Friday, April 15, 2016

TEWWG

This week our readings have been focused on an incredible novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Let me first start off by saying this is hands down one of my favorite novels. The first time I read this book was my 9th grade year, and ever since I try to read it every other summer. 
I don't want to give too much away, but within the book there are many life lessons to take away. One thing I learned, in which we've previously discussed is people are going to have something to say about you regardless if it's positive or negative. Long as you love yourself, don't let the opinions of others get the best of you. And I think Janie has a way of letting others know their opinions don't matter, when she came back into town with her head high. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Recollection of this week's readings

I have been thinking about the readings on "Their eyes were watching god" and the ending to Janie's relationship. I sat here thinking about relationships and to how easy it can become to get "used to" being with the person rather than keeping the romance alive over the years. I spoke to my aunt who is a widow and asked how she felt when her husband passed away. She was surprised about my question and felt quite offended that I would even ask. I had to explain to her what we were reading about and Janie's situation. She then told me that even though her husband had once become aggressive with her during the early stages of their marriage she never felt any grudges or anger towards him, but then again, his behavior changed and he only did it a couple of times (according to my aunt). I then proceeded to ask her how she felt. She said that it hurt and she felt rather lonely despite all her children staying at home with her and all. She also said that there were things that she didn't miss about her marriage. She didn't miss the yelling or commands to make dinner or wash this or even clean that. She said that had her husband been more understanding and appreciative of her work at home, maybe she wouldn't have anything to not miss. Nevertheless, she did mention how she has known people that were in unhealthy relationships that once their partner had died they felt free. Free from anger, free from resentment, and free from any ties. I thought about how sad and awful it must be to have to live through something like that for that long. She even said a friend of hers had wished death upon her husband because she was in a abusive relationship and was scared to leave it due to not having any family or support nearby. I cannot imagine the struggle of living through something like that everyday and having to stay due to fear.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I am right there with what Spencer said on his post from last week in that I am sad this is my last blog post I will be making this semester.  As of last week we began our reading of Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God."  In class on Monday we were discussing how Janie was finally able to be happy after Jody passed away and what I was impressed with was how she was happy for independence and not for things that people would maybe assume she would be happy for.  When a woman who is married to a wealthy individual loses her husband, one may assume that she could eventually become happy to inherit his wealth or to be able to "date" again.  Janie is a beautiful woman and she had all of the guys in the town chasing after her but did she care...? Nope.  Did she care that she inherited the wealth of Jody...? Nope again.  She was solely happy that she could now be independent and speak her mind without being silenced by Jody.  I think that there is a bad perception out there about some girls that they are only going to be happy if they meet a guy who has wealth.  Janie sets an incredible example for her readers that she in fact was not happy with the money and the relationship she had with Jody.  Her happiness came when she was alone and independent and I think this sends out a really positive message to people who may be down on themselves for not being in a relationship or having a spouse that your happiness is not dependent on another person, it is dependent on you and what you know you need in order to be happy.

BLUE GIRLS BURN FAST



BLUE GIRLS BURN FAST

One of my all time favorite feminist activists is Amandla Stenberg. She first really came into the maintream spotlight as Rue from The Hunger Games. With a newfound fame, she was able to speak out about intersectional feminism on a public platform. One of her favorite videos of mine is one that she did about cultural appropriation: Don't Cash Crop On My Cornrows. I knew what cultural appropriation was but in the same way that I could recognize chemistry terms from seventh grade. This video by Stenberg actually helped me understand the concept in a way that I could also look at new situations and determine what was cultural appropriation and why it was important. As I learn more and more about intersectional feminism and human rights, I'm still stumbling and making mistakes along the way, but each time that I read an interview from Stenberg or one of her blogs or see a video of hers, I walk away with a new understanding of myself and the world around me. 

In turn, I was obviously super excited and hardcore fangirled when I saw that she would be going to NYU for film school at the same time that I'll be moving there to start my job. 


More importantly, the point of all of this is to tell you about the short film she just produced. The film is called Blue Girls Burn Fast (scroll to bottom of page link for full video). The film focuses on a main character, Andy, a foster teen, who is navigating romance, life, and school. The film is thought provoking and beautifully made. Its flawless view of fluid sexuality promotes the idea that varied sexualities should be normalized aka this film handles sexuality how all films should in 2016 and in the future. The film moves through a variety of scenes, characters, emotions, and topics in a way that makes you walk away with questions about how we talk about and respond to a variety of different issues and situations. I have much praise for this film and the role that it plays in our society. I know it's eighteen minutes of your day, but trust me, it's more productive than scrolling through instagram or watching netflix reruns of Gossip Girl. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Equal Pay Day



I learned today, April 12, that it is Equal Pay Day, a “non-holiday,” as the article I linked calls it. April 12 marks the day that white women have worked enough in 2015 and 2016 to earn as much money as white men earned in 2015. Of course, as the article explains, this is the worst case scenario. Equal Pay Day for mothers is June 4, for Native American women it’s September 13, for African American women it’s August 23, and for Latina women it’s November 1.

This may not be a happy holiday, but it’s important because it brings attention to the issue. Many companies that sell products for women are offering 21% off to account for the 21 cents women don’t get paid for each dollar a man does. This reminds me of bake sales that some people hold where men are charged $1 and women are charged roughly $.73.

I think Equal Pay Day is great, but it is a bit of white feminism. I’ve never heard of Equal Pay Day before today, but I doubt I’ll ever hear about Equal Pay Day for minority women. Those other Equal Pay Days should also be recognized.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2016/04/12/equal-pay-day-inequality-women-gender/82913078/

This other article has some nice graphs that show some of the qualities that a woman might posses that would lead her to be payed less. This, of course, includes race among other things.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/12/us/equal-pay-day/

I think a huge struggle we face as feminists is getting people to believe that the battle we are fighting is real. I've seen a few posts about Equal Pay Day of various social media platforms. Reading through comments on those posts is disheartening. I would say that a majority of the comments are calling the pay gap fake or something feminists made up. Seeing how many people don't believe in something so horrible is discouraging. I feel like I'm part of a fight that can never be won because no one believes it exists. However, I saw a quote from Ellen Page the other day that helped a little. "But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word?"

There are people out there who hate the idea of a feminist. Our job is to convince those people to become feminist themselves. It's not an easy job, but if we don't do it we may never get anywhere.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Dress Code Sexism

I always had a problem with the dress code in my high school. Girls are told that we aren't allowed to wear certain things because they might distract boys. Laci Green has a video that talks about this and I watched it. She makes some great points that this objectifies and slut shames girls as well as teaches boys that they can do what every they want. This is something that can't be happening to young kids. If we perpetuate this than the slut shaming problem will continue to occur. If administration can help girls feel more comfortable in their own skin then boys won't feel like they can do whatever they want to girls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41J4XBjgOrw

Thursday, April 7, 2016

"Why Do We Gossip?"

After talking about gossip today during our class discussion in relation to the book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, I came across a video on YouTube called "Why Do We Gossip?" The video features several people, in which they are asked, "Why do we gossip?" One woman's response was that people gossip to feel better about themselves. These people also reflected on their own experiences of gossiping. One man said when he broke up with his girlfriend that people wanted to know why they broke up and people started gossiping, making up stories as to why they originally broke up. These people even reflect on how gossip affected their lives and their relationships with other people. One older man said gossiping is what ruined a deep relationship he had with another. After watching this video and having this class discussion, I did not realize how powerful gossiping could be. I think as humans we are the ones to blame, since we are the ones who can control whether we choose to gossip. After watching this video, I reflected on a time in middle school when people I went to school with were gossiping about me. I went to a pool party with friends and the guy I liked at the time was at the party. His best friend and him were in a room playing video games and he asked me to join in. Then he started touching me inappropriately, since he felt the need to with me being in a bikini. I decided to leave the room and eventually left the party. I found out my friends were spreading rumors about me, saying I had done something with the guy, when I didn't. I didn't know that the way people were gossiping about me would affect my reputation. I didn't like what people thought of me since they didn't know the truth. I think as humans it's part of human nature for us to gossip, but gossip can have some very damaging effects. It made me not trust some of my friends I considered close. This video is a perfect example on how gossiping has a negative effect on others by reflecting on individual experiences.

Here is the link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WQx3ePgHuQ