Sunday, September 30, 2012

compulsory heterosexuality and lesbian existence - adrienne rich

Compulsory heterosexuality. Lesbian existence.  What do these two terms mean?
It was very hard to not Google the meanings of the two, but I know to get the right answers out of this article I had to refrain.  After reading, I am still a little confused as to what these two words mean.  Rich is a very talented writer, and would be understandable for those who are extremely into these subjects, or love to read – none of these apply to me. 

I thought breaking down the words separately would help give me a bigger picture of a definition I could come up with myself (I didn’t think that googling them separately was breaking the rules):

Compulsory: required by rule
Heterosexuality: a sexual attraction to (or sexual relations with) persons of the opposite sex
Lesbian: a homosexual woman
Existence: the state or fact of existing
(These were all via Siri ;p)

Going by souley on the article I saw:

Compulsory heterosexuality as more of an encouragement for people who are heterosexual to go into politics and see what the world of law is doing to them and others.  Another thing that I saw out of the article was that Rich says that this is a mans world, and a man makes a compulsory heterosexual for his needs.  She does speak of how men biologically men have only one innate orientation--a sexual one that draws them to women--while women have two innate orientations, sexual toward men and reproductive toward their young.  Making women obviously different and more “prone” to different orientations.

Lesbian existence was broken down into two separate terms in this article.  One: “lesbianism,” and two: “alternative lifestyle.”  It was very hard for me to tell if Rich was for or against lesbians by the way she wrote. Once again, she makes lesbian existence about politics and political rights and wrongs.  However, Rich speaks about lesbian awareness, and about how so many women live in secrets because they are afraid of who will judge them.  Rich does state that it is a hard world, for everyone. 

Question for class:
For Rich, would you say she is for lesbians or completely against them? Where is Rich going with all of this? Is being gay something your born knowing?   
Want to know where Rich is going with all of her information.  I saw a lot of contradictions in her writing.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

EQUAL pay for EQUAL work.

Economic inequality is an issue that has been affecting women for over decades.  This issue would definitely go under the category of a feminist problem. This takes us back to the old ages where women did not work, and if they did they were paid significantly less than a male.  So why is this still going on today?  How does being female or male make your work ethnics different?  This also goes along with how women are not hired as high positions, like CEOs, etc.  FEMINISM.  These are things that people just look at and say that’s how they are, and they cannot be changed.  Why is this?  Women work the same hours, and put in the same amount of labor. Their pay should be equal.  What does sex have to do with paychecks? It is crazy to think that in 2012 women can still be considered unequal to men. 

Along with money seeing to be a problem in feminism, I feel like it is a problem between households.  The rich and the poor.  There are always going to be people who are above one another, but sometimes the wrong measures are taken to get where you want to be. I feel like along with inequality in pay, that people go through wrong journeys to become fortunate.  I am not sexist in any way, I do believe that some women have become so fed up with being underpaid that they too, do the wrong things to get money.

While exploring these two (1) (2) websites given in the syllabus I see that there are many people who are experiencing this unfortunate unfairness. CWCS even calls this “wage theft,” which I thought was a really clever name for what is happening right under our noses. I do feel lucky to be protected by the union I am in so this could not happen to me (I hope).  These young and elderly ladies tell their stories of unfairness in the work place, due to the other sex.  One story that I felt the most for was about a women named Ginny, who lives with four of her teenagers.  Ginny refused to be on welfare or receive help from the government, for her pride.  Ginny receives $158 every two weeks and lives in a beak down trailor.  But she is content with her life and her choices.  I feel for her, she has so much pride and does not want to depend on anyone else, including the government, even though she really does need it.  

