Sunday, September 30, 2012

Compulsory Heterosexuality and lesbian existance by adrienne rich

FIRST I'd like to Define compulsory

compulsory-required by law or rule; obligated

AND Define heterosexuality

heterosexuality-a sexual attraction to persons of the opposite sex

According to these online definitions compulsory heterosexuality is being obligated or forced to be sexually attracted to persons of the opposite sex.

And according to adrienne rich heterosexuality is a political institute which disempowers women and enforces that women are emotional and sexual property of man. Heterosexualiy is therefore enforced because autonomy and equality of women threaten family, religion, and state. Heterosexuality in society today is compulsory through physical and subconscious controls forced through legislation, religion, society, and media.

SECOND I will define lesbian existance
these words are a little easier to define..
lesbian- a homosexual woman
existance- the fact or state of living or having objective reality

what I got out of Adrienne Rich's piece was that lesbian existence is the awareness and openness of women's attraction to women and  our society has a hard time/ does not acknowledging it, due to cumpulsory heterosexuality.

This article was interesting because it brings up a lot of points that I'm not sure many people would come up with; like the fact that women are drawn to women because they want a mother-daughter bond. The fact that girls are raised to want to be with boys, and like boys, and follow boys, early on prevents women from realizing that they can bond emotionally better with women. I'm not sure how much i agree with Rich's theory, but I am interested to see how the class reacts to this and what every one has to say about it. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

economic inequality

Why and how is economic inequality a feminist issue?

First off, what exactly is economic inequality?
Economic inequality is defined as "wealth and income differences" (web definitions). This being said, social classes are an inequality; working class, middle class, and upper class. These social classes are not only about income though, and that is why economic inequality is a feminist issue. As People Like Us states, "((social class))it is the most important predictor of what kind of financial and educational opportunities someone will have in life".
 This inequality is oppressive to the working class because according to the Center for Working-Class Studies, “employers are taking advantage of the current economic conditions. High unemployment, deregulation and lack of enforcement efforts have led many employers to cheat their employees.“ this leaves the working class getting screwed out of money they earned, and making minimum wage to barely get by.

Most people in the working class are unable to afford education to move up in classes and thus are stuck, like birds in a cage. CWCS states that tax cuts made unfairly go to the middle class and upper class which is becoming smaller and smaller as many people are entering the working class.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Presidential Election

I do not follow politics. At all.
I would like to say that I watch the news and know what is going on in society but I don't. So I guess this is a good time to do some learning.
Right now current democratic president Barrack Obama and republican candidate Mitt Romney are facing off to be the head of our nation.

In his campaign, Romney criticizes all of Obamas promises, while making many of his own.

Romney talks about a five step plan on creating jobs, wants to make our country energy independent, wants to cut taxes, and ease up on immigration laws. Romneys promises This link not only explains his plans but provides a link to his speech given when he accepted the republican presidential nomination.

I was specifically interested in Romneys five step plan to create jobs and make the country energy independent.
1. Take advantage of American oil, coal, gas and nuclear.
2. Give citizens skills for jobs
3. New trade agreements
4. Cut deficits through businesses
5. Reduce taxes, regulations and healthcare

I love it.
I'm not saying that I am against Obama, or for Romney. I still don't know enough to make that decision, but this all sounds good to me. The only problem is that it is SO vague.

HOW does he plan on doing all of this?...he goes into no detail.
I believe all of his plans will greatly help create jobs in America and I think it is about time we look into creating our own energy. Everyone should love the idea of drilling oil in American reserves.
I think all of America will benefit from his proposals, but I don't know how easily he would be able to follow through with it.
He wants to create new trade agreements but what makes him think that other countries will agree to new trade regulations. They would not benefit from plans to help America so what can he offer them to make them agree?
Mitt Romney: campaign issues

This five step plan is a very vague way of appealing to all Americans. It covers all aspects of American life and how he is going to improve it...who is going to argue with that? Better school systems, cheaper American made products, more jobs, and more successful businesses.
Is it too perfect? Too easy?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Oppression" by Frye- Quotes

A major purpose of Frye's essay "oppression" is to define and explain the concept of oppression; how people perceive it and how they really should be perceiving it. I think she does a very good job explaining, so i want to quote some important phrases within the text.


"When the stresses and frustrations of being a man are cited as evidence that oppressors are oppressed by their oppressing, the word 'oppression' is being stretched to meaninglessness; it is treated as though its scope includes any and all human experience of limitation or suffering, no matter the cause, degree or consequence." 
 Paragraph 2 
         This quote was in the second paragraph, the first one being only a few lines. It is a very thought provoking and confusing introduction. This selection is meant to create an awareness towards oppression  and specifically how people play it off, and say that even if they oppress people, it is because they too are oppressed. Which she states is not true. The last sentence is an explanation of how people come to explain oppression, which throughout her essay she disproves.

"The root of the word 'oppression' is the element 'press.' The press of the crowd; pressed into military service; to press a pair of pants; printing press; press the button. Presses are used to mold things or flatten them or reduce them in bulk, sometimes to reduce them by squeezing out the gases or liquids in them. Something pressed is something caught between or among forces and barriers which are so related to each other that jointly they restrain, restrict or prevent the things motion or mobility. Mold. Immobilize. Reduce."
Paragraph 5
         When I read this quote I decided that it was the best definition she used to explain oppression...significantly better and less confusing then stating that "oppressors are oppressed by their oppressing" which is just confusing. This explanation makes oppression more understandable, in the way that she specifically wants everyone to acknowledge it, and not in the way that she stated in the first quote. This selection is meant to create a better understanding but also fully realize how negative the word really is.

"Each of these factors exists in complex tension with every other, penalizing or prohibiting all of the apparently available options. And nipping at one's heels, always, is the endless pack of little things. If one dresses one way, one is subject to the assumption that one is advertising one's sexual availability; if one dresses another way, one appears to 'not care about oneself' or to be 'unfeminine.' If one uses 'strong language,' one invites categorization as a whore or a slut; if one does not, one invites categorization as a 'lady'- one too delicately constituted to cope with robust speech or the realities to which it presumably refers."
Paragraph 9
          This quote was the most complete explanation of oppression and shows how much "something pressed is something caught between or among forces and barriers which are so related to each other that jointedly they restrain, restrict or prevent the things motion or mobility." It fully connects the root of the word to how people enforce oppression, in a very true, everyday life example.

In class question
Are men justified in thinking that they too are opressed?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Are Younger Generations Afraid of Feminism?

A Tsunami in History by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner defines and explores the history of feminism by breaking it up into 3 generation waves. Most of the key information was similar to what we learned from the film One Woman, One Vote. Rowe-Finkbeiner not only explains the different historical events and significant moments during each wave, but how each wave of feminism evolved from the last, and finally leads up to how society, and even women view feminism now.

Rowe-Finkbeiners Feminist Evolution from Wave to Wave:
WAVE 1: Feminists were "early suffragist" advocates for women's rights; specifically the right to vote.
WAVE 2: Feminists were "activists"  who "took the right to vote, the right to electoral advocacy, and the right to form legislative solutions and ran with them."
WAVE 3: Feminists are women who fight "social and economic inequalities each day"

This link also explains each of the waves more thoroughly
3 Waves of Feminism

Although Rowe-Finkbeiner stated that we are currently in the 3rd wave of Feminism, we no longer refer to it as feminism...
IN FACT Lisa Maria Hogeland explores that idea in her essay Fear of Feminism, in which she states that the younger generation fears feminism due to the old context in which it was first invented; political equality.
BUT there are feminists today, and they are not afraid of it, in fact there are still women for feminism and there are women who are strongly against it.

This CNN clip explains that studies show that over the past three decades women overall have become less happy...but that culture has in fact been shifting positively towards women and feminist ideals.

Why are women increasingly unhappy? Did feminism actually fail?

Feminism began as a fight for political equality, as Rowe-Finkbeiner stated and it slowly became about doing anything and everything that was anti-woman behavior like working and not having children. Are women now unhappy with their roles; tired of work and in need of male companionship?
These three links are WOMEN complaining about feminists and what feminism has done...they are certainly not afraid of feminism.

Feminism is Dead
Anti Feminist

IN CLASS Discussion
I think that Hogeland is wrong when she says that women today are afraid of feminism. I think the problem is that women define feminists as being against men or anti men, rather than equal to politically, so they no longer value certain aspects of being a woman and "woman culture". Due to what feminism turned into, in todays culture women have put themselves in a place where they have no respect for themselves or from others. They are fighting against gender roles.
Feminism still exists today, has it turned into a burden rather than a good cause?