Duties: The U.S is slated to officially report regarding its obligations under the Convention Against Racial Discrimination in 2007. U.S NGO’s are coordinating to draft shadow reports. Minnesota Advocates will be part of this process and draft a portion of the shadow report.
• Intern will maintain communication with other national and regional NGO’s.
• Participate in telephone conferences to strategize and develop a plan of action.
• Conduct research for the report
• Assist in drafting the report

Qualifications Required:
Law student or graduate student

4) Location: Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, Lincoln, NE (http://www.neappleseed.org/)

Project: Meatpacking Worker’s Rights Project

About the Organization: Nebraska Appleseed uses community education, negotiation, research, network building, legislation, and litigation to advance the self-sufficiency of working poor families, integration of immigrant populations, child welfare, low-income people’s access to the legal system and their participation in the democratic process.

Stipend: $3,000
Length of Internship: FT, 8-10 weeks

Potential Duties:
Follow up on last year’s fellow’s work to create a regional meatpacking project helping to expand the Nebraska Meatpacking Workers Bill of Rights to other states.
Work to establish relationships with Human Rights and other academic programs in Nebraska so that students are involved in an ongoing way in the regional meatpacking project
Help to analyze data collected for the first-annual workers’ safety study
Help draft the report for this study

Qualifications Required:
• Undergraduate degree or graduate student preferred
• Ability to speak Spanish is a plus but not required

5) Location: University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) and Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) (http://www.uichr.org/, http://iowa-jfon.org/)

Project: Immigrant Detention Program

About the Organization: UICHR’s objectives are to engage students in experiential learning opportunities promoting human rights, to engage in educational outreach, and to assist other organizations to carry out human rights work related to immigration policy. JFON’s objective is to provide free, high-quality legal services to low-income immigrants.

Stipend: $3,000
Length of Internship: FT, 8-10 weeks

Potential Duties:
• Provide assistance with individual detained cases including follow-up interviews with detainees, doing legal research and potentially drafting briefs and/or legal memos
• Distribute and collect questionnaires to former detainees within the IA-NE AILA network, conduct follow-up interviews, and input data from questionnaires into NIJC database
• Assist with legal orientation presentations, developing, organizing and conducting Know Your Rights presentations with detainees in Linn County and, if possible, Polk County, as well as with community groups in Eastern and Central Iowa.
• Help organization of pro se materials including development of new materials
• Develop training or reference materials on detention matters
• Assist with public education, community and media outreach about detention issues
• Conduct research on detention matter in the Midwest, nationally and internationally.

Qualifications Required:
• First or second year law student preferred
• Upper-level undergraduates or grad students may apply if they have appropriate education or experiences
• Competency in Spanish or other language preferred but not required
• Intern should be able to travel between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids as needed
• Travel to other cities may be required

Application Process
Deadline: April 15, 2007

Please submit the following materials:
• Cover Letter
• Resume
• Short Writing Sample
• Letter of Recommendation

You may submit your application packet electronically to Rochelle Hammer at rhammer@midwesthumanrights.org or via mail:

Coordinator, Midwest Coalition for Human Rights
C/o University of Minnesota
214 Social Sciences
267 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55455

April 12 - 19 "From the Ashes"


WRITTEN BY: Meena Natarajan.
DIRECTED BY: Dipankar Mukherjee.
DATE: April 12-29, 2007 7:30pm (Thursday – Sunday).
LOCATION: Pangea World Theater Studio. FEATURING: Charla Bailey, Katie Herron, Annelize Machado, Alberto Panelli, Kiseung Rhee, Katie Vang, and Ethan Xiong.
PERCUSSION BY: Sara Dejoras.

Committed to celebrating cultural differences and promoting human rights, Pangea brings on stage a wide array of questions that interlace immigration and refugee realities with this play. What does it mean to be an immigrant? What does it mean to yearn for a place that you've never been to? How does that change when something catastrophic happens, when you no longer feel welcome? Featuring Charla Bailey, Katie Herron, Annelize Machado, Alberto Panelli, Kiseung Rhee, Katie Vang and Ethan Xiong, From the Ashes is an aesthetic theater piece that brings to the audience a cast as diverse as newly shaping US demographics. Inspired from Voices of Silence, a report by Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights of the ongoing impact of 9/11 on local refugee and immigrant communities, From the Ashes explores the reality of what it means to be searching for home, for something to believe in, and for causes to live for. Using the immediacy of street theater as the idiom, From the Ashes explores the global question of migration and movement in a multi-lingual, physically charged performance with live music.

Post-performance discussions will be held on Fridays and Saturdays and are co-sponsored by Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights.

For student matinees, please call 612-203- 1088.

April 24 - Asian Women and HIV/AIDS

Asian Women & HIV/AIDS: The Looming Crisis


Dr. Nafis Sadik, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General,
UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific,
and Former Executive Director, UNFPA

Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota
301 19th Avenue South,
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
6:00 PM-7:30 PM
Registration begins at 5:30

$5 for Americans for UNFPA supporters,
MIC Members, Students, and Co-Sponsors

4/11 - Economic & Social Human Rights Panel

The Human Rights Center and the Human Rights Program at the University of Minnesota, and the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights present:

Bringing Economic and Social Human Rights Home
International and Domestic Strategies for Advocacy

Wednesday, April 11, 2007
UMN Law School Room 25

Willie “J.R.? Fleming—Cabrini Green resident and organizer with the Coalition to Protect Public Housing (Chicago)

Cheri Honkala—National Coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (Philadelphia)

Eric Tars—Human Rights Staff Attorney with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (Washington, DC)

Bret Thiele—Coordinator of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Litigation Programme with the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (Geneva)

Moderator: Mayra Gómez—Coordinator of the Housing and Property Restitution Programme with the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (Geneva)

Free lunch will be provided by Holy Land Bakery & Deli!!!

