Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Responses for Week 6

I totally understand what you mean! In some cases I can tell that people may not take me as seriously simply because I'm young, female, and I also try to be nice, which cannot be helpful when you want respect and the best treatment. In more than one case my father and mother have offered to take over car related tasks because I have received ill treatment from mechanics. Recently I have become more assertive with mechanics, asked more questions, and demanded more answers simply because I don't have the money to dish out for things that don't need to be done. I think by only asserting our authority will we be respected. It takes time, and a focus on self and an ability to forget the notion that we have to make everyone happy/comfortable, but it will happen!

Your outlook on marriage is refreshing. With divorce rates so high, it's nice to hear someone say that marriage is important and precious. That it is not just a joke! I easily forget that marriage can be taken seriously with all of the divorces I have seen! You are absolutely right that it is not fair that people who are truly committed to each other cannot be married while others who are not committed to each other can easily get married simply because they are heterosexual. I have always thought it was interesting that things like marriage, and child birth, are issues of the state and delegates find it their business to make these decisions for us. But I digress - with more people remembering that marriage is something sacred and something to be appreciated, perhaps we will have less divorces and more meaningful marriages.

Eureka Moment #6

Being around a group of women, you get to understand the most accepted stereotypes about women that society adheres too. Men are not the only wants believing these stereotypes, but the women themselves believes these stereotypes. I was at a party a few days ago and I overheard women talking about another's woman clothing. This woman was showing a little cleavage, and obviously an attractive person. The women said she looked loose, and that men were of course paying attention to her because she seemed easy strictly because of the fact that she was showing a little skin. I have never heard men or women talk about a guy being "easy" if he's dressed provactively. Is there a way for a man to provactively dress? Society is not as concerned with calling guys "sluts", etc for some reason. It is not as shaming for a man to be sexually active, attractive, or desireble as it is for a woman. Also it is not as acceptable for a woman to have a sexual appetitite as it is for a man to have one. For men are expected to be sex crazy, as science says men think about sex every 7 seconds! However, if women reveal a sensuality to them whether it be through their clothing, or through their love life, they will most likely have to endure names and judgement. That is why it is more important for all of us to be true to ourselves, and do what makes us feel happy, rather than what we think others will be able to easily digest.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Comments on Week #5

To Sarah P-
Wow, that is a really excellent point. Our culture is lacking a "right of passage" into manhood, as you say! This can result in aggressive behavior by men who are simply trying to find an outlet where they can be "men." Since it is no longer populaur to go to war, and we no longer have a draft, many men can find that they don't have anything to proove their manliness, as if fighting equates being a true man. Though I think the pendulum at times as swung two far in the opposite direction where men now expect to not take responsibility for relationships, nor put out effort for a relationship like they once did when traditional roles were established and seen as right.

To Shaina-
That is so neat that you're paying attention to what seems like a small detail but really reveals a lot about who may be the primary caretaker of the family! I also was a camp counselor and remember feeling awkward myself when a father dropped off his son, and I remember a young camper feeling out of place and awkward himself when every other camper was swarmed with their mother. That is interesting that it would make us feel uncomfortable, when men go against the gender role of not being caretakers of their children! I have become close with a family that defies gender roles completely where both parents are equally as affectionate and talkative to their children, as well as active in their lives. They seem to have a level of happiness that I would love to attain someday.

