Monday, April 18, 2011

Talking Points No. 9/////////Reflection: Twilight

In the beginning of Twilight, Bella Swan, the female lead, is portrayed as independent, kind of a social floater, non-materialistic, fairly into cars, clumsy, cares about her parents, and generally defies a lot of the female and/or teenage stereotypes depicted in the media. As a feminist, I find her character really rad at the beginning of the movie. She doesn't seek out attention from males, either, or act flirtatious, which I identify with and admire. However, from the moment that Bella sees the Cullens sitting together at the cafeteria table forward, many of her characteristics that I think are so awesome quickly start to disappear. Actually, it isn't even that they disappear so much as it seems like she loses her identity unless she is under the protection and control of Edward.

It seems that what happens is Bella's life kind of spirals out of control when she falls in love with Edward, and he feels responsible for picking up the pieces and rescuing her from harm constantly since he is the one who indirectly causes the problems. After all, Edward is a vampire. Understood. Although this plotline makes perfect sense, from an analytical point of view, it's scary. I would argue that the pattern of Edward and Bella's relationship mimicks that of an abusive relationship. First of all, Edward never leaves her side. He constantly knows everything that is going to happen to her because of his sister Alice (who has visions of the future) and he always gets there just in time. The way that Edward is both responsible for Bella's suffering while he is simultaneously the only person who can make it go away reminds me of abusive relationships I have seen friends in and one I've had, not to mention all the studying of it I have done. It reminds me of stockholm syndrome.

Not only does this pattern occur in terms of other people harming Bella, Edward being responsible for it and Edward saving her, but it also happens in the context of only Edward and Bella. What I mean by this is Edward even has to protect Bella from himself. There is a constant fear that Edward is going to destroy Bella. He might be kissing her and just want to drink her blood...and they don't even discuss it explicitly in the movie. It seems like they could be referring to going to far sexually when they are actually talking indirectly about Edward eating her and thus killing her. This always happens when Edward is watching her sleep or in her bedroom for some other reason, which also seems abusive and creepy, especially when this is the relationship tweens everywhere are idolizing.

I think that the scariest scene in terms of setting the tone for tweens is the one in which Edward and Bella are in the woods and she says she isn't afraid of him. With that, Edward seems to turn into a hulklike spider who grabs her and moves so fast he looks like a blur and then runs up a tree. He is performing hypermasculinity, and further, the movie-makers use this moment to hike up the sexual mood of the scene. I think we have a problem when films like this are making millions and girls as young as six or seven are wanting to grow up to be Bella Swan. They might face the sad reality of what they seek out in relationships...that potentially drinking blood...can translate into assault or murder.

I get especially nervous when Edward whispers "Say it. Out loud." in a commanding way or (voyeuristically) asks "Are you afraid?"

It seems like he enjoys scaring her in this scene. :/ Then she says she's not, and he tries to show her the reasons she should be...



That ain't love.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Extended Comments: Alexis' Post on Atalanta, Alice in Wonderland and Tolman and Higgins' "How Being a Good Girl Can Be Bad for Girls"

Firstly, I agree with all of the extensions to world issues and main points of the texts highlighted by Alexis. She starts out by stating what the main arguments of the Tolman and Higgins article are:

"* Good girls don't have sex unless they're married/it's to procreate.
* Bad girls have no morals and will have sex with anyone.
* Sex (for females) is not for desire, but relationships.
* If you have sex with more than one person and/or outside of a committed relationship, you are a bad girl."

She also points out that these points are "cultural stories" according to Tolman and Higgins, which relates to the concept of re-presentation we have recently been studying in class. We learn our values according to what we see presented to us repeatedly, which so happen to be things like...victim blaming. Alexis drew my attention to various real world victim blaming situations (she hyperlinked two cases I hadn't specifically heard of before), which led me to think of Bill Napoli, the Republican senator in South Dakota who said he justified abortion under these circumstances:

"A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life."

