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Final Thoughts

6 Mar

Where do I begin? This class opened my eyes to the truth about media and the portrayal of different cultures. Throughout the course I had looked at different shows and programs and pulling out the gender identity and sexual identity issues. Every time I watched movies or TV shows I would pick out bad edits. Since this class instead of bad edits I am picking out gender and sex identity issues. I can not watch anything or listen to music without really paying attention to how that program or song portrayed people.

Most programs and music videos women are portrayed as sex symbols. They need to have a certain look about them and have to act a certain way.  When a male as to act as a female, he acts a way that is very stereotypical to women. Acting very sexual and “mother-like”. On the other hand, when women have to play men they tend to act tough and hard, “sports-like”. These characteristics in media roll over into real life and make people think that is how men and women are supposed to act. 

I never knew how much media influenced societies perception of races and cultures. My whole life I have lived thinking each culture is a certain way because that is what I saw in shows, movies and heard on the radio. I know now a lot more and will certainly take into consideration to get to know a person way before judging them. That was my problem, I would judge people before I knew them. Although my years in college have helped me loosen up and not be so judgmental, this class especially helped in my no more judging days.

This class really opened up my eyes and mind to new thoughts and perceptions not only about cultures and their true identity, but also the media and how it portrays more negatively those cultures and how they are. I will take what I learned in this class with me for the rest of my life and hopefully work to fix the problem. 

The problem of stereotyping groups of people will not end. It is what we as society do, to make ourselves feel better. With more prosocial movements, hopefully stereotyping will become less negative and more positive. Until then, I will continue picking out social issues and telling friends and family, they are not all true!

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What Are We?

2 Mar

Summary:
In the movie “No Strings Attached” Emma, played by Natalie Portman, and Adam played by Ashton Kutcher have an odd relationship. Adam wanted to have sex with a stranger after his girlfriend left him for his father. He had ran into an old friend, Emma, from camp, who wanted nothing serious just someone to have fun with. Throughout the movie Adam started falling in love with Emma, but Emma pushed him away and only wanted the sexual relationship with him. The two lovers decided to go their seperated ways due to having nothing but sexual desires in common. This led to the both of them feeling lonely and depressed. Being a very easy movie to predict, Emma found herself lonely and only wanting Adam. After telling everyone she was okay with being alone, she realized she did love him the way he loved her. **SPOILER.ALERT** After all this time being friends only for physical purposes they realized they are perfect for each other and begin to actually date.

Analysis :
This is actually a very non intelligent movie. I watched it for the sexual identity that is all throughout the movie. The sexual identity in this movie is between Emma and Adam. Adam sees Emma as the first girl in the very beginning who he touches. After many years apart they find themselves older and living in the same area. So when Adam wants sex he goes to Emma. After a few times tables turn and Emma is only using Adam for sexual favors. Emma begins to only see Adam as strickly that, sex. This gives Adam an identity of a play toy for Emma throughout the movie. In society women are looked at as sexual objects and portrayed as the one chasing the guy until he falls for her. This movie goes against that and makes the woman lead the one playing the male and the male chasing after the girl, acting more like a female in the relationship. The movie shows a different side that guys are not the only bad ones playing games when it comes to relationships.

Response:

I did not like the movie itself but did like the moral behind it, well the moral I took from it. Girls are always bashing about how they can never find a good guy who wants anything more than a sexual relationship. News flash!! It’s not just guys who only like the physical aspect of relationships, girls do the same thing and guys say the same things girls do.

Is She Really the Man?

24 Feb

Summary:

In the movie “She’s The Man”, Amanda Bynes plays Viola,  a soccer player whose girls team gets cut from her high school. Her brother Sebastian, “drops” out to pursue his music career and asks Viola to cover for him. Viola gets the brilliant idea to dress and act like her brother and attend his school and try out for the men’s soccer team. With the help from her roommate Duke, played by Channing Tatum she makes the boys soccer team. Viola then has to help Duke get the girl of his dreams who falls in love with Sebastian, aka Viola. While Viola is practicing for her debutante ball, she has to switch in between Viola, and Sebastian characters. It gets very confusing for Viola, playing Sebastian to keep track of where to be as who at what time. **Spoiler Alert**At the end of the movie Sebastian returns home with no knowledge of Viola taking his spot at the boarding school. After the real Sebastian was forced onto the field and didn’t know how to play soccer, Viola was exposed as a girl playing on the men’s team. She was one of the best players and beat her old school playing with the boys. By the end of the movie and Duke and Viola fall in love, happy ever after.

