Sunday, October 28, 2012

To Be or Not To Be Sex Positive, That Is The Question... [[Quotes]]

    Ok so, there were two articles we had to read this week. One from Wikipedia and another from a blog called “the Frisky”.  Even though the Wikipedia article was AWESOME (-ish), I kind of understood the article from “the Frisky” better. She gave 8 ways to be sex positive.  And even though I am a sex animal in waiting, (getting a ring on that finger ;)) and cannot physically relate to what White said, I think she made some important points. Here are 3 of her points to be sex positive:

1.       Stop glamorizing sex: When I read this, all I could think of was the MEDIA and HOLLYWOOD. Back in the good o’ days, sex was meant to be special and with the person you love. Nowadays, it seems like a lot of people are having sex and it means nothing. In the article, White explains this as “talking about your sex life as if it’s better than someone else’s is glamorizing sex, and that doesn't move the dialog forward.” The fact is “glamorizing helps cement the idea that sex all the time should be the goal instead of knowing your desire levels and honoring those.”

2.       Just because it doesn't turn you on doesn't mean it’s wrong: Feet fetish, balloon fetish, and the people who get turned on by the sound if a blender… they exist, believe me. And there’s nothing word with what starts their motors. All because you may feel “grossed out” about how they are feeling doesn't mean that it’s wrong. Something that turns you on may be the weirdest thing ever to the next person, so how are you to judge? White says “Other sex writers have pointed out that using this kind of knee-jerk, personal reaction as a basis for saying something is “wrong” is what has helped keep LGBTQ people marginalized and discriminated against.” Is there a connection being made here? I hope so: Something (or someone) who doesn't turn you on doesn't mean it’s wrong, it means you’re different… Enjoy that

3.       Know Thyself: Know yourself and know your limits. Don’t feel the need to do what other people are doing. White asks questions like “what is this doing for me? How do I feel afterward? How is my sex life impacting other areas of my life?” to see where she stands and then says “Just because you like something sexually doesn't mean it is good for you. Remember, sex positivity is not sexual hedonism.” Liking something sexual is not a bad thing, but too much of a good thing IS a bad thing. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ohh Mommy, I Want The Pink Pretty One! [[Argument]]

This author, Orenstein, argues that the simple things we've known like the Disney princesses, the American Girls, fashion, and the colors pink and blue are influencing the minds of our children, and not for the better.
In this article, Orenstein was talking about how she did not tell her daughter the story of Snow White, to find her daughter at a bat mitzvah playing the role of Snow White in a game. She continues to discuss how the Disney princess invaded young girl’s minds. She asks the question of why girls are so into the princesses. I must admit I was a Disney princess fiend (I still have my princess books to this day that I refuse to give to my younger niece). She explains that one, it was a brilliant market idea and that, two, young have a fascination with princesses and how perfect they are. Up until 2009, Mulan (a girl who posed as a boy to fight in the war) and Pocahontas (an Indian princess who defied her father) where the brownest-skinned princesses. They were both beautiful and had very different roles, but when they were marketed, Pocahontas appeared as her did and Mulan wore a traditional kimono. These princesses were loved but not as popular as the traditional Cinderella, Ariel, Belle Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. In the article, she continues by explaining the making of the famous Shirley Temple dolls. She says that these dolls weren't really for a fashion sense, rather a more “give and receive hope” doll. What I mean by this is that Shirley Temple was around on the times of the Great Depression. President Roosevelt labeled her as a savor of hope for the country. It seemed like every family just wanted that piece of hope.

One thing I found interesting is that is an odd twist of things; girls are freer than boys in our society. It’s not so weird to have a “father proud to buy his daughter hot wheels” but then be upset when his son asks for a “tutu”. Nowadays, there are pink everything: pink tools, pink motorcycles, pink bicycles and even pink tractors, but where’s the blue Barbie’s? (and I don’t mean ken)

The main point of this article, I think, is to be aware of the things little girls are interested in. there’s no problem if they love princesses and want to become one, but let’s just hope she want to become one because she want to be perfect. The media and the market’s obsession with girls obsession with dolls and pinkness has become overbearing. I hope that this weight does not stay on top of your girls, and boys, for too long. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pink Saris

On Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012, I went to go see a documentary on a woman named Sampat Pal Devi. Pal Devi is the leader of the “Pink Gang”. In this gang, she brings a certain type of justice to the women on the streets of Uttar Pradesh, India. Pal Devi’s main goal in this documentary was to fight for women (VERY young women) who have been victims of violence in their families.
In India, Pal Devi is considered an activist that woman would come too if they have problems concerning families or marriage abuse. Wherever she is called, she would go and help out the best she can. In her home, she cares for a large amount of women who needed to be rescued from their circumstances.
One thing I noticed from the movie is that obviously, Pal Devi is a very stubborn, strong minded person, who knows what she is talking about. She suffered a child marriage (which many girls are forced into), yet still came out on her own, defending for herself. She has had a very hard youth, which made her even stronger. However, Pal Devi’s boyfriend had confronted her at one point in the movie. He said “your changing and I don’t like it. If you want to be famous, go ahead, leave me out of it. I like being an ant.” After he said this, Pal Devi became very defensive, saying she doesn’t need him; that he doesn’t do anything for her. Later on in the movie, Pal Devi is in tears saying “it’ll [hurt] me if he leaves.” In my personal opinion, Pal Devi resentment to men has put up a wall for her personal relationship.

