Thursday, December 6, 2012

Event Number 2 - Shopping at Traget

So recently I went to Target to get a few things for the apartment. I never really cared to take a stroll down the toy isles but it is the Christmas season now and I have a niece who is 3 and I needed to get her a gift. I took a nice stroll down the isles and it was absolutely appalling the amount of PINK and PURPLE I saw. I was completely overwhelmed. A lot of the stuff was the same like dolls and little cars for them to ride in, just different facial expressions or brand name. I never looked deep into the whole color difference between boys and girls, but it was crazy walking down the isles and seeing the difference. I think there was about a good 6 double sided isles of pink and purple items and boxes. Of course there was the same for the boys though, just blue and black and the isle of army items which included the dark green, sandy camo.

To more of a surprise there was a gender neutral isle, but it was baby toys.... like the little plastic rings and the stand up noise making things. But other than that I couldn't find one. Even the board games were separated to fit the different genders. Fortunately I was able to find a gender neutral etch-a-sketch thing that had multiple colors and had a boy and a girl depicted on it. Even though ill try and teach my niece that playing with boys toys is ok, I don't think it is going to work as my sister is a pre-madonna and loves pink and purple, the whole nine yards. She spoils her rotten with the pink toys and clothes, although her room is animals and features gender neutral colors like hello, green and browns. It is funny  because my brother in law got her a drill set with boy colors and what not and she said "daddy that is for boys" and refused to play with it. Needless to say that went back to the store.

Media Matters by Croteau (Extended Comments) Mike's blog

Ok so like Mike, when I think of  Ideology I tend to think of religion and what each one puts forth to people. It was interesting reading the article and figuring out that media puts forth ideologies rather than just ideas. The difference between ideas and ideology is completely different and is to know wonder why society follows mass media culture.

I like how Mike relates this idea to his earlier life and the Eminem CD. He put the article into perspective for me because the article was a little wordy. Mike relates the article to the major violence in mass media and the hate that it puts on different groups. He specifically relates it to violence and his experiences with music, specifically the Eminem song: "Kill You" which pretty much goes against the sex positive arguments and also puts forth hate against the LGBTQ community. While I tend to agree that Eminem's music is a great lyrical and vocal accomplishment, I disagree with its messages and tend not listen to rap music as it tends to degrade women and puts forth a life style that in my opinion is wrong and unobtainable. But I have done my share of listening to music based on a catchy beat or because it sounds good, so I guess I am a hypocrite.

Ideology is such a strong word and it is safe to say that the media uses it to display what is right and what is wrong. Everyone and anyone is subject to media ideology, and it is now starting to effect the baby population. I like what they are doing with kid show, as I am subject to watching quite a few with my niece. They have been challenging the white dominant culture with African American hosts and also latin american characters and teaching what is right and wrong in so many ways. I hope that one day teenager targeted media and adult media can do the same.

Bigotry by Fletcher Blanchard (QUOTES)

"your vocal opinions affect what others think and say"

What Blanchard puts forth here is that each and everyone of us have affects on others with what we say. His studies with his students proves this. His students would walk up to others and display bigotry and racial tendencies, and they found that the students they approached and asked how they felt about it, often displayed the same opinion as if it was the norm.

"few have vicariously experiences the pain felt by a friend who has suffered racial harassment"

This hit home with me because I would consider myself someone who is well intentioned and would like racial equality. What this means is that even though you are well intentioned and have friends of other ethnicities and so on so forth, you most likely have never felt any of the pains that they have experienced through racial thoughts and spoken word. I mean in my case this is right, I can not be fully aware and be fully in-tuned with the movement because of it. I have not had the chance to stand up for a friend who was experiencing prejudice and there for have never felt the pain of prejudice in any way shape or form and I am ignorant because of it.

