Sunday, December 6, 2009

Aging...why not EMBRACE it?


Why is it that in today's world as women we can't embrace aging as we do other factors that influence our lives? Aging in women has become such a big issue today more than any other time. Today you see young women in their late twenties turning to Botox and collagen to improve the look of their skin and many womder why the need for this? The main answer is how things are portrayed in the media. Aging is never seen as something beautiful and something that one can embrace there is a constant pressure to appear younger. This isn't something that has recently turned into a problem suddenly but over many generations has escalated to what it is today. Women have always faced hardships from, race, gender, social status and in old age these factors have increased in a negative way. We see that as one gets older that society acts differentlytowards that individual. Inthe resinf the inroduction of Feminism and Gerontology: A Feminist Life-Span Perspective on Aging by Brown she shows what her grandmothers went through and then she goes on to should how the study of gerontology older women ae mostly excluded. She talks about her grandmother life experiences both who came from very opposite upbrings and went on to lead very different lives but in their old ade they began to experience very similar difficlties. According to Browne due to all the discrimination that women face in their lives and even with the advancements that women have made in their old age there is still "gender inequalities that exacerbate women's problems as they age. Even in the sdtudy of gerontology which is the study of the againg processes and individuals as they grow from middle age thorugh later life we see that the focus has always been on older ehite males. The focus decreases and is almost not present when it comes to a colored female. You begin to wonder why is there such a discrimination? Why are older females not as seen as such as an importance as a man? This goes back to the story of the grandmother the one that lived a wealthier life who died in her sixties due to the fact that doctors of that time knew little about womens health and less of the health of an elder woman and if they did maybe she would have been able to live a longer life. Womens aging needs to be seen a a positive life and we need to as a society try to support this factor and not always show the negative aspects to aging. Women need not to be pressured into trying to constantly maintain a young exterior but try to live longer in a healthier manor.

-Janaine

Monday, November 30, 2009

Embodiment

Embodied: describes a sense of subjectivity instead of objectification, a feeling of being in one's body physically and psychologically, instead of monitoring one's body from the perspective of an observer.

In class today, we watched a documentary titled, "Period: The End of Menstruation." It is a collaboration of various women's perspectives on having her menstruation and how they feel about menopause. I was surprised at how extreme some of the women felt about it. The one woman that shocked me the most is the one who took shots in her butt to stop getting her period. She did describe how excruciating the pains were during her menstruation but I questioned how safe is this method? I myself get severe cramps to the point of tears in a fetal position but I feel like I need my period. She was in her early 30s and was already going through menopause. In the end of the video, we find out that the method was extremely unsafe and could lead to many complications for her health in the future. I really enjoyed this movie because they had real women, of different ages, races, and sexuality speaking about how they truly feel. I think that everyone in the class was impacted in one way or another, because we were able to relate to (emobdy) at least one of the women. The different viewpoints helped our diverse class, the viewers, feel herself in the documentary. One thing I did not like was that most of the women were in the kitchen or hanging out with girlfriends during the interviews. I think that they chose these settings to help the viewer relate to the speakers more, but I found it as catering to certain stereotypes. Stereotypes like, the woman should stay home and that girls talk too much with their girlfriends.
In Chapter 7 of Crawford's book, Transformations, she has a section titled The Contradiction between Femininity and Physical Activity which I found interesting. She introduces it by questioning the stereotype of women being the "weaker sex." Crawford states that "It is not easy to answer this question because the answer depends on what is being assessed." I completely agree with her. Biologically, men are generally bigger than women, heightwise, weightwise, muscle masswise. With this in mind, of course they would be stronger, in the sense of carrying heavier things. But in racing, swimming, sports where the smaller the better, women prevail. I think that when comparing the two sexes, it should be a specific subject instead of generalizing. An interesting idea that Crawford mentions is that, "In the late 19th century United States, medical experts believed that intellectual activity and physical exertion would decrease women's fertility." This thought is from a little over a century ago and may effect perceptions now. Basically, medical experts thought, the smarter and more athletic a woman, the less capable she would be of bearing a child. Considering the time era, women's sole responsibility was to raise a family, hence, she couldn't risk being smart or athletic. Fortunately, the invention of the safety bicycle helped the movement of change.
Progression for the change where the idea of women participating sports activities was very slow. It took almost a century for women to participate in the Olympics (1972). This day and age, there are much more opportunities for females to be active in sports but it is not equal to our counterpart. For example, only men play professional baseball, even after the movie A League of Their Own. I even noticed this in high school where we had more sports teams for the boys than the girls. I see less girls active in sports. Crawford states that "It is unfeminine to have muscles, or to be strong, fast, tough, or better than boys." It is very true. Majority of the mothers that I know shelter their daughters, prevent them from getting hurt. I know my parents hated me playing rough because they didn't want me to have scars on my legs because it is unattractive. I never listened and I love my scars. Although there are more women in the sportsworld, it still remains a "Man's World."
So where would be the "Woman's World"? The insightful, entertaining article in the New York Times, "Good Girls Go Bad, for a Day" by Stephanie Rosenbloom, on Halloween, the "Woman's World" seems to be in dressing up for the strip club. I personally loved this article because it is so true and I unfortunately fall victim to this. Rosenbloom asks the reader, Why have so many girls grown up to trade in Wonder Woman costumes for little more than Wonderbras? Very good question. Pat Gill answers by stating that "many women think that showing off their bodies "is a mark of independence and security and confidence." I couldn't have thought of a more honest answer. Big females, skinny females, young girls, grown women, old women, can be seen dressed in very revealing costumes on Halloween. I am not saying all women, but a whole lot of women do. And what do the guys do? They stare, whistle,
try to talk, sometimes even try to touch these women. Women know that this would happen, but still initiate it. We don't like it because it's degrading, but we like it because we're getting attention. I think that this is the struggle of most teenage-young adult females.
To sum everything up, it is very difficult to embody any woman in any time era in any place. And what is disappointing is that it is small things that should be different yet we still need to overcome odds. Sports; women are just as capable as men but mentally and psychologically, it is discouraged. How we dress; should always be for ourselves, but it's not. Instead of changing those things, women are trying to stop mother nature by injecting themselves with hormones and other weird stuff. We need to step up and get our priorities straight.

Images of Women

Every single day, I get special treatment because I am a female.
Especially since I started driving, men tend to let me go, even though I don't have the right of way, help me park, even though I'm excellent at it, just to name a few. I'm not gonna lie, I do like the treatment but it still bothers me. What if I didn't look the way I looked, like an innocent little girl; would I still get treated the same?