This quote holds inherent judgment value that blames victims of issues like sexual assault or domestic violence. In order for a woman's trauma to not define her life, according to Napoli, she must be a victim of something including being "brutalized," "raped," and "sodomized." Napoli is also not alone in this statement...ones such as this have been spreading around the country like it's nobody's business lately with talk of all the cuts and changes surrounding things like abortion rights. This happened when I was in high school.

Napoli also says that the girl had to be religious and a virgin.

A "virgin." Not to mention the fact that virginity is a socially constructed norm that generally only applies to heterosexual intercourse even though what "sex" is has a range of possibilities.

Furthermore, as Tolman and Higgins state, rape law puts all of the responsibility onto the female to have proven "nonconsent," which takes the responsibility off of the male and also makes the male out to be out of control.

Lexi goes on to say:

"Both Atalanta and Alice deal with this idea - being told what you must be. Atalanta, in the end, is successful in taking control over her life - just like Alice. However, while watching "Alice In Wonderland", I focused more on the portrayals of woman who weren't Alice."

This is an interesting point, since other female characters in Alice and Wonderland surely are not depicted as empowered, unique and agent in the positive light that Alice is. I would argue that the depiction of The Red Queen actually kind of counteracts Alice's positive characteristics and shows that females who take the "bad" path or who show sexuality in their characters are sinister.

At the end of Lexi's post, her final question is still "Why is the only female who ever shows true romantic inclination the one who is ultimately shamed out of society? Is this a representation of the good girl and bad girl that Tolman and Higgins discuss?" I was essentially having the same confused thoughts and questions. Thanks Lexi for letting me spiral off your thoughts even more and awesome work/critical thinking :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Talking Points No. 8////////Project Ideas, Teen Sexuality in Media

Sorry this is late! I went to a feminist conference over the weekend in DC and the drive was over eight hours...so that's 16 hours of driving in one weekend. Ew. But it was awesome! "Momentum: Making Waves in Sexuality and New Media" :) Anyway...




I really want to do my project on teenage sexuality. I really want to focus on sex education received from the concepts of abstinence rings, purity balls, Jessica Simpson, Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Britney Spears, etc. and their obsession with the socially constructed idea of "virginity." But, I have done something similar in another class from last semester :/ so I don't know if this is a good idea. I think I could examine further now and have better tools, but I don't know if this is allowed, still.

If I don't do this, I'm going to do teenage sexuality learned from Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan (cause let's face it, teens read this, probably more than older women actually...), http://www.j-14.com/, Seventeen, and maybe a couple others. If what I research isn't expansive enough, I'm going to then compare this information with what is learned by teens who read Bust or Bitch magazine (feminist magazines directed at young people).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Talking Points No. 7///////Argument: Ball, Colonialism is the Lens and Hip-Hop is the Mirror

In “Colonialism is the Lens and Hip-Hop is the Mirror,” Jared Ball is arguing that the concept of colonialism is one that can be a focus of the perspective through which we view hip-hop music and the culture it promotes. Furthermore, when referring to general hip-hop, Ball is focusing on mainstream hip-hop and the implications it has on our viewpoints. For example, Ball states “Black poverty is not the result of the choice to purchase “spinning rims” as D’mite suggests, it is that fundamental to colonialism is the monopolization of land ownership which forces, promotes and relegates only the purchase of rims and other trifling goods to the poor. And if this basis is understood all systems of media and popular culture can be more clearly identifiable as to their function and necessity in keeping image, thought, and action within what those in control find to be acceptable ranges.” In other words, blaming hip-hop for poverty rates for people of color is not an accurate assumption. What is really happening is that colonialism is still an evident problem that keeps money and property in the hands of a small part of the population while people of color are encouraged by producers of that mainstream media to purchase “trifling goods.” There are stereotypes being perpetuated and reproduced here, and it is designed in a way that keeps systemic oppression happening. Ball is arguing that once we recognize that “those in control” are deciding what is acceptable for different demographics, we can apply the concept of colonialism to this and see who is in a position of privilege and power and who is being dominated and suboordinated.