people "do not acknowledge the important differences between the intentional behavior of the committed bigot and the inadvertent behavior of the profoundly inexperienced"

what it means is that there are people who are complete bigots and do not care to voice their racial opinion, while others are un-intentionally harming those around them just because they partake in daily society and what is contemporary racism. It is important to recognize the differences as you need to deal with each individual case in a different way and with different techniques. For instance I would consider myself an inexperienced individually and I need to be educated on what I should and should not say. I find myself referring to people of color as "those" people and non intentionally harming them.  I found myself doing this on facebook. One of my cousins works in a group home with disabled adults and those with mental incapacity and we were having a conversation about him standing up for a group member there who was being threatened and punished by a worker there. I had said "good for you Ben, sticking up for those individuals who can't defend themselves". I had the best intentions with my thought and I assumed it was ok. But my aunt came back at me with they are not "those" people, they are just like us and are just unfortunate to be the way they are. It made me think about how I say things and refer to others.

Event Numero Uno

For my first event I am using my work atmosphere. On the days I don't have class I install walk in bath tubs and showers not only for elderly but for handicapped people. It is a pretty awesome job. I get to learn new things everyday, but most importantly I am doing someone a service and it makes me feel good at the end of the day.

Anyways my job is a feminist issue in more than one way. One of the main reasons as to why I am writing about this is because of the things the women I see on a daily basis, doing. I would say of the about 400 jobs I have been on, about eighty percent of the women are what we would call your typical housewife. Cooking, cleaning, waiting on their husbands hand and foot. More often than not they offer to cook us food and at the end of the job offer to sweep up after the mess we made because they see me on my hands and knees sweeping with a dustpan and brush. Its hard to watch and eighty year old woman who can barely walk struggling to do her daily chores because that is what she has done her whole life, all while her physically capable husband is on the couch watching tv or reading the paper, or to busy being in the way of us doing our job.

Another way this is a feminist issue is how these companies take advantage of these elderly and handicapped people. While they are provided something that will make their lives easier, it is rape, how much they charge these people for a tub with a door on it. Me and my brother install for a few different companies, so I won't get into detail about pricing or anything like that but to put it into perspective: I could buy a brand new hyundai sonata outright, for the price of some of the tub models. I could buy a brand new kitchen or an entire bathroom! Just ridiculous and completely unjust if you ask me. If I were the thousands of elderly who have indulged in one of these, I would protest for my money back!.

But all in all the service is what counts. These people's lives have changed for the better, making their bathing experience a lot more safe. This makes my work a feminist issue in generally, not the greedy salesmen portion.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Random Blog 2 - Check Um' Out! - Four Year Strong

So Four Year Strong is  pretty sick band and I definitely recommend them to anyone and everyone!. They do some great covers in their album Explains It All, some songs which most of the class will know, such as Roll To Me by Del Amitri, Absolutely (Story of a Girl) by Nine Days, Semi Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind and finally Fly ft Travis McCoy which was originally done by Sugar Ray.

They also do their own music of course. They are from Boston!, somewhat local anyways, which is a plus. Saw them for the first time live this past summer at warped tour. One of the sickest experiences of my life. Anyways here is there their best song in my opinion, featuring one of the best breakdowns ever! (so amped just typing this)

Ok so I completely forgot these random post had to pertain to feminism and the class and I think this song does. At the end of the song they sing "sad enough to say that alone I could barely light a match, but together we can burn this place down" "sorry about the mess, but when we team up, team up we always seem to bring this place to the ground" and then crazy breakdown sets in. But I think this can relate to our discussion in class that it is hard for the oppressed group to gain freedom of that oppression without the help of members from the oppressing group. Because when men team up with the under payed women to protest the inequality, they to can dismantle the masters house and they to can bring this place down. 

Random Blog 1 - Attempting Divorce After 19 Years

A Belgian man attempts to  divorce his wife after 19 years  because he found out that she was trans. I find this just morally wrong and appalling. As much as the woman clearly left out some information about her past, it shouldn't have made a difference in the end because she clearly made the man happy if they were married for 19 years! The site even quotes him saying that she had not a single manly feature and he couldn't notice anything difference with sex between her and a biologically born female. If sex does not feel different and you are happy, what does it matter if she is a trans women. In my opinion it doesn't and would not even be a question. I mean don't get me wrong, holding back that type of info is immoral  and wrong in itself, but divorcing from a happy marriage of 19 years is ten times worse. I think its karma that the courts deny him and put him through the "hell" he thinks he is in...