Unfortunately, the ugly truth is that females are treated and judged
based on appearance/image. Right now, all around us, there are monster size, pocket size, traveling, static, glowing, dim, silent and loud advertisements, attempting to persuade females of all ages to buy, buy, buy to hopefully, maybe one day, look "beautiful."

A few years ago, a teacher showed me a great video on what
different cultures have thought and still think "beautiful" is. I was searching for hours for this video and I couldn't find it. So instead, I found some pictures that would help me explain the video. In China, small feet were considered beautiful, so women would bind their feet, and this would be the outcome: This doesn't happen anymore, but let's look back on our Disney Cartoon Movie, Cinderella. She wore a small glass slipper that she left when she ran out of the ball because it was midnight. The prince found this slipper, and vowed, whoever would fit the slipper, is his princess. I'm pretty sure she couldn't have been the only woman in the kingdom to have that shoe size. Let's say the prince found a girl who fit the shoe before he reached Cinderella's house. He would have married her! China's foot binding trickled into Walt Disney's interpretation of the old german faity tale and is subliminally telling little girls that if you have a little foot, you will marry a prince!

Aside from having small feet, having a small waist was always considered to be an asset to a women. Even now, we hear lyrics like "I met a girl! That's top of the line, cute face, small waist.." as being sexy. Women use corsets to reach this figure. Wearing a corset too tight affects the body like this: Seeing this before and after, you notice that the insides of the figure on the right are all mushed together. That can't possibly be healthy or good for her digestive system. I don't know if women still go to this extreme, but you still find many women still wearing girdles and other body shapers to look like, or help reach this form. From experience, they're annoying, hot and prevent me from eating well. I find no benefit in wearing things such as these. What if you do end up with a guy who likes you for looking like this? Once you take that off and he sees your true figure, do you honestly think he would stay with you?

I'm from the Philippines Islands. It is always hot there and either sunny or raining. When walking in the sun a lot to where you need to go, especially when you are in a tropical place, one can't help but get tan. But to this day, the whiter you are, the more beautiful you are in my country. There are endless skin whitening products, ones that my mom, who lives here, gets especially shipped from the Philippines to keep up her "beautiful" complexion. Not only are the women using these products, my dad uses them too. You'll see all kinds of ads like this one in Filipino magazines: The women here are famous actresses in the Philippines, whom many females look up to. Their faces are almost as white as the clothes they wear. They compliment the stars in the background. To this day, I don't understand the history behind this expensive craze.

In the Transformations book, by Mary Crawford, aside from advertisements, she also mentions stereotypes of women in comparison to each other as well as men. In a nutshell, personality trait stereotypes of men are focused more on their self superiority like, independence, dominance, ambition, etc. whereas the women are emotional, sensitive, nurturing, etc. Although these are stereotypes, they do affect women in how they think women are supposed to act. When I was little, I wasn't supposed to play as rough as I did with the boys. I was supposed to just sit quietly. With my ex-boyfriend, my mom told me not to argue what I think is right, and just agree with him.

Personally, I have always disliked how women are perceived this time and age. I try to change these perceptions one conversation at a time.

Food + Sex + Violence? = SOLD!

Throughout majority of my life living in Queens, NYC, I've always noticed the billboards, commercials and ads in the magazines, specifically the ones with women and wondered, Why can't I look/dress like that? I always knew if I wore most of the things the women wore to take those photos/videos I would be looked down upon but why are we smothered with these images every single day? After watching the "Killing Us Softly" video in class, the pieces of the puzzle came together. I have learned that these ads cater to what pleases the heterosexual man's eyes, and belittles women's self-perspective. Women are used solely as objects to convince other women and men to buy companies' products. I've gathered a few images covering various approaches advertisement creators use to sell products.
This first image is promoting a new burger for Burger King. We see a pretty blonde woman, wearing makeup, with her mouth wide open, anticipating the "BK Super Seven Incher". She is objectified because she has no body parts except for a neck and a head. Nothing else matters here except her mouth and her eyes which are accentuated by the bright red lipstick and the emphasized eye makeup. The woman's face is also much brighter than the burger itself, almost hiding the burger, leaving the viewer to his/her imagination. Knowing how many males think, this burger ad would be both arousing and intimidating (seven inches haha). The words in this ad were also meticulously added. The words "IT'LL BLOW" are in a larger font than "YOUR MIND AWAY." "Blow" is an ambiguous word, where it can be used as "The wind blows in this direction," "This class blows," or "Yeah, she blows well." I mean, with the picture alone. it looks like she's ready to give the burger a blowjob. And it's only $6.25, including fries and a soda!
If you become a vegetarian, you'll look like this! Actress Alicia Silverstone poses naked in this ad for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Aside from looking like an attractive, naked, woman lying on the grass in a nice place, she also looks like an animal (they're always naked), about to eat the grass. PETA, an organization I've always looked up to, are now evil, women objectifiers in my book! There are so many approaches one can take to persuade others to become vegetarians, but they chose sex in this ad. A woman seeing this ad would think the only way to look like this, is if you stop eating meat. I showed this to my best friend, and she was bought. She was convinced into becoming a vegetarian. I was heartbroken because I know she is only one of many fePublish Postmales who can be convinced so easily, that the way she looks is not how she should look. I asked a male friend what he felt about this ad, he said "Do all girl vegetarians look like that? I gotta stop eating at steak and burger joints." Thanks PETA, for focusing on showing the world that sexy, nude, Alicia Silverstone eats grass so we can stop eating animals. I don't think it'll work.
Here, we see an advertisement for a very well-known shoe company, Jimmy Choo. In Hip Hop music and Sex and the City, we hear males and females talking about these Jimmy Choo shoes. In this ad, we sure do see those nice Jimmy Choo shoes, on a sexy female in the trunk of a car! I had to rub my eyes and make sure I was seeing this clearly. I couldn't believe it! Not only is she in the trunk, there's a man sitting on the edge of it with a shovel in the middle of the desert! Before this class, I think I wouldn't have had this reaction because the woman is alive, no blood, eyes open and the guy looks cool. But now, I don't understand why anyone would want to purchase from this line again. The makers of this ad played on a serious issue, the abduction and murder of women, to sell shoes. They made violence, sexy. We see the woman's long legs, low cut white shirt, pretty hair and nice heels. The man does not look happy. This ad came out in the Winter of 2007, 2 years ago. Many people are still happily buying this brand's shoes, showing a positive reaction to ads such as these. I used to want a pair for myself but now, absolutely not.

