Final Project: Women in the Military

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For my Final Project, I made a Prezi about Women in the Military. I found a lot of information on the topic and I found this topic to be very interesting. Women in the military have dealt with a lot, and just getting to be admitted into the military was a long and hard process. The women in the military face a lot of similar problems that women outside the military also face, such as sexual assault. There has been recent coverage on the issue on shows such as The Katie Couric Show, and I have attached a link to the website where the video is found. Hope you enjoy it!


Sex & Gender on Pinterest

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The material that we covered in class, from readings to class discussions, have become more real to me as a result of conducting my final project on Pinterest. Not only was I able to relate my pins to concepts and thoughts that we read, and spoke about, but it became apparent to me that these issues are recognized by the masses.

I chose to do my project on Pinterest because it is a such a liberal website, equipped with exorbitant amounts of information on any topic you could be interested in. As I had mentioned in class, my thoughts about a Pinterest semester project had stemmed from my personal usage of the website. Since I do not utilize social networking, I decided that it was necessary for me to have some type of media outlet in order to express myself. Before I had transferred colleges, I was a Social Work major. So, naturally, my personal Pinterest consisted greatly of social justice images, novels, and works regarding individuals and society. I soon came across some very powerful, feminist voices on Pinterest. This surprised me, because it seems that social media tends to focus on, what they call "first world problems," where people simply post statuses and tweets about their lives, without going above and beyond to understand and empathize with the plight of others. Viewing the Pinterest boards that related to sex and gender sparked a fire in my brain, encouraging me to use Pinterest as the main platform of this final project.

As I worked on this project, (luckily, Pinterest is smartphone friendly, so of course I was always pinning and commenting) I did notice that a majority of pins that related to my designated boards, were pinned by women. Out of the select few people that I followed for my material, one of them was male, and the others were females. (That is to say, my perception of these pinners was that they were male and female, excuse my generalization of gender expression) At one point, I did sift through feminist boards in hopes of finding some men who pinned on behalf of women. However, the fact that Pinterest is a female dominated website, as discussed in class, I was unable to find many male feminists.

My favorite boards, out of all five, are Feminist Musings and Media Portrayal. I commented on nearly every single pin, relating them to material or viewpoints that were addressed in class. Although each board is extremely informative, implemented by videos, images, links to outside websites, and my own comments, these two boards effectively depict sex and gender as it is perceived by society.

After doing this project, it is safe to say that I have not only learned new things, but have been able to apply our classroom education, outside of Hunter.

Sex & Gender on Pinterest

Violence in Society.

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When we see the word violence, we always think of women being the victims. We automatically assume that men are perpetrators. Throughout my research of violence against men, I discovered that women can be perpetrators too. Women are as likely to initiate violence against men. Statistics show that every fifteen seconds men are battered. This statistic is also the same for women. About 1/4 of domestic violence involves men that do not hit women back. These statistics are scary but they are true.

This issue of violence against men drew my attention because most people do not take violence against men seriously.  Why do women commit violence against men? I found a very interesting article by Fiebert  and Gonzalez  (1997) that listed more profound reasons as to why women are abusive toward their partners. The five leading reasons the women gave were:
  • I believe that men can readily protect themselves so I don't worry when I become physically aggressive (24%).
  • I have found that most men have been trained not to hit a woman and therefore I am not fearful of retaliation from my partner (19%).
  • I believe if women truly are equal to men then women should be able to physically express anger at men (13%).
  • I learned when growing up that I could be physically aggressive toward my brother and he would not fight back (12%).
  • I sometimes find when I express my anger physically I become turned on sexually (8%).
 Why do we see women's abusive behaviors as less offensive?

