Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Second Random Blog!

I was at Target the other day, and I saw this! I was super excited about how Merida is now sold with her bow and arrows! I look at this as progress because girls can now play with the bow and arrows that Merida did. They get to play with the weapon that are only acceptable for boys. 

The rest of the Merida dolls looked like this. She's in her pretty dress, and with her brothers. 

I also work at the Wrentham Outlets and a few months ago a Disney Store opened up there. I was finally able to go this past Monday. They have a whole Brave section! You can actually by a hammer like thing for boys, and they had more items with Merida and her bow. Sadly the only costume you can buy is the nice princess like one, not her other dress. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Teens Talk Back

When looking online one of the first things that pops up when you Google "Teens talk back" are videos of teens talking about things like meeting offline, consequences of things you put online, and more. The responses of most of the teens where that they are careful of what they do online, and that they a cautious about what they do. This was both surprising and not, because when adults or society talks about teens they say that they're impulsive and don't think about what they do before they do it. But many responses (not all of them) showed that they do take the time to think about who will see what they put online and what will happen if they do. In the video that talks about offline consequences, one teen said that depending what you put online could be the factor of what allows you to be hired for a job or not. This is smart.

The rest of the Google search about "Teens talk back" is how to deal with a teen who talks back.

Mainly what I found while searching were video of teens talking about issues. One was a news segment about pornography other segments about puberty. In the videos the teens talk about how it can be hard to talk about these things with their parents, and more difficult to talk about it with the parent of the opposite sex. Also there are a lot of videos of teens talking about social media when you look at things on youtube.

It was harder to find things about what teens have to say, than I thought it would be. It was surprising that there were so many parenting websites that talk to parents about who to deal with the teenagers who talk back to them. I'm curious to see what other people in class found.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Glee Post!

Extended Comments

So I've never watched Glee before and it was interesting. I'm not sure if I liked it or not, but I am curious about it because watching just three episodes leave a lot of holes in the plot of the whole story. How are all the popular kids now in Glee Club, when Coach Sue said that glee was the lowest of the low place to be in high school? But I'm going talk more about what Celine wrote in her blog.

While watching the "Pilot" I saw right away the typical separated cliques that people say teens create. Finn in the typical jock who dates the head cheerleader and blah blah. But also right away you see how Kurt is treated. As Celine said it's almost as he was trash, because they threw him into the dumpster. Is this really the message you want to send teens today? It made me think of Christensen because we learn (secretly or obviously) from what we watch on TV. Why was that something that the producers or writers needed to show? And I don't think it's an acceptable message to be shown to kids and teens today.
I also found, like Celine, that the first episode had a lots of connections to Hine's article. When he talks about how teenagers don't really have a place and that the environment that they have is high school and this is where the social class comes from. They're just trying to find there place in the world. I even think Rachel mentions this when she is talking about Glee club in this episode.

In "Never Been Kissed" I completely agree with Celine when it comes to the bullying of gay students. It was shocking when the cheerleader that was in New Directions made the comment of all the gay jokes that popped into her head. Why would you say this when you know Kurt is bullied and so on for being gay, why are you adding to the bullying? I think that it was crazy for a school not to have a zero tolerance rule, but unlike Celine, I don't remember having a rule like that in my high school. Kurt is pretty defense less in this episode and you can see how it effects him. The bullying in this and the next episode really made me think of the Kimmel article about masculinity and how boys need to show masculinity in order to prove themselves to their peers.

In the last episode "Furt," I felt like it moved so fast. The parents were married in the blink of an eye. But there were some major issues in this episode as well. Like Celine, it drove me crazy that Finn wouldn't stand up for his soon to be step brother, just because he didn't want to ruin the chances that the football team had of winning. It seems like Kurt wasn't the only person afraid of Krofsky. It was great when the other guys on the football team defended Kurt, and even better when Kurt's called Finn out on not helping. But my biggest issue with this episode was how even though Krofsky was expelled for threatening Kurt's life, the school board allowed him to come back because there wasn't enough proof of the situation. How can any school allow for this to happen? Why would it be okay for any teen to go to school and be in fear the whole day that something awful was going to happen to them because of another student? This isn't right at all. By allowing him to come back it makes it seem like bullying is an acceptable thing to do in high school, and this isn't the best message to be sending to teens and kids, or even anyone who watches the show.

