Saturday, December 22, 2012

Event 2--Eating Disorder Conference

Annual NEDA Conference

So throughout the semester it's come up a couple of times in my blog how important the issue of eating disorders are.  Well this past October I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go a conference in Florida for the weekend.  Although I didn't go to every lecture (I kind of chose the ones I thought would be most interesting and most beneficial to me haha)  With this class in mind (& remembering I would eventually be needing a social justice event)  I decided to attend a lecture entitled: More Alike Than We Are Different: We Can All Be Affected, We Can All Recover.  The speaker was a bi-racial woman who opened by describing herself as a “crusader for joy and our common humanity.”  In her speech she talked a lot about how the media places these unattainable standards on woman, one of them being that they feel they must be of a single race.  She herself grew up bi-racial and although she was accepted amongst her peers and in her own community she sometimes felt that stepping of her own comfort zone opened her up to a world of judgment that somehow surrounding herself with others who did not know she was bi-racial would allow people the opportunity to judge her.  But of course as she got older and understand more and accepted herself this became a non issue.  This brought me back to the Anzaldua article about her being a mestiza—a person not belonging to a single category but multiple categories and that these categories intertwine.  The speaker of course also talked about how hard it is to be a woman in today’s society; having to constantly live up to impossible demands that society and the media are continually placing on us.  I also related the speaker’s points to Cinderella Ate My Daughter and how the media speaks to different sexes.  The speaker talked a lot about the media and how young girls are forced to look at pictures of women that are unrealistic—this reminded me of Noelle’s blog post about the media article. She posted a picture of a girl wearing a shirt that says “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!”  This is actually a popular picture in the eating disorder community.  In her speech, the speaker also touched upon men being affected by eating disorders as well and how a man with an eating disorder is seen as weak and less of a man.
Before this class I wasn’t exactly sure eating disorders were a feminist issue but now I understand how they are.  Eating disorders are a feminist issue because of the simple fact that it is an inequality an discrimination towards a group of people who don’t feel comfortable in their own skin because of the unattainable standards media has put in place for them.
Eventually, I hope to one day be the standing in the speaker’s shoes giving my own talk <3

Friday, December 21, 2012

Event 1--The Bro Code

The Bro Code was about how the media such as: TV shows, movies, magazines etc have their own set of ideas and values about how the men of today are supposed to act. They portray men as being ‘big’, strong and powerful people who can basically get women at the drop of a dime.  The film was broken down into four steps: Step 1: Train Men to Womanize, Step 2: Immerse Men in Porn, Step 3: Make Rape Jokes and Step 4: Obey the Masculinity Cops.  As the movie takes you through each step, it shows you how basically the men and more so the youth of today, are taught to disrespect men in order to gain a sense of power.

Step 1: Train Men to Womanize
This segment focused largely on how men are portrayed in the media.  Men in popular media today are pretty much just looking for sex.  Keith used the show Jersey Shore as an example.  This show could not be more about men wanting sex.  Personally, I’ve never seen an episode because I feel like I would lose brain cells if I did but of course I know about the show and it is totally ridiculous.  Once this show aired it was like every guy wanted to be Pauly D and every girl wanted to be Snooki.  Men see other men getting women and having sex with them as if it is a reward and they feel they need to earn that same honor.
>>I found this xtranormal I thought was funny! Snooki & Pauly D

Step 2: Immerse Men in Porn
This segment focused on porn and how easily accessibly porn has become.  Keith mentions that boys as young as 12 years old are being submerged into the pornography world.  As I was watching these segment I couldn't help but agree when Keith was saying that porn transforms how men see some women.  While writing this post I referred back to our sex positivity reading and how pornography was the first issue to unite sex positive feminists.  Basically pornography was viewed as a civil rights issue, arguing that porn was sex discrimination against women.  The sex-positive movement responded with the argument that the legislation against porn violated a woman's freedom of speech.  It is a woman's freedom of speech, men just take it in a disturbed direction sometimes because of how the media has taught them to use it.