An example of the kind of message Ball is describing could be found here (not that the song isn't good, because it really is, and it could be perceived as West making a positive statement about mobility for people of color...but that's an oversimplification of implication, which I think is an implicit point in Ball's article).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Connections: Glee Episodes, Raby and Grinner

When viewing these three episodes of Glee (Pilot, Never Been Kissed and Furt) as texts, comparitively, they seem to transcend limitations and boundaries more than other contemporary television shows. There are a variety of characters who fall into different categories and experience different forms of oppression because of their identities. For example, there is a disabled character whose disability is not ignored but is also represented in a limiting light. The same concept goes for Kurt, since he is a gay character who ultimately receives support from many of his peers but is represented in a limited way. These teenage characters are displayed with alternative lifestyles than those depicted commonly (dominant ideology in the media as discussed by Grinner), however, they are still stereotypical. There is a lot of focus on problems like bullying and emotional intensity in the teenage years, which is based on real-life problems teens are facing today. However, by representing this issue in the media, in a sense it is perpetuating ideas discussed by Raby such as "the storm." Reputations seem to be very important at the high school that the show takes place at, making teenagers seem shallow, stupid, vapid and clique-y at many points in the show. While reputations are in fact something that many teenagers think about, these representations also send messages to those who perhaps aren't so aware of those kinds of social dynamics, and it becomes hard to distinguish whether stereotypes have any validity or if teenagers are conditioned by media like Glee and emulate what they see re-presented to them. In terms of SCWAAMP, the show appears to promote messages such as equality when it is not necessarily doing so. Though there are gay characters featured on the show, it is still predominantly hetero-centric. It focuses around themes like marriage and having babies without recognizing these things as institutional mechanisms that do not help us acheive equality. In the marriage scene in Furt, it is clear that the wedding is based on Christian tradition and a priest is marrying the couple and therefore holds authority. The characters on the show are predominantly white, and the representations of non-white characters are fairly stereotypical. There are no characters featured in these three episodes who are not American. There is one character who is not able-bodied, and he is shown as someone who needs a lot of help and is often victimized by peers without having discussion about why this is an issue that deserves attention. The females on the show, such as the cheerleading squad, definitely are shown trying to dumb themselves down and cater to male characters like Puck in the restaurant scene, which shows that the male characters are given more power in the show. Finally, none of the teen characters are property owners, however, in the scene in which Puck is singing outside on the steps with a guitar, they mysteriously gather 300 dollars from performing. What teenagers randomly have so many dollar bills to spare? The whole show is different at first glance, but when analyzed more closely it is clear that dominant ideology and stereotypical discourses for representing teenagers are both at play here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Article Out: Critically Thinking About Sex Toys, By Me :)

Remember :) Sex Toy Bingo Tuesday Night after class!!! Bring munchies and friends, it will be a blast.

Whether you're uncomfortable, a total advocate, or somewhere in between and a little interested...this is my new article on sex toys and why they can appeal to everyone!

http://www.fearlesspress.com/2011/02/25/critically-thinking-about-sex-toys/

D

Embedding

Can someone help me with embedding? If I'm not using a Youtube video and can't save it on my computer and just enter the embed code, it never shows up as a video on my blog once I publish! Help? : /

Talking Points No. 5/////Hyperlinks--> Michael Wesch's "From Knowledgable to Knowledge-able: Learning in New Media Environments"

