Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Occupy Providence


So I went down to visit the site of the Occupy Providence movement today. It was very interesting as well as eye opening. I just want to mention a few things before I get started here. First of all, the closest parking I could find was all the way down to the other side of Washington street, that being said, I had to walk the hole length of Washington street. Let me say I forgot how nice it is to have a car. Walking in the windy chill was almost unbearable. Being freezing in the park talking to all of these dedicated strangers was insane. This is when I realized how nice it is to have a warm home to go to at night. I am sure most of these people have a home of some sort too, but to camp out in this cold is really aggressive! Props to them big time! .
                As I introduced myself to 27 year old Chris of Providence, Rhode Island, he seemed to be more interested in me than I was in him. He seemed very concerned about where I go to school and what I was doing as an assignment. I proceeded to tell him that I am working towards my Radiology Degree and he then told me “Ehh, you should drop out”. WHAT?! I am thinking to myself, umm NO! lol your crazy! I remembered Andrew had just finished telling me that he also had this same comment said to him when he observed Occupy. So weird.. anyway I moved on to speak to Kayla, a young girl who has been sleeping out in the cold for almost three weeks now, protesting for what she thinks is right. The first thing I asked her is “What is Occupy Providence?” She replied, “It is basically standing up for equality and the injustices the big time companies have been getting involved with.  The people we are protesting against the most are the politicians who are making all this money and are not helping out any local businesses”. When I asked her why do you occupy? She replied “Well I’ve always received SSI for my disability. When I was 19 I found out that the government dunked their hands into the money that my SSI check came from.”  She started talking about other reasons for her to occupy but she seemed most angry over this reason of all.
                As Kayla went on talking about the protest its self she said something to me about my schooling and how it is very important that I go through with it because “Without knowledge, there is no power”. Considering if you want a good paying job in this economy, you need your degree. But then Kayla starting going on about a point that I really don’t like to talk about. Finishing college, being in student loan debt, and not being able to find a job, “Doctors are going bankrupt”. This topic makes me so sick because us student work so hard and dedicate years of our lives to be what we want to be as a person and then we may not even be able to pursue it in the long run. Yuk! I HATE this topic.    
                I talked to an older man as I was on my way out of the park. He caught me taking a snap shot of one of their signs. He was looking at me a little funny so I asked, is it okay if I take a picture of this? And he replied, “Sure, do whatever you want with that sign, it’s a part of the first amendment that says you can do whatever you want with that sign.” So I started to giggle a little bit but decided it would probably be a good idea to ask this man why he occupies providence. “I did what I wanted to do every day of my life up until a few months ago. I’ve been arrested more times over here than I ever have in my life. It’s stupid. They tell you, you have the right to freedom of speech, but then they arrest you when you tell them to fuck off”.  On that note I didn’t really know what to say, I asked him to explain himself but I couldn’t really understand him.
                Needless to say my visit could have been a little better. But I got to talk to a few people who really opened up my eyes. Experiencing this movement made me feel powerful, because these people are just like me and they are hopefully making a huge difference.
                The two texts we’ve read that I would like to connect Occupy Providence to are “Privilege, Power, and Difference” by Johnson, and “Teaching the Conflicts: (Re)Engaging Students with Feminism in a Postfeminist World” by Love and Helmbrecht. I think the Occupy Providence movement connects to Johnsons piece because of the amount of privilege these people have. Some of them have more privilege than others, but it didn’t seem to matter to them. First of all I feel like the more of them that come together as one, privilege eventually fades away. In the end it doesn’t matter who has privilege and who doesn’t, there’s a bunch of people in a damn park, protesting in the freezing cold for what they believe in. I did notice that privilege would matter the most in this situation maybe to get them further quicker, but they are definitely making moves towards their goal.
                The way I see this connecting to Love and Helmbrecht’s piece is the whole role model in the media situation. Love and Helmbrecht say that lots of famous people today are role models to many young women. I feel like the people who Occupy Providence are a little like role models themselves. They are all over the media and are becoming well known for what they are doing in their community. This over time has pulled more people into the movement and I am sure it has made many people aware of this movement and changed their idea on the topic.

