Monday, January 24, 2011

Blog #15

What will I do? What can I do?

I believe the simplest and most successful way of promoting a better world in the future is through personal action. After this course, I believe I have expanded my knowledge of power and oppression to a new level of compassion. I recently went to my first gay bar and I believe it is the best bar in this city because it had a wide range of people who were all tolerant of one another. I will make changes in my behavior such as: I will stop using the word "gay" to mean lame or boring; I will stop laughing at jokes that are racist, sexist or homophobic no matter who is the company saying them; I will try to convince my straight friends to go to a gay bar with me; I want to start participating in activism for equality for all varying sexual orientation; I will try not to let stereotypes get the best of me; I want to have more of a variety in the people I spend time with in regards to race, creed, sex, sexual orientation, etc.; I will encourage and support those who are different from the norm; I must credit this course for finally allowing me to understand the reality of trans-gender individuals and I respect their struggle now; I no longer am willing to be acquaintances with individuals who are intolerant; I do not want to live in secrecy anymore about my reality that I am attracted to both men and women; I want to speak out against oppression when I see it happen in person; I will not be activist who uses violence; I will use my music to convey my own reality and use it to help deconstruct this oppressive reality we live in today; I want my music to reach all audiences from the oppressed to the oppressors. I will spend the rest of my life trying to make everyone tolerate if not accept and understand how it feels to be different or make others realize how different they are from what is expected of us.

Quick Post #6

1) In my social sphere, it is comprised of a diverse range of aged people. In my family, it ranges from 6 months old to 84 years old. I wish I spent more time with my grandmother and my baby cousins. I am currently working at a kindergarten school so I spend every weekday around 27 children who are six years old or under. I love children because I wish I could be excited about everything like they are because I have clinical depression. When it comes to the elder, I do not normally have that same feeling. Most elderly individuals I have met believe in outdated or narrow-minded ideas and my elderly family repeat the same ten stories every holiday.
2) Why is our society segregated on the basis of age? It is simple... the impact society has had on varying age groups makes it nearly impossible to share what we are enjoying or have enjoyed and what we believe in because we are all from different time periods. How am I privileged? I can integrate well in our technologically savvy world we live in nowadays. I am also privileged because I have no limitations on my work abilities like say an elderly man would have to worry about.
3) I found it very interesting when I went to a gay bar and there were a number of middle aged and some elderly individuals who were living it up just like the young adults were. I find it interesting that the only place of tolerance is in a gay bar for all people. Well, I guess it is not surprising. How can we promote greater respect for all age groups? Have organized interactions with people from all ages such as the video game event I hosted at a retirement home I formerly worked at. One young staff member was paired up at random with an elderly individual so we could have teams of the video game Wii Sports. Schedule events that force people to be out of their comfort zone. DO not fear. It becomes fun. The video game contest was the highest enjoyed activity by the employees and the residents.

Blog #14

Trying to ask what makes a good activist to me is like asking what makes a good musician. A good musician has integrity, relentless, vision, knows what they wish to express, has true feeling behind the music and knows how to get their music heard by the general public. I believe these fundamentals are true to an activist as well. Fortunately for the activists, they do not have to worry about corporate greed corrupting their image. Activists are lucky as Howard Zinn said because activists have truth on their side.
What can make an effective and positive activist? First, you can never get discouraged. Secondly, you can never let the problem become to emotionally involved for you. Why? I believe it is great to be passionate about what you do, but when people let emotions get the best of them, they will say things they do not mean or completely lie to keep someone from asking more questions. I have always had a fear of being an activist. I believe in equality for all people as long as they do not want to marry animals, but I have a problem with the individuals who advocate for institutional justice. I find too often that people who are active in the political community have a rather pretentious view of themselves. Do not get me wrong. You should take pride in what you do, but it should not define you or allow you to consider yourself better than those who are not activists. Personally, I fear being tied to another's actions if I joined a particular organization to protest a particular issue. I am not a people person, but I am personable.
What activists do I admire? I have never really thought about that question before. Obviously, I admire Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Simone De Beauvoir, and all the students who protested the Vietnam War. I have never participated in any protest, not because I do not believe in anything, but because I feel like nothing will change while you protest on the T-Hall lawn.

Blog #13

What do I believe is the root cause of ageism? I believe the root of ageism comes from many things about our society. Firstly, we live in a fast paced globalized world that is continuously asking us to move faster, work harder, move quicker and do more things throughout your day. Fellow students and I have always thought it was interesting that our world involves spending 20 hours a day doing work and somehow we are supposed to have eight hours of rest. Secondly, in our society, we are consistently trying to reverse any signs of aging. Why? We seem to hate growing old. We fear it. I always thought it was a privilege to be able to grow old. I am surprised I even made it to the age of 21 years old.
Why is this particular "-ism" so seldom talked about? I believe it is because we try to ignore old people to begin with so why would we talk about the issue of being ageist? I know that I am completely afraid of old people drivers. I believe that ther is nothing wrong with having old people annually get checked to make sure if they can still drive. Would I be willing to do that as well? Absolutely! It would make the roads safer if everyone was made to do it. In the video "Once We Were Young," I could not help but feel bad for the old woman. She seemed to be completely ignored by most individuals around her. She was completely alone in her home and did not have any company besides her cat. I believe that our new 21st century society completely ignores the elderly. We will run out of medicaid, medicare, and social security before I will be able to use it. Our society tells elderly individuals that we have no more use for you as you near the end of your days so we do not care about you. It is disgraceful.

