By Friday, November 8 (11:59 p.m. EST), students will be required to post a blog journal entry about a particular social problem/issue on a weekly basis related to the theme(s) discussed during the week. The post will thoroughly address the following: 
  1. A social problem or issue related to the theme of the week;
  2. A justification of why this particular social problem/issue was selected;
  3. An explanation of how this social problem/issue is relevant to the student AND to society;
  4. A description of the actions taken/that could be taken by the student to personally address/work on this social problem/issue; and
  5. Pose a question to classmates and instructor that is relevant to the blog post for the week.

Peer responses to this post are due on Wednesday, November 13 (11:59 p.m., EST).
 


Dakota Ayers
11/07/2013 14:08

Gender –based equality is relevant to all people regardless of their personal identification or status. Gender has become a very broad topic with an equally broad spectrum, including those of the transgender and non-binary variety. Non-binary refers to those that do not identify with the gender binary (woman or man) not to be confused with the sex we are assigned at birth (male or female). All related under the umbrella Trans*.
Individuals that identify with neither gender, both genders and the gender opposite their assigned sex (physical body) receive very little to no public attention for the discrimination and amounts of violence that occur within the workplace and their personal relationships. In Turkey in 2010, 16 people were believed to be murdered due to their real or implied gender identity. In Guatemala, 3 transgender women were murdered in separate incidents over the course of one week in 2009. The Trans* Murder Monitoring Project has documented 539 murders of transgender persons in 42 countries (every region of the world) from January 2008 to December 2010. An estimated .3% of the people in the United States identify as transgender individuals, roughly 697,529 (documented). (UCLA study 2011) Of that population 19% are refused health care, 2% report physical abuse or harassment from the doctor while in their office and 28% reported being physically/ verbally abused while in a medical setting. 41% report physical/verbal abuse while in relationships. As diverse, informative and thought provoking as our course reading for the week are they still lack a sense of total inclusivity in regards to their topics covered. “Gender based inequality” should cover as much of the broad spectrum that the key word “gender” does.

Preguntas…

1.) Why is gender the basis for its own level of discrimination?
2.) Do you or have you ever found yourself engaging in gender discriminatory or demeaning behavior?

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Sesan Mudashiru
11/11/2013 05:13

1) This article highlighted how intolerable some people are. It clearly underscores that it does not really matter, what part of the world you live in, people are still quick to judge other people who are not like them everywhere around the world, and rather than conjuring to the attitude of live and let live, they take to violence and are ready to do everything it takes, including committing,the ultimate sin of murder to settle scores with people who does not conform to their "norm".

2) I have never found myself engage in any form of discriminatory behavior, be it gender or any other form and neither would I condone or associate with anyone who demondtrete such tendency.

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Jen B.
11/13/2013 10:13

I do believe having to be categorized by gender in itself serves or promotes discrimination. As this blog points out there are many people all over the world that consider themselves to be transgenders. Although, an individual may look male or female they may feel of the opposite sex and what a person feels about him or her self is what they are entitled to and we have no say so in that matter all that "we" must do is respect that individual. But, once we start categorizing individuals we commence fragmenting. Furthermore, when the classification of gender only falls into two categories male of female, all others who feel they do not fit into one or the other are automatically ostracized by society. Consequently, that leaves transgender individuals feeling that they are not part of society.

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Rachel Zelaya
11/13/2013 19:05

I completely agree that this is an issue. Most people cannot accept the fact that someone is transgender. I've heard people scoff when they see someone who is transgender walking by but those are usually the same people who are homophobic. They treat transgender people as outcasts because they look or dress a certain way but I think this is also an issue when it comes to homosexuals, not just transgender.

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Allyn Achah
11/07/2013 22:47

Women and mass media
In the United States, there are over 250 million TV sets and the average people watching about 3 hours of TV in day. Every show has commercials in between and gender bias is inevitable. Although not always obvious, if you look closely, men are often taller than women and women appear to have less clothes on than males. In addition, men are used to advertise products that are promoting while women are not. The media has a significantly strong but not as close, as the relationship with the audience’s view of gender and identity. In many views women are represented as one of the largest group in today’s society, with the significance and important role but the media continues to show extremely false images of women in our world. Without doubt, mass media is a strong and powerful cause which has been influencing our views upon what the woman is supposed to look like. The mass media displays very distinct ideas about what the roles of men and women are, especially when it comes to body image. Images of men with bulging biceps and perfectly sculpted six packs, and women with abnormally large breasts that defy gravity and stomachs that have virtually zero fat on them. Media does not just try to communicate and does not simply try to provide reality in a more or less honest way. Mainly the Media’s demonstration of women’s problems in today’s society concentrates on the physical violence and sexual violence against them rather than the inner beauty and qualities of the woman. Change on the “perfect” image of what a woman should look like can be changed by women in our society. We have to take the first step as women to accept our bodies the way we are and not focus so much on how much we weight because this kind of thinking leads to image problems in young girls and diseases like anorexia and bulimia
Question:
Why do you think America has a high rate of diseases like bulimia and anorexia?
What measures can be taken to reduce these numbers?

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Emily Blase
11/10/2013 15:29

I think what you touched upon in your article hits the nail on the head as to why girls and women in this society have abnormally high rates of eating disorders. We are presented with unrealistic images of women in every medium, and then told that if we do not live up to these images we are basically not members of society.
I think the Dove campaign is a great start toward shifting our perception of female beauty. We have a long way to go before we have a healthy concept of what acceptable marketing practices toward women look like, but the fact that media is beginning to acknowledge that there IS an issue, and are making small steps toward closing the gap between what women are "supposed" to look like and how we actually look is a huge step in the right direction.

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Dakota Ayers
11/11/2013 09:48

1. I think the increasingly high levels of eating disorders in Americans come from the social media networks the promote 1 or few forms of "beauty" or what is considered to be "handsome". People are more concerned with competition and physical beauty as opposed to promoting numerous kinds of attractiveness.

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Jen B.
11/13/2013 10:32

I do agree with the ending points of this article that how some women are portrayed on TV is a reason why girls are suffering from anorexia or bulemia because of their desire to imitate that TV persona. But, I disagree with the content of the article that state women continue to be inferior to men on TV in one way or another. I believe women have come a long way in the media. We have strong, intelligent female personas on TV. In the news we have strong independent women to look up to as Robyn Roberts or Diane Sawyer who has her own news show with no male co-anchor. Or for example the many, day time talk shows that are represented by intelligent women. The View recently added the beautiful Jenny McCarthy as a host, she was a well-known model but not only is she known for her physical beauty but her intelligence. As for night time tv or prime tv, many strong, independent women can be seen. For example, Chelsea Handler who can compete with Jay Leno expresses her feministic views through her humor. Also, there is the many series where women are seen as doctors, presidents, politicians, or as in the series Scandal with Kerry Washington as the lead role, the go to person to solve problems in the corrupt system of politics in Washington, DC. Again, I do recognize that there is still women on TV being depicted as sex objects through how they are portrayed on TV, but I do believe women have come a long way and there is more of a balance on TV shows, series, etc. Concluding that you can easily find beautiful, strong, opinionated, and intelligent women who do not have to show everything on TV today.

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Ajani Irish
11/13/2013 12:08

I think America has high rate of bulimia and anorexia because the television,magazines, billboard and other forms of media show us whats perceived to be beautiful. Imagine just 60 or so years ago all people knew was what was around them. they didn't have a Megan Fox or Beyonce to measure beauty by. All they had was the girls in the neighborhood and the people around them creating a more balanced idea of what beauty was. Now we have women with makeup, implants, nose jobs, and other forms of surgery and we expect someone in our immediate area to compete with that. Nicki Minaj is a prime example as she is glorified by millions but has looks that are unnatural. This depiction of beauty is an issue but we cant make people change their standards of beauty. We can stress to them though that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that beauty is much greater than the physical traits glorified in the media.

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Rachel Zelaya
11/13/2013 19:50

It is true that the media has a big influence on the way people perceive what is beautiful but there are also images of what how men should look too. For example, they should be tall and fit...talk, dark and handsome if you would. It just seems like standards are harsher for women than men.

