Monday, October 26, 2015

Midterm Mapping!

I didn't include links because there weren't any that I specifically didn't get, but I can add them if necessary.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Best (probably poor) Attempt at understanding Gloria Anzaldua's: "Towards a New Consciousness"

Towards a New Consciousness
Gloria Anzaldua
I should preface this with the fact that I'm not expecting this blog to be all that great.  I've read the piece twice now, and the constant changing of languages confused me and made it more difficult to understand, but I'll give it my best go.  The general consensus of the article as I saw it was exploring what it's like to be bi-racial and/or bi-cultural and the inner and outer experiences that she (the author) has been through on a personal level.

The way it seems as though the author really begins to break it down is the idea that you face multiple struggles as a bi-racial person because you have to find a way to identify and earn acceptance into every culture.  One of the things she referenced early in the piece (and I can't remember it word for word), but was talking about what it's like to live in America, yet not be "white", and the whole idea that people are "accepting" of her, but not actually accepting.  She's there, but she doesn't feel like she truly belongs, so to speak. 

Another thing I took from it was the struggle of being involved in more than one culture, and the idea of being "sandwiched" between the systems that those cultures employ, and the struggles she faces as a result.  I definitely understood the basic gist of what she was trying to say, but honestly I don't feel as though I'm confidently writing this because there are some things I need cleared up.  The idea of the bi-racial and bi-cultural struggles makes perfect sense and really drives home the struggle that many people all over the world face, and for what reason? It makes no sense to me that a person should be defined by where they come from, but that's the way it is, and for many, they constantly experience an inner-struggle that many of us may never pay attention to.  Personally, I can't imagine what that must be like and I think the author does a good job of painting just a small picture that gets the idea going in your head--why aren't we more accepting of people?

So many problems that are caused socially (violence, war, rape, negligence, suffering), and that's just a broad spectrum, could probably be greatly reduced if people were willing to put themselves in the shoes of others.  I sympathize with the author, and yet I have no idea what she's really been through, or what anyone in her position has been through.  That being said, I still feel as though it's something that is worth discussing. 

I look forward to discussing it in class and trying to explain my own viewpoints on it, but hopefully also learn from the others who read it and really get a strong understanding of the idea as a whole.


I found the above video to be really interesting and recommend watching it if you have the time.  In the video, the woman talks about trying to identify herself and the struggles she's faced being of mixed backgrounds. 

Question: What did others who read this take from it? I know for sure I'm missing some things that I should have picked up on.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Compulsory Heterosexuality

"Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence"
- Adrienne Rich

So personally, I found this article to be all sorts of weird.  In what should be an obviously brief summary to anyone who read it, the author's main focus is on 'compulsory heterosexuality', which is the idea that it's "mandatory/required" to be straight, and "lesbian existence", which, as best I can tell, is the author's idea that rather than a woman seriously being attracted to another woman, is a way to handle their problems better.  Now perhaps I misread it, but let's take a look at this quote in particular:

"Lesbians have historically been deprived of a political existence through "inclusion" as female versions of male homosexuality.  To equate lesbian existence with male homosexuality because each is stigmatized is to erase female reality once again."

While I could be looking at this the wrong way, it feels to me like she's essentially saying women use it as an excuse to handle their problems and gain sympathy, or to in some sort have the same political attention that homosexual males do.  This makes absolutely no sense to me. 

First of all, how is this fair? Why is it that men can be gay by choice and it's accepted but for a woman it's just some kind of "excuse" because she doesn't want to be with a man? I'm obviously not a woman, but even I can see that this is a completely ridiculous way to think about things.  There should be equality on both sides and it's a very ignorant point of view in my opinion.  

The quote I included above is really the way I feel about it--be yourself and screw everybody else (not literally, unless you want to, I mean that's your call).  The idea that standards in society should determine how a woman (or man) lives their life and chooses to identify and express his or herself is absolutely ridiculous.

Question: Did anyone else see and interpret this differently? Maybe I misread it or something but that's exactly what I took from it.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

USA, Land of Limitations [Female Inequality]

USA, Land of Limitations
Written by: Nicholas Kristof

Additional references: "People Like Us"/"Youngstown State University"

Personally,  I found the article a lot more interesting than the majority of the things I read on the site.  The author using Rick's story as a background and as a way to really drive home his point.  Breaking this down into three separate categories, I'm going to take a look at how female inequality (particularly from an economic standpoint) is a legitimate issue and how it relates to feminism.

1: Labor
One of the interesting things I noticed in another blog was someone pointing out that women do a large percentage of the "unpaid" labor, a lot of which has to do with raising the children, staying at home, etc.  Now while I'm glad that this has changed to an extent and it's not all just "stay at home moms" and women are allowed to go out and do more, and it's socially acceptable for them to do so.  The thing is, men are paid more to do the same jobs regardless of how well the jobs are done.  It makes no sense to me that there's that significant of a difference (I believe it was 0.79 cents to a dollar in favor of men) of a drop in work when women are fully capable of doing the same thing.

2: Race
It's bad enough that women make significantly less than men to do the same things, but even more-so the fact that women of color make even less.  When you scale that down, it becomes apparent that society's "spotlighting" of the white male is a genuine problem as it creates an unfair social environment for everyone. 

3: Social standards
A big problem (and this relates to the labor more than anything, but I feel it deserves its own point) in the development of inequality is the fact that women are "expected" to do these things because it is what society has deemed appropriate for them.  Why is it that women are expected to do things differently?

I believe that everyone should be equal--ESPECIALLY you and your significant other in a relationship, whether it's a man and a woman or otherwise.  When it comes to growing together and working to better your lives, there's no excuse for the man being treated as better than a women when they are supposed to be on the same level. 

I haven't phrased this greatly and I apologize for that, but I find it absurd that we HAVE to talk about equality, especially in the workplace, in 2015.  Women deserve better and we as a society should be doing more to make things more fair for everyone (both women and men).

Video: The video below is a short video that showcases statistics about gender equality in the workplace, and how it is flawed.
Question: Where do you stand on this? Am I alone in thinking that we can do more to make things more fair for everyone, both men and women?