Many people believe that men are physically stronger that women. A hit from a women cannot possibly cause any damage to men while a hit from men can potentially hurt women. It is true that men are stronger than women, however men have emotions like women do. They are hurt when women kick, slap, or yell at them. Another reason is that men under-report they are being abuse to the police, family and friends. They do that because they are afraid that they might or will get laugh at. It is not within the norms for men to complain about abuse from female partners. Some people say that men are men and should take abuse like men would. They should either retaliate or should not complain about it. Men are no creatures with no heart.  It is not fair to make fun of those abused men. It would be better to try to help them seek the help they need.
I was curious to see curious to see how many resources are available to abused men. I am shock to see that there is not a lot. There are far more resources available to women. There should be more resources available to them because they need the help. If we, as a society, are teaching men to be non violent why are we teaching women to be violent? It is not to teach women that it is all right to hit men. The idea that women should hit and abused men is advertised in the media. We see this in movies and comic shows. What kind of society we are creating for our children? Overall we need to put a stop to domestic violence for both men and women. It is a difficult task to do but we all agree that violence is bad for our society and destroys us as human beings we can slowly and hopefully reduce the likelihood of it occurring in our relationships.

Click or copy the link below to view the final presentation.

Violence in Society ppt



final instructions for turning in your final projects

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The University has scheduled your final exam for Tuesday, May 21 between 7:30 - 9:30 pm. We do NOT have a final exam for this class. Instead, your semester projects are due on Tuesday, May 21, by 9:30pm.

Many of your projects are digital projects in the form of blogs, videos, etc. As such, many of you have already shared these projects with me and the class.

Many of you are still finalizing your projects. Some of your projects are prezi presentations, ppt presentations, videos, photography projects. If you wish to share the project with the entire class, you may upload your project to our shared folder called sxg Final Projects folder in Google Docs (requires log in). Examples of files that can be shared include, photos, videos, final papers, etc.

If you do NOT want the entire class to see your project, please send it directly to me via email (but this should be the case only for VERY sensitive information-- theoretically, the entire class should be able to view your project).

Please keep two things in mind:
  1. If your videos, presentations, etc. are private, please be sure to let me know what the password is so that I may view it.
  2. If your project is not self-explanatory, you should make some kind of blog post about your project, why you chose to do this project, what you found after completing the project, etc. (remember to label your blog post "Final Project Post")
Please let me know if you have additional questions. I will NOT grade any assignments until after the due date.


Wonder Women: The Untold Story Of American Superheroines documentary

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I haven't seen this documentary so I can't say much about it, but I'm willing it to bet that it raises some interesting questions for us. At any rate, I thought it might be worth mentioning to all of you in case you're eager to have a look at it.

A new documentary — Wonder Women: The Untold Story Of American Superheroines — examines the history of women warriors and asks why we haven't had our Wonder Woman movie yet.

my three sirens

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Hello! I did not have a chance to explain my project during our last class so I figured I would explain a bit here. My project sprouted from a brief conversation I had with another classmate regarding gender on an individual basis, what femininity is and how it can be applied to oneself, yet stray from being quantified. I filmed three different individuals in their daily routines: individuals who saw themselves as female but anchored their feminine identities in different areas of the endless spectrum of gender. The first person filmed is actually my mother, who, as it turns out, sees gender expression as a very rigid model and within the confines of her religion. The second person being filmed is my friend who considers herself female but occasionally and for periods of time will bind and express her gender in various ways that may not be traditional for a female. The last person being filmed is another friend of mine who expresses herself in a traditionally female way. What I really want people to think about is why we speculate and cling onto gender when so much of our behavior is taught and sprung-forth from esoteric, ancient social norms. Just something to think about when there exists such a large and abounding spectrum of gender expression.
Personally, 'gender' makes me feel confined.

Thanks for an awesome semester, everyone.


PS. The piece of music is by Claude Debussy, titled "Sirenes," and if you know the mythology of the Sirens, you'll understand the relevance to the subject matter.


take care


Final Project!!

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Hey guys, 
Here's the link to my website!


I hope you enjoy and please do take advantage of the Feed Back page!