Sex Positivity - Connections

     The Wikipedia article and the 8 Ways To Be Positive You're Sex Positive article focus on the idea of being positive about what works for you sexual. The Wikipedia article seems to focus more on the arguing groups and the history, but also the pornography industry and the effects it has on the feminist movement.
      I connect the wikipedia article specifically to Frye's oppression. Frye explains that people use the word oppression to broadly and don't look at the real scope. She relates it to "men's inability to feel" meaning that they show no emotions and the fact that society oppresses them to do that. The wikipedia article connects with Frye because the anti-porn feminists think that porn is oppressive to women in general, and those who take part in it are degrading the feminist movements and themselves. But in reality it is what they like to do and tends to be their full-time job. It is like any other career, you do what you love to make money. The problem with the anti-porn movement is that they often show graphic images of sadomasochism or the act of inflicting pain and enjoying it during sex (portraying that these individuals are being raped). The reality is that some people enjoy this and are not being oppressed, as a matter of fact they are welcoming it and enjoying every second of it.
      Next I connect these two articles to Rich's article on LGBTQ issues. What Rich focuses on is the fact that men and women alike are forced almost forced to be heterosexual because of societal pressures and ignorances. These articles relate in the fact that sex is most often influenced by societal pressures.  Also people should be allowed to partake in any for of sexual activity and not feel like they are being judged. This means ANYTHING. This means: " Clown sex, diaper fetishes, puppy play, littles "This should mean that anyone of any sexual orientation or gender identity can perform sexual activities that they find pleasing.
      What I find most important is in the article by Rachel White. She states that each of us have to look deep into ourselves and find what pleases and may not please us and make sure that we are OKAY with that. We should not feel the need to have to conform to society's ideal picture of sex and pressures to have sex or to remain celibate because of it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Petition to Secede

Here is a link to the article and video that I watched

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Election Day 2012

This past Tuesday  was election day, as we all know. I spent the majority of dinner time at a The Fire on Mineral Spring Avenue in North Providence (pizza is great there by the way). The atmosphere was great, not to loud not to quiet but the buzz did not seem to be around the presidential election, or nothing that I could hear. I think the problem was a lot of polls had not closed yet. But anyways, the table next to us just brifly touched upon the presidential election. The African American man had said he was voting for Obama, while the man next to him had been explaining that the majority of his work had voted for Romney, other than one individual. They did not get into debate about why, but it was just interesting to hear what individuals wanted. 

I started watching when Romney was ahead in electoral and popular vote. Obama at that point had won the northeast along with some major states in central US, while Romney had taken Texas  (stout republican state) and Virginia, a key battleground state. My hopes were high at that point considering I wanted Romney to win. 

Me and my girlfriend had left there to watch the rest at home because there was not much talk about the election at The Fire. Once home I engaged in some heated debates with a few friends over skype. Four out of the five wanted Obama to win, but really did not have any reasons to back up their assertions. So realistically I was doing the debating. Local elections had been tallied at that point and Democrats took most positions. 

On a positive note!, RIC is getting the funding for the new buildings. Also Twin River will now be able to compete with Massachusetts and Connecticut casinos. It also means more jobs and revenue for the state! 