This topic depresses me because I feel that there should be a different way in advertising products, but that it is impossible to make things right. Hopefully Bree will conduct more classes like this, and someone, somewhere will hear our voices.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

10 years younger

Ten years younger is a makeover show that airs on TLC. As its title suggests it is about making the participants look about ten years younger. In each episode, there is either a woman or, at much fewer rates, a man who wishes to change her/his appearance. The host and his Glam Squad composed of a makeup artist, hair stylist and a fashion advisor help the participant go through the metamorphosis. All the episodes have a similar pattern. First, the participant is introduced, it is usually a person that had some hard luck and as result gave up on their looks. After the little biographical introduction the participants are put in a soundproof glass box that is set up in the middle of a crowded street. The host questions people walking by about their impression of the participant’s age and the reason they attribute that particular age to the person in the box. Most of the time the participants look overtired, have frumpy unisex clothes, their hair is out of style, and the women don’t wear makeup. The host then calculates the average age told by the crowd, and informs the result to the participant, who in return has to tell his/her real age. The difference between the individual’s estimated and real age gives the number of years that the show will attempt to remove from the person. At that point the Glam Squad is ready to take over. The episode I watched was about Stacey, a recent mom to a five month old. She had had hard time taking care of both her ill mother and her newborn daughter, and was left physically and emotionally drained. Stacey admits that she used to look almost perfect ten tears ago, but now with the strain of her mother’s sickness and her recent birthing has lost control on her appearance. She just gave up, because whatever she attempted seemed useless. She used to be a model, but now she dressed in long baggy clothes. When put in the box people assumed she was on average 43 years old, it was a shocker because she is in reality only 27. The Glam Squad does what they are paid to do, gender. Stacey is advised to wear very feminine clothes that emphasize her waistline and show off her legs. She is further counseled to sport more items that have lace or other additives that make it more delicate, thus feminine. She is given a sexy modern haircut and instructions on how to put more volume in them. After the makeup, it is the emotional moment, she is unveiled to herself. She is completely transformed from the frumpy looking person to a very gender normative woman. She is of course very happy to look so good for her husband, who in return seems very proud to see her transformation. She is put again in the box and the public is enthusiastic about her appearance and, this time, estimates her age as 29.
There are a couple of themes that appear in this episode and are also often recurring in the other ones. Stacey feels powerless about her appearance, because her body had changed in result of her pregnancy (in other cases due to another event), and she was unable yet to get back to her previous shape. The majority of women including Stacey are hunted by the high standards of beauty set for women by the society. We are brainwashed to think that to keep our privileges, even the most fundamental ones, like the respect and love of our partners we have to stay young and often thin. Through every form, media tells us how to be women, how to dress and behave to be more like one. With the underlying threat that if we don’t follow these guidelines, we can only live like outcasts, unsuccessful socially. Stacey is happy to please her husband again and receive approval from the crowd. When there are such strong forces that hold an individual in check, within the boundaries of social and gender norms, it is very hard indeed to break apart from them and simply stop caring for them.
Last year, when I still had cable TV I used to watch this show and “What not to Wear” on a regular basis. After each episode I used to think to myself I have to start dressing more feminine, putting more make up and taking better care of my hair, because it is obvious that the public response is much more favorable when following these guidelines. Although, it is very nice to see shows like these that are helping people to get a grip on their appearances and possibly their lives it is still bad in the sense that by doing what they are doing they are only enforcing gender norms. It is also bad, because it gives too much attention to the physical appearance, not all problems are fixed by improving the outer shell. In the case of Stacey, the producers of the show could have offered some help in caring for her ill mother and baby, or thought her husband how to help around the house. Obviously he wasn’t helping her much if she gets completely drained of energy to give herself a five minute pampering. Michelle

Monday, November 23, 2009

America's Next Top Model (ANTM) Dive Deeper by Grace

As we have learned, our society is not fluid when it comes to gender. As a matter of fact, being male or female is the only gender norm of our society. As a result, our behavior is dictated according to those gender norms because there are no variations (i.e. we act according to what society claims is appropriate for our gender). Majority of these norms are communicated through the media, whose influence can be great enough to promote certain behaviors and attitudes in an individual. Individuals have become gendered and biased in their actions especially when they communicate with one another. These results in moral issues being integrated with the gender norms. In other word, when a person steps out of what is gender appropriate for them, it becomes a moral issue. An example of this is seen in America’s next top model episode “dive deeper”. In the episode, the models are taken to the beach to learn how to strike poses that were “sexy but not over the top”. Their teacher, Marissa Miller, Victoria Secret model shows them how to strike poses which she thought were sexy. To me, the poses were just so gendered because they were based on what she thought that men found to be sexy. According to her, men and women can look at the same picture and see completely different things because of the way society makes it. She told the models that they had to be aware of who their audience is and that if their pictures were for male audience, they should pose straight on so that the men can see the full picture, which should show all their curves. However, if the pictures were for female audience, the models should just show a little curve apparently, when a female looks at the picture of another female, they should not be paying attention to her body but a male can do that. This supports Crawford’s idea that gender is not fluid and that society dictates gender roles. Miller further taught the girls that being sexy was also being tall. Miller indicated that she was only 5ft 8in and that to make herself look taller, she poses almost standing on her toe which she calls “Barbie toes”. I tried the pose and it was very much uncomfortable and painful. Why would anyone want to go through such pain just so that they could look taller and sexy to appease the male audience? To me, the idea of the Barbie toe is another construct that society has slowly but surely appropriated for the female gender; the Barbie doll, which is appropriated for the female gender is now being used as a standard for what sexy should be for females. I guess this is to say that if you are not tall and you strike poses for your pictures without doing the Barbie toes, you are not sexy. At the end of the episode, the girls who followed miller’s specific orders about being sexy were saved from elimination. Again, this goes to show that if one follows societal norms, one would be just fine. Those are the things that our society communicates as gender norms through the media. As long as nothing is being done to change these norms, they will remain the norms for many generations to come.