4/13 - 4/14 - New Voices in Native Media

Augsburg - New Voices in Native Media

Friday, April 13 & Saturday April 14: 7 - 10pm - FREE

New Voices in Native Media honors youth and new filmmakers. A special reception opens this two-night mini-film festival; the filmmakers and their families are invited to talk about their films. The juried selection of short films, videos, and animations are shown at local screening rooms around the Twin Cities.


Diva Riot - April 28

Diva Riot Show at Pi
Saturday April 28th
2532- 25th Ave South, Minneapolis
North of Lake Street and South of Franklin Avenue

featuring: Apryl Electra,
Colleen Jameson from Iowa,
Ashley Gold, Randy Dandy, Drag King Andre, Krista from Lilli's Burlesque, third funniest person Lynn Lane,
Breakdancers Frida Paris and B-Girl Monarc,
April Citizen Kane
and special guests.
doors open at 6:30
Show 7-9:30
$7 admission
show will start on time!


After the show, then stay and dance your booty off at Pi with their live DJ until the wee hours!

Tcikets on sale at the Amazon bookstore. If you have a ticket there is no waiting. Go to the front of the line!

Randy Dandy is the King of all Kings and a real crowd pleaser!! You may have seen him at the Bryant Lake Bowl or the Town House or many other venues around town. He is a multi talented perfromer and ladies you will love him!!!!

Local Musician Ashley Gold is like a young Ani Difranco. She flaswlessly mixes kick ass indie girl fire with spoken word. She recently played to a sold out crowd at the Bryant lake Bowl and left the crowd begging for more! You don't want to miss her.

Colleen Jameson brings a heartfelt perfromance all the way from Iowa. Don't miss her while she is here in your own back yard!

Apryl Electra is a perfromer who is on her way up, up, up !! She is going to sky rocket and you can say you saw her when.. don't miss this crowd pleaser.

April Citizen Kane has hosted Funny Dykes for four years and the Diva Riot cabaret for three years. She thinks of the funny women in the cabarets as her "children" and since Lynn Lane won third place in the funniest person in the twin cities competition, April carries around a photo of Lynn in her wallet next to her photos of her cats. April Kane has performed in a one women show at the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater and in P-Town, entitled- Are you butch, or femme, or from New York?

Krista from Lilli's Burlesque is part flapper, part Burlesque Vixen, and part Sultry Showgirl!! She is a showstopper and you don't want to miss her!!

King Andre is one of the most loved Drag Kings in the Twin Cities. Ladies- he is a real crowd pleaser!!

Lynn Lane was voted third funniest person in the Twin Cities!!! She is always a riot!!

Breakdancers Frida Paris and B-Girl Monarc are B-Girl at its best. You may have seen them before with the Rhythm Queens and they always leave the crowd yelling for more!!

April 5, 2007

Challenges for Women of Color in the News Business

SPJ Presents
Challenges for Women of Color in the News Business

Join the Society of Professional Journalists Student Chapter as they host a discussion about the challenges women of color face in the news business.

Featured guests are:
Fox 9 anchor Robyne Robinson
Star Tribune family and parenting reporter Maria Baca

Friday, April 6
11 a.m.-Noon
100 Murphy Hall (Conference Center)

April 2, 2007

ESCAPE by Calvin Klein

The ad that I selected was found when searching through a Cosmopolitan magazine, a magazine that advertises to mostly women through clothing and perfume ads (both are supposedly classified as “being feminine things?) of top fashion designers and perfumes in the industry. This ad that advertises Calvin Klein’s Escape perfume caught my attention immediately. By simply looking at the way the models in the advertisement are positioned, we can already see that women are lesser to the men because her whole body and face are looking up at him and are beneath him. His position symbolizes the power and control men have in society and how they are always at the top; everyone else must please, obey, and even bring him his pleasure. The fact that it is also coincidentally a white man is not surprising either for that very much reflects our inherent racist society.


The beauty standard that society has set hasn’t changed at all over the years – they’ve always been white men and women. But I think now it’s just been more subtle and less obvious to the public eye – almost like subliminal messaging. The emotions that are being elicited in this ad are:

The desire of sexual pleasure - both are naked
Lust - the woman seems like she is reaching up to kiss the man as if she really wants it whereas the man is simply looking down and expecting her to do so
Dependency - this does not show two women or two men doing the same thing because that would be considered blasphemy by society; women must have an other to be with, a partner that will hold her and take care of her

The ad seems to target both men and women. For men, it’s saying that if you buy this perfume, you too will have women at your feet that will fulfill your sexual desires. For women, it’s saying that beautiful men are wearing this perfume and if you should be so lucky as to come across a man who wears it, it will make you feel like a true woman who’s beautiful like the woman in the ad.

This ad is probably an influence and contributing factor to the problem of sexual victimization in society today and needs to be re-examined.

The blondes won't even know what hit them.

I was looking through my younger sister’s Seventeen magazines. I used to have to subscription as well. I never really critically examined the ads or articles in the magazine when I used to read it. I thought I would revisit my past and see what I had so blindly missed. In the newest issue, April 2007, I found one of the most shocking images. It was an ad for Sunsilk Color Boost. The image is of a silhouette of a woman with incredibly large, flowing hair, extremely skinny waist, a plumb bottom, very shapely legs, and high heels that is “refueling? her hair seemingly from a gas tank. Her thin wrist is also adorned with three bracelets; she is apparently not wearing any clothes other than those.