Overall I did not engage in a good experience. I guess I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. For us Rhode Islanders I would like to know why we did not change our views on our leaders when we remain to be the second highest state of unemployment?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"What Are Little Boys Made Of" by Michael Kimmel (Reflection)

     I can agree with what Kimmel has to say about the subject of male behavior and whether or not it is biologically formed or based on surroundings. Growing up I was always favored over my other siblings by my father because I played sports and was always into being hands on, doing 'manly' things. It was what my father did. He was an auto mechanic and a compressor technician. I always had an interest in doing those things, always standing by his side trying to learn the trade. He was a very aggressive man, but one of the nicest people I knew. I heard countless stories growing up about his fights with people and how he was the protective older brother who wouldn't allow guys around my aunts.
     My father and his older brother joined the navy when they were young. They gained a sort of "machoness" from it, especially my dad. When my dad passed away I received a phone call from one of my father's close friends in the military, a female actually. She began to tell me stories of the countless times my father stood up for her and fought for her at bars when men were being pigs, not because he fancied her but because he was protective and showed aggression. One of the most memorable stories was when my dad got demoted to the lowest rank because he punched a guard in the face for making fun of his mother. Typical male issue, "Don't talk about my mom like that".
     While I did gain a lot of my father's traits, I can't say I inherited his aggression. I was a small kid growing up, never had much size until recently. I used to get picked on for hanging out with girls during recess on occasion and even getting bullied for it. In second grade I remember being tackled from behind by someone because of it. I never really understood why back then, but looking back at it now I was just incapable of defending myself because of my size and couldn't get along well with those who could. I guess I was almost an outcast by choice.
     Once third or fourth grade rolled around I joined football and the youth wrestling team. That is when I began to bulk up and gained some aggression, but just for the sport. I realize now that sports is what got me out of being picked on and where I began to be accepted as a male I guess. I really can not put it into words, but yea I began hanging out with males, playing sports during recess, and I got into my first 'real' fight not to long after. It wasn't that I started the fight that made me realize I was becoming more masculine I guess you can say, but more the fact that I did not back down and coward out of it.
     Even though sports and having male friends gave me aggression, it never really changed my view of females. I was still okay with having female friends and never thought of them as unequal in the sense of physicality. I remember in middle school females trying out to join the wrestling team. My coach had to let them try out, but you can tell he did not want a female on the team. He had them wrestle-off the best wrestlers and pretty much punish them to show they 'were not' cut out for the sport. And when our wrestlers lost to females, they never heard the end of it. I remember losing to a female in my second year of the sport and got my balls busted for the rest of the year, even though she was wrestling since she was five. I just never understood why they cared.
     I was always the nice guy of my group of friends. I never show aggression unless I am severely angry. I always tended to hold my aggression in and my friends always said I was going to snap one day. But I havn't yet. I always showed more emotions than my friends. Whether it be because of pain or just being sad or depressed. I just didn't care if I showed it. They always hid it.
     But I guess what I am trying to get at is that it is not biological in the sense that testosterone is what makes a male be aggressive. I have no tendencies to shout or or be aggressive. I personally think it has to do with how you are brought up and the environment that surrounds you. I personally did not take to aggression and took my respect of females from my mother.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Audre Lorde's: "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House" (Argument)

     Author Audre Lorde argues in her article,"The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House", that the feminist movement as whole, mainly white privileged women, disregards lesbians, black women and poor women as legitimate feminists. This means they really don't care to legitimize them by taking their opinions or allowing the to be a part of the interdependent group they have going. Lorde relates this to the patriarchal society as a whole. The feminist movement has black women, lesbians and poor women under its oppressive umbrella. Lorde pretty much states that those who are being oppressed stand alone and do not have the sense to unite due to pressures and just being scared, I would assume. But Lorde also states that to deny interdependence among women as a whole is just insanity because the overall goal of the feminist movement and  the right of independence of women from men, can not be achieved without relying on one another. This is the main fear of patriarchal society, the unity of all women to fight against the oppression. But because white 'privileged' feminists deny black, poor and lesbian women as legitimate feminists, this cannot be achieved. She states "no community, no liberation" meaning just that.
     The main thing i plan to bring up in class is the title of the article and what I think it means. If feminists are using the same oppressive tools that they are fighting against, the house can never be brought down. Below is a link to a wordpress article that elegantly, but simply explains the same ideas that Lorde puts forward in her article.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

     What I got out of Rich's article is that compulsory heterosexuality is just the act of being heterosexual due to societal pressures, whether or not that is a person's sexual orientation. Rich uses the example of lesbians in the work place. A lot of lesbians are almost forced to be in hiding not only in the workplace, but in public in general, because they do not want to be judged or fired based on that reason.
     As for Lesbian Existence, is there really such a thing? From what i read and understood in Rich's article is that they do not really 'exist' per se other than what i believe to be a fantasy world. It isn't right that they have to keep their feelings hidden from people. Why do they have to live double lives?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Economy: Feminist Issue at Large.

