Friday, July 16, 2010

Artificial Women from the Media

Today we talked about gender roles. Kisa had us get into groups of 3-4. Our first task was to write down words that we thought that men had to be like in order to "act like a man". Inside the circle we said that men are expected to be strong, insensitive, superior, etc. Of course we discussed about how that does not apply to all men. Outside the circle we wrote down words that men get called when they don't follow all the expectations. We also made the same procedure for women and how they are expected to act when they are asked to "act lady like".

After we were done with that activity, we finally were divided into two groups to discuss our readings. We talked about what we thought about the way women were described in some of the passages. There were some things that we agreed that women have. For instance, we tend to get self-encouraged to prove others wrong when they attempt to put us down. We are more sentimental in certain things, however we talked about how that is not bad. It actually helps because it allows us to listen to different opinions.

Then we had an activity in where we paired up with the person sitting next to us and practiced our assertiveness. My gave us topics in which we would respond with assertiveness instead of being aggressive or too passive. It was a fun activity because we had to try to respond in all of the three ways. Pretending to be aggressive was the easiest and funniest. It was a really good activity because it helped me see that I don't have to give in or demand something in order to get it done.

After we had our lunch break we returned to the classroom and saw a video on women and the media. The video was very interesting. I especially found it interesting how there are times when they take four different women to make one single perfect looking women. I knew that the magazines were all fake and that no one looks that flawless, but it was very interesting to actually see how they can easily transform a woman into someone completely different. The video was really educational.

The woman in the video was an amazing speaker. She gave good examples of how women are being objectified. Not only was the speaker instructive, but also used humor to get her points across. She also focused on how there are some improvements being made slowly in fashion industries. However, it is still essential to increase awareness to all the young women.

Once the video was over, we were broken down into groups to talk about what we thought about it. The video really impacted us that when some of the girls and I went to the mall in the afternoon, we would see magazines and posters and think about the video. The video was really instructive.

After we were done discussing the video during class, we talked about social service versus community organization. Social service is more of a one time thing while community organization is more sustainable. These were concepts to really think about when planning our action plan. Then we talked about our "amazing women" selections. I am going to do my assignment on Oprah Winfrey because I think she is a great woman. I will be presenting to the class on Wednesday afternoon.

Then class was done. We all realized that it was already a Friday. I feel that time has gone by so fast! I have already been on the East Coast for more than a week. It does not feel like it. It feels as if I had just arrived here two days ago.

So Thara, Guadaulpe, Lina, Heidi, Ashley, Irene and I went to the mall at 4:45 PM along with some of the other girls from my class. I had such a great time. It was fun to get to socialize with the girls. I only ended up buying one shirt and a hat because I tried to keep in mind what Don told us. I need to think about my luggage weight. I also needed to think about my budget.

Overall, I had a great time with all the girls. I learned that the media is really influential in the way we think, even if we don't realize it. It was interesting to see that I had actually seen most of the commercial ads discussed in the video. The video really had me see things from a different perspective. This class has made me open my eyes more and observe the world around with a different mentality. It is simply amazing!

1 comment:

  1. Lucero,

    What I wouldn’t have given to have seen those lists you all wrote about what men and women were expected to be. Talk about stereotypes. Give me enough time and I can discuss this for hours on end.

    It concerns me, though, to read that you all see men and women as being different. I don’t mean in the way society treats or envisions them but in who and what they actually are.

    I fought long and hard for equal rights for everyone and it concerns me to see men and/or women demanding to be treated differently because they’re a man or because they’re a woman. Equality can be a double edged swor in that it cuts both ways. You can’t demand to be treated as an equal and then tell me you want to be treated special because you’re a woman. And don’t ever try to tell me that a man or a woman sees or feels things differently.

    Perhaps when you get a chance, Lucero, you can explain to me the difference between being assertive and being aggressive—at least as how it’s being explained to you all in this class.

    I don’t watch much in the line of TV news or TV news magazines but I’m betting things haven’t changed much. Why do you suppose it is that they see nothing wrong with having a male anchor or reporter that may be ‘plain’ in appearance but they won’t consider a female in the same position unless she’s ‘pleasing to the eye’?

    I may have mentioned that I shoot sports photography for 12 magazines world wide. A few years back one of them wanted to showcase the women’s steeplechase and wanted a cover shot. When I told them I had a great shot of a steeple runner from Cal, all they cared about was “is she pleasing to the eye?” They didn’t ask whether she was any good or not—all they cared about was that she looked good.

    I hope, Lucero, that I’m not being blamed for you not picking up some souvenirs from this trip. If this were winter you could always wear your extra clothes in layers as you boarded the plane. This being summer, though, if they saw a person boarding that was obviously wearing too much and sweating profusely, they’d certainly pull you side for a security check. You sure don’t want that.