Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Path to Gender Equality

Today in class we talked about women suffrage and how feminism developed. We started off by getting a lecture on the history of women by Dr. Hanson.  After one of the TAs, Angie, talked about the intersectionality of womanhood and how misrepresented women of color are from that ideal. When we think of a women we usually think of a white, middle class, cis gender woman. We never think about women of color first and when we do, we think of certain types of women that the media portrays. Some examples are the “mammy” which is a black woman whose whole purpose is to serve or “Jezebet” who is the over sexualized black women who “lures” men into sexual acts and finally “Sopphite” who is the angry black women that is portrayed as emotionally unstable. Those characters are not only wrong but also portrays, in this case, black women, a certain way that is incorrect. After Angie’s presentation, We watched a movie called Difret.

Difret is based on a true story of a young girl who is abducted and raped. When she tries to escape her captors, she ends up killing one of them. This gets her put in jail for life as a murderer even though it was self defense. This is where her story starts and takes the viewers through the struggles of being a women in the world. We can see  this even in the U.S with domestic violence and abuse towards women. Soon it was time for lunch.

After we ate we broke off into small discussion groups that discussed violence against women. We specifically explored where masculinity stems from and how it affects women. One theory was that it stems from the fear of being seen as weak, feminine or gay, so when their masculinity is threatened, they need to assert it in some way.Often times through aggression towards women. But why only women? Why don’t they go around punching other men? The other part of this theory says that it might be due to the power structure. Men have power so they don’t go around abusing each other explicitly. On the other hand women have a position of lesser power in the power structure which makes them target for aggression. This is just one of the many theories of why domestic violence exist. Our time was short so we had to end our discussion and go to the lecture hall to greet our guest speaker.

Our guest speaker talked about the history of singers that in one way or another contributed to the effort to eradicate slavery. Someone of these singers are Nina Samone and Beyonce. They wrote freedom songs that rebelled against the institutionalized power that was keeping the black community enslaved. This still going on today with Beyonce’s song freedom that talks about police brutality and how even if America says it has freedom for all, it is not true. With this we ended class.

I came back to the dorms and when to sign up for the Mets game this Sunday. I have never been to a baseball game before so I’m very excited to go. After, my floor mates and I got Korean delivery and watched the movie Dope. I can’t believe that we are halfway done with our class! It is going by extremely fast but it’s leaving behind a great lot of knowledge.  
Therese, Helen, Caitlyn and Betty eating Korean food 

1 comment:

  1. Really loved your opening statements on Women and Gender Studies. It is very interesting and as a male, really eye-opening. Often times I do not realize that much of what is the male culture in America does not always extend to everywhere else in the world. I have to realize that male culture often accentuates us, while subjugating females. The more I read the more I see. Take this into consideration as you continue your blog. Great job!