Step 3: Make Rape Jokes
This segment focused on how "boy culture" makes rape jokes okay which is false.  The use of rape jokes offends rape victims and is violent towards women
>>I found this tumblr of why rape jokes aren't funny! I really liked it...

Step 4: Obey the Masculinity Cops
This segment focused on the men in a boy's life reinforce how he is supposed to act.
This segment made me think back to the Kimmel reading about how boys are supposed to be a certain way--violent, etc.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

being an ally. talking point 12

* I just want to say this piece was my favorite piece we read all semester.  Although it was a short and easy read I thought it was really powerful and raised a lot of important points.

As I was reading through this piece I sat back and was like, I don't think I've ever actually thought of myself as an ally before this class.  For a while I was always like "well, I think I am but, I'm not really sure and I don't know blah blah..."  let me explain--I mean sure it drives me f***** bananas when people use the phrase "that's so gay" or "that's so retarded" or when people make racist jokes or fat jokes or gender jokes or any type of discriminating jokes.  I'm the first to stop someone mid sentence or mid action when I see bullying or harassment or any type of situation where one person is making another feel uncomfortable.  I have no problem taking on the challenge of defeating oppression so if all that is what makes a person an ally...then I guess all my wondering can be over!

I kept relating this piece back to something I had heard last year at an event during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week... one of the speakers at the event kept saying throughout her speech that she was in recovery and was now a voice for those couldn't find theirs or maybe, unfortunately no longer had one.
>I thought of an ally as kind of being like that...a voice for someone else.  When it comes down to it, everyone knows somebody who needs an ally.

My favorite part of this whole piece was the Jesse Jackson quote:
"When a critical mass of white people join together, rise up, and shout a thunderous NO to racism, we  will actually alter the course of history."
it actually made me stop & stare at the paper and just kind of smile to myself.  In my head I was like how awesome is that, right on.

I also thought the point "we are all dominant and targeted simultaneously" couldn't have been any more true.  She used the example of a white able-bodied man--who, based on that is seen as dominant in those categories but yet can be targeted for being Jewish or gay.  I love how she pointed how that even if a person is dominant in every aspect of their life, they won't be forever! (I found that pretty clever :p)

**I thought this was an awesome piece to end the semester with & I'm really sad this class is over.  BUT I can't wait to take your class again in the spring!  I feel like this class really opened my eyes and changed my perception about a few things--definitely for the better!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Random Post! just thought I'd share with everyone

So I was telling Chris (briefly) at the end of class yesterday that in my Abnormal Psychology class we were covering suicide & gender identity and that yesterday we were having a guest speaker from Youth Pride Inc in Providence.

[In case there's some of you who are like me & have never heard of Youth Pride Inc (YPI) before: it is a safe place for members & supporters of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth to come and feel accepted and work together.

The speaker was a transman (female to male).  He shared his story with us and he gave a presentation, similar to the one Chris gave when we covered LGBTQQ issues; he did the spectrum with us like we did in class:





He talked a lot about using the correct vocabulary and trying to watch what you say so you don't offend anyone.  This part of his presentation really hit home for me---my sister battles a pretty serious eating disorder (Bulimia) she's in & out the hospital & outpatient clinics and living with this for the past 7 years has made me really cautious (for lack of a better term) about what I say.  Certain things you say or names you call her can affect her differently than if you were to like say them to me or something.  I thought it was really important that he stressed that name calling, not just for LGBTQQ kids, but for kids and people in general isn't acceptable.

He also talked a lot about acceptance, that although Rhode Island has come a along way there is of course still a long way to go---it's a work in progress.  And the (I could have this out of sequence so don't quote me) "Stop it, Name it, Claim it"...if you say something you think or know is offensive or you hear someone else do it...stop, acknowledge it, own up to it, apologize and move on.  He said it's better to acknowledge the fact that you offended someone and apologize than just pretend like you never said it and it never happened----i thought that was really cool

And of course he invited everyone to stop by Youth Pride Inc (: 
It's right across from Classical High School in case anyone wants to check it out!