Blog #12

After watching the video "Gimp," I am at a standstill in what I think about the video. I understand that people with disabilities have activities that they must overcome because of their disabilities. Dancing has always been a particularly demanding sport that has its participants be as light, strong and dexterous as possible. When watching "Gimp," the limitations of dance that I thought were obvious, I know I cannot dance, are a complete misconception. I have always understood that there is a genre of dance called interpretive dance. I do not understand the appeal of interpretive dance or much dancing besides raving (I write and perform electronica music). Over recent years, it has been made clear that people who are labeled with disabilities are completely capable of anything that a able-bodied person can do. People with no legs can now run. Two friends of mine have spent their lives in wheelchairs. However, they are dedicated Murderball players. All students at UNH are allowed to play Murderball because the school provides extra wheelchairs. Warning! You will get hurt. Those kids do not mess around. I believe the performance in the video makes it very clear that we should not label people as able or disabled seeing how we are all able to live our lives the way we want to regardless of physical makeup. In "The Social Construction of Disabilty," it proves the point of exactly what I mean. Considering a person to be disabled, if anything, should be considered if you are unable to have equal treatment in our society. Therefore, I purpose that if you are not a white, able-bodied, heterosexual male than you are disabled. As like everything else in this class, the social construction of handicap or handicapable have damaged the lives of all physically challenged individuals. My friends are continuously ignored, stared at or people go out of their way to provide help for my wheelchair stricken friends.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quick Blog #5

I watched the video titled "Who Wants to be a Porn Star?" The arguments in the film all center around the abuse, torture, debasement, and submission of women in the pornography industry. Do I believe that is correct? I use to think that it was not so because the majority of porn that I watched was just a man and a woman having sex and both seeming satisfied. Recently however, free pornography websites such as "" has increasing violent and demeaning pornography and the captions placed on the videos to get people to watch them are completely sexist and demeaning. It use to only take me about five minutes to find a porn I am interested in. Nowadays it takes so long to find something that does not disturb or make me feel misogynistic that I do not even bother because it is nearly impossible. I fear so much for young men who believe that pornography is how real sex happens. I knew it was real and it was disturbing but I wonder how many men will never be satisfied and become anxious over the fact that they cannot have sex like male porn stars do. I believe it promotes sexism to the core. Do I want pornography to go away entirely? Absolutely not! What?! I much rather masturbate than try to have sex as often as I masturbate because I would be full of disease by now (I'm only being realistic). What I would like to see is porn that celebrates romantic love between a man and a woman. I have found some porn that seems to be moving in that direction at a site called "" but they are still far away from positive pornography. Can it even exist? I think so, but I think it would all need to be produced by women and made from the woman's perspective.

Blog # 11

To be honest, I never quite understood what would drive someone to feel that they need to drastically change their bodies from male to female or vice versa. That is a stereotype that I needed to overcome. In Beautiful Daughters, the thing that stuck out most to me is that to consider yourself a trans-gender you do not need to change your body to the extreme preconceived notions that I had. I always thought that trans-gender people known what it was like to be or feel like both sexes but that is completely false. One of the women in Beautiful Daughters made it very clear by saying that I never knew who it felt to be a man that is why I wanted to be a woman. It made sense after she said that.
In the Trans Woman Manifesto, I originally thought that trans-gender people were supported by feminist groups and the gay community, but it appears this is untrue in most cases because even defectors of the gender binary that do not have surgeries or the like still do not fully accept trans-gender people. I had never even heard of cissexism until reading this article. I completely agree that transphobia is a result of the "extraordinary amount of pressure on individuals to conform to all of the expectations, restrictions, assumptions, and privileges associated with the sex they are assigned at birth" (Serano 442).
We have made it clear through this course that there is no such thing as a "real" gender. It saddens me to know that the oppression of trans-gender people is a result of our gender experiences and our expectations of ours gender identities. Trans-misogyny, in my opinion, is a problem that needs to be dealt with by the trans-gender and the feminist community because the core value that they both fight against is the idea that masculinity is superior and/ or in opposition to femininity.
Homosexuality has become more tolerate in recent years but trans-gender people still do not have the ability to push new forms of media that promotes them in a positive light. I am sure that it was a huge deal for the FX network show Niptuck to have a trans-woman on the show as a love interest of a heterosexual plastic surgeon (She is a knock out too). However in the show, the surgeon becomes aware of this and is disgusted with himself which is negative for the trans-gender community.