Despite A Century Of Women’s Rights, Hillary Clinton Still Faces Outrageous Sexism

The Huffington Post creates a timeline in this article of the progress women have made in society throughout the past hundred years.  The first notable event described begins 100 years ago when Margaret Sanger “opened the nation’s first birth control clinic in Brooklyn” in 1916 and the most recent event described is the Treasury Department announcing “Harriet Tubman’s portrait will be featured on the new $20 bill”.  The Huffington post ultimately notes how even though women’s rights have progressed, Hillary Clinton “still faces outrageous sexism by the media” and sexist criticism won’t halt even if she’s inaugurated. The Huffington Post ultimately describes women’s progress as linear, but I don’t believe the narrative is necessarily as progressive as they make it seem. I am reminded of Faludi’s “Blame It on Feminism” because it continually states how women receive much backlash despite gaining rights.  Dr. Jean Baker Miller stated how “a backlash may be an indication that women really have had an effect”—so hopefully we are getting closer, but progress still needs to be made.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-dreier/despite-a-century-of-wome_b_11970308.html

Why Women Should Stop Trying to Dress Like Everyone Else at Work

Why Women Should Stop Trying to Dress Like Everyone Else at Work

It is no secret that the tech industry is primarily male dominated.  This article discusses the varying strategies a woman should take part in to appear professional in accordance to their male counterparts. There are several ideas about what a woman should wear in order to be taken seriously, such as clear nail polish instead of colorful polish.  However, those who are successful are confident and comfortable with themselves and don’t follow a formula.  Additionally, there are several double standards in the workforce, such as a woman inviting a male colleague out for drinks.  Although not how it should be, it is recommended to err on the side of caution in these situations.  Moreover, the article encourages woman in the workforce to find their allies and remember they have a voice too.

 

This article reminded me of a select few parts of  Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz’s “The Reply to Sor Philotea” because the article has to do with the difference’s between men and woman in education and the workforce.  Cruz states, “she should dress me in boy’s clothing” and “the natural adornment of one’s hair is held in such high esteem, I cut mine off” (15).  Sor Juana is trying to figure out how to blend into this male-dominated society.  Even though times are clearly very different, some of the same questions still apply.

 

 

White Commentary on Lemonade

Beyonce’s newly released visual album has brought in a lot of attention about the black women’s place in society. However, with that being said, many individuals have given their critique and their own interpretation of the album. These individuals include commentary from the white community. Comments from them have included how black women are being cheated on regardless of who they are. (i.e. if Beyonce can’t keep his man in line… than no one can). The attached article explains why white commentary on Lemonade is unacceptable. The writer mentions “To interpret LEMONADE in place of black women is to disrespect and neglect the voices of black women,” which shows exactly what many people are doing. See attached for the full article!

White Commentary on LEMONADE: No One Asked Us

Photo Project: The Intersectionality of Being African and Queer

After exploring intersectionality this semester, I found this article very interesting. Mikael Owunna is the founded and contributor to Limit(less)–a website that advocates for the freedom of expression of LGBTQ Africans by telling their stories through photographs. Limit(less) aims to bridge the gaps in African communities between those who discriminate and those who are discriminated against. Limit9less) primarily focuses on Africans in the African Diaspora, but also reaches out to Africans trying to express themselves in the face of “homophobia, transphobia, racism, xenophobia and discrimination in their respective communities.”

This photo project reminded me of the past reading “Slivers of the Journey: Using Photovoice and Storytelling to Examine FTM Experiences of Health Care Access” by Wendy Hussey. The similarities these two pieces share is that they illustrate the discrimination and struggles those of the LGBTQ community experience.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jaimee-a-swift/this-photo-project-african-lgbtq_b_9775092.html

Sport Athletes Treated Differently Based on Gender

Continuing the post I wrote awhile ago about U.S. women’s soccer team not receiving the same amount of payment as the U.S. men’s national soccer team, I found this video a couple of days ago and found it relevant. In this video, male sport stars are asked a series of questions referring to their bodies, relationships, etc. that are framed in a way that would be so called “acceptable” to ask female athletes. What I found interesting in this video is the reactions of the men; their faces are utterly confused and disgusted by the questions and seem to reflect the sentiment “Why on earth would you ask such a pointless, objectifying question?” But at the end of the video, instead of expressing similar facial and vocal responses as the men, the women athlete interviewed simply laughs and “acts like a lady,” which was disheartening to watch.

“Why Postpartum Depression is a Feminist Issue”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maureen-shaw/why-postpartum-depression_b_5980276.html

Continuing the conversation we had in class yesterday, I found this article in the Huffington Post that serves as an affect perspective about postpartum depression and how our society fuels the continuation of this social pressure onto new mothers. As this article states, motherhood is already highly politicized and therefore the public is weighing in on their opinions of “what a mother should truly be.” Postpartum depression is increasingly becoming a talking point, along with conversations about rape and the wage gap, but the issue could be more talked about.

Textbooks: The Dangers of Language and Misrepresentation

Our assignment for class today (4/26) was to “Browse articles from Against Equality; Feministing; and Wear Your Voice. Pick one that relates to something that [we] learned in GSS 101 for the very first time, particularly an idea that surprised [us], led [us] to shift [our] understanding of some aspect of our world.” I wasn’t able to be in class today because I am very ill (posting from my bed, tbh) but, I wanted to share with y’all an insight that I had. I was really intrigued by the Emily Martin reading “The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles.” So fascinatedin fact, that I decided to write my WRI 101 final paper on gendered language in textbooks for entry level courses. Thus, when I was looking for an article on one on the above three websites to disscuss in class, my attention was caught by an article entitled “THE BATTLE TO REPRESENT MARGINALIZED HISTORIES IN CALIFORNIA TEXTBOOKS.” In this article author Reina Gattuso describes how “conservative Hindu-American groups are attempting to push a number of edits into California’s public school history teachers’ guides. These edits contest the use of “South Asia” for pre-Independence India and minimize the role of caste injustice and gender injustice in Indian — and specifically Hindu — history” (1). Although not gendered language, this is another example, just like Martin’s writing, of how disenfranchised groups are being harmed by the language and content of textbooks.

P.S. If y’all want any information on other examples of gendered language in textbooks, I’d be happy to share some of my research with you!
http://feministing.com/2016/04/19/the-battle-to-represent-marginalized-histories-in-california-textbooks/

The North Carolina “Bathroom Law”

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In Riki Wilchins writing of “Queer theory, Gender Theory”, he introduces the history of struggle for the transgender community and the meaning behind their emergence and activism.  He outlines 2 important bullet points summarizing the difficulties that the transgender community faces in society, but for this post I will focus on the second point that he makes, which is “Second, for most people, crossing gender lines is still a source of shame, and not something to be claimed, especially as a basis for identity.” At the moment this topic of transgenders feeling shamed is particularly relevant with the passing of the House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which puts in place a statewide policy that bans individuals from using public bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex.  I recently found an article on BuzzFeed written by a trans-woman who wanted to challenged the new “Bathroom Law”.  She posted on Instagram a picture of herself in a bathroom with the following caption, “Here i am using a women’s restroom in North Carolina that I’m technically barred from being in. They say I’m a pervert. They say I’m a man dressed as a woman. They say I’m a threat to their children. They say I’m confused. They say I’m dangerous. And they say accepting me as the person I have fought my life to be seen as reflects the downfall of a once great nation.  I’m just a person. We are all just people.  Trying to pee in peace. Trying to live our lives as fully and authentically as possible.  Barring me from this restroom doesn’t help anyone. And allowing me to continue to use this bathroom – just without fear of discrimination and harassment – doesn’t hurt anyone. Stop this. We are good people.”  She does a wonderful job of fighting for the rights that she deserves.  As citizens of a great country that prides itself on freedom and justice, everyone should have equal access to this freedom and justice. This BuzzFeed article highlights the discrimination that trans people feel, which Wilchins talks about in “Queer theory, Gender Theory”.

Abortion: A Cultural Taboo

abortion_breaking_the_taboo1

In a New York Magazine article, 26 brave women share their stories of aborting their child.  The article shares some shocking statistics saying, “abortion is part of our everyday experience. Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended; about half of those—1.2 million—will end in abortion each year.” If abortion is so relevant to our everyday lives, and apparently occurs so frequently, then why do we never hear stories concerning women’s abortions? This is because women are shamed if they admit to having one, or at least parts of society will shame them.  The article shares these stories in an attempt to normalize abortion and show that “normal” women can have unwanted pregnancies and that ultimately it is there right to do what they want with their bodies.  These stories reminded me of when we read “How It All Began: I Have Had an Abortion”.  This was written by a woman who chose to remain anonymous, which further proves how taboo of a topic it is.  In the piece she writes “The courage of these women was enormous. No one can imagine today what it meant to admit to an abortion at all, not to mention a public confession.”  Although it may be easier to admit to an abortion in contemporary times, I would still argue that it takes a significant amount of bravery.  This piece touched on how shameful women feel by society when they decide to actively take control of their own body.  I am not totally sure about where I stand on abortion, but I do respect these women’s stand for protecting their reproductive justice.

The Benefits of Marriage for Men

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In a recent article written in ask.men, it discusses the Top 10 Reason’s for a man to get married.  Interestingly enough reason #5 was Financial Benefits.  The fact that financial benefits was prioritized as high as #5 on the list further proves how “marriage has become the central legitimating institution by which the state regulates and permeates people’s most intimate lives”, like Warner said in his writing of “Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life.”  Other scholars like Polikoff argue for marriage to only hold importance in a social, religious, or cultural settings rather than an economical state as well.  As Polikoff wrote, “It is possible to envision family law and policy without marriage being the rigid diving line between who is in and who is out.  Keeping the state out of marriage entirely making marriage only a relies, cultural, spiritual matter, would be one way to accomplish this.”  As they argue, if marriage did not come with health and financial benefits then it would discriminate less against those who do not wish to get married or those who believe in different types of relationships.  Even ask.men understands that marriage is not solely based on love or mutual romantic feelings, but that there is actually more at stake, like financial benefits.  This increase in other benefits causes those who do not believe in marriage to be at a significant disadvantage in life.  Although it would be difficult to allocate advantages in a manner that did not include marriage, I completely agree that it would lead to a less discriminatory society.