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Friday, March 1, 2013

Review of What Do We Want From Male Feminists?

Just recently, I had been discussing with one of my male friends about feminist men. As soon as I mentioned the word "feminist", his face turned into a frown. I immediately was shocked. Why was he so upset about feminism and men together? After asking him what was up, he told me that he thought feminists was a term only used for women. Digging deeper into what he meant, I found that he and a lot of other guys are actually feminist. They were just too afraid to question and move away from the traditional masculine man. What they believed and their values aligned with what feminism was, but they didn't know how to move forward from those views. 

After having this discussion, I began to think about what feminism in men should look like. What makes a good male feminist? Is there certain qualities that make a good male feminist? I think this article breaks down the small ways in which feminism can be embraced by men. What are some other ideas you might have?

Make sure to take a look at this article, it is super interesting.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Guns kill people?

Do guns kill people? In my opinion they get a bad wrap. Whenever you see on the news a story about a horrible massacre the media puts a whole lot of emphasis on the weapons being used. But, what about the one who has the gun in his hand? Without them pulling the trigger how dangerous is a gun really? I understand the power they can and do possess but a person still has to pick it up and with that index finger fire it off. In my eyes the fact that knowing someone has a gun has protected a lot of lives. Knowing that a person has one and isn't scared to use it may actually deter someone from committing a crime against that person. I guess depending where you grew up at that would also play a factor in your opinion of them. As you can tell I'm a big believer in allowing citizens to carry fire arms. I'm well aware though you will have those knuckleheads who will abuse the right to carry for capital gain. For example, it is said that the great football player Sean Taylor's life had a chance to be spared if he had a gun present in his house when he and his family were being robbed. However, he didn't and now he is no longer here on earth with us due to him not having any protection from those people who fatally shot him in the confines of his own home. I know a lot of folk won't agree but imagine and put yourself in a situation like that. What would you do?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Food and Intercultural Life

Here at the Intercultural Life Office, we have been blessed with team members with different dietary needs and lifestyle approaches to food.  From vegans to lactose/gluten intolerants to the bacon lovers, and the peanut allergies, food is important and always a topic of choice in the office.  Since nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle is a very important part of my life, and because food is a very intimate part of anybody's daily routine, I have decided to shed some light on how food is closely tied to living a "culturally aware"life.  

I would like to begin my small contribution to this blog by focusing on people's relationship with food and how that is affected by their socioeconomic status.  Food is an important part of life and often times, what one eats can be easily tied to one's socioeconomic status.  As a college student who is off of the meal plan, I have come to the harsh realization that healthy food is much more pricey than the super processed food that I don't want to put in my body.  This realization led me to another realization that affects many minority populations today.  Because our food intake is a strong determinant of our health,  I could not stop thinking of the disadvantaged families that do not have enough money to purchase food that will give them good health.  Its not just about deciding whether to buy the cheap potato chips vs the veggies. It is also about how that decision will affect you in the future.  Being in a lower socioeconomic status often times means that you cannot afford good health, and that is a terrible realization.  Those of higher economic status can enjoy better health because they can easily pay for the $5 bag of clementines when the lower socioeconomic status family would rather spend those $5 on five McDonalds cheeseburgers.

How does this tie in with ILIFE then?  I think it is important to understand diversity and cultural awareness not in the usual ways that we typically think.  Its not just about skin color, ethnicity, or sexuality (to point some out).  It is also about the not so obvious factors that make us different.  We can't choose our socioeconomic class, we can't choose our skin color, but we can choose how we behave toward food and the differences we encounter.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Welcome Back

As we begin our new school year we are reminded that Central College is a place where people from varying social classes come to learn as equals. However, the reality remains that economic standings divide this country up into fractured groups and the state of the economy has not helped.  In fact the gap between the wealthy and the middle/poor classes continues to increase. According to Dateline NBC, the number of people on Medicaid since 2008 has doubled.  Also, in a more interesting twist of events, a 2011 study found that urban areas were not the place in which most poor people were residing. Instead, that honor was bestowed on suburban areas.