Conlan Mayer-Marks
11/13/2013 20:02

1) Im pretty sure its the ways celebrity women are portrayed as well as the photoshoped pictures that are plastered on so many magazines and adds, and in these females tend to be sexualized. In our society looks are sadly very powerful, or are at least perceived that way, especially among women who have much more pressure then guys to look good. Women are showcased in the media as being attractive due to a number of factors, a primary one being thin is beautiful. I know metabolically its harder for females to keep off weight and the standards they are held to are comparable to females they see in photos who are computer altered. males are also at fault, I stopped making sexual comments about other females around my friends who are girls, and changing my personal perception of what real beauty is, because its quite frankly unrealistic. Its really unfair for females to be put at such high beauty standards, and its sad that most guys see that as a top priority or deal breaker, that also needs to change. Women are seen as an accessory among many young male circle of friends, and its pretty demeaning.

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Tram T.
11/13/2013 20:23

I think so many aspire to look like the many people on T.V. To be those perfect women who are super skinny and beautiful and those fit men. Recently, I was watching the Miss Universe pageant and all those women are considered perfect. Its often rare seeing a larger person or not as skinny person in the media. America has a high rate of bulimia and anorexia because how the "perfect" body is perceived. I think more people these days need to be more comfortable in their own skin and if they did want to lose way there are healthier ways.

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TMerella
11/13/2013 22:09

I agree that the media contributes to women having eating disorders, in the fashion industry women are most portrayed as tall, thin, and with perfect skin. The majority of women in our society do not look like that, and it does cause problems if there are not more models that are universal in their looks. I personally believe that models shown should look more fit or athletic, I believe that would be a more positive image for women, and a more positive and more attainable image for women to aspire to if they want to. There are a lot of beneficial things that come with being physically fit and healthy, including decreased risk for disease and improved self esteem. If the media pushed more images of different types of women who look healthy and not just skinny, I think it would help women become more comfortable with themselves, and if they are changing their eating habits, they would be doing it for overall health benefits.

Allyn Achah
11/13/2013 20:54

sources:http://www.womensmediacenter.com/
http://www.policymic.com/articles/4439/are-women-in-the-media-only-portrayed-as-sex-icons-statistics-show-a-massive-gender-imbalance-across-industries
http://123helpme.com/search.asp?text=media+women

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Jordan Langley
11/13/2013 22:49

What has been said above is an honest statement. The media does indeed objectify women and view them more as sexual objects than males. However these "stereo-types" do not come from nothing. Women everywhere, (not saying all women) in the workplace as well as in an educational environment fuel this fire the media portrays them to be. Dressing provocatively and using there looks to get the way they want, basically using sex as a way to get what they want. As for commercial ads and magazines, you never see an obese man in a "Calvin Kline" ad or a "Nike" ad just like you never see an obese women. Almost always the men are just as dolled up as the women. Women models are extremely skinny and men models always have an athletic muscular build. Both men and women are made to look perfect in the media. FACT. Bulimia and anorexia are horrible diseases but I don't think it is fair to blame the media. Education, parental guidance, and inner strength can prevent that. There are strong people and weak people in the world, the strong will prosper and the weak will crumble, thats how it works.

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IfiyaR
11/13/2013 23:04

Hey,
I really like your thoughts on how media portrays the image of how things should be. I think America has a high rate of disease like bulimia and anorexia because the media has engraved a image of "perfect" but what is perfect?. To me that is not perfection but to others it is and to be lead by media there is no reason why bulimia and anorexia shouldn't be that high. I work at a gym and train people to get and understand of a healthy lifestyle to reduce the chances of disease and health problems. Prevention is better than cure so why not invest in your health, in life there are two things that people never regret spending money on, one is education and two is their health. The measure that should be taken to reduce these number is to accept yourself for who you are, love and be loved. “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” this is one of my favorite quote from Brene Brown. She speaks about vulnerability and letting go of who you think you're supposed to be and embrace who you are. If that message can get across on mass media level that would heal alot of humans and also reduce the numbers of disease.

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it's often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.” -Brene Brown

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Teddy m
11/13/2013 23:43

I believe the media has a lot to do with bulimia and anorexia cases in America. I think some women are easily swayed by the media to lose weight in order to look "hot" and "sexy". Unfortunately, the obsession to have a perfect womanly figured can lead to unhealthy consequences. Women in college may be the main audience to the media in this situation. Therefore, faculty should form clubs to inform young women about anorexia and bulimia in order to reduce the statistics.

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Gema Diaz
11/08/2013 00:19

I was inspired by the TED video we watched in class. As a mother it really touched my heart. Media has a significant influence on children's gender role socialization, in particular as they move from childhood to adolescence. The gender biased and gender stereotyped behaviors and attitudes that developing children and adolescents are exposed to through television, music, movies, video games, advertisements, and even books, will have an impact on their perception of male and female roles in our society, especially now, in this "Golden Age of Technology". Television, however, might be the most influential form of media influencing young people about gender roles, expectations, perceptions, and of course stereotypes. Although, before putting complete and obsolete blame on the media, it is only fair to acknowledge that children’s earliest ideas about how the world works initially comes from the experiences they have and the attitudes and behaviors they see around them, in other words, their parents, close family members, teachers, and close friends. If the child is often exposed to gender biases and gender stereotypes, this knowledge will be incorporated and influence perceptions regarding the "appropriate roles" of men and women. In turn the gender role stereotypes they see on TV are reinforced by the humans they interact with and vice-versa. It becomes a cycle. Because children are influenced by gender stereotyped role models they see on television, they will also exhibit gender biased behaviors and develop gender biased attitudes that they see modeled on television. As an example, I will share something that I experienced recently with my 5 year old daughter who is recently into The Power Rangers. She invites me to play with her and wants to pretend to be power rangers. She says I can either be the pink ranger or the yellow ranger. Curiously, I ask her why, and she responds, "Gia and Emma are girls, and they are the pink and yellow rangers, so that means other girls can only be pink or yellow power rangers, and they have to listen to Troy. He's a boy, and he's the leader. He always saves them". This is a rather small and also rather harmless example per say, but this example still justifies how media, specifically television, influences young children in regards to gender roles, gender biases, and gender stereotypes. My daughter is under the impression that girls like pink or yellow, and that boys are leaders and save the girls. Well, Imagine all the other content they see on TV, and how the stereotypes and biases will influence a child's perception of "appropriate roles" for males and females. These are the boys and girls we are raising to be the future of our nations society. It is important that these boys and girls, the leaders of our future, be allowed to develop a sense of self in a gender fair environment which encourages both boys and girls to feel they are an equal force the society. I try to, without forcing, encourage my child to feel comfortable making choices that don't fit the "gender biased" role. However, the key is to help children make a natural choice, in other words, it is necessary to avoid making them feel like they need to sway one way or another. Something else parents, guardians, caregivers, or role models could do in regards to television, is monitor the shows the children are watching. Educate yourselves on shows available for kids that do not present stereotyped gender roles and allow only for only these programs to be watched. Decrease the amount of time children spend watching TV, and/or better yet, spend more time with your children, play with them, talk to them, engage with them in games that encourage non-traditional and unbiased gender roles whey you play.

Can you give other specific examples of how the media directly influences children on gender role socialization?

