Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hip Hop controversies (Free Writing)

I realized i hadn't done this blog when going through my blog log, so here it is!

Tricia Rose was born in New York and spent her childhood in Harlem. she has a BA in sociology and her Ph.D. in American Studies. She is currently a professor at Brown teaching Africana Studies and is the director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. One of her most well known books is Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Tricia believes that hip hop isn't dead now a days, it's just underground now. I agree with her view saying that rap music isn't the necessary cause of violence, though some of the themes and lyrics of popular rap songs today are violent. I feel like that takes away responsibility of the action someone takes by blaming it on rap music or any other source that they consider to be violent and caused said person to act out. What i believe is that people blame rap music for violence because its a majority of black men in that genre and it is the stereotype that they are inherently violent and deviant, that people hate on it so much. even though there are plenty of examples of violence in many other forms in popular culture like TV shows, movies, and video games. 

One of the main points that Tricia makes is that we all share popular culture, its the one thing we all have in common, no matter our background. This is so true, people everywhere are influenced by the media and popular culture, even if they aren't consciously aware of it. not only that is you can't escape popular culture unless you turn off every form of social media, radio, TV and so on. This sort of reminded me of Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Orenstien, she tried to keep certain princess stories away from her daughter, but she still knew who Snow White was without her mothers help. this just proves that no matter how much you try to keep popular culture out of your life, it's always going to be around you and influencing you at a young age. so really parents can't try to keep their kids from listing to rap music or violent video games because it's everywhere, because thats what sells in our society and it's not going to go away if someone can make money off of it. 

*I wonder what it is about violence that sells in our society? 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Final Project!

Final project
GEND 354
Lauren Veyera & Nicole Connolly

Our final project is an analysis on Freedom Writers
we decided to be creative and use Tumblr!

Tumblr link
Freedom Writers

Monday, April 28, 2014

Teens and the media

Like a few other people, I found searching on this topic to be a lot harder than I originally thought it was going to be. What kept popping up in google were issues teens have with body image and self image. This doesn't surprise me at all though, because the media does manipulate everything with photoshop and I'm glad people are speaking out about it! the reason that so many girls, women and even men, have body issues is because of the unrealistic ideals our society has posted on every video, billboard, movie and magazine. This is a cause of many mental health issues today like anorexia, bulimia, and depression. These issues are extremely serious and can consume peoples lives to the point of no return.

These issues reminded me about the quote by Orenstein from Cinderella Ate My Daughter, "And guess who preformed better on a math test, coeds who took it after being asked to try on a bathing suit or those who had been asked to try on a sweater?(Hint: the latter group; interestingly, male students showed no such disparity)". Though the end of that quote makes it seem like body issues only effect females, that is incorrect. It's so sad that now a days people can't love there body's for how they are. but this is the society we live in today. Women especially are pitted against each other in competition, constantly comparing one another and then bullying girls for looking "different". During my search i found an interesting blog about how basically Photoshop is the devil (kidding, but it still is the the root of some kind of evil).

I looked at some other blogs and was happily surprised about the many different organizations that teens have for themselves. I would like to know if everyone had problems finding information about teens? I kept finding links about how to control my teen when they talk

Monday, April 7, 2014

Queer Representation

All of these articles were very interesting to read about. I agree that there is misrepresentation of the LGBTQ community in media. Even though there are more "queer" characters in shows and movies, there isn't a clear or fair representation of all walks of life of the members of the LGBTQ and that image can be misleading and stereotypical. What you see most of the time are white, upper middle class gay or lesbians who are extremely attractive, flamboyant or sassy. The problem is, is that the writers of the shows are probably straight and they dictate how the character acts on screen and this is where the stereotypes come into play. The media is concerned about making a profit, so they have to be able to sell it, but what is shown on screen isn't real life. there are many poor, homeless, middle class, lower middle class, white , black, asian, the list goes on.

Another thing that happens in media with LGBTQ community, lesbians especially, is over hyper sexualization. usually when a LGBTQ character is in a show they are never in the same relationship for long or jump around to different partners. Speaking from personal experience when watching shows i don't think iv ever seen an extremely provocative sex scene between two men, but i definitely have seen lesbian sex scenes more often in TV shows. This is because lesbians have become some thing for straight men to fantasize over (They don't want you guys, get over it). I also think the reason behind the scarce amounts of sex scenes between men comes back to our societies value of masculinity and if a show has a scene like that there is a risk it could backfire. Also, there are straight people playing homosexual roles in the media and thats just another reason there is a whole population of people being misrepresented. The casting director really couldn't find some LGBTQ actor for the role? but even if they did find one, they would still probably be directed to act in a stereotypical manner versus a normal human being. You can't see someones sexuality, so the media and even everyday people, use stereotypes to label a person gay, straight, bi, ect.