The Real Housewives of Orange County - Janaine Jaikaran

Office Map

The Real Housewives of Orange County is the first of a series of shows that air on Bravo TV. that show the lives of “rich” women living in some exclusive areas around the country. The show captures these women’s daily lives and the drama within their group of friends. The name for the show is so fitting for these women because are all so far away from being an ideal housewife but in today’s world as long as a women doesn’t have a job then she is considered to be a housewife. Many of these women don’t work for a living but live off of their husband’s money. Their lives are filled with shopping, tanning, drama within the cast and of course charity work here and there to show that they are giving. In this week’s episode a new housewife was introduced her name is Alexis she is wife of a wealthy entrepreneur she has two year old twins and a three year old son as a new cast member I would say she is sort of a housewife even though she has two nannies to take care of the three children and has one nanny accompany her everywhere she travels with the children. In her first episode she empathized her daily workout routine with lunch dates with her husband which makes me think when does she really have time to spend with her family? Alexis comes in to fill the space of Jeana who is departing the show five seasons due to her sickness of all the drama and would like to focus on her three children who are all over the age of 18. As a viewer my conclusion as to why she was leaving was because of her messy divorce on national television mixed in with her financial mess. Jeana is one of two housewives working as a real estate agent but since the market’s decline she is having some difficulty keeping up her old lifestyle. It was revealed before the season began she asked another cast member Vicki who is supposedly her good friend/ neighbor and financially successful to borrow some money but Vicki said no which only made the situation between then an uncomfortable one and ruined whatever relationship they had with one another. Vicki is the other housewife that works at a successful insurance company she has been married once before and has been married to her current husband since her two children were very young both children are now college graduates. Vicki seems to be the only housewife that is financially independent from her husband and is the bread winner of her family. Instead of her husband spoiling her with presents she buys these lavish gifts for herself to commend herself for her hard work. She is very much into spending time with her family now that she is successful in her work but she wants to do this at a time when her children are grown and don’t seem to want to be around their mother. Replacing Jeana this season as Vicki’s best friend is Tamra who has two young daughters and son that is 21+ in age. Tamra will find any reason to stir up the drama on the show at anyone’s expense. In my opinion is the most jealous housewife and dislikes any woman that she feels is prettier than she is. Last season when Gretchen who is a young woman that was engaged with an older wealthier man who was struggling with leukemia, Tamra decided that the relationship was fake and went at any extent to prove that it wasn’t real and that Gretchen was using this man in the end he died and there wasn’t anything to prove. The final character on the show is Lynne who is a mother of two rebellious teenagers and wife to a real estate investor. Last season she was portrayed as the ditsy one that had no clue on what’s going on and I think this season she would like to show everyone that she has a brain and can do things for herself. She introduced her jewelry and swimsuit line and with the real estate market down she will be seen as the bread winner in her family. While these women don’t appear to be your typical housewife they do their best to uphold that role in their world. They fit many of the stereotypes that go along with being a wealthy female in there which is just to live this care free life and your husband will take care of the rest. This season many of them will face reality and see that they need to step it up with today’s economy. They will be faced with the burden of losing their properties along with all the other problems that financial decline leaves you with.

Bad Girls Club


The Bad Girls Club is a show on Oxygen that I always see the commercial for. I always found it rather pointless but decided to watch it for this Reality TV show assignment. This show is about some bad ass women, well at least they think that they are, who live in a big house together. I watched the first two episodes On Demand from last season (I hope it's still acceptable). After spending nearly two hours of my life watching this show, I realized how perfect the show is to analyze. Every part of it exposes how society-created gender shapes every action and attitude of each of the woman. There are 8 women in the house, Tiffany, Amber M., Amber B., Kayla, Whitney, Ailea, Sarah and Whitney. Boy do they have some wild personalities.

First, the girls are given a job. They all go to a lingerie shop on Hollywood Blvd. Their task is to pick out the outfit the feel most comfortable in, strut their stuff down the boulevard to bring in customers. Whoever brought in the most people would win, I think $300. All of them tried hard at first, cat-calling men, fluttering their eyelashes, offering free lap dances, objectifying themselves to everyone, including couples, just to make a few hundred bucks. The winner was Amber M. because she would not give up, run up to people, pull off the innocent look, and drag them into the store. If I was in their position, I honestly would have done the same thing because I need the money. But watching it disgusted me. These women are supposed to be bad girls but they just looked so desperate. A lot of men didn't pay mind to them, which I found odd. I figured that maybe it was the cameras that shunned them.

Now, we have the character Kayla. She is a model-looking African-American woman who despises the other African American, Tiffany, at first glance. The reason behind her feelings is that Tiffany has a lighter complexion than she. Kayla defends herself by saying how her ex-boyfriend loves "light-skinned" women. Kayla's current complexion is lighter than it should be because she has gone out of her way to look lighter for her boyfriend. Complexion is her sole reason for disliking Tiffany and she admits to it with no shame. Through the expression of Kayla's emotion, she shows the audience how her "strong woman" personality, which she constantly must point out, is a facade. Although she came out as a tough girl, confronting an innocent stranger, I looked past it and knew that she is just intimidated by Tiffany. During her confession to Tiffany, her low self-esteem is accentuated. She's not even with this guy anymore and she's still ready to pounce on a light-skinned female! I found it insane how just seeing a stranger with a lighter complexion sparked such hatred in a person.

Another instance in which the concept of gender was evident was when the character Whitney aka Boston receives the news of a friend passing away. She refuses to cry or "show any sign of weakness" to the other girls. Instead, they all go out and she gets wasted. In class and in regular everyday discussion, the most common said difference between men and women is that they are "weaker" and/or "too emotional". I'm assuming that that is the reason why Boston held back her feelings. Eventually she cries, after the other ladies begged her to and after a lot of drinking. From experience, I think she'll probably forget what happened the next day and wake up with a terrible headache and/or vomiting. I've heard it is not good to suppress emotions. Family Guy subliminally suggests that it causes tumors. I have an aunt that passed away from a tumor (she denied the fact that her husband beat her all the time). Watching the show, it's obvious Boston wanted to vent about her emotions but did not know how. She felt the need to keep her bad girl attitude and prove that big girls don't cry.

The last part of the show I will mention is when Kayla and Amber M. had their own altercation. The day after Kayla was ready to fight to defend Amber M., they went out to eat with Amber B. Kayla unwillingly added $2 to the tip and that is where it all began. Amber M. keeps rambling on and on in the car about the situation, where Kayla is yelling to just drop it. Amber M. wouldn't so Kayla hit Amber M.'s arm. (Very funny to watch). Amber B., the driver, pulled into a gas station and the other two jumped out and started swinging and kicking. Their ending position was half in the car, Kayla pulling Amber M.'s hair while Amber M. was choking Kayla. I was wondering the entire time, are they really fighting over $2? Kayla was yelling saying she would kill Amber M. Amber M. was getting everyone else on her side by denying her instigation. This part portrays women as overreacting and conniving animals. The matter was so petty but they were ready to kill each other.

There were plenty more instances but I figured these covered a lot of ground. I realized that these self-proclaimed bad girls are just bluffers, not very good ones. They all spend so much time getting ready to go out, picking outfits, putting on make-up. I'm very disappointed in Oxygen for airing this show. I thought Oxygen was a channel for women who are comfortable with themselves. I'm assuming the projected audience for this particular show are for both males and females. What messages are they sending? Why this show that projects insecurity, hatred, and constant objectification? These females are not ugly and aside from all of their fights, they always go out and have a good time. I had so many mixed emotions after viewing this. I want to have an easy-going life like theirs during the show, but I hated their personalities and attitudes. I was disgusted at some of the things they did, but reminisced on similar situations that I have been in. Finishing up this assignment, I'm left more confused than ever.