The picture itself is of a brown silhouette of a woman and a brown and dark tan “refueling station?. This picture calls to the brunettes, which is obvious only once your start to read the text at the bottom. I honestly didn’t know what was trying to be portrayed in this horribly misrepresented picture of women. When I looked at this ad first, I just gasped. I had to read the fine print to figure out what was being advertised.

Hair is beauty, obviously. One of the last lines in the fine print reads “those blondes won’t know what hit them?. Here we are, now the women of different hair color battling each other. When I further looked into finding the ad online, I found many of the Sunsilk ads to be at least mildly inappropriate. The blondes and brunettes may take a survey to compete. You may kick a blonde or slap a brunette to gain more points for “your team?. Congratulations Brunettes, you are up by more than 100,000 points!!!

Women must have nice hair. Sunsilk will solve all your problems, all you need to do is pull up to the next gas station. They will insert the pump into your head, and all your hair problems will be solved. Can we women solve our other problems by refueling too??

This advertisement is offensive on many levels and I am not even a brunette, but then again, I am not even going to know what hit me! The blondes are portrayed at little brained and airy when I went into the Brunette ColorBoost site. Blondes evidentally need to learn how to use shampoo, and need a map to find their hair....?

p.s. if you go to the Sunsilk website you can get advice from the hairapy guys.


Dell Spoof Ad

Dell Spoof Ad copy.jpg

ad makes you "guess" what is being sold


i have two older teen vogue magazines in my room and while looking through both of them, i came across two variations of the same ad. the targeted audience is teenagers, hence the "teen" in the title, and typically young girls. the advertisement is for a line of guess fashion, and the prominent figure in this ad is a beautiful caucasian brunette. she is scantily dressed in lacy lingerie, exposing her legs, her butt, and part of her stomach. she represents the image of a pretty doll, sexually objectified as a toy that can be played with and controlled. the male in the ad is fully dressed in everyday clothes. the woman is kneeling while the man is sitting so her body is aligned with his face and hands and she is in his arms. he seems fascinated with her, solely because of her sexually charged looks, and he reeks of the lust that he feels for her at that moment. it looks as if the female is bored, emotionally detached from the situation. she stands aloof while his hands grope and roam her body freely. her detachment expresses her lack of desire or interest in what's going on and she is only acting this way for his pleasure. he is controlling her sexuality and limiting it because she is getting nothing from the situation. this representation of male and female sexual roles reinforces the idea that women are sexual objects whose sole purpose is to please her lover, even when there is no gratification for her. the woman in this ad is extremely beautiful and because the man is enamored with her, it seems that women have to be beautiful in a sexually explicit way in order to catch a man and keep his interest. this ad contributes to various gendered problems toward females. this female is being sexually victimized by the man as she stands there and lets him have his way with her. based on her beauty and her body, this ad presents an image of how a woman should look that young girls should adhere to by societal expectations. her breast is full and her legs are lean, making girls believe the myth of a "perfect body" and that this is the standard for beauty, encouraging cosmetic surgery to achieve this look. it is really hard to say exactly what this ad is selling. it is never explicitly stated, as there are no labels on the clothing. this ad is selling an idea that is hard to live up to in respect to looks and not desirable regarding the way in which women are portrayed.

Axe Body Spray

For my advertising assignment, I looked through a People magazine advertisement from about a half a year ago. I found an advertisement for Axe body spray, which also makes deodorants, shower gel, etc. The ad that I was looking at was for "Essence", and the only picture was a woman looking straight into the camera seductively.

Here's another Axe ad:

This product is definitely aimed at males from their teens to their twenties, and they are basically told that if they buy this product, they can get any woman they want. The ad says that Essence "brings out the sweet, jewelrey buying, 'aw shucks' side of you that girls want" and the '' 'saddle up' side that girls need". This ad assumes that all males buy deodorant solely for the purpose of getting women, and implies that all it takes is a good deodorant to get the woman that they want. It basically says that all women are the same, and if you do certain things, like buy this product, then all women will be all over you. Ads like these are slightly different than ads when I was younger in that they seem to be becoming more and more sex oriented all the time. I guess they have figured out what sells, and there are enough shallow males that fall for it. Axe ads have to be among the dumbest ads I have ever seen.

Cosmopolitan-advertising sex and misogyny for way-too-many years


While it is possible I have an especially sensitive gendered-stomach, searching the Cosmopolitan for ads was a sickening experience. I happen to buy the “Cosmo? once before, for a women-studies assignment on body image I have completed in a Biology of women class, and nothing have improved between the editions. First, even if we strongly believe and have all the scientific evidence women just love pink, too much of a good thing is bad. The ‘Cosmo? suppose to be targeting young women and women adolescences, but it looks like it also ‘winks’ at these women’s partners by its broad display of semi-nude women and its advice to the women to “go easy? on their men.
The ads in the “Cosmo? mostly displayed nude (or semi-nude) women, extremely thin, smooth skinned and wearing pretty heavy makeup (so at least they were wearing something, and I hope this is not too crude of a joke in a Gender Women and Sexuality Studies site).
The women in the ads were mostly white, presumably middle or upper class (if I can judge by the very few clothes on their bodies and by the fact they must have spent hours on their hair, makeup, dresses, etc.) and “sexy?. They were never looked like they were in the middle of doing anything, rushing anywhere, or have any other purpose in their life than looking into the reader eyes with direct look (in big and always perfectly made eyes and eyelashes). Women in the “Cosmo? ads evade the readers’ gazes just if they were playfully trying to look like innocent (and younger) girls who are supposed to be so sexy by their playing of innocence as if they were not aware of their sexy clothes (or bodies) and makeup.

