Sunday, September 30, 2012

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence - Rich

I'm going to try my best at this.. This text was confusing.

According to Rich compulsory heterosexuality means that we are obligated to be heterosexual. That society trains us to be this way and only this way. It is only okay to be heterosexual in our society, and Rich explains how lesbians are not equal to straight people. Rich explains how lesbians often have to hide their orientation so they aren't discriminated against in the workplace. She even states that lesbians have been fired from their jobs, and that they are even fired from institutions that were created by feminists. She also shares how feminist literature is mainly heterosexual, and does not mention lesbians. 

Rich explains lesbian existence by saying how lesbians don't really exist in society. She talks about how there is never any mention about lesbians, in society or in literature. Rich mentions how there is "a scale ranging from deviant to abhorrent or simply rendered invisible", to describe lesbians. She continues to explain this through many articles and books that she has read, and it gets more confusing. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Exploring - Talking Point #4

When looking through the websites I found some interesting things. Like when looking through The People Like Us page I found the stories page. It was interesting to read through the stories that PBS had posted, but what was more interesting were the stories that people posted themselves. Many of the stories had a common thread too, they all talked about being part of the "blue-collar" or "elite", but having some type of problem when they were there, or with the class in general. When looking through the Center For AWorking - Class Studies page I read "What is Working - Class Studies?"it was interesting to know what "working class" is and who identifies with it. What I found most interesting is how many people identify with the working class. About half of the country does. How does the other half of the country identify? (I don't know). I'm a part of the working class, and so are my parents. I don't know if I've ever identified that way until now. It was interesting though to get a different point of view on what the working class was, compared to how people talk about it.

I do believe that economic inequality is a feminists issue. Most women in higher paying jobs still don't get paid as much as men doing the same jobs. (This sometimes even happens in lower paying jobs). Women still have to fight for equality in the work place, even though we have already been trying to gain equality. Women don't hold many CEO jobs either, when they are defiantly more than capable. Economic inequality is a feminist issue because women are still thought to only be mothers, but now mothers are also providers for their families as well. Having inequalities makes it much harder for women to make money to provide for their children (many of the PBS stories expressed this as well). Feminist are also fighting for the equality of others in the workforce as well, and those bring up different issues too.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mitt Romney and "Legitimate Rape"

The Huffington Post article Mitt Romney Distances Self From Todd Akin's 'Legitimate Rape' Comments shares how Romney is not opposed to abortion when it comes to rape. The article also explains how he, and his running mate Paul Ryan, are trying to distance themselves from what Todd Akin said. Akin said that women have the ability to shut down their reproductive systems when they are being "legitimately raped". Ryan also worked collaboratively with Akin in a bill that defines what is legitimate rape, and wants to only allow abortion in rare cases. They say that they aren't hurting the person who has been raped with these laws and bills, and that the rapist should be the one who is punished. (I agree that the rapist should be punished! I also believe that making a women, or a young girl carry the baby of someone who raped her could be a form a punishment as well.)
The article wants to let you know that Romney does not agree with this, but it doesn't really back up Ryan on the subject. Ryan is still seen to be only "pro-life" and does not want any abortion to be legal at all. The only exception that Ryan allows abortion is when the mothers life is at risk. The article to tries to make clear that Romney does support abortion in case of rape, incest and when the mothers' life is at risk.

Heres a link to a video that states Romney's view. (I couldn't get the video embedded!)

It's hard to be clear on the subject when you hear so many different views on what Mitt Romney's stance on abortion is. Many also believe that his stance changes all the time. I don't know what is true, but I would hope that if elected he would think about all the women who live in this country, and allow them to decide what to do with their own bodies.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Privilege, Power, and Difference - Johnson


Both text make to think of where I stand in society today. In Johnson's piece he talks about "the diversity wheel" (17) and he tells us to sit and take the time too see where we fall in it. If i put myself in the wheel, I am female, French-Canadian, white, twenty years old, heterosexual, and physically able. In the outer part of the wheel I am single, have no children, I'm middle-class, and a full-time student. I have a part-time job. I have lived in Massachusetts my whole life. I am Catholic, but not practicing. I am not involved in the military. As Johnson further explains "As you reflect on the results of this exercise, it might occur to you (as it did to me) that the wheel doesn't say much about the unique individual you know yourself to be, your personal history, the content of your character, what you dream and feel. It does, however, say a lot about the social reality that shapes everyone's life in powerful ways." (18) I never really took the time to think about how people judge me. People tend to judge me on face value (what they can see just from my appearance), they don't judge me really on what I believe (that is until you get to know me, then maybe people do). These are also things that society has shaped as well. I knew this while reading and Johnson states a lot that society has shaped the way that we judge people. Society says that if we aren't male, or white that we are not equal. Women still today get paid less then men do. Also, when I read this part of the text about "the diversity wheel", I didn't realize that I was privileged in a way. That I am white, and heterosexual (I'm not a male, so I don't have that privilege), and that these bring opportunities to me without me even knowing. It's not something that I ever really thought about. Johnson continues to go on and explain what would happen if one day we woke up and our "diversity wheel" shifted (this reminded me of our Thoughts on the Beginning exercise). Just little shifts in the wheel could change all the privileges that I may have. It was a lot to think about while reading the text.

When I was reading the text this morning I had the show Sunday Morning on. This piece about Ellen DeGeneres came on, and I though it related to both texts that were read for this week.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

"A Tsunami in History" from The F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy - Rowe-Finkbeiner & "Fear or Feminism" - Hogeland


1. "The first wave of women's movement is significant, however, not only because women obtained the right to vote, but because their work helped change the perception of women from voiceless dependents to independent thinkers with a valid voice in shaping the country." (23)
This quote explains how important it was for women to obtain the right to vote. The first wave of feminism broke the ice for women. It allowed them to move on and fight for different aspects of their lives. Just because women were able to vote didn't mean that they were equal to men. As Rowe-Finbeiner's piece continues she talks about how women fought for rights to their bodies, equal pay in the workforce and more. The first wave of feminism gave women the courage (not all women) to stand away from men, and think for themselves.

2. "It's been suggested that America today lacks a broad-based women's movement because we are in a time of "postfeminism," with the fight for equality and respectful treatment over and done.Yet women still face social and economic inequalities each day: the glass ceiling has only cracked not broken; and there is a persistent wage gap between women and men, and an even-lager wage gap between mothers and nonmothers, with single mothers taking the largest wage hits of them all". (32)
This quote explains how even though people believe we are "postfeminism" we are actually in the third wave of feminism. Today we still struggle with inequalities with women and men. The quote gives the feeling that there is still a lot to do and that women today need to participate. Rowe-Finkbeiner continues to explain how this generation doesn't want to participate in feminism. Even after all the women before in both the first and second waves have done for us, with voting and equal opportunities for jobs, there is still gaps. I know that in many companies women never get CEO positions, or that women in higher places in cooperations still get paid significantly less than men do. The quote shows how women still need to fight to be equal even if people think we are past feminism.

3. "Feminism is one of the few movements int the U.S. that produce nonacademic intellectuals - readers, writers, thinkers, and theorists outside the academy, who combine and refine their knowledge with their practice." (Hogeland 31)
This quote from "Fear of Feminism" explains how feminism is a movement and thought that was not created of a foundation of education. Women were not allowed equal rights to education when the movement first started. It was based on the fact that women wanted equal rights to men. I find this quote to be truly amazing, because these women who started the movement were so radical to come up with these ideas. I believe this quote really shows how even if you are not an intellect that you can still participate in the movement.