Teaching the Conflicts; Extended Comments!

Title of Article: Teaching the Conflicts: (Re)Engaging Students with Feminism in a Postfeminist World.
Author of Article: Meridith A. Love and Brenda M. Helmbrecht


I enjoyed this reading by Love and Helmbrecht. I also enjoyed Kayla’s blog post on this article in particularly. With that being said, I’d like to use her blog as a center for my blog.
                I’ve noticed for one, feminism has moved a long way throughout history. But the authors are right, we still have a long way to go. But how do we begin to tell women who are new to this feminist movement what it took to get as far as we’ve came, better yet, how are we going to explain to them what needs to be done to push this movement any further.
                This takes me to Kayla’s first point. She brings up the authors points on how women see many ads and different kinds of media that make them realize, yea, I do have the power as a woman. But feeling it is different than being it, Kayla puts in this quote that fits perfectly with her point, “we want women to understand they do have power and agency and that they are strong and capable. Yet we still want students to see a difference between feeling empowered because the media says they are, and actually being empowered...”   I feel like this point is very powerful and means a lot. Some women may get told several times over again how beautiful they are and maybe they even use all of these products advertised to feel the agency and the power a woman has, but why don’t they go on to do power filled things. Its time to trust your self, if you feel it, than your right. The stronger the feeling you possess inside, the better you will be able to inspire it on the outside.  
                I remember when I was going through a really bad break up my counselor always used to tell me to listen to songs like “survivor” by Destiny's Child  and “Fucking perfect” by Pink. Singing these songs and listening to them daily really did make me feel better, and gave me the feeling of power and confidence that I have today as a woman. And Yes I do, I express it every day, where ever I am because I don’t want to be one of the girls who stand in corner that worries about what people think. I know I am beautiful and I own up to it. J So with that being said, I agree with Kayla, Love and Helmbrecht. Seeing women role models who are famous and are all over the media really pushing for women’s power and representing women in a forceful way is very motivating and encouraging.
                Both the authors and Kayla go on to talk about how the media may be a little phony. How the way these role models publicize themselves may all be an act for the media. Pink gets confronted about this type of “act” by Oprah during an interview and this is what Pink states, “My point is not that sexy is a bad thing; my point is that sexy and smart are not oil and water. You don't have to dumb yourself down to be cute...I think it's and act-it makes [a woman] less challenging as a female”.  These celebrities are role models to many girls and if they have the advantage and privilege that they possess, I would hope they would use their power to engage in something trust worthy and true.
                My point to share in class tomorrow will be on the point that Love and Helmbrecht bring up about women feeling empowerment rather than being empowered. I feel like this is very common and is true in most situations. So, how do we change this? How do we make these women believe themselves about what they feel inside? What possible programs could make women reach out and become an empowered woman?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression; Connections

Title of article: Interrupting the Cycle of oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change.
Author of article: Andrea Ayvazian

     Let me say first, that this article kind of hinted to me that maybe I should stand up as an ally and use the dominance I have more often. Always become an ally if possible, and if there is a good reason. I mean, if you can help someone a little less privileged, why wouldn’t you? Maybe this is how the whole “Occupy Providence” started…

     So I decided to use connections for this blog on Ayvazian because I could not stop thinking about one author the whole time I was reading through this text; Johnson. There are many connections between Johnsons work and Ayvazian’s, let’s talk about them below.

     The first connection I would like to make is on the topic of privilege. Ayvazian talks a lot about privilege, and I could not think of anywhere else I’ve heard about privilege more than from Johnson. Ayvazian states, “In each form of oppression there is a dominant group- the one that receives the unearned advantage, benefit, or privilege- and a targeted group- the one that is denied that advantage, benefit or privilege.” Johnson talked a lot about the privileged versus the unprivileged. Ayvazian brings up the fact that as you are around all different kinds of people, your advantage may change. This leads to the topic of oppression. Johnson talks about how as you become the minority, you are less privileged.