I could not see any specific emotions in the Cosmo ads, unless you call “I am here just for you and always ready for sex? an emotion. The beauty of the “Cosmo? girls is never natural, or neutral, it also well processed images that must require any real woman many hours of work on their makeup, hair and clothes, and possibly also some computer-editing of their pictures. The only things that seem to have changed in the “Cosmo? world in the past decades is its open and clear advertisement of sex; I am not sure if even ten or twenty years ago they would have advertise that many product for intimate apparel, from clothing to perfumes and razors. There is also much more skin and flesh in the ads; if in the past women were (at least supposedly) either innocent or housewives, today they are there for men’s sexual pleasure (and their own), and not much more than that. The articles (if to called this short segments of words in between the ads) in the “Cosmo? were following the same trend as the advertisement; they dealt mostly with “how to be beautiful and sexy for your man?, or alternatively, “how to be patient and accepting of your man and it does not matter whatever he does it is always your fault you have not being passive enough and obeying all his wishes and demands?.
The ads in the ‘Cosmo? were defiantly contributing to any problem spoiled white teenagers and young white women (with expandable income) may have, from eating disorder to sexual victimization, to self-poisoning by way-too-much-makeup, to plastic surgery. In this 310 (!!!) page advertisement book (with few words between ads to be qualified as magazine) there were not less than four full page ads for one company which does any cosmetic surgery or procedure under the sun (since natural women, in whatever way, should not, of course, walk outside in their imperfect condition). I hope this was the absolutely last “Cosmo? I ever had to buy (I still have one other GWSS class in the summer, but I hope that there will be no way to relate the “Cosmo? to feminist film studies), and I would have thrown it to the trash right now, if I would not need to show this (unfortunately popular) piece of misogyny to all of you tomorrow.

Dolce & Gabbana: Fantasy Rape Ad


This Dolce & Gabbana ad is the one you've heard about. It's the ad that the brand was forced to pull from print advertising due to it's extreme risque nature. Looking at it, it's clear to see why an ad of such nature would cause a stir among many people.

Dolce & Gabbana is a brand that is known for it's suggestive advertisements. They frequently show models in overt sexual situations. In the past this has included nods at gay group sex, voyeurism, and other sexual acts. This is an ad they created for their new campaign. It was run in high fashion magazines. Magazines like W, Vogue and Vanity Fair frequently run Dolce & Gabbana ads.

Why is this ad a problem? The ad clearly depicts a scene of rape. There is a group of men surrounded one woman, who is being held to the ground by her wrists. The men, who are in various stages of undress, stand around staring at this woman on the ground in her heels and matching bikini. While the woman seems to be in great peril, her face is passive and seems to be succumbing to the man's power. The people of this ad are all Caucasian and extremely attractive.

What is the effect of beauty in this ad? Is it trying to say that if you’re a pretty woman you have a hope of being gangbang raped by a troop of attractive males with gorgeous bodies? If you are a male, are you supposed to partake in activities such as this when you are poolside with a gorgeous woman? This ad is reinforcing the many gender stereotypes. These include the dominance of men, submissiveness of women, heterosexuality, beauty ideals of each gender and etc.

As a fan of Dolce & Gabbana, when I originally saw this ad I wasn't shocked. I have become immune to their suggestive advertisements. Being an Advertising major I have also become aware of such ads many times over. What does this say about me and other readers of fashion magazines? Most of us are used to many brands trying to push the boundaries in their advertising. These ads are not created to sell the clothes; they are created to sell a lifestyle. Brands like Roberto Cavalli and Versace are two examples of practitioners of sexualized fashion advertising. What does this ad say about the Dolce & Gabbana lifestyle?

I started "reading" the ad, looking at the visuals, the storytelling techniques within and such. The ad is set up to clearly show a rape. There is no way this ad was created without knowing it would cause a problem. Were they trying to suggest a friendly wrestling match? No, they were suggesting rape.

What are the effects of this ad? Nothing, really. The ad was pulled, but a slew of others went up in it's place. Besides appearing on the news around the world, there wasn't much of a damper on the brand. Their target audience is aware of the brand’s advertising. This ad wouldn't stop most of their customers from buying this ad. Many people who were bothered by this ad, and many who are unfamiliar with this brand, would find they don't have an effect on the brand. Do you think frequent buyers of Dolce & Gabbana like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan would stop purchasing their products? Likely not.

bebe accessories


I found this ad in the September 2006 issue of Cosmopolitan. This is only half of the ad it was actually a two page spread. This whole magazine is directed towards women. It is mainly for young adult women Cosmopolitan also has a magazine called Cosmo Girl which is directed towards a younger female audience.

All of the women’s legs in this ad appear to be white women who are pretty young and in shape. None of the women are wearing any real clothing other than tights or high socks and other accessories. The ad is very sexual showing a lot of leg and some of the women’s butt as well. When looking at the ad you don’t really see the accessories being advertised at all most of your focus is directed at the legs of the naked women. This ad is saying that women need to show a lot of leg and wear high heels to be good accessories for men. I think in our time women are encouraged to show a lot more leg than they were in the past. These women all have perfect legs and I am sure a lot of women would not be comfortable showing this much of themselves. The add has a lot of the accessories in it that they are trying to sell but who is really going to wear them in the way with out any other clothes. To me this ad is saying that the women are the accessories and you have to look like this to make a good one.

