Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ethics, Hip-Hop, and Self-Defense

The ethics discussion that we ran out of time for yesterday was moved to today. We were presented with multiple ethical dilemmas and acted out how to deal with them in an effective, assertive way. I definitely think that the solutions were easier said than done.

I practiced presenting my Action Plan to a small group of classmates. They gave me feedback on the content and the delivery. I still need to give my presentation its final revision and copy some bullet points onto index cards.
Mariana and Ritika
I ate lunch extra quickly so that I could go back to class to see a short film about hypermasculinity in hip-hop. Most of the aggression in the lyrics is focused against other people who are suffering, not necessarily the oppressors. There is blatant objectification of women in the music, and it's different from the rest of American culture in that that's the only way that women are portrayed in hip-hop music videos. The worst insult against another man in hiphop is to tell them that they are feminine, yet there is some not-so-subtle homoeroticism in the way rappers often pose. I was getting very interested in it because I had never heard some of these views before, but unfortunately, we didn't get to finish the film. Hopefully we'll be able to finish it tonight at the evening social activity.
Tierra blocks "punches"
We had an interesting self-defense class in which we learned some basic techniques to defend ourselves and buy some time if we were physically threatened. We got some time to practice these techniques and hone our reaction times, too.
Ritika in action
The amazing RA and TA, My
I'm going to eat quickly and then see if I can take a nap before the evening activity. I'm exhausted.
I didn't end up taking a nap, but I did finish two homework assignments and went to dinner. I'm going to revise my Action Plan and practice presenting for tomorrow, then go to the final socializing event - a dance/movie/game night/snack party, which is all one big event. It's exclusive to Leadership Institute students, and since Harkness (our dorm) is the only dorm for Leadership kids, it's taking place in the two lounges downstairs.

Just 15 minutes ago, I was in our last class bonding activity. We played a special game where  everyone closed their eyes except two people. My would say things like, "Touch three people who you respect and admire." We took turns being the people in the middle. I never knew that so many people appreciated me enough to tell me, even though it was anonymously and silently. I feel so much closer to all the girls now. It was just really cool. I can't imagine not keeping in touch with them after I leave.

1 comment:

  1. Irene,

    Why is it that the only way some people can feel good about themselves is by putting someone else down? We’ve seen this forever. The whites kept non-whites down so they could feel superior. Men have lorded over women so they can believe they’re the better of the genders. And now in the hip-hop world the rappers feel a need to step on others as a means of elevating themselves.

    Isn’t it all illusory, though? Is their self-confidence so low that they can’t feel good about themselves without pushing other people down? Shouldn’t a rising tide raise all ships?