THE CRUNK FEMINIST COLLECTIVE

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

As I was looking for a blog to do my Media review assignment on I stumbled across this blog. It caught my eye because of its name. The Crunk Feminist Collective. It was such an odd name that I had to check it out and see what it was all about.

This blog is of course a blog that has to do with feminism but not only does it have information on that but it also intersects identities other than gender. It intersects the identity of race but in particular the black race.

One of the post on this blog deals with Cis and trans* women of color. It has a focus of them doing a lot of work and not getting paid for it. It covers so many topics that really appeals and deals with a generation of hip hop feminists of all orientation. It goes on to explain what the term “CRUNK” means and how it can be inspirational for the movement.

The page is very modern looking with its bold fonts and colors making it very interesting to read and hold attention. Of course, with it being influenced by “CRUNK”, it appeals to the younger more modern generation more than it would appeal to any other generations. It also has a very informative, activist, and supportive tone.

I think that it’s a pretty cool blog just by the way its visual features bring you in then hit you with a load of good supportive information. I would definitely recommend this blog to someone to take a look at.  Another nice feature that I saw on the blog is that it has a booking info link. That means not only to the authors of the blog write but they also make appearances to talk in the form of both individual and collective lectures, panels, interviews, and workshops. They also have a video posted of one of their panels  and I think that is another cool thing about the blog.

I really like the authors’ names. They have names like “crunkista” and “crunkadelic”. These names are so cute.

The location of the people involved in this blog lead me to believe they are from  the south.  “CRUNK” is a southern term. The blog is also connected to twitter and has a list of artists to show support so it is an all around pretty balanced blog that doesn’t bash on problems but instead gives an alternative way to get information out.

http://crunkfeministcollective.wordpress.com/

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Feministing

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Over the past few weeks I have been following a blog called Feministing. As the title of the blog suggests, it is an online thread for feminists created by feminists. This group of women aims to form a community atmosphere for their followers by not only having Feministing, their main blog, but also a campus blog, social networking sites, and by allowing comment threads. The women who created the blog aspire to provide a place where a variety of young feminists can come together and discuss current feminist issues freely and opening, without fear of others’ opinions.

The blog covers a wide variety of issues such as feminism, racism, sexism, sexuality, as well as many other issues regarding politics. The blog itself has a very simple layout. While it isn’t known for its flare and extensive graphic design, it uses its overall content to draw in followers. The one notable graphic on the blog is the blog’s logo. The logo is of the traditional mudflap girl, but with a small modification–the middle finger. The logo is meant to be ironic in that it is taking something that is conventionally sexist and altering it to essentially say “screw you, sexism.”

Feministing appeals to people of all ages, genders, sexes, etc. with an emphasis on young feminist activists. The blog takes on several different tones, mostly because there are several different types of women that post on the site. It is largely activist and informational, but also has a humorous/sarcastic spin to many of the posts.

Recently, the blog has been discussing many issues within politics. For example, it has had various posts on women’s health care and the issue involving the Komen foundation supporting/not supporting Planned Parenthood. Feministing has also been discussing sexism in recent posts, one post commenting on the sexism (in regards to both women AND men) in this year’s Superbowl commercials. The blog is overall very informative, keeping its readers updated on what is currently happening in the news.

This blog is very intriguing to me and I would definitely recommend it to others. I enjoy the fact that the blog has many contributors and how it brings a variety of different perspectives into focus. The blog can go from informative and serious in one post to sarcastic and humorous in another. I also enjoy how the blog focuses on many different aspects of society. It brings to light many issues that most people don’t naturally think about and the blog makes it clear that these things are very important. I think it does a great job of pointing out flaws, as well as successes, in today’s society. One other aspect of the blog that I enjoy is that the creators consider it a community rather than a blog. I like how they are trying to create a place where feminists can not only learn about these issues, but also share their opinions as well. The blog is attempting to give a voice to women by encouraging activism.

Overall, Feministing is a great blog where feminists and non-feminists can learn about current issues regarding many social problems our society faces.

http://feministing.com/

Offourchest – A feel good blog

February 7, 2012 § 2 Comments

http:/ / offourchests.com /
Offourchests is a blog and a women’s magazine that wishes to make women and girls happier around the world by offering a place for the sharing of stories, lessons, questions and inspirations. The original creators of the website are parents Eva and Seth, who after having their little girl EllaRose, decided that they wanted her to be the happiest girl she can be, which meant fighting negative stereotypes and other ideas and norms which would ultimately limit her happiness. What I found amazing is the fact these parents started so early, wanting to get perspective from other women as well as create a place for EllaRose herself to express her opinions in the future, all while EllaRose is still very young. Many blogs have been dedicated to a variety of the topics discussed, but this preemptive approach to parenting and addressing women’s issues while raising girls makes me so excited for the future of girls and parenting. Eva and Seth outline their mission clearly to “rid womankind of happiness hating inhibitions” and to “help women and girls feel better about themselves.” Eva and Seth have also labeled their movement “chestism,” which promotes girls and women speaking out and loudly (aka getting something off of your chest). As far as content goes, there are some regular bloggers, but overall the blog encourages public participation through posting, commenting, and questioning, which can all be done anonymously if you so desire.