Advertisements and Their Hidden Messages


I took a look through the March 2007 issue of InStyle Magazine and found a few interesting ads. Some I liked and others I didn't. This magazine is targeted primarily at women and is usually full of beauty and fashion advice. The first ad I looked at fit this genre to the T. It was an ad for DKNY. The ad features what appears to be a cool, chic, sophisticated, city girl. It made me think that buying DKNY merchandise will make you the beautiful, independent woman you've always wanted to be. I really like the ad,actually. The girl in it is young and attractive, but she's dressed more modestly than other models often are. I like that you can see the layout of New York City in the background, too. The ad is selling more than fashion; it's selling a lifestyle. The possibilities for a young woman are endless in such a big city.


One ad I really didn't like or understand was for SONY VAIO computers. The ad is selling sex, not computers. In it, there's a hot pink computer laying on a beach towel next to the ocean. To the direct left of the computer is a discarded swimsuit and a woman's bare legs running into the water. At the bottom of the page is this little slogan, "Thin and light, it goes perfectly with whatever suit you happen to be wearing, or not." I guess I have some confusion as to what a young woman skinnydipping has to do with a computer.


Yet another ad that wasn't advertising what it was supposed to was for OLAY body wash plus Radiance RIbbons. The ad features a completely naked woman with green ribbon surrounding her body and barely concealing the necessary parts. The slogan featured was, "Wrap your skin in a more youthful glow." This ad is selling sex, beauty, and youth. The woman is noticeably very young in the picture and has no need to look younger. Just like society, this ad is telling women that we can't age normally and naturally; old is bad and young is good.

April 1, 2007

"Inspired" silver


I found an add in one of my older cosmopolitan magazines. There were many I felt I could have written about, but one really jumped out at me. There is an add for inspiredsilver.com where the women is naked covered in jewelry. The jewelry is supposed to look like diamonds, but it in bold letters it states "WHO CARES IF THEY'RE NOT REAL?" while the women who is naked has a bigger chest. Immediately this showed the standard that a lot of women feel to be thin with big boobs. This add is targeting both men and women of middle to lower class. The woman is there to draw the men in and the jewelry is supposed to draw the women in. There is sex all over this add, the company is saying you will be beautiful if you look and dress like a celebrity. One of the quotes on the add is "celebrities make them famous, we make them affordable." In the past this add would never have been in a magazine for anyone in the public to flip open and see. You can see that society is so used to sex being everywhere in the media that we do not even notice it anymore. It is such a socialized norm that these ads do not surprise me anymore; I do not even notice them when I am just flipping through this magazine. I absolutely think these kinds of ads contribute to the gendered "problems" of eating disorders. You cannot read a magazine, watch TV, or listen to the radio without someone talking about body size and what is considered to be beautiful.



For this assignment, I found a Skyy Vodka advertisement in my old Cosmopolitan magazine. This magazine is read by women in their late teens and in their twenties and early thirties. This particular ad is a Skyy Vodka ad and is targeted to those 21 and older as they are the one’s who can buy and consume alcohol.

This ad instantly portrays the media influenced ideal of beauty with a thin, white young woman dressed in skimpy clothes and sparkly jewelry. They only show the bottom half of her body, which is typical in many ads these days, and focuses mainly on her legs, as they are the majority of her body uncovered. Obviously, in this ad and many others, they have attractive women in their advertisements because sex sells. While looking at this ad, the lines and shapes immediately stood out to me. There is a fraction of a private plane in the picture and it shows a young woman coming down the stairs holding onto a railing that is shaped in a big arrow. Both the railing and the stairs lead to a bottle of SKYY Vodka along with a glass full ready to be served. Also, the woman’s leg is bend just perfectly to follow the railing and is also pointing to the alcohol. The woman is also extending her arm and reaching out for the alcohol. On the woman’s hand, is a very large ring, which looks like an engagement ring. The alcohol is also being carried by a man, so basically this ad is saying, ‘the beautiful, thin, high class women will be lured in by any man with Skyy Vodka.’ The ad is also implying that attractive women only want material items and look for men with lots of money, and you can capture this look with this Skyy Vodka!

Sexy Death

I found this ad for DeBeer’s jewelry in the February issue of Vogue, most likely targeted towards young adults (possibly 20’s and 30’s). The first thing that caught my eye and made me pause was the void look in the woman’s eye. The model in the picture is set to look as if she were dead, possible strangled with the diamonds strung across her neck, or tied up in them and left to drown (notice the tiny bubbles on the left). As strange and offensive as this image is, it seems to be a popular one in our media. Almost anywhere a person can find an image of the death of a beautiful woman being glorified. For one, it’s a key component of American horror films. Rarely do you see a mainstream horror film that doesn’t depict an unrealistically beautiful woman running in vain for her life, wearing only her black lacy underwear (maybe because she runs faster…?). Those scenes added to advertisements like these send out the repeated message that death and murder are sexy; it glorifies violence against women and possibly contributes to why so many women are victims in America.

Another couple jarring features of this advertisement was the woman’s unmistakable and flawless beauty and the placement of the string across her mouth. The colors and shadows of the woman’s skin and hair all seem to blend perfectly and softly together to make up ideal and perfectly symmetrical features. And her skin is so flawless, it almost looks as if it were made of wax. This makes her both sub-human, since she is not made of flesh and blood like men, and fuels the idea that the way a woman should look is completely unattainable. The placement of her necklace across her mouth also bothers me because it’s as if she is being cut off from what she is saying and silenced. This is also a common feature of advertisements, and builds an unconscious idea that women shouldn’t be talking, and if they must say something, they should let their material objects (such as the diamonds) speak for them.

Hair Busts Out or Boobs Bust Out?