 

Analysis:

This movie is actually a good movie for being an Amanda Bynes movie. It is a modern version of The Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Being a soccer player myself, what got to me the most was that the boys soccer team at Viola’s old high school was supposedly “better” than the girls soccer team. Viola has to dress up and pretend she is a guy to even get looked at as being good at the sport. Sports in general are very sexist, especially when it comes down to football, baseball and soccer and volleyball. Three out of these four sports are primarily advertised as male sports. Women, when having the determination and ability are just as well equipped to play the same sports. Soccer I thought, should be a gender neutral sport. Look at Mia Hamm, Hope Solo, David Beckham, and Cristiano Ronaldo, all four wonderful soccer players, both male and female. This movie portrays women as not being as athlete as males in the sport of soccer. Pretending to be someone you are not is not how someone should live their life. Viola was falling in love with Duke but couldn’t do anything about it because she was supposed to be a guy. If she were herself she would be able to say how she feels and act on certain things. She proved to the whole school, plus her old school that dropped the girls team that she was just as good as the guys were, if not better.

Response:

I enjoyed watching this movie for the purpose that a girl came on the field and kicked butt in a sport against guys. Even though it made me very upset that the girls were looked down upon, the movie had a great ending. Not only does this movie show gender issues, and the problems that Viola had to overcome while pretending she was a guy and girl, it had a lesson behind it.  The movie wanted to show us that women are equal too and whatever “Sebastian” could do, Viola could do it better. I don’t think women should be denied a team for any sport just because they are women. Nor do I think men deserve to be denied a sport. If doing an activity is how a person loves to live life, let that person be happy and able to do that. No one should be denied anything because of their gender.

Who Are You?

17 Feb

Gender Identity

Summary:

This week on Modern Family on ABC, Phil was trying to sell a house to a gay couple while Claire thought he was at home with the kids making sure everything was going smoothly. When Claire found out Phil was not at home she started worrying about the kids and what could have gone wrong at home while no one was there. Turns out everything went very well, the house was clean, everything was put away and the kids were safe playing cards at the table. Claire was beyond herself and realized she had created great children. In Gloria and Jay’s house, Manny was going to go to a play with his mom but Jay cancelled and made him go play football with the other boys. Jay mentioned several times that the boy needed to play football instead of playing with his mom every day. The other Primetime show was Happy Endings. This episode was devoted to Max and his boyfriend. Max wanted his friends to like his boyfriend but his friends start becoming obsessed with him instead.

On Showtime, The United States of Tara is very interesting when it comes to gender. Tara is a mother of 2 wife and sister. She also has multiple personality disorder. Tara has seven altars, 2 of which are male, a teenage girl, a mother, a therapist, a child and an animal. The episode I watched, her older male alter, Buck, was having an affair with the bartender. The bartender knew Buck was a girl, but thought she was a very manly girl, as Buck thought he was a man that got his penis blown off while in the war. The episode was very graphic and depressing to the family. The kids have to live with their mother changing identities daily if not hourly.

http://www.sho.com/site/tara/season3/images/home/key_art.jpg

Analysis/ Application:

The difference between the primetime regular television and cable television is huge. In Modern Familyand Happy Endings the gender of the characters is known with little to no controversy. The main gender issues Modern Family may have is the identity with Cam and Mitchell and how feminine they act. In Happy Endings Max is another gay character with feminine characteristics but nothing to drastic. Penny’s character seems to be a bit off the wall sometimes as well but her gender is known. These two shows are primarily family oriented and the worst words are “damn” or “shit”. This is the complete opposite for United States of Tara. Showtime has no problem using the word “fu*k” every other minute in the show. Not only does the show have bad language compared to ABC shows, but also they are more graphic.

With Tara her “main” identity is known, female, mother, wife. Her altars think differently. She also has identity issues with being a male, a teenager, a child and animal even. In this episode it showed Buck, the male altar pleasuring the bartender s/he is having an affair with. This type of program would never be shown on ABC Primetime TV. In society today, the shows such as Modern Family and Happy Endings can relate more with everyone. About only 1% of the population have Multiple Personality Disorder (http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1900). That is a very low number compared to how many gay men and women are in society today. The Huffington Post did a story stating 8-10% of the population was of the gay or lesbian community. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/07/gay-population-us-estimate_n_846348.html).

The fact that the shows on ABC are on ABC and Tara is on Showtime is because society may not accept everything Tara stands for and how the show continues her story and tribulations through life. Society can relate more the Cam, Mitchell, Max, and the rest of the cast of those two shows. There are many shows these days dealing with the gay community, it is becoming more accepted in society as, Multiple Personality Disorder is not so accepted in society. Tara’s family will sometimes even say she is just “changing altars” because she is to stressed to deal with her own feelings. It becomes interesting seeing the difference is accepted primetime shows rather than cable network shows.

 

 

Response:

I personally love all 3 shows! Tara is one of those shows that are comical and serious at the same time. I have cried many times while watching her story unfold. Watching the Dunphy’s and gang and the group of six friends are very relatable to my life and me as well. They make me laugh each week I watch! I can see how the shows can be aired only on certain channels. I do not think Tara would ever be acceptable to put on ABC with the language and very descriptive images the show allows. I do believe that maybe MPD should be more accepted in society and maybe more broadcasted. It is one of those issues society is still in the dark about and not willing to unleash onto primetime. Hopefully soon everything will be accepted in society, but that is a long shot if I ever said anything. The shows all do a different but excellent job in showing different gender issues in their shows. I know I will continue watching!!

Star(s) are People, OK!

27 Jan

Summary

 

This just in, this week in Magazines we have sex and gossip! Intentionally I picked 3 magazines that most Americans see weekly. These include Star, People and OK! I picked these magazines because I came to realize, these are the magazines that are at all the ends of the aisles in grocery stores, discount stores, and even gas stations. These are the magazines that people pick up while waiting in line for checkout and just happen to stumble upon images, thoughts, gossip, and of course gender and sex. So what makes these magazines so widely popular, people are addicted. I worked at a hospital gift shop for a while a couple years ago, and many doctors, nurses, patients, and family members in the lobbies would stroll in and pick up the magazine and read all the gossip and what trends are in, then put it down and walk away. This would happen time and time again. So what exactly is in those magazines that make people addicted to them? Beautiful women, sex tips, how to make yourself better, and celebrity gossip. This should not be okay for people to read everyday. Their thoughts and beliefs can be strewed to what the media is brain washing them to believe. I say this with experience. I was one of those that would read these magazines daily, until I came to the realization that I was being brainwashed with information the media WANTED me to believe not what I NEEDED to believe.

 

Analysis/Application

 

A big portion of all three magazines was the coverage from the Golden Globes, not so much who won for their talent, but who was dressed the best and worst. I need someone to explain to me what makes a person’s dress or outfit the best or worst? I believe in being different, but isn’t being different the new trend these days? Being different in my words, is be able to wear what you want, say what you want, do what you want and not be judged. That is hard for the editors for these magazines. People said Charlize Theron was the best dressed at the award ceremony. I thought many other people there were in better outfits than that, but who am I to say what I think. The majority of the best-dressed women in the magazine happened to have been wearing figure shaping, expensive dresses that many non-celebs could afford. So when someone picks up this magazine, they are looking at these women either thinking, ‘gosh I want to look like that, that is the best dressed, I need that’ or ‘I need a woman that looks like that, they are apparently the best looking, so that’s what I need’. False, no one, not even celebrities look like that without pounds of makeup and designers lending them their clothes.

Most of the advertisements in OK! Magazine was for how women can change their face to make it better, younger looking, and smoother. Olay Regenerist was the culprit. The way women get rid of wrinkles. I thought the more wrinkles you had, meant the more laughs you have had in the past, making the point you have had a full enjoyable laugh. I guess I was wrong. Also there was an advertisement for Cover Girl, Simply Ageless Foundation. This is makeup to make you look and stay young. When a woman in her 80s has no wrinkles, no imperfections, that is what looks fake, and bad not wrinkles and beauty marks on the face. They are called beauty marks for a reason.

