Monday, February 29, 2016

Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces
Gerri August 


While reading this text one thing kept entering my mind; From my K-12 years, I was NEVER educated on LGBT. In fact, our school didn't have an LGBT club until my senior year, and even then it only had a few members, and no one knew what it was about. It wasn't until my freshman year of college when I actually found out what LGBT was. That's actually very alarming to me. Even looking back now while I was growing up, there were only three LGBT people that I came in contact with. Two were a gay couple who had an adopted son that I played baseball with, and the other was a classmate of mine who came out in 11th grade. From what I remember from both situations was that people made a very large deal about them. No one in my town ever really encountered LGBT, so when they did, they would be very awkward about it. It makes me think; Was this just my town? Or were other surrounding towns just as uneducated about LGBT as we all were? This also connects back to last weeks reading about Disney movies. Not only Disney movies, but any show I watched as a child growing up. I can't think of a single movie/show that talked about this group. Another interesting thing was that I had never heard of the gay civil rights movement. That hyperlink is actually a timeline of the movement, and there was a TON of things on there that I was not aware of.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:
The big question that I have is do any of you feel the same as me? Do you feel like you were not educated at all on any of this?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us
By: Linda Christensen 

Quote 1: 
"I start by showing students old cartoons because the stereotypes are so blatant. We look at the roles women, men, people of color, and poor people play in the cartoons. I ask students to watch for who plays the lead, Who plays the buffoon? Who plays the servant? I encourage them to look at the race, station in life, body type of each character, What motivates the character? What do they want out of life? What's their mission? If there are people of color in the cartoon, what do they look like? How are they portrayed? What would children learn about this particular group from this cartoon? How does the film portray overweight people? What about women other than the main character? What jobs do you see them doing? What do they talk about? What are their main concerns? What would young children learn about women's roles in society if they watched this film and believed it? What roles do money, possession, and power play in the film? Who has it? Who wants it? How important is it to the story? What would children learn about what's important in society?"

I believe that this quote is very relevant to the text because it is essentially what the whole text is about. This particular quote gets people thinking; well at least it got me thinking. While reading through these questions I started to run over certain Disney characters in my mind. It always seems to be a white, muscular male who is the hero, and then an unrealistic-looking female character as the damsel in distress. The women always seem ditsy and act as if they would not know what to do without the male around. Also, thinking of characters that are colored, when 'The Princess and the Frog' came out, and the main character was black, people made a HUGE deal about it. 

Quote 2:
"Bur, like the original tale, Cindy Ellie's main goal in life is not working of the homeless or teaching kids to read. Her goal, like Cinderella's, is to get her man. Both young women are transformed and made beautiful through new clothes. new Jewels, new hairstyles. Both have chauffeurs who deliver them to their men."

I feel like this quote is to show the reader, (and the students in her class) that while some progress is being made, it doesn't mean we can just forget about the other issues. Teaching kids that needing to transform with material items in order to be beautiful is still a serious problem.

Quote 3:
"During a class discussion Sabrina said: "I realized these problems weren't just in cartoons. They were in everything - every magazine I picked up, every television show I watched, every billboard I passed by on the street."

This is what I feel like the author wanted everyone to see. While sexism, racism, etc are very relevant in cartoons, when you look around you can see them in every day life. It is a very big problem with society, and this article, and what the students did, really pointed it out.

(Crows from Dumbo)

Questions/Comments/Points to Share

In my opinion, this article was definitely one of the most interesting/revealing ones that we have read this semester. My first question I have is what other shows/movies do you see this in? Is there anything you can think of where you DON'T see this? Another question I have is if you read the hyperlink on the Princess and The Frog, what's your opinion on it? Do you think it's still racist?

Monday, February 8, 2016

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack 
By: Peggy McIntosh 

The author, McIntosh, argues that white privilege is everywhere, but white people do not see it. One of McIntosh's stronger points was made in paragraph three when she says "I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege." She is arguing that whites do not see white privilege because whites are taught to not see it. This is where the "invisible knapsack" is seen because whites have it and benefit from it, but cannot see it.  Another strong argument she makes is under the "Elusive and Fugitive" section of the article. In the very first sentence she proves her own point by discussing how she had to write down ways that white privilege effects her or else she would forget. I believe here she was saying how it is so common for these white privilege events to happen, that she doesn't even notice them in everyday life. Another good argument that Peggy McIntosh makes is when she says " If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one's life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own." This quote is very similar to what Kristof argues in his article. They both say how things are available to some people, while they are not available to others; regardless of how hard someone works. 

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:

While reading this article I came up with a question. McIntosh focuses on women's studies, and that's where she started researching. My question to the class would be, "What do you think is more relevant; Male Privilege or White Privilege?" I'm really not sure where I stand on the question which is why I wanted to ask the class and she what arguments could be made. Also, another thing I wanted to discuss was how this article had many connections to other things we have read this semester. I only pointed out Kristof, but I think there was a connection to every other article we read this semester in this one.