Offourchests offers a wide range of issues neatly organized into categories at the top of the page. The major sections include: happiness making, happiness hating, chestisms, wtf?!, lifestages, bodies, love and sex, and cumulative effects. Happiness making is more or less dedicated to breaking gender roles and other
inhibitions with a positive twist. Happiness hating is a place to look deeper into the inhibitions themselves and some of the darker sides and stories of being a women, allowing for a focus on problems in self-esteem , media & culture, balancing work and life, etc. Chestisms is especially for inspiration, advice and food for thought, definitely my favorite section. WTF?! focuses on the research side outlining statistics and other data specifics related to gender issues, but is still developing and needs more research blogging. Lifestages helps to organize content based on audience separating experiences of those who are in school, growing older, single, moms, or working. Bodies tackles issues of body image, eating disorders, beauty and plastic surgery. Love and sex, well covers love and sex and here is where any sexuality issues are discussed. Cumulative effect refers to the Hollywood imagery, fashion, gender roles and stereotypes which come together to restrict and define women.

While I believe this blog generally speaks to a large group of women, there is little about culture and intersecting identities. In the future I hope this fills out as the blog continues to grow and that overall the audience widens.

In conclusion would definitely recommend this blog to all women and parents who want a feel good blog that still tackles serious issues. The personal stories and at home feeling here is fantastic and before leaving look at those chestisms to remind yourslef things like “stop comparing yourself to others.” I am impressed with the framework laid, the mission and idea behind it, and am looking forward to more posts.

RACIALICIOUS: An intersection of race and gender exploitation in popular culture

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

“RACIALICIOUS” comments on portrayals of people of color in popular culture.  The writers seek to expose popular culture images and messages that are based on racial prejuedices, and other forms of prejudice if present also.  The authors often post images that they critique as containing prejudicial images.  They attempt to describe what stereotypes the images are meant to exploit, and how they are detrimental and misrepresentative.  Anyone who find race and gender issues in popular culture would have an interest in reading this blog, because the issues discussed dive into the complex racialized and gendered images and rhetoric in popular culture.  For example, a photograph of the well-publicized encounter of President Obama and  Governor Brewer is deconstructed by one of the writers.  She explains why the news story about their heated talk contained racial overtones.  Though Governor Brewer claims she was intimidated by President Obama, though the pictures in the media depict her with a finger in the President’s face and appears to be yelling at him.  He, on the other hand looks to be calm and collected, not making comments or gestures that seem intimidating.  The author of that piece points out the body language of the two, but tells a different story about how we, as consumers of mass media, can read this situation in a much different way that the news media and Governor Brewer claimed about how the encounter played out.  The blog writers are cognizant of the ways in which media can misrepresent people and events.  They attempt to shed light on these common misperceptions and give a framework for a differential reading.

Although much of what is covered in the blog is based on the individual opinions of the writers, their arguments are based on historical evidence and academic writings of scholars in race and gender studies.  At times the blog posts focus more on popular culture images and events without analyzing them.  However, these posts serve as a break from the often heavier, more serious topics that the blog most often covers.  Some of the posts are meant to evoke surprise, disgust, and outrage over injustices that racial minorities, often they are women who are discussed, face in the United States.  “RACIALICIOUS” points out serious issues in popular culture portrayal of people of color and women.  Many of the prejudices they expose may be overlooked by others who do not have similar personal experience.  These are important issues to point out, because some ideas can be so embedded in a culture that they are not questioned unlessed they have been experienced.

The post about rape culture is particularly relevant to Feminist theory and consciousness-raising.  This article is important, because it covers an aspect of Feminist theory that has been extensively discussed, but also relevant to the lives of all women, and those of men as well, because they can be victims of sexual assault and rape.  The author of that piece points out the rhetoric around rape prevention being directed toward women instead of men.  Her Feminist critique is accurate in that in hinges on the phenomenon of victim-blaming, and proposes the idea that men should be taught not to rape rather than women be taught not to behave in certain ways.  Her use of photographs and video show the most gender exploitative of popular culture material.  Using images as well as critique of cultural phenomenon helps the bloggers support their arguments with cultural media.

