Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quick Blog #6 - Age

            In my social sphere’s I feel that I have a good amount of diversity in age.  I have been working at a daycare over summers and holidays, so that gives me experience and time with children from ages 6 weeks to six years old.  At that workplace my co-workers are also varied ages from older women to ones just out of college.  I do wish I had more contact and interaction with elderly people though.  I have my grandparents and great aunts and uncles, yet, I only tend to see most of them during holidays or special gatherings.  Other than elderly family members, or my friends elderly family members I hardly have any interaction.  I think elderly people are kind, loving, and have so many stories to tell, that it would be enjoyable to spend sometime with that generation. 
            Our society is very segregated by age, making it difficult to all interact.  When in school you are in classes based on your age, in college you mostly live/interact with people around your age, even sports clubs can have “special age rooms or classes”.  At restaurants, or a museum sometimes elderly get a special price at a certain time.  When someone gets older there are exclusive age communities they can move into, or a nursing home that is filled with all fellow elderly people.  Someone can’t drive a car until they are 16, drink alcohol until 21, vote until 18, it seems are though a lot of events in ones life are marginalized by how old someone is.  
            I think it would be beneficial if our society begun to integrate different ages and generations.  We need to start challenging age-based segregation and rules.  Everyone matures at a different age, and sometimes this age regulations do not fit a specific individuals level of maturity. If we started integrating different ages, I feel people would appreciate each other more, and would learn a lot about life lessons.  The saying “history repeats itself” partially happens because we all don’t communicate well, and don’t listen to past generations experiences.  Some ways people could interact more with other generations could be volunteering at a nursing home, not judging someone based on how old they may be and start a conversation, organizing town activities for all ages to join in on so that people can begin meeting each other, and also just try to be more open-minded and curious about others life stories.  This way younger people will learn what to do and not to do in particular life situations, and elderly people can keep their spirits and life energetic by being around young people’s energy! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Response to Question O

            I have always known that oppression, racism, white supremacists and systemic discrimination have been a continuing problem in our society.  Yet, after taking this course the individual issues have become more apparent to myself.  I definitely feel as though I can do more to help solve these issues on an everyday basis.  One thing I will do now, more than I have done in the past, is speak up when someone uses a racist term, or judges someone for any stereotypical reason.  By speaking up and telling the person that that is not ok to talk about someone like that, maybe they will think twice the next time they say something of that sort.  Sometimes people simply follow stereotypes to sound cool, more powerful, or because they don’t even think about it and are just joking.  By someone standing up for the judged person, or group the other person is making fun of might make an impression on the person to think before they speak next time. I think by speaking up it could affect the people in my sphere, and hopefully they will change their ways as well.
            Essentially we all need to pay more attention to how we treat others, and be more compassionate towards every other human being.  It’s the little everyday gestures and kind words that can make someone feel more welcome in our society, and not oppressed.  We are all not that different from each other, male or female, black or white we all need each other to survive in this world.  We should start looking less at people’s physical appearances, and focus more on who the individual is as a person.  Stop judging someone for his or her age, clothing styles, culture, or traditions and get to know the person.  A lesson I have learned from this course is to stop and listen to more people, and I know I will learn a lot about others by doing simply that.  There are thousands of amazing people in this world, and even in a small community, we all just need to take the time to listen and appreciate each other. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Response to Question N

            I think anyone who is truly compassionate about an issue can be considered an activist.  To be an effective activist is someone who is strong-willed, passionate, determined, and motivational.  I also think an activist has to be well educated about the issue they are pursuing, and be confident to speak up in a crowd.   The person needs to be aware that there will be a lot of obstacles, and most likely a lot of people who will be in opposition with them.  Most importantly a good activist doesn’t give up, even through the hardest patches of discouragement. 
            Activist and activism is important to helping solve issues in our society.  It can bring awareness to people who were oblivious of the issue before.  I know on campus I have seen flyers, rallies, debates, or a free small souvenir (ex. pins, stickers, bracelet).  All these methods spread the word, and knowledge of a cause, I know I have learned for the first time about certain issues from these forms of communication.
            One of my favorite activist groups is PETA.  Although some of the campaigns are extreme, and intense.  They are so compassionate, and make so much effort to make a change in animal treatment.  I am not a vegetarian myself, however, some of the PETA arguments are very convincing.  One of my friends did became vegan after watching a presentation from a PETA activist a few years ago.  Activists are clearly important members of our culture, because they question the norm, and powerfully fight for good causes. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Response to Question M

                        Ageism is the discrimination, and maltreatment of someone simply because they are old.  I think one of the root causes of this stereotyping is due to the media influence, and our fast paced culture.  In our society everything is in high-speed mode, from driving fast in our cars, to wearing all the latest (fast changing) fashion styles.  People think of elderly people as “boring, stinky, cranky, demanding, avaricious, bossy, ugly, dirty and useless” (Butler, 557).  These are entirely not true.  What happened to the elderly being highly respected by a culture?  Some cultures traditions still honor elderly as the most wise and respected people in a community.
            I do not think of myself as completely ageist for I do respect elderly people, and feel that they have a lot of wisdom to share if people would listen to them, and not write them off as senile.  One of my grandfathers was drafted in WWII at age 18, and he has some interesting, first-hand stories about the historical event.  If my own grandfather has fascinating stories I can imagine that all elderly people have worthwhile stories to share.  The problem is no one listens.  I am not perfect though, and there are defiantly those times that I get frustrated with someone older, and think in my head “errr this annoying old person”!  For example, at the grocery store waiting in line behind an elderly person trying to use the self- scanners, or on a one-way street with the person in front of you going 10 mph.  I do get frustrated and impatient.  Yet, we have to realize that these people were from a different time, grew up in a less technologically advanced society, and don’t move as fast as us young people do.  They are still people, and could be some of the nicest, friendliest people you will ever talk to if you give them a chance.  Who cares if someone is old? Do people really have legit reasons if they stopped and though about it.  
            Think of it this way, one day we are all going to be considered elderly, and will we wanted to be treated the way society treats old people now? 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Response to Question L

