Sunday, September 23, 2012

Talking Point Four!

While I was exploring the People Like Us website, I found various articles and interactive games that show you how even the littlest things identify who you are.    For example, there was this interactive quiz (Name That Class) that asks you a few different questions in order to determine your social class.  As I was answering the question, I found it kind of humorous where my answers where getting me placed.  One of the questions asked where/how I would get a sandwich if I was treating myself to one—my answer placed me in the blue collar social class.  Yet when I answered that I hoped my child would someday have a steady job, that answer had me placed in the trailer park class system.  Oh! And wanting to visit Disney makes me middle class!  I found it interesting that little things we tend to overlook can actually contribute to your identity and how others identify you.

On the Youngstown State University website I saw that there is a Center for Working-Class Studies.  This program was the first academic program to focus on issues revolving around and involving work and class.  This program paved the way for the new Working-Class Studies Association for people who are interested in the history and experiences of the working class people.  I thought it was awesome that this association teamed up with another program to shed some light on a new generation of workers.  The issues of work and class are obviously very important to these two programs and teaming up will only make their voices louder.


“Why and how is economic inequality a feminist issue?”

Ø  Before I could answer this question I felt that I needed a better understanding of what economic equality was exactly. As I searched for a definition I found that in simple terms, economic inequality is the gap between rich and poor or wealth and income differences. 

Ø  I feel that economic inequality is a feminist issue because there are different economic classes and women within those classes can face very different problems.  Women who are considered to be lower class may not have an education that allows them to get a decent job.  Whereas women who are considered to middle class have a bit more power and may tend to have a better education and then of course the upper class has more power than the middle class and may have an equal if not better education than the middle class.  Power increasing with class can be a product of having more access to resources than others.  Also, if women are married and both partners are working while raising children the issue of child care can affect each class differently.  Lower class women/families may not have the funds to send their child to daycare or may have no other child care options but to stay home or work under awful policies.  Middle class and upper class women/families may have more funds and may have the opportunity to send their children to daycare or may have the funds to have private child care at their home.  However, other than education and resources and funds there are a lot of men who still believe woman should not work; this way of thinking can also put a retraint on economic equality.  There are “old school” ways of thinking still floating around in society.  What I mean by this is, there are many people, men and women, who believe that men are supposed to go to work and women are supposed to stay home and take care of the children.  There are also people who still think that women cannot do the physically demanding jobs that men can do.  Only when people begin to open their minds a little more will we then see some change start to occur.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Everyone should have the right to get an education!

The issue I chose to focus on for this week's blog is education and how Obama and Romney differ on the topic. As I was reading the article I agreed and disagreed with some of the points each candidate was making. However, when it came the two discussing higher education, I 100% supported Obama. President Obama is trying to make higher education reachable. Obama believes that everyone should have the chance at a higher education (if they wish to have one of course). He doesn't believe that lack of funds should stop you from getting where you want to go in life; and I agreed with him. President Obama has already made several moves to help students such as creating tax credits for college students and having loans issued from the federal government instead of private banks.  Romney on the other hand, wants to revert back to private banks for student loans which will only end up costing the student more money after they graduate.  Obama’s plan (loans from the federal government instead of private banks) is expected to save about $60 billion over the course of 10 years!  Romney feels that the government shouldn’t be “writing blank checks to universities” because it will only drive the tuition up.  But what if someone cannot get a loan from a private bank?  Does that mean they are now forced to miss out on an education because they cannot afford it?  In my opinion, education shouldn’t be viewed as a privilege (I feel like that is how it’s looked at today) but instead it should be an opportunity.  Anyone wanting to go to school, further their education and have the opportunity to better themselves should be allowed to, even if they have to ask for financial help from the government.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"Can't we all just get along?" --Rodney King

In the book Privilege, Power and Difference, Allan Johnson argues in Chapter 2 (We're in Trouble) that "we need to feel that we belong to something bigger than ourselves..." As human beings it is in our nature to be social creatures---to interact with others in whatever capacity we can; it is a key component for our survival.  However, in a society that places labels on everyone it’s hard to be social when you may feel like you don’t necessarily fit in.  Today everyone is being judged and subconsciously judging others—we neglect to realize how powerful judgment really is.  In a world like the one we live in, how a person is judged by their peers is seen as a definition of who they are even if it is a completely wrong perception (which 95% of the time it is!)  I believe a good example of this is the argument Frye makes about the sexual activity of a female. 

In her article titled Oppression, Marilyn Frye brings to light the argument of women’s sexual activity and inactivity.  Frye argues that women are stuck in a bind because of the social expectations placed on them.  She argues that a woman is judged based on whether or not she engages in sexual activity.  If a woman engages in sexual activity she is labeled as easy, a whore.  If she does not engage in sexual activity she’s thought of a lesbian or ‘having something wrong with her’.  Either way she’s being judged and who she is being judged as isn’t necessarily who she is.  Undergoing such harsh judgments is preventing her from being social.  This brings us back to Johnson’s point of being a part of something bigger.  If we continue to live under the judgments that are being placed upon us we’ll never have that sense of belonging and being able to feel like we are a part of something bigger.  As Johnson said in his book “…you’d think we could treat one another with decency and respect and appreciate if not support the best we have in us.”

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The F Word--Feminism in Jeopardy

While I was reading "The F Word" there were a couple quotes that made me stop and think more about what I was reading.  For instance the beginning of the article Rowe-Finkbeiner writes:
"It’s easy to take the past for granted as we go busily through our days working, going to school, spending time in the car and on the bus, attending meetings, taking care of kids, doing homework, wrestling cell phones, building careers, and creating lives.”
As I was reading this part I couldn’t help but stop when reading this quote—in my mind I just kind of stopped sat back and said to myself wow, how true is that.  In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives we never really stop and say “oh I get to have an education because so and so fought for it” or “I get to vote because so and so stood up for it.”  As years passed and women were given the right and had the ability to do more things, the significance slowly faded away.  It no longer seemed like a big deal that a woman could get an education or a job because women had now been doing that for years and years.  Somewhere through the years women forgot how special opportunities like an education or a job were.  Women were not always allowed to do the things men could do and while it may seem that now men and women are on an equal playing field in some aspects they are not.  For instance, men and women holding the same career position do not always make the same amount of money; men tend to make more.  In order for our society to move forward and to keep making changes the past cannot be forgotten.

When reading about The First Wave of the movement I saw this quote by Susan B. Anthony that really made me think about the Declaration of Independence; one of the most important and idolized documents in American history.
 “It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who forms the Union….Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.   ---Susan B. Anthony”
This quote in the article by Susan B. Anthony could not be anymore correct.  When the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 it was never specified that the Declaration was only implied for men; the declaration was a document that covered the rights of the people…people meaning both men and women.  Somehow, though, the Declaration was automatically assumed to be just for men but nowhere in the Declaration does it state that women were not included.  The Declaration of Independence was intended to protect the rights of all people—men and women alike.

What I found amusing in this article was that there was actually a text on how to be a good wife--- “The Good Wife’s Guide.”  It’s funny to me that there was actually a guide to follow which determined whether or not you were a good wife---to me that is a bunch of bull****.  I find it hard to believe that a single guide could be the determining factor as to whether or not your husband or partner deemed you fit enough to b considered a ‘good wife.’  A woman cannot and should not be considered a good wife based on a book; they should be considered good because of their character. 

The quote from the guide “Prepare yourself.  Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives.  Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking.  He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.” made me laugh and as much as I tried looking at it through historical eyes I couldn’t.  The idea of getting ready for your husband to come home from work is comical in the sense that it’s basically saying you need to look good for your husband in order for him to want to come home to you.  I couldn’t help but think about this in terms of my own relationship; if my boyfriend didn’t want to see me because my hair or make-up wasn’t done or I didn’t look “fresh” and looked too tired, I would laugh in his face.  But I guess that is a luxury of today’s society they did not have—being able to stand up for what you believe and not having to change your view to make your partner happy.

In the article "Fear of Feminism" I found the quote "young women may believe that a feminist identity puts them out of the pool for many men, limits the options of who they mights become with a partner, how they might decide to live." really stick out in my mind as I read the rest of the article.  I think this quote has a alot of truth to it.  A lot of women fear the topic of feminism and fear being associated with feminism because of the challenges it can create when trying to find a potential partner, especially a male partner.  A lot of men disagree with feminism because they do not fullt understand it---they still believe a feminist is an angry woman demanding equality when in actuality it is much more than that.  Most women want to find a partner, marry and raise a family but identifying as a feminist makes them feel like a lot of doors are being closed and that certain men will not accept them.
After reading this article I found a video on YouTube that I found interesting.  It had me laughing at a lot of the answers people gave to the questions being asked. Especially the guy who said "They got their amendment passed in 1920 why are they still bitching..." or the man who said that the bible views the man as being head of the household, right in front of his wife who agreed with him!