Sunday, July 31, 2011

Here we are, here we are, here we are. And Here we go, here we go, here we go. It's Sunday and I've just enjoyed a long weekend and it's time to reeeeelaaaxxxx. Sippin down some rum and wine and letting my body fully let go of any tension. I had a very rejuvenating Saturday, my mid weekend, and I feel good and strong for this next upcoming week starting tomorrow. I'm pickin some veggies from the garden this eve to nourish this body of mine. And life is surely grand. I feel welcomed to live and very appreciating of my soul. Now that I have this blog thing down a bit better, I will be updating most everyday. So don't be shy to check in and see what's going up and what's coming down. Alright everyone, a splendid week to you all. ciao

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Inuit women

I found this article to be very moving. It talked about the different elements this one group of Inuit women have to deal with on a daily basis. It also brings in a different type of oppression that I had never thought about before, the fight for environmental justice. The author talks about how these women have been digesting toxins that were in their foods. The most horrific part about this is that majority of the toxin are coming from the emissions from the United States. I always thought about the clarity of our air, in regards to our earth, environment, and surrounding communities. I never thought about my driving emissions affecting the reproductive rights of another woman. Maybe I have just been naive, and I feel as though this maybe that was intent of this class, to get us to think critically about our words, actions, and perceptions, and how they are very narrow-minded to the perspectives to those women around the world. We really need to more knowledgeable to women's suffering on a more global level. I thought it was very interesting when I asked people in class if they would give up their food, which is apart of their cultural identity, to life a "non-toxic" life. It was interesting to see how people laughed at the situation, and then proceeded to say that it was a "no-brainer." I thought that this whole mentality was what Americans so often get accused of, not being able to see the broader picture. It might be simple for African American women per say to stop eating churches chicken (stereotype) if it were poisoned. These women do not have many choices, and it is apart of their cultural identity, to eat fish, and meat. So how can we really look down on them for keeping their pride, and identity, if anything we should be ashamed that we could so willingly give up our identity without thought. 

Paris is Burning

After watching the movie Paris is Burning, I was introduced to a world that I have never encountered before. In the time period that the film was created, homosexuality wasn't openly accepted. Gay communities were formed among the members, but it was in discreet fashion.
When the movie first started I was startled by the young boys who were expressing their sexual orientation. I have never witnessed young boys who freely spoke about their non-traditional sexuality in today's society. At that point in the film, I assumed that many documentaries and glimpses into homosexuals lives were coming up. This indeed happened, but I didn't expect to see vogues in underground New York.
A ball is a term that I have never used, and probably never would have unless I watched this movie. I was confused at first with the true propose besides just dressing up and being in character. When I finally realized the overall theme, it proved that regardless of how one appears on the outside they can have dreams to be something else in life. For example the military solider, the butch queen, or the Wall Street trader never popped in my head for runway. The ball was an entirely different world, that had to be kept underground. Given that homosexuality wasn't widely accepted still doesn't mean that individuals have to express themselves behind closed doors. This movie proves how close minded society is. We fail to respect differences amongst one another and continuously point the finger as if someone has to right to say they are better than someone else.
The movie took an nontraditional approach to breaking down social norms and implementing openness. Without documentaries and readings on issues that we fail to air in public, many things are hidden from the outside world. The more understanding I receive about people who may not have the same sexual orientation as me, broadens my understanding of different lifestyles.