I would also like to know what messages Glee sends now about bullying and LGBTQ issues in its current episodes?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hip Hop Wars - Tricia Rose


The video and the Q&A by Tricia Rose is something that I've never really thought about. I've never really listened to hip-hop (I've been mainstream pop, and now all I listen to is country). So this is something completely new to me. I guess I had an idea about what hip-hop was like, but never really knew it's origins or anything. When listening to the video and read the article all I could think of was some of the articles we've already read.

In Rose's Q&A the question "In these hip-hop wars, what's one of the more prominent arguments from critics that you counter in your book?" She says the argument is "Hip-hop causes violence". All I could think of when reading this statement is the last piece we read by Kimmel. It's not the violent words in hip-hop music, it's masculinity (though hip-hop music may talk about what a "real man" should be like, I'm not sure). Rose says that it thought to  "create violence" because where hip-hop originated, but this is unfair. It really just shows racism and other issues to put tis label on the music, when in fact thats not the case.

I even think the Christensen piece can connect to hip-hop. When she talks about stereotypes. It seems like hip-hop faces a bunch of stereotypes, violence being one of them. All the questions she asks in this section about films can also be questions you could ask about the music. "What do they talk about?.. What would young children learn about women's roles in society if they [heard this music] and believed it? What roles do money, possessions, and power play in the [music]? Who has it? Who wants it?..What would children learn about what's important in society?" Rose says that most of the music was and is about political movements, education and so on. This would be good music for a child or anyone to listen to with the positive message. But now most of the music is sexual and violent. The reason for it is because this sells? But why does it sell? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Adolescent Masculinity, Homophobia, and Violence - Kimmel


Kimmel's argument is that masculinity and the taking away of masculinity are the reasons for school shootings that take place. He goes through the list of things that are always brought up "it's violent video games, music, television and so on" that make for "teens" to believe that it is okay for them to go to school and kill the people who surround them. But this is not the case, most reasonable people, even children and the young adults, know that these things that go on in movies and such are just depictions and not real life. Kimmel also states in the reading that there is no significant proof that violent media is the link to school shooting, because the shootings don't all occur within the same time of a game or movie release.
His argument that masculinity is the cause of the shooting does fit. It does make sense to me that because these boys who committed these acts were the victims of endless bullying and "gay-baiting", and that the reason that they acted out was because of it. People are only human as they can be before they break down. Kimmel then gives the examples of what happened to the boys. All of them were tortured by classmates, and the classmates were fine with how they treated them. They were all called "nerd, queer, gay, fag, shy, weird, and so on", and Kimmel is right in saying that in our culture today words like this take away your masculinity. And the last thing any boy wants taken away is that, I guess. I remember things like this took place in the small town where I went to school in, things like this still take place at the college we all attend, if you listen to the people around you.
I also agree with Daury that the reading really doesn't bring up the issue of mental illness. They say the whole cause is masculinity but it seems like it is only the beginning of the reason. Most of the boys who committed the acts where interviewed by psychiatric doctors and they said that they are not insane. But I don't really agree with that (this could just be because what I think of what they've done). I think mental illness plays a large role in school shootings.

This is a great movie (I think) about the Columbine shooting and gun control in general!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cinderella Ate My Daughter/Brave

I read Cinderella ate my daughter and the movie Brave compliment each other well. Orienstein describes in the chapter how she had never shown her daughter any of the Disney movies, but yet she found her daughter waiting to be kissed by a boy to wake her up because she was Snow White. Orienstein goes on to say:
"I had never told Daisy the story of Snow White. I had purposely kept it from her because, even setting aside the obvious sexism, Snow herself is such an incredible pill. Her sole virtue, as far as I can tell, is tidiness - she is forever scrubbing, dusting, nagging the dwarves to wash their filthy mitts... She is everything I imagined my daughter would reject, would not, in fact, ever encounter or even understand if she did, let alone embrace: the passive, personality-free princess swept off by a prince (who is enchanted solely by her beauty) to live is a happily-ever-after that be ultimately control. Yet here was my girl, somehow having learned that plotline anyway, blissfully lying in wait for Love's First Kiss." 
I can understand why Orienstein wouldn't want to show her daughter this type of woman. Who really wants their daughter growing up thinking that the only why to have a life is to find the man who will take care of you for the rest of your life. (I remember watching these movies and wishing that my prince would come, but then growing up and having my parents, my father likes to stress this, teach my to be an independent woman.)