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Dakota Ayers
11/11/2013 09:56

The toys advertised on television directly address gender roles (i.e. teddy bears and stuffed animlals, barbie, easy-bake oven etc) targeted towards girls. Fire trucks, cars, action figures, water guns and video games, targeted at boys. From a very young age children are sent messages and hints on how to act and what is and is not appropriate for them.
Even as adults in insurance commerials for examples they show men being silly and consistently child like and as the primary provider where as the wife ends up making the final decision to actually switch companies. (Progressive car insurance commercial)

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Gema
11/12/2013 22:50

Source I used and paraphrased from to support my blog: http://gozips.uakron.edu/~susan8/arttv.htm

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Jen B.
11/13/2013 10:55

As a mother as well, I can relate to this article on many levels. At the current stage my son is at of being a preteen, I find myself monitoring more of what he listens to, while trying not to oppress who he is or his creative/artistic side. My son enjoys listening to mainstream music and indie music artist specifically in the rap/hip-hop genre. This type of music along with others tends to play a tune of women being inferior to men. Having the advantage of being a young parent I am able to relate to my son and have open discussions with him about the content of the music he is listening to. I am a very firm believer that as parents, you are your children's prime educator regardless of what they learn in the outside world through media, peers, teachers, or mentors it is your voice (the parent) that will always stay with them because you (the parent) are the epitome of who they are, who they look up to, and whose stamp of approval they are always seeking. As a parent if you instill the proper moral, values in your children by not only talking but demonstrating, regardless of all the inequalities there are in the outside world your child will be armed to take them on and make proper judgments as long as they have that strong foundation you have built for them.

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Nandi
11/13/2013 20:58


Although I agree that media influences children on gender roles, I believe that children learn or have an idea about gender role even before being exposed to the media. For individuals gender construction starts with assignment to a sex category on the basis of what the genitalia looks like at birth. Then babies are dressed or adorned in a way that displays the category because parents don’t want to be constantly asked whether their baby is a girl or a boy. A sex category becomes a gender status through naming, dressing and the used of other gender markers. Once a child’s gender is evident, others treat those in one gender differently from those in the other, and the children respond to the different treatment by feeling different and behaving differently. As soon as they can talk , they start to refer to themselves as members of their gender. ( JUDITH LORBER). I recommend reading Night to His day; The social construction of gender by this author.

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Urban_Mason
11/13/2013 22:36

While that power rangers example is mad true, there's more to socializing kids than is perpetrated. Companies ensure they raise kids with ideals that are theirs and ensure whatever a parent only exemplifies their agenda. As soon as we come out of the womb we are told which colors identify our sex, i.e. punk and people for girls and blue and green for boys. But it runs deeper than, the struggle between good and evil has also been color coded, black and white; with white representing the light, the sun and black representing night...evil? Sweden or Switzerland right now are trying to eliminate gender bias by getting rid of gender bias pro nouns, and changing "he" and "she" to "hen".

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Jordan Langley
11/13/2013 23:14

First, the example above about the power angers is silly. Honestly those characters in the show were females, and the male was the leader, also bossing around other males as well as saving them on the show. It is not the media directly influencing gender roles on children. Colors are associated with genders but It is a theme that has been around since before t.v. and the internet were around and the media was such an influence. Gender roles are also not such a negative thing either. Many women feel the same way. This is not to say that women can't do things that men can do. Obviously they can. But there are still certain things that men are more suitable for than women, and vice versa. Children are influenced by everything and as they grow up they learn what is right and what is wrong. If by the time you are grown and educated you are still strongly influenced by how the media displays gender roles, or anything else, u will never get anywhere in life.

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Emily Blase
11/08/2013 13:26

What struck me about the themes this week were the deeper issues of what allows Big Media (and Big Business) as well as violence against women to exist. In Beckerman's article "Tripping up Big Media", he juxtaposes who is perpetuating what he sees as bad (government agencies or corporations) with who is working to bring about rapid change (small non-profits or interest groups). This is a theme that seems to ring true in many areas where public interest is concerned. One example that I wanted to explore is the case of Citizens United v Federal Election Commission (2010).
The case of Citizens United v FEC was a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money of federal election campaigns. This was a case of the government, who it can be argued is often out of touch with the needs of its people, letting Big Business have its way. It should be noted that the case was passed with a 5-4 ruling, and two of the 5 judges who passed the ruling have previous ties with the Koch brothers - owners of Koch Industries, which is a major political spender. A quick Google search of who is fighting Citizens United yielded several first-page results of the numerous grassroots groups who are standing up to this decision. Public Citizen, Represent.US, and Common Cause are a few groups who are working to mobilize the American people to stand together and fight for what we want. Their work seems to be having a positive effect. Recently, states have begun to reevaluate what kinds of corporate spending they will allow. According to an article on MassLive (links at bottom), seven states have called for an amendment to overturn the ruling of Citizens United. California and Alaska have put laws in place that force corporations and political campaigns to be more transparent by forcing political campaigns to list their top contributors.
Question:
Do you think that grassroots movements can shape our political system?
Do you think they are the most efficient way to do so?
What are some ideas you have that could bring about effective changes in this society? Note, effective does not need to mean "good". Think about the Tea Party movement which in my opinion has not brought about GOOD changes, but has been effective in changing the course of discussion in politics.
Articles for reference:
https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/01/22-2
http://www.citizen.org/documents/sunlight-state-by-state-report.pdf
http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/01/free_speech_for_people_wants_s.html

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Kenny Calvin
11/08/2013 16:20

I have a problem with the way mass media portrays welfare. Mass media plays a big role in sharing news and they have the power to change people's view of class, wealth, and poverty. This week I saw a report on TV about how Food stamp benefits are going to be down before the holidays. Since the news came out im already starting to see the local TV stations do so called human interest stories about the "less fortunate" in soup kitchens and homeless shelters. I don’t have anything wrong with people helping others in need; but I don’t like how the news makes it seems as if everybody who has a Food stamp card is automatically considered “less fortunate”. I personally know students who attend the University of Maryland who have food stamp cards but the news would never do a human interest stories on their campus labeling them as “less fortunate”. What I dislike even more is when every time they interview one of the so called “less fortunate” people it’s always a black person and their even warning people of a possible food riots in “urban communities” AKA low income black neighborhoods. Im upset with the way the news media is portraying as if majority of Americans on food stamps are poor blacks who are angry enough to even riot; knowing that majority of people who receive food stamps are white people. If these misconceptions are largely shaped by the media, then the media has the power to change them.
1. Why is this pattern of associating black faces with negative stories on poverty in America so consistent?
2. How can we get the media to more accurately and more fairly portray poor Americans in general and poor African Americans in particular?

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Gisele
11/13/2013 17:43

Your comment resonated with me. Last week, I presented with Sesan on Mimi Abramovitz' paper on the relevance of gender, race and class to welfare reform. As both you and Abramovitz relate, the majority of welfare recipients are white, yet welfare has been stamped with a black face by neoliberal welfare reformers (and consequently, the journalists and news reporters who swallow this propaganda or deliberately reinforce it). You're absolutely correct that "food stamp recipients" is a broad and diverse category with recipients, like university students, who are nowhere near the stereotyped profile. This demonstrates the complex matrix of privilege and oppression discussed earlier in the course: a person may have access to higher education, considered a privilege, yet lack the resources to obtain basic necessities like food. In a recent issue of the Clarksburg/Germantown Gazette, the front-page article was about an unemployed Silver Spring black man and his elderly mother suffering cuts to their food stamps, a large picture of them accompanying the article so readers knew right away how they were supposed to perceive the food stamp recipients. While black Americans receiving food stamps surely should not be ignored or marginalized, the repeat use of African-American faces on articles about these issues promotes a misleading picture of the poor Americans on welfare, characterizing them as disproportionately black. This "others" welfare recipients to more affluent Americans. who are then less inclined to care about the suffering of what they perceive as a specific economic and racial group.

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Allyn Achah
11/13/2013 20:36

Putting the face of welfare as a 'black' person is definitely not the right representation of people who need or are on welfare.I don't think that its mostly black people, more than I believe its the minorities.White people are sometimes not represented in this population.Which doesn't make sent to me because majority of the people living in America are white. But I totally agree with you on the fact that a we need a representation of all the categories of people living in America.

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Sharifur S
11/13/2013 23:35

To answer question 1 I would say its the result of mass media, particularly the TV. We are shown a picture of one thing say a robbery, then presented a picture of another say an African American, the media does this repeatedly over and over again. As a result, we have associate robbery with being black and the same with being poor. I think the stereotype being presented here is that black people are uneducated, so they have low incomes and need incomes. It's like a historical stereotype that's been around for decades, the mass media hasn't adapted to the modern view of African Americans and that a significant number of them are wealthy.