Integrating Disability, Transforming Feminist Theory

When looking at the title of the reading, and seeing the word disability I wondered how the article would tie in with Feminist Theory. I always viewed disability as something uncontrollable, a function that someone simply inherited without asking. In some ways this is true, but after reading Garland-Thomson's article my understanding of disability in today's society was broadened.
Continuously in class we discuss race, sexuality, class and ethnicity and how they affect people's lives. Just as all of these social constructions are intersecting, I never thought about disability be included with these topics. When I read it, I was upset that I never realized how people living with disabilities truly have a different experience when going through life. The way outsiders observe people with disabilities as if they are abnormal or deformed is unfortunate. Many of us are too close minded when we think of how people should physically appear on the outside. One is deemed as normal if they are smart, healthy, or attractive, but individuals who appear to be frail or sickly don't receive as much attention or respect.
Growing up I was always referred to as the person who talked to people who appeared "different." While most people were concerned about the "in" crowd, typically jocks or cheerleaders I was drawn in by the "outcasts" who many of times had physical disabilities. Whenever I saw how people stared at these individuals or made fun of conditions they couldn't control, it made me angry. I could truly see the character of individuals that were held on a pedestal based on the way they treated others. I felt like it was my responsibility to eliminate these hurts that individuals were facing by simply changing the way I treated those that are considered "different."

Medical World and Women

Do doctors take women seriously? This article had me thinking about the episode of one of my favorite television shows, The Golden Girls. When one of the main protagonists feels she is deeply sick she is dismissed because she is an elderly woman. Since her illness has yet to be categorized she is not taken seriously. Just like Audre Lourde, Dorothy had an intuition on her body that proved to be right. Dorothy really was sick and Lourde did not have to have the medical surgery on her liver.

Feelings such as intuition have been linked as a woman’s trait. Arguably, that’s why intuition is not taken as seriously as “scientific facts”. When Lourde first hears about the possibility of liver cancer she says that she would like some time and “feel” the situation out. She wanted to see what was best for her body. She initially was basing this off of her instincts not scientific fact. What was probably the most chilling thing about this article was the doctor’s response. Instead of assuring her that the situation needed to be addressed quickly, he stated, “’If you do not do exactly what I tell you to do right now without questions you are going to die a horrible death’(150).”

The second article, I understood but did not agree, maybe because I have no idea what is fat and what is obese to the author. In my eyes obese in when a person’s weight jeopardizes their health and fat is when a person goes above the range of their ideal body weight. The second article, I understood but did not agree, maybe because I have no idea what is fat and what is obese to the author. In my eyes obese in when a person’s weight jeopardizes their health and fat is when a person goes above the range of their ideal body weight. I remember watching Tyra Banks show and becoming infuriated at the comment that hating fat people is the last tolerated prejudice. Sexism and racism are tolerated in our society as well. I also felt it devalued both oppressions. I felt this article had a similar tone. However, I did like that the author brought up the issue of larger women being accepted in Chicano,Latino, and African Descendant’s culture. This is not a triumph because these groups are marginalized so it does not in anyway help the plight of the overweight.

Race Gender and Work

Race Gender and Work was a pleasant article that seemed to be a highlight of the teaching all year in Feminist Theory and my Spelman career. The roles of women in the United States alone have been different. White middle class women were expected to work at home while black women were expected to do domestic work for middle class white women. What was intriguing to me about this article was the fact that separation between races is not natural. Perhaps the categorical nature of our society has caused me to believe that race is a natural division. Everything from poetry to history is separated by race. Is this away to keep people (women included) inherently divided?

Some would argue that the goals in Jennifer Baumgardner’s and Amy Richards’ Third Wave Manifesta from Manifesta mirror that of an Utopian society. I would argue that it is one of an egalitarian society. After reading Race, Gender and Work, Gender, race-ethnicity and class are not natural or biological categories (12). Society has led me to believe that how the world works and how it is divided in natural. However, there is nothing natural about it. That is how ingrained the oppression in our world is in our sub-conscious. How do we fix the problems addressed in this reading? I believe it is as simple as acting out the points in the manifesta.

Out of all the major points, the first point is the one that stuck with me. This part discussed making unacknowledged feminists, proud feminists. In this class we have spoken about friends, family, and ourselves on having ideals of feminism but not being feminists. Why is that? Is it because we truly feel that feminism is not for us or is it because of some fear that we will take on the stereotypical negative persona of a feminist? I feel if we call it what it is instead of going around the issue that real significant change can be made.