The articles in the magazine consisted of what celebrity is dating whom, what celebrity divorced whoever, what celebrities are doing on their free time. I still do not understand why our society is obsessed with what the celebrities are doing every minute of every day. Trying to convince non celebs, that celebrities are people too, they have normal lives, they do what we “little” people do too. Or not. With knowing what they are doing, people try to be like the celebrity, wear what they are wearing, buy what they eat, use their exercise regimens. People are different on purpose, it makes us unique and so there isn’t anyone like you. Society apparently forgot about that and wants to all look the same and act the same thanks to media.

 

Response

 

Like I had mentioned before, I used to be a consumer of the gossip, tabloid magazines. I would sit at work and catch up on my gossip and then spread it through my group of friends and family. I would want to look like every beautiful celebrity that walked down the red carpet. Where did this lead me…eating disorder. I wanted to so badly look like how the media told me to look and wear what they told me to wear. I got sick and unhealthy. I stopped reading those magazines and became my own person. I bought the clothes that I WANTED to buy; I ate what I WANTED to eat. I did want I wanted to do. I became a new person, I became me again. I have real issues with tabloid magazines and how they portray not only women, but men also. Who says what look is in and what the new trends are anyways? Both women and men need not to be portrayed as sex symbols, but beautiful people who have souls, hearts and knowledge. If you are one to read these magazines, pick your poison for which one is the best for brainwashing.

 

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. –Kahlil Gibran

Up All Night with Women

20 Jan

Summary:

I watched the show “Up All Night” on NBC that airs at 9:30 pm. The show is aimed to the female audience and the mishaps that may happen in a women’s life during work and right after having a the first baby. Reagan the main character, in this episode, was getting jealous that her husband was having conversations via the telephone at night with another woman. She was telling herself and others that she was fine with it and that she trusted her husband, but deep down she was very jealous. When she had gotten home to “crash” the play date with the moms, kids, and her husband, she went to the first pretty girl she saw and told her she was okay with her and her husband’s relationship and they could be friends no jealousy. She found out the pretty girl wasn’t the woman Reagan’s husband was talking to and that it was actually an older woman who was not all that attractive, and she felt more relieved. Commercials make up about 10 minutes of a 30 minute show. Within those 10 minutes, the companies need to reach the audience they are aiming for or their ad will be looked over, and will not work for the intended purpose.

Analysis:

With the theme of the show, Sexual Identity, a pretty girl would be more sexual than a not as attractive female, the commercials correlated with the theme as well. While watching the show and then the commercials, the commercials were all aimed towards the female audience just as the show was. There were many different breaks with different ads playing, but twice there was commercials just for women. One commercial was a chick flick trailer for “One for The Money”. A movie definitely aimed toward the females. Another commercial right after that was the commercial for a new birth control called Paragard. The commercial started out saying “Prefers Hers…” every line was something else women prefer in their everyday life. The Birth Control commercial is obviously aiming toward the sexual, female population. Although the birth control may help other issues, it is primarily, Birth control. Women who are watching Up All Night, are probably between 18-45 (rough guess) and experiencing the same issues or going to be in the future. The commercials play a big part with the audience. Another commercial was a car commercial which was not aimed toward women, but for men (for the husbands that are forced to watch this show). The commercial starts with a guy driving the Ford Truck with more horsepower and luxury. The background voice is a very deep male voice directed in getting the attention of that male watching the commercial. The other commercials were for more “chick flick” shows that air on NBC that the audience watching “Up All Night” would enjoy as well.

Response:

I never paid attention to commercials in such detail to realize their methods. I was watching the show with my boyfriend who was hating life for even having to watch the show, but when the commercials came on, he was mentioned how everything is for the females and not the males, minus that one commercial about the Ford. After paying close attention I found he was completely right. ALl the commercials and the show were directed toward females. It seemed every commercial was about a woman’s body, lifestyle, activities for women, it was stunning how gender aimed they were. At first thought I was thinking maybe this channel is sexist. They have the show “Whitney”, “Are you there Chelsea” “Up all Night” “Harry’s Law”, and “Lipstick Jungle”. All shows aimed primarily for the female audience with commercials aimed towards females. It is boggling my mind how much time and effort commercials take to get the right ad on the right station at the right time for the right audience they need to show it too. In this case, they did a good job, all the commercials were fitting for the group of women watching the show. I will most likely pay attention now to what commercials are airing while my boyfriend watches his shows on his stations.