            I really enjoyed the video “Gimp”!  It was a very inspirational clip, and shows that someone who is considered disabled can be just as good a dancer as anyone else.  It proves no one should doubt someone’s ability to do anything that they put their minds too.  Many believe that if someone is physically disabled that they cannot accomplish tasks that others can.  This is not a true assumption, and “Gimp” helps prove that.  This video expands the notions of the human body, and shows that anyone can dance.  To dance you don’t need every limb, or finger fully in tack, it simply takes dedication, and soul.  The dancers in this film were confident, strong, and graceful, beautiful dancers.  They show that if you stop doubting yourself, and stop listening to the people telling you that you can’t do something, you can accomplish any goal of yours!
            “Gimp” and the article “Gawking, Gaping, Staring”, by Eli Clare, both touch on the term ableism.  Ableism can be defined as “the all- encompassing system of discrimination and exclusion of people who live with development, medical, neurological, physical or psychological disabilities” (p.457).  Many people do not know how it feels to leave their house, and have majority of people they pass on the sidewalk or sit next to in a restaurant stare at them.  I know if it were me I would feel terrible knowing that people were staring at me because of my “disability”, and almost feel ashamed.  Why do we even have to call these qualities of someone a disability, I like to think of them as just something different (not bad) about someone else.  People have different hair colors, eye colors, heights and weights, so why do we stare and gawk when someone has a physical or mental difference? These people who are part of “freak shows” are people, and I do not agree with the existence of these types of moneymaking ploys that cultivate from someone’s appearance.
            Many of these disabilities are not the persons’ choice, and many are incurable medical issues.  We don’t know what someone has been through, or their personal story when passing them on the road, so who are we to judge?  We should be sensitive and accepting, not judgmental and hurtful.  Some people are extremely insecure about their disabilities, however, many have chosen to embrace theirs, and not let that one characteristic restrict their life.  If our society was more open-minded, and less critical of people than maybe everyone with any sort of disability would be able to embrace it, and gain confidence in themselves. 

Quick Blog 5- Pornography

                        I watched Andrea Dworkin’s Testimony about the harms of pornography.  I do agree with a lot of her points, although some are very crude.  At one point she talks about the way in which women’s genitals are used as objects for men to view, putting make up on them, shaving them etc.  This degrades a woman’s body, and makes her completely exposed to the world.  Majority of these women in porn magazines and video chose that career, and comply too the photographers or directors orders.  Yet, the fact that people choose to partake in these types of productions does not make them any less offensive, and degrading to females everywhere.
            In porn women are used interchangeably, exploited, posed in extremely submissive and sexual positions.  Some females are even made to look like little girls, which I feel is very inappropriate.  Considering pedophiles do exist in this country, I feel this type of imagery would not help that issue be resolved.  By pornography being produced I agree it does teach men, and even young boys that women are objects to use for their enjoyment.  This can also lead to violence, sexual assaults, and rape towards women, because men become sexually aggressive and want the women to act like the ones in the porn movies or magazines.  When in reality not all women want to feel submissive to a man, and do whatever they want them to do. 
            Overall, I feel that porn does further the problems with sexism and misogyny.  There should be stricter regulations on pornography, and possibly more limits on where this type of product is sold.  I do not think it would be possible to completely eradicate the production of porn from our society anytime soon, because there is a popular demand for it.  We can start working towards lessening the popularity of pornography, however, by educating people on the affects of this seeming harmless entertainment product. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Process Piece for Digital Video Project

            Overall I think my video came out good, although, my original idea was not what ended up being produced.  I originally wanted to show a timeline of a male and then of a female on how through each stage of life advertisements are influencing.  From a small child choosing which toys were acceptable for their gender to play with, to adulthood buying the latest wrinkle crèmes.  I decided that would take a lot more time than 3-5 minutes to make it clear, and in-depth enough so I decided to alter my idea. 
            I decided to use some of my original idea, but focus mainly on women and what advertisements declare to them.   I wanted to use a lot of images to prove my points (most of my images I found through  I began with a few definitions of sexism, in case some viewers were unsure of what it officially meant.  Then I asked a friend, and my mother on what sexism meant to them, to give a real-life definition of the term.  After those few introductory slides I begun with images and how they influence women about the importance of appearances.  After those slides I wanted to wrap up with a few ending thoughts, and well as a one-slide timeline of a females acquiescence with advertisements through each stage of life.  
            I am happy with the outcome of my slideshow, I wish I could have used a movie program to make the images flow better, but I did the best I could with powerpoint.  I think I organized my ideas well, and the introduction slides and conclusion slides held my presentation together nicely!

            Sources; the images came from, and I used the text “Readings for Diversity and Social Justice” , Section 5 “Sexism”.