Questions for class:
How could this still be going on in the twentieth century?  Women are still seen as these unequals?  How would you react, as a women, in this type of predicament?
Comments for class:
Dumbfounded at the fact that a women are still seen as incompetent compared to men. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Bro Code: How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men (event 2)

Right from the first second of this short movie, the sexism was displayed.  Men with big muscles and tans, with ripped shirts were dancing with women who were half naked, and blonde.  The typical stereotypes of a “sexist” world came onto the screen before the title of the film did.  Along with these men dancing with undressed blonde bombshells, there were music videos of the typical rich man/rapper, who shows off their money, their cars, and their sexy women.  As the film moved forward, the director and narrator Thomas Keith, comes onto the screen.  Keith explains how the world has taught him, as a man than they are the more superior.  During the course of the movie, key factors and key examples of sexist men were shown.  People that came up a lot would be the men of the hit music television Jersey Shore.  Ronnie was quoted on there saying how all he wants is “Bitches and Booze,” and that he “isn’t going to fall in love at the Jersey Shore.”  While another star from the show, “The Situation,” was quoted saying that numbers did not mean anything and the more is better.  The Bro Code, also depicts how women are looked at as objects and show things instead of people.  Another example of this is a true story of a 15-year-old girl being raped repeatedly by 10 or more boys in a public school-yard.  And no one did anything about it but watch.  The little girl was admitted into the hospital, and stayed in intensive care for days.  Another great point that was brought up was a movie clip featuring Tom Cruise.  Tom is holding a seminar where he explains how the man is the almighty, and should always be taken care of, and in charge.  He then precedes to make humping motions and moaning showing that he is in control of the women he is having sex with.  He screams things like “respect the cock,” “I am the one who says yes, no, now, where!”  “we are men!”  Going along with these quotes from Tom Cruise’s character, The Bro Code shows how men think they are in control of when and where women have sex.  This is where colleges were interviewed and blatantly stated that they have been to a party where girls were roofied, and taken advantage.  Someone even said this exact quote “if women were to be raped they should just sit back and enjoy it,” this shocked me, that anyone could even think this way of such a horrible crime.  Watching this movie actually brought up anger in my body.  I could feel for these women’s stories, and it was sad but I sometimes agreed 100% with the things being said.

I have to say that it was kind of difficult to find connections from the articles we have read that were different from articles I connected to the last movie I watched.  So I hope it is okay that I am reusing some of the other articles I did last time.

For the first article connection I made, I chose Privilege, Power, and Difference. I did not even have to look through my folder filled with articles, I knew I was going to use this from the beginning.  For the obvious reasons of men and the richer thinking that they are better and more superior to women or poor people.  In the movie, it was said over and over again how men are more superior than women, and that they are better and smarter and so on and so forth.  In the article not only does it say that men are the superiors, but that rich white men were.  This article takes the ideas of the movie to an entirely different level.  In the film, The Bro Code, it was said how the rappers music videos and the people on reality TV shows are the envied, and in the article, it says how the people with nice cars and huge mansions are envied.

While watching The Bro Code, there was one specific issue that came up a couple of times that I both agreed with and also saw in a past article.  It was the issue of being homosexual.  The Bro Code says that gay men are mostly more hidden, and take longer to come out of the closet.  The article, Oppression, explains how some people are stuck, and cannot be true to them because some are scared, some are worried, and some are unclear.  The people who were interviewed in the movie either were straight and made fun of gay men, or were gay and told us quickly about their struggle.  In the film, men were portrayed to always “get with” women, and that was the norm.  If this was not done, they were seemed to be as weird, causing them to be made fun of.  In Oppression, Marilyn Frye, she mostly speaks about women, but I just flipped the gender for this occasion.  I personally felt bad for the gay men who spoke in this documentary, and anyone who feels that they cannot be themselves due to bullies or the peer pressure of being normal.

Finally, for my third connection from the movie to an article read in class was …..
Going to come back to this after reading more articles!!!



