Obnoxious Restrictions

January 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

When reading “Latinas on the Fault Lines of Citizenship,” I couldn’t help but feel a bout of sadness for the situation that’s going on for many people in the United States. Even though the woman in which this essay is about was interviewed in the nineties, sadly this is something that is still seen all over even in 2012. The situation I am speaking of is what people have to go through in order to simply feed their children and put a roof over their heads.

After seeing all of the obstacles that Myrna Cardenas had to go through just to simply have enough money to give her three children these things that everyone deserves. It really is sad to see how difficult it is to feed your child and to be able to support them properly. As it says in the essay, many people believe that people who are on welfare are just lazy people who don’t want to work, but just by reading this very short essay, it is pretty obvious that that is not the case to many, if not most of the people.

I believe that this is something that the 99% and everyone who partakes in the Occupy movement is trying to fight, the fact that someone who is a hard worker is suffering because of all the obnoxious restrictions that this country has put them on.

Black sheep of your own nation

January 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

When reading Helen Zia’s essay, “From Nothing, a Consciousness,” I can truly say that I can understand what she is going through and can relate to how she feels. In the essay, Zia expresses her experiences as an Asian American in America as it was occupied with the Vietnam War. Because of the fact that she was Asian (not even Vietnamese) she felt as if she was not even wanted in her own country of birth because of the fact that she looked like those who the US were battling. But that was not the only struggle that she faced. Not only did she have to battle racism, but sexism as well, and unlike her peers, she would not put one in front of the other.

This essay I would like to relate to my own experiences when it comes to gay rights. Even though I was born in this country and have lived here for my entire twenty two years of existence, I cannot help but feel like a second class citizen because my peers and I are not receiving the same rights as those of heterosexual couples. Zia and I are both the black sheep of our country because we are not those of the norm and just how she overcame her battles, I hope to overcome mine as well.

People Of Color Let’s Do Better

January 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

As I read “From Nothing, A Consciousness” I wondered what I could take from it. There were a few aspects I could relate to, being a person of color. But there was something about Helen’s story that was different. It brought up issues that I have looked at all my life, but never understood what was really going on. She was an Asian American living in a time where Americans were against Asians because of the Vietnam War. She received stares and the blame for something that was out of her control and had nothing to do with her—being a Chinese girl.

She had grown up in a Chinese household rooted with traditions, but she was somewhat Americanized. She spoke of how people like her were absent from anything considered to be American. That is a good point; you don’t see many Asian Americans in high political powers, major roles in movies, or the typical American mom magazines. Within the past 10 years, things have become more diversified and Asian Americans are on the scene, but still not as much as they should.

I also thought she brought up another valid point. It was hard for her to identify herself to one culture. She couldn’t relate to being Asian because she didn’t speak Chinese, know the Chinese routine, or much about her native land. It was hard for to consider herself American when she grew up in times where Americans weren’t too fond of Asians, she was treated different, and her family still followed Chinese traditions. I think this is the case I observe with a lot of Asian students on campus. There either Americanized, fully in touch with there Asian culture, or just not able to identify with either. I think it makes it hard for most of them to communicate with people from other cultures. Some of them are adapted to a certain lifestyle and it’s easier for them to flock with people who look like them and share their same issues, than to try and step out of their comfort zone.

This is a problem that I believe limits Purdue form diversifying? Not just the Asians on campus, but the people of color. It’s hard for us to identify with people who aren’t like us, or who don’t share the same struggle, so we are quick to stick with our own kind. This limits us from broadening our horizons and expanding our presence as a whole people of color. Something we need to do better about, as People of Color.

Am I a Parent Also?

January 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

Am I a Parent Also?

I found this in our Dorm Bathroom and felt it related to last weeks readings on the Momism and Fatherhood. How men aren’t expected to do certain tasks, like attend parent-teacher conferences, because that’s a “mom’s task.”

The “marriage killer”

January 30, 2012 § 4 Comments

I was reading this article (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203806504577180811554468728.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read) and was completely stunned that almost the entire weight of the blame was placed on the women who “nag”, rather than examining the issue of their requests not being respected or even taken into consideration by their partners.  What’s with that, dudes!?

Hardship and Welfare

January 30, 2012 § 4 Comments

Myrna Cardenas of “Latinas on the Fault Lines of Citizenship” is a sad example of what being an individual on welfare is like. Her difficulties in obtaining welfare were complicated by the fact that she thought she had proper citizenship documentation, but found out when she applied for welfare that she was not a citizen. However, even after obtaining the correct documents, she was still shuffled around by caseworkers.

While I think much of her experience with the welfare system was influenced by her status as Latina mother, I think some of her difficulties are universal. Such as the fact that recipients of TANF are cut off after five years. That single mothers on welfare are likely to live in poor and crowded conditions. Isn’t that what we expect of people on welfare? It hardly seems fair to me that these mothers must deal with the threat of having their children removed from their homes, especially since there are serious problems with Children and Family services in just about every state. Would their children really be better off?

Shouldn’t the welfare system (and other social services) be expanded rather than lessened? I think the idea that people are taking advantage of welfare is a created myth. Maybe one individual out of thousands. But, honestly no one enjoys hardship. No one wants to see their children go hungry, live in squalor, or lack health care.

The Stratification of Men and Women and other Minorities

January 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

While reading Judith Lorber’s essay about gender and the social construction of it, I found the stratification part to be very interesting and it really made me think about the system that our society has to separate gender. She talks about not only gender but race as well. She starts off with Nancy Jay’s quote about “A” and “Not-A”, she talks about how A is pure and Not A is the left overs but not necessarily imperfect. Lorber goes on to talk about this concept in terms of gender and then race. The man is A and the woman is Not A, but the stratification doesn’t stop there, for instance, white is A and African American’s are Not A. This is the example that Lorber gives in the essay. This got me thinking that people can be an A and a Not A at the same time. Or you could be at the complete end of the spectrum, completely A or completely Not A. I started thinking, how is this fair. Just because some has all of the qualification to be an A, why is that individual so much more entitled to power than the Not A. All of the qualifications are beyond our control. Your race and sex are not up to you as a person. Even though class can be changed by a person’s actions, it is not always an option to move up. Although we may not like this system, it has been working so far. It doesn’t always seem fair, but what is fair? In my opinion, a stratification system can never be fair.

Another point that stood out to me from the stratification portion and it was actually more prominent to me than the A/Not A idea was the part about men’s work and women’s work. Lorber talks about how men’s work is normally viewed more highly than women’s work and I have always know that this is true but then when I read the quote from Mencher, a whole new idea opened up for me. The quote said, “Whenever a task is done by a women is considered easy, and where it is done by [men] it is considered difficult”. This quote made sense but then it seemed somewhat backward? You would think that men would want to say that the work they do that is the same as women would be easy for them. I always thought that men would say that women’s work is easy because they are more manly, but this quote is saying that men have to work so much harder to do a job that women do. Doesn’t that take away from their masculinity a bit. I would think it would. In my opinion, if men want their work to be valued more then it should actually be harder than women’s work to prove that they can do more.

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