I found a video created by a christian fanatic concerning his and God's view on feminism - it is sin and wickedness. This older, white man speaks about how the feminists, or the right-to-shave prune hearted women, are satan's children, fighting for a pointelss and sinful cause, and were created to serve men. He starts out by saying that when femininsts constantly yelli at men at any oppurtunity and call for a matriarchal structure they are satanic.I was absolutely shocked upon finding this because I have never come across someone as closed minded as this fellow from the UK. His spin on feminism comes from what he KNOWS about Jesus and God's intended creation of a partirachal order of the world. He states that to go against this premium model is to go against God's word. He also states that women were created from men and to serve men. I could not believe that this men had the audacity to first of all draw information upon false stereotypes about feminism and then to also state the women are not equal to men. I honestly cannot believe that there are people this ignorant.
This semester I am also taking a Feminist Debates class and recently we discussed women in sports. We talked about the way women athletes are portrayed in the media and I thought it pertained to this class, but we haven't really covered this topic. According to a 2003 study done by the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 40% of all professional athletes are women, but only 6-8% of media coverage is focused on women athletes. This same study showed that on Sports News and ESPN SportsCenter 96.7% of airtime was dedicated to men's sports. I decided to check out ESPN's website and it seemed to fit this percentage. All of the major "headlines" at the top of the site were about men's sports and every single photograph (even the advertisements) on the site were men. The only mention of women was under the women's basketball link under the "Columns and Features" category near the bottom of site. I believe one reason for this might be that the creators and producers of the sports news programs believe that they have an all or mostly male audience, and are afraid to upset or lose their male viewers by showing too much coverage of women's sports. This creates a cycle; women's sports are not shown in the media so there is not as much interest in them as the highly publicized men's sports. Because of this, producers of sports programs believe there is no interest in women's sports and do not cover it. I jus tthought that this was an interesting aspect of women in the media that we did not cover, but still applies to the class.
Link to ESPN's website: ESPN Site
I got home to my apartment after having dinner with a friend the other night. The first thing my roommate said to me with excitement was "Kelsey, you'll never guess what's on." Since our entire apartment has been in the Christmas spirit recently I was expecting her to tell me Rudolph was on or A Charlie Brown Christmas. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Her and one of my other roommates were glued to the television watching the Victorias Secret Fashion Show. Interested in what it consisted of, I sat and joined them for a bit. I was not surprised by what I saw.
It was basically a show for people to judge the models and compare their own bodies or the bodies of girls they know to what they 'should be' like. The scaling of bodies one could take from this was amazing. As I watched, I listened to my roommates, all straight females, comment on how hot the models were and how they would never be able to look like that but how they wish they could. This is the exact type of show that helps lower self esteem in females. Images like this do nothing but give people ideas of what the 'ideal body type' is like, when in reality, only an extremely small percentage of females have this build or are able to attain it. This was a promotion for what can never be for the majority of women.
I won't deny that I agree they have attractive characteristics, if they didn't they wouldn't have the job they have. However, to really look at them makes them less attractive. I was unaware that being able to see thigh and knee bones clearly was attractive. These women looked so fragile it almost seems unhealthy.
Another thing I found quite fitting was the camera angles used. The angles were all perfect to make the models look their best. They zoomed in on the right body parts at the right time. Their breasts were shown right as they were bouncing in a sexy manner, their hair was shown when it was flowing perfect, and their face was the focus when their smile was seductive. There were als shots where the 'SEXY' sign in the background shared the spotlight with the models. This was used as a label for the women in case viewers were unaware they were already 'sexy,' they were told it as they watched. There were also scenes where it was cut out to read only 'SEX.' And of course, instead of just showing them on stage in their flawless state, they showed them rushing behind the scenes to get ready. This made it known they are real people in case the viewers were questioning.
Now, I don't consider myself a feminist but seriously, anyone that watches this can critique it and see how degrading and wrong it is. I guess I just don't see the point of making this into a television show...
Hey guys! So I'm not sure what category to put this under but a girl one of my classes is doing an art project and could use the help of women. its pretty relevent to our course.
"We are exploring how women relate to their bodies, physically and mentally, in regards to themselves and others around them. We are looking for response to these questions for our multimedia art project and research paper. Your response will remain anonymous and will be used directly in the project, so only answer if you feel comfortable answering. Please use random scrapes of paper (i.e. receipts you find around the house, post its, etc.), writing first the question number and then your response. Don't feel the need to limit your responses: the longer, the better. thank you for your participation."