What I want to know is if the movie Brave had been around when Orienstein's daughter was young, would she want Daisy to see this one? The message of this movie is not the typical fairytale, Merida is not waiting for her prince charming (she more or less finds it disgusting). The message is more about family and independence. Merida has to figure out how to change her life path herself. Her mother has the same princess idea that the rest of the disney movies have (she needs to get married and "a princess is perfection" and so on). Merida wants nothing to do with this and turns her mother into a bear with a spell from a witch (so typical of Disney movies, there's always a witch). But she figures out how to reverse the spell herself, and in doing this she proves to her mother that being a strong independent woman is possible. This message seems more like something that Orienstein would want her daughter to hear.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Final Project - Oh Boy!

I really have no clue on what to do for this project. (My brian is still in Florida, and its slowly coming back. I'm also suffering a little from being contaminated with some gluten, not fun) I do remember talking with my group from the midterm project and Celine had a really good idea about what to do for the project.
We thought about doing something that relates to body image with teenagers. I think it would be cool to look at how anything that makes you look different and how teens feels about this. I think that they're the group that thinks that every one is looking right at them, and are the most self conscious, and this is the reason many disorders start in the teen years.
I know that I would want to work in a group, I like being able to get ideas with people. It's also nice to know that you have others to help you with the project as well.

This was from my awesome spring break! I'll blog about the experience later :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Midterm Post

For my midterm project I'm working in a group with, Celine, Alexa, and Noelle. We're interviewing students around RIC to see what their thoughts on teenagers are, and then relating them back to readings and assumptions we've learned so far this semester.
We came up with a few questions to ask, that would relate to readings. Many students that we've interviewed have said different things, and some that we did ask didn't really know what to say either. It was interesting to hear their thoughts.
We're using a few new tools, like iMovie, which I've used a little, to put the interviews together. We split up the readings, so we each know one really well, and will be able to work with each other on putting the whole thing together as a whole. It will be fun to see everything when it's finished.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Knowledge-able - Wesch


Wesch argues that kids today in higher education classrooms are not learning how they should be. He says they don't ask the right types of questions, instead the questions are just solely based on how to pass the class. Instead higher education should be teaching today's youth how to navigate the world through the media. He talks about how knowledge floats through the air today, we have so may devices that connect to the internet, and so much at the tips of our fingers, but many of us don't know how to use it all.
He argues that all this media shapes our relationships with everything. Wesch talks about how when the television first came out and the whole living room change to fit the TV into it. It rearranged the lives of American people. The TV also gave the media new control. There weren't many channels, and it was controlled by few, it was there to entertain the masses, and it showed only what the people who controlled it wanted.

Rooms went from looking like the first picture in the 1920's to the next revolving around the TV in the 1930's.

Wesch also talks about the Dove commercial that shows thousands of images of women's bodies, and what women go through to be thin, and so on, and ends with the statement that you should talk to your daughters about these things. The message is a good one in my opinion, you should let young girls know that this is what they're gonna see but they don't have to live up too it. The better message though comes from the spoof video that was made. It actually got Unilever to stop cutting down rainforest for the palm oil that was used in Dove products. I think that choice of media was wonderful. 
Finally, Wesch really argues to teach students to use these forms of media. He wants to embrace the real world problems that students with face. He wants to answer these problems with them, and he hopes by doing this it will help them live their lives. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager - Hine


Hine's main argument in this chapter is that the media shapes the way that we see teenagers. He explains who the word teenager didn't even really exist until the twentieth century. Why do we even need a word to describe a group of people? Hine talks throughout the reading about how different parts of history and the media have shaped the idea of the teenager. He argues that young people are given all these labels through the lens of the media. For example when young twenty year olds commit crimes the title reads "Teen arrested". Why not just say "Man arrested"? Aren't you an adult when your 18? Same with how Congress was trying to try young people as adults when they commit certain crimes, why is it okay to try them as an adult, when you label them as something completely different? Hine also argues that there are to many things that are against teens. Society is constantly showing the population images of sex and so on, but we tell todays teens that they need to wait because they don't completely understand everything there is to know about sex and the consequences that it can bring. (I do agree that most teens do not no much about sex, and therefore should wait. Most sex education courses do not do a good job of teaching what really happens. I can only think of Kenia's video that she posted in her Raby blog, and that does a better job explaining things then anything I was taught in a health class in high school). Teens bodies are ready for sex way sooner then they were decades ago, and many are sexually active because of it. This relates to the prom idea that Hine addresses. Teens are sexually active and prom night is a night where it's almost expected of you to be a crazy, wild teen. The story that Hine tells about the girl who has the baby at her prom, just helps the media enforce how teens are not ready to be active. We are so under developed in our thinking process that we think it's okay to hid a pregnancy and get rid of the baby in the garbage. This scares parents and society and starts the cycle of looking down on the teens for their horrid actions, but how many times does this happen? And we only hear about the girl giving birth at her prom because the media only tells us about awful things. When are happy things really told to society?