Lesson Notes: Structure of Social Institutions - Globalizations

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  • We have class on Thursday! You'll get a chance to show off your work, speak a couple of minutes about your work, etc. (not optional)
  • Your final projects are due: Tuesday, May 21, 7pm (when your final exam is normally scheduled)
  • If you make some kind of post about your final project, please give your post the label "Final Project Post"
Today's questions:
  1. Is globalization bad for women? Explain.
  2. Does "globalization" include free movements of people?
  3. How is the position of women workers of the global south similar to a women's positions/status and work in western industrialized countries?
  4. "Post-feminists"?
  5. Slut shaming?

Revealing The Truth’s Behind Modeling and The Media Industry

  Growing up I have always wondered why my family and friends have enforced such strict diets and dress codes upon themselves and myself in order to fit into the Ideal Beauty mark. However, it wasn't until I  hit my adolescence that I began to see the pattern in body perception and the media/modeling industry. Over the years the patterns for the price of beauty varies from chemical peels, bio tic's, liposuction, corsets, extreme dieting and exercising just to look up to part with the rest of the society. Women have taken measures like these to the point of exhaustion in their bodies that they developed eating disorders or began over taking diet pills to stay fit and avoid judgement from the rest of society.

    The media has displayed this unrealistic models roles which have sent out  implicit messages for woman such as beauty equals unhealthy. A women beauty is categorized as her looking like a model who weights 64 pounds, who's 5'9, with no fat, just pure bone structure and that's beauty for you ! The mindset that is placed in the person mind by the media can never be "too rich or too thin" is all too prevalent in society, and females  must do whatever it takes to achieve any level of contentment with their physical appearance http://www.westminstercollege.edu/myriad/index.cfm?parent=2514&detail=4475&content=4795.  As I mentioned when i was growing up girls like myself  began to question our  weight and appearance because of the media and it has been proven that as girls are in stages of development they continue this cycle of their weight throughout their lifespans. Little girls as little as age 6-8 begin to desire slimmer bodies and waist lines because to them the importance of physical appearance is imbedded as they watch television and modeling shows. This is why most females around their adolescent time or college begin to feel dissatisfaction on their bodies and develop a disorder which from there it all goes down hill with no help offered/wanted.

     One case which caused major controversy because of the extreme impact beauty had with this young women was presented by a french Model named Isabelle Caro. Ms. Caro developed her eating disorder at age 13 (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/31/world/europe/31caro.html?_r=0). As seen below this image was taken when right before Isabelle's death at age 28 due to anorexia nervosa  http://youtu.be/NnrylU_p6Lc .

File:Isabelle Caro.jpg

In one of Isabelle interviews she stated she had survived on one square of chocolate a day with a cup of tea a teaspoon at a time, to make it last over the years. That was her only meal, she didn't consume nothing more or nothing less. However, learning the history of anorexia nervosa I have learn that its an " immoderate food restriction and irrational fear of gaining weight, as well as a distorted body self-perception "(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_nervosa). Once Someone develops Anorexia they no longer have menarche (menstrual period), their organs begin shutting down little by little until their immune system completely shuts down and it causes their deaths. According to the National Association of Anoerxia Nervosa and Associated Disorders " [there] [are] up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder [such] [as] (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S.3" http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/.  Also the most traumatic statistic is that "Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness"so if girls continue to see this in the media and look up to part they are only handing their death sentence to the media as they go along. So can we begin to think about this drastic measure now and ask how far is too far when your trying to be the most "beautiful model" in the world ?