Friday, November 20, 2009

16 and pregnant video

Hello Girls: Here is the URL if you guys want to watch the episiode..Just dont cry :(((


http://www.mtv.com/videos/16-and-pregnant-ep6-catelynn/1615511/playlist.jhtml

MTV'S 16 AND PREGNANT

After browsing through different shows to decide what show I will write about, I came across MTV’S 16 and pregnant. I know it is a teenage show, and that most college students might not particularly watch it, but something about it caught my attention. In class we have talked about teenage girls always worrying about getting pregnant, and society always criticizing them for not following the standard rules of “waiting for the right age to bare a child.” Furthermore, in class we have talked about motherhood, and the role of a mother and father in a household. In addition, we have discussed controversial topics such as “working mothers” and why not “working fathers?” In this particular episode, Catelynn got pregnant from Tylor at age 16. They were juniors in high school, and were living in a household where parents were not supportive at all. Both Catelynn and Tylor knew that there was no way they could raise a child on their own, especially after Tylor’s dad being in jail, and Catelynn’s mother being a drug addict. So maturely enough, they both decided to give the babe in adoption, not an easy decision at all! They searched for an adoption agency and picked the parents they thought the child would have a better future with. The mother and father of both teenagers were completely against adoption, being that they thought, carrying a child for 9 months and then giving it away was a horrible decision.
It was really bad for Catelynn and Tylor to experience giving their child into adoption. They had to put themselves away from the situation and really think that the child will be better off with the adoptive parents. By doing a gender analysis of the show, I realized that gender norms are so well determined and imposed by society that even 16 year olds know how each gender should behave according to specific situations. Tylor thought of dropping out of school, getting a job, and supporting Catelynn who will take care of the babe at home, and eventually go back to school. We can clearly see that Tytlor is doing exactly what society dictates a man should do for his family, which is to work hard and be the breadwinner of the house. Catelynn, on the other hand, is also behaving according to her gender, which is following the ideology of staying home and taking care of her child. This is also an example of motherhood, which has been discussed in class, society tells women to “always sacrifice for their children,” most of the times this means letting go important dreams in life.
When the adoptive parents were chosen, there were different things that Catelynn and Tylor looked on them. They wanted the adoptive mother to stay home and take care of the babe, the adoptive father to be the provider of the house and to have all the responsibilities in term of finances, and finally they wanted them to both have a good financial situation. These two teenagers that had a baby at such a short age clearly want their child to have a good future. They are both clear on what the role of a mother or father is, or even the role of a woman or man. They are pretty old fashion, since they still believe that is better when the woman stays home and care for the children instead of going out to work. This was such a sad show, that I literally cried throughout the whole episode, it is so sad and so hard to give a child for adoption, but I also think it was the best decision made.

Monday, November 9, 2009

mothering

Mothering

It is a notion that we came to accept as self explanatory and one of the most normal things in life. That’s how it is supposed to be—we tell kids. Biologically speaking it is simply a process of reproduction, but is there anything ever so simple with humans? With our social mores, even the most primal things have tendency to take forms that have to be handled with fingertip delicacy. In this spirit, motherhood can be seen as a social construct, an institution that encompasses its share of rules, stereotypes and strata. Thus, since becoming an institution, it has lost somewhat of its spontaneity and beauty. As mentioned in the Transformations: Women, Gender & Psychology (Crawford, 2006) the society has cookie cutter formatted ideas about how such private matter like motherhood should be for everyone. Can everyone expect motherhood to be the fulfillment of all her expectations and then fill that role to outmost perfection? Are humans that similar to each other that even ideas and notions can be mass produced for them, or is this only valid for women? Isn’t the foundation of our system build on the understanding that each person is an individual with desires and goals unique to himself? Then, why should each woman experience a choice such as becoming a mother in a same way? Every single individual will probably report an event in a different light and each single one of them would be right, thus, I can only report my experience with a certain confidence.
First of all, bringing a child to term was neither an easy nor a clairvoyant decision. I had previously to this event already been pregnant, but due to timing and my then situation decided to cut it short. What I think was probably the best thing that I could have done at that moment, because even with the greater amount of maturity I have now, being a mother is not an easy thing. It is a constant apprenticeship and ongoing test of your patience. However, I have to admit that it is indeed an amazing experience. To hold a little being that completely depends on you and seeing it grow and flourish, is just very nourishing to a person. At least it has been to me. Motherhood has brought me an immense amount of stability and it helped me to come to a sort of peace treaty with my own self.
I have to agree with Crawford’s (Transformations: Women, Gender & Psychology) criticism about the double standard practices of our leaders. It is not fair to encourage women in higher social ranks to stay home and care for their kids and force the other women to go work for demeaning salaries that will anyway be not enough to pay for their children needs. To make matters worse, official policies dehumanizes these struggling women by classifying them as social dead weights, when in reality it is the government’s responsibility to find true solutions to their problems. It is very true that as a single parent one can hardly even make it in this country. Usually half of the income just goes to daycare, and then the rest to rent and food. The government doesn’t provide any help that I am aware of that makes the load of a single mother even a little bit lighter. Especially when seeing the statistics on how many children are raised in single parent households, one wonders why it is not a priority on the governmental agenda to do something for them. What kind of citizens are they expecting to have after leaving these children to grow up in poverty and despair? Michelle

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sex, love, and romance by Pamela Murillo

Our culture and morals dictate what is right or wrong about sexuality. What is acceptable to some people might not be acceptable to others. Each individual is capable to be sexually aroused, but people learn rules that tell them how to behave in a sexual act, with whom to have sex, how to have sex, and what is pleasurable and not pleasurable during sex. Sexual acts that are recognized by a particular social group, the rules that guide the expected behavior, and the expected punishment for violating such rules form sexual scripts. Sexual scripts are schemas for sexual concepts or events, an example is listing the things people do on a first date, such as getting dressed, go out shopping or to a restaurant in order to get to know each other, joking and talking to try to impress. Sexual scripts are also guided by society and are part of cultural institutions; this is because law and religion regulate sexual behaviors. Sexual scripts are also influenced by race and class as well as by gender. For example, as the text mentions, people in the United States believe that Love is necessary for marriage, but in many parts of the world love is arranged by family members, not by the bride and groom.