Also African Americans are no longer the major minority, I think now Hispanics are more numerous today. One solution is to create counter media TV stations or radios that present a more balanced reporting on the recipients of food stamps. Advertisements work as well.

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Sesan Mudashiru
11/08/2013 16:49

The reading about welfare reform in the United States was rather fascinating, a well intentioned public assistance program that went through several legislative amendments, until it was almost strip of being a help to single mother to punishing women and undermining their care-giving work. The article went on to argue that gender, race and class matter in welfare reform and that the reform was neither accidental nor simply mean-spirited but a part of neo-liberal effort to downsize the state. Reforms were with three main goals which were in sociological perspective beneficial to the larger society had they been implemented with fairness, non discriminatory and demonizing way; one was work enforcement, marriage promotion, and a smaller welfare society. in the reform of 1996 rather than helping single mother the reform blocked access to most of the educational opportunities that had been allowed under previous welfare reform, The second goal of marriage promotion had reformers evoked gender and racial stereotype to portray single mothers as nation's number one social problem, and rather than promoting sexual education to tackle the problem more practically they preached abstinence. The third goal was also implemented by a democratic president who seek to burnish his own conservative credential by playing into racial tension that politician often evoke to win election, and as a result, links were made between race, welfare and poverty and inevitably blames victims.

Where did a program that was crafted with a good intention of helping to create a fair society go wrong?

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Nandi
11/08/2013 19:56

The lack of women on screen is not a new phenomenon, as male characters have outnumbered female characters 2 to 1 since 1950. And behind the camera, the “Celluloid Ceiling” is still a problem. Less than 10 percent of the directors of the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2012 were women, and women make up only 18 percent of the behind-the-scenes film workforce.
In television, the report found that the percentage of female TV characters has fallen, and the characters that make it on-screen are far less likely to be leaders than their male counterparts. According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film’s “Boxed In” report, CW is the only TV network where women can be seen in accurate proportion to their representation in the U.S. population. The authors of “Boxed In” conclude that “female characters are still sidelined, stereotyped, and sexualized in popular entertainment content.”
Things are somewhat looking up for female television news directors; the percentage of women in that arena rose to 30 percent for the first time. But in terms of “ultimate power,” men are still pulling the strings on TV, with women owning less than 7 percent of full-power commercial television
Question;
What key roles can men play to promote gender equality?

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Urban_Mason
11/11/2013 18:07

I believe that men can start promoting gender equality by taking part in women rights movements, instead of letting our women kind go it alone. Men can organize all male groups to fight for women's rights. One example of a male feminist group is Menemist, part of their mission statement reads: " We are opposed to all forms of misogynist behavior and sexist attitudes; we respect all women."

We must all take up the fight for women's rights!

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Tram T.
11/13/2013 20:38

I think at times men dont really think about the inequality between genders especially since they are the dominant one. Some may even see it to be normal, and that they rarely see the inequality between two genders. If more men were devoted and determined to promote gender equality as much as women are then i think there would definitely be gender equalities. Just like what Urban_Mason said men could be more involved in the women rights movements instead of majority of the time its only women.

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Melissa
11/13/2013 21:58

Things the male race can do to promote gender equality are referring to women in their topics or even encourage women to speak up. Making the women feel that we are welcomed as an equal. Tv shows such as Murry tend to make the women seem irresponsible and unable to stick to one man when it comes to having children. This give the message that women can not be trusted and that the man are always right by insult the women on the show calling them names. Instead of trying to get ratings do the DNA test discrete and private, no one is perfect and we should start by using respect on both ways.

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Gisele
11/13/2013 23:10

This reminds me of the results of one famous psychological study. When men were shown a group of people that was 50% male, 50% female, they perceived the group to have more women than men, though in reality, the ratio of male:female was equal. I wonder if women in patriarchal societies like our own would also perceive the group as disproportionately female. To me, it seems likely, because both men and women in the United States have been socialized to expect men to be overrepresented in media such as news, television and film.

Some members of the film industry have shown themselves to be aware of the "celluloid ceiling" and of women you mentioned. The popular Will Ferrell film "Ron Burgundy: Anchorman" revolves around the attempts of a female newscaster (Christina Applegate) to secure the respect of her all-male colleagues at a San Diego news station in the 1970s. This film was well-received because of its attachment to a popular actor; however, the same director involved in "Ron Burgundy" has made numerous other movies (also with popular actors) that featured far more sexist portrayals of females. The sidelining/sexualization/stereotyping matrix continues, in part because of the undiscriminating tastes of audience members who do not bother to examine the attitudes underlying their favorite actors' work. I believe that powerful men in the film industry have a responsibility to monitor the sexist attitudes involved in the media they are creating, both behind and in front of the camera; however, I also think that audience members, both male and female, would do well to examine the sexism they are being programmed to accept and participate in.

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IfiyaR
11/13/2013 23:20

I would love to see men more involved in women rights. Why not? Doesn't it take two to tango? A mother who nurtures, raise and have agape love towards your life. In so many way a women helps men grow. There are so many things women helped men know. I'd choose what Urban_Mason said a "male feminist group is Menemist", cause there is no end, we're never through. We need to hold humans accountable to respect women rights. Lets get a Menemist show started on CW!

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Teddy Mesidor
11/08/2013 20:27


Lives are fully effected by how the media maintains a systematic relationship with the world we live in. Social status and gender are key components to how media can potentially control your thoughts of what you think is right or wrong. There are beneficial privileges in the way people seek others in favor of similar social status. Also, it is essentially good to form families from financially advantaged couples, but decisions based off strictly wealth similarity, forms inequality. I strongly believe that social status should not be overlooked as a factor to why more children, women, and men live in poverty. Along with the traditional patriarchy notion, social status is a critical social problem I feel society needs to focus on. This social status is relevant to me because I believe it is mentally healthy to interact with a variety of different people not particularly based on financial differences.

Question: Would it be the right decision for a Male or Female to avoid poverty by selectively interacting with people that match their own social status?

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Dakota Ayers
11/11/2013 10:07

I think that seeking financial security is right, regardless of economic status, but particularly if it's to maintain financial status. I believe it does promote inequaity amongst society but I don't find it to be substancial enough to disagree with it.

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Allyn Achah
11/13/2013 20:43

I agree with gema on the fact that having financial security is very important but if we all aimed at finding someone who is in a better financial situation than us I believe that a certain class of people will remain unmarried thus leading to another social problem.Instead of focusing on what the person already has financially, I think its more important to focus on finding a good partner and having a good family to raise kids, also supporting each other to make better money for the family.Because if we focus so much on the money we will forget about the important things in life.

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TMerella
11/13/2013 22:18

I agree that people should not just interact with people who are within the same social status. I believe that this creates a lot of fragmentation within a society and makes people ignorant about what problems others are facing and how their problems are connected to them. And I also believe that it does contribute to poverty, I understand that there are people who want to make sure they can be in a financially stable situation, but at the end of the day I don't think that it should be based purely off of how much money a person makes. And as I said before if your choosing to only interact with people that match your own social status, you are probably going to be out of touch with a lot of different people, and to me that is a disadvantage because I think you can learn so much from people who are unfamiliar to you. I also believe that people who have lived in diverse areas or have attended diverse schools may possibly gain a better understanding of why fighting against inequalities and social problems is important, and how everyone in this world is connected.