In the article “Fat Studies” I could not help and think about how issues around obesity seem to be once again a problem faced largely by women of color. Would obesity be such a “gross” concept if it were a majority white man’s problem? Weight loss commercials target women and a larger rate then men. Is this a way to control body image? In “Sex and Far Chics: Deterritorializing the Fat Female Body,: Jana Evans Braziel examines the cultural positioning of the fat femal body between two poles-the asexuality of obesity and the extreme salacious-ness (or hyper sexuality) of fat femmes, who threaten to devour all. Deconstructing these poles, Braziel suggests that because fatness has been seen through the history of Western thought as threatening to stability, order, and hierarchy, it needs to be tamed of delaminated (13). This made me think of Venus Hottentot, and women like her who had different body types. They were not celebrated but thought of as too strong, powerful, they had too much presence, and were threatening. As woman interested in woman’s health, I do not agree with being unhealthy, but not being rail thin does not constitute obesity. 

Cancer Diaries

How are women treated in the medical world? I do not mean medically but how are the perceived by medicinal personnel and how do those perceptions dictate how they are taken care of? In Cancer Diaries by Audre Lorde she is not treated like a person and her feeling on her body are not taken into account. After getting the news she has cancer, the hospital has to determine if she can even pay for her treatment. Lorde recounts

The fist people who interviewed me in white coats from behind a computer were only interested in my health-care benefits and proposed method of payment. Those crucial facts determined what kind of plastic ID card I would be given, and without a plastic ID card, no one at all was allowed upstairs to see any doctor, as I was told by the uniformed, pistoled guards at all the stairwells ( Lorde 150)

This made me think of indirect racism and sexism. Even though Lorde could afford to get treatment, there is an economic barrier that is most-likely going to effect women of color. Unlike in the fifties where laws blatantly excluded groups of people, there are policies that are similar to the Grandfather Clause (where citizens in the U.S could vote if there grandfather could) a, meaning a significant amount of a group will be disadvantaged and discriminated against.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Anne Lucas’s article No Remedy for the Inuit describes how the environment of the Inuit and its waters are contaminated and polluted which is also causing their food sources to also be contaminated which affects the health of the community and especially breast-fed babies. This article made think of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina who are currently living in contaminated FEMA trailers. I am trying to fathom how and why anyone with authority, power and money can allow this to happen to human beings…period. I am sure if the Inuit women, or people, had a choice in what they ate and lived, it wouldn’t be there. A classmate asked if we ever thought about the foods we eat and their relation to our culture and if we had to sacrifice our choice of foods related to our culture would we. Most argued that the question posed wouldn’t be much of an issue to those who have options to eat different foods (for whatever reason) and those who do not have a choice in changing their diet or foods, are forced to continue to eat contaminated foods for survival. I wonder if compassion, sympathy and empathy for others as scarce as common sense…..

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"contesting cultures:westernization, respect for cultures, and third-world feminists"

Narayan presents an idea in her piece that women, not only of African-American decent can relate to, but as we see in her case, as an Indian women, women of all cultures are able to identify with. This idea is the notion that silence = innocence and good behavior. Often times as young girls in some, not all households, across the country, we are told time and time again that voicing our opinions, going against that of our fathers (and mothers alike) and those in "authority" is not "lady-like". When behaviors outside of the norm of conforming, thinking outside of the box, having a difference in opinion or idea, etc., young girls and women are classified as rebellious or disobedient. As the author shared in this piece, the idea of her not conforming or going against her mothers example of silence as obedience, it would then be a reflection upon her mother and her inability to parent. In my own life, I cannot say I can ever recall a time where I was silence by either of my parents, though I have seen in in friendships and even other family members. Never, however, have I heard the reason as being something that a parent feels as though will be attributed to their lack of parenting; often times it is in the lineage that these ideas and beliefs are passed down, just like many other ideas that families pass down through generations. As this piece shows...the same concepts and ideas are practiced in many households where there are mothers and daughters.