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I starting looking for ads in a Marie Claire magazine and I found a few that I could do an analysis on but that didn’t jump out at me until I saw this one. It is clearly obvious in this ad that the role of women as sexual objects is at play within the ad. The way that the woman is standing does not highlight the “lifted weightless? hair that is advertised, her hair almost blends in with the red background. What is highlighted instead is the “bust? of the woman. The words “Volume Busts Out? are written in bold and seem to point directly at the volume of her bust. The look on the woman’s face shows only sex, with her lips slightly parted and a hungry-type look in her eyes. In the upper left of the ad is a faint picture of what seem to be men taking pictures of the busty woman. This image reinforces the stereotype of women being seen as sexual objects and the idea that beauty is the only way to get male’s attention. Surely if the woman in the ad was larger and wasn’t busting out of her dress but she had beautiful hair, the men wouldn’t be taking her picture. I can see that this ad could potentially contribute to the “problem? of cosmetic surgery because of the emphasis on the woman’s “bust? and “maximum body?. Ads such as these could cause readers to want not only the “Vavoom? hair product, but also the “vavoom? body and bust.

Tequila and a three-some anybody?


While flipping through Stuff magazine, (a magazine targeted to men), I came across an advertisement for Jose Cuervo that caught my eye. The ad is for flavored tequila, Cuervo Citrico and Cuervo Oranjo. Three people are pictured in this ad, two women and one man. The people are depicted as very drunk and happy with giant grins on their faces. The man stands in the center of the two women and has his arms around both, pulling them close in an embrace. One woman looks like she is so drunk she has no idea what is going on and the other looks directly at the man who faces the camera (the viewer). Before even reading the text in the advertisement it seems apparent that this man is the sexual desire of the two women. This implies that Jose Cuervo makes you sexually attractive to women and that consuming the product will get you not one but TWO ladies! The text furthers the sexual innuendo by stating: MOJO NOW COMES FLAVORED. If the image didn't convince you that the ad bears sexual implications, the text most definitely does. This Cuervo ad compares tequila to a man's mojo, and basically states that Jose Cuervo will up your sexual prowess and stamina. Disgusting.

Bondage and Lexus


Watch this clip:

I came across this ad while viewing the "Killing Us Softly" website where Jean Kilbourne surveys the advertising world to critically examine how, why and to what effect corporations and their advertisers use images of girls and women to sell their products. The caption on the ad reads, "Are we the cutting-edge of avant-garde? . . . Well, no. . . . It's sufficiently radical." Now, after looking up the term avant-garde, I was able to explain to myself a little easier what a naked woman wrapped up and a car have to do with each other. I took it as Lexus' new line of cars as being shocking, but not quite as shocking as showing a picture representing bondage in a magazine. I believe this ad targets upper class white women because the car itself is very extravagant and the submissive woman next to it is white. If a guy were tied up, instead of a woman, I think the image would still be very strong mainly because bondage is something that the public views as shocking and it does not matter what the gender is. However, when you think of bondage, it's probably seen just as it is represented in the magazine. I think ads of the past would definitely have a different way of selling a high class car such as this. The issue of using fetishes for selling products is a long way from using famous sports stars or actors as ads have in the past. I think the concept that beauty, or should I say sex, to sell products has not changed, but companies need to out advertise one another to get that little bit of edge on the competition. The 'bit of edge" that I am referring to is the shocking image of bondage in this particular ad. The representation of women as being submissive adds fuel to the fire to the issues surrounding sexual victimization and the treatment of women as objects to be lusted over. Any critical author of today’s ads would be able to compare this with a car ad of the 1970’s and clearly show how much advertisements have changed.

Ripped Body


The advertisement that I am writing about was in a Men's Health magazine. It was for a whey protein dietary supplement from Twinlab. The ad states: What you do with a ripped body is your business. How you get one is ours. Behind the lettering, is a picture of a woman touching a man's chest. She is wearing only a bra and he has his shirt off. Each of them have their heads cut off the top of the picture as in many of the ads from previous posts. The ad speaks volumes about the role of sex in advertising. The woman in the ad is seen as the prize for having a great body. It implies with the heads being cut off, that how your body looks is what will allow you to find love and sex in your life above anything else. The magazine is targeting men, and for this reason, they can get away with ads like this which completely objectify women.

Gay Gang Bang?


When picking an ad for this assignment, I remembered a Dolce & Gabbana ad that I’d seen on one of my favorite blogs, fashionologie.com. The particular image was highlighted because it had been pulled from the ad campaign; the blogger wondered why (since although the image is overtly sexual and violent, most of the ads from the campaign are similar). Most commenters seemed to agree: the ad is pretty offensive. When I searched for more ads from the campaign, the above picture came up. These ads would most likely be found in upscale, high fashion magazines.


In both ads, a person is pictured in a weak, powerless state, while a group of people in power circle around and look as if they are about to force themselves sexually on their victims. The male victim definitely grabs my attention more than the female does- he is, after all, naked. There is an uncomfortable vibe to these pictures, because the subjects are all very sleek and attractive, but the situation is very odd. The instigators look beautiful and wealthy, professional almost (not to mention that they are for the most part fair-skinned). It is harder to tell what the background of the victims are- the naked man is difficult to gauge; for the woman, she is wearing clothes that could suggest that she’s poor or a prostitute (again, it’s pretty hard to tell).

The idea of gang rape is really what gives these photos their tedious edge. Several blog-commenters on Fashionologie have agreed that the female photo is offensive and dangerous, though an argument continues as to whether or not the image can be celebratory of the BDSM movement. The ads really rub me the wrong way, and I find it continually hard to believe that these types of images can still be found in our magazines.

Ad in Cosmo


I found my ad in a Cosmopolitan magazine. Its a Victorias Secret ad. Therefore it is for women, primarily older and devloped women, like women after puberty. Since Victorias Secret is just a womens underware, clothing and beauty store then Gender plays a crucial part in this ad. In this particular ad there is a tall, blonde woman, however, in many ads for VS there are Afrian Americans and women from other parts of the world. In my opinion, I feel as though VS does a very good job of integrating all varities of women. Many women that are in there ads are often small chested as well. Which is surprising for a company that sells millions of dollars in bras annually.