    The reason why I wanted to have an opening statement with such a drastic case of Isabelle and anorexia nervosa was because she is not far behind on health measures many women take in order to look beautiful, especially those either trying to stay in the media/ modeling industry or those trying to get in. In my research in revealing the truths behind modeling and the media, a very good friend of Mine came to mind and I decided to conduct an interview . My best friend Latecia Renee as she calls herself is now 20 years old and she has been part of the modeling world since she was a teenager. Since high school Latecia had been battling with maintaining her weight in control by taking diet pills and exercising excessively  in order to get called in for modeling castings and fit in with the rest of the models. Though Ms. Renee knows that in the long run she might develop health issues of any sort as she continues to take this medication and exercises daily she does not want to stop. So, I took it upon myself to learn what it was like for her and whether she was comfortable to admit that it her measures in taken diet pills for so many years was not the way to go. In the interview with Ms. Renee I asked her a series of questions involving her perspective on the modeling/media industry, leaving her with space to say what she was OK with saying and sharing a final message to girls like her who have been battling with similar issues, before it was too late. Unfortunately I couldn't post the video directly on here since its private so please view the interview attached http://youtu.be/Qon4tfOOy2g   

Also I couldn't add some really good videos which I would like for you to which with my interview please see the following - http://youtu.be/xxaJ1mvmMxQ , http://youtu.be/wJPrhJty7TM , http://youtu.be/F_rGInscEWc

  Learning about Ms. Renee body issues I've learned that she does not fall far behind either with Isabelle and though her mind is made up that she will never develop a eating disorder the thought always scares me. As her friend I have witnessed that since has already taken an extreme measure to stay skinny with diet pills I don't know what else she would try just to stay fit. But Who is to blame Latecia with the obsessive culture we live in ? The obsessive culture of looking pretty and being skinny plays such a large roll in our everyday lives and its just too hard to run away from. Women are always facing and battling their own conscious and self perception on their body Images because they want to be more beautiful and fit like the Ideal Image they see all over the place. Beauty is at its peak everywhere we go its in advertisements, Billboards, ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE !!! no matter where we turn the question is if one would let this influence them or not.

      So, in response to all this information I have asked myself what needs to be done  and that is that  women need to learn how to be comfortable in their own skins and realize that being super thin is not necessarily beautiful as they think it is. They should learn that "they are not a sketch" as shown below in campaigning to stop Anorexia and eating disorders in women. Showing your rib cages and displaying the rest of your bones may be sexy to some with clothes but in reality once they take off their clothing they will note that seeing "walking flesh" is unappealing and unattractive.  In honor of Isabelle Caro death many European countries have taken the incentive and started a campaign against anorexia nervosa. The campaign launched also in favor of the other deaths which occurred along the line because to those compagning  it was not  possible to have deaths after deaths of younger women dying in the price of beauty like the case of 22 year old Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ana_Carolina_Reston who died in November 2006 of the same disorder as Isabelle. However, though this campaign has made a strong impact deaths continue to raise with anorexia and the modeling industry, so there's still much needed research and information needed to relay the message to the public in order for this to stop. 

      Overall, in conducting this project  I had a really good time looking for more information on the media influences in modeling. Now that I have more knowledge in what the media/modeling industry brings to mind my only concern is to stay fit and live a healthy life style by exercising how I should and consuming my 6 meals a day to keep my metabolism flowing. I don't care much about aging or keeping my natural glow, as time comes we all most age along the line.. no one can really stay young and beautiful forever without placing a physical toll on their bodies and their physical health. To me the societal pressure placed by the media is just like peer pressure in where women most learn how to separate media influences from brain washing their self perceptions and learn to adjust in their own ways without developing these disorders.  But will all women make this sacrifice and stop feeding into the media that has invested to change their minds and bodies ? I don't think so much has to with self control and I know I don't feed into pressure so easy but will you ?


Our Day with the Princess Boy!


My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis is a children’s picture book written by a mom who has a pink boy. The author was inspired by her son who loves the color pink, dresses, tiara’s and sparkly things. This picture book also explains her own struggles to understand her son and appreciate his difference. This was also a great book about unconditional love and a great family that goes towards the Princess Boy's happiness. My Princess Boy also discusses things like tolerance and an end to bullying and judgments. It describes how the world is a brighter place if we only accept everyone for who they are.