Are these the moments that turn us into adults? 

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Tangle of Discourses: Girls Negotiating Adolescence - Raby


Framing teenagers as being at risk allows adults to distance themselves from the actions of teenagers today: the social milieu was fundamentally different in the past, so their teenagehoods cannot be compared, and the causes of problems are assumed to be located in other peoples’ families (as well as media, schooling, and peers) rather than their own. (435). 
I think this statement is very true in someways, but not in others. I do agree that saying teenagers are so different and so on, allows parents to act like they are very different from their kids, but they I don't think their teenage experience was truly that different. I believe that everyone is awkwardly put into this stage of life, and we all experience it. Being that you both went through/are going through, you can compare it. I remember my parents comparing their teenage experiences to mine to try to help me out with anything, and even though they were different, it was the same in a way. Its a tad hard to explain. 

Many commentators currently frame teenagers as a social problem for parents and for the rest of society. Here teens are a risk to others, difficult, trouble makers and potential disrupters of households and social peace. Griffin suggests that girls are more likely to be considered at risk while boys are more likely to be treated as a social problem (1993, p.127). (435).
I agree that teenagers are difficult and such, but I don't believe it is just because they are teenagers. I think that because of the media and all the stimuli that teenagers see, it's being shown to them they should be a problem to everyone. I believe we do cause some kinds of problems, some more problems than others, and part of this is because of all the change we do experience. I also kind of do believe that Griffin is right in saying that girls are more at risk and boys are the social problem. Boys are more likely to act out publicly than girls. 

On the one hand, the teenage respondents seemed to gain pleasure from various aspects of teenagehood. On the other, all of them easily cited negative stereotypes often held about teens. The most recurring stereotype mentioned was that teens are 'bad' - some of them elaborated  by providing a series of other negative terms, such as rude, uninterested, apathetic, messed up, trouble makers, and scary. (441).
Where do we learn to give teenagers these stereotypes? Why are teenagers bad? Is it because they're "different"? I think most people can agree that they have been called one of these things while they were a teen. The teens that Raby interviews say that there are only some people who have this reputation, but the people that they hang out with don't, or that all the teen violence that is out there causes the reputation. Why is this reputation only associated with teens though, when there are plenty of adults that could be described the same way?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Radom Blog!

I'm always on Pinterest. I'm a little addicted to it, but I always find things that are interesting. Being snowed in today, I'm surfing everything on the internet. While on Pinterest today I found this:
This was exactly what we were talking about in class yesterday!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us - Christensen


Christensen's opening line "I was nourished on the milk of American culture.." sucked me in right away. America is the mother that we all learn from and it's media just is thrown in our faces from the beginning. The article reminded me so much of a piece we read last semester, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" by Peggy Orenstein, (here's a NY times review of the book) it discussed how princess culture is so forced onto little girls and how colors like pink are the only way to describe a little girl. Did you know that before the 1920s newborn girls were wrapped in blue and that boys were wrapped in pink blankets at hospitals? When did society become so strict the roles we "need" to play that they had to assign colors to babies?! Christensen goes into the "secret education" that cartoons are teaching our youth. This education is "delivered by children's books and movies, instructs young people to accept the world as it is portrayed in these social blueprints. And often depicts the domination of one sex, race, on class, or one country over a weaker counterpart." These ideas need to be fed to us at a young age so we don't fight it, it's just accepted as what children watch and the meanings don't get uncovered until there's someone who brings up the idea. Christensen then asks her students if the agree that there is "secret education" and I completely agree that there is.