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mitt Romney & His Sexist Partner, --Against Contraception

After doing a little bit of research, I see that Mitt Romney is not only sexist (yes, this is my strong opion) but he is also pro-life.  Meaning that he is against birth control and abortions.  Personally, I do not understand how a man, with these views, could try and turn the whole entire country onto his side. Turning on the television the other day, I saw that the state of Missouri has agreed to get rid of medical coverage for birth control, along with Missouri the reporter was saying how he expects a lot of states to also veto president Obama.  This is a video with Democratic views:

Another amazing point that was shared in this video was when the woman in green says how Romney has lost so many women's votes, and she does not see how it would be possible for Romney to be elected president.
This is also a great video stating the sexism that Romney and his campaigns national security spokesman.
After watching other videos and reading some articles about this topic, I really hope that none of these acts or laws are passed.  Not only for personal reasons, but because of the unfortunate events that happen to people, rapes, mostly.  

This specific article quotes an interview with Ann Romney.  As people ask her about birth control and the "War on Women," she quickly changes the subject back to jobs and economy.  


Questions for class:
What are you views on this topic?  What would you do if these health care laws are passed?
I know i would be extremely upset if this law got passed, not only for my own needs, but for elderly who would also be effected, of course not for birth control.. but for other prescriptions.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Orchids; My Intersex Adventure (event 1)

This was my first time in the Women’s Studies corner, so I was a little lost at first to where the movie would be playing.  But the girls down there were very helpful and even offered myself and the three other people popcorn! (Though, they were out, it was a nice gesture).  When we first sat down, a woman explained the movie to us, and it sounded very interesting to me.  I really did not know too much on all of these intersex problems, and while watching a couple were shown.  This helped me open my eyes to the world and it is funny that even though this took place in Australia, we have the same problems here in the United States. 

A young woman named Phoebe and her sister Bonnie decide to travel Australia and find people with intersex problems just like them.  Intersex is the presence of intermediate or atypical combinations of physical features that usually distinguish female from male.  Phoebe and Bonnie both have Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome or AIS.  AIS is when a person who is genetically male (has one X and one Y chromosome) is resistant to male hormones called androgens. As a result, the person has some or all of the physical characteristics of a woman, despite having the genetic makeup of a man. 

Living under the secrets from her parents for years Phoebe is ready to open up and educate the world on intersex and all that comes from having these problems.  This gets the disapproval from her mother specifically, who wanted her to keep it quiet in the forst place, and did not tell Phoebe she even had a problem until she was 12. 
Phoebe and Bonnie travel from Brisbane to Mellbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Townsville – meeting and talking to friend(s) from each city.  Collecting each one of these people’s stories was heart warming, and it was obvious Phoebe was happy she was on this journey.  At the end of the trip Phoebe returns home to her husband to fin dout that they have been accepted on the adoption network!  Since Phoebe cannot have children because of AIS, this is great news!  The documentary ends with an adopted baby girl as an addition to their family.  Showing that people with these disabilities can still be happy and make good things happen in their life.

I would have to definitely connect this to the first article we read Fear of Feminism, because her mother was afraid of telling both Phoebe and Bonnie about their women problems.  She was afraid that they would both get made fun of, and seen as outcasts in the public eye.  These two sisters did not even know each other had the same problem until way later in life.  When Phoebe and Bonnie both had to have surgery to get rid of their undescended testicles, they told the school, and even each other it was for hemorrhoids.
The next article I would connect to the movie would be Oppression, however, not in an agreeing fashion.  In Oppression, Frye speaks of how it is a different world between men and women.  For this specific movie I would say that it is equally, if not harder for men with these types of problems to tell the world, and be open and true.  Women are more accepted if they decide to change their sex, I feel, more than a man who decides to be a woman.  Although, the world should accept whatever people choose, it is hard for everyone to get out of the judgmental days.  
The third, and final article I connected the movie to was a Tsunami in History, more or less to oppose a question.  Back in the past, these problems existed, so I wonder how it was taken care of then.  There was not the same amount of technology and medicine.  People with AIS probably could not have their undescended testis removed, so what would happen to them in the long run?  It must have been harder in the past because of these issues.

Links & Pictures
Bonnie on the left, Phoebe on the right

I google intersex awareness in hopes for a sight just like the one Phoebe found in Austrialia, and I stumbled on some cool sites: