Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pink Saris

Gender Film blog.

'Pink Saris' is a documentary film about a woman named Sampat in Northern India, who helps to fight for womens equality. Instead of going to the government to fight, Sampat goes directly to the men first. She also started the Gulabi gang (Pink gang), a group of women who want to support the movement as well as Sampat  or has been helped by her at some point. Sampat lives in the poorest part of her country in the lowest caste (class). Where she lives, they don't believe in marrying a lower caste so a lot of the women fall in love and get pregnant by a man that they "can't" marry because they are seen as untouchable. In Sampat's country they also have high rates of women who are illiterate and high rate of mortality in women, mostly because an unwed women is often killed. In their culture the son marries and brings his wife home with him and his parents. So when a daughter marries, she's expected to move in with her husband and his family. Women are seen as a burden. If a women give birth to a baby girl that has complications they won't bring her to the hospital, they just let her die and the mother is also shamed for having a girl in the first place.

There were many situations where a man of a higher caste "loves" or actually loves a women who is untouchable (lowest caste), she gets pregnant and he leaves her either because his family tells him to or he just doesn't want to marry her. Sampat says "we choose our food and our clothes, why not our life partner?" Aside from other people who disapprove of marrying out of your caste, there is also an issue with marrying too young. A lot of these women are/were married off as young as 12 years old. That's pretty much child labor. When a wife marries she's expected to work and help out and be with her husband. These grown men marry children who went from depending on their parent's to depending on their husbands. Without their husbands or family, women in Sampat's country don't have anything. They work just like their husbands but won't have anything to show for it. Wives have been beaten by their husbands, father in-laws, brother in-laws and sometimes raped or molested by their in-laws and run away. Where would they go? Going back home is not an option especially if there was a dowry. So these women either throw themselves in front of trains or somehow find Sampat.

Sampat was once in these women's shoes so she never turns anyone away. She is married to a man from a higher caste but still lives in her poor town. So when those women show up needing help and some where to stay, she lets them stay in her home but it gets crowded. In some cases Sampat is able to diffuse the situation and get couples back together by talking to their families. She doesn't just talk though.. she yells and threatens haha and she calls them stupid. For the not so fortunate girls, she encourages them to study and make something of themselves.

I connected this film to Ayvazian's "Interrupting the cycle of Oppression" because that is what Sampat is doing. Sampat doesn't have male allies but she is being the woman that those young women don't see or ever heard of. Ayvazian says " It's hard for a young woman to grow up thinking she can be an airline pilot if it has never occurred to her that women can, and do, fly jet planes".

I also connected this film to Frye's "Oppression" piece because towards the end she talks about how men's gesture for opening doors and their false helpfulness. Men are seen as the Prince Charming who comes and marry's the women and takes her away. The family is just happy that she has a husband. It is made to seem like he is taking on this burden and doing everyone a favor when in reality he just bought him a slave that he calls his wife. She will cook, clean, work, care for the children, care for his parents, cover herself and not speak in the presence of men, and be beaten if she doesn't listen to their demands. According to Frye, "these gestures imitate the behavior of servants toward their masters and thus mock women."

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression

Ayvazian, “Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression;” Blanchard, “Combatting Intentional Bigotry and Inadvertently Racist Acts”

     The two articles discussed allies and what an ally is. An ally is "a member of a group whom works to dismantle any form of oppression from which they receive benefit." An ally is a person who has the things you want or need and also wants to help you to get them for yourself. An ally knows that we are different but deserve equal opportunity. We can all be an ally to someone and have someone else be an ally for us in another form of oppression. The dominant side may be the privileged side but they may not all be the oppressors, they are the ones who have the most power.The point is to have someone speak up for you when you can't do it yourself, and be there for you when you can. Obviously people in power can have more of an effect than those who aren't.
    Blanchard's article discusses how we shouldn't condemn or con don in racial harassment that we overhear. We should speak on it at that moment  and stand up for the person being oppressed so they don't feel alone and so the oppressor knows they're wrong. A lot of people use freedom of speech as an excuse to be an asshole, and some people are just ignorant and have no clue that they are doing anything wrong to begin with. As an ally, your duty is to educate the "inexperienced" and to shame the the people who do it intentionally. The point of the article was to tell us not to leave it up to administrators to teach what's right and what's wrong. When you're setting examples for people around you makes it more comfortable for those people to do the same, because they know they won't be the only one.


Monday, November 30, 2015

Cinderella Ate my Daughter

Orenstein, from Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Image result for pinkification

I remember growing up and not liking pink because it was too girly and every little girls favorite color was always pink. I didn't want to be different, but I didn't want to like it just because everyone else did. I also remember protesting skirts, dresses and ANYTHING pink. I wasn't comfortable in it so i didn't like it. I wasn't a tomboy though, but I remember trying to classify myself as a tomboy or a girly girl because I thought I had to be one or the other (at least I knew I had a choice). I preferred shorts/ jeans and loved to ride my bike and make pretend meals out of dirt and leaves, but my favorite color was purple and I also liked playing with dolls and painting my nails. This whole pinkification thing is fairly new and I still don't understand it. Is pink supposed to be the ultimate girl color? Where are all the other choices? Why are things that was once gender neutral becoming pinked?
I'm trying to determine if the things I got as a child affects the person I am today. Most of the things I got I picked out myself on based off what I saw on TV. Yes, I saw all the girly toys that weren't so pink back then but I also saw a lot of other things on TV and I picked what I liked. Sometimes I got it, sometimes I didn't. My life wasn't consumed by my toys, I barely remember what my dolls looked like. I had a whole collection of Disney movies and the only movies I had with Disney princesses was Cinderella, Mulan, and Alladin. I still have not seen the other Disney princess movies and I don't know when I will. I don't know if that has anything to do with my personality today, or if I got certain things based off my personality.
When it comes to toys training kids for their future, I could see how one could think that but judging from my own personal experience it didn't work for me. I had a doctors kit, but i don't want to be a doctor. I had an easel because I thought I wanted to be an artist but changed my mind. I also had sponge bob bed set and a scooby doo alarm clock that didn't make me decide I don't want kids, and my baby doll didn't make me want to have kids either.

Sex Positivity

What is Sex Positivity?- Furguson

     While reading the article Furguson discusses two camps within feminism; Radical vs. Libertarian. Now I don't get why there are sections within feminism because I thought the point was equality for all people. It seems like even within the feminist groups there are still people judging each other based off their personal choices. 
    The radical feminists represent the women in the hijab covered head to toe and the libertarian feminists represent the women in the bikini. Radical feminists disapprove of all heterosexual sex that is male dominated. That includes role playing, S&M, and porn along with a few other things because they believe that those things are too explicit and lead to violence against women and the objectification of women. By egaging in those types of "risky behaviors" you would be encouraging male dominance because the male is the subject or master and the female would be the object or slave. Radical feminists have the views of the 1st and 3rd wave feminists pretty much.
    Libertarian feminists on the other hand, support any form of consensual sex. More specifically, "an ideal sexual relationship bewteen two fully consenting equal partners." I like how this is phrased because then you have to consider what consensual really is. The batterted wife was a good example because most women with consent to sex out of fear that if they say no (if they have that choice) they will be beaten. It is also important that libertarians use "consenting EQUAL partners" for that same reason.
      Furguson discusses the difference between forbidden sex ( rape, incest, etc) and risky sex ( porn, prositution, etc) and how we "should be free to choose between risky and basic practices without fear of moral condemation from other feminists". I couldn't agree wih this more. This has been my position for as long as I remember, even for other topics like abortions and hijabs. I may not make the same decissons as you or agree with your choices but I am a pro-choice person. I personally wouldn't promote promescuity or prositution but because I don't think they're safe. Pornography is okay to me as long as it was really the woman's choice but if she had outside influences then I wouldn't support it. 
     What if the women likes a feminist but like S&M and likes for the man to be dominant? There are women who are into that just like it's possible for a woman to like a woman. I don't think it's fair to tell women to stop doing what they like sexually in order avoid the violence and objectification because men don't get shamed for liking those same things. The only time a man gets shamed is if his sexuality is not "politically correct" and it usually only happens if the man is gay or something extreme like having sex with children or animals, which is not truely consenting. "We should reclaim control over female sexuality by demanding the right to do what gives us pleasure or satisfaction."

Thursday, November 5, 2015

But..What About the Boys??

Kimmel, “What Are Little Boys Made Of?”
Tough Guise 2

It has been said that men's oppression comes from feminism. Feminism is to blame because it's teaching our boys to be "wussies". Teaching young boys to sit still, or not be violent, or to treat their female partners with respect, or to be nurturing, or that it's okay to show emotions other than anger is making them soft. We're not allowing our boys to be boys by not letting them be barbaric savages. In the reading from Kimmel, he states that boys are four times more likely to be emotionally disturbed and commit suicide and 15 times more likely to be involved in violent crimes. Well I'm no expert but common sense would say that it's because they weren't taught how to cope with their emotions (that their not supposed to have). It seems like all of their negative emotions like sadness, shame, embarrassment, rejection, defeat, frustration, jealousy, insecurity, etc... they all get lumped into anger and the only way to deal with that is through violence. Men's oppression leads to the oppression of women as well. When me are taught to show no emotions other than anger, that applies to women as well. That's why men are responsible for 99% of rapes and 85% of all violent crimes.

Like any other issue in this world, we have to start by speaking on it. Most men's violence gets categorized as "teen violence, or youth violence when it should be (young) men's violence. It needs to be said so people can hear it and see it for what it is. In "Tough Guise 2" he makes note of that. He also points out that the blame is never on the perpertrator. The reason for men's violence is due to nature and weapons and women but not to nuture. It is mostly because of hormones. So it's not men's fault they are violent because it's biology. #Notbuyingit #Thisisbullshit #Excusemyfrench

"In their view, males are biologically propelled to be savage, predatory, sexually omnivorous creatures, hard-wired for violence. As a man, I find this view insulting"- Kimmel

I was litterally thinking this while reading the article. How is this not insulting? It reminds me of a conversation I had with another male friend of mine about cheating in a relationship. He says it's worse when a women does it because we are more emotional and have emotions invested when we cheat and it's usually only to get back at the man. So I asked him why men cheat and he says it's in a mans nature to cheat. Please tell me what hormone that is? What does that mean? I asked. His answer was that women are better than that because we're supposed to have now apparently men aren't capable of morals either. I see.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Compulsory Sexuality

Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality”

When Rich discusses "Compulsory Heterosexuality" he's talking about how it's "mandatory" to be straight. In class we talked about how the school system is set up for two parents and how if there is only one parent, then you run into difficulties. Society today assumes that if you're a women then you must be attracted to men and vice versa. Rich quoted Rossi in her text saying that " the lesbian is simply acting out of her bitterness towards men". That statement implies that there is no such thing as lesbianism and that they're heterosexual women who are just angry at men. So pretty much lesbians don't exist because women are only sexually orientated towards men. Rich also says that advice from male health professionals is invalid because it was made to fit male needs. If that is true, that could be the reason why they are so against lesbians. It's possible that they feel like there would be no one to tend to them and their domestic and sexual needs.

I met this guy at a party one night who said that there is no such thing as bisexual men because if a man likes a man he is gay. He also said that you cant like beef and bacon at the same time (but beef bacon exists.... I think he meant beef and pork but that's still wrong). So I asked about bisexual women and he said women can be bisexual but he doesn't understand why a women would want to be a lesbian (because women HAVE to be attracted to men). I asked more questions which lead to him saying that he likes bisexual women because he thinks it's sexy. OHHHHHHH... so you fantasize about being with two women at once? I asked. Yes, I wouldn't mind having two girlfriends and if my girl ever cheated on me with another girl I wouldn't even be mad.. Hmpf... so bisexuality is only okay if you benefit from it.