Monday, October 30, 2006

Conquests: sex, rape, and exploitation in wartime.

This chapter discusses the gendered war roles of males and females. The part of this chapter that I found particularly interesting was the disscussion regarding how males exert their dominance over women. It gives examples how men exploit the work of women by paying them less and also by hidden means such as the threat of rape or assault. In a period of war the male race exerts their dominance by not allowing the women to become so called warriors. Males even quote passages in the bible to back their claim that women should not be allowed to fight in wars.

Many societies label the men as breadwinners and the women as housewives. I feel this is a very unfair classification. However, I do feel that war is a male event. Our country has fought many wars and been very successful through our military system and I really don't see why women would want to go to war in the first place.

Bisexuality Presentation

The bisexuality presentation given by Rachel and Terasa was very informative and insightful. Prior to the presentation I was unaware that there were five different forms of bisexuality and was also unclear on many of gender related terms. The presentation brought up some very interesting issues in today's society. For example, the group discussed how homosexuals are more of a tabloid issue compared to bisexual individuals. I think this brings up some interesting issues on how the media portrays being homosexual as being weird or wrong, but really does not even comment on bisexual individuals. Although I do feel that homosexuals are unfairly discriminated against I do not feel that homosexuals are gay at birth. I feel that everyone has a conscience choice in regards to their sexuality. Not to say that this choice may not be effected by cultural or personal situations. The issue of sustainability supports my claim because homosexual couples are unable to reproduce while heterosexual couples are.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Frederick Douglass

This excerpt discusses how a slave, Frederick Douglass, was treated by his slave master and how Douglass found his manhood. This passage not only deals with issues of masculinity, but racial discrimination. Although Douglass was born a man he did not feel like a man because of his situation. Douglass was a slave who was forced to be at the beck and call of his master. Without having the luxury of making your own decisions and being submissive to an owner I feel it is very reasonable for a slave to not have the feeling of being a complete man. Douglass is able to overcome this feeling of inferiorty by rising up against his oppressor. Even though this act did not grant him the ability to make his own decisions it still empowered him. After the incident it is clear to see that Douglass no longer walks around on egg shells for his owner, he does his work and has no fear of being harassed. The empowerment that Douglass received by challenging his owner granted him the feeling of being not only a man, but his own person and a human being.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What About the Boys?

There is an ever growing gap between the number of boys and girls in our current school systems. Boys also are receiving worse grades and are developing more behavioral problems than that of girls. It seems as if we have spent to much time worrying about feminism and how the girls in our society are doing. The author states that contrary to the belief of some, boys and girls are not competing against each other, they are actually both in the same predicament.

The author discusses the concept of masculinity. In his opinion masculinity can be harmful to males for a few important reasons. It tends to make boys more bravado in their attempts to be in situations of power. They take classes and try to accomplish tasks that they may not be qualified for. Girls on the other hand take a more passive role at this age and this is where the first gender inequality is found.

This article has some very interesting points. I think it is a very realistic possibility that the girls of our society are of more concern to adults than boys. Boys tend to hide their emotions and put on an act of fake happiness. This makes hard to figure out whether or not a boy is doing okay and not having any pyschological problems.

Marxist and Social Feminism

This feminist belief believes that the entire capital system is flawed. It is flawed in the sense that is oppresses the entire female face. In their opinion a Socialist society would be more beneficial for everyone. Another common belief of this group of feminists is that a womans work is deemed unimportant. Taking care of household duties and raising children is not looked upon with the respect that it deserves. I agree with them on this front, but I do not feel that it is the capitalist system that is at fault.

As stated by a few members in class, Socialism has not exactly been successful when it has been put into practice. Only on a small scale can any positive benefit of Socialism be found. In my opinion Marxist and Socialist Feminism is searching for the equality of females in today's society in the wrong places.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Radical Feminism

In chapter 2 of the book "Feminist Thought" Radical Feminism is discussed. Prior to reading this selection I thought that there was only one feminist. The feminist that I pictured was overwhelming obsessed with the feminine cause almost to the point of being ridiculous.

In the early 1960's and 1970's womens rights groups sought to find equality by means of reforming the system. Most feminists agree that sexism is the first and deepest type of oppression. These feminists, however, do not agree on what the best way to eliminate this oppression is. This is where the split in feminism occurs.

The two types of radical femisim are Radical Libertarian Feminist and Radical Cultural Feminists. These two groups have contrasting views on gender, sexuality, and reproduction. Libertarian feminists encourage women to view as many forms of sexually explicit material as they want. They see the body as being a form of opression. They feel that a males role in a womans life is not as important as made out to be. Libertarians also feel that women should stubstitue artificial for natural modes of reproduction. Radical Cultural feminists feel that a good woman does not have sex unless they love the person or has some emotional connection. They also believe that women should procreate naturally.

After reading this chapter it is clear to see that there is a divide amongst feminists which may hamper there chances at creating equality for women in todays society.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Division of labor and Male Dominance

The division of labor and stratification of gender vary depending on the particular culture. In most cultures the males fall into the typical war oriented, money makers, and hunter gatherer roles. But this is not the case in all cultures. Women are responsible for doing many so called "male jobs" in certain areas of the world.

Throughout the course of history we have seen the status of women lesson. Women played a very important role in foraging groups. They gathered roots and berries while the men typically hunted. As time went on and societies evolved into more agrarian and industrial based systems the role of women sharply declined. Their are many factors to be considered when discussing why males are seen as superior to females. Males are physically stronger to females and I feel that this has is the main reason why males feel that they are superior. Women seem to have developed a submissive personality. This submissive personality has made it easier for the males to exert their power over the female race.

The economic theory is one that I found very interesting. This theory is concerned with the degree that women control the means of production and distribution of resources. I feel that male dominance stems from the fact that the males control the means of production and distribution of resources.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Peace and War

After reading the quote from the Cambridge Women's Peace Collective along with the quote from Dwarkin it is clear to see that men are portrayed to be more violent in comparison to women. War is seen as masculine and hard as peace is seen as feminine and soft. Women seem to stray away from violence while men are more ready to exhibit violence. My stance on this issue is in correspondance with Bryne. I do not feel that men are much more ready to go to war. I do feel however that because there are alot more men in politics that they are an easy target. The political climate of our nation makes it easy to point the finger at males and generalize that they actually enjoy war, but that is surely not the case.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Interesting Articles

I found the two articles that we received to be very interesting. The Steve Foley article was particularly interesting to me because I am a Chargers fan and was also a fan of Foley when he was a member of the Bengals. The entire scenario between Foley and the undercover policeman reminds me alot of Hollywood films that portray California cops to be very racist and unprofessional. Movies such as Boys in the Hood, Training Day, Crash, and Don't Be a Menace all show the racist actions of policeman. Foley, who is not very well liked by the Police Force, because of multiple run ins with them, seems to have been stalked by an policeman who was not even on duty. Foley was not even driving the vehicle and had no idea who the man was who was following him. After Foley exited his vehicle to check out who the stalker was he was shot a ridiculous 3 times. This incident really makes me believe that there is alot more racial profiling occuring than we the general public are aware of. This is something I would definately like to discuss in class.

The second article regarding the loss of popularity of President George Bush by southern women dives into a common stereotype. That stereotype being that woman are opposed to violence and for the most part do not agree with any type of war. This is a stereotype that I find very interesting. In my life I have found a very small of the women that I have met to have encouraged or supported any sort of violence. How can women not liking violence be called a stereotype whenever I feel the facts lead that to being true?