Pal Devi challenges the normal traditional way of India, the traditions that state that women are under the control of their fathers, and then their husbands when married.  From my friends Noelle’s blog: “The group stands behind Sampat, as she goes to visit the abusive husbands and beats them with bamboo sticks or lathis, until they promise to stop abusing their wives. The group has also worked very hard to stop child marriages (families marrying their daughters before the age of 18), protest dowry (the money or goods a woman brings to the marriage) and has taught women how to read and write.” This was a very good documentary that I believe any people should see.

Happy Watching!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Umm...Hello? Don't Forget the Boys! [[Quotes]]

While I was reading “What Are Little Boys Made Of” by Michael Kimmel, I came across some quote that got my mind running.

1.      “The Boy Code teaches them that they are supposed to be in power and thus to act like it. The “ruffle in a manly pose,” as Yeats puts it “for all their timid heart.”
a.      In our society, men are thought of as protectors of women. They are the strong defenders for the weak and fragile “home makers”. In my head, it seems every king needs an heir to the throne. That heir happened to be little boys. Boys are taught at young ages not to be emotional and scrawny.  They are taught to withhold all their “girlish” emotions to grow up to be like their fathers, uncles, etc. To me, that is a LOAD of crap. Why do little boys have to hide what they are feelings because society says it makes them look pathetic? Keeping in these emotions often lead to the things boys are known for; violence, anger, depression etc. Boys, and men, should not need to act like unemotional individuals because they do not what to act like women. NOT ALL WOMEN ARE WEAK AND HELPLESS. Showing emotion, no matter what age or gender you are, does not make you any less than the next person.

2.      “Cute blond boys stare at us from the books’ covers, while inside the authors ignore large numbers of boys whose pain and low self-esteem may have to do with insecurities and anxieties that are more economical and politically rooted.”
a.      Every person has felt pain and low self-esteem at least once in their lives. Believe it or not, boys have felt/ feel it too. Boys have appearance issues just like girls do, but no one ever talks about it because they area boys. Some boys stare at the mirror and wonder if they look ok enough, to look normal. Boys suffer pain sometimes, but who would tell. When authors and others write boys as always happy confident human beings, they are telling a big lie. Some boys do not have enough money, financially, to be “swagged out”. Sometimes I just wish every boy and girl can be happy, proud, loved with what they have instead of stressing what they think they need to have.

3.    “Feminist imagine, and demand, that men (and boys) can do better. Feminism offers the possibility of a new boyhood and a new masculinity based on a passion for justice, a love of equality, and the expression of full range of feelings.”
a.      YESSS!!! This quote here sums up how I’m feeling right about now. In my fantasy of new boyhoods and manhood’s, every boy and man (homosexual, straight, black, white, etc.) will be accepted wherever and however. With equality to women and girls, guys and boys can proud display their emotion without a simple passed judgment on their character. However, in this world, it is a fantasy. Nothing is going to be perfect, but something can and/or will change for the better


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Yamato: Something About the Subject Make It Hard to Name {{Reflection}}

In this article, Yamato talked a lot about what people of color go through with racism. She talked a lot about “internalized oppression” because “members of the targeted group are emotionally, physically, and spiritually battered to the point that they believe that their oppression is deserved” (p.1). She talked about 4 different types of racism that people go through.  One that I can relate to is unaware/unintentional racism, where she said that “white people” want to touch her hair. But this is where I split off. I do not think that a person wanting to touch your hair is racism, its curiosity.  Toward the end of the article, she was talking to white allies to people of color. She was telling them “educate you via research and observation rather than rigidly, arrogantly relying solely on interrogating people of color.” She was also telling “people of color, working though internalized racism “to remember always that you and others like you are completely worthy of respect, completely capable of achieving whatever you take notion to do.”

I agree and understand what Yamato is saying here but it’s almost like she’s blaming white people for oppressing people of color or causing us to oppress ourselves. I do agree that race and class go hand and hand. When some people hear “the ghetto” they think of black people. When someone says “the American Dream” they think of a full happy white family. That’s just the way it is… I can relate to this article, somewhat, because I am a person of color. However, I do not feel like I am being oppressed by white people (directly). Maybe it’s possible that something is happening in the general view but personally, I feel respected, and perfectly capable of doing whatever it is I choose to do..

Maybe I’m standing underneath that umbrella…