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Reflection

9 Mar

Throughout the quarter I have written blogs on gender and sexual identity. Although I found them to be tedious at times, I understand why we had to do them and I have learned a lot. I have learned a great amount about the media and how it portrays certain groups in the media. I have looked at women and men and how they are portrayed, as well as the gay community. There were findings of intersectionality between gender identity and sexual identity. For example, in regards to women, they are looked at as sexual objects for men and at times they aren’t looked at as anything but that. These two categories were challenged in various media forms such as television, film and print. The things that we studied in class really helped me to learn how to look at these forms of media in a skeptical way and see how each gender was sexualized. In order find growth, I think that these issues should be addressed. Men and women should not view one another as merely sexual objects. As humans, we are more than that. We are smart, funny and have actual personalities and I feel that the media doesn’t always portray that. Women aren’t supposed to be funny, but when I reviewed the movie Bridesmaids, that proved to be wrong. Women aren’t supposed to just laugh at men, we can be funny and have intellectual thoughts too.

Overall, I have found the issues in the media to be extremely interesting and I have come to realize how much the media influences our ideals.

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Bridesmaids

2 Mar

Summary:

For this week’s blog I watched the movie Bridesmaids. Annie is a romantically unattached failed bakery owner who fears she’s losing her best friend Lillian when she becomes engaged. Annie’s anxiety seems to become worse when Lillian grows close to Helen, a wealthy and beautiful new friend who quickly gains control of planning the bridal shower and bachelorette party for Lillian. Annie is supposed to be Lillian’s maid of honor, so she feels threatened. On the other side of the storyline, Annie is a “booty call” for a rude man named Ted. She ends up developing a flirty relationship with an Irish cop named Rhodes after he pulls her over one night assuming she’s drunk. Annie’s low self-esteem begins to sabotage the possibility of love.

Analysis:

The main storyline involves a friendship being torn apart and brings up issues of self-esteem in women and how they let men treat them. Helen threatens Annie because she is wealthy and beautiful. They argue the entire movie and are extremely competitive with one another. Helen always tries to upstage Annie. I feel that Helen was threatened because Lillian and Annie have been friends their whole lives. Women are always threatened by one another, even in the “real” world. When a friend finds another woman that becomes their best friend, the old friend tends to feel left out and alone. The women in this movie were extremely funny and entertaining to watch. The producers portrayed these women and the ways that they think in a way that will be interesting to watch for any viewer. Women aren’t meant to be viewed as funny, they are supposed to just laugh and agree with whatever the men say. These topics really relate to gender identity. Annie lets Ted take advantage of her, even knowing that he doesn’t want a relationship. She puts Rhodes on the back burner and quickly realizes that he was meant for her. Women let men take advantage of them too often. We should be able to view relationships the same way as mean do, even if society doesn’t agree with it. This correlates with sexual identity.

Reflection:

The movie discusses sex and relationships throughout the entire plot. I really liked the ideas that the producers had for this film. They portrayed women as comedic characters and discussed topics like sex, which aren’t usually the main topics of comedies featuring mainly women. It really has given an identity to women that we usually don’t see in today’s film. All women have self-esteem issues but it shows that we can all have a different outlook on life.

The Truth Isn’t Pretty

24 Feb

Summary:

For this weeks assignment I watched the movie “The Ugly Truth” with Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler. Abby Richter is a producer of a morning news show that’s about to be canceled. In order to boost ratings, her boss hires Mike Chadway, a local cable call-in host who promotes the ugly truth. His show discusses how sex is the only glue that holds a relationship together, that men are incapable of change and that men only respond to how a woman looks. Abby has her checklist of what her perfect man should be, and has found all of these qualitites in her new neighbor, Colin. Mike offers to help Abby get Colin if she’ll help him with the show. She agrees to the deal, the shows ratings go up and Colin becomes interested in Abby. In the end, Abby and Mike end up falling for one another.

 

Analysis:

At first, Abby is happy with her looks and dresses casually; she doesn’t feel the need to impress men in order to get them to like her. She expects her date to be a certain way, she even goes the lengths of getting his background check and comes up with talking points. She is a control freak that analyzes a person’s every move.

