Friday, July 16, 2010
Today in class we basically continued our discussion on our homework assignment. In addition to discussing our reading assignments we also did a quick activity on what words we associate with the quotes "be a man" and "act like a lady."On a poster sized paper we had to write all of the things we could think of that are used to describe either the idea of a true man or lady, this we did inside a circle. The second part was to write all the things used to describe those that neither fit the norm of a lady nor man outside the circle. This proved to be very interesting to see all of our thoughts on both commonly used quotes on paper. The fact that most of the words that we know are used for people who do not fit the norm of either quote are basically all insults and degrading seems real harsh. It was also interesting to discuss it first as groups of three and then as a whole class. Most of the groups in the end had similar things written on their posters, with a few fluctuations. What I found interesting was that though my group members and I come from different parts of the United States we had the same or similar answers most of the time, this is not exaggerated. At times one person said exactly what another was thinking.
In class, we also went over our Amazing Women Presentation assignment, a monologue to be more exact. We had the option to pick a famous woman that we have heard of and we want to learn more about or someone we have recently learned about in class or some other place that we want to research. The actual presentations will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
Furthermore, we discussed more in depth our Action Plan and what is expected from us. Our Action Plan is an individual project that we want to take on and make effective in our community once we return home or to school. The project can address any issue or subject we want. I personally have been thinking of doing something concerning women's issues in newspapers. The plan is for us to present our Action Plan on Friday, July 23, which is exactly in one week!
In class we also got the chance to watch a video called Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women, which spoke about how advertisements are distorted and how they present destructive ideals of femininity and what a true woman should look like. The film provides the viewer a range of sample advertisements which clearly demonstrated the degradation of women. These examples allowed me to see the stunning pattern of damaging gender stereotypes that I see while I watch TV, flip through a magazine, or on any other form of advertisement. The images, and maybe most significantly the messages, that these ads emphasize are unrealistic and unhealthy. They clearly show the wrong perceptions of beauty, perfection, and sexuality when they come to women. However, men are also incorrectly perceived by what ads demonstrate. Men most commonly are shown to be in dominant and superior poses, always in control and always manly. Women on the other hand, are commonly shown in sexual situations or degrading poses.
After class, I went back to my dorm, I was feeling a bit tired but very excited about all that I am experiencing here. It is absolutely great to be here I am seriously enjoying every single moment.
Later on, after resting for some bit I got invited to go to the mall here in Providence with some of my classmates. Lydia didn’t go with me because she was sleeping, but fortunately Diana, Bianchi, and Vanessa accompanied me and we got to hang out and do a little shopping. Diana, Bianchi, and Vanessa are some of the friends I have made here. Diana and Bianchi are both from New Orleans and they both go to International High School of New Orleans. Also, they are taking the same Women and Leadership course I am taking. Vanessa on the other hand is not taking my class; instead she is taking a class called Food Fight, which by the things she tells us is pretty interesting and concerns the health standards of the food we eat at fast food places and at home. Vanessa is from Massachusetts.
After we returned from the mall we went to the Verney Wooley -- V-Dub -- to eat dinner. I had to go buy some things at the nearby CVS Pharmacy which I needed and as we came back to Harkness we stopped at a couple of stores. At the CVS pharmacy we stopped at the magazine aisle to see what was there and noticed all the women on the covers. Bianchi blurted out that it reminded her of the pictures of women that we had seen in the video during class. It made me realize the pressure that small girls and boys face to look like super models because all the magazines where next to the candy section, where kids are bound to go once in the store.
Then, we stopped at a bubble tea place which also sold candy. I did not buy anything, but Biachi did as souvenirs for her siblings. She actually bought a huge colorful lollipop and smaller versions of it. I also stopped at this Indian shop which had some really cute jewelry. The plus side of this store is that as a complementary gift you get a peacock feather, which are absolutely lovely!
Back home we, Bianchi and I because Diana and Vanessa had already gone to the lounge on the fourth floor, talked for a bit when Lydia came by. She encouraged us to go see “How to Train Your Dragon.” At first, I really did not want to go see it, but Bianchi and I agreed to go drop her off. In the end, I stayed to watch the movie which was really funny and entertaining.
Tomorrow is Saturday and surely it will turn out to be fun!