SOOO throughout his presentation & at the end he asked questions about our knowledge on these topics, I am so proud to say I was basically the only one who could answer his questions with enough confidence to feel like I knew what I was talking about, thanks to this class (:  A lot of kids were asking questions & I kept saying to myself  "THE ANSWER TO THAT IS _____" 

*I was really excited to see my two favorite classes actually intersecting; it was interesting to see the issue from a psychological perspective with my knowledge of the feminist perspective lurking in the background (:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


SO today was the first election EVER that I got to vote in & I was so excited, mainly because of this class haha
I walked up to the table and gave my name & address & blah blah blah and was like IT'S MY FIRST TIME VOTING! and the other people in line clapped (: there was an older woman sitting at the table checking someone else in, she leaned over and said to me: it's so nice to see a young, FEMALE exercising her right to vote...honestly it made me feel a little proud.

I was out with my dad doing stuff for the basketball league he runs, while we were out we drove by some of our districts headquarters, there was so much commotion going on!  Before this class I never really paid attention to politics but I felt for this election I was really informed which is probably a good thing since it was my first time haha.
On Sunday, while I was at my cousins his friend was over, I was in the kitchen & could hear yelling coming from the other room so of course I went to check it out & of course they were discussing politics.  It was the first politically intelligent conversation I think I've ever had

I've been watching the results with my dad, he works for the city of Providence so he understands this & is way more involved than I am.  I've also been asking friends & family who they've voted for.

What I find really interesting, maybe a little even unfair, is that in the end the electoral votes are the deciding factor.  I also kind of laughed, and I don't know why, that Romney didn't win Massachusetts's votes...I guess to me I just thought they'd vote for their own, but they are a democratic state after all.

I was a little surprised Elizabeth Warren & David Cicilline won...
Sheldon Whitehouse won too...I voted for him haha

that's all I've seen so far
I'm sure as I keep watching I'll be able to add more!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

talking point 9! sex positivity

so in order for me to get a better grip on what exactly the readings were about this week, I did a little research on my own.
I basically just typed sex positivity into Google & sooo many different feminism articles came up.  I found a woman's (her name is Clarisse) blog entitled FEMINISTE...she posted an interview she had done; she had answered questions about sex-positive feminism...I found it really interesting so the link is below!

"Interview with a sex-positive feminist"

Her first question & answer helped me get a better understanding (along with the wikipedia article) of what exactly sex-positive feminism is.
According to Clarisse (& a bit of wikipedia info too) sex positive feminism is the acceptance of various types of sexual approaches.  Basically, sex positive feminism don't engage in stereotypes.  Part of her answer to the first question is
                                         "...some people are really into sex, and some people aren't; but most importantly,
                                                all kinds of sex are okay as long as they happen among consenting adults."

this part of her answer made me look back to the 8 Ways To Be Positive You're Sex Positive article.  In this article, step 1 is realizing "having sex is healthy, but so is not having sex."  How I saw this is Clarisse basically saying what step 1 is want to have sex, great! go for it! but if you don't, that's okay too.  
What I got from the 8 Ways article (& Wikipedia and Clarisse's blog) is that sex is different for everyone---everyone engages in sex differently & sex can mean something different to everyone.
For some people, sex is an intimate thing they do with the person they love and only that person.  For others, sex could include a type of kinky fetish with whoever is willing (consenting) to take part in it.