Eureka #5

I feel very silly mentioning this, but I realize that I have a very difficult time talking to members of the opposite sex. It seems as though my friends have an effortless time showing affection, and interest while I seem to resemble more of the ice princess. A few days ago I noticed how I interact at social settings. I usually seem stand offish, cold, and shy. I mean if I happen to see a man in public that gives of an aura of intelligence, or well cuteness, I seem to be almost repelled: I make sure I make no eye contact! All the time. I'm not sure what I'm afraid of. It could be that my mind/heart is still focused on someone of the past, and I'm just simply scared to be approached or to approach someone of the opposite sex. I also fear that if the guy is relatively normal (if that exists) he won't want to talk to me, and thus be repelled by my obvious bohemia/academia obsession. I seem to think that I only attract people who don't want to be in a healthy realtionship. Maybe this thought actually creates the reality? I always fear that I will be alone forever with stray cats crawling all over my house, even though I own no cats. I also fear that I may say something rather stupid if I do open my mouth, which I guess I think if I did do that I would never recover from it (as if I have never done it before). Two concepts of women always flutter into my head when I'm in a situation where I could reach out and speak to a member of the opposite sex: that I'm a flirt and a floozy if I come on too strong, and if I'm quiet and shy he won't want to talk to me. And that he won't end up coming up to me anyway. I think I'm naturally a shy person, and many male friends have given me positive feedback telling me that I don't seem like I'm looking for anyone, and I don't seem "easy", and that can be intimidating. I just think it's time that I break out of my traditional female shell of being the "submissive" female, and if I want to talk to someone, I make it happen. Though to even write those words makes my skin itch and my heart beat faster than a pubescent boy watching Pamela Anderson.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Comments on Posts for Week #4

To "Sky"-
Maria's Blog for Gender and Communication said...

Hey thanks for shedding light on how even accomplished women are portrayed. One would think that if a woman was professional or talented, she would at least be talked about and referred to as intelligent in some form. However male producers, and maybe even female producers, still can portray their female workers in negative ways in order to get higher ratings. The very over used saying "sex sells" remains true and continually demeans both sexes in order to get a few bucks. (to "Sky")

To Mario- Thank you for your comment on my page, I appreciated it. As for your eureka moment, It is wonderful that you are taking your realizations and allowing them to not only fuel new thoughts, but to also lead you to activism! What can be a better way of utilizing what we learn! I understand your desire to want to help your girls conquer sexism as they grow up, as I have a niece and I think about similiar things. I noticed that as I was growing up, my mother never told me that it would be harder for me because I was a female. As a result I excelled in different areas of leadership, never feeling different or less then men. There is something I'm researching called the "stereotype threat" which is a reality in which people react and actually live out a stereotype when they are reminded of it. For example, studies on girls showed that when they were made aware of their gender and that they weren't as good in math as boys (via viewing pictures or filling out a test), they actually scored lower then when they were not subjected to these false realities. This means that what we tell our children, they believe and will live out. I'm sure you will be supportive of your daughters, as I hope to be supportive of my little niece, so she believes she can accomplish anything. My research has also taught me that when we are made explicitly aware of stereotypes example: "you may find that your boy classmates are viewed as being better at math then you, but it is not true it is only a stereotype" we acheive higher marks and don't act within stereotypes. That means there is a fine line between making our children aware of stereotypes and that they can overcome them, to intimidating them with them. I guess figuring all of this out takes time and is the wondrous/difficulty work of life!

Hi Sarah-
I like that you took what you are learning in class, and discussed it with your boyfriend. I think that's the best way that we learn, by putting things into our own words and discussing them with others. About your opinion that men and women can never be just friends, I may have to agree with you. For in my life, all the circumstances in which I was extremely emotionally intimate with my male friends turned into some sort of romantic relationship. I read before that there are a few things that help people fall in love with eacother: one of them being close proximity. If we spend time with the same friends often, we may at one time or another be attracted to them either in a superficial or real way. What we do with these attractions is a different story! I believe some people remain friends for a long time always denying their feelings for eachother and being with other people in the meantime, while others seem to completely enjoy a fully platonic relationship never acting on wanting more. I have had both relationships and find that it seems more emotionally rewarding to date a friend, but ultimately difficult because the transition from friendship to romantic relationship can be jarring and cause one or both people to lash out.

