Sunday, October 18, 2015

Towards a New Consciousness by Gloria Anzaldúa

In this writing piece Anzaldúa talks about the issues that occur with being a person of multiple races.  She talks about how she is a mestiza, which I didn’t understand what that meant so I looked it up and it means a woman, especially in Latin America, who has mixed ancestry of European and Native American descent.  Anzaldúa talks about how being mixed race is like having multiple personalities because to be accepted by people of each race, you have to know how to act like you belong.

Sometimes, people aren’t accepted at all because maybe they aren’t white enough or Mexican enough to consider themselves either race.  But, she also says that that doesn’t have to be a bad thing because then multiracial people can just create their own race where they will be completely accepted for who they are, and yet still have a bit of a hand in the other cultures.  So Anzaldúa says that it will ultimately be those people of multiracial descent that could possibly bring all races together and end racism.

Then at one point, she starts talking about the LGBT community in the same way.  She said, “Being the supreme crossers of cultures, homosexuals have strong bonds with the queer white, Black, Asian, Native American, Latina, and with queer in Italy, Australia, and the rest of the planet… Our role is to link people with each other – the Blacks with Jews with Indians with Asians with whites with extraterrestrials.”

I just chose this video because it was interesting to hear about her story and all the issues with being multiracial, even growing up as a child.

Final Thoughts
So I had a little difficulty with this article, especially with Gloria Anzaldúa jumping around from speaking English then throwing in a few Spanish phrases in, but ultimately this is what I got out of the piece.  Please let me know if anyone got something different out of it.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence by Adrienne Rich

In this essay Rich talks about “Compulsory Heterosexuality”, which basically states that it is normally assumed and “mandatory” for all women to be straight.  She says that in our society, there isn’t really such a thing as lesbians; lesbians are just women that hate men, essentially.  As ridiculous as this idea sounds, it very much sounds like something men in our society would think.

In one of my other classes, Gender and Sexuality, we talk a lot about how throughout history men have constantly tried taking control of women and there sexuality.  Men don’t typically see women as sexual beings with their own sexuality, they think of women as objects for their own sexuality.  This sounds exactly what Rich is talking about.  Since lesbians do not have sex with men, the men do not see them as a “normal” part of society.

This is why, I believe, Rich said that this is not just a lesbian issue but it is a women’s issue.  Women should be free to have and explore their own sexuality, even if that sexuality does not involve men. 

THIS VIDEO, I chose because I just found it interesting and the girl talks about Rich's writing and makes it a little easier to understand (because I found it a little hard to follow at times).  So if anyone had trouble following as well, I hope this clears some things up.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Land of Limitations and People Like Us

In the article “U.S.A., Land of Limitations” by Nicholas Kristof, it talks about how the United States isn’t truly “The Land of Opportunity” like everyone would like to believe.  Kristof talks about one of his old friends, Rick, who was born into a lower class family and had attention deficit disorder as a kid.  As Kristof says, Rick was a very intelligent kid but his A.D.D. led to nothing but trouble in school and eventually led to him dropping out in 10th grade.  After that, “Rick worked in lumber mills and machine shops, then became a talented custom painter of cars.”

Even with Rick’s intelligence and strong work ethic, he was never able to climb any higher than the social class in which he was born.  Sadly, that is how it works for many Americans that are born in the lower classes.  Especially with cases like Rick and his A.D.D., when a child’s parents can’t afford medication or to even take the child to get tested for A.D.D.  That usually causes the student to be seen as disruptive and they usually don’t finish school or don’t do very well.

It is similar to the People Like Us website.  One of the interesting stories that were in the stories section was about a man named Charles.  He was originally born into a very high-class family, where his dad, brothers, and sister were all sent to medical school and were very successful surgeons.  Charles on the other hand decided to leave college and find his own way in Louisiana even though it dropped him to a lower class.  But sadly, that made his parents disown him for embarrassing the family.

That shows just how important class is in our country.  For some people, status means everything and even leads to families being embarrassed of their situation.  That was even shown in some of the games, like Chintz or Shag because as you are playing some of the “judges” (especially Stiles) tended to make fun of some of your choices of furnishings if you didn’t choose things that weren’t “nouveau riche”.


In one of the games they were questioning what your class attitude was and showed how your attitude landed you into different social classes.  What social class do you think a wealthy person would be considered in if they lived modestly and didn't flaunt their riches because they showed that upper class people preferred to show there upper class-ness?  Also, I was not able to find the website for the Center for Working Class Studies.  Did anyone else have that issue?