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TMerella
11/08/2013 21:16

One of the readings that really stood out to me is violence against women in indigenous, minority, and migrant groups. I selected this issue because I feel that indigenous people both men and women are often overlooked. In America there are Native Americans who go through similar struggles as the indigenous people in Australia, and I think it is sad that most people are not aware of their hardships. The article describes the “normalization of family violence within these indigenous communities as a product of the past and present impacts of colonization.” I appreciated the fact that the article addressed the root of the family violence, it seems like when people point fingers at others and blame them for their circumstances; they fail to acknowledge the history of the people. The article says, “In these settings, family violence is in part of function of the stress, isolation from mainstream society, and disempowerment experienced by those communities driven and compounded by loss of lives, identity, health, land, family, and community structures overtime.” They also talk about a holistic approach that has been taken in dealing with family violence. There are successful community run men’s groups, men’s spaces, time-out spaces, and healing centers. “The common approach used within these spaces is healing which recognize the interconnectedness of racial and gendered oppression and not only addresses the impacts on the survivor and her family, but also takes steps to heal the perpetrator, and maintain family relationships and address the impacts of violence across the community.” I believe that this approach is very efficient because it allows the community to stay together and work through things, instead of getting torn apart by violence and how the law might handle violence within families. Because the women of the community are the main victims of the violence, I think that it was important to create healing centers for the men who are perpetrators. As the speaker on TED said, men have to fight for women’s rights as well, and understand that they connected to them, and that the oppression of women affects them just as much.
Do you agree with the community’s approach for violence against women?

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Gema
11/11/2013 23:41

I do agree with the community's approach...there are power in numbers, and in this type of case, the more people involved in the progress of change the better. Wouldn't it be grand if speakers like Tony Porter from the TED video could go out into these indigenous communities and work with the men and talk to the women, and really inspire change. If programs that promote equality were available and funded it would make such a difference...might even change the cycle for future men and women. But first, there has to be recognition of the fact that there are deep rooted factors to these issues.

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Teddy m
11/13/2013 23:28

Yes, I do agree with this approach to end violence against women in families. I believe it is very important for people to know that women do not deserve to be treated poorly or harmed in any way. Women deserve to be treated with much more respect within a family relationship in particular.

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IfiyaRanger
11/08/2013 21:18

The social issue in regards to this weeks topic on gender based inequality is about women running for presidency or senate,working women and media. Why haven't we ever had a female president? For one, we are capable of successfully accomplishing goals, being positive role models;leaders, holding authority, addressing issues in a appropriate professional manner. Why haven't we gotten over sexism? We need the media to send the right signal to young girls as they look up for positive role models to help identify their bright futures in the making. The media will portray women as just a pretty face or a sex symbol. The symbol of a women can offer so much more than that. There are strong phenomenal women who too can lead and show power in the white house. Women who portray a balance of career and family values, women who are emotional who bend but wont break, women who can stand up for them self and fight for whats right. I also cant stand when the media portrays women fighting against one another. Like on reality TV they will script a fight and make the actors look bad and down right ridiculous. In my un-bias opinion yes its entertainment but yes its also degrading. But the answer to that one is capitalism. Young women should not be looking up to women of such acts. It makes me laugh when I hear the next day after a hit show, the talk was about these two women beating each other up, calling one another outta their names just straight out demoralizing one another. We cant have equality in the white house until there is equality in the homes. There also needs to be a better policy program to assist working women and children in general. Women and children and the number one with the highest poverty percents, that impact women self-perception and how men views women as well. Media, politics and humans all need to be held accountable for perceptions of women.

What will it take will we have a female president? Will reality Tv portray a positive light ?

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Gema
11/11/2013 23:50

A truly worthy female president will not be afraid to represent the real nature of her gender whether it is feminine or masculine, but she has to be strong enough to be true. I guess it would be difficult to do so with the many negative portrayals the media would present. I appreciate that you said all "humans" need to be held accountable for the perceptions of women. That is true, all humans, not just the men. For a woman to become president she truly and genuinely has to, fo herself, see her gender as a strength and not a weakness or setback.

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Gisele
11/13/2013 23:45

You mentioned reality TV and the popularity of scenes with women fighting on these shows, which got me thinking:

I'm as aware as the next person of the endless parade of reality TV stars, mostly thanks to grocery store tabloids and Internet gossip. The highest-grossing stars of these shows are women (example: Snooki, who's taken on a life of her own after "Jersey Shore", or the Kardashian sisters, who pretty much set the standard for what's popular in reality TV). "Honey Boo Boo" is often pitted as the counterexample to "Keeping Up With the Kardashians": instead of showing women as emotional, spoiled girl-children whose biggest concerns are their love interests and fights with fellow women, "Honey Boo Boo" portrays a matriarch working to make ends meet in a low-income family through cooperation with her four daughters and boyfriend. There are definitely moments when Mama June's family shines through as an example of all the Kardashians aren't: she saves money religiously, monitors her pregnant daughter's health, and disciplines her daughters where Sugar Bear, an "indulgent" father, won't step in. However, at the end of the day, "Honey Boo Boo" is simply a different variety of the same pandering to sexist undertones that occurs in the Kardashians' show, only with classist undertones to boot. The Thompson family are shown as overweight, unsophisticated rednecks - multiple episodes have revolved around mud-bathing, all-terrain vehicles and trips to budget retailers, and the women of the show are often filmed from unattractive angles or edited so that only the most crass portions of their dialogue are shown. I find it interesting that while "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" has been almost unanimously dismissed by critics as harmful, "Honey Boo Boo" has enjoyed an often warm reception. It seems to contain double the harm.

Conlan Mayer-Marks
11/13/2013 20:16

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQFyw9WqTiw
This is why its incredibly hard for a women to become president. I was a huge Hillary supporter but look at what they judge her based off of. Gender roles are extremely inaccurate and lead to serious gender based issues. Even some women reporters are aghast at how she dressed/looked and laugh and shake their heads in agreement as male reporters discuss her looks. SHES RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT! WHO CARES! But we are taught over and over that a women without looks is haggard and unfit for an leadership positions. Truly disgusting.

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Tram T.
11/13/2013 22:31

I think many people from this generation focus on things like a stupid reality show than more important things. Thats why many people arent really focused on why there hasnt been a female president. Especially many people my age, between their late teens and early twenties, tend to worry about non important things, for example reality tv. So yes, i believe reality TV would portray a positive light for young generations to see how independent and strong women can be. I just think for a female to become president more people need to be promote equality for women.

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IfiyaR
11/13/2013 23:26

Cited:http://ideas.time.com/2013/11/08/what-will-it-take-to-make-a-woman-presiden

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Rachel Zelaya
11/08/2013 21:41

In 1863, the Equal Pay Act declared to be the end of the "unconscionable practice of paying female employees less wages than male employees for the same job" yet the issue still continues. According to the Huffington post, Women in the United States today are paid on average 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. Women should be getting paid the same amount as men if they have the same job. The gap is even wider for African-American and Latina women. Why are women always portrayed as inferior? If the wage gap was smaller, single mothers would be able to afford more food and essentials, yet it seems like wage gaps are getting bigger and bigger. According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, if things continue to go the way they are going, it will take another 45 years for women to catch up to men. 45 years...45 long years to catch up to men. American Association of University Women
found that college-educated women earn 5 percent less the first year out of school than their male peers. Ten years later, even if they keep working on par with those men, the women earn 12 percent less. I chose this issue because everyone is always talking about how America is the land of opportunity and that everyone is created equal, yet a man will have a better wage for the same job as a woman, just because he is a man. If I work hard to get a degree and get a good job just to end up getting paid less than man for the same job, what message is that sending?

Why do you think this wage gap exists in the first place and what steps can we take towards gaining wage equality?

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Nandi
11/13/2013 21:30

I believe the wage gap exist because; many women and people of color are still segregated into a few low-paying occupations. According to U.S census bureau, More than half of all women workers hold sales, clerical, and service jobs. It also suggests that the more an occupation is dominated by women or people of color, the less it pays. Part of the wage gap results from differences in education, experience or time in the workforce.

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TyGrayWes
11/13/2013 22:14

The capitalist system that over work employees, that makes a lot of money off the workers, but pay as little as possible for their work time. Because women are a liability and because corporations and employers have to be cautious because women can have "babies" or can "call off" or can't do much overtime because of "family duties". They may see women as obligated to get special treatment, so employers don't want to deal with it. That places women as kind of a minority, which is messed up because women can do anything a man can do and should be paid equally. Black and Spanish minorities go through that but it’s crazy just thinking about being discriminated against because your gender. Fighting capitalism and making sure laws are put in place to force the rich to look after the workers, women and all, spread the wealth.