     The Center for Working Class Studies is a website that provides info about the "working class". What I found most interest is their view and what they feel is the working class. According to the authors the working class cannot really be defined. How you are classified into the working class is based on a few questions though. They include: what kind of work, how much they earn, social/economic power, education, lifestyle and finally culture. Really that goes for all class infrastructures. Another thing i though was pretty awesome was the fact that they help people understand how they should be paid and provide info to help make sure you are being paid properly. They call it wage theft. Some employers don't pay overtime or withhold pay illegally, which are some examples of wage theft.
      People like us focuses on class difference and how it effects certain peoples lives. They say that we have this generalization that all people are created equal. But the class separation is the polar opposite of being equal. Our class more or less decides how we are brought up. It shapes your education and people's overall attitude towards how they work. But it also affects how people look at individuals. One example story was of a woman who lived in a trailer and worked a job that paid her minimum wage. She refused to be on welfare and her daughter, who had moved out and was considered to be in the middle class, picked on her and pretty much called her 'trailer trash'. All this because she wanted to EARN her living and not have her life handed to her by the government.
     We miss judge people based on appearance and how they live their lives. This is one of the main reasons why the economy is a feminist issue. Also the shear fact that there are millions of women who are being under paid and are experience wage theft in the United States, never mind the world.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

These Gas Prices...

     I do not know about the rest of the class, but as a commuter and a pizza delivery driver, I can say that I am overwhelmingly fed up with the rise of gas prices. Whether or not they are trying to push new energy efficient vehicles, there is no excuse for the recent $4.03 per gallon that I just paid. Right now oil is at about $99 dollars per barrel and in July of 2008 when oil hit an all time high of $145 dollars per barrel with a gas price of $4.10 per gallon. Why is it that we are paying relatively close to the same amount now when the crude oil prices are almost $50 per barrel cheaper. Its more than aggravating. Rather than tap into the 300 years of natural resources we have sitting under the United State or tap into the oil reserves we have in various states, we continue to import our oil. Our president does not have the back bone to stand up to OPEC or the oil refineries. Not for nothing but if one of the largest importers of oil threatens to stop buying, OPEC will have to listen. But that is besides the point. Mitt Romney appears to have the answer to these problems.
     "As president, I will unleash American innovation and productivity to make full use of our natural resources", Romney states in one of his speeches on the energy issue. He suggests that if he becomes president he will make sure we invest in the research on multiple energy sources and the expansion and innovation of others. They include: Liquified coal, bio diesel, ethanol, safer nuclear energy and the reuse of it. One thing that struck me in the face was the fact that he was more than realistic about the time frame in which this could happen. Romney explains, in Coralville,Iowa,  that it will take ten maybe twenty years to reach full energy independence from foreign nations, maybe even more. Its the initiative that he is willing to take in order to save us from those monstrous gas prices, that get excited to vote this upcoming fall. Well, one of many.
    One major thing that needs to happen in order to reduce the current gas prices and get us moving into new technologies is to permit off-shore drilling and approval of the keystone pipeline from Canada. In an article in The Columbus Dispatch, Romney states: I will increase production... I will permit access to our resources in the Gulf of Mexico, the Outer Continental Shelf, western lands and the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. I also will partner closely with our neighbors. Canada and Mexico have extraordinary resources of their own that can provide secure, reliable supplies for our economy. This starts with my approval of the Keystone XL pipeline on Day One". It will reduce gas prices to an extreme low (compared to four dollars at least). One of the main reasons the United States has not drilled in our own territories is the fact that most of the oil refineries are severely outdated and are costly to produce gasoline. If all we did was update, it could save us billions in the long run.
     Romney states so elegantly at the end of the Dispatch article: "This pro-jobs, pro-market, pro-American energy policy will bring energy prices down today, secure an affordable supply of energy for tomorrow, send fewer dollars overseas and create millions of jobs. America can be the world’s next energy superpower, if we give ourselves the chance". We are THE superpower why not remain on top and do it efficiently.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Oppression" by Marilyn Frye