1. What is your favorite outfit and why?
2. Whit is your favorite body part and why?
3. What is your least favorite and why?
4. What word would you use to describe your body?
5. What shoae would you use to describe your body?
6. What are your motivations for exercise?
7. When do you feel sexiest?
8. When do you feel most confident?
9. What is a ritual you perform to make yourself feel better or to pamper yourself?
10. What is the worst insult you've ever received about your body?
11. What is the best compliment you've ever received about your body?
12. What do you find sexy in a woman (in viewing others)?
13. What do you find beautiful in a woman (in viewing others)?
14. Whatt do you find beautiful in yourself?
15. How do you think others view your body?
16. What is the most drastic physical change your body has gone through and how has that affected you?
17. Was there a significant moment in time where your attitude about your body changed? If so, please describe.
18. Please finish this statement: A woman's body is...
well if you guys want to respond to them they would really appreciate it. I believe they are taking the answers and making a quilt or something, and whatever you write on will be sown into the quilt. kind of cool! send your responses to:
Salm & Strange
2113 Como Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108
thanks guys! i just thought it was a cool project and that it would be fun to type all of that up! :)
So feminism you say? Quite the hot topic with many people--identity markers always cause debate. That tag basically means to me that the person--male or female--thinks that gender inequalities must change. Women have been historically oppressed through a male patriarchical system. I can agree with that--but I think great strides and changes have been made say between the begining of the 20th century and today. But what do I know? According to Paulo Freire in "Pedagogy of the Oppressed," I will never know until I am oppressed. And through this I will never be able to truly enact change--I'll only be in false solidarity with my oppressed sisters.
So where does that leave the ol' fraternity of white heterosexual males eh? Or as I'll call it from now on--WHiM's.
If we can't fix it--then it's up to the oppressed to open eyes and become the change they truly want. Now enter feminist filmmakers...their creation of a new way to use a medium that has been established for nearly a century is a great start. A film that reverses the gaze, whether or not the director considers him or herself feminist, is a feminist film. Feminism is just a tag. You could call them Neo-filmists for all I care. Words will carry meaning and with time they always change.
A caution to all aspiring feminists out there--don't be a Mulvey. You don't win people over telling them that men endeavor to find the penis in women and that men think women are out to castrate them. Freud can take a hike on that one too. Pardon my English, but those ideas are a load of crap and I think that most people would tend to agree with me.
Also, men aren't meeting together in secret rooms to plot how to keep women down, "Oh man. Guys seriously if women find out about this heterosexual patriarchy thing--we're screwed. Let's keep 'em in the home." It's just the way society has developed. Maybe I grew up in a open minded home, maybe the fact that I have three sisters and no brother affects my denouncement of the ideas that basically call white heterosexual men the bane of our existance. But it's time to recognize that it's not a war. War denotes violence and violence begets violence. Education is the only way to change ideas and education first and foremost starts in the home. So start now--well maybe not your family, but your ideas of how society should be. Then when you have a family, teach them and show them how to act and think in society.
Oh and if you want a read that may get your blood boiling or reinforce your beliefs, check this essay out--
"What's Wrong with Women's Lib" by Phyllis Schlafly
I realize there are a TON of websites like this out there, but I thought it was pretty funny the fact that I came across it as I was searching for a chorizo recipe for my dad. Instead of getting pages like cook.com, I was given this http://www.sofeminine.co.uk/m/beauty/make-up.html The recipe looked nothing like what I was looking for but out of curiousity, I decided to click on it. To my surprise, the women were all air brushed (even the every day women featured on the site!), the recipes I looked at were all about being healthy (which I am all for, but these seemed for the wrong reasons...like compensation for watching TV and eating at the same time!). After browsing the sight a bit-mostly the beauty section and a little gossip, I noticed they had a blog section. I started reading around and found things to be pretty typical. One blog really stood out to me though, a woman wrote about her dieting. Title "In My Head-Striving for Perfection" I instantly got curious. She only had two postings but they both surprised me. The first explained how she is dieting to reach size 14 by New Years starting at a size 16/18. This sounds reasonable but the way she is going about it makes her sound desperate. She limits herself to one meal a day between 4 and 6 pm and water the rest of the day. I hope she doesn't shorten herself of necessary calories or nutrients just to reach a "socially accepted" clothing size. I don't know, I guess after class today and discussing "Real Life" television and the people portrayed in these shows, I found it amusing coming across this web site the way I did and how they give beauty tips and lifestyle tips to reach something that is completely constructed. Hopefully women realize that the images shown with "perfect complexions" are not real. I think it is great that there is advice to assist women in need, but is it really necessary to show an example of something that is not possible?