I like that Michael Wesch views the way in which we are educated as ideological. One of his main points is that we are educated in a form that asks us to memorize and regurgitate, and to trust and essentially be submissive to authority. This is particularly true of high school classrooms. There is nothing egalitarian about a modern high school classroom, despite the fact that we have endless amounts of information being created constantly and it is extremely pervasive with new forms of technology. Furthermore, young people are the ones who generally are most aware of what this new technology is and how to use it even though adults are the only people with power and therefore viewed as the only "trusted" sources of information. What Michael Wesch describes as vital to teaching is leaving students with a way of analyzing and interpreting information, a way to constantly interrogate and ask questions. If teachers accomplish the goal of helping students develop a new way of teaching that allows them to essentially think critically for themselves, then that is something they can take out into the world with them that will always be relevant. This is important, since something else Wesch addresses is how modern students often have trouble figuring out the significance of their education. Well, if they are only taught to regurgitate particular viewpoints or methods rather than critically thinking and understanding something for ourselves, then of course it is going to quickly leave our minds.

As I was reading Wesch's piece, I felt as though many things I act on and believe in were being justified for the first time. I was going through the piece thinking "I do that" or "I've felt that way..." and recognizing that the types of behaviors Wesch describes are labeled as social problems when in fact it is the educational system that perhaps creates those problems, not the teenagers. I didn't have astonishing grades in high school because I did not ever feel engaged with the material. I never grappled with any of it. Nobody ever asked me, "So, what do you think of that?" or "Do you think this is true in your life or others lives around you?" I would read whatever was in the textbook, discuss in it class and be bored with it because I constantly had someone telling me what to think about something. This is the what Wesch is describing when he says that we are encouraged to just "follow along."

When we don't just "follow along" and we actually make an effort to understand the things happening around us, and we look at things through our own perspectives, that is when we feel empowered to discuss and to participate in our own classrooms and our own cultures. The young woman who helped spark the recent movement in Egypt was not just "following along," she was actively understanding and using her perspective as well as new media to influence something. She created and disseminated information through a YouTube video, and it was effective.

There are also students in Egypt who have made a newspaper full of voices of protestors, and they do not have government permission to do so. The students are creating media, disseminating their information/ideas/news, and they are doing what Wesch discusses when he says to "explore authority" rather than trust it.

You can find an interview here: http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/2/18/its_time_to_push_the_borders_of_freedom_egyptian_students_defiantly_publish_newspaper_without_government_permission_full_interview

Michael Wesch's article also reminded me of a type of education model I studied when facilitating a Female Sexuality Workshop called "the popular model of education." This form of education involves student/participant experiences, discussion, drawing patterns and observations, adding new information, strategizing a plan for action and taking action. In my experience, using this in the classroom (both the student's using it and the "teacher" modeling it) has eliminated a sense of strict authority in the room and allowed everyone to participate and learn in a way that was significant and applicable. This is the spiral model and the link for more information.

http://www.re.rollingearth.org/?q=node/109

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Talking Points No. 4////Hyperlinks: "A Tangle of Discourses, Girls Negotiating Adolescence" by Rebecca C. Raby

 Rebecca C. Raby works to deconstruct what the category of "teenagers" even means in Western culture, particularly north America. Through this, she exhibits all three of the course assumptions since she gets into how it is a socially constructed category enforced by the media that "Others" (p. 10) teens. She uses a lot of detail to show the perceived generational "differences" between grandmothers and granddaughters (teenagers between 13-19), which really allowed me to understand how adults are conditioned to think of teens as people simultaneously "rebelling" (or resisting, p. 445) to find individuality and also going through temporary and hormonal phases. This dichotomy strips teens of their agency, which they are taught they have through things like self expression and thus consumerism. Raby also focuses on how teenagers are lumped together in one category that allows society to generalize about how teens behave innately, as a whole. Fundamentally, I think Raby teaches through the article various ways in which teenagers are in fact an oppressed group. Like other oppressed groups, they are conditioned into believing they have rights, but in fact are not equipped or encouraged (furthermore, are actually discouraged) from participating in social movements or behaviors that in any way don't meet the status quo.

This is a video about Justin Bieber's recent anti-abortion comments in Rolling Stone. In the video, there are several adults making the types of assessments that Raby is talking about specifically in the article.