On his show, Mike says that all men are interested in are women’s looks. That they exploit themselves sexually. He is completely misogynistic; he even says “I like a woman on top”. He has his own ideas of what relationships are like. According to Mike, people only get in relationships because of social pressures, status and sex; otherwise the sexes wouldn’t even speak. I feel that no woman has ever really loved this man and that he is taking it out on the female population. He also says that mean would be more interested in seeing to girls wrestle in jello than go on a romantic date. His nephew even says that he is mean to “hot” girl at school in order to get them to like him, taking after his uncle.

 

Response:

I don’t agree with Mike’s outlook on relationships, even though in the end he ends up falling for Abby. The movie is meant to make men laugh and exploit certain stereotypes of women. This movie makes women think that they have to act a certain way in order to get a guy to ask them out. It causes women to think that they have to dress a certain way, like when Mike convinces Abby to change her style completely. I think it’s ridiculous that men make women feel this way. I even noticed that Katherine Heigl, who plays Abby, lost weight for the film. Hollywood creates a stereotype for women and it is unfair. Women shouldn’t have to be a certain way or look a certain way in order to be up to par with what society thinks we should look like.

Love is in the Air

17 Feb

Summary:

This week I watched an hour-long episode of Glee and two episodes of Say Yes to the Dress. Glee was Valentine’s Day themed. The whole episode revolved around relationships and love, obviously. Everyone it trying to get a date for Sugar’s Valentine’s Day party. Say Yes to the Dress is a show on TLC that involves women going to get dresses for their big days.

 

Analysis/Application:

In this episode Brittany and Santana are completely open about their relationship. They kiss in the hallway at school and the principal calls them into the office because of their PDA. Santana points out that Rachel and Finn made out in the middle of the hallway and that it wasn’t fair that they got in trouble for a peck. She believes that the only reason they got in trouble was because they are lesbians. This is revealing that being gay is still not fully accepted by our culture. They end up getting past it and still display their affection in public. They eventually don’t care what other people think and look past the double standard at school.

In Say Yes to the Dress various women come in to purchase wedding dresses. Many women are in heterosexual relationships and find the perfect dress for their weddings. There was a gay couple that came in and each of them were extremely open about their partnership.

 

Response:

I thought each of the shows were very entertaining and interesting to watch. I think I took a more dominant approach this time because I am starting to realize that the media under represents the gay community. I feel that gays should be able to love whoever they want and shouldn’t be ashamed of it. I love that Glee has two gay couples and that a show like Say Yes to the Dress had a gay couple on. This impacts me personally because I have two friends that are gay. One is extremely open about being gay, but her partner is very afraid about what other people will think about their relationship.

Awkward…?

3 Feb

Summary:

The Big Bang Theory focuses on five main characters. Leonard and Sheldon are two socially awkward physicists at the California Institute of Technology. Penny is a waitress, lives across the hall and is dating Sheldon. Leonard and Sheldon have equally geeky friends Howard and Rajesh. There is also Amy who was matched with Sheldon on a dating website and Bernadette who is Howard’s fiancée. The male character’s intelligence is contrasted for comic effect with Penny’s social skills and common sense.

 

Analysis:

In the first episode Sheldon is trying to make a video podcast with Amy, called “Fun with Flags”. Leonard and Penny go to dinner and talk about how nice it was and they discuss the future of their relationship and that they are going to take it slow. They discuss making a list of things that they don’t like about each other when certain things come up. Leonard later gives Penny a list of things to fix in their relationship and calls it a “Bug Report”. I think that their differences make it hard for them to communicate and that was the easiest way for Leonard to talk to a woman. It is really hard for Leonard and Sheldon to talk to the opposite sex and I think this is a good example of their gender identities. I think this is because they are so smart and find themselves unattractive, so they are uncomfortable talking to the opposite gender. Also, in the Episode Rajesh buys and Iphone that has the Siri application and he talks to it like it is an actual person. He never really comes to the conclusion that it is a computer talking to him and not an actual person.

