Monday, October 22, 2012

The World of Advertising is Screwed Up

I've been trying to think of the perfect time to introduce this video to the class, because I really like it, and after reading Peggy Orenstein's Cinderalla Ate My Daughter, I finally found the opportunity to think so. The video is called Toy Ads and Learning Gender by YouTuber Anita Sarkeesian focusing on the double standard and sexist advertising targeted to young boys and girls. It's a great video that shows just how early gender roles (and also masculinity vs. femininity) are established by the advertising world.

This is another video of Anita that focuses on LEGO and how they clearly target boys and girls differently, where a boy gets to build a castle and defend the land, and a girl gets a pink house where she can bake and look pretty.

(P.s. this is the hyperlink!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Boys Will Be Bo--Oh shut up.

I absolutely agree with every point Jessica raised in her post. My favorite one had to be the quote she chose with gave light to the fact that these authors were only focusing on one type of "boys" and generalizing it for the whole gender. Like she said, it is unfair and excludes the rest of them. I know that different cultures teaches their boys different ways of behaving, however, I also know that in the end, the "boys will be boys" mentality is still there. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are different ways to get to that mentality, and these authors are talking about just one: being a white, privileged boy who grew up in a setting where he was surrounding by people who are like him. How are Black boys, or Hispanic boys, or Asian boys influenced by all this? Is it still in the media for them? Or is it in the way that they are raised? Lets not forget about those boys who are gay. Where do they fit in all this. Do they still have to follow the Boy Code and give into the pressure placed on them and act "manly"? I find this whole ideology of masculinity (yes, I do think it's an ideology and not in our nature to be violent - I don't speak for my whole gender, but look at me; I've never been in a fight, and I cry whenever I want, dammit) ridiculous and I'm so glad that I managed to get a new perspective on it; the feminist perspective. I can finally see how feminism can be one (and maybe the only) way to eradicate the idea of masculinity.

In the end, I agree with the initial point that Jessica raised in her post. We need to see studies done on many types of boys (race, sexuality, backgrounds), and then come back and tell share your findings. Because that is fair.

(Oh, this is extended comment btw~)

Monday, October 8, 2012

La conciencia de la mestiza

Here are a few quotes from Gloria Anzaldua's La conciencia de la mestiza: Towards a New Consciousness that I found quiet striking.

"A counterstance locks one into a duel of oppressor and oppressed; locked in a mortal combat, like the cop and the criminal, both are reduced to a common denominator of violence. The counterstance refutes the dominant culture's views and beliefs, and, for this, it is proudly defiant. All reaction is limited by, and dependent on, what it is reacting against. Because the counterstance stems from a problem with authority--outer as well as inner--it's a step towards liberation from cultural domination. But it is not a way of life. At some point, on our way to a new consciousness, we combatants somehow healed so that we are on both shores at once and, at once see through serpent and eagle eyes [...] The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react."
 I really liked this quote because, to me, it explains what the beginning of the journey for a mestiza could be like: you can be the hunter or the hunted. By that, I mean that you can either let yourself become a victim to the words spoken to you by your oppressors, or you could fight back and not let yourself be caught in the beak of the eagle. But in the end, that doesn't get much done. Just like it says in the end, it isn't enough to react -- this is going to send us into a cycle that never ends where we fight each other because of opposing views. Instead, we need to do something about the things that we are fighting about and find a middle ground where both of the people standing on opposing river banks can coexist without shouting at each other.
"As a mestiza, I have no country, my homeland cast me out; yet all countries are mine because I am every woman's sister or potential lover. (As a lesbian I have no race, my own people disclaim me; but I am all races because there is the queer of me in all races.) I am cultureless because, as a feminist, I challenge the collective cultural/religious male-derived beliefs of Indo-Hispanics and Anglos; yet I am culture because I am participating in the creation of yet another culture, a new story to explain the world and our participation in it, a new value with images and symbols that connect us to each other and to the planet.
This is what it means to be a mestiza. You are and you aren't part of a culture, you are not simply making yourself part of one - you are creating a whole new way of living through which you, as a mestiza will be happy. You are leaving (and at the same time experiencing) the oppression of the current culture of which you are trying to rid yourself of.
"'You are nothing but a woman'" means you are defective. Its opposite is to be un macho. The modern meaning of the word "machismo," as well as the concept, is actually an Anglo invention. For men like my father, being "macho" meant being strong enough to protect and support my mother and us, yet being able to show love. Today's macho has doubts about his ability to feed and protect his family. His "machismo" is an adaption to oppression and poverty and low self-esteem. It is the result of hierarchical male dominance. The Anglo, feeling inadequate and inferior and powerless, displaces or transfers these feelings to the Chicano by shaming him."
This is one of the things that in a world with the culture of mestiza exists, this is something that would be eliminated. I liked this quote because it shows how sexists men are so afraid of a woman who has knowledge and power and a mind of her own. And they do everything in their power to belittle that woman because their manliness or "machismo" is questioned, and in the end their self-esteem becomes lowered. When this happens, they assume their "dominance" and oppress women because of their feeling of powerlessness. In a mestiza culture, this wouldn't be much of a problem because mestizas themselves wouldn't be seen as a creature that is here to bring down the world.