Since I have started this class and thanks to Bell Hooks, I have been watching everything that is on TV with criticism and a much more open view. This morning I was watching the weather channel and there was right on national TV the most obvious sign of sexism: Joe Cantori was interviewing a family that survived a deadly tonado in North Carolina last night and blatantly asked questions to the "head of the household", the husband. Not even once did he address the question to the wife! I was outraged because here he was asking how scared they were and how did their kids feel but not once, did he ask the wife how she felt during this terrifying time. Just wanted to share that there is the simplest forms of sexism that happen every day even here, in US.
First of all, what we saw in this documentary about Juarez and the treatment of women there was a cry for help. That was a way for Portillo to expose the injustice that is going on there. We saw the worst kind of misogyny that was exercised not only by men but even some women of Juarez. I felt that the overall opinion of the government was that these women deserved it. Not only were they subjected to horrible torture, but now their families had to defend them which showed the value of a woman doesn't amount to much there. The government made it look as though the girls/women were "bad" because they were out at night and did questionable things. On top of that, there was an overall understanding that if you were to come out and say anything, you could be in trouble. We see that when one man said that he didn't question anything or anybody when he found a body of a girl because he didn't want problems. The same happens when Suly, the investigator, basically implies that she is scared to do justice in one of the interviews. And, finally, in the treatment of Maria, the woman that came forward with the allegations of police being involved. Most importantly, I don't understand how the people that run the maquiladoras can just turn the other way and ignore this issue of severe injustice against women.
I feel that Portillo chose a certain way of telling this story, mostly through symbolism: shoes - representing the only way the relatives could identify a body; hands - when the relatives of the missing and murdered women decided to rise up and take this issue and the investigation into their own hands; and the close-up of the faces. I think the close up shots of the faces of these women was to familiarize us with their story. To let us know that they are humans first of all and highly devalued women.
Lastly, I felt that there should have been something said about the men of Juarez. Did they work at the same maquiladoras? Maybe they could have organized escort services for the women working early and late
I just wanted to share with you guys a interesting thing that happened to me yesterday... After class yesterday I met up with some people from my church to do what we call theology on Tap. We meet at a bar and basically talk about our faith, weird I know but thats what we do. So at the meeting I was talking to a man from another church that participates and he mentioned that he was recently down in Mexico doing some mission work. I probbed and asked where? He said he had been in Juarez. I stopped and being me went off about how I had just earlier in the day seen a really intense film about missing girls/women in Juarez and how big of a problem it was in their community. He looked at me like I was crazy and asked if we could possibly be talking about different Juarez, Mexico's. He said he had heard nothing like that while he was there, and was sure that he would have in his month long stay. It really made me think about the politics of the film, and whats truly being done to help the situation and protect the women of Juarez. Why do outsiders not hear about these things, espeially after being there for a whole month? He also told me that he spoke Spanish. I could believe that in he had heard nothing about this tragedy. It was just an eye opener to me that films really can bring awareness to subjects that may not otherwise have gotten exposure. It was just ironic that the two times in my life I have been exposed to Juarez they were in the same day and on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. I passed my new knowledge on to him, and encouraged him to maybe do a little research or watch the film before heading back down there next time. Thats it, just thought I would share.
In class yesterday we discussed the relationship between The Piano and the Bluebeard story. I just want to clear up some info on the story. In class the story was summarized, however someone asked if Bluebeard kills his wife after she gives him the bloody key (in some versions its a bloody egg) I know the answer given was that yes she does die, but that is incorrect. Of course it is impossible to know how the story was told originally in the oral tradition, however in the original literary versions, the young wife does not die. The text by Charles Perault is generally accepted as the original. The Brothers Grimm also wrote a version and they were familiar with the Perrault text. In neither of these is the young woman murdered. Her brothers come to rescue her and they kill Bluebeard. What exactly this does for our analysis of the Piano, I’m not sure, but it is a key portion of the story. I just wanted to clear that up. Its a fascinating story, the Perrault version is very good, and Its very aplicable to feminist theory actually. Its super short so if you are interested I would definately read it. However, I do think that if Jane Campion was trying to use the Piano as a way of retelling of the story, she really missed Perrault's original intent for the message.