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Jen B.
11/08/2013 21:51

We have all heard many times in the media how rap music promotes violence and hate against women. We hear the words “bitches”, “whores”, and “hoes” thrown loosely in lyrics, along with young men killing each other for sport or honor. I must admit as a bit of a feminist myself, I too have held my own prejudices against rap music because of how women are degraded. But having studied this week the manipulation of media in society and how it can deliberately oppress groups of people, I am able to put my sociological lenses on and see this issue from another stand point.

Although, “gangster rap” is extremely criticized by the media, there is a way that the media is able to manipulate and affiliate “gangster rap” and its lyrics with the way society believes young black males to behave and think. Yet, the media never mentions the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy that is influencing this type of music, according to an article written by Bell Hooks for the University of North Carolina. Hooks makes a strong statement about how the media interprets rap music but omits the underlying facts, “There is not a word about the cultural context that would need to exist for young males to be socialized to think differently about gender.” She goes on to explain, that the media critiques as if the black male is writing his music in some isolated island far away from the impact of mainstream socialization and desire (Hooks). Hook mentions that there is a huge white male consumer audience that buys and listens to rap music. So why are they being omitted from the critique? How about the sexist and misogynist politics of the power “white” adult men and women who helped produce and market this album?! Why is there no mention of their part in this anywhere? Young black rap artist are rewarded financially by these same individuals to put down women and promote violence in their lyrics. Last but not least, I believe that young black male rap artist are sometimes not rapping or expressing their “manhood” through their lyrics, but as Hooks stated, “black men are expressing their own subjugation and humiliation by more powerful, less visible forces.”

I believe if the government could create more effective social programs to promote the well being of families in poverty stricken areas where predominantly blacks and minorities reside. Then, this could be the first small step in changing the mind set of young black male artist. A way out and faith in his or her government is what every citizens black or white should have the right to.

Question: In your opinion do you believe young black male rap artist to be the victims or perpetuators?

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Gema
11/11/2013 23:18

Hi Jen,

I really appreciate how you were able to look at this from a different perspective, you really DID have you sociological lenses on!

You make a very good argument, and help identify the way the media uses the content in some rap music to oppress young black males. After reading your blog I think that it is possible that young black rap artists are victims of sorts, but not entirely. They still accept the handsome rewards regardless of how they are being portrayed or looked upon, so in a way they are also perpetrators...maybe they are somewhere in the middle.

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Ajani Irish
11/13/2013 11:55

As crazy as it may sound i see these black males as victims of their surroundings and culture. Rap music is now a major part of black american culture and whats being said now is similar to what was being said in the 90s during the days of 2pac & biggie. young black men are just adding a spin to whats already been said and portrayed. They are also expressing many of the same ideologies they learned in these impoverished areas. Media is the biggest problem here in my opinion because for years they've shown this gangsta rap and brought it to the forefront of black american media. We can see this take place back when the west coast/east coast beef occurred, magazines and papers glorified and perpetuated this beef not knowing that the death of 2 of raps best would come as a result. Ultimately these black men are only expressing views they've been conditioned to learn and i feel that we must improve these areas to help remedy the issue because these rappers views are only a product of what they've seen and learned as "truths"

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TyGrayWes
11/13/2013 22:47

I do kind of agree to what Jen B. is saying but I also know there are two sides. I believe black male rap artist are the victims, but as a black man I feel black males coming from worst situations of life and being offered a lot of money to feed the listeners with their own unique style of entertainment, which is sometimes heavily influenced by negativity from rappers that influence them or what’s "Hott" and what will sell, which is sometimes forced upon by their record label, their white boss. That money will better your situation but as a black man you should have more respect for yourself, your women, women, your people and fight against the stereotypes and be a role model or even challenge yourself and be more unique in your craft and show your worth. Black males are tools in this game; Stereotypes, sex, money, and ignorance make more money. If I was a rapper I would show how valuable I am through my voice and actions, and try to lift my people up more than bring them or my black beautiful woman down.

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ifiyaR
11/13/2013 23:42

The black male rapers in my opinion are victims and as well perpetrators. i understand is for entertainment, capitalism and fame etc, but why not represent in a more positive light. Having all that money and fame will be a blessing and a curse. Its a social issues that showing young youths that this is the way it should be, baggy jeans,vulgarity , disrespecting women and drugs. It crazy and its a mystery of inequity. Young black male artist need to be perpetrators of sliding us into there work of light of love through songs and lyrics. Its a crooked balance for status, cross examined by a master manipulator more powerful,less visible.

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Teddy m
11/13/2013 23:57

I believe that young black male rappers are the perpetrators in this particular situation. Black male rappers are not forced to write lyrics about degrading women or doing drugs, it was their own decision to portray themselves as "gangster rappers".

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Elias Tola
11/08/2013 22:01

We put too much emphasis on how other people are viewed in society. Nowadays people in this age look up to certain dominant figures too much to the point where they just compare their personal lives to the lives of a celebrity or authority figure. In my opinion it is not a social problem that men appear more on television then women because men have, from what I know from my studies, a trait called testosterone that naturally puts us at an advantage to take the lead and get what we desire. If you watch two people, of the opposite sex, who are interested in each other, it is by nature the man’s duty to go forth and take the lead and further the interaction; If the woman is interested she will passively follow the man’s agenda. Also if you view the way humans have always been throughout history for example, men take the lead and go after what they need to provide for his dependents, while women are more passive and follow the dominant figure. Child birth and raising children also puts woman at a natural disadvantage in chasing their career pursuits. I am not saying that woman cannot take the lead or be the dominant figure. Woman can overcome and become leaders in this age, but they have to stop looking at how society portrays them on television and start becoming what they seek to become, creating their own reality instead of creating someone else’s.
Question) In what ways can woman take more initiative and show the world that they can become equals, or close to equals to men?

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TMerella
11/13/2013 22:01

I don't really agree with what you are saying as far as women being passive, being disadvantaged, not taking initiative, and not being equal to men. I know a lot of women who are very independent, take charge and are not passive in even dating situations. My mother is the bread winner in our household, and father makes less money than her. She had two children, including my sister and I, and she was able to advance in her career just fine. The only disadvantage to child birth is how society views it, and how a lot of times the corporate world treats women unequally to men because of it. That is something that is not just a natural occurrence that disadvantages women in the work place, it is discrimination. And I do not agree that women are stuck on worrying about how society portrays them, the problem is that the way society portrays women reinforces negative stereotypes about women, and can contribute to the inequality of women in this country. And women are and have been stepping up to the plate and becoming successful, but this is a man driven society, which means it is not a woman's job to try and take more initiative, the structure within this society need to be rearranged to make things equal between men and women. And these are all my personal opinions.

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Melissa
11/13/2013 22:10

That question is worded incorrectly we woman are equals to men maybe even surplus the equality standing. Woman are what holds a house hold together I can speak from experience that my mother did both a women and mans job. Woman show the world daily that they are equal to men the contradiction here is the media, the media lives on this old timing capsule that loves degrading the image of the women. We are all equal nothing can be done when males egos are bigger than a woman's, they lack confidence in one another and themselves and something should done about that.

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TyGrayWes
11/13/2013 23:54

I believe people that are insecure and that do not know themselves yet, still growing maturing and finding their identity, like teenagers or even some adults focus on lives of a celebrity or authority figure. And since when a trait called testosterone matters when you talking about “people who really lead or control”. When you watch a grown man and woman truly interested in each other they both take the lead in that relationship and back each other weaknesses and all and build one another. That’s the problem with “black men today” like we watch in that T.E.D. video about black men. Women are not sexual creature we need to dominate, when men think that way it can lead to rape, violence, etc. A strong woman will lead and a strong man will allow a woman his women (wife, daughters) to lead. Because he is not threaten of a woman and sees how valuable she is, being life into this world is something a man is not strong enough for. Life does not stop after each child birth, life starts so just because the “Man” says it’s a disadvantage does not mean you should believe in anything the “Man” say since even being a different race is looked upon as a disadvantage. I came from Liberia when I was 2, 25yrs old in Feb, I was raised by all women mostly my grandma, and most men I’ve been around in the hood or all around me was not real leaders and all just got so far. The women were more leader than the men. Too much testosterone can make you weak and limit your mental growth. I would think women that have been broken down or insecure may passively follow. Society is the problem not women and capitalism is the root. Think about that if it was a black man, when the system is built to keep certain minorities down, how can they alone overcome what is set up that way? If that was the case we all could see MLK and Malcolm X dream and it would be a reality. Women can’t show that because the problem is not women it’s the system that holds us all back in some ways.