In "A Tangle of Discourses," Raby talks about how teenagers are taught to "become" and enter new parts of their lives and identities and therefore taught to do things like speak their minds but then when they do they are written off as immature and going through phases. The newswoman in the video discusses Bieber's comment and several adults critique the incident. Basically, he is written off as being too immature to have an opinion on the matter and one of the speakers states that it was "unfair" for Rolling Stone to ask a fifteen year old a question dealing with such a "hot button" issue. Even though I disagree with Bieber's public statement due to the implications this has on young fans of his, I recognize the unfair dichotomy at play that Raby references. Bieber's opinion is supposedly misquoted, and he is first attacked for the statement. Then, his statement is considered illegitimate because of his age. It is also pointed out that Rolling Stone is a music magazine that shouldn't be making sales by asking young teens questions that *oh no* reveal their opinions on things. Well, of course, it is okay here to point out that Rolling Stone is kind of going off on a tangent by writing something so unrelated to Bieber's actual music, however, there is no discussion about all of the other companies capitalizing on things unrelated to their practice. The male speaking towards the end of the video also makes tremendous generalizations about teenagers, starting with things like "What teenager doesn't _______?"

Raby "focuses on five key, dominant, overlapping and, in places, contradictory discourses" including "the storm, becoming, at-risk, social problem, and pleasurable consumption" (P. 431). This anti-drug campaign commercial homogenizes teenagers by presenting them as a group that is in the middle of their confusing and hormonal storm, "becoming" since they are being presented with agency to choose not to do drugs, at-risk of peer pressure/poor health/loss of control/fatality/etc., social problems that must be self-disciplined and "in control," and consuming things other than drugs/alcohol for their own good. This leaves out the possibility that not all teenagers actually have this kind of control or choice, legitimate (not purely hormonal) feelings of depression or alcoholism due to things beyond their control in their surroundings, and infinite other possibilities. Basically, it oversimplifies the American teenager and perpetuates a socially constructed image of what it is to be a teenager.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

3 Quotes/Significance and Reflection on them: Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us

1)
"The "secret education," as Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman dubs it, delivered by children's books and movies, instructs young people to accept the world as it is portrayed in these social blueprints. And often that world depicts the domination of one sex, one race, one class, or one country over a weaker counterpart. After studying cartoons and children's literature, my student Omar wrote: "When we read children's books, we aren't just reading cute little stories, we are discovering the tools with which a young society is manipulated."

The first fundamental point (or "assumption") that must be recognized in order to make progress is that we are in fact being manipulated, or indoctrinated with particular views that shape us. It happens from childhood forward, and as a matter of fact, since deregulation of the FDC was passed during the Reagan era, children are the prime targets of "manipulation." They are easily marketed at and their characters and ideas are developed and dominated by mainstream media. We must also recognize that this quote is significant because it is a reflection of the ways in which everything has a bias. Bias does not necessarily mean someting *bad*, it is always perspective. Once bias is viewed as perspective, people can feel disarmed and capable of discussing the "perspective" that has been provided for them through media, experience and a combination of the two.

2)

"Students keep track of their responses in a dialogue journal. I pose the question: "Do you agree with Dorfman's position that children receive a 'secret education' in the media" Do you remember any incidents that support his allegations?" This is difficult for some students. The dialogue journal sputs them to argue, to talk back, and create a conversation with the writer. Dorfman is controversial. He gets under their skin...Many students don't want to believe that they have been manipulated."

