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The film Miss Representation, deals mainly with, the fact that media is the main source for information today, which teaches and shapes everyone's outlook on life. The documentary spends a great deal of time explaining how women are perceived in the media, how it makes women feel, why women are objectified, and how it effects their confidence with being a strong, confident women. Powerful women such as Katie Couric, Condoleezza Rice and Dana Perino, just to name a few, are featured in the film. These women put a great of emphasize on being a powerful women and explain how hard that may be in our current society due to all of negative media out there.
Women in this society do not have enough power and say in political and media decisions, which creates an unequal playing field for men and women. I choose this documentary solely for the reason that; I am a huge believer in being a strong, confident woman that takes charge in any situation to make things happen! Half of the women in the documentary stated that if we had more women in boards across the nations we wouldn't have such huge issues like poverty, violence and be in an economic crisis because we have a different view of thinking and can multi-task. The most interesting part of the film was when they explained that most of the media conglomerates don't have many to any women serving on their board. No wonder, women are being shown as prizes in media, it's all because that's what the men on these boards want to see!
By providing a documentary such as this out to the public, it makes the citizens that use media heavily to stop and think for a second about not only about women in the media but other stereotypes as well. I think that the filmmakers put together a great visual representation of all different aspects women face due to the media images portrayed about them. They covered eating disorders, advertising of women, how the women react and what needs to be done in this time of crisis. Being a girl myself, you've always going to have someone that criticize you for your looks, but it's what you do with it, that makes all the difference. I have dealt with friends that have gone through eating disorders and it is something that should not be taken lightly. With that said, I fully agree with the message that the filmmakers have portrayed and they do a great job doing it.
The issues we face with objectifying women in the media cannot be changed over night and at this rate we won't have change for over another five hundred years. In the mean time we have must take action and put matters into our own hands to help decrease the amount of negative media coverage about women otherwise we will never see change. Challenging media conglomerates and trying to get more women on their boards we can show them that women are more than just a pretty face and are capable of managing and performing jobs just as well as men. Schools could create a media literacy course, that educate media users how to be effective viewers.
We have a long way to come with women in the media and their power struggles in this country, but by educating young women at a young age that being happy with yourself, is the best beauty a girl can have, not judging other women or people due to their looks and by challenging media conglomerates, we have a great start to a world filled with strong, confident and powerful women.

Blog #3 - Human Mate Selection

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For my third blog assignment, the artefact that I chose came to me sort of by happenstance. One of my favorite YouTube channels is called the Vlogbrothers and it is two brothers, John and Hank Green, who put out two videos every week about anything they want to talk about. Often it is them ranting about various topics that are important to them and the video that Hank Green posted this week was a very good argument about self-image. His video was titled "What Boys Look For in Girls." The title of the video is slightly misleading which I believe he did on purpose. Hank clearly states the main point of his argument which is that "There is very little objectivity when it comes to human mate selection. We're crazy. We don't make sense." He supports his argument in the beginning of the video through logos by listing off all the different types of things women do to make them appear more attractive to men all throughout the world. This list supports his argument because every example he lists off is unlike any of the others proving that there is no order or common theme to what makes women appear more attractive. One point that he brought up that I completely agree with is that in the United States and more westernized countries, women wear make-up to look more attractive. However, men do not. The fact of the matter is that men without make-up are not more attractive than women without make-up. The problem is that our society is led to believe this. I think the argument that Hank Green made is one that needs to be repeated more. I also find that this message is almost more credible coming from a man. Not that a woman saying the same things is not credible, but this video is proof that there are men out there that also believe that beauty is more than just appearance. I hope to see more videos and articles like this one from men in the future. It is important that women know that they are more than just something beautiful to impress the opposite sex.

Why is it hard for women to break out of the habit of trying to look pretty/sexy for men?

What type of action could be done to help women realize they have more than just looks?


Response to Sex and Marriage

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I'm a little confused by the article. It appears that she and her husband did not have sex for a year because she had complications with how her pregnancy affected her and how their first child affected their lives. It also appears that she is concerned that people will assume that her marriage is failing because she and her husband did not have sex for a year...because of the birth of her child (which would be understandable). Ultimately I'm not quite sure what her point is but I think it gets lost in her discussion about her specific experience with marriage and sex and having children. I think the author get's a little too caught up in her own experience and fails to address her argument fully. I think relationships and procreation are much too complicated to sum up in any one article. I also think that every relationship is unique and if not having sex for a year helped her and her husband to love each other more, than more power to them. However that doesn't mean it's the right thing for everyone to do.As for your question I think there are plenty of other things to take into consideration besides love, when creating another human being. I think a lot of people tend to get sucked into the romanticized version of what having a child is. Creating a child is creating a life that will have it's own experience and own impact on the world, all of this is essentially molded by the parents. Parents should take into consideration their financial ability to support a child, their stage in life (ie age as a risk factor), and their intentions as a parent, etc. I think people don't quite understand the magnitude of what it means to have a child. Having a child means that you are in charge of someone else's life and how it could potentially turn out. I truly believe that a child's capability is 100% impacted by their parents. Parents ultimately get to decide what their child is and isn't exposed to, how their child should or should not act etc. Parents should realize that love isn't going to make your child the best version of themselves. Parenting is perhaps the most difficult and important job in the world, people need to treat it that way not just chalk it up to love.

response to Star Tribune article

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I think there is a bit more to take into consideration than just which city has the power to choose what. Maybe the dollar amount is a consideration, maybe the freight lines being moved would be cheaper than how the route would be without that. I personally think that it would be most detrimental to Hopkins tax payers in juxtaposition to Minneapolis. We covered situations like this in class. It is the better of two bad options. What I mean by this is what is the best scenario for the most people. The light rails have been something the twin cities has been looking forward to but these repercussions have been looked over in the process. Of course the greater population of Minneapolis over Hopkins will most likely take precedence.

Respons to organic food

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Tyler Brage
Blog response #2

Response to organic food- Improved nutritional benefit

First, I agree with you that organic food is likely the best option for consumption, but it is just not feasible for college students to eat these types of food. I have walked into organic Co-ops and the prices often times nearly double typical grocery store prices. There is not enough evidence to prove that genetically modified food has done and major harm to us as people, and thus far it is mostly speculation that it may be bad for us. Is it lower in nutritional value, yes absolutely, but there is no way to convince moderately interested Americans to switch to a food that costs significantly more. For organic food to really have an impact, the industry must find a way to reduce costs and better compete with typical grocery store prices. Until then, I will buy what I can locally and the rest of my purchases will be made non-organic to keep the extra money in my pocket.

In response to "keeping animals in captivity"

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I understand that it is important for children as well as adults to be able to see animals up close and personally, but I think zoo's and other exhibits (such as SeaWorld) is the wrong way for this to be done. We go to zoo's under the impression that we are going to see wild animals in their natural habitat, but there is nothing natural about a zoo. Yes, there are man made ponds and trees and caves so that the animals feel as though they are truly in their natural habitat, but there is not one thing natural about any of it and I believe that it is wrong to do this. There is a reason for these animals to be out in the wild. Taking them from the wild disrupts the food chain and the evolvement of many different species in their natural spaces. As you said, you don't agree with taking already wild animals into captivity, but you stated that some animals are bred into zoo's and other unnatural spaces and that this should be okay. I personally don't agree. Think about how the mother's and father's of those animals who are born into captivity got there. They were most likely captured and put into a closed space, which means that technically, no wild animal is ever truly bred into captivity... Taking animals from their natural habitat seems so wrong to me in so many ways, as well as the breeding of animals into a secure space where they lounge around all day with many human eyes on them at all times throughout the day. There is nothing natural about this... even if the animals are being treated well, this is still a very cruel thing to do in my opinion.

Is it always wrong to have animals in captivity?


