Daily Archives: May 5, 2014

“Miss Representation” and Gilman

I recently watched a documentary that I think will relate to a lot of Gilman’s theories on gender inequality.  This film was released in America in 2011, titled “Miss Representation“. The film explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America and challenges the media’s limited portrayal of what it means to be powerful women.

“The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself. In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.”

Excerpt from film.missrepresentation.org/synopsis

We live in a society where the people are extremely influenced by the media and what they see on television. Images and portrayal of women that you see on Television ( TV shows, movies, the news) and advertising are shaping the values and norms in our society. I think Gilman would agree with everything this documentary stands for especially at the fact that in the media, woman are over sexualized  and advertisements are constantly telling Woman how they should look and what is beautiful. This effects the way woman feel about themselves , where they start to feel like they aren’t good enough and essentially become dependent on men.

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I think Gilman would agree with Lisa Ling. She explains in her theories that this patriarchal society promotes Women’s economic dependence on Men and undermines their freedom as well. Gilman talks about the inequality in the division of labor and how a women’s economic standing and social status comes from her husband.

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This is statement in the documentary by Nancy Pelosi represents how society has created social norms where the woman is suppose to stay home and take care of children and not have the same opportunities as men to become a leader in this society. Being asked this question in the media shows how the media, “America”, still thinks that women need to stay home and be caregivers instead of trying to become leaders, CEOs, or politicians.

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This relates to Gilman’s ideology that women are oversexed and that there is too much emphasis on sex-distinction. Women are pushed excessively to devote to their looks and have to develop over the top female qualities all to attract a man. I agree with Jennifer Siebel with this quote, I truly feel that the media and this patriarchal society makes women feel disempowered as well as distract them with advertisements, fashion and beauty tips and instead of focusing on how to become a leader.

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In Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), she explains that women start to become depressed and have psychological issues because of the way in which women are being treated and undermined. Women face the authority of “The Man” or “The Doctor”, both of whom claim they know what is best for her but aren’t really listening to her therefore she stays depressed. This expectation to look a certain way and also what the media portrays as what beautiful is suppose to look like in the “hyper-sexualization” that occurs in hollywood, affects every women and this leads to eating disorders, and many psychological issues among young women.

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I am going to end this post with more quotes from the film to show how America ( which portrays the land of equality and opportunity) is still stuck in a patriarchal system and hasn’t made much progress:                          Image                            Image                           Image

If you want to watch the Miss Representation documentary trailer CLICK here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2UZZV3xU6Q

 

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Blog #14: Merton – social structure and anomie

What I understood from the reading was what society follows such as social order and by how we process our action. In addition Merton discusses certain phases of social structure that generate circumstances which alters or make changes to social codes of a ‘normal’ response. He mentioned that there are two important purposes for social and cultural structure are “analytically separable…merge imperceptibly concrete situations” and acceptable modes on achieving personal or cultural goals (p.672-673).

Also we have to understand that everyone have personal intentions to achieve there desires. These desires they are hoping to achieve must be secured usually occurs in institutional means. Merton mention sports and how sports are restricted (de institutionalize) because some rules from society is not enforce. In addition Merton discuss the goals which are 1.Conformity, 2. innovation, 3. Ritualism, and 4. Retreatism in both cultural and institutionalized means/goals 5. Rebellion (someone who reject values and goals).

I believe that he was trying to see through the lenses of why people use antisocial behavior to achieve goals that sometimes are not okay in the norms of society.  When people are alright in both cultural goals and means are ok in doing so but people defy one or the other can be either ritualism, innovation, retreatism, or rebellion. Ritualism is when people conform to society means but not without expectation achieving cultural goals.

I think that in society create the people in these different categories because with so many different norms and stress factors that controls our actions it makes one stand out more than the other. For example I could bring up is what we have watched in classes, the second video showed how everyone wanted to have an affordable education but the other faction wanted justice for the killing of a man. I feel that there are situations that could be deviant but some could not be deviant because there are reasons that prevent it to be called deviant. But society would still look at it as something bad which some people with good reasons still have to pay the price for the people in power who are doing the wrong.

Veblen, Gramsci, and The Guardian

The Veblen reading was interesting. Veblen grew up like many Americans who have immigrant parents, he lived a pretty humbled life in which he worked hard to have what he earned. Veblen criticized the inequality in America between the working class and the ‘leisure class’, who were well to do. Veblen did not really agree with Marx’s idea but shared some points.

Gramsci was into politics. He was an Italian journalist and he was well known for his works. He wrote in many notebooks while he was imprisoned on the failure of the working class which brought in a lot of attention. He believed that the working class gave consent to be ruled by the upper class i should say. He believed that the working class can revolt but it would have to be ‘organic’. I agree with the consent part that Gramsci spoke about because we really can’t live without the ruling class telling us what to do. Our society is built on that.

As for The Guardian article, that was very interesting as well.