 

In the next episode, Leonard doesn’t want to take Sheldon to the dentist and Sheldon makes him sign a contract to not be friends. Sheldon expect his girlfriend Amy to cater to his every need. Penny points out that he doesn’t “use a girlfriend normally” anyway. To me that statement is correct because of how socially awkward Sheldon is around women. Sheldon looks at friends as people to take him places and do things for him. He doesn’t communicate well with people in general. He doesn’t understand what it means to have a relationship with someone. When Leonard goes over to Penny’s apartment, Sheldon says, “Wine and a girl in the dark, he’ll be bored out of his mind.” He finds it weird that Leonard would want to be intimate with a woman. Penny asks Leonard if he wants to make out and at first he isn’t really into it. He isn’t a “normal” sexual male. This again shows that his intelligence overpowers his needs to be intimate with Penny.  Throughout the episode, Sheldon keeps trying to convince Leonard to resign their roommate agreement so they can be friends again. Penny tells Leonard that it’s Sheldon’s weird way of missing him. Leonard wants to be appreciated and Sheldon doesn’t understand why. This is another example of him being unable to communicate well with people. In the end they end up being friends again.

 

Reflection:

I found these episodes to be extremely funny. There were some really good example of male and female communication and how hard it is to communicate well with the opposite sex at times. It is really important for humans to have relationships with others, even though that’s not always the case for Sheldon. I have friends like the guys in the show, they are so smart that they don’t know how to interact well with others!

We Are Who We Are

27 Jan

Summary:

I reviewed Cosmopolitan, Cincinnati Wedding and GQ. I had the first two magazines at home. I regularly read Cosmo magazine because of its’ interesting articles and beauty tips. I purchased Cincinnati Wedding because my friend Kate is the cover model, so of course I wanted a copy! These magazines are primarily for women, even though Cosmo has some articles for men to read. They also feature a lot of men for women to read about, some of those articles I find really interesting. I picked up GQ from work. I wanted to try and focus on both sexes.

 

Analysis:

GQ and Cosmo are really focused on Gender and Sexuality. GQ has ads for cologne, men’s clothing and current trends. It also has ads that show women in revealing clothing. It draws men in and holds their interest. Cosmo has perfume ads, clothing ads and also pictures of men. I think without the men involved, women wouldn’t necessarily find this magazine as interesting. Cincinnati Wedding has ads for women that assist in helping them think of ideas for their future wedding. This magazine isn’t focused on sexuality, it is solely based on gender.

 

Response:

These magazines push women to idolize the people that are pictured in them. They want to look exactly like the models and wear the types of clothes that are advertised. I think the same goes for men as well. GQ pictures male models that every man wants to be. Men have this image of having the perfect body and clothes in order to attract women. I know that when I look at magazines I think about purchasing a similar outfit or even what my wedding will look like one day. Women and men in these magazines are sex symbols, even the women in Cincinnati Wedding look absolutely perfect. People have begun to believe that they HAVE to look a certain way and I don’t think that the media should define who we are.

#relationshipproblems

19 Jan

Summary:

This episode of Glee has to do a lot with honesty and relationships. Becky, a member of the cheer team with downs syndrom, is talking about how she has a “thing” for Arty, who happens to be in a wheel chair. Becky asks Arty on a date and he agrees, something a girl usually wouldn’t do. The club finds out that Arty went on a date with Becky and down him for it because they think that he feels bad for her. He tells them that they always talk about how they say it’s okay to be different but they are just as narrow minded as everyone else at McKinley High. He likes her for her, not because he feels bad for her. Arty talks to coach Sue about just wanting to be friends with Becky and she tells him to be honest. He then tells Becky the truth and she deflects by asking if it is because he is intimidated of her, even though she’s really thinking it’s because she has Downs.

They then show the teachers lounge and Emma comes up to Coach Shannon, a transgender, who tells her exciting news. Her and “Cooter” eloped. They talk about Emma wanting to marry Will but is too afraid to just go ahead and ask him. Coach Sue, who is also in the lounge, points out that it’s 2012 and that Emma should just ask him herself. Will announces the Glee Club that he’s proposing to Emma and that he wants help with a proposal number. Throughout the episode the students give Will ideas of various numbers that they could perform for the proposal. Will asks Finn to be his Best Man because he is a real man in Will’s eyes. Will believes this because Finn isn’t afraid to cry and stands up for his friends. Finn talks to Will about wanting to join the army to be like his father and it is later revealed that his father died of a drug overdose, not in the war. Will asks Emma’s parents for their blessing and they say no because they don’t think they will be able to have a healthy marriage because of Emma’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Will realizes he loves Emma for her, and proposes to her.