The “RACIALICIOUS” blog forces people to think about issues that are not normally talked about in mass media.  Race and gender issues are important, and yet many forms of popular culture exploit racial and gender stereotypes.  This blog exposes these representations as problematic for people to assume they are true.  The issues they blog about are of importance to race and gender studies, because these two characteristics can intersect in interesting and oppressing ways.

Genderfork:You can call me____

February 7, 2012 § 3 Comments

When beginning my review, I was certain that I would pick a blog/website that I was familiar with such as Jezebel.com, Feministing.com, thefeministwire.com. I changed my mind completely when I came across Genderfork.com. It had a completely different dynamic than what I had expected and also different from what I am used to. At first glance, genderfork is not a website that’s strictly news-based (such as the websites I named above); it is real life blogs and real life people. It is a site by and for feminists.

The original layout is quite simple. I was not overwhelmed when searching through it like many websites tend to do. There are five simple categories that you can search through: all content, photos, videos, quotes, and profiles. On the right hand side of the page is a simple “about” section where you can search the volunteers who make the blog possible, as well as a hyperlink that brings you to the page’s frequently asked questions. Below these links is a section titled: participate. This is where bloggers can post their material. The blogs offers their personal rules and guidelines to the posts. Not everything written to the site is posted. I actually like this rule. It allows the blog to be exactly as the creators want. If the editors feel like posting something controversial or not- they have that ability. I feel like this allows bloggers to feel comfortable posting their feelings and experiences because the editors have the availability to weed out inappropriate comments. Not every website has that kind of comfort level for its writers.

The hyperlink titled: Define Yourself is my favorite link in the Participate section. Here, bloggers get to share their gender experiences with the world. If you do not know what to say, don’t worry, this section gives the blogger fill-in-the-blanks. Below is an example on the site that blew me away:
You can call me… Huu, Miska, Mr. Who
I identify as… a wanna-be-philosopher, vegan, sister, lover and poly, but mostly just queer.
As far as third-person pronouns go, … I prefer they/he. I’m so happy we don’t have gendered third-person pronouns in Finland.
I’m attracted to… queer women. Femmes are the bomb, but it’s the personality that really makes me purr.
When people talk about me, I want them to… realize that gender is not relevant to me. If you have a problem with me not having one, it’s your thing to deal with, not mine. You don’t get to ask me personal questions unless you’re my close friend, or if I’ve given you permission for it.
I want people to understand… that gender just isn’t the best way to describe who I am. Get to know me and you’ll find out who I am. I’m not a scary person.”

It is always such a difficult thing to describe someone with a pronoun. I thought that it was absolutely amazing that this section allows the blogger to say what they prefer. It is an awkward situation avoided with one simple answer. Another important blank is the “I want people to understand”. This allows the blogger to say whatever he/she wants. There are so many things that are judged before you know someone, and this section is perfect for a writer to express themselves in any way they wish.

The blog also has links that you can recommend a site or photo, a clothing store, or a book. This website is made by every day people. If it is interesting, then you can tell the blog and share it with anyone willing to read it. There are also books recommended by the blog as well as comments stated by bloggers. There is a section full of different blogs you can search as well as different categories and topics you can sift through to search for exactly what you want to know. The range of information on this blog seems virtually endless. The photo, video, and quotes sections permit the bloggers to post whatever they want. It is the epitome of self-expression, and it is all about gender.

After searching and clicking through this blog, I put it in my bookmarks on my search engine. It is so easy to use, and is so interesting to read. This is different than most sites you see. It is real life people and real life experiences. I highly recommend checking this blog out, it won’t disappoint.

The Spoken and Intriguing Word

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

When given the Media Review task, I did not know where to start looking or how to even search for blogs. I “Googled” a few tags and tried searching gender related topics, but that didn’t give me what I wanted. I wanted something intriguing, different, and professional all at the same time. That’s when I decided to take a look at the blogs that Professor David provided. The title that captured my attention first was “Madre” because it immediately translated in my mind as Hispanic related to mothers. I thought that could be interesting, being that I grew up around lots of Hispanics, being from Miami. But then I saw “The Feminist Wire,” and I instantly knew this is what I wanted to read. The title was intriguing to me and made me want to explore the blog site and see what it was like and what it had to offer.