Recently, it has probably come to your attention that there is growing controversy surrounding the treatment, or mistreatment, of Orca whales in captivity. A lot of the more recent fuel has been added to the fire by the documentary entitled 'Blackfish', which I am sure many of you have seen. The film follows the life of one Orca in particular, Tilikum. Throughout the film, there is a narrative that indicates an upward trend in the animal's aggression in relation to its environment and mistreatment in captivity. It seems that one of the main messages that the makers of the film want to instill in their viewers is that SeaWorld, and the like, are inherently bad and that we should discontinue our patronage and bring an end to an era where whales can be found in captivity.
Personally, I don't exactly agree with that claim. I certainly do not wish to continue exposing these animals to potentially harmful environments that put them or others in danger. However, I don't think that simply because an animal is in captivity that it is wrong. Taking an animal from the wild is one think but I think that animals bred in captivity, or being rehabilitated after being rescued is another.
In addition to this, I think that the documentary leaves out an important perspective. I tend to see this issue as a sort of 'ends justify the means' type of situation. I think that it is so important to maintain zoos and aquariums. Yes, the captive animals may be limited to a different quality of life than those in the wild but I think that so much is gained from their existence. There is a certain invaluable passion for animals that is instilled in every child that visits a zoo or aquarium and sees these creatures up close. I think that if we were to remove that opportunity to see animals more accessibly than going out into the wild, there would be an irreparable loss in the general care of the public for animals.
While I do not agree with all of the points made in 'Blackfish', I do acknowledge the fact that there are ethical issues at play when dealing with animals for entertainment. I hope that the future holds some insight to a way to find a balance.

~ Do you feel that the presentation of the claims made in 'Blackfish' were too radical?
~ What sort of call to action do you see fit to help animals in captivity?

Organic food - Improved nutritional benefits

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For my second blog post, I decided to choose a topic I feel is important and one that I have a vested interest in, which is nutrition. I chose to analyze an article I found online on Natural News titled "Yet another reason to go organic - Research verifies it really is more nutritious". In this article, the author makes a clear argument; that organic crops are more nutritious than conventionally grown crops. More importantly, the article argues that although organic crops have been proven to be safe, it is often overlooked that these crops are also more nutritious.
According to the author, "In the battle between conventional versus organic, research has shown the latter to be the victor with higher levels of vitamins and minerals as well as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fats." Although it may be obvious that organic crops are more nutritious than crops grown with pesticides, the article mentions that many conventional farmers argue the opposite. Another subtle argument that this article poses is one that I was unaware of before reading this. The author conveys that the lack of nutrition for conventionally grown crops is often overlooked and shrouded by the dangers of its pesticides instead, and I would have to agree with this. I have done research and read many articles on the dangers of GMO's and pesticides and how organic farming is a better and safer solution. Yet I have never read about how organic farming also produces crops that have a higher nutrition profile.
The last half of the article focuses on a study done with goats on the chemical composition of milk. The author explains, "According to the study, organic milk has a greater nutritional value (due to its fatty acid profile) compared to conventional milk when "produced under the farming conditions practiced in Greece."" The author argues that the reason for this difference in composition is attributed to the different feeding practices of the organic and conventional variables of the goats. The same study was also done on cows and the results were conclusive that organic cow milk had a higher level of CLA, mainly due to diet. I agree with the author's statement that the diet of the animal plays the biggest role in its nutrition profile. With my knowledge of the subject in mention, I have completely changed my own diet. I only consume red meat that is raised on a grass only diet as well as milk and butter, and I truly recognize a noticeable difference in the way my body processes this food and how I feel from it afterwards.
I believe everyone should choose organic options over conventional due to the higher amount of nutrition you receive, and by the fact it is free of chemicals which have been proven to cause many diseases. This article provides beneficial studies that prove these assumptions to be true and should not be taken lightly. Since many people are still unaware as to the benefits of organic farming, my question to the reader is, "What arguments would you make to yourself as why you would choose conventional over organic?"

Colbert Report: #CancelColbert

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Who can argue with the charming and charismatic Stephen Colbert? I personally don't believe anyone is very successful in doing so, however plenty of people this last weekend took a big aim at him...

Last Thursday (March 28th, 2014) Stephen's "Colbert Report" twitter account tweeted this during/before his show, "I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever."