     What I got from the article "Oppression" by Marilyn Frye is that we use the word oppression improperly. She explains that most people think oppression's "scope includes any and all human experience of limitation or suffering, no matter the cause, degree or consequence". She relates this to men's inability to feel or be sensitive.  Frye also explains when it comes to the oppression of women, we do not look at the topic in a macroscopic view as she puts it. We delve to deep into the topic and tend to over look a lot of broad aspects.
     I feel as though some of her examples are a little farfetched. The biggest turn off to the article for me was towards the end when she said that men opening the door for women is oppressive. Has a man ever said that a woman was incapable of opening a door? Why can't it be that a man is trying to be a gentleman by opening the door. What if the women feels like she shouldn't have to open the door, therefor the women is being the oppressor? 
     Even though there are a few obscure ideas to me in the article, I agree with Frye in the fact that most people do not understand the true meaning of the word oppression. I think most people need to learn the true meaning and related topics in order to be able to use the word. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Afraid of the Label "Feminist"

Lisa Maria Hogeland's
"Fear of Feminism"

     Hogeland bases her article about young women being afraid of feminism. Feminism according to is, "the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men". 

     The article starts by explaining the difference between gender consciousness and feminist consciousness. She explains that gender consciousness for women is the process of understanding their vulnerabilities and celebrating their differences from men but also goes into detail about feminist consciousness bringing the awareness of gender differences to politics. Lisa feels that the younger generation are afraid of politics and do not want to have to put forth the effort to be a part of the feminist movement.
     Hogeland also mentions the term homophobia and being homosexual by orientation. She feels that the younger generation are at an age where their sexual orientation and sexual life define them. Also she writes that women being feminist takes them out of a pool for many men.In a non-for-profit online magazine, 'In These Times' , author Sady Doyle writes something similar in her article "Why Are Youngsters Afraid of the Word 'Feminist'?". She states that women are afraid to identify themselves as feminists because they feel as though men would not be attracted to them and will not listen to what they have to say because they identify themselves as feminists. 
     One of the main things I came across when researching similar articles to Hogeland was that many women do not want to be associated with the radical past of the feminist movement and do not take a deep look into what is going on now. In the video below a young girl tries to explain her views and touches upon this issue.The girl also goes into the fact that they do not want to associate with the past in the sense that they believe they are responsible for the past. Their ancestors are responsible for not allowing women to for or to have equal rights in the work place. Personal its sort of an issue for me.
     One thing that really caught my eye while reading Sady Doyle's article is that a lot of people havn't visualized the change in the movement. It is not as active as it was in the early 1900s. Primarily you can find the movement online through blogs and websites. You do not hear to much about it on the news or in the papers anymore. It has become a movement through the technological world that is now in place. I hope to discuss this more in class.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What Is Up

Hi, My name is Bobby Cazeault. I am a recent transfer student. Currently I am a sophomore here at Rhode Island college and enrolled in the accounting program. I enjoy math and numbers significantly, hence the full time desk job in the future. As of right now I deliver pizzas on the weekends and do construction whenever I am not in class. As far as free time, I do not have much, but when there is time I like to play football or most recently riding my bike has been amusing. As far as this class goes, I am taking it for the the social behavior general education requirement but I have always been for women's equality. It will be interesting to see how women have gained the equality they have and to see what they have yet to receive recognition for.