This quote particularly resonates with me because I relate it to feeling victimized. In my first women's studies class, Gender and Society, my professor once said, "Nobody wants to realize and affirm the fact that they have been taken advantage of, manipulated, oppressed or victimized." This gets at a similar idea to the one posed in this quote by Christensen. I do not believe it is a matter of questioning whether we have or have not been manipulated by the mainstream media or dominant ideology so much as it is an issue of willlingness to take ownership of victimization. As someone who has been sexually assaulted, it is clear to me that it is difficult to talk about being a "victim," because what that seems to connote is that someone has taken our control. This is where we have to questions as American people...is it so bad to recognize that someone has stripped us of our agency? In reality, this is something that creates productive dialogue and brings us together. I have only started openly discussing being raped with people in the last month or two, but what I have found is that people are heavily drawn to me who have similar experiences. Although it is hard to accept that perhaps our ideas are not necessarily our own, in the long run this does many things and two come to my mind in particular. One, it significantly allows and inspires others to own their personal experiences, and two, it disperses information in a genuine way that doesn't involve this manipulation. This is what Christensen is getting at by titling the piece "unlearning the myths that bind us." By first recognizing what we have learned that is potentially false and even destructive, we can begin to recognize our similarities and realize that we are not so divided after all. The things that divide us are legacies of privilege and power that have been unfairly and falsely appropriated.


3)
"The possibility of publishing their pieces changed the level of students' intensity for the project. Anne, who turned in hastily written drafts last year, said: "Five drafts and I'm not finished vet!" But more importantly, students saw themselves as actors in the world."

In terms of the masses, I don't think students are as engaged in their work as they could potentially be because that just isn't the way we are conditioned to think. I have always looked at all my pieces of writing and other work in school as things to be saved and edited and possibly used for something like a book at some point in time, but I do this because I recognize how privileged I am to even be part of an academic institution that allows me this kind of practice and leverage. In this country, something that deeply bothers me is the idea that nothing we do really matters because we are so large. We have a large government, a large array of media portrayals that still offer us the same or similar ideology from cradle to grave, large corporations, and are overall dominated and controlled without recognizing it. This is problematic because it seems to override our actions as citizens and as students, terms that do not necessarily have to be separated. We are presented with the idea that even if we are working to make a difference, we are tiny individuals. However, being tiny individuals does NOT mean that we do not have access to power. As a matter of fact, I think it is normalized but however irresponsible to assume that we don't have power. We all have groups of people...friends...family..fellow employees...who we participate in dialogue with. We all are students within the same community and social sphere, so why is it that we aren't moblilizing? I chose this quote because it shows how we are turned on by the idea that we can use our voices, write to people and even write in our blogs and it will be seen by others and we can create movements and spread ideas and communicate and formulate! So, if we think the idea of action is so hot, and we dig the attention we get by posting our ideas and learning and creating, then let's take advantage of the opportunity.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Grinner's "Hip Hop Sees No Color: An Exploration of Privilege and Power in Save the Last Dance"

     This author Leslie Grinner argues that despite efforts to make Save the Last Dance a film transcending racism and other oppressive -isms, the movie overall reinforces stereotypical, dominant ideology dealing with race/sex/ability/sexuality/religion/property-owning and depicts our not-all-inclusive cultural values. Grinner uses the model she talks about having developed (SCWAMP) to make visible and deconstruct the cultural values inherent to the film. She argues that the usage of SCWAMP on a wider scale is an important analytical tool for studying media. This is the main point of the article, since it is a way for us to see invisible ideological components of what we are exposed to. This is a basic step in recognizing privilege and power and what groups have it in our society. In this way, analyzing media, especially popular media, is a way to almost look in the mirror at what our culture tells us to think and do. For example, Grinner follows the letters of SCWAMP to recognize straightness/heterosexuality, Christianity, whiteness, able-bodiedness, maleness and owning of property in the film Save the Last Dance. Grinner recognizes what things are hierarchically ranked in the film, in other words, what is made a standard in society. The film reflects no other sexuality besides heterosexuality, and the absence of sexualities deviating from this reinforces being hetero- as a standard. Christianity is not directly referenced but morality is, and there are moral standards and moral hierarchy displayed in the characters. Whiteness is a standard for a multitude of reasons in the film. Grinner references the expected sadness on the part of the audience reflected in the tone of scenes regarding Sara's mother's death as an example of this since the same sadness is not present in scenes regarding Chenille and Derrick's mother's jail time and drug addiction. Able-bodiedness is reflected as a norm/standard on a fundamental level since the film revolves around dance. The film reflects the idea that women need men to depend on in order to be successful, and there is competition for men shown amongst the females. Finally, there is the property-owning standard, which doesn't reflect physical property owning necessarily according to Grinner but can also mean economic, intellectual and cultural property, all of which are important values exhibited in the film. The characters that have access to these types of privilege and resources are praised and may seem like protagonist characters that exemplify the achievement of equality in our culture, when in actuality Grinner's argument is that media is complicated and difficult to analyze but SCWAMP is a framework that makes recognition of power and privilege more visible and in turn easier to discuss and works towards fixing.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Media and Ideology