Reading this book and having prior knowledge from class discussions and readings about gender, I was really motivated to introduce this book to my group of second graders. I wanted to carry out this picture book and receive their reactions from this author’s perspective about her son. I was also motivated to do an art project that consisted of making their own little character out of paper and decorative materials. During this project I was going more towards their reaction of a before and after response. While reading this story I got complete silence and stares by simply reading the title. They were extremely puzzled and confused by the title but no one seemed to say anything about their confusion. While continuing onto the next few pages they couldn’t stop giggling at the things that the Princess Boy liked to do. After the first three pages one of the students couldn’t help but to just ask why? I asked my own questions which was why not or why are you guys giggling? Their answer was very simple as to boys do not do that. This was the response these kids gave and how they wouldn’t want to be the Princess Boy’s friend because then everyone else wouldn’t want to be their friend either. These second graders had a main concern during the first half of the story. Yet, that immediately started to change towards the end because they immediately saw the emotional side to the Princess Boy’s story. These students grew more concerned towards the Princess Boy’s feelings rather than the physical difference. This is what made them change their mind because they actually received an emotional side to the story.  

Creating the art project at the end of the book was just amazing to see the different results. They all accomplished to make their own character with a little twist of their own. They all felt great to create characters made as friends and have a goal to accept one another’s difference. They were also reflecting on some judgmental situations that grow with the concept of respecting one another for a better environment. Overall, we managed to grow our classroom for a better character to respect one another for who we are. You guys may press the link below to see our version of the story of Our Day with the Princess Boy! Enjoy!   

Click here to view this photo book larger
Shutterfly photo books Our Day with the Princess Boy!



4,5,6, Inch Heels? Do you Men Know how it Feels?


The cost of beauty is truly indeed pain. For my final project I have decided to interview men and women of different ages and different cultures about high heels. The basis for my project is why do women wear high heels? What is the highest heel you prefer to wear? How do heels make you feel? Do you think men can last in a pair of high heels? Also asking men what are their perspectives on high heels and can they last in a pair of heels if the roles were to switch. Personally I love high heels! My preferred heel height is 5 inches and above even though I’m already tall I still love it. Heels make me feel sexy and in control. The funny thing is I spend all this money on high heels and I can’t even last half the night with them on! The media plays a big role when it comes to high heels. We see celebrities wearing high heels while their shopping, performing, and even just taking a walk in the park. We wonder how they do it and look so comfortable but even celebrities have a little slip up here n there Whoopsssss!!!

I am about 5'9 and I love to wear high heels. The highest heel I prefer to wear is 5 inches or higher. I know why would I wear such a high heel and I’m already tall lol but I love heels! I could last about 1 hour in a pair of heels before my feet start killing me thank god for flats; I always bring a pair of flats in my purse when I go out. I have no idea why I torture myself but I feel sexy while I’m torturing myself, what an oxymoron!! The interviews that follow are about 1-2 min each. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Oh and you will hear some laughter going on in the background with the two experiments with the men participants. Unfortunately the YouTube clip itself would not load onto the blog for some weird reason, so you just click on the link and the youtube clip will open up.

Mark experiment
Video 7 with Mark before experiment
Video 8 me introducing Mark's experiment
Video 9 Marks experiment
Video 10 Marks reaction after experiment

Lenny experiment
Video 10 Lennys experiment(alot of laughter please excuse)
Video 11 Lennys reaction after experiment

I really had a blast doing my final project especially with the two men who did the experiment thank you guys once again for participating. Through this experiment I have learned that the older you get the more you are less likely to wear heels. I used different ages and ethnicities to get a variety of outcomes for this project. The younger group would wear heels to go out to a lounge or to hang out. The older group would rather flats or sneakers. Heels are just for show, to present that beautified sexy look when in reality we are really hurting inside. Only one of the female participants can last a couple of hours compared to the other 4 female participants. Two out of the four participants would rather wear flats or sneakers to go out! Shocker! But these participants are a little older than the participants who choose to wear heels so they are thinking about being comfortable more than anything else.

Now to the men participants. The men participants gave a little more detailed interview about why they want their women to wear heels. Sexy is the key word. I found it so amazing that they think wearing heels is sexy but have no idea about the pain that comes with it. Even when one participant stated “if we could cook in heels that would be perfect”. Isn’t that a fantasy! The men feel heels are feminine and sexy. So do flats mean women are not sexy? Men can wear sneakers or shoes and be comfortable all day and all night, not worrying about falling or their feet hurting them. The participants Mark and Lenny have never worn a pair of heels before this was their first time. For two men who haven’t wore heels before they did a pretty good job even though the shoes were ruined after lol but it’s ok. I found it quite hilarious how fast they wanted to take the heels off they couldn’t last more than 2 min! Imagine if they had to do it for hours or even an hour. Men have no idea what it feels to be a woman and the pressure society has put on us to be what they call sexy. Whether it’s our hair always being done, to our manicured nails, to the shoes we wear it’s not an easy job being a woman and being sexy. I am truly glad these men have agreed to do this experiment because now they shared a part of what women have to go through. Now I am pretty sure they have a better respect for women who they see wearing heels and know it’s not an easy job.

In conclusion I still don’t know why I continuously spend money on high heels and cant last more than an hour without starting to feel pain. I can barely enjoy my night out most of the time because my feet are in pain but I highly refuse to wear flats when going to a party. It is seen as not lady like to wear flats to a party and don’t you dare take off your heels that is just despicable. I guess some women are willing to suffer the consequences and have their feet hurting them then to be criticized I know I am guilty of being one of them. Now that these men have experienced wearing heels maybe they won’t criticize women who wear flats as much and understand why they wear flats. Are heels always going to be chosen over flats in this society especially in New York City? Yes. The media with the help of celebrities has a brainwashing method that heels are sexy and anything less is unheard of. This is why celebrities kill themselves to wear heels no matter what they are doing which is kind of ridiculous. I can’t go shopping in heels it would take me forever to do my shopping. Will I ever grow out of wearing heels yes maybe one day but for now I bare with the pain because beauty is pain! Ouch!


The Debate Over Allowing Culture


            Is Multicultralism Bad for Women by Susan Okin; with a title like this you would think that embracing different cultures and having different cultures exposed to us is bad for our society, especially its women. But Okin argues the opposite and counter argues Will Kymlicka's work that argues for a limited restriction on cultural rights. Okin states that, "because societal cultures play so pervasive and fundamental a role in lives of members and because such cultures are threatened with extinction, minority cultures should be protected by special rights, that in essence, is the case for group rights." She  believes that though some cultural practices are extreme and go against some of the values that we have grew so accustomed to today, so who are we to take that away from people. I can say from experience that if I was not allowed to practice my own culture, I would quickly loose this connection to my native land and this special connection i have with my own family. Even though my parents are from another country and I was born here, they came to American from Poland to make it a must that my brothers and I did not forget the culture and the language. We start taking away minorities rights to express their culture, which in turn would take away this melting pot that we have in America, subduing people to a certain norm.
             Okin brings up a few controversies where the government has questioned whether to allow religious practices to continue. For example, in France during the 1980's there was a controversial discussion whether to allow Magrbin girls to wear traditional headscarves in public schools, questioning if it was proper attire to wear to school. these types of controversies even go on today, where people are harassed and ridiculed for practicing their religion and if not forced to stop practicing, they begin to abandon it in fear of getting hurt. Many public schools,though not specifically stating it, try to eliminate religious practices, many claiming its a violation of church in state.  For example, this recent controversial debate that went to trial over biblical versus on school banners. With freedom of religion and freedom of speech, we should be allowed to exercises our religious rights and not have people try to stop it.

         Another and important controversy Okin brought up was polygamy. In France during the 1980’s the French government permitted immigrant meant to bring multiple wives into the country. About 200,00 families were living in Paris as polygamist. This eventually led to overcrowded apartments and violence among wives and against each others children. Eventually the government recently only decided to recognize one wife and have the other marriages annulled. So what happens to the other wives and children? Though a dangerous thing to practice, where men have total control of the women and children showing a certain dominance in all their relationships, I think these minorities should have the right to practice polygamy without having to identify only one wife. Okin states that, “individuals need a culture of their own, it gives them self-esteem or self respect or decided whether this kind of life is good.” So who are we to try to take away a choice from somebody. We should allow these people to express their religious rights, even though it goes against gender equality and other factors, everyone like I stated before should have their right and freedom and choice to stay practicing their religion. 

          If we take away minorities culture and their rights to exercise them, then we are taking away a part of themselves. We are pushing them into forgetting their culture and not giving the opportunity to spread their culture and knowledge onto other people. By doing this people start forgetting their language, their native country and a chance to be themselves and exercise where and what they came from. According to Okin some proponents of groups rights argue that even cultures that “flout the rights of [their individual members] in a liberal society should be accorded group rights or privileges if their minority status endangers the cultured continues existence.” Like Okin, I agree with this statement because having your own culture and being able to practice it, allows you to stay true with who you are and give you the opportunity to spread this knowledge. Though there is some practices, like polygamy, that may be dangerous to other people, minorities should still have their right and their choice to practice it freely without any restraints. 

The Problem With MTV's "Girl Code"


     Although I do not watch TV that often, my go to channel is usually MTV. Infamously known for their 20 minute long commercials, music video marathons at unruly hours of the night, and keeping us up to date with the music and entertainment scene, I automatically tuned in to the channel without a second thought. As if MTV's coverage of "Guy Code" did not give men a stereotypical enough image, the third episode of "Girl Code" was airing while I simultaneously sent emails, wrote papers, and pretended to look at
the TV screen. As I listened to the banter of random, "celebrity" women, my ears perked up at their categories of the day: makeup, being gassy, driving, and being a slut. Yes, grown women actually sat in front of a camera and spoke about what it means to be a slut, their slutty friends, and why they aspire to be sluts...
     While this show intends to be comedic, I did not find myself laughing at the joking manner in which these ladies spoke about being a slut. One commentator on the show defined the word in Girl Code terms. Apparently, slut is a word that stands for Slutty Loose Uterus Tramp... Wow, I never knew that was the societal definition of such a demeaning term. I once read somewhere that slut is a word used to describe a woman with the morals of a man- not much better, but still not defiling the biology of  a woman who expresses her sexuality. Horrifyingly, these women addressed the concept of being a slut, and more or less accepted the idea that either themselves, or their friends, will be a slut at some point or another in their lives. As Lindy West from Jezebel puts it, "the sexualization of women is only appealing if its nonconsensual. Otherwise, it's "sluttiness," and sluttiness is agency and agency is threatening and so, therefore, sluttiness must equal disposability."And so, the women of Girl Code go on to talk about this disposable trait of women...
      Perhaps the most disturbing segment of the episode was when one of the actresses spoke about being called a slut. In a nonchalant way, she addressed that the word has become so normalized, that it is no longer offensive to some women. Thats great. Not only are women "slut shamed" for acting upon their sexual drives, but it is now acceptable for us to be called sluts, because there are far worse terms that can be used to describe a woman who fulfills her biological needs. This idea brought me back to a concept that I have recently learned in one of my classes. In Freud's "Theories of Sexuality," he spoke about sexual aberrations, in which people develop objectives and aims onto which they express their sexuality. Deviation from the societal norms of what an aim and objective should be (subjective to the gender binary), labels a person with "inversion." In applying this theory to women and the culture of slut shaming, it seems as though women who sleep with multiple men, or women, are sexual deviants and sluts, because they are not fulfilling the societal expectation of monogamy.
    While on the topic of "being a slut," another comment was made by an African American man. I suppose he is some sort of comedian or actor, but in any event, he effectively brought the issue of race into the picture. It was quite bold of him, I have to admit, since he clearly was not making light of the slut shaming that was occurring on the show. He said, "Slut. They can say it, but we cant...I can think of another word like that." He was referring to the fact that women call eachother "sluts," but it becomes offensive once spoken by someone of the opposite gender. His allusion to derogatory terms used to identify blacks, was an admirable move, and probably the only, worthwhile moment of the show.