The Feminist Wire is a blog site that speaks on many social, political, and gender related issues. It is a news-based blog, and is very informative on the issues and topics they bring up. The variety of captions and general topics make it easy for anyone to become interested in what it is they are discussing and writing about. I scanned through the blog site to find that they cover women’s health issues, ethnic studies, fashion, religion, and sexuality to name a few. As I was looking, there were a few captions that seemed attractive to me, so I decided to read some of the posts. They were great pieces that kept me engaged.

The blog definitely relates to gender in different aspects and from different perspectives. They express the concerns of the value of a woman in certain countries. Also how men refer to themselves as the “better half.” They also speak on gender “barricading” in countries like Israel. It was good to see such broad topics. What made it even better was the graphics and set up of the blog.

The attractiveness of the blog lures you in with its bold colors and graphics. It is set up somewhat like an online newspaper (professional oriented) and very organized. The word “feminist” is bold and in read at the top of the page, so that you focus on that when you open the webpage. The color scheme is red, blue, and black.

An editorial staff of 13 runs the blog. It is predominantly women, but they do have a few men. The staff is very diverse, in the sense that they are all different races, sexualities, and ethnicities. It allows the opinions to be diverse and open minded, and for readers to hear things from different perspectives. Public posts that are contributed to the site have to be accepted and have to be original. You have to submit it and make sure that your submission is of a good quality. This shows that they like to keep a professional manner.

After reading several articles in the blog, it gave off an informative, open-minded, and opinionated tone. Based on the tones of the blog, I would say the audience that it appeals to is all genders. It isn’t just for women or just for men. The information and articles can be pleasurable and informative to anyone. I would recommend to someone else because I found it to be pleasant, and someone else might enjoy it. Also the articles weren’t too long, they were concise and sufficient. They were easy to read, some were a little too wordy, but overall good. I also will keep up with reading it and checking in for cool and interesting articles. It helps you to become more open minded and informed of the things going on today. I like the fact that it keeps you in the loop. It is a spoken and intriguing word.

BlogSite: http://thefeministwire.com/about/

Raising My Rainbow

February 6, 2012 § 2 Comments

The blog that I’ve been following is called, Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in raising a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son. Being a nanny and adoring children, I am always interested on the different upbringing and influences that different gendered children have. This blog touches on the different sensitive subjects that mothers are faced with when children want to do something out of their gender norm.

http://raisingmyrainbow.com/

The blog is written by a mother of two boys with two completely different outlooks on life and different interests. She shares her daily struggles and challenges that she faces while raising her son, C.J. C.J. loves to dance, wear girl clothes and partake in nontraditional boy activities. The tone of the blog is very lighthearted and joyful. The bright color scheme and humorous dialog can bring a smile to anyone’s face. C.J.’s mother uses the blog as an outlet to express her feelings about different challenges faced with her son. Examples of a few are: birthday party themes, the girls dance class, clothing choices, Halloween costumes, Christmas lists, and faith struggles. She reaches out to others sharing her own experiences. She also provides other blogs and articles she finds that relate to this subject.

Another topic the mother shares about is their family and relatives. She shares the different struggles and topics that they must face with different families members. Some members in their family find it hard and confusing to deal with C.J. Others have flat-out said that it was wrong and they should not be supporting and encouraging him. It was great reading and finding new posts about an update of a family member’s acceptance of C.J.

I am constantly going back and forth on how a child’s gender is formed. Is it nature or nurture? I had a lot of influence over my younger brother, he adored me while growing up and we are still very close. But yet he plays and follows every sport out there and is definitely a manly guy. I’m sure this was somewhat influenced from my father and the direction they pushed him. I too was pushed towards sports, but eventually found my love for dance. I’m not the stereotypical girly girl but I do love my purples and pinks. Another example of this older sister, younger brother is the two little ones that I nanny for. I’ve watched them since Jackson was 3 months old. His sister’s toys have always been around him and he is always wanted to play with what she is playing with; Barbies, dolls, kitchenette, beauty shop. He is constantly around these items but now going on two years old, he is drawn to his trucks and tools. At times he has definitely picked a truck over a doll. Did he pick that truck from natural interest or from subliminal influence? I think this question will be an ongoing battle that never will truly be answered. Some way or another, a child is going to be influenced towards their gender.  But then situations like C.J.’s come about. This mother has two sons, which I’m assuming were raised pretty much the same. So why is one a stereotypical boy and the other interested in nontraditional activities? This is when I feel nature takes over. If both were in the same atmosphere, their natural instincts and interests would come out.

I really like this blog. It’s great hearing the whimsical stories of their lives and being able to learn from their experiences of facing gender in today’s society.

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