Sunday, September 30, 2012

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

After finally getting my head together after the reading, I think I have a pretty clear definition of what is meant by "Compulsory Heterosexuality" and "Lesbian Existence".

I'll start with the former. Heterosexuality has always been the "norm" in society. Which is pretty much why we have the concept of "coming out" when a person identifies his or herself as anything other than "straight". When it comes to Compulsory Heterosexuality, it is not only living in a world where "straightness" is seen as the main sexual orientation, but the concept of being heterosexual is thrust upon everyone; it is a "political institution". Even though this doesn't directly relate to heterosexuality in women (well, it certainly does seeing as though men are in some sick way benefiting from it), there were a few points made by Rich about what Kathleen Gough lists as eight characteristics of male power. This section alone made me understand the most  about the effect that compulsory heterosexuality had on women. How forced women are to act a certain way because men want them to in order to be looked at as normal. It was really interesting to see how each of these characteristics manifested themselves in every day life, and how overlooked they are by everyone who experiences them as well as cause them.

When it came to defining, or rather understanding, Lesbian Existence, I had a more difficult time. To me, Lesbian Existence is the lack of...existence in lesbianism. I might be complete wrong, but when I read the article,something that caught my attention was when Rich spoke about Nancy Chodorow's thoughts on lesbianism. She (Chodorow) was talking about lesbianism as an idea, as something that doesn't exist. That it's nothing but the reverse version of the Oedipus complex.  And once more, an anti-feminist form of the male form of homosexuality. Not as it's own thing, but a part of something that comes from men. When it comes to the subject of lesbianism, Rich wrote, it is something that feminists rarely focus on, and when they do it is not always something that they talk about in a positive manner.

Feminism and Economic inequity

I think economic inequity is a feminist issue because it's an issue of oppression. Like many of the issues that feminism takes under its umbrella, economic injustice affects not only people of color (and women) of a lower class, but it establishes a lower class to begin with. There are people who are unemployed and underemployed by many, making it harder for them to get the things that other people are not qualified to do. This in and of itself is unjust because it forces them to climb down a ladder in which they have no choice -- a ladder established by the upper class that oppresses those who make less than them.

Something I read on Sabrina's blog that I thought I could connect on to here was how women (and queer men as we read in Johnson's article) make a lot less money than heterosexual white men even if you have the same qualifications as them. This screams feminist because not only are women and queer not being treated equally, but it excludes them from the hierarchy that heterosexual men have created.

Economic inequity is a feminist issue because sometimes privilege is given to those who already come from it, and taken away from those who need it - there is no equality in how they are perceived and valued.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Group notes~

   These are the notes I took in class while we were talking about the assignment. It won’t be the most ~formal of document, but it’s just how my mind works. I found a really cool video that explains just slightly how he feels about the issue.
   Romney                                          Obama
·         As Jen eloquently put it, Romney seems to be very ~wishy washy~ about the subject.
·         When running for governor, he supported gay marriage, but doesn’t seem to even acknowledge it now. [Although in the video, he says that he’s never supported gay marriage, just ~gay rights (which really makes no sense because marriage is one of the rights we should have as human beings.
·         Jen and Hope talked about the incident he had with a gay woman where she was distraught by the fact that she couldn’t see her partner – she asked him how she was going to explain that to her daughter and Romney responded with: “I didn’t realize you had families.” [Obviously “you” = gay people. Also I didn’t do much justice to the story, my b~]
·         Believes it’s up the states to make the laws on marriage.
·         Cut funding to charity because it involved LGBT issues—terms from the LGBT community.

·         People were accusing him of using his campaign helper person (we didn’t know his title) John Berry for votes. At the moment Berry is the highest ranking openly gay official to work under any U.S. administration.  
·         He’s quite casual about gay marriage; is for gay marriage.  
·         Before running for president, he didn’t really have a stance until faced with the situation (i.e. once he had to bring it up to the public.
·         One of the questions – well, observations we brought up was: did he wait to state his stance on gay marriage to get votes???

Gay rights as a whole (things that we might want to talk about at some point, since we’re doing Gay Rights and not just marriage. It just opens up a whole umbrella.
·         Employment/workplace and the discrimination faced (e.g. salary, unlawful termination, etc).
·         State laws.
·         LGBT education in schools – or lack thereof.
·         Chris brought something up while we were in the group: he said that transgendered people would not be able to vote because of the gender they identify with versus the gender on their driver’s license, etc.
·         I don’t know how you guys feel about adding this in there, but I thought it would be interesting to comment on the religious views that affect gay rights. In other words, how they pressure people to think a certain way.
That’s all we managed to get in class. :3


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Romney and Same-sex Marriage

The article I found on the Huffington Post refers to Romney's stance on gay marriage. As the title of the article states, after having openly showed his negative opinion on the issue, he reiterated his position on it immediately after President Barack Obama became the first president to support same-sex marriage. Romney went on to say he doesn't consider the union of two people of the same gender a marriage -- this wasn't something he deemed appropriate for the country. Mitt Romney has commented to the issue with lukewarm words by saying that unlike Obama, he would be an efficient leader and that he is aware about the inequlity the queer community is facing; he never promised to do anything about it.

Although this wasn't mentioned in the article, I thought it was a good connection to make since I ran into it while searching for what article to use for the assignment. I don't consider myself a Republican, and neither do I consider myself a Democrat, but I thought it was interesting to see a Republican, albeit a young one stating an issue that so many people claim Republicans are against.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

But I thought it was okay?

I thought it very interesting to read something like the following in Allan Johnson's Privilege, Power and Difference: "For all it's popularity, the idea that everyone is naturally frightened by difference is a cultural myth that, more than anything, justifies, keeping outsiders on the outside and treating them badly if they happen to get in. The mere fact that something is new or strange isn't enough to make us afraid of it." When just a week ago, in Fear of Feminism by Lisa Maria Hogeland we were told that it was okay to be afraid, because feminism was something new, and that at some point, we would be able to accept it if we persevere. The opposing ideas can be so confusing, and at the same time serve as what one might call "food for thought". Even though Hogeland's point wasn't that we should fear the feminist movement, it's still slightly confusing to read both texts and compare the words. The one thing that the two texts do have in common that help merge the bridge between the two is the idea of consciousness -- being aware of what makes you privileged and knowing how politics can and will affect your life when you decide to do something about it. Sure, Privilege, Power and Difference doesn't go into details about it, but when presented the facts, critical thinking should do the rest.

(P.s. this was the Connection one~)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Postfeminist? Okay...

One of the arguments that Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner makes in A Tsunami In History is the idea that we live in a post-feminist society, but she still thinks that there is work to be done. Over the years, as the feminist waves continue to make their way into society, each generation has managed to pass on something of value to the next. And even though a lot of progress has been made by feminists and surporters alike, there is still quite a lot of work to be made. Even though these ideas and movements are still being passed around, the newer generations have a difficult time removing the foggy lenses society has placed over their eyes. Rowe-Finkbeiner did state, however, that the third wave of feminism has sparked a new discovery. She writes:  "there are many ways to be a woman." Not just that, but the things that first and second wave feminist failed to see and focus on (i.e. race and class) are now taken into account to make the movement even broader.