The short video “If Women’s Roles In Movies Were Played by Men” emphasizes how women are viewed in the media. In particular, this video focuses on women’s roles in movies and how strange or uncomfortable it would be if such roles were switched. A few significant swaps show scenes where women’s bodies are being overly sexualized and objectified, such as the gawking over of a woman’s legs and the painting of a woman’s body (obsession/objectification of the female figure). It becomes uncomfortable and strange when these women are swapped for men, which also emphasizes double standards. Another significant swap is a scene when, instead of a man asserting physical dominance over a woman, a woman is asserting physical dominance over a man. Such examples show how females are viewed in the media: overly objectified and sexualized. It also points out the hegemony of male dominance over women. This in turn ties to sexism, gender roles in society, and the media’s influence on such. The questions shown at the end of the video pose two both very valuable and interesting questions: “Is seeing men and women like this uncomfortable? Why?” My questions are similar: does it feel strange to see women and men out of their “norm,” and why is there such gender “norms” and expectations in the first place? Why is there such double standards?
When minorities show their patriotism to others, the reactions are positive and others encourage them. On the other hand, when Whites show their patriotism, they are blamed to being racists. Nowadays whites are reversely discriminated by their race. They were regarded as having all the privilege which seemed to be unfair. In that, laws that support to prevent race discrimination were made throughout American history such as an affirmative action which is controversy. However, even though it was made for the purpose of leveling the play field for minorities, it unfairly punished whites and caused whites to sue for race discrimination. For example, in 2008, a white student named Abigail Fisher was denied admission to UT. She sued saying she was a victim of reverse discrimination. She claimed that “There were people in my class with lower grades who were not in all the activities I was in, who were being accepted into UT, and the only other difference between us was the color of our skin.”
I brought this issue because one of my friends who is white complained that she cannot say that she likes her race or proud of being part of it. Even though the race itself has to be taken as a crucial part of forming one’s identity, Whites seem easy to be misunderstood as committing to American Exceptionalism when they appreciate who they are.
What is the boundary between patriotism and American Exceptionalism?
Manifest Destiny, it’s what drove Americans during the mid-nineteenth century to expand westward due to the belief that America had a divine obligation to stretch their boundaries. This belief that God himself gave Americans the right to take by any means necessary and conquer that land. Manifest Destiny is linked to and can be seen as its own “frontier”. Seeing as the Frontier has become a metaphor for progress, what better constitutes progress than expansion westward to further the creation of American Identity and its superiority.
In present day we no longer use divinity as reason for occupying other nations (or similar situations) for whatever reason it may be. We have reclaimed this definition it is no longer because it is our God given right as Americans, it is simply because we are Americans and we constitute such power and superiority that is our right.
Is this because American Identity has already been shaped and instead we need to reassert that identity?
Blackface masks were used as a popular form of entertainment in the minstrel theaters during the 19th and 20th century. The idea was that people of one race pretended to be another. In films, black characters were role played by white people in black facemasks. A majority of the white race that imitated black characters consisted of white Irish people that wanted to fit in and be accepted by society. The masks of the black people portrayed in films like, “The Jazz Singer” were very racist and stereotypical images depicting black people as almost animalistic.
While most people in our culture today believe the concept of blackface is highly offensive, some people such as celebrity icon Julianne Hough continue to condone its practices. On Halloween of 2014 this famous celebrity made a fashion statement that was very controversial and offended a lot of people of the black community. In the image above, she is seen dressed as the African American girl from the television show “Orange is the new Black”. Hough painted her skin to match the characters and make herself look black. She claimed she didn’t intentionally mean to be racist or offend anyone by painting on her skin color. Her actions took to the media like wildfire and raised a lot of comments from fans.
Why do you think celebrities like Hough continue to use the concept of blackface in our culture today? Is there ever going to be an end to the skewed racist images and attitudes toward popularizing black culture?
In today’s society, many are under the impression that it is only possible for men to commit domestic violence. This is due to the fact that men are usually portrayed as stronger than women and capable of taking advantage of them.
The cultural object provided is an article. The piece says that Emma Roberts was arrested in Montreal, Canada for domestic violence. She had apparently given her partner a bloody nose and the victim had bite marks upon his body.
This case relates to Baynton’s “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History” where he states that women were/are known as weak and fragile in society and they are often seen as the victim rather than the abuser. Because of this, Emma Roberts’s story and others like it comes as a shock. Cases like these that involve a woman as the abuser aren’t as well known as other cases where a man is the abuser. Chris Brown and Charlie Sheen are great examples of this. The case involving Emma Roberts shows just how little society’s views on women have changed. The ideology of gender disability is still upon us, meaning that women are still being seen as weak, fragile and inferior to men.