I think that VS ads do contribute to women and eating disorders, plastic surgery and sexual victimization. These women are tiny! And these women look amazing. I think that this ad is very different from what we would have seen in the past. When my mom was growing up Im sure there were not ads of women standing suductivly pulling their underware down and pushing her breasts out! Since this is a store that makes their money off underware I do feel that the ad is ok. I realize that VS could have just layed out underware on a floor and taken a picture of it. But the likelyhood of people actually buying those items is very low. I think seeing a new bra and panties advertised on an actual woman is very effective. I would know. I saw this ad and actually went out and bought it!


For this assignment, I chose to do my analysis on the Sketchers Ad featuring Ashlee Simpson. I got this ad from Life & Style magazine. This magazine main audience ranges from young children to young adults. The reason I chose this ad is because of its content.


After a thorough examination of this ad, I don’t find anything wrong about it. The ad is merely advertising for Sketcher shoes. There are no implications on gender roles or class distinction. Similarly, there is also no trace of women objectification. For instance, the main picture of Ashlee Simpson in the ad is actually a close up of her face. Also, the other small pictures on the side feature her very casual outfits. There is no use of sex schemes in any aspect of the ad at all. Thus, the ad does not contribute to the rising trend of thinness nor it promotes anything but Sketchers shoes and Ashlee Simpson herself. In other words, the beauty being portrayed in this ad is very cute and innocent. Furthermore, the emotions that are being elicited from this ad are very positive and happy. Overall, I think Sketchers does a very good job in advertising for its products. While the ad contains no negative implications toward women or taking advantage of the notion of “sex sells?, it’s still able to promote its products successfully. Through using Ashlee Simpson as its advertisement, and by effectively highlighting how cute and Ashlee looks in wearing Sketchers, the ad is able to tap into its audience’s desire for beauty; therefore, encouraging them to go purchase one.


Sony’s advertisement for the portable Playstation heavily personifies the gaming system, and creates a feud between the black and white colors. Black and white colors are translated into black and white people, warring with one another. This is obviously a rude portrayal of a gaming system in that it delves into the boundaries of race.

To the right, we see a white woman, dressed in all white, looking pretty pissed off; however, there’s more power in her gaze than anger. To the left, we see a lowered black person, having to look up to meet the white woman’s eyes, washed out by the black of the billboard. Furthermore, the black person’s sex is non-descript; the viewer is unable to tell if the character is male or female. Contrastingly, the white woman’s sexuality is outwardly screaming at us: boobs bursting her buttons, and pelvic region highly visible. The black character can be interpreted as impure, or dirty in that the white woman is wearing a glove with the hand she is smushing his/her face with, while the hand that is not in contact with the black character is unsheathed. Outrageous.
In the marketing scheme, there is generally a dual between two products which enforces the idea that one product is better than the other. Here, they dote on the topic of race, enforcing the idea that whites must be better than blacks. This is blatant racism, folks.

Evan Williams Gone Wrong


I chose to write this blog about an ad for a whiskey called Even Williams. The ad is not very good for a couple of reasons; reasons that I never would have even thought about until I started taking this class. As you can see from the ad they’re not helping with how men should view women. From the slogan they're essentially telling you that the women on the left isn't pretty at all really, but later on she becomes beautiful and looks like the women on the right. To me it seems like they’re kind of saying if you don’t have a “beautiful? women like the one on the right just wait it out and hope she does become beautiful, which is horrible. They’re not only stereotyping what beautiful is, but also kind of saying that men shouldn’t accept anything less than beautiful.

I found this ad in a Maxim magazine, so it makes sense that they would do something like this. The slogan also makes sense with what they’re trying to sell, but they used it the worst way possible with the pictures involved with it. Honestly, I think both these women are attractive and just because one woman has almost nothing on and is flaunting her bigger chest and midsection doesn’t make her more beautiful than the other one. It was kind of sad doing this assignment because you actually do see how horrible women are treated in a lot of ads millions of people see everyday.

Playstation and Racism

I browsed Google and searched specifically for Vogue ads. I chose Vogue magazine to search in because I have perused it before and seen many offensive and questionable ads I saw many that could have qualified for this project, however, the most offensive was a Playstation ad I found. sony_whiteiscoming_ad_large.jpg

Here we see the relations between the black and white. Although this ad is selling playstations, the main part of the ad is two women and racism. The only playstation in the ad is in the bottom corner. The ad is targeted at younger males who play video games. It seems as if the ad is saying that white is better than black when it comes to playstations, however, I see a very racist statement since there are two women in the ad, not games. The background of the ad is black which makes the Black woman almost disappear into the background with the white woman sticking out. It seems to be saying that the black woman should simply blend in and not stick out. The ad boldly states that there is no problem with the white woman violating the “other? woman. You don’t really see beauty issues within the ad, but you do see very prominent racism. The white woman has skin bared with cleavage showing as well as her stomach whereas the black woman has a ‘cover-all’ shirt on and this scared look on her face. The white woman is holding on to the black woman and looking angry and imposing as if she is the dominant person or race. The white woman has the permission to be provocative and dominating and the black woman needs to cover up and be submissive. The ad is confirming and reaffirming the normative view of white as beautiful and black should blend into the background and is not seen as beautiful or desirable. I believe that the ad supports the current socialization of racist norms.