Ideological analysis does not require seeking out the “realness” of what the subject of study is in the media, but instead asks us to interrogate what the messages are that the subject of study is sending out and think about what it says about society’s practices. This relates to my life because what it tells me ultimately is that I am constantly being manipulated by the media. This article discusses the way in which politicians view media as a means of “disseminating information.” This means that lots of people with privilege and power have control over making decisions for what I am exposed to. However, I have been under an illusion that I have all this freedom and agency because I live in America and my power is my “purchasing power.” However, the things I have “freedom” and “power” to chose from, to consume, are all very limited in reality and I am being dominated. The types of people discussed in “Media and Ideology” as those in positions of power, influence and authority are all part of a very elite and privileged group of individuals. They do not represent the popular democracy that we should in this country, but instead control so much about the way we are socialized. They dominate our belief systems and even formulate our ideas of “right” and “wrong,” (reference to “morality” in the text) if there even is such a thing. It relates to me because it directly influences me, whether I am aware of it or not. The media is where our concepts about gender, consumerism, stereotypical opinions and generalizations, culture, current events, and just about everything is connected to or influenced by popular culture and the media (and when I refer to media, I mean mass/mainstream media, which in the text is referred to as “dominant ideology”). The dominant ideology does is not inclusive of many different voices and experiences, undermining their existence and presenting a deeply flawed and tunnel-vision version of reality.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Megan Andelloux and I in an Instructional Video on Purchasing Safe Strap On Harnesses

http://www.kinkacademy.com/home/2011/01/strap-on-harnesses-part-1/

I model them (totally clothed) while Megan discusses pros and cons! If you want to check it out and don't have an account, ask me for my login in class and I will share it with you.

Link to my Fearless Press Column...New Article Coming Soon

http://www.fearlesspress.com/author/deirdreodonnell/

Introduction

I wish I spoke more than one language, and I intend to, but as of right now I do not. I am a feminist, and an activist. I am beginning to read up on socialist feminism, because the theories seem rather compatible to me. I love comedy improv and was in an improv troupe for about four years. I love to cook. I am studying to be a sex educator and working towards my certification, traveling, shadowing, interning. I love going to conferences. I identify as pansexual, meaning I am attracted to a spectrum of sexes and genders. Last semester was the most incredible few months of my life because I facilitated a female sexuality workshop and was able to see people become empowered before my eyes. I am for the use of gender neutral pronouns (I think), and try my best not to make assumptions or generalizations. I also am for the use of I-statements and see validity in the popular model of education- drawing conclusions from a observed pattern when drawing on personal experiences of oneself and others and then taking action. I would like to destigmatize female masturbation as well as menstruation. I am for reproductive choice. I am for a world that sees gender as a social construction and does not try to categorize me and rip apart my identity by putting me in little boxes. I would like to eat without feeling guilty, and exercise without wondering if I am losing weight. I think people are beautiful. I get really angry when people ignore or act afraid of homeless people. I want all people to know that rapists do not have "rapist" personalities. I am here for any person who wants to talk about boundary violation. I am an ally, and I value all people and all perspectives. Bias is perspective, and I am transparent about mine.