In class we read different passages about people’s sexual lives, and we rated them as to what is most and least acceptable to us. We heard the story of Diane who sleeps with any guy without having any attachment. We heard the story of Jill and the swinging of partners. We also heard among others, the story of a guy who was been unfaithful to his partner and was afraid to hurt her, therefore he kept salience he liked somebody else. Similarly, the whole class had similar ratings to these stories, and this is because we go to the same school, we are used to cultural diversity, and we are more open minded about sexuality. But the reality of this is that everybody will rate these stories differently, and they will rate them according to their morals, culture, and religion ideas. Some one in class mentioned that partner swinging is ok as long as both individuals in the relationship are ok with it. However, I am pretty sure that for many people out there, partner swinging is a sin and should not be done at all.

Chapter 8 talks about sexual scripts, sex, love, and romance, but among these beautiful ideas it also talks about dating violence. Violence between partners is very common that pretty much everyone know someone that has experienced it. The chapter mentions that over 80% of college students say they have experienced or given some kind of verbal aggression within the past year. In addition, over one third report having engaged in physical aggression during the same time period; for example, hitting, throwing something, grabbing, or shoving. Women are the ones that report this kind of violence more often than men. But although women report it more often, there are many man out there that keep it quite; this is because they feel shy or embarrassed to say that they have experience some sort of violence by a woman. Finally, the speaker that we had in class taught us that being violent is by choice, and that even though women and men give many reasons as to why they are violent, it all comes down to them choosing to be like that. We all should have healthy relationships and choose for ways to avoid being violent at all costs. Also we cannot let anyone be violent to us, and we have to report it immediately to stop it on time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reality TV show "Project Runaway"

The reality show I would like to discuss about is on ‘Project runaway’ on Lifetime channel. In this show there are designers who have to compete with each other and the winner of this show will get multiple prizes. All the models in this show are female. They have the typical white dominating, skinny, pretty structured feature. One noticeable thing among the models is that there are no male models, like they are not allowed to wear good cloths. There are mixtures of both sexes, as designers, in the competition. There are four judges constantly one of which is a permanent female judge. There is always one male judge out of the four judges (because I think they want to play it safe) like men don’t know anything about fashion so they should not be judging anything.
There is a mentor through out the show named Tim. He is always in his sophisticated look and he is gay. Why is it that there has to be a gay mentor for the competitors? Are they trying to say that gay men understand women and that’s how it should be? Meaning men are not supposed to understand women because it’s not their job!
There is always one word that every judge would utter for each designer’s as a critique. The word is sheik. In my I-phone dictionary it shows that the word sheik means ‘a man held to be masterful and irresistibly charming to women.’ In thesaurus there are no words found which could be a synonym for this word. So the judges are trying to mean, by this word, that the dresses should be appealing to men. These clothes are not meant to make yourself look good but it’s meant to appeal others and mostly men.
There was one episode where more than ten divorcees arrived to the show. The challenge for the designer was to turn their wedding gowns into an outfit that they would wear to their first date. The outfits were designed in one day. When the judgment day came one designer was criticized tremendously for his turnout of the dress. He used the fabric of the dress and he made a top out of it and he was able to buy 2 yards of fabric which he made a pair pants with. When the divorcee was asked by the judges if she liked the turnout of her dress she said she did. When the judges asked her if she would wear it to her date she said ‘to the second date, I would.’ The judges replied ‘smart choice.’ Why is it that pants are not allowed to be worn for a divorcee on her first date? What is so wrong with that picture? Is she trying to make a statement of something? If that’s the concern then shouldn’t everyone pay attention to the fact that she has been divorced once, which clearly means that she did not like who she was with. She made that decision on her own and she freed herself from her ex-husband. So she is a strong, sophisticated woman who wants to move on from her past and enter a new relationship. Even if she was not a divorcee why would it be a crime to wear pants to your first date? Wearing clothes should be someone’s comfort zone and they should only wear clothes that are appealing to them not others.
Even in this show, which should be all about women, are also displaying women as how men wants to see them as. They should be appealing or “sheik” according to the judges. This is how gender is also demolishing women and providing a misconception of women position in the society. Also this competition is all about the designers’ designs then why is it so important for the models to get their hair and make-up done? So the message is that you are not permitted to get out of the house with only your clothes but you must be physically attractive as well. This means women “BE AWARE” you are not permitted to be yourself at all. You need to always be appealing to men so they could pick you as their partners and you could become their play toy.

Newspaper article: Southern Baptist seminary to offer academic program in homemaking

The article, “Southern Baptist seminary to offer academic program in homemaking,” is an atypical article. Well, honestly, I am not so surprised about the subject of this article because of where it takes place. In southern part of America it’s even more difficult to establish women anywhere other than home. This article is informing that in Nashville, Tennessee, a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is introducing a program in homemaking only for women. This program will teach seven hours of nutrition and meal preparation, seven hours of textile design and "clothing construction," three hours of general homemaking, three hours on "the value of a child," and three hours on the "biblical model for the home and family.” It will offer a bachelor of arts in humanities degree with a 23-hour concentration in homemaking. The program is only open to women (French p1). So we women need to have a degree which will prove us as women if we accomplish this course. I really would love to see anyone proudly walk on their graduation day holding this degree and feel like they have found their achievement. I would really want to hear someone say this is what they wanted to do since they were a little girl!
Seminary officials say the main focus of the courses is on hospitality in the home -- teaching women interior design as well as how to sew and cook. Women also study children's spiritual, physical and emotional development (French p1). This institution is trying to bring women back to their home. They are stating that women belong inside the house and that is their place. Why is this course offered only to women? Why it is not offered to men? Are they not allowed to cook? Are they not allowed to feed themselves? Starting from fast food restaurants to five star restaurants majority of the chefs are male. Where did they learn how to cook? Obviously from a cooking institution and they each have certificate which certifies them as professional cooks. Then why is this institution offering this course to only women?
If you watch the show in lifetime channel ‘Project runaway’ all the designers are a mixed sex. Did they have to learn how to sew the clothes they design? Yes they had to learn, than why is this Seminary offering the course to women only? Also there are so many brand name clothes out there like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, George Armani etc. are all designers and they are male. They had to make their dresses before they became known in today’s phase. Also where did they learn how to sew? Once again they had to either learn from a school or maybe from their parents.
If you watch HGTV, which is a house decorating channel, you will come across multiple male interior designers who are successful in their field. Where did they learn to decorate? Obviously, if you are a decorator in this channel, that means you are a professional at your field. This means all the decorators have certificate which certifies them to decorate the interior of the house or reconstruct the house as whole.
Unfortunately, biologically, men can not get pregnant and give birth to a child. Putting that fact aside, a man in a family turns out to be a father. This means that they should know how to raise a child because they would have to interact with a child just like a mother would. Maybe they might not be as involved as the mother would be but they are part the child’s life so they should learn how to raise a child too. Then why is this Seminary merely offering this course to women? So they are trying to say that men are born with the knowledge of how to be a father but women are so imperfect that they need to be taught how to be a mother? A child is always influence by their surroundings, which means that they will be affected by both the parents. Moreover not just the fact that they will be taught but they need to achieve a degree which will declare them as a pro at what they do. Is this the image we, as society, want to imply on our generation that women should be locked up at home with their house chores, which they don’t get paid for, but men should be out there earning money; where a woman is well capable of executing the same task a man would embark on? No matter how much others try to tie women down but they are not home caged any more and neither would they give in to that pleasure for men. There were other Baptists who did not agree with such course which should be part of the institution. Surprisingly they are men who are raising a voice against this matter. Even men, in today’s period, know that it takes both male and female to run a society successfully. So this is a friendly advice to those back dated, hard-headed people, try hard but don’t die hard in the process!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Found disturbing, so had to mention