What concerns me the most is the lack of media attention the subject is receiving.  According to journalist Amy Dean, most freelance reporters would love to be covering stories about the average and poorer Americans as compared to the wealthier one percent. The problem is that these reporters are not being paid enough to cover their minimal costs to write the story.  Thus a real problem of not becoming informed citizens occurs, and people miss out on opportunities to educate themselves on how the poor are actually using their time and money. This problem breeds the stereotype that these people are unemployed slackers who drink their unemployment checks away and misuse welfare.

It is important to keep an open mind about people and not fall into stereotyping. So I dare the student body this year to understand and listen to those who are different from themselves, whether it is in socioeconomic, racial, religious, or whatever difference there maybe. I challenge you all to learn outside of the classroom and beyond the mainstream media about the stories in American.  Finally, welcome back to Central College and let this be a grand year for learning.

Friday, April 20, 2012

United Against the War on Women

Over the past couple of months, I have begun to analyze many events that are happening in the United States, specifically to women. I have seen, in my own opinion, how rights that we have already won are being taken away. For awhile, when I first started to learn about birth control issues, abortion issues, equal pay, and yep! even violence against women, I was enraged! I couldn't understand how our society was moving backwards. I mean I know obviously that women in our society have always had problems with things such as equal pay or negative stereotypes, but I never thought that we would be questioning the rights for women to choose, the right for women to have equal pay, or the right for women who are abused to be protected under the law.
To me all these issues that are occuring right now just seem ridiculous. I don't understand how people can sit there and take these rights away. So after a while of just being enraged, I decided I would start gaining some knowledge on what is really happening. Learning more and hearing from many women around the world about their opinion. By doing all of this, I feel like I am more prepared to fight these issues we face as women. So today, I just wanted to give you some of the resources that I have been using and keep you informed on what is happening. I also decided to put a funny video on here as well about the war on women.

Here are some of the resources I have been using:!/UniteWomen On April 28th there will be a March all around the United States to protest many of the actions that are being taken against women.!/agirlsguidetotakingovertheworld

And here is the video. I'm sorry if it makes fun of Fox News or a specific party, but it does show you some of the things that are occuring right now in our society.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

AND STILL I RISE: A Look at Woman's Progress
Happy International Woman's Day!
Today more than ever, I think it is important that we all take a look at the progress women have made through out history. I think it is important to all women to look at how things have grown in our society and realize that this all came with hard work.

 In our current society, we still face many issues and many battles against women. It seems more recently women's issues have really become the center focus of society. This  has all happened because of the great work of many strong women and men who are not letting things slide by now. I know at times it may seem hard to keep going,but today should be a reminder of the great work we should be working towards.

The reason I say all of this is because I have experienced doubts and questions about what I'm standing for and what I'm doing. I know many people struggle with this, as well. While I can not offer the solution to these personal battles and struggles, and can say that as a group if we continue to work towards equality it will come. It took time, stregnth, and plenty of people to achieve the great strides we have already made, so just remember that when you start to feel low and forget what you stand for.

I hope the poem and the following facts provide you with inspiration!

By the Numbers
Here you'll find some amazing stats about women in the world today.
  1. Today, 71% of moms with kids under 18 work. In 1975, fewer than 47% did. Once upon a time, the idea of women working outside of the home was frowned upon and most women who did so worked as maids, seamstresses, took in laundry or worked in one of the traditionally female fields. Today, more women not only work outside the home, but hold a wider variety of jobs, with some even making it to the top of business, technology and science fields.
  2. Women currently hold 17% of Congressional and Senate seats and 18% of gubernatorial positions in the U.S. While women are still underrepresented in political life, the current state of things is a far cry from a time when women weren't even allowed to vote — a mere 90 years ago.
  3. In almost every country in the world, the life expectancy for women is higher than men. For virtually all causes of death at all ages, mortality rates are higher for men. Scientists aren't entirely sure why this is the case, but believe it might have to do with the presence of estrogen in the body improving immune function.
  4. Approximately 14% of active members in the U.S. armed forces today are women. In 1950, women comprised less than 2% of the U.S. military. Today, women play an active role in serving their country through military service, but many in years past would simply disguise themselves as men in order to gain access to the battlefield, including well-known examples like Frances Clayton in the American Civil War.
  5. Over 60 percent of college degrees awarded in the U.S. every year are earned by women. In fact, women are more likely than men to get a high school diploma as well, and the numbers are only expected to rise in the coming years.
  6. The two highest IQs ever recorded, through standardized testing, both belong to women. One of these high IQ women is the columnist and author Marilyn vos Savant. Of course, these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, as IQ tests aren't perfect in measuring intelligence, but it does help show that women aren't inferior to men in intelligence – as was claimed for centuries.
  7. More American women work in the education, health services, and social assistance industries than any other. It seems that while women are moving into the workforce in large numbers, they're still taking on traditionally female positions like teaching, nursing and social services. These three industries employ nearly one-third of all female workers.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Commercial Bingo

