Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween and the fight on costumes!

              After reading last week's "Cinderella Ate My Daughter", I stumbled across a clip from a very well known show "what would you do" the host presents people with situations on hidden cameras that test people's morality. Episodes often  present on parenting methods, race and class issues and also situations that may be dangerous for people if someone were not to step in. In this episode it was based around halloween norms, what children should be allowed and what is normative for them to wear.
******Watch the clip here!*****

Sadly as much as people say that you should have free choice of what you wear, and to never limit a childs imagination through clothing and gender roles, every single person in this video does. For someone to tell a child that they cant be spiderman because thats the boys costume is further instilling what many children are taught. You would expect to hear that from a little boy to a young girl; that is playground nonsense. The worst part of the video, is when the actress mother tells another mother that she hopes it is just a phase and that she wants to try and nip it in the butt while she can.... AND THE AMOUNT OF MOTHERS THAT AGREE!!!! for someone to say that a child is going through a phase that does match with the sex of the child is insane. When I grew up I was never limited to what my halloween costume was, one year I was an alien! and not a girl alien, there was nothing about the costume that would give away my gender. To limit a child of what they can wear goes against what we as a society should be striving for. I was so happy that a young woman stepped in and whole heartedly told the little girl that she can be whatever she wants to be... including spiderman for halloween. The way that she went about it is the way that this "problem" should be tackled daily; with love, understanding and compassion.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cinderella Ate My Daughter REFLECTION

                 When Dr. Bogad said that this class was going to ruin how we looked at things I understood that to a certain extent; after reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Orenstein I fully understand why. This may have been the most relatable article that I have read yet in this course. New information that I thought i had known about has been brought to my attention, and things that I didnt even think about have been shown to me. Yes we all know that boys color is blue and girls are pink, thats how we as society show gender, but it wasn't allways that way. I've considerd myself mind blown when the author explains that back before the 50's boys were acttually sent home in pink and girls in blue. The original color scheme was because pink was a light shade of red so it was thought to represent power, and blue was the color of the Virgin Mary = me mind blown. Pink hadnt started to be pushed as a girls color until the late 90's early 2000's, Orenstein claims that after 9/11 it gave girls something to latch onto in a upsetting time in peoples lives, just like shirly temple did during the great depression.
               Because of the popularity of Shirly Temple, she was made into a doll, costing 4 times the amount of any doll o the market at that time, she was relatable and seen as a good thing for children. The American Girl Dolls are said to have the same popularity, they arent big chested like the barbie dolls, and they have an educational back story of not just shopping but as heros, having power and not living fully up to female expectations. The American Girl Dolls ran about $110 dollars while your average barbie was around 10, and the limited edition ones would cost you twenty more dollars on top of that. Im not sure if my mom just didnt want to spend the money on the american girl dolls, or that she knew we would end up destroying them or the dog would probably chew off one of her extremities just like our barbies; but we were never allowed to have one. My mothers reasoning to us was that "in order for us to have one of those dolls, a little girl in china would be getting paid 1 penny an hour for making something that we are being charged 100 dollars for" my mother always said it wasn't right, but weren't we doing the same thing when we buy barbie dolls?
              Barbie dolls have changed dramatically over the years as well. At my grandmothers house she still has all of my mom and aunt's barbies. They have dark hair, usually up in a beehive hair-do, they have plaid skirts that go past the knee and also a top that is simple and covers all. The barbies that I had when I was younger were things such as tropiccal barbie who had a palm tree bikini and super long blonde hair that went to her knees. Needless to say me and my sister liked playing hair dresser, and that when we were done with her, the poor barbie looked like someone cut her hair with a chainsaw. We once played a game to see who could get a barbie stuck in the apple tree that was outside our 2nd story window, the poor girl was up there for 5 whole years. It became a laughing matter in our house, taking bets on which storm was going to knock her down.  Orenstein says that studys have shown that as much as girls love playing with dolls, over 40% will mutilate, draw on or somehow change the barbie.
                     The last thing that I would like to bring to your attention is that while the pink fad lauched in the 2000's so did the launch of the disney princesses line. Yes we all know who they were due to the classic movies that we grew up with, but they were relaunched, and sold to little girls. Shown and sold to them because disney knows that being a princess is a little girls dream. Mattel, the producing company takes the generic disney princess and leaves behind those who dont wear the jewels, or hold the same values as the others. Poor Pocahontas and Mulan are left out of the collection, because one pretends to be a boy (not cool) and the other doesnt have a fairytale ending (unless you see movie 2 and 3 which werent produced until about 10 years later). These two woman dont thrive on finding a perfect man or get to wear a dress (suitable for a ball) all movie. All woman come from different eras, places in the world, and are seen to be independant of eachother. There havent been any cross over movies, or stories where they meet up and get along. Even when put into cartoons and photos with eachother, it has been pointed out that the girls aren't actually interacting with eachother, they arent even looking the same way. Orenstein says that they are shown to the public as independent, and even worse show little girls that they advoid female bonding. Inn no movies does one of the princesses have a super awesome girl side kick or even friend. The girls in the movies are often shown as the villans if they aren't a princess.
          Seeing pictures such as this ...
  ...... just adds to what the article had said. they are not friends!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