I was slightly disgusted by what was happening to Filippa Hamilton, a former fashion model for Ralph Lauren. I say former because she was fired for becoming too "fat". I think she is like 5'10" and weighs 120 pounds, which in a normal mind is an almost too low of a weight. Ralph Lauren is, of course, of a totally different opinion in what concerns knowledge about a woman's weight. They, for some reason, decided to use her image for an advertisement again, after firing her, but due to their distorted view of weight they airbrushed her image turning a healthy-looking woman into a completely emaciated, abnormally thin person. That, just looks ridiculous! What are they trying to accomplish? Have they as a design group, been putting such unreachable thinness standards to their models? I wonder? What is their idea behind such behavior? That's of course if they even actually have one (idea), but maybe it is just bad taste. Michelle

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What about Commitment-women and close relationships????by Grace

Most weddings are done according to the idealized standard that the society sets; the standards of the parents, family members, and even the media. In other words, what will others think about the wedding? This is the result of the commercialization of people’s lives and it affects the decisions people make in that when they make decisions about their wedding, it is really about gaining the approval of the society they are in. When people talk about weddings, they focus too much on the external appearance and how they will impress their guests and others. Also how they will make that day very memorable because it marked the beginning of the rest of their lives.
In Wilson's article, the selling of the American wedding, the reader takes a second look at weddings and how weddings are idealized by the media. When people talk about weddings, it is almost like a fairytale, as if the bride and groom just fell in love and should live happily ever after as long as the wedding is just perfect. What about commitment? What kind of relationship does the couple have and should all relationships result in wedding? If a relationship does result in wedding, should the wedding be about what the society expects of the bride and groom? I find myself thinking about these questions and more when I think about the wedding industry and how they have idealized weddings through the media.
The perfect wedding has become standardized and regulated by the media just as the perfect partner has been dictated by society. It is quite problematic to find that the government also has a hand in the order of intimate relationships. For a country that emphasizes freedom, it is ironic to find that there really isn’t that much freedom because the government practically dictates people’s choices of intimate partners. In the textbook, we learn that marriage is a way that the society regulates private relationships between couples and specifies who marries whom, how old the couple has to be, and how properties should be divided when marriage ends. For instance same sex couples are prohibited from marrying and also, interracial marriage used to be forbidden (Crawford, 2006). So, society dictates the - who part of a relationship, why should they dictate the where when and how your relationship should be?
In the textbook, Crawford also discusses the different varieties of marriage and classifies marriages into three types: traditional, modern, and egalitarian. This division is based on authority, companionship, and shared activities. In a traditional marriage, the husband has greater authority; the wife is a full time housewife that gets no pay, whereas in the modern marriage, the husband is the breadwinner; the wife works to help him out and provide extras.
The egalitarian marriage maintains a ground of equality between husband and wife. This type is becoming more common even though it used to be very rare. I believe that with equality as a requirement in marriage, responsibilities will be equally shared and so one partner does not feel overwhelmed because of having extra responsibilities while the other partner has less. Although it is difficult to be in an egalitarian relationship because the institution of marriage has been organized around gender inequality, it is still possible to manage an egalitarian relationship. To me, egalitarian is the way a relationship should be. That being said, society should not dictate the way a wedding should be.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gender Identities

Why is there such confusion with gender? What does it matter what color or type of clothes you choose to wear? I thought we are all able to express ourselves freely as we please. These norms that we as a society have upheld for hundreds of years play a large role in our everyday lives. When did clothes something we use to conceal our naked bodies become a symbol of our gender? And if it so necessary to have a covered body what does it matter what if you have a dress or pants on?

The article Supporting Boys or Girls When the Line Isn’t Clear argues if young children should be able to choose the gender they want to identify with. In New York City many people are now allowed to alter the sex listed on their birth certificate under gender-identity rights. Many children as young as five years old are now being supported by parents, educators, and mental health professionals as they see this as the positive approach. In the past children who did not conform to gender norms would have to undergo psychoanalysis or behavior modification.

Why is it that when we do not conform we are looked down upon? Why can everyone be accepted as an individual?

Boys are taught to play with cars while girls are given a doll and if the two were to be switched it would appear as if something was wrong with the child and not as if this is their personal preference. In order to foster a sense of security and self-esteem many doctors have began to advise families to let these children be “who they are”. From past cases transgendered children who are steered in the direction that wasn’t of their choice shows higher rates of depression, suicidal feelings and self-mutilation. It would seem in their best interest to let them choose their own path instead of having someone pick it for them.

While some might look at a young boy showing up to school in skirt as something that isn’t normal and easily point the finger at the parents why are children not able to verbalize their own feelings? Some parents are choosing to black their child’s puberty medically which raises a bunch of ethical questions. They just want to enable their adolescent to make the correct decision at an appropriate age that they feel they will understand exactly what they are doing.

The topic of gender identity touches on many sensitive topics but I personally feel that you can’t label someone and place them in a box. From a young age we are taught that we have freedom and we should be able to do anything we choose to do. Everyone is uncomfortable with change but once it catches on we almost can’t remember what things we like before. I believe that it will take a long time before people are able to accept what will come about but in the end we have to see it as the individual’s decision and their decision in which they choose to live their lives. If someone that is transgendered isn’t telling someone else what they should be then why does that majority try to convert them? At the Park Day School in Oakland teachers are practicing gender neutrality which they are taught a new vocabulary and line the students up according to sneaker color and not by gender. This is the first step in making a change in which children can be taught that everyone should be looked on as equals.

