October 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Pink Is for Boys

Parents with gender-fluid kids often work with schools, churches, and other institutions to use alternatives to gender for organizing kids in the classroom. Rather than dividing kids by boys and girls, use birth months or sneakers vs. sandals, or some other arbitrary distinction or characteristic. Sometimes schools are willing (and even grateful for the tip, which had often never occurred to well-meaning teachers to be problematic). Other times, schools are really uncomfortable with any implied ambiguity of gender. The same feelings are expressed that commenters here often report feeling:

*Why do you have to make such a big deal about it – are you just trying to attract attention, or letting your kid attract attention to him/herself? *Is this spoiling – no one student should get to throw a wrench in the cogs of the school day for everyone else. *Aren’t kids this age too young to even be thinking…

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End of Semester Thoughts

May 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Class,

I have now finished reviewing all of your blog posts, comments, links, etc. for the entirety of the semester and, whew! More than 350 entries were logged for this blog site, and because of the sheer number of responses, I found it difficult to keep up with your musings in real time. That said, however, I had fun (not usually a word I associate with grading) reading and re-reading your posts and comments during the past week. I am thrilled when students begin posts by saying “I’ve never thought of this before” or “This essay opened my eyes.” For those of you who will pursue careers as teachers, you will know how truly satisfying this sentiment is. I’d like to say, I appreciate the earnestness most of you put forth in this project throughout the year. You posted videos, expressed yourselves, posed questions to your peers, and shared your personal experiences. Thank you. I also enjoyed the civil debate over various issues. It is important for us to be able to dialogue from our various vantage points, and I hope you see this exercise as participating in that process. For what its worth, I feel that my first foray into a project like this has been a success, although I will be adapting this assignment in future semesters. (Any thoughts and suggestions on ways to improve this project, please feel free to offer suggestions below.)

As you know, I intend to keep this blog active, and may eventually have other student bloggers add to it. If you do not want to receive updates to this blog or wish to be taken off the list as an authorized author, just email me at any time, and I’ll take you off the list. (I won’t take it personally.) However, if you wish to continue these conversations with me and others into the future, let’s do it! I will do my best to participate and respond when you post. Feel free to share this space with others who might like to read what we’ve discussed during the past semester.

Be well, and have a safe summer.

Prof. David

On Campus lecture

April 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

I attended an out of class, on-campus lecture April 11.2012 in the BCC. This lecture was on the topic of Sister Citizen. I am not quite sure of the leader of the lecture’s name however she broke a few chapters down of the book and interpreted them in how she understood what was written. After the lecture the floor was open for open discussion to discuss all kinds of topics dealing with race and women.  Some of the things that were said and broken down were how in chapter 2 of the book there was a crooked room for black women. The crooked room was described to be a metaphor to confront race and gender. The task of being in a crooked room is that the woman has to find which way is up. Is she supposed to just lean and go with the flow so that it appears she is standing up straight or does she actually stand up straight against the complex structure of the room? “It can be hard to stand up straight”. It was stated that there are three methods to overcome oppression: conquer, defeated, and choose not to fight. I found that very interesting and true. I also learned that citizenship= public recognition and stereotypes=misrecognition, so members of a stigmatized group lack collective opportunity.

Three stereotypes of the black woman are mammy, sapphire, and jezebel. Mammy is an asexual figure and ever sacrificial. Sapphire is an emasculating figure that stems from anger. Jezebel, which of course we read in class, is the myth of the hypersexual and promiscuous black woman. The speaker also brought up three cases of black women having injustice brought to them and was met with mixed African American responses. These black women were Desiree Washington, Anita Hill, and the R Kelly sex tape minor. It was because black men were being accused that the African American community wanted to sort of take up for them oppressing the rights of these black women who had been wrongly done. Another topic that was just briefly touched on was the myth of the welfare queen, which black women will continue to have children just to get money from the government.

To end the lecture a discussion was held. One of the topics that we spoke about that I found interesting was about black women in the music industry. Of course Nikki Minaj was mentioned and questions were asked that if we don’t support or fellow black musicians wouldn’t we be selling out? So many opinions rose from this question and it basically boiled down to we have to get the Nikki Minajs out of mainstream and put the Erykah Badus in however this will be difficult because technology is needed and is not that readily available for lower class minorities to see the good music out of mainstream. We have spoken about this in class before but this lecture was very interesting and kept me intrigued.

Race

April 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Because this is a course that deals a lot with race, I wanted to share with the blog something that came up in my Com 318 class. We also went through a section learning about race and the professor showed a really funny but true video from Saturday Night Live. This sketch was on the topic of Jeremy Lin. It is know that Jeremy rose to basketball fame overnight and with that he earned a name, “Linsanity”  The sketch basically pointed out how the media will portray one race as something funny and okay but may be sensitive to other racial slurs. Take a look at the clip and you will see exactly what I mean, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIw3aF0O7Ww 

AMERICA’S DIRTY WORK Migrant Maids and Modern-Day Slavery

April 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

What struck me about this essay is the fact that I was completely oblivious to this kind of thing still occurring. I had no idea that issues such as women working in homes for little pay and not able to see their families had made a way into modern world. Yes I definitely had learned of it in the past but to see it still happening just opened my eyes especially when we were in the BCC and had learned about immigration. To find out the lives that humans had to go through in order to just make a better living for themselves was disheartening. These are the people that do behind the scenes work and make my life more convenient. I definitely notice my little knapsack a little more after reading about the lives of these women, watching it, and even having someone tell me of their own personal experiences. It is so unfortunate what these mothers, sister, wives have to go through in order to provide better for their families.

How safe is America2

April 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

In Essay 60: “How Safe is America?”, Desiree Taylor starts off by saying how she saw some media and it had interviewed this woman that looked to be of middle class on September 11 saying that she no longer felt safe in America. Throughout the essay it is apparent that this struck a nerve for Desiree because she definitely disagreed. The whole story was basically that people in lower social economic classes and in minority races feel unsafe in America everyday. For a woman that Desiree saw as never having to worry about anything to somehow feel unsafe from one attack is a little unfair.

Health Care Reform

April 28, 2012 § 1 Comment

This article is timely for the recent House of Representatives Bill that has just passed the House.  It calls for the extension of low federal student loan interest rates to stay the same.  This sounds great, right?  We are students, so this helps us, or at least anyone who has federal student loans.  However, the funds the House wants to cut in order to fund the extension comes from a fund that helps with preventative care for women.  It helps fund breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV screenings, and children’s immunizations.  And the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, Republican from Ohio, says that these are “slush funds”.  This shows how little women’s health is valued in the political arena.  If the funds were for testicular or colon cancer, which affects men mostly, would we even be considering these budget cuts for preventative care?

I had an interesting argument with a male friend the other day after we talked about the exorbitant costs for women’s healthcare.  He said something to the effect of, well women have children and that costs a lot of money, so why shouldn’t they pay more?  My argument was that the most common way a child is conceived is by the intercourse of a man and a woman, so why shouldn’t the cost be shared between both people?  I told him that if he had a mother, a sister, or a wife/partner, wouldn’t he want them to have access to birth control, cancer screenings, and pre and post natal healthcare?  He said he had never thought of it that way because everyone in his family always had healthcare, but yes, or course that’s what he would want for women.  I think in order to have the things DeLorey points out in her essay as essential to women’s health, we have to get people to think about issues that are outside of their realities or comfort zones.  Had I never had that conversation, he may have gone on thinking that it wasn’t a matter of concern for him, because all the women in his family are covered.  But women’s health is important to everyone, it just takes some people more convincing than others to understand this point of view.