* My question for class would have to be if anyone else noticed the difference in representation of sex scenes for gay men versus lesbians? or am i just not watching enough shows? haha

Monday, March 31, 2014

Cinderella ate my daughter by Peggy Orenstein (Quotes)

This article was very interesting and made many different points, but the ones that stuck out the most to me were: The importance of appearance (for girls), masculinity, and race

Quote 1
"Although Mulan and Pocahontas are officially part of the club, i defy you to find them in the stores. They were, until late 2009, the brownest-skinned princesses, as well as the ones with the least bling potential."

its no surprise that this is the case, because of the class and race issues of our society. it's interesting to have it pointed out that they have the least "bling potential" and they are of a different race. this reminds me of our society today and the majority of minority groups being withheld from equal opportunities due to their race, versus the privileges that white people are accustomed to. majority of Disney Princesses are white and theres only a slight representation of any other race (Like it was mentioned in Christensen's Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us). another thing that struck me was the story lines of the non-white Disney Princesses and noticed that there ambition, at least for most of the movie, wasn't about snatching up a Prince to live happily ever after. Mulan wanted to protect her father, Tiana dreamed of owning her own restaurant, even Jasmine was trying to defy her father about being married off. while Cinderella wanted to get to the ball for the Prince and Ariel left everything she knew and sacrificed her voice for Prince Eric (who she didn't even speak to once before she made this decision). the contrast is definitely something to be noticed. The ethnic princesses had more substance to them (or some would say "masculine" qualities, which are seen as unattractive in women), compared to the white Princesses, but they are still the least popular.

Quote 2
"And guess who preformed better on a math test, coeds who took it after being asked to try on a bathing suit or those who had been asked to try on a sweater?(Hint: the latter group; interestingly, male students showed no such disparity)"

The fact that girls seeing themselves in a bathing suit effected how they preformed on a test should have bells and whistles going off! this is a serious problem that girls main focus is their appearance, rather than other aspects of their lives. The male students weren't effected at all shows how our society has spilt up what is and isn't important based on gender. girls can't aspire to be more without also worrying about how they look. at a young age girls are being complimented on their looks and they learn from then on that your looks get you attention and can become useful in certain situations. boys have to worry about being successful, while girls to worry about that, they also focus on how they look doing it.

Quote 3
"Boys as young as four said their daddies would think it was "bad" if they played with "girls" toys, even something as innocuous as miniature dishes."

Masculinity is most important in our patriarchal society, so when boys show any "feminine" quality or interests, there are consequences. At a young age, boys are told to "man up", be successful, get the good job, get married and have kids to provide for. Society has shoved our boys into the box known as the "norm" and if they color outside the lines, then the backlash can be extremely hurtful, physically and psychologically. everything is gendered, to the point that 4 year olds can figure out what is a "girls" or "boys" toy. the two categories, feminine and masculine, make it so girls have to be feminine and boys have to be masculine. neither can show qualities of the opposite sex because that is seen as unattractive. which brings me back to how the non-white Disney Princesses who have masculine qualities, which is unattractive in women and is most likely one of the reasons behind them being the least popular among young girls.

* i would like to talk about how the Disney Princesses that posses some masculine qualities are least popular and how thats a representation of our societies importance of gender roles.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Museum of the American Teenager

Topic: Rise in Teen depression, Teen Suicides, and Teen medication

I'm going to be working solo :)

My 6 sources:

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Cycle Of Outrage: by James Gilbert (Reflection)

When reading A Cycle Of Outrage by James Gilbert, I kept thinking about how in the beginning of the article that a teens appearances seemed like the main reason behind the accusations on whether or not they were delinquents. This was in the 1950s and this stereotyping still happens today in 2014. People are constantly judged on prejudice ideas, and don’t people always say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? Teens are especially judged for the way they dress or look. For example, If you have tattoos or piercings, people could think you’re a delinquent and that’s that. There is no real consideration of that persons personality, people just take what they see on the surface and go from there. I personally was judged a lot by people for the way I dressed in my early teens. What can I say, I loved tripp pants and fishnets, sue me. But it was a stage in my life where that’s how I wanted to dress and I did because I personally thought it was cool and I didn’t care what anyone else thought. A lot of people thought I was mean or intimidating based off my appearance, which I completely disagree with. I like to think of myself as a friendly person and if they just got over that hump and actually spoke to me, they would know that themselves. I remember specifically when I was 13 years old this boy who was a bit older than me asked if I smoked cigarettes (Which i don't), literally only because of my accessories (Big hot topic purse) and because I like to wear black. It bothers me that people think they have a right to make assumptions about another person based off of appearance alone. People are so much more complex than that and deserve to be treated equally. I don’t care if they are covered head to toe in tattoos and piercings, or wears black all the time, or fishnets and band tees, that doesn’t define who they are, it’s just how they like to look. That same person who everyone thinks is a "delinquent" could very well be taking care of old people or doing charity work. it seems like people always just assume the worst. 

