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

Male vs. Female Bosses

Based on our class discussions this week and last week regarding employment and salaries, I decided to look up an article that mentioned the differences between having a female boss vs. a male boss. I have been interested in this topic because my mom voices her occasional struggles with having a male boss while she is a female in what is considered a "male occupation" -- chemistry/pharmaceutical. As I read this article that I found on this topic, I was interested in the statistics that were raised: there are only 24 women CEOs in the Fortune 500 companies and 27 in the Fortune 1000. I found this statistic interesting and it had me beg the question, are women less likely to be hired in such positions because there are simply not as many applying because it has been labeled by society as a "male position," or are very few women seen as "eligible" for the position on the employer's end based on the same notion? Also mentioned in the article is the fact that women appear to me more motivational bosses when they do posses a leadership position, whereas men are seen as more authoritative in the same position.

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/52422/20150512/male-vs-female-boss-best-workplace-motivators-bosses.htm

xoxo gossip girl ;)

Today in class we talked about gossip and the role it will play in Their Eyes Were Watching God. The act of gossiping can be many things. It can be a source of information, a social practice, a cathartic act, a consolation for oneself, a bit of excitement to break up the mundane, more times than not it is an exaggeration, and often a condemnation. The word “gossip” elicits a thrill because it is human nature to want to be in the loop. Hearing gossip about someone else plays on both our need to connect and our need to feel superior to others. It is reassuring to hear of other's’ downfalls because we can be reminded that no matter how crummy our own situation is, at least we are not in that person’s shoes.  

I mentioned in class that gossip often says more about the gossipers than the subject of the gossip. An example from TEWWG would be the front porch sitters who were talking poorly about Janie. Another example that came to mind was from the Tina Fey reading where she relayed the story of her cousin judging all of the girls who walked by, saying their hips or nose or stomach was too big or too small. There are also modern examples that we see today. Besides gossiping with peers, which is something we have all done at one point or another, we also read magazines and gossip rags about our favorite celebrities. Famous people are not gossiped about because people really hate them, they are gossiped about because people are jealous of them. We always want what we don’t have, and when someone else has what we want it is easy to look for the negative aspects of that person’s situation. 

Deborah Tannen coined the phrase positive gossip, but I don't know if I believe in such a thing. I think gossip always has malicious undertones. To me, positive gossip is not gossip, it is having a normal conversation about another person who is not present where neither party talking has any jealousy or resentment or judgement aimed at the third party. Which, in my experience, does not happen often because, like I said, it's human nature.

Intersectionality and Women in Prison

Intersectionality is one of the most important concepts we have learned about this semester. It relates to every other concept we've learned about and has created the need for a "third wave" of feminism. In the article, "The Road to Prison is Paved with Trauma for Women and Girls", the connection between childhood trauma and incarceration of women of color is explored. As most of you know, the U.S. has the highest rate of incarcerated people in the world. Of these two million incarcerated Americans, there is a disproportionately high population of people in color in prison. Although most prisoners are men, the same is true for female prisoners. The article states that "African American women make up almost one-third of the female prison population and are incarcerated at three times the rate of white women." We've learned that a lot of this epidemic has to do with systems of privilege and oppression, and this article explores this in a new way. The article explores the idea of trauma, especially sexual trauma, being a leading cause for incarceration among women of color.

Women who end up in prison often are put into the criminal justice system at an early age. This is not because they are committing crimes, rather they are the victims of crime. According to the article, The ACLU reports that 92 percent of all women in California prisons have suffered physical or sexual trauma in their lifetimes. According to The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: A Girls’ Story, girls in juvenile justice are four times more likely to suffer from sexual abuse than boys.

So, if our justice system was to address this problem, would we see less incarcerated women in the future?


Firing back at slut shamers

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/woman-calls-out-shirtless-men-slut-shaming-women-social-media

I some how came across this article that I thought was super important. My Outside of Class event was about the Unslut screening we went to and in my paper I talked about how women are being slut shamed and never the men. Usually men are praised for "being a slut." This article is about a women who found a twitter account of men slut shaming girls and her firing back. She calls out, in a kind of funny way, the men who pose shirtless or upload pictures of them shirtless. To me, this is super important because why are women the only ones being slut shamed? And more importantly, why are they being slut shamed at all? Slut shaming is so pointless to me because, for example, if you're calling a girl a slut because she sleeps with a lot of people who is that effecting? The girl is choosing to do that. Her body her choice. Why do people always point fingers towards women and never the men?

Ellen Degeneres Speaks Out About Mississippi "Religious Freedom" Bill





I have to admit, it makes me kind of sad knowing this will be my last blog post for this semester! I hope that even after this class is finished we have the ability to post, because lord knows we will always have something to write about! As much as I'm sad for this being the last post, it makes me a little bit happier knowing I'm going out with a bang--all thanks to Ellen DeGeneres!

For those of you who don't know, Mississippi just passed a "Religious Freedom Bill" in which the state of Mississippi promises that they, "will not punish people who refuse to provide services to people because of a religious opposition to same-sex marriage, extramarital sex or transgender people."

I know, I know, my jaw was just as far down to the floor as yours probably is at this time! Can you believe in todays society something like this passed?!?

Luckily the world has people like Ellen, herself gay, to speak out on the public stage for what's right! Ellen closes her monologue by saying that ,"we all need to remember that we are more similar then we are different, and we all want the same things--love, acceptance, and kindness." She even mentions many of the struggles we have talked about in our class recently dealing with the gender pay gap, women's rights, and racism.

Ellen takes her ability to speak in front of a large audience and runs with it...ITS A MUST SEE!!!!!!

Thanks for a great semester of blogging!!!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hollywood is Hard on Pretty Actresses

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/04/charlize-theron-beauty

I recently saw this published Vanity Fair article and thought it related class, particularly when we discussed how women are often not given deep, gritty roles in movies or TV. In this article, Charlize Theron explains how Hollywood often treats her unfairly because she is both a women and pretty. She explains that she constantly gets turned down for being a beautiful women because directors don't think she looks the  part of a gritty, meaty character. She often is in roles that are below her skill level. Charlize has however won an Oscar for a staring role in the movie Monster, which she was cast by a female director.

Charlize also said “We live in a society where women wilt and men age like fine wine. And, for a long time, women accepted it. We were waiting for society to change, but now we’re taking leadership. It would be a lie to say there is less worry for women as they get older than there is for men. . . . It feels there’s this unrealistic standard of what a woman is supposed to look like when she’s over 40.” She explains how Hollywood and society set unrealistic standards that limit women's careers as they get older and it can be a struggle no matter how talented the actress is.

I thought this was an interesting read from a women who we would all deem successful on gender issues that affect her career.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Pay Gap














https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/basketballs-gender-wage-gap-is-even-worse-than-you-think


Recently we have talked a lot about the pay gap and how women get the short end of the stick when it comes to receiving a paycheck. As an athlete, I have always been aware of the difference in pay between men and women's basketball, because that is the sport that I have played my whole life, and was hoping to play professionally. However, as I grew older and started looking into the pay that a professional women's basketball player would receive, I decided that I would not pursue it professionally because the pay was not enough unless you are like the Michael Jordan of women's basketball. In this article, it says that statistically, the league minimum for women is $75,000 and the minimum for men is $490,180. How can that even be a thing? That is almost SIX times the pay! Not only does this happen in basketball, but the difference is evident in every sport that both men and women play. For the most part, the reasoning behind it is that women do not draw as much attention as men do, which affects attendance numbers, merchandise sales, etc. Is it fair to pay women athletes far less even though they have to do the same amount of work and training as men?