     Ayvazian goes on to talk about how you should use your privilege as power. This is a clear connection to Johnson through his title: “Privilege, power, and difference”. Johnson makes it clear that you are either born into privilege, or you are not. Things you do on a daily basis to make yourself a better person does not affect the amount of privilege you have. Ayvazian talks about how privilege people are dominant, and dominant people have power. They have the power to stand up and make a difference. She talks about how if you have dominance in a community, you should do something with it. Like Johnson said, if the minority could do something, they would have already.

I’m not very good with words so I hope you understand the connection I am trying to make here.

     My POINT TO SHARE in class is going to be about Occupy Providence. People obviously used their dominance and privilege to make this whole thing start. One person’s voice was loud and dominant enough to be heard over the others when they stated their purpose and what they were going to do until the situation is fair. So this should be an outlook on the way you should act if you are privileged. Do something with your voice and stand up for what is right when you have the chance, because not everyone will get the chance in a lifetime. I’m excited to go down to Occupy tomorrow and learn all about these people and how they feel.  I most of the time get caught up in these types of things and end up wanting to get involved. So let’s see how this goes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Some more thoughts on Johnson and Yamato's peices.

 When I raised my points to share on the Johnson piece, I did not elaborate as much as i'd had like to.That being said here is an add on to my point to share.  I would like to bring up the point about no matter what you do as an individual, you are either born into the privileged world or not and you can not help it... This sucks, because you know this things you do everyday is to better your self as a person, but no matter how much you better yourself, your still either privileged or not.
When I raised my point to share on the Yamato piece, I did not elaborate as much as I wanted to.. So here is an add on to my point to share. With the different kinds of racism pointed out, I still feel like racism is racism, it does not matter what kind it is. As racism gets split up into its different categories i feel like all of it needs to stop before we can move on and make a change. Do you agree? Do you think that even the smallest kinds of racism needs to be recognized and squashed for us to really be racist aware and free?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Girls; CHECK THIS OUT.

So on New Year’s Eve I went to a party. A boy walked into the room I was in, with this T-shirt on. Let’s not get into the argument...but how much he regretted wearing that shirt at the end of the night. My lady friends and I put him into his place! This is a perfect example of how much power men think they have over women. It is so popular and out there that clothing lines decide to make clothing advertising it! These kinds of things only make the issue more popular and quite frankly they turn the problem into a joke. I could not believe this shirt... I just had to share this.. girls tell me what you think!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

PBS,CWCS; Why and how is economic inequity a feminist issue?