Here are some other horrible ads that I found:
*This ad is so voyeuristic...lets buy this lingerie because we can see a woman through a hole almost touching herself!*
*If you buy this perfume, you will have an orgasm!*
*Look, there are two naked men having sex! Now I really want to buy those shoes! Seriously, why would gay sex make women want to buy shoes? And I don't care what anyone says, they are NOT wrestling!*

Slimfast Advertisements in Bridal Magazines



So most people know at least one bride-to-be that goes out and purchases one of the textbook sized bridal magazines full of dresses, rings, flowers, cakes....and ADVERSTISEMENTS. As if it weren't already overwhelming enough to be engaged and planning a wedding, women are swapped with expectations surrounding the big day. Slim fast is a product that has been available for years as a way to help people lose weight. It has been widely advertised the amount of weight it can help you lose, I personally have never felt like slimfast has pushed a super thin image; instead they promote being a healthy comfortable weight and try to provide a nutritional way to do it. In these advertisements I feel like they are drawing away from their positive message by implying it is not okay to be a "bigger bride".

These advertisements are geared towards women and advertise the idea that she needs to be thin on her wedding day. They make it seem like thin equals beautiful and beauty has been. Sure it is a big day of anyone's life but whose to say you need to look completely different for it? Who ever asked you to marry you, already loves you for who you are-not how thin you look in your wedding dress. I have watched a lot of close friends think they need to lose weight for their weddings and realized it added more stress to the whole occasion. In defense to the ad, I know I achieve goals faster if I have a significant date or reason to do it by; however the cake topper women in these ad's are by no means overweight and looked beautiful to me. The ad makes it seem like everyone should lose a few pounds before walking down the aisle.
Initially when I looked at these ads I chuckled and then realized how many people I have seen obsess about their weight before their wedding day especially when they don’t need to. I have never been one to get buy in to advertisements or look to magazines for anything more than mindless reading or amusement. With all the expectations of the ‘ideal’ wedding thrown around by friends, families and the media, it is hard to say that I wouldn’t buy into some of it in the end.

Womanizing advertisements not just in the fashion industry...

I think that most people, at one point in their lives or another, find
certain magazine ads to be sexist, violent, extreme, and uncalled for. When
people think of these types of images, either “clothing? or “perfume? or
“alcohol? ads come to mind, but how often do you think of an ad for chewing
gum or any other little daily luxuries?

I saw this ad and for a few seconds, without seeing the bottom 1/6 of the
page, had no idea what it was trying to sell. Hmm..a vectored, cartoonish
image of a skinny blonde either clasping or unclasping her bra strap,
pictured from behind, standing in front of an open window…To say the least,
it did not exactly catch my attention. Then I see a small image of a pack
of Trident gum next to the text, “A whiter smile gets you noticed. Even if
you don’t want to be.?


Some questions to consider:
What is the first thing you see?
Who is the main subject in the ad?
What is the woman standing in front of the window almost naked suggesting?
-What about the white crescent shape in the dark background?
What general audience is this ad aimed toward?

This ad was found in Seventeen magazine. I know for a fact that not all
readers of this magazine are at least 17 years of age. You can tell by the
way the ad is put together that it is intended for a teenage or young adult
audience. This is why I wanted to point out that not all sexist or violent
ads are solely based on clothing, perfume, or alcohol; because most people
wouldn’t recognize it by just glancing. The woman standing half-naked and
the crescent shape in the background, to me, suggest that someone is
standing outside her window, creeping in on her private self and smiling

It is kind of confusing to me as to which figure is the main subject here.
If you pay close attention to the text, it says “A whiter smile gets you
noticed. Even if you don’t want to be.? Is this referring to the young girl
undressing (or dressing) or is it referring to the creeper outside the
window who doesn’t want the girl to know that he’s peeping in on her? If it
is referring the young girl, does it mean that if you use this gum, guys
will want you? Is it really not about having healthy teeth anymore? Also,
why do the advertisers feel the need to accent one of girls’ greatest fears
of being looked in on while changing? Some may take this ad as, “well if I
chew this gum when I’m alone in my house, will creepy boys notice me and
look in on me??

Considering that this girl is almost completely naked but the image is not
showing anything revealing and she is not posed in a risqué manner, I don’t
think this is really meant to be a “beauty ad?. The girl is, however, thin,
blonde and white. I don’t know how many girls would actually want to be
stalked on through their bedroom window, but some girls find it exciting to
be noticed. I just hope this ad has not influenced any young men or women
to expose themselves or to go stalking people!

But seriously. Why such a vulgar image? It’s creepy to me! The advertisers
could have presented their product in a much more tasteful manner, not
promoting sexuality. Especially for a Trident gum product! Leave that for
the material crap like clothes and perfume!

Big Boobs But No Identity


Sadly, I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of this ad if I weren’t in this class. However, I find this ad for Showtime’s new series “The Tudors? very interesting. The first thing that catches your eye is Jonathan Rhys Meyers sitting in the center with a loose fitting white shirt. Then there are the faceless women surrounding him. There are bound in their corset attire and seem to be worshiping him in a way. Their faces are not seen so the only way you can identify them is by their massive cleavage. (Their necklaces are also pointing to their cleavage which give it even more focus.) One woman is touching herself and another woman is holding the King’s crown so one could argue that they are just being shown as sexual and obedient servants to men. Finally, a large sword is sitting to the right of Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I interpret this symbol as a sign of violence and aggression but it can also be a sexual symbol representing his masculine sexuality.

I found this advertisement in “People Magazine? and the main audience seems to be late teens to early thirties. Beauty is portrayed in this ad as being obedient, big breasted, perfect, and without identity. Gender is clearly represented in this ad: men are masculine and always in the center while women must stand by and watch while being beautiful.