When will society acknowledge that domestic violence caused by men and women can have the same harmful effects? Will this double-standard ever be put to rest?
In Susan J. Douglas’ article titled “Where the Girls Are,” a few of the topics she discusses that stood out to me were gender roles, male dominance, and women in the work force. Women in the work force resonated with me even more, especially when Douglas began talking about the campaign to get women out of the workforce beginning in 1946. Douglas very blatantly explains the societal shift surrounding women in the workforce by stating “gone were the ads telling women they could do anything a man could do” (48). In present day, I believe women are more encouraged to seek out higher education and to not be discouraged to follow any career path.
However, why is there still unequal pay in the workforce in present day? A woman makes $.78 for every dollar that a man makes. Discrimination is still being experienced in the workforce for women (and people of different ethnic backgrounds), which creates hierarchy in the work place.
What steps can be taken to end bias and discrimination in the workforce to allow women to make equal salaries as men?
Americans will always find a way to a new frontier. Right now, scientists are working hard to research and test newer, better, faster, and cheaper options for healthcare. It doesn’t seem like they will ever be satisfied because social institutions like the pharmaceutical or prosthetics industries are growing increasingly competitive as technology advances. This article is an example of using amazing technology to better the lives of humans. We have discussed in how people, especially Americans are obsessed with machines and have used them to cure all sorts of ailments. 3-D printers are still new, but it will be interesting to see how far scientists and doctors can take them.
Do you think there is a limit to the amount or degree of which we integrate technology with our bodies? Where should this line be drawn?
Over the years, especially in the 1950’s, women were seen as graceful objects that should nurture, clean, and cook for men. Mass culture throughout that time did not help by advertising to reflect the sexist gender roles in society.
In the original Disney classic, Sleeping Beauty, Aurora dances around the woods singing with her perfect blonde hair swaying with every step. A perfect prince just happens to show up and she falls in love and refuses to be with anyone else, despite only knowing him for ten minutes. He saves her, they get married, and they live happily ever after. In the new movie, Maleficent, the same boy goes in for the true loves kiss and it did not wake her up. Maleficent ended up waking her up with her own kiss of love.
It showed that boys are not needed to solve everything. With Disney movies being created today, many show that women can achieve things on their own, altering the cultural view of a women’s role in society.
What other Disney movies show this cultural change of Disney roles? How does this affect young girls growing up?
What I want to point out in this article is not so much the content of the article, but the title. “Frontiers in Mineral Exploration”. This is a perfect example of the misuse of the word ‘frontier’ that Limerick argues about in her book “Something in the Soil: Legacies and Reckonings in the New West”. In this article, Mars is presented as a frontier with endless opportunities for exploration and minerals. However, the article grazes over the fact that Mars is a harsh and uninhabitable world, similar to stories about the western frontier. The first Martian explorers would be struggling for their lives every single day, much like the American pioneers. Even with the technologies available to us today, such as the ability to travel to other planets, the idea of the frontier will never match the vision of wealth and opportunity that society has made it into.
Why do you think it is that society has never been able to shed the idea of a glorified frontier? What has caused it to survive this long?
This article briefly summarize what Obama said about the “new” American empire. Obama stated that the new US imperialism focused on political settlements rather than the military fights, and he emphasized two issues which were the conflict in Syria and the problems about singling out Iraq. When Obama talked about the problem with Russia about how to implementing their chemical weapon agreement, he argued that the US government preferred the diplomatic resolution to negotiate with each other and refused either explicit or implicit threat of force. Furthermore, when Obama talked about addressing the conflict in Syria, he said the US would be largely humanitarian, and make sure there would never exist “a safe haven for terrorists.”
Throughout each single word Obama said, we can see that the US government now decides to use a more peaceful way to dealing problems with other countries, which has the same idea with the article “Empire” written by Shelley Streeby. She argued that the “new” US imperialism emphasized on the pursuit of newest technology, commercial investments and interests, and the friendly international relationship; instead of the formal annexation of new lands like before.
I agreed with what Ban said that “the military victory is an illusion, and the only answer is political settlement.” This is what the “new” US imperialism illustrated. The military victory can just help one country win superficially because of the waste of money and death of citizens. However, diplomatic negotiation is the only way to create a win-win resolution.