In the stereotypes section of the text Christensen asks a bunch of questions. "How does the film portray overweight people? What about women other than the main character? What jobs do you see them doing? What jobs do you see them doing? What do they talk about?.. What would young children learn about women's roles in society if they watched this film and believed it? What roles do money, possessions, and power play in the film? Who has it? Who wants it?..What would children learn about what's important in society?" All of these questions stuck me. I never thought about these questions while watching TV or a movie. When watching cartoons as a child I was just absorbed in the beauty of it. I can remember watching the princess movies, and just wanting to be like them. I probably understood that I wanted to be like them because they were pretty and they got the fairytale ending. I remember wanting to find prince charming too. But I never thought of the stereotypes that are placed upon characters. Like when Christensen's students point out that Ursula is ugly and smart, and envious of Ariel because she is pretty and young, and because Ariel is pretty and young she gets the man, even if that means sacrificing her true talents and giving up her voice. (This is also the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, in the original one, Ariel dies turns into sea-foam. We discussed this last semester too.) This would have never occurred to me as a child.

What picture is a child going to be more attracted too?

Christensen whole text brought up ideas that you don't necessarily think about, and her concern for the students she was teaching was great too. She didn't want these young adults to think they have to live in a society with such strict roles. I love when she says "I don't want students to believe that change can be bought at the mall, nor do I want them thinking that the pinnacle of a women's life is an "I do" that supposedly leads them to "happily ever after." She doesn't want this "secret education" to make them think that need to be like everyone else. We learn that we need to be like the images we see in the media, thin, beautiful, and fabulously dressed. Not everyone is like this and that education that we've been learning our whole life taught us this.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hey! #2

My name is Jessica Parenteau, and this is my third year at RIC. I'm a Justice and Society major, Gender studies minor. I took Gend 200 last semester, and I'm continuing my blog from the class (feel free to read older posts). During the break I went to a Pats game, it was freezing, and there was still snow in the seats. 

I spent a lot of time working during the break as well, I sell vitamins. I also read a book, and baked a bit (all gluten free too). I'm looking forward to the spring semester. I'm really looking forward to some warmer weather too!

"Media and Ideology" - Croteau


"When scholars examine media products to uncover their "ideology," they are interested in the underlying images of society they provide. In this context, an ideology is basically a system of meaning that helps define and explain the world and that makes value judgements about that world. Ideology is also related to concepts such as worldview, belief system, and values, but is broader that those terms. It refers not only to the beliefs held about the world but also to the basic ways in which the world is defined."159/160
Ideology is how we think of the world. It's what we base our knowledge of the world on too. This quote explains how ideology can be different for everyone though. Depending on where you grew up, how you were raised, what religion you believe, and more changes your perception of how you see things in the media. That is what scholars look at. What we see in the media shapes how we view everything. Last semester when i looked at this quote all I could think about was how commercial depict certain gender roles. In all commercials for cleaning products you always find women.

"Drawn from the work of Antonio Gramsci (1971), an Italian Marxist who wrote in the 1920s and 1930s, the notion of hegemony connects questions of culture, power, and ideology. In short, Gramsci argued that ruling groups can maintain their power through force, consent, or a combination of the two. Ruling by way of force requires the use of two institutions such as the military and the police in an effort to physically coerce - or threaten coercion - so that people will remain obedient." 165
Croteau then continues to explain how the most popular examples of hegemony are ones that actually use physical force, but then says that "Gramsci's work suggests that power is wielded in a different arena - that of culture, in the realm of everyday life - where people essentially agree to current social arrangments." This goes on all the time in media. We are constantly seeing the dominant, or more powerful images when we watch TV, or see movies. We see heterosexual couples, and families. Women doing house work, men being bread winners, and so on. All these messages are telling us what life should be like, but we all know isn't the only way it should be.

"Media are involved in what Hall calls "the politics of signification," in which the media produce images of the world that give events particular meanings. Media images do not simply reflect the world, they re-present it; instead of reproducing the "reality" of the world "out there" the media engage in practices that define reality." 168
I think this quote sums up what the media really does. It wants us to see these images and think we need to be like that. The media is showing us what we should be like, and if we're not like it, then we're outcasted. Today's media is better, than before, but still gears certain things to certain people. Media targets and sells what is the "norm" (which was also discussed in the article).