-Janaine Jaikaran

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gendered Development (chapter 5) by Pamela Murillo

Sex is a social construction and it starts off from the moment we are born. It’s a boy! Or it’s a girl! Society has established ways to categorize people, either you are a male or a female, black or white, but cannot be in the middle. It is not socially accepted that individuals break the rules, and usually whenever that happens, individuals are looked bad upon and most of the time rejected. This chapter mentions that in our society there are three assumptions about sex; One is that there are only two sexes, second one is that sex exists as a biological fact not taking into account people’s beliefs, and third is that sex and gender naturally go together. Interestingly enough there are many people out there that are misinformed about gender and sex. Many believe that there are only two genders, and as I mentioned before those are male and female. However, the book mentions that 1.7 percent of babies vary in some way from the biological norm of the two common known sexes. People that are born with any variation from the two sexes are called intersexed. When a babe is born intersexed, doctors force the parents to make the decision of weather they want a girl or a boy. Usually their decision is based on weather the kid’s sex organ appeals to be more a female or a male like. Since the kids are too young to decide for themselves, they do not have a say in having the surgery done, and is when they reach puberty or adulthood that they start facing the consequences of that act.

As we also saw in the Oprah show, there are people out there that didn’t have the surgery done when they were born. They feel happy with themselves although they are aware of all the discrimination they face in order to remain who they are. The book explains how some people feel “trapped in the wrong body” but since society is so strict when it comes to this topic; most just remain hidden in the dark. There are many different types of sexual disorders out there that are not socially accepted. For example, there are people that are born with androgen insensitivity syndrome, which is most of the time, a person with a female organ and female features but with internal testis. Their body produce enough estrogen that make them look female, although they do not have a uterus inside but instead testis in the folding of their labia. This is just an example of one of the syndromes mentioned in the book, but there are other major ones out there as well that people have to deal with. It is not really hard to come up and find out for your self who you are, and what you want in reference to your sexual life, but it is really hard to maintain a regular social life and having to deal with what “society” is going to say.

Intersexed people demonstrate that there are not only two categories for sex. But is sad to know that intersexed children are largely dependent on social factors. Kids have to face discrimination, teasing, disrespect, and bulling when they undergo these conditions. In class we saw an example of two young 8-year-old kids that were born male but they felt inside as females. They had made the transition from being boys to being girls regardless of what society and their parents thought of them. They were so mature and open about it. It made me feel so proud of them and think that we as adults have to be as brave as them when we want something with such a big desire. The book also mentions that there are other cultures such as India that accept the variation of having only two sexes. Our society is so narrowed minded and so conservative about this topic, that they rather ignore it and push/force people to the categories we already have established. If we change our mentality we can possibly change the future to end sex discrimination against those who “cannot fit” into society’s norms.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

ADS AND GENDER

While flipping through the pages of a Spanish magazine named “TV Notas” I came across a very interesting ad. It says “Un busto Exuberante con Bosom Max,” This means: A bigger breast with Bosom Max.” The ad has a picture of a fairly young woman probably in her late 20’s. She is wearing a pink shirt that is so open barely covering her nipples. Her breast looks so big that all you pay attention too while you see this ad is her breast. Of course the company promoting Bosom Max wants to sell the product making women believe this treatment will increase the size of her breast. But why would they assume women with small breast would want bigger breast? I strongly believe ads like this are what make many women feel ashamed of their bodies and not completely satisfy with themselves. The woman in this ad is also wearing a lot of makeup. Her cheeks are as pink as her shirt, and she has this innocent smile that is portraying “satisfaction.” Her hair is nicely done and her hands are tied together on top of her stomach. Women are always forced by society to be looking beautiful, sexy, many times innocent, and calmed. It makes me really sad how ads like this want to put women down. Since by showing this they are saying that small breast is not cute, sexy, and is not supposed to be that way. Especially this is focusing on Spanish women since this is a Spanish magazine. It wants to tell the Spanish audience that women are supposed to have big breast in order to look good. I remember when I was younger I always wanted big breast, since I always used to see this type of ads. Now that I think about it, it upsets me to realize that many teenagers going on puberty are going to see this ad and feel different about their body. They will look at themselves and say, “My breast doesn’t look like that, I am not a good looking, sexy woman.” We need to change this and evoke that idea that we are all beautiful that way we are.

In the morning while I was in the train to work I noticed a woman standing next to me reading a magazine. I saw her flipping the pages slowly but then she stopped to read an article. I soon realized that the back of the page she has flipped to had a picture of a woman in a kitchen. I pay close attention to the ad and what exactly was trying to say. If it were any other day I wouldn’t even notice how that ad evoked gender norms, but since I had to do this assignment I actually stopped and observed it well. It was a picture of a woman in a fancy kitchen. She had a big smile in her face. She was holding a towel in one of her arms and with her hand holding a knife and a tomato. One of her legs was lift up (as if playing soccer) but lifted from her backside pointing her toes towards her back. On top of her foot was a small toaster, as if she was catching it from falling. With her other hand she was mixing fruits on a blender, and then again she had a big smile in her face! Oh! And I forgot to mention that her kid was holding on to her right leg as is he wanted something from her. The ad titled “All a woman could do with Olympia Kitchenware.” This article made me so mad because I am not and will never be a housewife at all. I don’t believe in women having to cook, clean, watch the kids, and still work, and on top of that serve the husband when he gets home. I hate that they post ads like this in which they are saying that women have to be housewives no matter if they work or if they stay at home. Society imposes that role since it is always claimed that women are so emotional, more caring, more sensitive, and more nurturing. That is not true! Not all women are like that. I was trying to find an ad where there was a man in a kitchen performing those roles and I hardly found one where the man was in a kitchen but because he was a famous chef. Man are always the “though” ones, and seeing them in a kitchen according to society is feminine and reflects weakness. This is the worst ad they could possibly put on a magazine, trying to portrayed women as multitask housewives able to do all the housework and everything that entitles.

In a target discount magazine I found a picture of two kids modeling cloth. The boy about 8 years old had a big smile in his face, showing his teeth. His hands were in his packet; he was standing straight, looking at the camera. He was wearing a blue t-shirt and black gym pants. He looked tough and secure of himself. As opposed to the girl the boy was portrayed stronger not only because of his cloth but also because of his body language. The girl, around the same age, was wearing a purple shirt with butterflies in the middle. She was also wearing pink tights and had her hair wrapped up in a bun. She was not looking at the camera like the boy was, but instead she was looking away at the ceiling. She had a half smile and her hands were in her back as if she was shy and hiding something. We can clearly see the difference in gender portrayal even among kids. They are both modeling cloth but they are not perceived as the same, there is clearly a boundary that shows one is a girl, and one is a boy, one most know the difference according the ad. The girl is always perceived as sad, shy, and quite, whereas the boy is always perceived secured, tough, and decided.
If society and each of us individually don’t change the way we do gender, things are never going to change. Lets not dress our little boys in blue, and our little girls in pink, lets just not establish boundaries between both sexes, and we will see a change in how we are all perceived.