In the Wikipedia article there was a section on pornography & how it was "perhaps" the first issue to untie sex-positive feminists.  In 1983 the city council in Minneapolis passed an anti-pornography ordinance--basically pornography was viewed as a civil rights issue, arguing that porn was sex discrimination against women.  The sex-positive movement responded with the argument that the legislation against porn violated a woman's freedom of speech.  
>After I read this I remembered what happened this past weekend, I was in Salem for Halloween weekend (HUGE HALLOWEEN FAN RIGHT HERE) & as we were walking through some mall type place we passed an "Adult Store."  In the window was an older looking poster of a pretty (but basically naked) blonde woman with the name Nina Hartley on the poster.  So now I just looked her up---she is an adult film star, most popular in the 70s, author & feminist who starred in basic sexual intercourse, foreplay, anal sex and bondage films.  She first became interested in porn & erotica novels when she was 14, is bisexual, has been in a polyamorous (a man & a woman together) relationship & is now currently married to a man but they both have their special friends--I guess like an open relationship type deal.

I found this YouTube video--an interview with Nina Hartley in The Man Room.
I thought this video fit with our readings--it's about her life as a sex-positive feminist
Her interview helped me understand the readings this week so check 'em out!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

talking point 8: Cinderella Ate My Daughter (reflection)

FIRST OFF I just wanna say that I was so excited about this article before I even read it!  The title caught my eye right away because I have this unhealthy obsession with this Cinderella!  It's funny because I read Noelle's blog before I posted this---too bad we didn't know each other when we were little, we could have Cinderella parties together J  

As I’m writing this I am staring at my Cinderella snow globe, Cinderella build-a-bear, Cinderella limited edition clock & doll, every version of Cinderella on VHS,DVD, Blu Ray, special edition…the list could go on & on haha

So obviously as I was reading this article Orenstein’s points about the Disney Princesses really stuck out to me.  Little girls always idolize the princesses…something about their lifestyle just speaks to a girl.  It’s funny because my cousin had a baby last January and all through her pregnancy she just kept saying, ‘I don’t care what my baby is as long as it’s healthy.’  When she found out the baby was a girl she was ecstatic to have her own ‘little princess’ the first gift she got was a Disney “Princess on Board” sticker for her car window.

I think the whole glitz and glam of the princess lifestyle is what attracts little girls.  They see brightly dressed girls covered in glitter and makeup and looking so beautiful they can’t help but want that lifestyle.  For my junior prom I told my mom I was wearing a princess dress and would not settle for anything less than something that made me look like royalty. 

$300 dollars later, I got my princess dress, which looking back on it---I wish I hadn't waste $300 on a dress! BUT I felt like a princess that night & it’s a night I’ll always remember!

Now that I’m older, I look at the Disney Princesses and wonder…how can such superficial people be this popular?  No one has a fairy godmother who can grant them wishes.  And how many stories do you hear about men kissing women out of their sleep? You don’t!
The world needs to lay off the superficial role models J

My only issue with this article is when Orenstein talks about the color PINK.

 Nothing in this world drives me more crazy than the color pink.  I CANNOT 

You will not catch me dead wearing, owning, or having anything pink.  Never have never will.  My mom actually tells me that when I was younger (like age 3-5) I would cry if she put me in pink clothes.
When I was reading this section I thought back to a conversation Noelle, Ronie & I had in class a few weeks.  We were having a conversation about the color pink (I don’t really remember why right now) but I was telling them how much I disliked the color pink & happened to be a day where Noelle was wearing a lot of pink haha

Some girls (&boys too) love the color pink.  I however cannot stand it—it’s too bright & peppy & perky & I just can’t deal with it haha------don’t ask for an explanation, I don’t have one haha  Therefore, I disagree with Orenstein when she says that the attraction to the color pink is in a girl's DNA....I'm living proof that that statement is false.

SIDENOTE: As I was reading this article I was also thinking about the article about the boys we read last week.  AND I couldn't help but think about the kid's game CANDYLAND.  The two highest places on the board (that pretty much ensure you're going to win) is King Kandy & Princess Lolly.  I may be over analyzing but I found it interesting that in order to win you have to land on a man's castle....why not a woman's?