    Another segment of the show spoke about women and driving. Apparently women are terrible drivers, a stereotype that I was not familiar with. Personally, I can attest to being a better driver than the men in my life. My 18 year old sister has driving skills that my father, who has been driving for over 50 years, cannot compete with. So it became troublesome when the women of Girl Code supported this claim, and further told stories to proliferate the stereotype. One of the lines that really got my attention was this: "Girls will stop lying about being good drivers when guys stop lying about what 8 inches is." What does driving have to do with the male anatomy in any way, shape, or form? While in a skewed way, the actress was somewhat defending women drivers, (I guess it was more of an attempt) she did so at the expense of men. Not only was she offensive towards male/trans biology, but she also, unknowingly, proliferated the image of men as liars.
     It is rather alarming to turn on the television and witness the transformation of the entertainment industry. MTV, once dedicated solely to the music, is now promoting slut shaming and gender policing, which is offensive to those within and outside of the gender binary. How is it that MTV, and the men and women that they employ for "Girl Code" and "Guy Code," have the power to define what it means to be a woman or a man in today's society?

Remember the Dove Real Beauty Sketches Video?

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What if Dove would have decided to cast only men?

Sure, it's clearly a parody and meant to be taken as a joke, but do you think these men are in fact trying to say something?

Feminists or Postfeminists?

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Feminist or "Postfeminists"?: Young Women's Attitudes toward Feminism and Gender Relations by Pamela Aronson, explores the post-feminist generation and attempts to address what is unique to the generation in comparison to the feminist generation with regard to self-identification, gender perception and experiences, opportunity view and race and class life experiences.  Post-feminist is a term originally put forth by the media in the 1980’s to describe teenage and early adult females and has expanded, according to Aaronson, to include and describe women who have benefited from the women’s movement.  Engaging the idea of previous work and research regarding feminism, Aronson points to the limiting aspects of considering feminism outside a wide scope of ideas and life realities.  In doing this she engages the idea of intersectionality that we have previously considered and applied to other class topics.

This article points to the historical waves of feminism that have been characterized by periods of activism and then periods of limited political activity. In trying to understand the period of feminism that we are currently in,   Aronson discussed a continuum of how women identify themselves as a standard to measure attitudes.  This continuum ranges from women who identify as feminist, those who called themselves feminists with clarification and those who were not feminists but supported feminist issues.  She discusses this continuum as a past measurement without the variation to be significant to post-feminists.  This is important to the articles discussion of what feminism means to a post-feminist because Aronson discusses the limitations to this consideration without expanding the scope of the measurement of attitudes including the different social backgrounds.

Aronson conducted a longitudinal interview based study.  Among other things, she found an optimism of women’s opportunities and an appreciation for older women’s struggle and a current observation of the obstacles that women face.  She found that most of her study participants had not experienced major gender discrimination, were aware of the possibility that it could occur in the future and did not expect gender discrimination to affect them.  Her study participants were almost all supportive of feminist issues and largely effected by race and class backgrounds.  She concludes that many of her study participants fit on the continuum, but more than half had an ambiguous view of feminism.  She further concludes that all of the things that she discusses, life experiences, race and class and exposure to women’s study classes all significantly contribute to an identification with feminism.  She found a majority support for feminism and asserts a positive generational appreciation for the post-feminist group.
This article presented an opportunity to think about the relevance of intersectionality when applied to self identification and made me think about how my life experiences have shaped how i think and label my experiences as a woman.  It also presented an opportunity to think about the intersectionality of generational experiences.  My Mother was a stay at home Mom who considered herself (and still does) to be a feminist.  Much of my self identification incorporates how she thought about herself when i was growing up. 
How is how you identify with feminism similar or different from your Mother or a female member of your family?