Saturday, September 26, 2015

Generation "M"

"Generation M"
Thomas Keith

I think this movie was really interesting and sort of an "eye-opener" in the sense that you don't really think about how much the media impacts literally everything around you.  Obviously, the focus is more about sexism and the way women are portrayed, but even on a bigger scale, media influences every aspect of life and it's weird how little we actually think about it.  The portrayal of women (in both movies, music, television, and even magazines) is so sexually based, in part because of the fact that it's really what "sells" and gets the attention of most people.  However, I don't necessarily think this is a fair way to go about it.  The thing is, unless people start to realize how the media is really acting and take a stand to change the issues around them, nothing is going to change.

And at the same time, women follow these "guidelines" to try and fit in and allow themselves to become engrossed in the whole social expectations.  I'm not sure what the solution is, but I know more people need to realize how things are.

Video: The above video talks about the way women are portrayed in the media (I believe last year or the year before) and while acknowledging that some things were positives, there are still way too many negatives.

Question: So what do you guys think might be a reasonable solution to this problem? Or at least something to get the conversation started?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Regarding "Oppression"

Oppression - Marilyn Frye


Though it may not be a popular opinion, I do not believe feminism in its current incarnation (as in, regards to how it is currently in our society) is healthy at all.  I am a vocal supporter of equality for both men and women, but I do believe that some (note: some, not all) people have lost sight of what feminism was intended to be, and use it more to victimize themselves than to actual bring about positive change.  More on this in a second.

The author talks about "oppression" quite a bit - it's even in the title - and specifically references how the counter-argument to feminism in and of itself is often that men are oppressed too, while feminism argues that women are oppressed.  My question in response to it, is why are we having this argument at all? What I mean is, both men and women are oppressed, but why do we break it down and "pick sides" by looking at it from a gender perspective? In every race, gender, category, city, you name it, there's people that are going to have it worse off than others.  Rather than working together for a common goal to improve the lives of everyone, we resort to taking sides and creating enemies out of ourselves.

Women are unfairly oppressed in the country - whether it has to do with jobs, the awful sense of rape culture in society, or even just wages and things of the sort.  Men are oppressed too, and one thing the author brings up is the fact that men are looked at as "weak" if they cry, and how women may not want a man that appears weak.  And while I can't dispute that these things do happen and attention should be brought to them, I think the entire idea of picking sides is absolutely silly.  As people, both men and women, we should do whatever we can to make things better for everyone.  If the goal of women is to make things better just for women, then eventually things get worse for men.  And when that happens, men become "more oppressed" and fight to change that, which leads to women doing the same.  In other words, it's a vicious cycle of constant one-ups-manship.

I quite liked the article because at least the author made an effort to portray both sides as having issues, and not trying to shut down one side or the other.  As a people and a society, we have so much more we could be doing to improve and reduce "oppression" for everyone, but instead it feels like sometimes we're taking steps backwards rather than forwards.

Video: The video, while it isn't perfect, sort of shows what I'm talking about, in that it gives the viewer the ability to judge which side was "in the wrong".  I would have liked to have found something that explains it better, but I think it was alright.

The above picture is meant to represent the idea of gender equality, in that both sides are oppressed equally.

Additional questions/comments: I don't think there's much else I have to add, other than perhaps to ask what others think? I understand that the way I worded it may have been confusing, but I hate the idea of generalizing anyone's oppression because everyone can suffer in different ways.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

"The F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy"

The F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy
by Kristen Rowe-Finkbeiner


I should start this by saying that I am a huge supporter of equality for everyone.  I believe that denying rights to anyone or denying the ability to be on the same "playing field" on the basis of gender, race, status, or anything like that is a terrible way to act and one that leads to no positives.  However, I can also understand and relate to some of the ideas that feminism has gone down a different path than what it was initially intended.  There are extremists (as there are with EVERY gender, theory, idea, etc.) that are "louder" than others, and as a result, give the entire idea a bad name.  This connects to the way that society views feminism among other things.  What I particularly enjoyed about this reading is that the author mentions this and talks about not losing track of what the entirety of feminism was supposed to be about.  She talks about how women worked hard to gain equal rights, the right to vote, the right to work, and essentially earn things they should have had from the get-go but didn't.  The author is a strong believer in equality and I can relate to that.  It is important to realize how we as people (both men and women) need to work together to keep things better for all of us.  Society is constantly changing and putting new stresses on others.  This isn't just about feminism, but about everyone being treated fairly, and specifically how hard women had to work to get to the point they are at now, while also pointing out that there are still (sadly) instances where that isn't the case.  I enjoyed the reading because of its focus and the emphasis behind the importance of equality for everyone.

The above video talks about the importance of gender equality (specifically in education and other areas) and includes some interesting statistics.  I believe it's very interesting to watch and highly informative.  
Overall, the topic was interesting and the reading provided a lot of thought.  I look forward to hearing what people have to say about it in class.  Equality is something that deserves full support from everyone.

"Fear of Feminism"

"Fear of Feminism"
written by Lisa Maria Hogland

Argument: I feel as though the author's main points when writing this is to convey the impact that society and "political correctness", for lack of a better term, has on young women and the way they are influenced from a young age.  One of the things the author specifically stressed was the fact that girls/women fear feminism because it has been painted as an awful thing by society, particularly over the past 15-20 years.  A few of her points included the idea that being feminist somehow correlates to lesbianism, and that in the same respect, adopting feminist beliefs can hurt their appeal to men.  This fear is reinforced by stereotypes and even by the way it is portrayed in the media.

The entire reading is interesting, as it talks in great detail about the benefits of adopting feminism for girls and the fact that it can help them to develop a strong sense of self and identity.  At the same time, it acknowledges the risks that come along with it and stresses that these risks need to be made clear to young women so they can make the best choices for themselves.

Video: I think the video is really interesting because the man in the video talks in great detail about feminism and the perception of it.  He also, at the same time, talks about the way that many ideologies lead people to think in other directions.  While he doesn't necessarily directly agree with all the ideologies, he points out how important it is to have knowledge and for people to be able to understand, especially when it comes to certain topics.  I think the video points out well (in some capacities) about what the author says in the sense that these things shouldn't be feared and should be openly talked about.


In summary, I think the article was an interesting read and the author poses a lot of valid points.  It isn't just applicable to feminism, either, but rather society as a whole.  It's a "bigger picture" issue about the way society causes people to fear being themselves and expressing their beliefs because of possible outcry that they can receive as a result.  There is a lot to take from it even if you aren't necessarily a supporter of feminism as a whole.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

First Post

The name's Braden--I'm really bad at writing things like this, but it was a class requirement, so yeah.  I'm a Secondary Education Major specializing in English/Social Studies (not decided yet).  I'm taking GEND200 just to fulfill a Social Sciences requirement and because the class seemed interesting to me.  The purpose of the blog is basically just to reflect on class activities and interact with others about thoughts and such.