As I write these words the Super Bowl halftime show has just finished, along with my third glass of Sunkist and a packet of chocolate covered cookie dough bites. The floor is littered with chips, dip, copious amounts of soda, a half finished bowl of macaroni and cheese and an almost blacked out game of bingo. The game of bingo is why I’ve invaded my neighbor’s room. Since moving into a single I’ve learned the importance of saving space and a television doesn’t save much space. At least not the monster my dad’s been trying to find a home for. But the Super Bowl is about socializing, I think. Or at least it’s about the ads.

I haven’t properly watched the Super Bowl since I was a kid, and even then I was only sitting through the first half, as was the requirement if I wanted a bowl of ice cream at halftime. That was the true excitement of Super Bowl Sunday. A bowl of ice cream, maybe some slices of a banana, or cherries, or even whip cream when Dad was actually excited about whoever was playing. Otherwise there wasn’t much to hold my attention on that particular Sunday.

As I got older I started to notice something else about the Super Bowl. I started to notice the commercials. I noticed the funny commercials with talking animals, and outlandish situations, and cartoonish violence. And later I started noticing the more raunchy ads. Women in swimsuits that looked painted on. Dripping wet women with heaps of makeup. Women bending over. Women winking and blowing kisses and doing anything to sell their product.

To this day I don’t remember an actual commercial. Just the blur of overly sexualized women.

It wasn’t just women who were the victim of the Super Bowl ads. Men were usually reduced to grunting apes, only concerned with beer and sex. Oh, and being manly. One commercial that stuck out while I was preparing for this post was the Snickers commercial which, because I’m that awesome, I’ve included for you.

For those reading this on the run the commercial features two men working on a car, the most noble of manly hobbies, when one whips out a Snickers bar. In a “Lady and the Tramp” moment the other man begins to eat the free end of the bar until their lips touch for all of three seconds. Obviously they must do something manly to reclaim their…manliness, I guess. They opt for ripping out a chunk of chest hair.


Actually when I was younger I remember really liking that commercial. I thought it was funny that two guys would overreact to an accidental kiss and then I went on with my life. Some people complained. A lot of people complained, some of them straight and some of them gay. I don’t remember all the complaints, but I do remember there weren’t as many gay jokes in ads after that. At least slightly less.

The only company I remember as being a repeat offender in terms of offensive or just stupid would be GoDaddy, a company which relies so heavily on hyper sexualized women that I don’t even know what they sell. No, honestly. I didn’t know what they sold until I looked it up. Lately they’ve improved as far as having their actresses talk about what the company does between ripping off their clothes. So, it’s a start?

But really, they’re some of the worst. And because I don’t like suffering alone I’ve included some for you.

GoDaddy, your one stop shop for objectifying women. At least they’ve toned down on fetishizing lesbianism. Slightly.  

So what’s this about bingo I mentioned forever ago? Our lovely Graci (she who can make anything possible and is too awesome for shoes) sent out bingo cards in which Super Bowl commercials were used in areas like “violence,” “portraying women as stupid,” “bad parenting,” “sexualized lyrics,” and a whole host of other categories. For the record I got a blackout.

But here’s my good news. I only got a blackout near the very end of the game. It was actually kind of hard. So while this may be a case of premature celebration, I’d like to think advertisers are starting to realize stereotyping, sexism, and homophobia are cheap marketing tools. Which means we may be returning to a more simple time. A better time. A time in which all products are sold by cute animals doing silly things.

And I for one am excited for that day.

Also before I go I’ve got two commercials from this Super Bowl. My personal two favorites, if only because A) I love the song “Sexy and I Know It” and B) because time traveling babies are awesome. Though the second one does make me think twice about this whole "we're moving forward" thing. 

Your snack loving Intercultural Educator,