Saturday, September 26, 2015

Generation M: Misogyny in Media and Culture


In the video Generation M: Misogyny in Media and Culture, Dr. Thomas Keith aims to show us the sexism that is all around us in the shows we watch, the music we listen to, and the things we buy.  The video also shows us how much of an impact sexism in the media has on people in this country, especially girls.  Like, when a girl watches a music video from their favorite band or musical artist and all the girls in the video are all beautiful, thin, scantily clad, and dancing provocatively, the girl watching might wish that she could be more like those girls.  That is what leads to anorexia, and spending tons of money on fashion, make up, and sometimes, cosmetic surgery.

One of the most interesting parts of the video, to me, was when one of the ladies was talking about the women in Fiji.  She said that before television was brought to Fiji, women were viewed as beautiful if they were “large” because that shows that you were healthy and were wealthy enough to buy plenty of food.  But, after only 3 years of having television and being subjected to the media, a large amount of the women started dieting and some even started vomiting to lose weight.  That is absolutely astonishing to me because for as long as the country has been around (about 2000 year the lady says) heavier women were seen as the most beautiful but then by showing them “media beauty” it only to 3 YEARS to completely change their sense of beauty.

Not only did the video talk about the beauty effects of the media, Keith also pointed out violence against women.  The most astonishing part was when they showed someone playing Grand Theft Auto and the character brought a woman (probably prostitute) back to his car and then beats her to death with a baseball bat.  They said that most people, who played GTA and did things like that, only did it because you have the power to and there are no repercussions in the game from doing so.  (That is absolutely appalling and why I have never touched the game.)

I found this video and I thought it does a pretty good job at showing some more misogyny in the media especially through things likes memes.

So, while watching the movie, one of the things that hit me the hardest was the talk about anorexia because it kind of hit close to home (I was anorexic when I was younger, to the point where if I hit a certain weight I wouldn't eat for three days).  But then, a couple days ago I watched a movie called The Road Within. (Just a quick run down) It is about a boy with Tourettes syndrome being sent to a medical center for people with mental illness and he ends up running away with another boy with OCD and a girl with anorexia.  Throughout the movie no one says to the boys "Why do you do what you do?" because they see those as actual problems but the girl always gets asked "Why don't you just eat?"  So my question is, why do people not see anorexia as a real mental issue?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Oppression by Marilyn Frye

“If she is heterosexually active, a woman is open to censure and punishment for being loose, unprincipled or a whore…. On the other hand, if she refrains from heterosexual activity, she is fairly constantly harassed by men who try to persuade her into it and pressure her to “relax” and “let her hair down.””

In this quote, Frye is showing that no matter how sexually active or inactive a girl is, they can’t win in the eyes of society.  I watched Mean Girls this week and realized that it is a perfect example of this.  If a girl were not sexually active, in the “Burn Book”, the girls would call them virgins, in a derogatory way.  Whereas if any of them were sexually active, they are referred to as a slut or a whore.

“It is the experience of being caged in: all avenues, in every direction, are blocked or booby-trapped.”

This quote is essentially the whole idea of the article in one sentence.  Frye is showing that women in our society are basically caged by the ideals of our society.  It is as she says, girls cannot be sexually active without being seen as a whore, nor can they be sexually inactive without being seen as a prude.  Just like if a woman uses “strong language” (as Frye puts it) she would be seen as a whore or a bitch and if she doesn’t use that kind of language she is seen as weak and not capable of handling such language.

“Finally, these gestures imitate the behavior of servants toward masters and thus mock women, who are in most respects the servants and caretakers of men.”

This quote is talking about the everyday act of a man holding a door for a woman.  Frye says that it is a needless act because women are not helpless and therefore the door will be opened whether or not a man opens it for her, especially when the man has his hands full and is making a spectacle of himself trying to open the door in the first place.  Although I can see where Frye is coming from, this is one point that I don’t entirely agree with.  Growing up I was always taught that holding the door open for someone is just polite no matter what gender they are.

I chose this video because it shows how I feel about holding doors open for other people.  It doesn't matter if a guy opens a door for a girl, or a girl opens a door for a guy, etc.  If you open the door for everyone, it is just polite.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The F-Word Feminism In Jeopardy by Kristen Rowe Finkbeiner

url.jpgIn The F-Word, Kristen Rowe Finkbeiner talks about how the feminist movement has started to die down in our generation.  Rowe begins by explaining that feminism has been “passed down” in her family from generation to generation.  Her great grandmother and grandmother were in the first wave, and Kristen and her mother were in the second wave.   Now, she says she is also in with the third wave.  She explains the first wave where women started fighting for the right to vote, where some would end up imprisoned, or fined for fighting for that right.  Then in the second wave of feminism, Rowe explains that women fought for more equality to men in the eyes of the law, with things like equal pay for same work.  Nowadays, in the third wave of feminism, Rowe states that the fight for equality has become slightly apathetic because many women who still want to fight are afraid their voices won’t be heard.  That may be one of the reasons why the right to vote has fallen to the wayside and that could be why so few Americans actually go out to vote.  I believe she is right in the fact that movement has started to lose momentum.  Although there are many people (women and men) that I proudly know that consider themselves feminists, very few are actually active about it.  Unlike the first and second wavers, you rarely see people out picketing for women’s rights.  So, I believe we need to find a way to make this third wave of feminism active again.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Hi Everyone

Welcome to my first ever blog post.  My name is Matt Bartlett.  I started at RIC in 2009, studied there for two and a half years before taking a break to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  A couple years later I decided to try online school at Western Governors University, but found it wasn't for me.  Now, I have finally returned to RIC to hopefully finish my college career with Sociology as my major and a minor in Gender and Women's Studies.  Outside of class, I spend most of my time working in retail as a merchandiser.  I travel to all the stores in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, to help throughout the changing seasons.  I also spend a lot of time at home with my wife and 2 cats, Shae and Sansa (yes, they are named after Game of Thrones).

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I am looking forward to getting to know everyone better throughout the semester!