Websites: www.pbs.org/peoplelikeus, http://cwcs.ysu.edu
    
These two websites were very helpful to me when it came to understanding the seriousness social class has on our everyday lives.
On the PBS website I found lots of valuable information. I learned a lot about their documentary project called “People Like Us”. This project is going to show society how powerful social class is on an individual’s life. I got a sneak peak at a few stories featured in the documentary film. One of the stories that caught my eye was by Ginie Sayles. Sayles is a woman that seemed to only be attracting men with no car or no money. Ginie, let me just say, it is not only you girlfriend… anyway, at first I figured this woman was a gold digger, looking for a man who can take care of her financially for the rest of her life. But then I realized this woman has potential, and in all honestly if a woman has potential of her own, then she deserves much more than financial backup. But if a woman is just looking for money, then she deserves whatever is totally coming her way. As a woman, I love the fact that we can be sexy and smart, and it’s okay. I have high goals and I plan on achieving them, so I never have to look to not only a man, but anyone for financial assistance. So Ginie ends up marrying a millionaire and has to learn all these new ways to live. The fact that she has to act different now that she has money, just proves how much impact social classes have on our life. I think this was a good story to show how much social class effects our everyday life.
The website on the CWCS (Center of Working Class Studies) was also very informative. I like the goals they are working towards and also the way they are approaching things. They have some very creative ideas as well as projects. As their mission is to spread awareness of the working class, I would assume not only do they want to prove to people how important our social class is but they want people to acknowledge how hard some people are working to maintain the lifestyle they have. This is a good promotion and reality slap for the people who were born into money, or “trustfund babies”. Some people get lucky from point A and don’t have to work hard, they were born wealthy. But it is important that they recognize the people who do work hard. The working class is not a bad class. They are people like you and I who endure struggles every day to make a living. Honestly, the working class are some of the strongest. Money does not always come easy.
Now for the big Q! Why and how is economic inequity a feminist issue? The first thing that comes to mind is how is economic inequity not a feminist issue? To me it is a feminist issue in every way. First of all, it is unfair. Feminism is all about how this whole gender thing, this is not fair, and there is no reason for it! Women are not only responsible to cooking and cleaning.. women are making huge successes in the world today. Men have more power in the work force. Men get most jobs easier than women do, they normally get paid more than women do, and most of all they have dominance over women no matter what. The point is that women are less than men in the economy, when in all reality women and men are starting to equal out.
My POINT TO SHARE in class on Wednesday will be about the question above. Why and how is economic inequity a feminist issue?  Some women let men take care of them financially, whether she takes care of the man’s children or if she is strictly in it for the money, it is time for it to stop. Women have a lot of power and potential, especially if they are beautiful and intelligent, which most of us are J.  Does every one agree that the whole women leaving the money making to men is what caused this predicament most women are experiencing?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Existence! QUOTES

Title of Article: Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.
Author: Adrienne Rich

So let me begin by saying this was a hard read for me, and I hope I understood it correctly, because here I go writing my little heart out about the article. Let me also say why I chose quotes for this blog. As I read through Rich’s text, I noticed that although she is difficult to understand, once you do understand her, she is a great author and says lots of meaningful things.
                QUOTE #1: “Chodorow concludes that because women have women as mothers, “the mother remains a primary internal object to the girl, so that heterosexual relationships are on the model of a nonexclusive, second relationship for her, whereas for the boy they re-create an exclusive, primary relationship.”” What Rich means by this is the relationship a daughter and mother have, is different than the relationship between son and mother. Daughter and mother have a primary relationship because of their gender. Son and mother can create a primary relationship, but it does not come immediately like daughter mother relationships do. This quote relates to the rest of Rich’s text because her other main point is the primary relationship you can have in a homosexual relationship due to the same gender.
                QUOTE #2: “In her essay “The Origin of the Family,” Kathleen Gough lists eight characteristics of male power in archaic and contemporary societies which I would like to use as a frame work: “Men’s ability to deny women sexuality or to force it upon them; to command or exploit their labor to control their produce; to control or rob them of their children; to confine them physically and prevent their movement; to use them as objects in male transactions; to cramp their creativeness; or to withhold from them large areas of the society’s knowledge and cultural attainments.” Rich means by this that men can have a lot of control or dominance over a woman. This potentially would suck for the woman, but these things would only happen if the man realizes that the woman has many qualities that are unequal to their own. Rich is trying to point out through this article that men do cruel things to women not to be mean, but as an attempt to make their qualities equal.
                QUOTE #3: “ The fact that male employers often do not hire qualified women, even when they could pay them less than men, suggests that more than the profit motive is implicated.” Here, I think it is pretty clear what Rich is trying to say by pointing out this quote from another author. She put this in her piece because she also revolves her text around this idea. Even though companies would profit from hiring women, they still will not do so. Maybe they see that it is not worth it, that a woman could never do the job a man could do. Rich goes on to talk about how woman are hired for specific positions for a reason. Sometimes woman feel the need to do anything their boss says, even if it mean sexual harassment. I mean you have to do whatever your boss says right? Didn’t you know there was a reason why all secretaries are pretty?

My POINT TO SHARE that I will be bringing up in class tomorrow is an interesting fact that I discovered while researching for this blog. What happens when there is more than two genders? WHAT? Lol… well in this country that I read about , there are several genders, not just male and female…