what are little boys are made of? REFLECTION

               In Micheal Kimmel's article, he looks at two different viewpoints on how little boys behave, why the behave this way and if we as a community should focus on changing the behaviors. To make a good argument you always have to do your research on the opposing side. Kimmel gives excuses for little boy's behavior that have been taken from published books. The opposing argument is that little boys are so pumped with testosterone that it would be insane to think that little boys can conform to the ways of little girls (what feminists want). One of the hysterical excuses that Biddulph offers to why boys have a harder time listening is because their ear canals grow in spurts (unlike females) and that when they are having a growth spurt their listening is temporarly blocked. Don't you think that children would complain if they couldnt hear something? I have a strong feeling that nurses and doctors would catch on very quickly if that was the case. Another author, Gurian says that violence is a part of boys everyday lives, that hazing, bar mitzvahs, and military boot camp are all testosterone driven; made for violence and boys. Kimmel jokes at the fact that he has never seen a bar mitzvah turn violent. Michael Kimmel believes that many of these authors are making excuses for boys to not conform with the newer thoughts of society; that men dont have to use violence, and they can bear some sort of emotion.
            From the femminist point of view, they understand the biological differences between boys and girls (including testosterone levels) but they aren't buying it. Statistics from across countries show that the U.S. is leading with violence. What makes the U.S so different from other places if we have the same amount of testosterone and estrogen in us? From the feminist point of view, they are not saying that boys have to stop being rambuncious, super active or stop playing with trucks; they are simply saying that violence doesnt have to be involved. Men and boys are responsible for at least 85% of violence in the U.S. With a changing community, boys no longer have to hold all of their emotions, or be so violent. The main thing that feminists are trying to get across is that you can still be a boy or a man without violence. One of the better advice books that Kimmel has seen was written by a man and a woman together; explaining that changes can happen, and that those who say boys will be boys are not actually helping the situation but worsening it. "Boys will be boys" is giving men and boys the right to be violence, act out, and be uncivilized; hurting the imiage of men and being extremely offensive to those who are trying to change how men are seen.                      I 100% agree that the "boys will be boys" statement is undoing and harming beliefs that may have been set for young boys now. It is not an excuse for someone to act out. I found an article which takes more of the excuse for young men route. It explains to mothers that you have to understand that boys are adventurous and that they need energy releases, unlike girls. I believe that it is completely "boys will be boys" mentality driven.                       

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lorde "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master's House" REFLECTION

The picture that comes to many people's minds when shown the word "feminist" is a white, lesbian woman who probably is dressed down like a man. Many also only believe that fighting for womans rights have only stemmed from the right to vote, but it goes much deeper and includes so many more woman. In the article " The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House" Audre Lorde she connects with so many other woman by telling them that she is a black lesbian femminist.
             Patriarchy is mentioned numerous times in the article. The comparison between a male dominated family and your not so common woman/ woman family is put in the spotlight by the restrictiveness that the woman often has to endure. She also explains how so many woman lead their lives but choose to ignore the fact that it is run by the patriarichal ideal. What was interesting to me was the way she explained a woman to woman family run house hold; the two woman are not fighting for the power of who is the more dominant, but they are working together, the are looking for a "redemptive" relationship. I have seen many different family dynamics, and the ones with the same sex parents seem to be less stressful with the children, less fighting (that I can see). Lorde believes that pregnancy is the only social power open to woman, and sadly unless the woman in the relationship has a higher paying job, that is often what she is used for. You can revert back to the old ages where the womans only duty was to have children, and she see's it as a problem that many woman face.
            What I dont agree with Lordes about is that we are stuck with the tools that our family is made from, and no matter how hard we try we can never get out; that the master is keeping us down. I believe that we can get out of any situation that comes upon us. Because of all of the education there are ways out, help services, and many people to lean on. It is your responsibility of you want a change. You cannot see the masters house as your only source of support, you wont get out. One things that I found amusing about this article was when she points out that there really is no difference between the daily manifestations of marital slavery and prostitution. It made me laugh at first because I immediatly thought "of course there is!" and then came to the realization that they are both stuck in "jobs" that are go no where and at the same time are oppressing woman.
               Men are not the only ones oppressing women, its also women doing unto others. Although womans rights and feminism have been researched heavily, Lorde explains that there is a huge problem of rascist feminism: people involved with spreading feminism, but not for the whole of woman, often third world woman and woman who are not white are left out or forgotten. Lorde uses the example " The woman who clean your house, tend to your children while you attend conferences on feminist theory, for the most part are poor woman, and woman of color."  THESE ARE WOMAN TOO! 

          Lordes had a very eventful life figting for women of all color, sexuality, class and age.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

RI Breast cancer license plates!

pro jo link   Gov Chafee is presenting a new plate for Breast Cancer awareness month, you can buy the plate for $41.50 and the state will take $20 and donate it to the state Department of Health's women's Cancer Screening Program, which provides mammograms for uninsured and under insured women between the ages of 40 and 49!