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TyGrayWes
11/08/2013 22:33

For hundreds of years, looking back at slavery and the start of racism, capitalism, inequality, and among other things, being different always brought fear, hate, control, and kept us separate. The lack of knowledge and the truth to this day keeps us separated and incapable of understanding one another as simply human beings. The dominant people always control what is acceptable through religion, government, media, society, capitalism, class, money, power, and etc. Technology has done a lot of good in bringing people together. But when you look at the different forms of media and how powerful forces have used it as a new form of control, you really start to look at the impact it has on us sociologically. There are so many hidden messages of the planted norms of society. This week in class we talked about Lolita, Violence against women in indigenous, minority and migrant groups, and Welfare reform in the United States: gender, race and class matter. When I think about life and the value of life, I can’t understand why a man would think he is better than a woman, when women are a very valuable part of society. Women are able to bring life into the world. Since women are the key to men’s existence, its seems as though we challenge and try to control our own existence from the source, kind of like how we question God or even challenge our parent for more control of our own lives.

Why do we allow women to be seen as less than men, and having a lack in value within our society in comparison to men?

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Melissa
11/08/2013 22:44

The media portraying gender based inequality is a social norm at least I would say. The only type of woman you see through television are the ones with the breast showing or the ones with the extra make-up to make them look good. When it comes to men it doesn't go that harsh it is whether they know what they are doing or not. For example, in any urban music video the male figure is portrayed as the dominant figure and the woman are degrading themselves by dancing around half naked or in a very sexual manner. Women are seen as a sex object, the media puts it in societies eyes and brains that women are only good for dancing around like fools and being over ruled by the male figure. The media has become one of our everyday educators due to the amount of time we spend on the tv. This topic is relevant to not only me but everyone in my age range because of the audiences the media tends to reach. It seems that the media focuses on the younger minds and teenage developing minds. One way we can all avoid being brain washed is by not watching tv or limiting the amount of time we spend watching tv. Another action that can be taken is not encouraging the use of the female body as an object. Women have to learn to respect themselves in order to be respected and treated like a lady should be.

What other media have you seen degrading the image of the women?

What do you think can be done to improve equality of genders through the media?

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Emily Blase
11/13/2013 21:38

I think it's rather extreme to say that we shouldn't watch TV anymore because the media perpetuates negative images of females (as well as their male counterparts). To me, that sounds similar to people who refuse to vote/participate in politics because they don't like the way the political system is run.
While I agree that the media does encourage negative stereotypes of the gender roles we should be playing, I think that we should combat that issue rather than ignore it. I think one way to improve how the sexes are portrayed through media is to promote or create new media with better presentation of the sexes and how they interact with one another. This definitely isn't a change that will happen overnight, but I think it's possible to get a less-biased vision of gender roles if enough people rally together and say that we want better models when we turn on our TVs.

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Tram T.
11/08/2013 22:48

In the media world, it is shown that women are more inferior to men. Whether it be in a tv show, movie or book, women are always downgraded by the dominance of men. For example, in movies like James Bond the women is always the side character or the one that needs to be saved and the males are always the one saving the day. This goes for majority of action movies where women are always the weak ones. The issue of showing women as being inferior in the media portrays all women in the society as being weak. It generalizes all women to be weak and always need men to help them. Also in media, the women is always seen as the typical women who stays home and does house work while the men works and supports the family. Its very rare seeing a women doing a "mans" job, something like plumbing or mowing the lawn. The media rarely ever show women being strong and independent and that is why so many people in the society tend to think women are fragile. What the media needs to do more often is create more shows and movies that depict women being independent. Today women still face being seen as inferior because of the way the media portrays them.

Question : Do you think if the media change the roles of women in action movies then more people would recognize women as being strong and independent?

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Rachel Zelaya
11/13/2013 20:45

In response to your question, yes I do. Young children watch movies of all sorts and that is usually where they see what is "normal" in society, and if women start to be portrayed differently in the media, It would show that women are equal to men and little by little people of all ages would realize this. Changing the roles of women in movies could help promote the fact that the world is changing and women are not inferior to men.

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Melissa
11/13/2013 21:41

The answer to your question is YES! If in any movie or show the woman ends up being the hero for once then it will be shown that women can do the things man do. But many people already know by experience that any women can be very strong and independent without needing a male hero. Maybe changing the male protagonist to female will change the young viewers minds on the similarity or men and women.

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Manyi F
11/08/2013 23:10


One Social problem I would like to address is the whole “islamophobia” thing. Islamophobia is a term used generally to refer to prejudice against, hatred towards, or fear of Muslims or of ethnic groups perceived to be Muslim.One cause of islamophobia is the media. The media is always putting out negative images of Islam, Arabs or any other related group of people. Islamophobia started to grow in 2002s when the September 11 attacks happened and other events after that. Due to the images the media puts out Muslim women and men are not allowed to practice their religion freely as they would like. They are being oppressed because of their faith and that is morally wrong. In one of the readings about violence against women the author talks about how the media responsible for the negative images and stereotypes on Islam. One of her example was that Islam is “Oppression “of women and “terrorism”. That violence against women is a part of their “culture” and how they are forced it to arranged marriages.We cannot associate things like “terrorism” or “oppression of women” to be of a part of a culture pertaining to a large group of people. The whole islamophobia thing to me is just ignorance .We cannot always rely on the media, and believe everything they put out. I think that we as individuals have to actually take time and learn about these things on our own, and further educate ourselves.

1.Do you agree that the media Is the cause for “islamophobia”?

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Allyn Achah
11/13/2013 20:49

Media definitely plays a huge role in the cause of Islamaphobia.The way Muslims are portrayed more negatively than positively. Its like they are the face of terrorism in the media and most often when the news comes up about Muslims, its not about the good things they are doing its more about how they are killing each other.Thus, this creates a vision that Muslims are murderers and somehow incapable of doing something positive

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Imo E.
11/08/2013 23:26

The media plays a very important role in our society today. It servers as a medium for passing out a vast variety of information. Nowadays there are so much information been shared through the media that one finds it very difficult to filter out the "good" from the "bad" and an "act" from "reality". There are a vast majority of "reality" TV shows out there that are in fact, a script written by others behind the curtain and presented by media figures. Shows like "Ghost hunters" "Keeping up with the Kardasians", "Beverly hills 90210", "Murray" and many more. This issue has been selected because a lot of these TV show fans don't realize these "reality" shows are nothing close to reality and has a negative impact on their lives. shows like "Beverly Hills 90210" simply tells you how you should live you life. The men on there spend a lot of money on partying, drugs and women, while the women spend all their time getting fake and unnecessary plastic surgeries to look good and spend a fortune shopping. Watching shows like this gives one the impression that your current life isn't good enough. if you are not wearing a pair of shoes that cost a thousand dollars and have fake breasts and hips or you don't party all weekend and do drugs, then your life is sad and boring. Think about it, why would they make a show with a zip code? That's to tell us in the middle class that where we are is at the bottom of the food chain and if you can't live the kind of life styles these "reality" show stars live, then you shouldn't be living.
The only way to get rid of these immoral and unnecessary issues is to cut back on these so called "reality" shows. These shows have nothing to give, no positive influence on our society. they should be scraped of the TV channels. Also, these shows should have a higher age restriction where it cannot poison the minds of our young growing ones who are the future of our society.


Why are these shows been portrayed on TV?

What are we learning from this?

The media is full of information but is it relevant to us? Is it good information been shared? How does this help improve my life?
These are the questions we should all have in our minds on media & gender based inequality.