The Argument Stephen is making, or seems to be making, is that people are sensualizing the situation. Stephen uses mainly logos, and pathos in his news program and typically uses ethos only in the way he presents his information and typically mocks others because of their ethos. For example, Michelle Malkin ( a fellow conservative ) apparently "co-signed" the cancelling of colbert in which Colbert rebutes with a quip about him learning his everything he knows about sensitivity from her book, In Defense of Internment: A case for "racial profiling" in WW2, and the War on Terror. which is a typical, and I think, effective tactic against discrediting those who are attacking him or his integrity. Essentially it devalues or invalidates their argument by taking away the seriousness of the issue.

First, This was taken out of context if you don't regularly watch the Colbert Report, and Secondly, It wasn't even Stephen who tweeted this, as it is not a Twitter account handled or operated by him.

As mentioned before, Stephen uses a strong sense of pathos to establish a sense of light-heartedness about the topics his talks about on his show. His logical argument is that it wasn't him who posted that tweet, and he even went on to make a joke about how could the limiting 140 characters lead to a miscommunication of sorts. For better context, the joke itself was made when Stephen was criticizing Dan Snyder's foundation; "The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation" which some believe is a ploy to win over Native Americans, and Stephen wanted bring attention to that by starting his own foundation which is suppose to be insensitive in the sense that he is actively mocking that foundation, and attempting to show his viewers that he's not actually serious about his so called long standing character "Ching-Chong Ding-Dong"

I personally don't resonate with those who feel the insensitivity of this, however I understand that being a white male in today's society hold some sort of connotation that I'm not racially attacked, and what not. Personally, I could stand to hear more racial talks about being white in today's society because it has being getting to a point that "white pride" is entirely seen as racially aimed, and that things like "black pride", "asian pride", and "latin pride" are positive ideas.

I have not forgot about inequality that occurred here in this great nation, however I think it's time that if everyone is at an equal plane, then this so-called double standard needs to die with the rest of racism.

Children's Toys and Gender Neutrality


In today's society we like to think that gender doesn't matter and that everyone is created equal and therefore given equal opportunities. However gender is still an issue, specifically the way gender roles influence us. From the moment we enter this world we are associated with being one way or another. If we are born a boy we are associated with the color blue and if we are born a girl we are associated with the color pink. Now these may just be ways to sort the newborns in the nursery however I think they mean much more. In my opinion gender roles and or what we associate our gender with can be extremely limiting.

According to an article on CNN.com titled When Kids Play Across Gender Lines, children's toys are a huge infulence on how we behave. The articles main arguments are that gender roles make our society closed minded, that gender designated toys tell children which gender role they should fill, and that if toy stores were made gender neutral children would not be limited by how gender is limited by society.

The first argument presented in the article is that gender roles create strict guidelines for which each gender should follow, this creates a problem for those children who do not follow the norm. The article gives a couple examples of how children's live have been affected by this, specifically by bullying caused by this. I think the article does a good job giving examples and explaining why creating such rigid traditional gender roles is a problem. The article also gives examples on how we can prevent bullying due to gender roles. It suggests that parents should be less traditional in choosing what gender role their child should follow.

The second argument; that gender designated toys tell children which gender role they should fill, is strongly supported. The article says that if you walk into a Target store and go to the toy section you will notice a difference between the toys for boys and girls. The boys isle is darkly colored and consists of toys that offer boys destruction, tools, science and toys that are mentally stimulating. In contrast the girls isle is brightly colored and full of toys that focus on physical beauty, homemaking and playing quietly and calmly. The article supports this by relating the girls toys to the bullying argument, in that since the girls toys are so focused on beauty they are more prone to being bullied for not meeting society's idea of beauty.

The third argument, that stores should be gender neutral, the article states that if toy stores were more gender neutral children would not be so limited in expressing themselves. According to the article gender designated toys tell children what is normal for their gender to be interested in. This creates an issue because if a girl, lets say, is interested in building things with "boys" tools she might be bullied and then lose interest. This limits a child's expression and will have an impact on what they believe they are capable of in the future.

Overall I felt this article brought up some really good points and did a good job of creating a credible and persuasive argument for why children's toys should be more gender neutral.

Do you think we should focus on gender neutrality as a society?

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  • musia005: I personally don't think the responsibility relies on the toy read more
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  • soren697: I don't feel as though the claims in Blackfish are read more
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