Sam tells Mercedes that he misses her and she denies him because she has a new boyfriend that is a jock and he then asks her if it is because he’s white. Sam realizes that he wants to be on a team to get a letterman jacket so he joins the synchronized swim team. Coach Roz, the team’s coach, talks to Sam about how people thought she couldn’t swim because she’s black. Finn finds out about Sam joining the team and tells Sam it’s a bad idea to be on the team and Glee Club because he will get crap from the other students. Sam then gets slushied by two hockey players.

Analysis:

I feel that the producers are trying to get across that people should be themselves and be honest to others. This episode really revealed a lot about our culture. I think that women should be empowered and today it has become acceptable for women to ask men on a date, or even to marry them. They also show that it is okay to be yourself. Arty is a prime example of this because even though Becky has Downs, he still wanted to get to know her and didn’t care what others thought. He just wanted to be a friend to her, which disappointed her in the end, but at least he was open and honest with her. This is a hard thing for people to do nowadays and I feel that our culture needs to learn from this. I also think that the producers were trying to get the audience to realize that relationships, like Emma and Will’s, can work despite their differences.

The commercials didn’t have much to do with episode. The commercials entailed phone, movie, tv, medication, car, food and other types of advertisements. There weren’t commercials about singing, like most would think there would be. They weren’t primarily catered to males or females. I think this is because it is on FOX, so it is a family network.

The commercial I noticed the most was a commercial for AT&T. It showed a girl talking on the phone with her boyfriend telling him that she was mad and would give him the silent treatment. I thought this was funny because he pointed out that she can’t do that when they’re on the phone, then she goes silent. This was the only commercial that had anything to do with relationships.

Reflection:

This weeks episode was really eye opening for me. I had a lot of personal realizations. I am going to be more honest and open with the person that I am dating, and express my feelings more with him. This week’s episode didn’t have much to do with sexual orientation like last weeks episode, but like last week it dealt with a lot of relationship conflicts. This was one of my favorite Glee episodes and I hope the audience got out of it what I did.

“The Mash-Up”

12 Jan

Summary:

The episode, “The Mash-off” starts off with tough guy, Puck confessing that he’s in love with his teacher, who happens to be his child’s adopted mother. You learn in the episode that New Directions, the main group of the show, and the Troubletones, a new group to McKinley High involving some of the ex-New Directions members, will be facing off against each other in Sectionals. Santana, a high-strung cheerleader is the main focus of this episode. She has been struggling with being gay for a while and it has finally surfaced in this episode. Finn, a former jock, has become Santana’s target to put down, since she is part of the Troubletones and he is a member of New Directions. They eventually find out that the two groups will be going up against each other in a mash-up competition.  Sue, the school’s cheer coach, is in a campaign to be Ohio’s congresswoman and is smearing her competitors with horrible accusations that are untrue. The episode then goes back to Puck, who is usually the tough guy but is now showing some newfound paternal instincts. Next, the show goes back to Sue’s congressional campaign. Santana is called into Sue’s office and she is shown a video that one of Sue’s competitors created. Sue tells Santana that the man’s daughter overheard Santana and Finn having a conversation about Santana being in love with Brittany, a fellow cheerleader and Troubletones member. The video mentions that the head cheerleader is a lesbian, suddenly forcing Santana to come out of the closet when she hasn’t even shared this information with her parents yet. Glee episodes can be very confusing so I have tried to keep up the best that I could!

Analysis/Application:

Certain moments in the episode showed that Santana really had a heart and wasn’t just cold-hearted. She would look at Brittany like she really cared, but was scared to tell her how she really felt, making her character seem real and more visible to the viewer. She would glance at Brittany and then look away, like she was ashamed. By Santana finally coming out of the closet, it will show viewers that it really is okay to be who you are and become comfortable with their sexuality. Glee touches on controversial topics that will eventually become more socially acceptable in society today. This will really benefit the gay community and show that it isn’t wrong to be gay, it’s just part of who you are.

Response:

Being a straight female, I have come to embrace the gay community. I know it isn’t easy for members of society to fully accept gay individuals, but I don’t understand why people think that they are so different from heterosexuals. I have a friend that came out to me after 6 months of knowing her, and it hasn’t changed my views of her. So why are others so un-accepting of the gay community? I feel like everyone knows one day it won’t be an issue anymore, so why can’t people just go ahead and accept it now? I feel that this episode and depiction of Santana was a direct link to Gender and Sexual Identity because she is still struggling with the fact that she is a gay female.