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Sharifur S
11/14/2013 00:00

The Information Age is full of too much information. the reason why these shows are repeatedly shown in increasing is due largely to fact that people watch them sadly. The reality could probably portray an ideal sort of lifestyle for me, they long for their dreams to come true, but at the end of the its just a dream, nothing more.

The simplest yet most effective solution would be to not watch it at all, but I don't think many people be inclined to do it.

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Sharifur S
11/08/2013 23:36

The mass media plays an instrumental role in reinforcing and reiterating gender stereotypes. For instance, movies like Spiderman present men such as Peter Parker like the hero, strong, responsible, and just, while women like Mary Jane are depicted as delicate, innocent, tender, and a damsel-in-distress. Advertising also presents men in muscular forms, taller than women, their facial expressions show authority and competence. Meanwhile, woman are depicted in child-like poses, laugh, pout, or act cute.

Female models in ads are commonly seen advertising clothing, food, cosmetics, and cleaning products usually at a home setting. Male models are used in automobiles, banking services, travel, alcoholic beverages in rugger or outdoor settings. Understanding these types of subliminal messages are important because it helps us to identify the gender bias in the media and probably do something about it.



Choose one:

1. Can you think of a particular advertisement where they reinforce these gender stereotypes? And explain what it is depicting?

2. How can we change the attitudes of advertising companies to be more gender neutral in their stereotypical ads?












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Gisele
11/09/2013 00:08

In this week's reading "Reviving Lolita", Deborah Merskin discussed the representation of young girls in media, particularly print/magazines/advertisements, and touched on an issue that has a whole life of its own within the debate surrounding underaged girls in media. Merskin quoted from fashion magazine articles describing rising young models, who ranged in age from fifteen to seventeen and were variously described as "feline", having "faunlike beauty and enviably long limbs", and being "the girl the industry wants with abiding passion". In short, Merskin "calls out" the fashion industry for its use of underaged girls. Even better would have been a callout of the dangerous demands placed upon these young models and, by extension, all young women consuming fashion media.

Fashion models' exploitation is nothing new. In fashion, tall, thin teenage girls have been deemed the most worthy ambassadors of female beauty for decades. However, the preference for thinness has intensified in recent years, and with the rise of the internet and the ability to disseminate information to ever greater numbers of people, images of emaciated print and runway models are reaching larger numbers of girls and women than ever before.

The combined glorification of thinness and inundation with thousands upon thousands of these images promotes an unhealthy ideal of beauty and, digging deeper, unhealthy ideas about the place of women in society, endangering both the models who fast, starve or take drugs to remain thin and the innocent, often young consumers who seek to attain their "beauty". By promoting images of thin, weak young women as the ideal for all females, fashion houses reinforce (or even create) the idea that women should be small, meek, defenseless and subordinate, and that they are best valued as objects to gaze upon. In recent years, activists within the fashion community and academic spheres have called for standardization in the hiring of models: ideally, they would not be hired if they were too young, too thin or otherwise "damaged" by drug use or mental illness suffered as a result of the industry's demands. This is one fix for the problem, but I believe that it does not address the root of the issue: the ideas that predominate within the powerful circles of the media and fashion elite regarding female beauty. In the past, activists said that it was unrealistic to hope for appropriately-aged, healthy models to grace covers and catwalks, but this is slowly being disproven. Case in point: last week, a plus-sized American model was featured on the cover of Elle Spain. H&M also ran a campaign with a heavier model who rejected the euphemistic label "plus-sized", saying that her size was merely a representation of a normal woman's body. An older model is the face of fashion label Celine this year. These three campaigns were extensively covered by websites like women's magazine Jezebel and lauded as improvements over the past "cult" of emaciation and youth. Consumers can help in changing the face of beauty presented to us as well, by avoiding female-negative magazines and websites and giving their readership to publications more respectful of their models' health and youth.

Question for the class: How do you feel that the rise of the Internet has changed fashion magazines and advertising, both positively and negatively? Additionally, how do you feel gendered power structures play a role in deciding what "goes" in the fashion industry?

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Emily Blase
11/13/2013 23:46

The comment that promoting thin, weak women is perpetuating the idea that women are also weak as humans gave me chills. For whatever reason (and I've read way too much about this subject), I never pieced together the idea between the way models are portrayed and how that affects how women as a whole are perceived to think about and see the world. The eating disorders/unrealistic images of beauty that the modeling world spreads is definitely a huge problem, but luckily light has begun to be shed on it, and it is at its core only skin deep - and what I mean is that it only affects people at the individual level. What you mentioned with society seeing women differently due to how the fashion industry chooses to advertise clothing is a far more insidious, systemic change.
I think the best we can do is attack with a multi-pronged approach. Many people are aware of the dangers facing models in the fashion industry as well as consumers of the advertising, but it is still at a very shallow level. More awareness of the issues could lead to more urgency in attempting to reverse it leading to a resolution/revolution sooner.

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Sharifur S
11/13/2013 23:55

Globalization has put the spotlight on the model industry when there's unfair treatment going on, word travels fast over the networks like social media. I do think It is unreasonable and difficult for a adult woman to try to look like an adolescent teenager, its a bit unnatural. I think people are realizing that the portray of this type of beauty is wrong as there have been some news coverage of this issue in a number of major media outlets. With the rise of the internet there have been more critics, voices, and opinions being exchanged across the globe. Model managers have been speaking out and ex-models are creating groups that voice their opposition to this practice of "adolescent beauty."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do recall hearing that the cosmetic industry is mostly run by 80% of men. My friend that works as a cosmetic salesmen says its all about perception. You try to convince women that if you use this product then you will look more beautiful. Fashion is also about perception too.

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Urban_Mason
11/09/2013 10:19

A social problem, related to the theme of the week, would be the fact that commercials in the 21st century still depict women doing domestic house duties. The marketing of household items, such as laundry detergent and vacuum cleaners, still depicts women engaged in domestic house chores while smiling and parading around the house in a happy go lucky way. This issue was chosen because, while many brands have started to flip these gender roles in an attempt to re-socialize people, there is still the issue of over-sexualizing of women in every aspect of media. This issue is relevant because, subliminally we are being told what is "normal" by big corporations and even government officials. As soon as we come out of the womb with out clean slated minds, we are bombarded with messages of "what is" and "what is not be." Actions taken, while hosting focus groups i learn what the average consumer perceives when they see an add in the market place, thus enabling me to either suggest to the client a more manipulating branding or something that speaks to the heart of the consumer. This heart and mind that I speak of is already labeled and engraved with branding, branding that has struck a cord with your being since birth. The only solution i can think of....stop consuming media, especially TV.

Question to my peers:

How has the media influenced you in a sexually inexplicable way?

Question to my professor:

I know this is late, can you let that slide? No, I was wondering if you being a professor of sociology have done everything in your power to avoid these gender biases in the media?

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11/09/2013 16:10

I chose this article because it discussed the topic of global gender inequality. It not only touched on the negative side, it also touched on the positives that have occurred since the 1980s. More women are attending schools, and the boy girl ratio is vastly improving. The problem is not yet solved but the U.N.'s approach is for this issue to be solved as soon as 2015 and this article sheds light on that current outlook on the issue. This article is relevant to me because the education for the female gender internationally is a major component to the growth of the world as a whole. These women not given the opportunity to learn hinders the growth of our global economy and global relations. Something i can do myself to remedy this situation is reach out to the U.N. and look up opportunities to donate and/or visit these lands to contribute. Any contribution to the cause, financially or physically goes a long way because even if you only improve the life of one, its still improvement nonetheless. The U.N. set itself the target of eliminating gender disparity in education at all levels by 2015, as one of its Millennium development goals. Do you feel this is a realistic goal?
My question to you all is do you think the U.N. wi

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Adwoa
12/05/2013 03:58

The male gender seems to be the more dominant one in society's eye. Television displays it in shows, commercials, ads, etc. Why can't equality be shown in the two genders? In reality women can do just about the same things men can. Plus I feel like women are physically stronger then men because women go through child labor along with that bearing a child for nine months in the womb, let alone the other difficulties we face day to day but are still thrown under the bus like worthless individuals.

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