I think it would be interesting to look into the style changes over the generations and get a visual on what is categorized under "delinquency"

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Tangle of Discourses: Girls Negotiating Adolescence By Rebecca Raby (Reflection)

I personally didn't have that much of a rebellious attitude when going through my teens, a few hiccups here and there, but nothing crazy like vandalizing public property and egging peoples houses (or whatever else people think teenagers get up too). for me, being a teenager was much easier than it is growing up and becoming an adult. A lot less responsibility and it's easier when you make mistakes as a teen versus when you're an adult. This is because usually there is less at stake and even though everything feels like the end of the world when you're in high school, it's usually not world ending and it will pass. I'm not saying some teens don't have it rough, there is bullying and awkward hormonally stages, I just personally never really experienced this. I have to say, I felt like I had it more together when I was in my early teens than I do today as a 20 year old.
I saw this quote in Rabys' article "by characterizing adolescence as a turbulent and emotional stage, adulthood is framed as rational, calm, ‘evolved’ (Lesko 1996a) and knowing." I don't know about you, but I know plenty of adults who don't know what they're doing with their lives. I still don't know what i'm going to do with my life or where i'll be in the future and thats scarier and more stressful than waking up a 6 am and going to high school. I would give anything to go back in time when my biggest problem was what I'm going to be doing after school, than how i'm going to pay my bills next month. This quote in the article ".. you still have the time to change things, you know when you’re an adult you don’t really have time. (Alannah)" I have to agree with this girl, when you're young you can change a lot about yourself or anything really, but when you're an adult more factors come into play, like money, children or family. There is a certain type of safety net to make mistakes when you're a teen that gets thinner and thinner the older you get. and yes Teens do have their own responsibilities, but i just don't think being a teenager is as hard as it's made out to be. Now growing up and being an adult, that't hard. can I just go to Neverland with Peter Pan and be a kid forever?

It would be interesting to talk more about how things have changed from the generations on what is acceptable behavior for teens

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Unlearning the Myths (Reflection)

 I remember my mom telling me a story about when i was graduating preschool. when you're a kid they have you go up on stage and say what you want to be when you grow up. other kids said a nurse, an astronaut, a police officer, fire fighter and so on. and then it was finally my turn and they asked me the same question as all the other kids, but my answer was a little different. I wanted to be Cinderella when i grew up, and of course the whole auditorium of parents and teachers laughed and clapped because the thought it was cute the little girl wants to be a princess. When i look back on it, its a little unnerving that all I wanted to accomplish in life was find prince charming, live in a castle and live happily ever after. Not that its a bad thing to want to live in a castle.

I know I wasn't the only little girl out there who wanted to grow up to be a princess and i know i wont be the last. young children are constantly bombarded with images and shows depicting these perfect lives or situations that make them want to have that themselves. the sad thing is, is that we don't see the corruption that is happening around us until its too late. there are so many people out there with self esteem issues, eating disorders, and other mental health problems due to the pressures put on them at such a young age. what is bothersome is that most of the "problems" have a lot to do with whats on the outside and not the inside. Children (and adults!!) need to know that no matter what their skin color is, body shape, eye color, hair type, height, or what ever else they think is "wrong" with them, isn't that at all, but is so beautiful. Children need to know at a young age that they're special and true happiness should have nothing to do with what society dictates as beautiful.


Unlearning the Myths the Bind Us by Linda Christensen

* I think something interesting to talk about in class is how the media set up young people with unrealistic expectations and how photoshop is a tool to trick people into wanting to look like something that is realistically impossible.

A little about me

Hello everyone !

Nicole here! I'm from a small town in Mass and this is my junior year at RIC. I'm currently still declared as a RAD Tech major, but I'm thinking about making the switch over to Gender and Women's Studies :)

I decided to take this class because it seemed interesting to see how Teens are portrayed in the media and how it effects young girls and boys. i'm only 20 (almost 21!) so I still feel like I'm 15 sometimes and like we talked in class, its not a alien thing, we are the same person, just older. I'm excited to see what this class has to offer and to learn new information.

I didn't do much over break but work and cuddle with my two cats. But I am planning to go to Disney in May with a few of my good friends, so that's something to look forward too!

when I'm not in class, I love to read, hang out with my suite mates, watch Netflix, obsess over One Direction like a 9 year old girl (Harry's my fav <3), and sit on Tumblr for more hours than I'd like to admit. I'm pretty exciting, I know haha.