Euerka Moment #4

I have always been conscious of my physical appearance. Something a friend of mine said recently made me think. He said that he only felt strong physical attraction to super models. This made me think on the fact that I have been told since a little girl, it was my job to preserve my beauty in some form, whether it be through taking vitamins, working out, or doing other things in which would assure that my physical beauty would not fade. I have gone through a love and hate relationship with my body. At times I have not been able to stop thinking about it, and other days it is not such a big deal. Still, I find myself recently having ten pounds to drop, even after losing weight over the years. My close male friends do not seem to be obsessed with losing weight, nor do they seem concerned about the shape of their thighs. I feel that it seems to be "feminine" to be insecure about our bodies, and to even bond by putting our bodies down. My friend jen once told me that she loves her body, but in order to fit in with other girls, she tries to find something to criticize. I have also heard girls talk negatively of other girls who were confident in their bodies, as if being confident is having an ego and being pretentious. It seems as though I have a tendency to feel stress in my body and allow it affect how I feel about it, while my close male friends do not seem to become more critical of their bodies when they are going through stressful or emotional trying times. Perhaps this is because men are more conditioned to not cmplain bout their bodies, but pretend that they appreciate them fully. I want to learn how to feel more appreciative of my skin regardless of my weight and how perfect or not perfect it is. As a healthy woman I want to better learn how to identify my happiness not with my apperance, but with the state of my mind and soul. Realistically speaking I will probably feel good once I drop these ten pounds, but in the mean time I will try to replace a negative thought with someothing positive when those negative thoughts come creeping up at me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Week #3 Comments on Classmates' Posts

Sarah P writes:

"This weeks Eureka moment came for me while over viewing the DB question. I realized I live such a sheltered life because half of the mentioned names for insulting sexes used ever come out of my mouth. And I'm fortunate enough to have friends and family that don't refer to each other as "bitch"-as a lot of females who are friends do- or any name rather. I know a lot of people use these words in everyday language and I agree that it is so demeaning. Why-especially women cause when we abuse each other that really upsets me- why do we feel the need the need to degrade each other? Is it for the entertainment of men? Is it because we are so use to men using these words that we can't find anyother words to use? It's just really upsetting to me. Women-lets respect eachother a little bit more and try to refrain from calling eachother names. We're not bitches, and from one women to the next we all know what sort of issues we have that make us a little short tempered, so lets be more sympathetic to that. So to all my ladies in the class, if you call your girlfriends bitch, try to find another word that doesn't bring us down to a lower level. We're better than that!"

Maria's Blog for Gender and Communication said...

Hi Sarah P-
I appreciate your call to all women to not use harsh names with eachother. Kudos for seeing the need to confront this. Though I have not utilized these names for my friends, I realized that many people use harsh names for eachother in order to express their angst. They are unable to describe what truly bothers them about someone (which I have done for people who are not my friends), and just settle for name calling. I believe we all should learn how to better identify our feelings so we know what hurts us, instead of reverting to caveman behavior of grunting and name calling.

Rhiannon's Post and My Comment

"My second Eureka moment occurred when I read the knowledge check to chapter 5. The four statements in the beginning of the chapter literally made me laugh out loud. "I now pronounce you man and wife." I never took the time to notice how society truly does designate a man as an individual while a woman is only seen by her relationship to the man. This sentence never seemed off to me until Wood brought it to my attention in the text. I think that now, it is becoming more common to say "husband and wife," but I just thought it was interesting to see that "man and wife" never sounded wrong to me until it was pointed out. The same goes for terms such as freshmen, policemen, and firemen. Sure, fireman sounds better than fire-person, which just sounds like some sort of mutant, but why hasn't the term always been firefighter, or police officer, rather than designating the position to a man only?"

Maria's Blog for Gender and Communication said...

Hi Rhiannon-
I appreciated your comment on my post! I also liked your post on the ludicrousness of society's understanding between men and women. I particularly enjoyed how you pointed out that men are seen as independent, while women are traditionally seen as more dependent. Through our recent readings in the text, I realized how popular it is for a woman to be seen as empty or not complete, without a relationship to a man. Our text pointed out how even the strong independent women shown in movies will still value a relationship with a man over every other relationship. The examples noted in the text were Rose in the Titanic, and Charlie's Angels. Both had their romantic ties. In the case of Rose she was empty and a bit broken until she found Jack (DiCaprio) who opened her eyes to a new way of living. This can seep into our very beings as female viewers of these movies, and us believe that no matter how successful and healthy we are, as women we are meant to be in relationships with men as to be better human beings. That could be why many women commit too easily in relationships at a young age. I wrote a lot on this on the blog for my literary journal called HerStory. I think you would dig it. Go here to read it: