Media Analysis: Half Following the Bible…?


For my media analysis, I am analyzing an Instagram post from the Instagram account @impact. Impact, in their bio, claims to post digestible and socially impactful content. Their account has 2.2 million followers, and is verified on Instagram. The certain post that I am analyzing was posted on Friday, September 30, 2022. The first slide is a graphic of Marjorie Taylor Greene (MTG), a member of congress representing Georgia district 14. She is extremely far right leaning. The first slide of the Instagram post includes the text, “two months ago, Marjorie Taylor Greene voted against gay marriage because it’s a sin. Now, she’s getting divorced from her husband after reportedly cheating on him with the manager of her gym” (Impact, September 30, 2022). The next slide shows a video with the caption, “Marjorie Taylor Greene is a US congresswoman and conspiracy theorist from Georgia, She’s spent much of her career preaching christianity and using religion as a mask for bigotry. Marjorie recently claimed that straight people will be extinct within five generations” (Impact, September 30, 2022). 

Her opinion that there are more people who are identifying as members of the LGBTQ+ community should not be framed in a negative light. Knowing that there is more identification and representation is a testament to the work that our society has done in terms of creating spaces where people feel comfortable to express their true identity (even though we still have A LOT of work to do). Her analysis of members of the LGBTQ+ community only starting to exist within the past couple of generations is WILDLY inaccurate-as we have seen from multiple readings (including D’Emilio, Rupp, etc.). Members of the LGBTQ+ community have existed as long as we have lived.

Her theory of the extinction of straight people is baffling, and honestly, stupid. In what case scenario would an entire sexuality be extinct? This brings up an entire new lens of many people who are extremely right leaning-that the existence and celebration of LGBTQ+ members take away from heterosexuality and being “straight”. The two can exist in conjunction with one another, and do not have to eliminate one sexuality or the other. In other words, LGBTQ+ members do not threaten the identity of others, and the identity of others should also not impact LGBTQ+ members. They can coexist in harmony, with equal unwavering support from either end.

The post (sadly) continues, as the next slide says that “Marjorie, who has claimed that LGBTQ peopel are “against god’s creation,” voted against codifying gay marriage into law. Now, she’s getting divorced from her husband after reportedly hacing two extramarital affairs–one with a “polyamorous tantric sex guru,” and one with the manager of her gym” (Impact, September 30, 2022). @impact brings up an incredible point-that Marjorie is entitled to do whatever she wants with her life, but it is hypocritical that she says that LGBTQ+ members are against god’s creation when she blatantly is going against the bible by cheating on her husband. If you are going to use the bible as your moral grounding-you can not “pick and choose” which parts you decide to follow, and which parts you decide to not follow based on your own convenience. Marjoie Greene Taylor has not allowed other people that luxury, so it is hypocritical that she chooses to live her life the way that she does. 

Overall, I commend @impact for drawing attention to the statements and actions of Marjorie Greene Taylor. The way that the post is laid out is easily digestible, and easy to understand for any viewer with any level of previous knowledge. They quote Marjorie herself, making her claims indisputable.

Theory to Praxis: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campus

As a freshman at Davidson, coming to college opened up a world of experiences for me. I was excited to explore new opportunities and discover more about myself. While Davidson does more than the public schools I’ve previously attended to support different groups of people, there are still many ways the school can support marginalized and underrepresented voices to create a healthier environment on campus. 

Unfortunately, sexual assualt is prevalent in college, even at Davidson, but I have yet to witnessed this issue being addressed by administration. If someone, typically a woman, comes out about having been sexually assaulted, nothing seems to be done about this. This reluctance of disclosure about something uncomfortable or traumatic can be due to the normalization of ignorance about such subjects at institutions, which mirrors rape culture. It normalizes something that is in fact a huge deal, and people should be able to reach out and feel supported during a time like this. A step in the right direction would be implementing a program or even creating a social media account through the college that is open for anonymous messages for victims of sexual assault, or an anonymous chat room for victims to speak about their experiences and connect with others so they don’t feel alone. This could also expand to people who want to talk about other issues we have learned about in GSS, such as questioning sexuality, adjusting to a PWI, or discovering one’s social identity. Simply talking about troubles and worries anonymously with others students who are feeling the same way can be reassuring and validating of their experience. This can help them feel heard and understood. I also think it could be beneficial if at least one of the counselors specialized in aiding sexual assault victims so they can effectively help students who want to talk about their experiences. Pairing this with an administration that addresses issues of sexual assault would create a much more comfortable and supportive environment for victims.

Something else that should be addressed that comes even before what I’ve mentioned above, is how sexual assault can be prevented in the first place. Although all first-years must complete modules about drugs, alcohol, and sexual assault, I think it is important to keep this relevant to all students throughout the year, not just the summer before they arrive. Similar to alcohol-related posters often displayed in dorms or bathrooms describing how much is appropriate to drink and resources for help, one way to maintain awareness could be to hang posters like this concerning consent – how to show it, enforce it as best you can, and be safe if it goes too far. Davidson could offer more talks or information for resources that can help students be more informed and aware of how to be as respectful and safe as possible. In order to make these resources well known, the college must spread the word effectively and let all students know what is available to them, which hopefully can soon be more. 

Generally, I think there are many ways that Davidson can implement, even small, but effective, means of support and aid for sexual assault victims, and minority groups on campus, and these are only a few.

Theory of Praxis Assignment

After taking GSS 101, a theme that stood out to me was understanding gender as a social construct. Growing up I had a very limited mindset about gender and sexuality and accepted many of the ideas as they were presented to me. However, over the years I have understood more about the complexities and many identities within gender and sexuality. With this in mind, it led to me thinking about how I can use these ideas to influence an art piece for campus to spread awareness and normalize identities that aren’t ‘cis-gender heterosexual’. While there are already many sculptures, especially of bodies, around campus I wanted to propose a new sculpture of a body that implements the ideas of the diversity of gender identities and sexual orientations. My piece is inspired by the metal sculpture on campus by Jaume Plensa, titled Waves III. This piece is made up of letters from all different languages to signify unity and diversity. It is based upon cultural identity and the way that one individual holds a connection to a greater culture.

My idea is to create a sculpture on Davidson’s campus that intersects the ideas of gender as socially constructed as well as show the variety of identities among individuals. The sculpture would be made out of glass and would depict a human form, without genitalia, to represent an individual not tied to a gender. The position of the body would be arranged so that the arms were extended outward to signify openness of the individual. The idea is to show the complexities of humans and the many identities, both genders and sexual orientations that exist. The form of the body would be composed of words carved into the glass form of sexual identities, such as: “queer, bisexual, lesbian” and words associated with gender identities: “she, they, him, non-binary, trans.” And instead of the exterior of the form being perfectly smooth, shards of glass would poke out in all different directions to create an ambiguous body shape.The words would be repeated all over and done in different fonts to completely cover the entire form. The sculpture would symbolize the many identities that don’t receive recognition in a heteronormative society. This sculpture would work towards normalizing those identities that are not cis-gender heterosexuals, but also serve as a reminder of the hardships of LGTBQ+ individuals. The title of this piece would be “Complexities of Intersectionality” and would capture the chaotic and diverse nature of the gender and sexuality spectrum. While this sculpture wouldn’t explicitly touch upon identities within class and race that also affect an individuals experience, this would be the starting point to begin examining identities and start the conversation about other impacts on an individuals’ experience.

References:

https://www.davidsoncollegeartgalleries.org/uncategorized/seen-on-campus-jaume-plensas-waves-iii/

Theory To Praxis: Reconstructing Bathroom Labels at Davidson College

Davidson College is dedicated to “improv[ing] the Davidson campus climate for our transgender, genderqueer, and gender-variant students, faculty, staff, community members, and alumni” (LGBTQIA + resources, Davidson). However, much work still needs to be done to provide basic needs, such as comfortable bathroom stall usage, to the increasingly diverse student body. 

A Gender Inclusive Restroom Map can be found on the school’s website showing the gender-inclusive restroom options for the members and community of Davidson. At first glance, it appears that the school provides a wide range of gender-inclusive restroom options. After analyzing the map, all options are single-occupant restrooms which single out people who do not identify as cisgender. A few single-occupant restrooms on campus are still designated as either “male” or “female”. Shockingly, many places on campus designed to be “safe” places for students like Residence Halls (Akers, Knox, etc) and Student Life Buildings (Wildcat Den, Summit Coffee on Campus, etc) include no options for people in the LGBTQIA community who do not identify themselves as male or female. Academic buildings at Davidson College that do have single-occupant stalls tend to have them on the basement floor level. Students who need bathrooms not labeling them as “male” or “female” have a hard time accessing stalls quickly. 

It is evident that Davidson has a long way to go in creating a community that “welcomes and fosters mutual respect among all campus members” (LGBTQIA + resources, Davidson). I believe the best way to achieve this goal is by reconstructing bathroom labeling in restrooms at Davidson College. However, it is important to note that creating a safe bathroom environment that nurtures everyone’s needs will be a challenge and a long-term plan. To start, Davidson College should redesign the bathroom signs outside the door. Rather than having your typical ‘male’ and ‘female’ doll symbol, there should be a mixture of both figures where half is wearing a skirt and half is wearing pants. The same symbol should be used in all bathroom signs on campus. Changing the picture on a sign seems like a minor change, but is a big step towards creating a positive climate and raising awareness about gender diversity on campus. Along with labeling, the single-use bathroom should be changed from its traditional “unisex bathroom” title to “community bathroom.” Doing this, single-use bathrooms are rooted to meet everyone’s needs and eliminate the pressure of having to identify as ‘one sex’ as the term ‘unisex’ emphasizes. Using the term ‘community’ accounts for everyone on campus and eliminates gender and identity labeling. 

In the long run, Davidson can create a plan to create multi and single-community bathrooms on every floor starting in academic and residential buildings to provide options for everyone at Davidson and make basic tasks, like using the bathroom, accessible to all. Reconstructing the bathroom signs and labels is only the beginning. 

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 LGBTQIA+ resources. Davidson. (n.d.). https://www.davidson.edu/offices-and-services/diversity-and-inclusion/lgbtqia-resources. 

“Man’s World” by MARINA

“Man’s World” by MARINA

MARINA, previously known as Marina and the Diamonds, is an Indie/electro pop musician who is no stranger to female empowerment in her music and on social media. She recently dropped a new album Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land which spreads the important message of ecofeminism and the downfalls of a capitalist society. The most popular song on the track is “Man’s World.” “Man’s World” is an anthem of feminist power and resilience. This song not only recalls specific historical moments where women have been oppressed and mistreated, but also indicates discrimination and violence that LGBTQ+ individuals have faced. She references the Salem Witch trials in the lyrics:

“Burnt me at the stake, you thought I was a witch
Centuries ago, now you just call me a bitch”(MARINA, lines 5-6)

These lyrics are based on the incident where violence against women occurred due to society’s view of “abnormal” activity of girls and women during the Witch trials. Expectations of what a “women” should be and act like are still prevalent today and it causes those who don’t fall into those categories to be treated as outcast. It also points out how women used to be called “witches” to the more recent derogatory use of the word “bitch.” While also recalling the controversy regarding The Beverly Hills Hotel that Marilyn Monroe is linked to, MARINA’s lyrics state:

“Marilyn’s bungalow, it’s number seven
In the pink palace where men made her legend
Owned by a sheik who killed thousands of gay men
I guess that’s why he bought the campest hotel in LA then”(MARINA, lines 12-15)

This references the controversial event where the recent stakeholder of the Beverly Hills Hotel passed a law in the South China Sea, where he made queer sex and adultery punishable by stoning. These violent anti-gay policies caused a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel by many celebrities.

“Man’s World” hints at a theme explored in Contesting Cultures, where Uma Narayan states, “Women’s inequality and mistreatment are, unfortunately, ubiquitous features of many “Western” and “non-Western” cultural contexts (Narayan 401).” In cultures all over the world, women are mistreated and oppressed against. Violence towards women is everywhere even though the specific situations differ. This brings the question of intersectionality into the mix. While “Man’s World” doesn’t cover the topic of intersectionality, it’s important to note that through class, gender, race, and sexuality, women can be more susceptible to different levels of violence in their day-to-day experiences. Lorber writes, “Within many social groups, however, men are advantaged over women. The more economic resources, such as education and job opportunities, are available to a group, the more they tend to be monopolized by men (Lorber 61).” This goes hand in hand with the line “So don’t punish me for not being a man”(MARINA, line 23). From birth, our assigned gender places expectations on the life we are supposed to live and unfairly places cis-gender men at the top of the social structure.

While “Man’s World” comes from more of a Westernized approach to feminism, it’s still a solid start to educating listeners about violence and oppressions towards women and LGBTQ+ indiviudals. “I don’t wanna live in a man’s world anymore” (MARINA line 9) illustrates the strength and resilience women have demonstrated for centuries.


Works Cited

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obxFWNeGDOg

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/opinion/sunday/the-sultan-and-the-salad.html

Sex Education: Discovering Yourself During The Turbulent Years of High School

Written by Abby Yokoyama for Wear Your Voice | https://www.wearyourvoicemag.com

Sex Education is not only educating the students of Moordale secondary school in the UK, but its viewers worldwide too. Sex Education is a comedy-teen drama Netflix show all about sex, pleasure, and discovering your identity as a high school student. In their third season that just released, the show portrays people of different sexual orientations and gender identities and highlights their struggles and triumphs after a stark shift in administration. This blog post will analyze the new administration’s effect on the student body, as well as one of the prominent homosexual relationships present in season three.

Every school needs a sex therapist, right? Jean Milburn, the main character Otis’s mother, was just that for the students of Moordale, helping students become more comfortable with their sexual experiences, sexual orientation and addressing their concerns. The positive response from the students because of Jean’s help made headlines, making Moordale known as the “sex school”. In season 3, Jean has left, along with head teacher Mr. Groff, leaving new head teacher, Hope, with the sole desire of clearing the school of this title. 

Jean is pre-Victorian, and Hope is the Victorian response to sex. According to Foucault, people were very open and much more comfortable with sex up until the Victorian era. Moordale goes from sexual freedom and openness with Jean to school uniforms, single file lines, and an outdated, inaccurate video on sex education with Hope. Sex became shameful and frowned upon. It was discouraged and even against the rules to be spoken about aloud between students and faculty. Any traces of sexuality were to be destroyed or removed, including The Penis wall, which, you guessed it, is a wall full of drawings of penises.  

Hope publicly shames students during school assembly

Hope’s initiative to get rid of sex at Moordale lines up with Foucault’s repressive hypothesis. She is shutting down all the progress and work Jean had done with the sexual concerns the students had been having, and pushing that aside for “more important” matters. She wants students to focus all of their energy on getting good grades and doing well in school. Sex is nothing but a distraction. Nothing good comes of it. So she erases all traces of it. This is similar to how sexuality was repressed during the Victorian era and the rise of the bourgeoisie in order for capitalism to become the main focus. Hope represents capitalism. She is implementing rules and guidelines that repress any sort of sexuality so that school is the top priority. She even publicly ridicules those who are open about their sexuality and interests, like a new student, Cal, who identifies as nonbinary. Because of the new uniforms, they don’t know which one to wear, the one for girls or the one for boys. Hope has the answer! Because Cal was assigned female at birth, of course they must wear the girls’ uniform. This blatantly ignores and suppresses queer peoples’ identities and expression, but at least Moordale will look good in the press. 

Cal (left) with friend Jackson in front of The Penis wall

Moreover, the repressive hypothesis argues that power works in a top-down fashion, which is reflected in the school’s hierarchy. Hope is at the top as the head teacher, and she uses that power to overtake anyone’s voice below her. She silences the students, and not even the teachers are allowed to help with any personal issues they may be facing.

Another prominent aspect of his season is Eric and Adam’s relationship, consisting of two gay men in very different places in their lives. Eric is confident and outspoken about his identity, and doesn’t care who knows it. However, while Eric is very secure in himself at home in the UK, when he travels to Nigeria for a wedding, those around him, namely his family, want him to repress his identity. Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria, so his family is not nearly as socially aware of it. His grandmother keeps asking when he is going to meet a nice Christian girl and get married, which Eric and his family know will never happen. At the wedding, he meets a gay man named Oba who takes him to an underground gay club. Inside, Eric finds a booming scene full of queer people, similar to the latter hald of the nineteenth century where D’Emilio explains that gay people created underground spaces for queer people. Eric feels the most liberated he’s ever felt in a country he shouldn’t really be feeling in such a way, which only strengthens his confidence in his identity. 

Adam (left) and Eric’s (right) budding relationship

Adam, on the other hand, is just starting to figure himself out and is having a particularly hard time embracing his identity. In earlier seasons, Adam was portrayed as a straight homophobe, and because he was repressing his own homosexuality, he bullied Eric. Adam also has a difficult relationship with his father, and was sent to military school at the end of season 1, where he meets plenty of other gay people. The military used to be a place of discovery for homosexuals during the wars, and while Adam did not uncover his homosexual identity while in military school, it is ironic that that is where he was sent in the midst of his journey in figuring out who he is as a gay man. When he comes back to Moordale, he attempts to become more comfortable with his sexuality so he and Eric can start a relationship, but Adam is not prepared for such publicity and vulnerability in his identity. Because of his relationship with his father and always being looked down upon and ridiculed by him, Adam is closed-off and rarely vulnerable, which is proving to be very difficult in trying to rebuild his reputation and identity from straight bad boy to gay man.

Sex Education is an effective means for important information for this generation; it’s a funny, but heartwarming, honest and educational show that conveys an important and relevant idea of discovering yourself and identity during a critical time. It is important to educate teenagers about sex and encourage finding you identity and being yourself, and this show does just that. By the end of the season, Hope is gone, but thankfully, The Penis wall remains.